Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 27th, 2018 at 5:03 pm
One week after an open house where the public was asked to rank a list of potential projects to be funded through the Central City in Motion plan, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has trimmed the list from 18 to 11. PBOT also seems to have axed key parts of two remaining projects.
At least that’s how it appears in an email just sent to members of a local, pro-business advocacy group.
Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) sent an email to members today encouraging them to submit comments on the projects. “Although the online open house survey is now closed,” reads the email, “BBPDX members have the opportunity to provide direct feedback on which projects should be slated for development in the next five years.”
The map and list of projects provided by BBPDX is different than the map shown at the open house last week. The most recent map made public by PBOT showed 18 “project bundles” (a mix of protected bike lanes, crossing updates, and enhanced transit lanes). The map revealed in the email from BBPDX today shows just 11 projects — two of which have had key elements removed since last week.
PBOT has $9 million already dedicated to the projects and expects a total budget of $30 million. The agency is making its final efforts to garner feedback and come up with a list of “transformative” projects that can be built right away (which likely means spring/summer 2019 when construction season begins again and the requisite engineering and design work can be completed).
Here are the six projects BBPDX says have been removed from consideration (and their estimated cost, based on a mid-level build quality):
4) NE/SE 11th / 12th: $7,800,000
“11th and 12th Avenues are an important north-south route for freight, transit, autos and people biking. Today the roadways feature two narrow travel lanes that don’t accommodate trucks or buses well. They are also difficult to cross. The project would redesign the roadways to include one wider travel lane to better accommodate buses and trucks, a buffered bike lane, parking, and a series of pedestrian crossing and bus stop improvements.”
6) NW/SW 12th / 14th / 17th: $3,030,000
“These streets work together to provide access to and from the Pearl District and through Goose Hollow. NW 14th would create a protected bicycle lane from Burnside to Hoyt, and a wide bicycle lane from Hoyt to Savier. Improvements to SW 17th Avenue would create a protected two-way, cycle track from Salmon to Alder, and a neighborhood greenway from Madison to I-405. A protected bicycle facility on SW 12th from College to Stark would provide access to the west side of the PSU campus.”
10) SW Alder / Washington: $1,400,000
“The Morrison bridge has a wonderful existing walking and biking path, but access to it poor. This project would improve pedestrian access and safety by eliminating dual turn lanes approaching the bridge. A short segment of two-way protected cycle track would connect 4th Avenue to the bridge, leveraging existing infrastructure to provide a critical connection between downtown Portland and the Central Eastside.”
11) SE Belmont / Morrison: $3,020,000
“Belmont and Morrison are key east/west connections in the Central Eastside, providing important retail, freight, and transit access. This project improves transit access and speed with new transit islands, improves pedestrian crossings, and provides protected bicycle lanes.”
13) NE Multnomah / NE 16th: $4,000,000
“NE Multnomah is a key east/west connection through the Lloyd District that provides access to retail and other destinations. This project would improve the existing parking protected bike lane on NE Multnomah and address bus/bike conflicts. A neighborhood greenway on NE 16th would provide a connection between this route and NE Portland neighborhoods.”
16) NW Park / 9th: $4,700,000
“This project provides a north/south connection from the Pearl District to downtown. Protected bike lanes on NW 9th transition to a protected bike lane on Park. New signalized crossings of Park at Glisan, Everett, Burnside, and Oak will remove barriers to walking and biking in this area.”
Notable about the 11th/12th project is a line from the BBPDX email that reads, “Due to considerable neighborhood opposition to the SE 11th/12th project, it appears to be off the table at this point.”
In addition, the new map no longer shows SE Clay and Madison streets being part of project #12, which would now only include changes to SE Hawthorne. Project #3 has also been changed to only include changes to SE 7th. It no longer shows crossing updates to SE 6th or the bus/freight/transit-only lanes proposed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd/Grand Avenue couplet.
It’s also worth noting that PBOT seems to have axed several of the projects that received the lowest number of votes by attendees of last week’s open house:
My ballpark estimate shows that PBOT has sliced about half of the $72.3 million price tag from their list of 18 projects, bringing them much closer in line to the expected funds they have to spend.
The email from BBPDX is supportive of the projects overall and demonstrates a collaborative relationship with PBOT. This stands in contrast to the recent statement from the Central Eastside Industrial Council which urged its members to voice concerns over how the Central City in Motion project would reduce parking in their district.
We have not seen any publication of this new map or an explanation of the prioritization decisions from PBOT. We’ve reached out to them for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
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