“The power of transportation isn’t just in getting people from place-to-place. When we get transportation right, we can accomplish so much more.
— Chloe Eudaly, Commissioner
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly officially became in charge of the transportation bureau less than one week ago. But that didn’t stop her from showing up at a ribbon-cutting event this morning in east Portland. In a brief speech to mark the completion of the first phase of the 122nd Avenue Plan, Eudaly made it clear this oft-neglected part of our city would be a priority for her office. She also coined the phrase, “Transportation done right,” while listing several ways great streets can make a positive impact on Portland.
Eudaly was joined this morning by PBOT Interim Director Chris Warner, TriMet Chief Operating Officer Maurice Henderson, Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, and former City Commissioner Steve Novick. [Read more…]
Scott Dalton’s wife was walking home from Safeway in December 2017 when a person driving a car struck and killed her.
“She was in the crosswalk,” he says. “One car stopped and the other car didn’t.”
Dalton, a retired journalist, has lived in east Portland near 117th Avenue, for twenty years. In that time he’s seen a steady stream of people die while walking or biking. This year alone, five people have been killed while walking in the neighborhoods east of I-205.
Dalton showed up at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s open house Wednesday night hopeful that a slate of new projects will finally bring change to the neighborhood. In the past four years, PBOT has pumped $255 million into its “East Portland in Motion” projects, many of which will break ground in early 2019.
“There’s a bit of almost a giddy feeling when you think about how many things are going to happen.”
— Kem Marks, The Rosewood Initiative
2018 could go down in history as an inflection point for east Portland. After years of activism and advocacy — and planning and politicking by local governments — a part of our city that has been historically neglected since it was annexed a half-century ago is slated for an infusion of transportation infrastructure investment the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Tonight (5/16) at an event on SE 122nd Avenue, the Portland Bureau of Transportation kicks off the first of two open houses that will feature nearly two dozen projects and programs aimed at making east Portland streets safer and more convenient. Between projects slated to break ground this summer and next, there’s so much going on it’s hard to keep up.
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Many people are overwhelmed by the scale of changes needed to significantly tame auto traffic on east Portland’s fast and wide arterials. When we talk about how to fix this persistent problem, the discussion swings between everything from lower speed limits and road diets — to land-use and demographic patterns.
The death yesterday morning of yet another person walking on outer Southeast Stark had commenters once again sharing ideas on what can be done to make meaningful progress on safer streets in that part of our city.
The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a collision that happened just after midnight this morning at SE Stark and 148th. A driver hit and killed a person crossing the street on foot; then the driver fled the scene.
Portland’s regional transit agency is hoping to raise $175 million for bigger, faster-moving buses on Southeast Division Street, and some major bikeway upgrades would be in store.
From SE 82nd Avenue to the Gresham city limits near 174th Avenue, the agency is planning to pay for a vertical barrier, mostly a series of concrete curbs, to protect the bike lanes that will have been recently widened and buffered by a separate City of Portland project. And when the Division bike lanes pass bus stops — as they would at 87th, I-205, 101st, 112th, 122nd, 130th, 135th, 143rd, 148th, 156th, 162nd, 168th and 174th — they’ll often be wrapping to the sidewalk side in order to reduce bike-bus conflicts.
If you care about bicycling in Portland and want to see its benefits spread across the social, racial and economic divisions that exist in this city, you should consider taking part in Sunday Parkways this weekend.
That’s because the Portland Bureau of Transportation has put together a brand new route that will highlight neighborhoods, commercial districts and parks east of I-205 and just south of I-84. This is a place about eight miles northeast of city hall that looks and feels much different than the central city. The streets are wider and people drive faster (and more people get hurt and killed on them as a result), there isn’t a bike shop on every corner, and you won’t find nearly as much bike-specific infrastructure.
A week from today three politicians will come together to learn more about transportation issues facing east Portland. And there’s a lot to talk about.
On August 3rd, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, State Representative Janelle Bynum and Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega-Pederson will be joined by staff from the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other organizations for a Public Forum on Transportation.
The event was spurred in part by a flurry of legislative and planning activity on two of east Portland’s most infamous and important arterials: Powell and Division. The passage of a new statewide transportation law earlier this month included $110 million in funding for outer SE Powell Boulevard and a mandate to transfer its management from the state to the city. Advocates with the East Portland Action Plan have already started organizing to make sure these funds are spent in accordance with the Outer Powell Conceptual Design Plan which calls for creation of an “urban main street” with separated bikeways throughout.
If all goes according to plan one part of Portland will leapfrog to an exciting new level of bike-friendliness in the next three years. Or should we say, it’ll jump?
Portland has just been named one of 10 cities nationwide (out of 80 that applied) to be part of “The Big Jump,” a program managed by the nonprofit advocacy group People for Bikes that aims to double or triple the amount of riding in one geographic area by 2019. In Portland’s case the focus will be on the Gateway district.
Dubbed the “Gateway to Opportunity” project (more on that name later), the bureau of transportation will zero-in on the area bordered by I-84, East Burnside, I-205 and NE 132nd Avenue with the goal of making it much more bikeable than it is today. With this nudge from People for Bikes, PBOT will look to advance and complete 13 different projects by 2019. The projects include protected bike lanes on the NE Halsey-Weidler couplet in the heart of Gateway, three major neighborhood greenway projects, a bikeway overpass of I-205 to connect to the Sullivan’s Gulch trail, and much more. In total, the Gateway to Opportunity project will encompass an estimated $21.35 million in infrastructure spending and create about 39 miles of new bikeways.
As one of the selected cities, Portland will receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from People For Bikes each year for three years, as well as an additional $50,000 in matching funds or financial commitments from local organizations.