Is this the final cut list for first phase of Central City in Motion projects?

PBOT map of Central City in Motion projects shared by Business for a Better Portland today.

One week after an open house where the public was asked to rank a list of potential projects to be funded through the Central City in Motion plan, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has trimmed the list from 18 to 11. PBOT also seems to have axed key parts of two remaining projects.

At least that’s how it appears in an email just sent to members of a local, pro-business advocacy group.

Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) sent an email to members today encouraging them to submit comments on the projects. “Although the online open house survey is now closed,” reads the email, “BBPDX members have the opportunity to provide direct feedback on which projects should be slated for development in the next five years.”

The map and list of projects provided by BBPDX is different than the map shown at the open house last week. The most recent map made public by PBOT showed 18 “project bundles” (a mix of protected bike lanes, crossing updates, and enhanced transit lanes). The map revealed in the email from BBPDX today shows just 11 projects — two of which have had key elements removed since last week.

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It’s crunch time for PBOT’s ambitious Central City in Motion project

The PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee weighed in on the latest projects at their monthly meeting last month.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“There are some projects where we looked at the right-of-way and thought, ‘What is the highest and best use?’ And in some cases that’s mobility. Moving people and not storing parked cars.”
— Gabe Graff, PBOT project manager

With over 6,000 public comments and nearly six years of planning, the end is finally in sight for the Central City in Motion project. This ambitious undertaking aims to transform dozens of Portland streets from driving-centric thoroughfares into more humane and efficient corridors that move fewer vehicles and far more people through our existing right-of-way.

Since we checked in on this project two months ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has: come up with cost estimates for 18 project “bundles”; announced the final public outreach events before they hunker down and develop a final ordinance to be debated by City Council on October 25th (tentative date); created detailed conceptual drawings for each project; analyzed impacts on auto parking and driving access; and published what they call a, “people moving capacity increase” for each project.

This morning, PBOT released a new phase of their online open house that allows the public to prioritize the projects based on a limited budget. PBOT’s new estimates put the total cost of the 18 projects at $72.3 million. They have $9 million in-hand and an “optimistic budget forecast” of about $30 million.

Here’s the list of projects (not prioritized):

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Central City in Motion update: Dispatch from a ‘Sounding Board’ meeting

Latest map of 16 Super Project Bundles. Dots are “pedestrian improvement project locations”. Narrow lines are “low-stress bikeways”. Thick lines are Enhanced Transit Corridor projects.

With $30 million to spend and high expectations to deliver a functional and protected network for bicycling, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has identified the top-tier projects for its Central City in Motion project. At a meeting of their Sounding Board yesterday, the project team unveiled a list of 16 “super project bundles.” As a September City Council date approaches PBOT wants to winnow down the project list and make sure the ones at the top have the best chance of success from a funding, political, public relations, and implementation perspective.

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Freight, bikes, and the Central Eastside: An interview with Peter Stark

Peter Stark at a Central City in Motion project design charrette on March 16th.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the City of Portland looks to create a usable, low-stress cycling network in the central city, one of the toughest places to make it a reality will be the Central Eastside Industrial District. An area hemmed in by massive freeway infrastructure with a legacy of heavy industry and freight-dependent businesses, the CEID is in many ways the lynchpin of the Central City in Motion project.

One of the people standing in the middle of discussions about how to plan for the future of this district is Peter Stark.

Stark is a licensed architect who owns his own design and planning firm. He’s also one of Portland’s most well-known activists. Stark’s many civic endeavors include a position on the board of Portland Streetcar Inc., and he’s the founder and board chair of the Cornell Road Sustainability Coalition. In the Central Eastside, Stark has been a key player for over 17 years. He’s a past president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council and currently on the board as well as being the executive director of the CEIC’s Transportation Policy Advisory Committee.

I caught up with Stark after a meeting of the Central City in Motion in project last week to ask him about how he sees the future of bikes and freight in the Central Eastside.

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Dispatch from a secret meeting for the Central City in Motion project

The planning is well underway — for some people.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
“Private Meeting.” And no, I wasn’t formally invited.

A private, invite-only meeting of Central Eastside power-brokers held on Wednesday at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry shows just how seriously the City of Portland is taking an effort to establish a network of low-stress, “family-friendly” cycling routes throughout the Central City.

It also shows how much weight some business owners have in a planning process that’s over five years old and has yet to become open to the general public.

Before I bring you up to speed on the Central City in Motion project (formerly known as the Central City Multimodal Project), a bit of background is in order…

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New path in Waterfront Park part of Naito’s emerging role in bike network

This new path is just one sign of Naito’s emerging significance in the downtown bikeway network.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sorry Portland Business Alliance, but the evolution of downtown streets will continue with or without your approval.

The business lobbying group (known around here as “the PBA”) that used to have considerable sway over downtown decision-making, made their opposition to the Better Naito project clear last week. And while the PBA might feel better when the temporary biking and walking-only lane gets removed in September, they’ll soon realize it’s just one of many moves the Portland Bureau of Transportation is making to update downtown streets. And those updates are all aimed at doing the same thing as Better Naito: create more space for biking so it becomes safer and more convenient for more people.

With Better Naito, a new (permanent) path to connect to the Steel Bridge, and several other recent developments, the future of Portland’s downtown bike network is taking shape and Naito Parkway plays a leading role.

Here’s how just a few parts of this emerging bike network figure into that future…

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Here’s the latest on the Central City Multimodal Project

central-final-sketch1

This stuff is coming folks. PBOT included this sketch in a presentation to city council today.

Today at Portland city council our transportation bureau took another step forward in a project that will finally build separated bikeways and other street upgrades in the central city.

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