Turn your street project idea into reality with Better Block PSU program

Posted by on February 24th, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Carfree SW Montgomery Street being painted by PSU students last year.
(Photo: PSU TREC)

What do Better Naito, the SW 3rd/Ankeny plaza, and new bus lanes on SW Madison and the Burnside Bridge have in common? They all started as ideas from students and activists and ended up as real projects on the ground.

If you have an idea to make streets and public space work better, now is your chance to give it some wings.

As we shared last spring, tactical urbanism organization Better Block PDX and Portland State University have joined forces to help great ideas become reality. Through PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), they’ve created a program that aligns PSU transportation, engineering, and planning students with activists and community organizations to create official plans for pop-up projects.


TREC released their latest call for projects on February 14th and the deadline for applications is March 10th at 5:00 pm.

TREC and Better Block will select up to four projects and one of them will be chosen to be implemented in summer 2021.

“We are looking for public places where small changes to the streetscape will make a big difference,” reads the call for projects.

You can submit your project online and learn more here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Gary BmaccoinnichZach Recent comment authors
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Submitted! The newly-empty parking lot on SE 28th and Stark (there used to be a flower truck there, which is now a brick and mortar store—Flower Bomb—down the street) should be a beautiful public plaza.

Also, the Broadway triangle (SW Broadway and Pine St) should be a plaza as well.

Gary B
Gary B

Don’t they only do projects on public ROW?


It’s now three and a half years since the Ankeny Plaza went in: https://bikeportland.org/2016/07/22/first-look-the-new-public-plaza-on-sw-3rd-188118. I think it’s safe to say that the basic concept works. I wish we could take the next step in the New York City Department of Transportation under Janette Sadik-Khan process, and create a permanent and high quality implementation. It would be a better use of the unspent Downtown Waterfront Urban Renewal money than the current plan to use it on building more parking in the area.