Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway
The City of Portland is once again headed back to the drawing board for their Lloyd-to-Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project. Back in March, the bureau of transportation dropped a proposal that would have used 7th Avenue as the main, low-stress bicycling connection between the forthcoming carfree bridge in the Lloyd District and the ever-growing Woodlawn neighborhood. Saying they, “Underestimated the role [7th Avenue] plays in the hearts and minds of Portland’s black community,” PBOT switched their proposal to 9th Avenue.
Now, after a meeting with residents of the King Neighborhood on July 25th, PBOT says even their latest proposal for 9th lacks support and won’t be advanced until changes are made.
In an email sent to meeting attendees on July 31st, PBOT wrote: “It is clear that we missed the mark with the proposal and that there is little support in the community for the traffic pattern changes as proposed. Given the response last week it is unlikely we will be advancing the proposal we developed… PBOT is committed to working with neighbors to identify changes that can improve safety for everyone, and to do so in a way that is less disruptive for the community.”
This post from Kiel Johnson comes in response to news announced today that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has decided to route the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway on 9th Avenue.
“9th Avenue will become the greenway.”
The words put finality on years of advocacy, countless hours spent knocking on doors, talking with neighbors, making yard signs, and writing letters. This past Sunday my living room was overflowing with my fellow neighbors and their children who live on 7th. They had come hoping to hear something different. Nick Falbo, the PBOT project manager, had come to deliver to news. A member of one family immediately walked out the door. No one knew quite what to do next.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has shifted course on their Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project. Citing a lack of “broad community support,” for the Northeast 7th Avenue route option, they’ll announce later today that the new greenway will be on Northeast 9th Avenue. (Update: Here’s the official announcement.)
BikePortland supporter and contributor Kiel Johnson (owner of the Go By Bike valet) has been working to create more support for a neighborhood greenway on 7th Avenue as part of PBOT’s Lloyd-to-Woodlawn project. This is his latest post in a series.
You don’t need to change the world to make a difference.
That’s what I’ve learned from these past few months of hunkering down on my advocacy for a NE 7th Avenue neighborhood greenway. If built as proposed, the project would transform 7th — from I-84 to Woodlawn — into a street where safety of all users is the priority.[Read more…]
After extending the public outreach phase for their Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project last month, the Portland Bureau of Transportation says more listening is necessary to learn, “if and how the project can work for the Black community.”
As we reported in September, the project was called out in an article in The Skanner newspaper that reported outreach was, “slow to reach households of color.”
This project aims to create a low-stress, family-friendly bikeway that connects I-84 in the Lloyd to the north Portland neighborhood of Woodlawn. PBOT has shared two basic options — either using 7th or 9th avenue as the north-south route. Since the designs were first unveiled in July, a large majority of strong and enthusiastic support has emerged for the 7th Avenue alignment.
So far, all of PBOT outreach has shown that the NE 7th Avenue alignment is the overwhelming favorite. But that’s only if you measure by quantity of respondents. And as we’ve experienced in the past, it’s not just how many people speak up, it’s who speaks up.
After three days of knocking on doors inviting our neighbors to an ice cream social to discuss the proposed Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway, it was time to find out if anyone would actually show up.
This is the second post by Kiel Johnson in a series about his effort to talk to his neighbors about the Lloyd to Woodlawn neighborhood greenway project.
This past week my wife Kate and I went door-to-door from NE 7th and Alberta to NE Thompson inviting people to an ice cream social to talk about the proposed Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway. As I shared last week, the purpose of the event was to create a low-stress place for neighbors to meet each other and share their opinions about the proposal that would add diverters and create a new family-friendly bikeway between I-84 in the Lloyd to Dekum Street in Woodlawn.
For a 32-year-old, knocking on the doors of complete strangers is not the easiest thing to do.
This post is written by Kiel Johnson, a local business owner, transportation activist, and northeast Portland resident.
Over the next few weeks, in their downtown offices, city staff will determine the route for the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway using a combination of personal egos, local political winds, community feedback, and hopefully, reason. Whenever the city wants to make it a little harder to drive a car somewhere they are always faced with passionate opposition. Trying to do it in inner northeast Portland, an area that has undergone rapid gentrification and change, is even more difficult.
I recently moved to NE 7th so this process has gotten a lot closer to home. Over the next weeks I am going to share my attempt to navigate this complexity and advocate for the route greenway route to be on NE 7th. Our society has wronged a lot of groups and as a white male I have benefited from a lot of those policies. Is it possible to address this privilege while also advocating for something that will be a big change for a lot of people? My approach is to include as many people and viewpoints as possible and make sure everyone is heard, even if I disagree with them.