East Portland advocates raise equity concerns over ‘Green Loop’ project

Posted on September 14th, 2017 at 1:23 pm.

(Image: Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability: Central City 2035)

The Green Loop, one of the the city’s “Big Ideas” in the Central City 2035 plan, has been singled out by a coalition of activists who say it’s yet another sign east Portland is being left behind.

In a letter (PDF) sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and city council members on September 6th as testimony on the Central City plan, the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC) said they are, “disappointed in the City’s numerous efforts to elevate the Green Loop concept while failing to elevate similar efforts in areas outside the city core.”
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A carfree opportunity for SW Montgomery near PSU

Posted on September 13th, 2017 at 12:59 pm.

SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yellow square is the block in question.

Next week Portland State University will officially re-open their business school after a major renovation of the Karl Miller Center on SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th. The small street adjacent to it has been closed for nearly a year during construction and there’s an idea swirling around to keep it that way. Forever.

The blocks of Montgomery on both ends of this section adjacent to PSU’s business school are already carfree. To the west is the PSU Park Blocks — a designated “Clean air corridor” and “Pedestrian zone” that PSU proudly proclaims (via signs attached to bollards) as a “Space free of smoke, pollution, and emissions.” To the east is the PSU Urban Plaza, a legendary petri-dish of carfree urbanism bisected by the streetcar.

To Tim Davis, a Portland civic booster (his Facebook page is “PDXFan”) and author behind PlacesforEveryone.com, this is a golden opportunity to create more carfree space downtown. Last week he posted the idea to the Bike Loud PDX Facebook page.[Read more…]

Bike box, green lane and smooth pavement coming to SW Main

Posted on September 13th, 2017 at 7:43 am.

Detail of SW Main paving project striping plan.
(Images: PBOT)

Last night at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shared an update on their SW Main paving project.
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‘Albina Vision’ would restore historic Rose Quarter neighborhood, put biking and walking first

Posted on September 11th, 2017 at 1:03 pm.

Aerial view of Albina Vision looking south (scroll down for more detailed view).

Rukaiyah Adams sharing the Albina Vision on Friday at the plaza in front of Memorial Coliseum.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the early 1950s, the Rose Quarter was a neighborhood of homes, churches and stores. It was a thriving part of our city where many people lived and worked. But by 1958 all the houses were razed to make way for the Memorial Coliseum and eventually the Moda Center. Within the same decade hundreds more homes would see the same fate as city planners gave Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Interstate 5 priority over housing and businesses. These “urban renewal” projects in the Albina corridor had a devastating impact to the community and many of the scars — on human lives and infrastructure — remain unhealed.

A bold new plan unveiled for the first time on Friday seeks to restore that neighborhood — and ideally, the community that went along with it. The “Albina Vision” would develop the 30-acre Rose Quarter with housing and businesses that respects history and embraces the future.

On Friday two of the project’s main backers — Rukaiyah Adams, chief investment officer with the Meyer Memorial Trust and Zari Santner, a former Portland Parks Bureau director — laid out their vision to a crowd of about 70 electeds, planners, advocates and government staffers during a stop on the annual Policymakers Ride.
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TriMet Corner: Inside look at new ‘Bike & Rides’ coming to Beaverton and Goose Hollow

Posted on September 7th, 2017 at 8:20 am.

Details of conceptual design images of new Goose Hollow and Beaverton Creek Bike & Ride facilities by ZGF Architects.

This is the latest from our columnist and TriMet Senior Planner Jeffrey Owen. Last month he gave us the inside scoop on the Orenco Station Bike & Ride.
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Backers say I-5 Rose Quarter widening could be model for future freeway projects

Posted on August 31st, 2017 at 11:42 am.

“We would love to see this project successfully set a new precedent for how we address urban highways in Portland.”
— The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance)

Technically speaking, not all freeway projects are created equal. But they all pretty much have the same goal: Make it easier for people to drive cars.

That being said, is it ever a good idea to widen a freeway in a dense, urban area? In 2017?

From an engineering perspective, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s current plan to add lanes to Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter is a far cry from the 1950s-era plan to build the Mt. Hood Freeway through southeast Portland or the more recently vanquished Columbia River Crossing project.

