Submit your dream Portland street idea to Better Block PSU

That bike lane your ride on today? It started out as a demo by Better Block 2014. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re the type to sketch out your dream street design for your neighborhood in your head every time you walk or bike around, now may be the time to see your idea come to fruition.

Better Block PSU, a partnership program between tactical urbanist group Better Block PDX and Portland State University, is accepting proposals for projects that “promote equitable placemaking, community building, and active transportation advocacy.” If your idea is selected, you’ll work alongside PSU planning and engineering students to materialize the plan.

Better Block PSU says the project is a shift from the status quo with a ground-up approach, and increases capacity for community organizations to influence policy that can lead to permanent changes in Portland’s streetscape.”

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Examples of potential Better Block projects. (Click to enlarge)

This is an opportunity for students at PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center to get hands-on experience with project design and implementation – and an opportunity for community members to have a real impact on what Portland’s streets look like.

Former PSU student and Better Block volunteer Gwen Shaw hugs former PBOT Commissioner Steve Novick in 2016.

Some examples of potential projects include community events and street markets, pedestrian plazas, crosswalks and improved bicycle facilities. These are pop-up projects, so they’re low risk, but the goal is to show the community what making streets more people-focused could look like. Check out projects that have gone through this program in the past here.

Some projects that have gone through this program in the past, like the Better Naito Forever project, have become permanent, critical pieces of Portland’s active transportation infrastructure.

The deadline for applications is next Monday, March 14 at 8:00 pm. Learn more on the Better Block PSU website and see the full request for proposals here. And get planning!

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SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago

Curb lane dedicated to human powered transportation and wheelchairs.
Concrete(?) barrier along curb lane to keep cars away. Maybe plants can be planted on top of barriers or some other “beautification” to not make them be drab grey blocks.

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
3 months ago

Submitting for the Highway Better Block: The Trans-Albina-2-Slabtown eBike Sky Way….add a raised PBL to the southern shoulder lane for direct access between the two districts on the i405 lower deck. There would need to be two bike only ramp access points at each end. Imagine a ‘5 minute ride’ to downtown from Mississippi!

If buses can run on signed / stenciled shoulder lanes then why not other multimodal modes, right?

..ok talk amongst yourselves…as we have all thought the same thing for decades when we take the Bridge Pedal Ride.

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X
3 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

Absolutely. First post FTW. Existing infrastructure, easy to retrofit, wormholes away a lot of •deadly traffic conflicts •N-S diversions in bike routes •unfavorable signal settings •bad pavement •bridge lifts •adverse construction detours •etc

Thanks Todd!

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

But, e-bike? How are you going to keep me from Ludd-poaching it?

Also this seems like a place for Jersey barriers if ever there was one. If the bridge can support the extra static load it’s a no-brainer.

Granpa
Granpa
3 months ago

The perfect Portland streetscape would start with sidewalks sponsored by REI as an active showroom of the latest in tent technology. No street trees would be provided, but piles of pallets would be provided for firewood, cutting out the middleman (pun intended). While urban camping would comprise the bulk of the sidewalk space, intersection corners would be designated for either adult entertainment venues, or stop-and-shop pharmacies. Every other intersection’s northwest corner would be dedicated to emergency medical clinics.

Space now providing on-street parking would be repurposed. As part of Portland’s effort to discourage car use, automobile dismantling would be provided mid block, with salvaged materials contributing to the thriving internet auction economy. Similarly, bicycle rebuilding entrepreneurs would have free reign to take advantage of the booming bike part and “frankenbike” resale market.

The City fully embraces the genius-of-the-marketplace and places no restrictions on the freedom loving new economy and People-First street scene. Transportation enhancements are not necessary, as the pedestrian ballet and street economy will have successfully discouraged pass-through or resident automobile use, so pavement tarmac will receive dynamically painted logos and identifying tags of the communities most high profile citizens.

Congratulations Portland, we are almost there!

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3 months ago
Reply to  Granpa

There are a lot of problems around people who have no fixed address, sleeping on the street. Absolutely. I see those problems up close every damn day, unless I never leave my house.

The space in front of my bike locker is a kind of semi sheltered shittery so I watch my step there, you bet. The other day people were setting up a tent in the next bay over, actually blocking the locker doors.

I told them it was going to be kind of a problem (as unjerkily as possible) and the sorta gaunt old white guy I was talking to* said he had just gotten kicked out of the Biltmore, essentially for talking some shit? so he and his partner were assembling their sketch gear into a bed to sleep out in 36° weather. I STFU, gave him a 10 and bailed. I don’t know how I sleep at night except maybe my head is so full of stuff that happens in Yemen, Syria, Kashmir and so on that it’s now easy to just unplug.

It’s really unhelpful to tear down people who are living in public. Maybe they have made wrong choices at times but who hasn’t? How many BP comment writers never talk shit? Should they sleep on cold pavement?

*People who know me might chuckle, so I’ll just say, even more so.

soren
soren
3 months ago

Build a “Better Moody” temporary protected bike lane on of the East-side of SW Moody.

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

So would a “Better Moody” be called “More Moody” or Less Moody”?…now chat almost yourselves…

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3 months ago
Reply to  soren

–just got back from a trip out So Moody. For me, the “World Class” part doesn’t suck too bad, it’s a little over-wrought for my taste but I would never burn a stamp to complain about it.

What I would love is for somebody clever to take a look at the part between Gibbs and Bancroft. It’s a ¡door zone! bike lane, none too wide, with trolley tracks in the adjacent lane and a steady flow of MV traffic. About half these folks are already gunning for the nearby freeway, and a bunch are semi-lost and trying to find hospital parking.

Question: Is this a 70s design? 80s? Certainly sometime in the heyday of vehicular cycling.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

That would break the signal at Porter Moody.