N/NE Quadrant Project

Activists will speak out against GM’s support of freeway expansions at TriMet board meeting

Avatar by on March 17th, 2017 at 10:35 am

Jessica Engelman of BikeLoudPDX.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The thought of our regional public transit agency advocating for urban freeway expansions — including one in Portland’s central city — does not sit well with many transportation reform activists.

After TriMet GM Neil McFarlane told an audience last month that “It would be nice to make some progress on” three freeway “bottlenecks” in order to “keep our region moving,” volunteers with BikeLoudPDX decided it was time to speak out.

The plucky group is planning to attend the upcoming TriMet board meeting. They want to tell the people who appointed McFarlane that some Portlanders don’t think he should promote a billion dollars of regional transportation funds just to make driving easier.
[Read more…]

Planning commissioner forces City to defend I-5 widening project

Avatar by on March 2nd, 2017 at 2:53 pm

N Williams Ave Community Forum.JPG-24

Chris Smith thinks widening I-5 in Portland is a big mistake.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Noted transportation activist and Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith made a bold move Tuesday night that could have thrown a wrench in the works the State of Oregon’s top transportation priority.

Smith put forward a motion at a work session meeting of the Planning Commission that would have taken the I-5 Broadway Weidler Facility Plan out of the City of Portland’s Transportation System Plan. The TSP is Portland’s road investment guidebook and any major project that wants funding must be listed in it. As we reported yesterday, this $450 million (estimated) project is one of three freeway mega-projects lined up to receive significant funding in the transportation package currently being negotiated in Salem.

Smith was the sole PSC Commissioner to vote against the project when it was passed as part of the N/NE Quadrant Plan (a component of the Central City 2035 Plan) back in 2012. Judging from his pointed remarks about the project Tuesday night, he still hasn’t warmed up to the idea.
[Read more…]

The skinny on the three Portland-area freeway projects in line for state funding

Avatar by on March 1st, 2017 at 10:28 am

traffic on i-5 -1

The projects would add supply to a high-demand system.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

By now you’ve probably heard whispers and/or seen the headlines about the three freeway widening projects in the Portland region that are a top priority of lawmakers statewide. The goal of the projects is to improve driving conditions for motor vehicle users on Interstate 217 south of Beaverton, I-5 adjacent to the Rose Quarter, and I-205 south of Oregon City.

These three projects represent an estimated cost of $1,000,000,000 — that’s a billion with a “b”. Lawmakers won’t be able to fully fund them in their forthcoming transportation package, but it’s expected they’ll get a significant jumpstart.

Because freeway expansions tend to be very controversial in our region (with good reason), these projects have flown under-the-radar of most people (except those working to get them funded). Another reason there hasn’t been a robust public debate about these projects is that — even though they’ve been listed in various plans (like Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan) for many years — they’ve been unfunded and relegated to “wish lists”. But now that real money is on the table, the tone around these projects has quickly gotten a lot more serious. Everyone who cares about the future of transportation in our region should learn more about them.

Like I mentioned above, these three projects alone are estimated to cost about $1 billion. Now that I have your attention, here’s what I’ve found out about each one…
[Read more…]

State begins project on Broadway near Rose Quarter Monday

Avatar by on March 11th, 2016 at 11:41 am

Sidewalk to nowhere-2

This double signal (see upper left of image) at Broadway/Vancouver/Interstate 5 will finally go away.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Monday the Oregon Department of Transportation will begin construction on the most substantive changes to cycling conditions we’ve seen on N/NE Broadway in many years. And it’s sorely needed.
[Read more…]

ODOT will close I-5 off-ramp onto Broadway, add other safety features

Avatar by on November 18th, 2014 at 1:36 pm


Detail of plans to close an I-5 “slip ramp”
that dumps onto Broadway.

An open house event tomorrow night (11/19) will be your chance to see what the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has planned to improve safety on Broadway where it passes over Interstate 5.

