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Tell Planning Commission you want better bicycling in West Portland Town Center plan


Satellite image of heart of West Portland Town Center. Green arrows represent existing or under construction bicycle facilities. Mind the gap between Barbur and Huber.

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold two virtual public hearings on the West Portland Town Center Draft Plan, on September 14th and 28th. The commission encourages Portlanders to comment on the plan to help inform its possible amendments. The amended draft goes to City Council early next year for adoption.

For those who want better bicycle facilities, the WPTC plan includes a few transportation improvements which could use your support:

The bike facility gap on SW Capitol Hwy between SW Barbur Blvd and SW Huber St. As BikePortland has reported, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has committed to improving SW Capitol Hwy for active transportation, including: The ongoing $27.5 million, mile-long, SW Capitol Hwy project with its continuous sidewalk, protected bike lane and multi-use path; the completed Capitol Hwy road diet between SW Huber St and Kerr Parkway; numerous past and ongoing improvements to Cap Hwy in the Hillsdale Town Center.

Yet, after all this investment, this strategic north-south corridor from Lake Oswego to Hillsdale will still have a bike facility gap at its most dangerous stretch, between the ODOT owned intersection at SW Barbur Blvd to SW Huber St.

You don’t need to design a solution, just let the Commission know that filling this gap is a priority for you. (The Town Center plans roll out over decades, so be bold!)

Taylors Ferry Rd lacks safe pedestrian and bicycling facilities. Off-ramp from I-5 south on upper left. (Photo: Lisa Caballero/BikePortland)

SW Taylors Ferry is a dangerous street lacking bike lanes and sidewalks. It intersects with SW Capitol Highway near Barbur, and receives car traffic from a southbound I-5 exit ramp. The plan calls for widening the shoulder to include a protected bicycle lane and sidewalk.

SW Huber St is the only East-West connection between Barbur Blvd, SW 35th Ave and points east. The plan includes a bikeway and sidewalk, and an I-5 on-ramp-crossing.

The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) also identified these projects as priorities for near-term implementation, with Taylors Ferry as its highest priority (BES memorandum, Appendix E). “The other projects are critical for improving transportation safety, especially for people walking, rolling, and biking, but are lower priorities for BES.” (The Taylors Ferry active transportation project overlaps with a BES Woods Creek culvert replacement project.)

These projects and others have brief description at the end of the WPTC draft plan, between pages 105 and 111.

The first PSC hearing is tomorrow, those wishing to provide oral testimony will need to sign up by 5:00 PM today.

Lisa Caballero

— Lisa Caballero, lisacaballero853@gmail.com
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