Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has resurrected the Culinary Corridor.
Wheeler, who celebrated the major Ritz Carlton development that displaced 55 businesses that made up Portland’s famous Alder Street Food Cart Pod, included $269,000 to develop a section of Southwest Ankeny into a new home for a few dozen of them. The project will partner with Friends of the Green Loop to create the first of three phases in their Culinary Corridor project.
“Many small businesses closed in 2020. Bringing them back – and creating space for new ones… is key to a successful, equitable recovery,” Wheeler said in a statement about his budget Thursday. “Funds for the Ankeny food cart project… will help advance this goal.”
The Alder Street carts were forced to shut down in 2019. There was a plan to relocate them to the North Park Blocks, but that didn’t move forward.
The new plan is to utilize a small park bordered by Burnside, Ankeny, 8th and Park. Friends of the Green Loop says the space will have room for 26 carts since the Portland Bureau of Transportation will make three of the four streets (excluding the largest one, Burnside) carfree. “The food carts combined with the park creates an exciting opportunity to create a unique place on the Green Loop that we can enhance with event programming and outdoor seating,” says a description of the project at the Friends of the Green Loop website.
Another benefit to this location is that it could lead to a more robust crossing of Burnside, which would create a stronger link to the North Park Blocks for bikers, walkers, and other non-drivers.
The new carts could be open as soon as July.
If this project comes to pass (and with money in the bank it seems likely), it could increase pressure on PBOT to create an even better plaza one block over at SW Broadway. The vast expanse of pavement at the intersection of Ankeny, Broadway and Burnside, is just begging to become a low-car/carfree plaza. New bike lanes installed late last year took one small step forward; but the intersection deserves more than just paint and plastic posts — especially once the new Ankeny West food cart pod becomes a major destination and people need more room to relax and enjoy the city.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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