Changes to the notorious section of Broadway near Wheeler and Flint were a focus of the city’s N/NE Quadrant planning process back in 2012 and they were included as “near-term solutions” within a larger, $400 million ODOT project to widen I-5 through the Rose Quarter.

With that large-scale proposal years away from fruition (if it ever happens at all), local neighborhood activists pressed ODOT to do something more immediate to remedy the many traffic safety issues in the area of the Broadway-Weidler couplet just west of I-5. We’ve been highlighting safety issues at this location for over seven years – ever since the Portland Water Bureau prohibited its fleet vehicles from making right turns onto Wheeler due to right-hook concerns.
[Read more…]

I-5 widening plan up for vote at City Council Thursday

Avatar by on October 23rd, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I-5 at Rose Quarter

ODOT’s dream to widen I-5 near the Rose Quarter
could take a big step forward tomorrow.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Wednesday, a plan by the Oregon Department of Transportation to widen I-5 near the Rose Quarter will be considered for adoption by City Council. The I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan, which includes freeway and surface street changes that are estimated to cost $400 million, will be considered in tandem with the N/NE Quadrant Plan, an effort by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to re-imagine transportation and land-use in the lower-Albina and Lloyd districts.

While passage of both plans is likely, the key component of the I-5 Facility Plan — the widening of the freeway between I-84 and the Fremont Bridge — is not supported by local grassroots group Active Right of Way (AROW). A City of Portland Planning Commissioner also voted against the facility plan when it came before the City’s Planning and Sustainability Commission last month.

[Read more…]

Public hearing tomorrow for N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler plans

Avatar by on September 10th, 2012 at 11:46 am

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission is hosting a public hearing on the Draft N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plans. This is the major, two-year public process to figure out how to deal with this crucial central city area — from both a zoning/planning perspective and from a transportation perspective. The I-5 plan, as we’ve covered in the past, is a $400 million proposal to add a lane to I-5 through the Rose Quarter and do a host of other local street projects. See the hearing notice below:

Over a nearly two-year period, the N/NE Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee worked with interested community members and staff to develop the N/NE Quadrant Plan, a long-range plan for the Lower Albina and Lloyd Districts of the Central City. The committee also helped develop a recommended concept for freeway interchange improvements, called the I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan. The public is invited to testify about the plans at the upcoming hearing before the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Public Hearing – Testimony Welcome
Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
2:30 – 4 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

View the agenda: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/psc
Instructions on submitting testimony: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906

Download Project Documents:
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Recommendations Report
N/NE Quadrant Plan – Proposed Draft
N/NE Quadrant Plan Summary
I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan

Interactive Map
View an interactive map to see how your property could be affected by proposed changes to zoning and maximum building height regulations.

Next Steps
Following the public hearing on September 11, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a work session on the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans on September 25. The project will go before the Portland City Council for adoption by resolution in October and the Oregon Transportation Commission in December. Specific recommendations in the N/NE Quadrant Plan will go into effect once the entire Central City 2035 Plan (the update of the 1988 Central City Plan) is complete, expected in 2015.

More About the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans
The N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans (N/NE Quadrant Project) is a collaborative effort by the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to provide detailed planning for the Lower Albina and Lloyd District areas. It is part of Central City 2035, the City of Portland’s effort to update the 1988 Central City Plan. Working jointly with ODOT, this project also addresses safety and operations issues on the I-5 Freeway and the local transportation system near the Broadway/Weidler Interchange.

N/NE Quadrant Plan
The N/NE Quadrant Plan is a land use, urban design and local transportation plan that will help direct and manage growth for the Lloyd District and Lower Albina over the next 25 years. Key proposals in the plan include:
Preserving and enhancing Lower Albina by protecting the working harbor and increasing land use flexibility that promotes a mix of uses on historic Russell Street and greater employment densities.
Protecting historic neighborhoods and cultural resources.
Concentrating high density development in the Lloyd District, with a focus on new residential development that will add activity and vibrancy to the district.
Providing amenities, such as parks, street improvements and green infrastructure to support and encourage new development.
Improving regional access and local street safety and connectivity for all modes.
Encouraging sustainable development that supports the Lloyd EcoDistrict and goals for improved environmental health.
Future changes to zoning and building height regulations that implement the plan goals.

