A downtown consulting firm is hosting a conversation tomorrow morning about one of Portland’s most persistent ideas: a cap over the Interstate 405 freeway.
The concept is intended to restitch the urban fabric that was destroyed by the freeway’s construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The host of Thursday’s 8-9 a.m. event is ProspectPDX, a local business consulting firm that presents a series of “future focused” ideas about civic life in Portland. Local writers Brian Libby and Dan Friedman, who have written about the concept twice on Libby’s Portland Architecture blog, are scheduled to speak.
City planning officials are expected to be on hand too to talk about how the concept fits into Portland’s West Quadrant Plan. As we reported in 2013 (see item 6), freeway caps are a formal part of this long-term vision for the future of downtown.
The goal here might be to create something like this street in Columbus, Ohio, which believe it or not is on top of an urban freeway:
And the larger goal, of course, is to come as close as possible to recreating the continuous grid that downtown Portland had in 1955:
And let us not forget former Mayor Sam Adams’ plan to connect NW Flanders with a biking/walking bridge. Maybe these projects could become one and the same.
Does the idea appeal to you? Tomorrow’s event, at 434 NW 6th Ave Suite 302, is free.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.