Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:54 pm
Isn't it great when a local government agency uses the Internet to make political participation much easier?
Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability released a new tool Tuesday that does exactly that. It's the Google Maps of Portland planning and demographics, and definitely a resource worth knowing about.
The coolest map for BikePortland readers might be the one in the screenshot above, the very last of what this application refers to (in thick planning-ese) as "discussion layers." It's a clickable, zoomable, scrollable map of every project in the city's current transportation system plan — essentially the transportation department's official to-do list.
For example, this makes it easy for me to see not only that the city is planning to add bike lanes and sidewalks to Southwest Hamilton Street between Dosch and Scholls Ferry roads sometime in the next six to 10 years, but that it's expected to cost about $6 million.
For people like me, who don't want to constantly keep up with every project we care about but want to get up to speed on them every now and then, this will be a terrific tool.
A couple usage tips: to get to the transportation map, you have to click and drag on the list that starts with "Centers," "Corridors," and so on, and then flip the "on" switch. To read the documentation for each layer, click on its name. To see the legend, click "legend" near the lower left.
Finally, the public is invited to add comments to these plans by clicking the dialogue box in the upper right.
It's also great that this tool is in the same place as a wealth of demographic data and many other aspects of the city's comprehensive plan. I'm working on another post highlighting at a few particularly interesting maps to be found here, so stay tuned.