A major theme of the current debate is whether the I-5 Rose Quarter project is qualitatively different. What if — as its backers (and fence-sitters) say — it represents a new era of highway building? One that’s kinder and gentler? One that even (supposedly) progressive Portlanders should get behind? What if this one is worth it and the “No More Freeways” mantra from activists is a knee-jerk reaction to an old boogeyman that deserves a chance to make good?

These are just some of the many question I want to address in the coming days.

The debate around this project is heating up as we’re just about one week away from a Portland City Council hearing that a new coalition group has targeted as the place to stop it.

While this coalition sees the project as a waste of money that will encourage auto use (among other things) — people who support it see it as a golden opportunity to fix local streets and bridges in the Lloyd District that serve thousands of daily bikers and walkers. Some even push back at the notion that it’s a “freeway widening” project at all.

Back in March, Portland Bureau of Transportation Planner Mauricio LeClerc told the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission that, “This is an innovative project that really makes a freeway project something that is about place-making and that improves conditions for all modes.” LeClerc also warned that if the project doesn’t go forward, funding for surface street updates and new overpasses would improve convenience and safety for bicycle users could be lost. “How else are we going to fix those five bridges over the Rose Quarter now, unless we come up w $200 million ourselves?”
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With letter to City Council, new coalition launches fight against I-5 Rose Quarter project

Posted on August 30th, 2017 at 9:04 am.

Screen grab from No More Freeways website.

A new coalition of Portland-area organizations and individuals have joined forces to oppose the Oregon Department of Transportation’s I-5/Broadway/Weidler Interchange project.

With support that includes the Audubon Society of Portland, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Community Cycling Center, Neighbors for Clean Air, the NAACP, and others, a group called No More Freeways launched a website and social media accounts today. Their target is a public hearing on the Central City Plan scheduled for Portland City Council on September 7th.

In advance of that hearing the group has sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four city commissioners outlining their opposition to the I-5 project. The goal of their campaign is to get three specific projects stripped from Portland’s Transportation System Plan (which could then trigger Metro to remove them from the all-powerful Regional Transportation Plan) and to hasten the implementation of a congestion pricing plan. Here are the three projects (and their estimated cost) as they appear today in the TSP (PDF):
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Planned widening of I-5 at the Rose Quarter is Portland’s next big freeway fight

Posted on August 29th, 2017 at 4:21 pm.

I-5 at Rose Quarter

As the project moves forward, so to are efforts to stop it.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The initial draft of Oregon’s just-passed transportation bill was an audacious money-grab from misguided politicians and the freeway advocates that fuel them. Thankfully, the final version that Governor Kate Brown signed into law today in Portland dramatically scaled-back our investment in urban freeway widening projects; but not completely.

One of the winners in the bill was a project that will expand Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter — right through the heart of Portland’s central city. And with City Council poised for a vote to add the project into Portland’s Transportation System Plan on September 7th, activists are laying the groundwork for another freeway fight.
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A tour of Washington County’s new ‘bike infrastructure theme park’

Posted on August 29th, 2017 at 1:47 pm.

Looking north toward Highway 26.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

– Words and photos by BP Subscriber and Washington County Correspondent Naomi Fast

I took a tour of some of Washington County’s hot-off-the-asphalt-truck bicycle infrastructure, and my verdict is in: it’s worthy of inviting guests from Portland to come check it out.

So come take a virtual ride with me!
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County says NW Newberry road will be fixed by summer/fall 2018

Posted on August 25th, 2017 at 8:43 am.

Landslide and damage to NW Newberry.
(Photo: Multnomah Countyu)

Multnomah County issued advisories for two roads in the west hills that are popular with local riders.

They’ve released a date for when NW Newberry will be fixed and re-opened. And they’ve announced a new, upcoming closure of the west side of NW Germantown.

Winter storms pummeled NW Newberry Road into submission, causing a major landslide about a half-mile up from Highway 30. The landslide caused the pavement of the northern (uphill) lane to completely split apart and fall down a hill. As a result, Multnomah County closed the road on January 18th. Concrete jersey barriers were placed across the road in both directions. While the road is technically closed, bicycle riders have continued to use it by going around the barriers to enjoy a quiet and safe, carfree road.

At a recent public meeting, County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson said a federal grant has helped with the repair project. Yesterday, the County issued a statement saying they’ve begun working on a retaining wall needed to support the new road. Construction is set to begin in late spring 2018 and the road should reopen to all users by late summer/early fall of the same year.
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