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‘I hope it was worth the wait’: Commissioner Eudaly cuts ribbon on Foster Road project

Posted by on June 13th, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Left to right: Foster Area Business Association President Allen Rowand, Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association Co-chair Eric Furlong, Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin, Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Transportation Director Chris Warner and Prosper Portland Commissioner Peter Platt cut the ribbon the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project. (Photo: PBOT)

“I know it was a long time coming. I hope it was worth the wait.”

That was Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly this morning as she stood near the intersection of SE Foster and 72nd along with PBOT Director Chris Warner and Foster-area business and community leaders. The occasion marked the official completion of the Foster Road Streetscape Project.

PBOT created this new map as part of a marketing push to encourage folks to walk and bike on the street.

Eudaly said the project — which we shared a sneak peek of just a few days before it was finished — has, “Transformed Foster Road from a high-speed, auto-oriented corridor into a balanced streetscape.”

Ironically, while telling the assembled crowd that the former arterial now “enhances the quality of life for Portlanders in surrounding neighborhoods,” she had to pause her prepared remarks because a large truck rumbled by. “Unfortunately, it’s still quite loud so I hope everyone can hear me,” she said.

PBOT and their partners spent $9 million on a host of upgrades that stretch 40 blocks from 50th (intersection with Powell) to 90th (just west of I-205).

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New striping and signals at SE Holgate.

Foster Area Business Association President Allen Rowand said the new access for bicycle users and reduction of driving lanes is, “The next step in the district’s evolution in becoming a destination instead of a throughway.” Rowand added that the new street design will make the annual Foster Tasting Tour even better this year, “Now that people can safely walk and bike to the events.”

Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin said the “new street” is worth celebrating because it will led to more family biking and walking to local festivals and events.

Speaking of which, PBOT has planned a full slate of events dubbed, “Summer Fun on Foster” to encourage people to get out and enjoy the street (which Eudaly referred to as public space in her remarks).

You can’t just build it, you also have to promote it.

Here’s the list of events:

June 16th – July 20th: #FosterFaves Photo Contest

June 16th – July 8th: Visit a Local Bike Shop

July 10th: Sweet and Savory Summer Bike Ride

July 13th: Let’s Go FoPo NeighborWalks hosted by AARP Oregon

July 20th: Foster Tasting Tour hosted by FABA

August 3rd: Lents Green Ring Ten Toe Walk

August 6th: The Art of Foster Bike Ride

August 11th: Lents Fair

August 18th: Grocery & Market Transit Tour

September 7th: Portland Mercado Taste of Latinoamérica Festival

Learn more about all of them here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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dwk
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dwk

The KGW piece on Eudaly and the current PBOT director show how much they both care about public safety and access.

maccoinnich
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I rode Foster with a friend on Sunday afternoon. It’s a real transformation. I never would have cycled on Foster before, and indeed actively avoided it on my trips to the Mercado. By contrast it felt very comfortable on Sunday. The pedestrian environment east of 82nd is also completely transformed, for the better.

Advocates can and should continue to push for better designs, but let’s also celebrate what a huge change this is.

Matt D
Guest
Matt D

Even as a driver, the lane reduction eliminates the stress of having to change lanes when a left-turning car occupies the left lane. This is a great development. A perfect example for why wider roads are not the answer.

Tom Hardy
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Tom Hardy

And the news tonight is! A ped was killed at the photographed intersection in the crosswalk.

Johnny Bye Carter
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Johnny Bye Carter

I hope it was worth the wait.

It was absolutely NOT worth the wait. It was worth it, but the wait wasn’t. It never should have got this bad and it shouldn’t have taken them 15 years to fix it once they started. It’s a very simple street without a lot of high-clout businesses.

Sub-standard door-zone bike lane that nobody should be riding in. They might as well have left this out completely. I am left to ride in the 1′ buffer zone mere inches away from cars. Some business owners have complained about bikes not in the bike lane and I told them that’s normal with bad bike lanes like these and to expect more of it.

That said, I love it because it’s a much calmer and more pleasant street. Compared to a decade ago it’s much more pleasant on foot. But now I have much less space via bike since I used to have an entire auto-width lane where it was easy to stay out of the door zone.

So it’s a win because the most vulnerable road users came out ahead.

Sarah
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Sarah

As a Lents resident who commutes to and from downtown I absolutely love the new bike lanes. I’m not comfortable riding in the same lane as autos traveling over 30 mph, so anytime I wanted to visit a business on Foster I’d take side streets to get there. On my ride home along Foster last night I was excited to see all the cafes, restaurants, and shops that I can get to easily now. The improved walking and biking conditions and calmer auto traffic make the street so much more accessible.

Mark smith
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Mark smith

More half measures for brave riders.

Suburban
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Suburban

Tara E. Stanlick : “Thank God I didn’t hit anyone”

mran1984
Guest

It sucks! Just another mistake that makes the escape from what this city has become even more of a hassle. Portland was soooooooooo much better 10-15 years ago. Naito is an absolute joke too!

Mark smith
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Mark smith

mran1984
It sucks! Just another mistake that makes the escape from what this city has become even more of a hassle. Portland was soooooooooo much better 10-15 years ago. Naito is an absolute joke too!Recommended 0

Hey, Vancouver is right over there.

JeffS
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JeffS

Yesterday: promotes bus only lanes
Today: celebrates the removal of a potential bus-only lane