Streetscape Approved 5-0

Yesterday the City Council approved the Foster Streetscape Plan, greenlighting $5.25 million in pedestrian safety improvements for Foster Road between 50th and 90th Avenues.

The unanimous vote comes after more than a decade of activism by neighborhood leaders and small business people seeking to make Foster Road safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.

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The most controversial element of the plan is the "road diet" that would shrink the street's profile for 24 blocks of the 40 block project area. The current configuration has two travel lanes in each direction. Once completed, the new profile would have a single travel lane in each direction, plus a center turn lane. The additional space would also allow bike lanes in both directions.

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Mount Tabor’s Maple Entrance: Neighbors Ask for Long-Delayed Southern Park Access

tabor_2Mount Tabor Park is indisputably one of Portland’s crown jewels, a stunning ancient volcanic cone that’s home to some of the most beautiful forest, wildlife and views the city has to offer.

Initially proposed by the famous Olmstead Brothers, the pioneering designers of many of the nation’s great parks, Mt. Tabor is one of the most popular parks in the city.

Beginning as a Water Bureau facility –which it still is, in part –the park was designed by one of Portland’s first Parks directors, the landscape architect Emanuel Tillman Mische, in 1929. Mische began his career with the Olmsteads before coming to Oregon, where he was part of the team that created Crater Lake National Park, among many other iconic northwest parks.

Within Portland Parks and Recreation’s designation system, Mt. Tabor is a “metropolitan park,” meaning it is intended to serve the citizens of the entire city. And residents to the west, north and east have easy access to its charms.

Those to the south, not so much.

But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Mische’s original park plan included the “Maple Entrance,” a major park entryway from the south at Division and 64th Avenue. (more…)

The Other Half of the Streetscape Plan

You may have seen the flyer in your mailbox: The 5th Foster Road Open House is happening this Thursday evening.

According to the planners, this should the last one. The first 4 open houses were focused on gathering community input, sharing ideas and hearing responses and concerns. This open house is about what the city came up with. They’ll be taking comments I’m sure, but unless there is a torch and pitchfork mob in attendance they are only expecting to make small changes to the proposal before this goes to council. Think of it as an early warning of sorts – When you see the construction crews out on the ground over the coming years, this is what they are working on. (more…)

Road Diets coming to Division and Glisan Streets

As Foster Road waits for its own traffic calming measures, the City is moving forward with help for our neighbors to the North.

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Construction begins on NE Glisan Street near where Heather Fitzsimmons was killed last winter.

On the evening of January 29th, Heather Jean Fitzsimmons was crossing NE Glisan Street, using the marked crosswalk at 78th Avenue. She was hit and killed when a driver pulled around another car that had stopped to let her cross.

Heather was 29 years old and worked in the after-school program at nearby Vestal Elementary School. The driver was not charged.

Locals have been upset about reckless driving in this area for a long time, and following Heather’s death, resident Benjamin Kerensa began documenting the dangerous conditions and lax enforcement in the area. His video of the scene was picked up by the Oregonian and has more than 5000 hits on youtube.

After a series of public meetings and enforcement actions, this month PBOT began rebuilding the roadway on NE Glisan between 60th and 82nd Avenues.

When completed by this fall, the former four-lane configuration will be replaced by a single lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. This kind of street profile is considerably safer for pedestrians because it avoids the type of “multiple threat crash” that killed Heather Fitzsimmons. (more…)

Lents Town Center Unveils Its New Look

ltc_dedication_4Residents and dignitaries gathered Sunday morning to dedicate the new streetscape improvements in the Lents Town Center, improvements that should make the area more hospitable to pedestrians and businesses.

“Great cities are great places to walk, and the City has an obligation to make the whole city a great place to walk.” – Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick

The group included Portland City Councilmember Steve Novick, State Representative Jeff Reardon, PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton, and many city bureau staffers as well as many local businesspeople and representatives of the Lents Neighborhood Association and the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Advisory Committee. (more…)

Something Better than Bike Lanes for Foster?


The Foster Road Streetscape Plan is almost done. The City has shown their official options and in a few months the vision of the New Foster Road, whatever it looks like, will be adopted by City Council.

But people won’t stop talking about the bike lanes.

BikePortland.org, the premier forum for bicycling issues in this city, has raised the topic a couple of times in the last few weeks and each post is filled with 100+ comments of discussion. The BTA has identified Foster as a potential world-class bicycling corridor, and the official City of Portland Bike Advisory Committee has expressed disappointment that regular bike lanes are the only bikeway on the table for the new design.

The Official Bike Lane Proposal:

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Disclaimer: The decision between 4 and 3 lanes has not yet been made. The City held an open house in June to hear from the neighbors, and the ultimate call will only be made once that information is available.  

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TOMORROW – Your Last, Best Chance to Shape Your Neighborhood

The City of Portland is hosting a SUPER OPEN HOUSE tomorrow night to share and gather information about two major plans going on along Foster Road. We know these are kind of boring, and we know you have other things you’d rather do, but if one day you look out your window and see stuff you didn’t like, don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.

Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll talk about: (more…)