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PSU grad students want to ‘Activate’ Waterfront Park

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Waterfront Park is typically considered a bright spot in Portland’s urban planning legacy. And it should be. After all, it used to be an urban freeway known as Harbor Drive that was closed in 1974. In its place is the tree-lined park we now enjoy and that has become one of the city’s best public spaces.

But how can take Waterfront Park from good to great? How can we make it a more attractive and accessible place for all Portlanders? Those are some of the questions being asked by a new project dubbed “Activate the Waterfront“.

The effort is being led by Watermark Planning, which is six graduate students from Portland State University’s vaunted Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP). They’ve partnered up with city agencies (including Portland Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) to develop a Downtown Portland Waterfront Activation Plan. The project is a six-month endeavor that will fulfill the student’s degree capstone requirement. (more…)

Reader story: “I hit a kid with my bike yesterday”

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Shared path Waterfront Park-1
Bicycling on the paths in Waterfront Park is how many Portlanders get from point A to point B. But they’re also popular with tourists, people strolling during the lunch hour, jogging, and so on.

(more…)

More on Waterfront Park biking issue

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Spring on Portland's waterfront-101
The path in Waterfront Park.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Early last Friday morning, a man was kicked out of Waterfront Park for 30 days by a Portland Police officer because he was riding in the park at 4:30 am (the park is closed from midnight to 5 a.m.). The incident has sparked an interesting debate about how the Portland Parks Bureau deals with park facilities that have paths used as transportation corridors within their boundaries.

Unlike other popular multi-use paths that are inside Parks-managed properties (like the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor), the path that runs through Waterfront Park is not technically considered a transportation corridor. The official reason is because it was not funded with federal transportation dollars (the two examples above were funded through the FHWA’s Transportation Enhancement grant program).
(more…)

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