“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.
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).
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).
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.
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