foster streetscape plan

Foster’s neon lights inspire greenway improvement project

Avatar by on May 11th, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Unlikely inspiration for tactical urbanism.
(Images: Michael Geffel)

Michael Geffel had a novel inspiration behind his idea to connect the Center Street and Gladstone Street Neighborhood Greenways in southeast Portland: Neon lights.

A landscape architect and visiting professor at University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Environment by day, Geffel’s idea is to use art to improve these greenways while creating safer streets and a stronger community identity.

His “Foster is Neon” project (PDF below) came together initially as an entrant into PBOT’s Portland in the Streets Community Grant program. Geffel and other supporters of his project wanted to improve wayfinding and safety between SE 52nd and 62nd, where the greenways meet in a confusing, zig-zagging mess. Not only is the route hard to follow, it also crosses SE Foster Road, a high-speed arterial. Geffel’s inspiration came from the many neon signs that still dot Foster corridor businesses like George Morlan Plumbing Supply, Mt. Scott Fuel, Devil’s Point, and others.
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The Foster Road project is starting: Here are the latest concept drawings

Avatar by on May 2nd, 2018 at 11:19 am

Foster at Gladstone. (Insert witty Abbey Road reference here.)

It’s finally happening.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has mailed out notices to residents that the Foster Road Streetscape Project will be breaking ground in a matter of weeks. This is right in line with what we reported back in January so it’s a good sign that the project is moving ahead as planned.
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SE Foster road diet finally out to bid: Construction will start in May

Avatar by on January 29th, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Let’s get this thing started!
(Graphics: City of Portland)

Nearly four years after was unanimously supported by Portland City Council, the Foster Road Streetscape Plan is finally poised to begin construction.

The City of Portland put out a bid for construction services last week and ground-breaking for the project is expected to begin in early May.
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New PBOT design connects Foster bike lanes all the way to 52nd

Avatar by on October 7th, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Before/after of typical cross-section on Foster Road project.

Good news everyone: the Bureau of Transportation has found a new design for their Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project that allows them to continue the westbound bike lanes on Foster all the way to 52nd.

This is a big deal because the plan that passed City Council two summers ago dropped the bike lane at 54th and led westbound Foster bike riders on an annoying zig-zag to the north in order to reach 52nd and eastbound riders would have been led south of Foster to Center Street in order to reconnect to Foster a few blocks east of 52nd — all because PBOT didn’t want to remove a few blocks of on-street auto parking.

At the time, Foster-Powell area resident Brett Holycross told us the zig-zag was, “A shame for an otherwise great project.”

News of the new design leaked out at the City’s town hall event on the new gas tax in east Portland on Tuesday. Members of BikeLoudPDX attended the event and reported back about what they heard from PBOT’s Foster Streetscape Plan Project Manager Rich Newlands. “The bike lanes on Foster will extend to 52nd Ave! This made my day,” wrote Dan Gebhart.
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Comment of the Week: SE Foster, the heart of Portland’s coming bike grid

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 7th, 2015 at 2:19 pm

SE Foster Road-4

Not currently a spot for
low-stress rolls.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Foster Road feels a long way from the heart of Portland’s transportation conversation at the moment. But that’s not going to last long.

Next year, right in the middle of Portland’s mayoral election, Foster is scheduled to be the site of the city’s most ambitious road diet yet, a conversion of passing lanes to bike and turn lanes that’s widely expected to create auto spillover onto other streets even as it dramatically improves the safety of driving or crossing Foster, which is currently one of the city’s 10 high-crash corridors.

The new bike lanes will be nothing more than paint, but six-foot-wide or buffered. And in a comment beneath Tuesday’s story exploring how to divvy up Portland’s bike-infrastructure budgets, BikePortland reader Gutterbunnybikes made an interesting case that those bike lanes will be more important than you think.

Why? Because unlike almost every other bike lane in Portland, they’re going to run right through commercial districts.

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Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods to bike from (for now)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 29th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

High Crash Corridors campaign launch-3

Number one is poised to get better.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Willamette Week bike issue came out today, which makes this the one day a year when we stoop mooching off their generally excellent reporting and they get to mooch off ours. (Seriously, y’all, no problem.)

But one piece in their nicely put-together bike issue falls clearly in the “wish we’d done that” category: a tally of median single-family home prices per Portland neighborhood ranked by the time it takes to bike to the city center.

“Portland has long been thought of as a cycling mecca for one big reason: Affordable homes were close enough to work to commute by bike,” Willamette Week’s Tyler Hurst writes in the piece, more or less accurately. “Housing prices rose by another 6.6 percent last year, and a February project by Governing magazine found the city is gentrifying faster than anywhere else in the nation. Does the promise of an affordable, bikeable Portland still hold up?”

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Owner of Foster storefront wrecked by drunk driver was already a leading voice for street safety

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 15th, 2015 at 10:27 am

Matthew Mičetić, owner of Red Castle Games,
in front of the boarded-up window smashed
by a car on April 2.
(Photo courtesy Mičetić)

The owner of a game store on SE Foster Road whose front window was destroyed this month by a speeding car also happens to be one of the most prominent backers of safety improvements to Foster Road, and also of a citywide street fund.

In fact, Matthew Mičetić of Red Castle Games was one of two small business owners that Portland leaders invited to speak at the press conference where they launched their currently paused street fund effort last spring.

He’s also head of his local business association — a group that he said surprised Portland City Council last summer when its members showed up in force to support redesigning their street to add a center turn lane and bike lanes by removing two passing lanes.

Unfortunately for Mičetić’s storefront, the redesign won’t happen until next year. That meant that when a man named Myles Nees was allegedly drunk and fleeing from police during the early evening rush hour on Foster April 2, he had enough room to veer his car from lane to lane. Mičetić said Nees reached speeds of 60 to 80 mph before losing control and running onto the sidewalk into Red Castle’s building.

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City Council unanimously supports major re-design, bike lanes on Foster Road

Avatar by on June 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am

SE Foster Road-1

The “Foster freeway” will look a lot different once this $5.25 million plan is implemented.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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PBOT opts for zig-zag to connect new SE Foster bike lanes to 52nd

Avatar by on March 26th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

PBOT graphic of recommended bicycle connection between SE Foster and 52nd.

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PBOT unveils “compromise option” for Foster bike lane connection to 52nd

Avatar by on December 19th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Intersection of SE Foster and 54th. A new proposal by PBOT would route
bicycle riders north at this location to use neighborhood streets in order to connect to SE 52nd Ave.
(Google streetview)

At a meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Foster Road Streetscape Plan last night, the Portland Bureau of Transportation rolled out a new proposal for how to connect the new bike lanes planned for Foster Road to the future bikeway planed on SE 52nd Ave.

PBOT’s proposal for Foster Road — to re-allocate lane space and provide six-foot bike lanes — disappointed some who wanted a more robust bike facility, but it has been met with a strong majority of support. In results of a survey (both online and from an open house earlier this month) released today (PDF), PBOT reports that about 78% of 437 respondents said they are “very supportive” or “supportive” of the cross-section.

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