The big reveal is here!
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has spent the last 16 months learning about the needs and nuances of our city’s northern peninsula and they just released a list of projects they’d like to build in order to make it nicer for biking, walking, and taking transit.
North Portland in Motion is a planning process that launched in April 2021. After doing a bunch of outreach, PBOT said in a statement today that, “We have consistently heard that North Portlanders would like to see an emphasis on safer speeds, crossings and biking options for community members of all ages.”
Also today, they launched an online open house that shares 38 different projects to accomplish those goals. The projects are broken into four categories: Corridor Improvements, Critical Connections, Neighborhood Greenways, Public Spaces and Mobility Hubs. There’s a map (below) where you can click and learn about each one.
There are several very exciting projects on the list. Imagine if we got:
- new bike lanes on N Willamette Blvd from the railroad cut to downtown St. Johns;
- a new north-south neighborhood greenway on N Montana between Alberta and Rosa Parks Way (as an alternative to Interstate Ave);
- new bike lanes on N Interstate between Killingsworth and Lombard;
- traffic calming and safer crossings on N Portsmouth between Willamette and Columbia;
- or a new path along Columbia to (finally!) connect the end of the Peninsula Crossing Trail.
And beyond traditional infrastructure projects, they’ve also included six potential plaza and “mobility hub” locations:
- Downtown St. Johns Plaza
- Charleston Street Plaza
- New Columbia Mobility Hub
- University of Portland Mobility Hub
- Downtown Kenton Mobility Hub
- Arbor Lodge Park Plaza
It’s all possible with this plan.
Of course, there won’t be any money directly tied to NPIM; but PBOT has a track record of spending money (as it becomes available) as directed by these “In Motion” plans (*See exciting update below. There is money!). The adoption of a plan like this also helps create the political urgency required for funding to appear — so it’s a positive feedback loop all around.
*UPDATE, 12:20 pm: Turns out, PBOT actually does already have money lined up for this. So far they’ve set aside $500,000 from the Fixing Our Streets (gas tax) program, $100,000 from their Pedestrian Network funding program, and $80,000 from the Missing Links program. That’s $680,000 to jumpstart NPIM. PBOT tells me they plan to spend this money in the first two years after the plan is adopted.
How do we tell PBOT which ones to build first? Visit the online open house and make your priorities and insights known.
PBOT will take this feedback, mesh it with their other core values (like equity, feasibility, and so on), run it all up the political flagpole and come up with a “Top Tier” project list later this fall.
According to their latest timeline, they’ll continue to refine the project list and find funding sources from fall through spring of 2023 and then get the plan passed by council that summer.
If it all goes according to plan, I bet we could see some of the best projects in NPIM get installed early next summer. So get to that open house and help make it happen. The open house closes September 30th.