A newly proposed project that’s gaining steam would dramatically transform a half-mile long stretch of a six-lane industrial arterial street in North Portland into a multi-modal transportation and recreation corridor. The proposal is known as ‘Going Green’ and it’s being spearheaded by the Swan Island Transportation Management Association.
Project director and head of the Swan Island TMA, Lenny Anderson, says “I believe the City is taking a serious look at this.” Anderson sees the project as a way to tackle many problems at once while providing key connections between Swan Island and nearby neighborhoods. Here’s an excerpt from a project outlined forwarded to me by Anderson:
“The project includes improved pedestrian and bicycle access, a more attractive and inviting park-like design, more effective potentially cost saving stormwater management solutions, as well as public safety enhancements.”
As part of making the natural area adjacent to Going Street more “attractive and inviting,” there is talk of making an off-road singletrack trail that would connect Interstate Avenue to Madrone Park (which is situated on a bluff overlooking Swan Island).
Anderson also points out this half-mile stretch of Going Street contains about 4.7 acres of impervious concrete that generates over 4.5 million gallons of stormwater each year, making the case that the addition of bioswales could, “manage this significant amount of stormwater without hindering vehicular operations on the street.”
Anderson sees improved biking and walking access on Going Street as ways to free up road space for the thousands of trucks that come in and out of Swan Island. With 10,000 people currently employed on Swan Island, there is a need to provide an attractive option to single-occupancy vehicles. Interstate Avenue has light rail and the new Concord Bike Boulevard also crosses this stretch of Going Street.
would lead more people to
this portion of the Willamette
River Greenway Trail.
(Photo © J. Maus)
Project backers also say that improvements to Going Street would allow more people to connect to the Willamette River Greenway Trail, a one-mile stretch of 12-foot wide trail that is the only public access to the river between the Steel Bridge and Cathedral Park in St. Johns (yet it’s unknown to most people because Swan Island is so difficult to bike and walk to).
The project is just at proposal stage at this point, but Anderson feels many stars are aligning and that the project has all the elements of success. He already has design consultants on board as well as support from local businesses, interest from Metro’s Intertwine initiative, and the possibility of funding from the Portland Development Commission through their Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area fund. Anderson hopes to have a 25% design completed by the end of this year.
Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved and lend your support to this exciting new project.