I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan
The I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan contains a planning-level concept for improvements addressing longstanding safety and operations issues on and around Interstate 5 and the Broadway/Weidler interchange. Key elements include:
Adding auxiliary lanes and full-width shoulders (within existing right-of-way) to reduce dangerous traffic weaves and allow disabled vehicles to move out of traffic lanes.
Rebuilding structures at Broadway, Weidler, Vancouver and Williams and adding a lid over the freeway that will simplify construction, increase development potential and improve the urban environment.
Moving the I-5 southbound on-ramp to Weidler to improve circulation and safety.
Improving conditions for pedestrian and bicycle travel by adding new connections over the freeway and safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the interchange area.

For more information about the N/NE Quadrant Project:
Visit the project website at www.portlandonline.com/bps/cc2035/nneq.
Call Karl Lisle at 503-823-4286 or Stephanie Beckman at 503-823-6042 regarding the N/NE Quadrant Plan.
Call Todd Juhasz, ODOT, at 503-731-4753 regarding the I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan.
Reply to this email.

PBOT moves to find “immediate” solutions for N Broadway/Flint/Wheeler intersection

Avatar by on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:05 am

Broadway and Flint meeting-2

A meeting back in June helped highlight
safety concerns at the intersection.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It looks likes years of citizen activism might finally bear fruit. Yesterday, Betsy Reese — the co-owner of the Paramount Apartments situated on the peninsula formed by the intersection of N. Broadway, Flint, and Wheeler streets near I-5 — announced that PBOT is set to host a special public meeting next week to come up with safety fixes for the notoriously dangerous location.

I first reported about serious safety concerns at this intersection back in December 2007, when the Portland Water Bureau (who has their headquarters just northwest of the location) decided to prohibit their employees from making the right turn from Broadway onto Wheeler. Water Bureau safety officials made the decision out of concerns about right-hooks following two fatal collisions just months prior.
[Read more…]

City, ODOT reveal $400 million freeway expansion plans near Rose Quarter

Avatar by on June 7th, 2012 at 11:48 am

The plans would get rid of
existing bridge on Flint and
build a new overcrossing at Hancock.

After 16 months of meetings and open houses, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will share their “Draft I-5 Facility Plan” at a public, stakeholder advisory committee (SAC) tonight. The plans — estimated to cost $300-$400 million — call for adding two new lanes to I-5 as well as 8-10 foot “break down” shoulders, revamping on-ramps, adding new overcrossings, and making changes to surface streets in the area.

The State of Oregon has wanted to expand I-5 through the Rose Quarter area for decades and the ongoing N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans (part of the Central City 2035 planning effort) have given them a golden opportunity to do so.[Read more…]

ODOT set to unveil plans for I-5 expansion near Rose Quarter (Tonight)

Avatar by on February 2nd, 2012 at 1:59 pm

N NE Quadrant plans at BAC-3

ODOT and PBOT planners presented the
designs to the Bike Advisory Committee
last month.
(Photo © J. Maus)

ODOT, in partnership with PBOT, will unveil their plans for a I-5 freeway expansion project near the Rose Quarter at an open house in the Lloyd Center Mall tonight.

The plan, which is being done as part of the larger Central City 2035 and N/NE Quadrant plans, would add about 1,500 feet of additional lanes (in each direction) and a breakdown shoulder on I-5 between the I-84 interchange through the Rose Quarter. In addition, a host of other changes are being considered that will have a dramatic impact on surface streets and mobility in the area in general.[Read more…]