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:

RegularBike Lanes

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.  


Money for Foster, if We Fight For It

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to give us money, but the competition is tough. Their current round of state transportation project funding has identified three projects directly relevant to our Foster neighborhoods, and we’re only going to stand out from the many other projects on the list if we can make our voice heard. That’s where you come in.

Below the project descriptions on this page are three forms, one for each Foster-area project. Please consider filling your contact information and letting ODOT know your interest in seeing one (or all) of these projects funded. (more…)

The Traffic Analysis Results Are (Sort of) In

Project Overview: We are 3/4 through a process to update the Foster Streetscape Plan originally created in 2003. The update aims to explore the possibility of accommodating a future streetcar, improving safety for everyone, and providing a bikeway along the street. All of these objectives are in response to recent citywide plans. One potential strategy to achieving these goals is the reconfiguration the street from a 4-lane arterial to a 3-lane arterial design. The idea of this change is a source of some controversy.

The latest Advisory Committee meeting was packed with information about the impacts of various streetscape proposals. We learned a lot, and I wanted to share my summary of the details from the meeting.  I can’t stress enough that the analysis results presented below are preliminary and incomplete. For example, results showing impacts in the evening may be different when analyzed for the morning hours, so take some of this with a grain of salt.

The Case For the Foster Bikeway

The following is an open letter to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). The BTA is currently developing their advocacy agenda for the coming years as a part of their Blueprint for Better Biking update. We believe Foster Road can be a part of that plan, and be a symbol of the possibilities available to areas outside of inner Portland. If you agree, please attend their outreach event tonight at 6pm, or take their survey and write in the Foster Bikeway as a priority SE project.


What a Difference a Lane Makes

Lents residents meet next Tuesday night for an open discussion of Foster Road, specifically to explore the prospects of lane reconfiguration as a part of the Foster Streetscape Plan. While we wait for the results of the traffic analysis to see what’s possible, neighbors might ask themselves what a smaller Foster could look like and what they could get in return. We drew some pictures of Foster at 85th,  where every inch matters. (more…)

The New Foster Road?

The Portland Bureau of transportation has unveiled their list of options for the Foster Road Streetscape. Keep in mind that these are not final, and we are not limited to what is shown here. I wish it were a simpler task, but the given all of the factors at play we’re left with a fairly large set of 14 options. (Even beyond this list, each option can be tweaked and adjusted into more permutations, not to mention options not even included in their analysis.)

I’ve presented all of their options below for you to look at, but the bottom line is this: we don’t have enough information to decide. (more…)

Foster Road’s Eight Most Dangerous Hotspots: Red’s

This morning, Mayor Sam Adams will join the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and Transportation for America in a Walk of Remembrance on Foster Road. The walk is intended to memorialize those Portlanders killed because of unsafe traffic conditions.

The walk will include a stop in the area of Foster in the 70s near Red’s Bar, the site where Jason Grant was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street last January 28. The driver of that vehicle was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Mayor Adams has a mixed record of support for traffic safety in this area. (more…)