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

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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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Open house set for SE Foster Road project

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

It was approved by the stakeholder advisory committee last month, but the plans to put bike lanes on SE Foster Road still aren’t final. Now it’s time to take the proposal out into the community for another open house.

Here’s the event blurb from PBOT:

The 5th Open House will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2013, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM, at SE Works, 7916 SE Foster Road (TriMet bus line 14, bus line 72, or bus line 10). Staff will present recommendations derived with the Stakeholder Adsvisory Committee for the roadway cross section, crossing safety improvements, and streetscape elements.

And a copy of the flyer:

Learn more on PBOT’s website.

After tempers flare, citizen committee approves PBOT’s plans for Foster

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Foster Rd SAC meeting-8

Last night, PBOT asked this committee to
endorse its plan for a road diet on SE Foster Rd.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Foster Streetscape Plan voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Bureau of Transporation’s recommended redesign of Foster Road last night. There was only one committee member who voted against the plan, and none of PBOT’s proposed designs was challenged. However, tempers and emotions flared during the meeting on an issue unrelated to how the lanes and sidewalks should be divided up.

As we shared on Tuesday, after a 10 month public process, PBOT unveiled their proposal for how to turn the notoriously dangerous “Foster Freeway” into a “safe, pleasant, attractive and comfortable place to live, shop and linger.” In short, the design would change the existing, four lane cross section (with on-street parking in some segments), to a more modern lane configuration that would have three standard lanes and two, six-foot wide bike lanes from SE 52nd to 90th.

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PBOT makes official recommendation for SE Foster Road redesign

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Detail of PBOT’s draft recommendation for SE Foster Road.

Nearing the end of a one-year public process to update the Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan, yesterday the Portland Bureau of Transportation released its official draft recommendation for how to re-design SE Foster Road from 52nd to 90th.

Their plan, which will be put in front of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee at a meeting tomorrow night, calls for three standard lanes (one in each direction and a center turn lane), on-street auto parking, and six-foot bike lanes for the entire length of the project area. In addition, PBOT is recommending wider sidewalks in the eastern segment of the project (SE 84th to 90th, through Lents) from their existing five feet to nine feet.

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Take an interactive tour of design options for SE Foster Road

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Screenshot of new interactive visualization
of SE Foster Road by Spencer Boomhower.

Portland resident, citizen activist, and animation expert Spencer Boomhower is at it again. You might remember Spencer’s fantastic animation work that deftly explained the “Idaho Stop” law, or his video for PBOT explaining cycle tracks and buffered bike lanes. Spencer also aided the Columbia River Crossing discussion by producing several helpful animated videos about various design options and issues surrounding the project.

Now Spencer has outdone himself by combining his graphic and explanatory skills with his experience in video game development to produce an interactive visualization of design options under consideration for SE Foster Road. Due to some issues with the display of the Unity3D file format used to create the visualization, what I’ve pasted below is a video version Spencer created for folks who aren’t able to download and display the required plug-ins.

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Open house next week shows off five grants that promise street fixes

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cool bike rack in downtown Portland oregon

Downtown is one of several neighborhoods that
could benefit from these grants.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A fleet of major projects to improve bike and foot travel in downtown Portland, East Portland, SE Foster Road, SW Barbur Boulevard and Southwest Portland’s neighborhoods will be competing for dollars and attention with freight projects each other at an open house next week.

The five projects are among many jostling for $95 million from Metro’s regional flexible fund allocation, one of the few channels of federal support for bike and walking transportation.

“Your feedback can help decide which projects get recommended to receive funding,” Metro says on its website. The open house is 6-8 pm on Aug. 15, one week from tonight, in the Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Ave (PDF).

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Foster Streetscape update: How many (and what type of) lanes in Lents?

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(Image courtesy Nick Falbo.)

Southeast Portlanders are split over how to handle a big choice for the Lents area, surrounding the intersection of 92nd Avenue and Foster Road: keep Foster at its current four standard vehicle lanes, or cut it to three in order to add bike lanes and wider sidewalks?

Or, put another way: if a redesigned Foster Road needs to transition from three to four auto lanes somewhere, should that happen east of Lents, west of it, or two blocks from the middle of its commercial area?

The project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee meets tonight to hash it out, so we thought it was time to get you up to speed about the options and hear from a few members of the committee…

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Carnage: Three hospitalized in Foster wreck; Driver slams into house on Skidmore – UPDATED

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KATU jokes in their headline,
but this is no laughing matter.

The carnage on Portland’s streets show no signs of letting up.

In the past 24 hours alone, three people failing to control their cars has led to serious injuries and significant property damage.

At about 8:15 pm last night, the Portland Police reported that two people driving in the intersection of SE 92nd and Foster (map) collided with each other. The driver of a Jeep then rolled his/her vehicle and it went up onto the sidewalk where two people were standing. Both people standing on the sidewalk appear to have been either riding bikes or standing their bikes and both sustained “serious but not believed to be life-threatening injuries.” The driver of the Jeep was also injured and taken to the hospital.

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New idea for Foster Road: A center median bike lane

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Detail of a new concept for
SE Foster Road.

The City of Portland is currently trying to decide how to re-design the failing SE Foster Road. As it exists today, the street is a classic auto-centric thoroughfare with the crash rates and unwelcoming atmosphere to match. Late last year there were dreams of making a major bikeway on the street; but as our Michael Andersen recently reported, it appears the City has scaled back their ambitions to nothing more than an old-fashioned bike lane.

At issue is how to manage the space on the street in a way that meets the many goals the project’s stakeholder committee has set for itself. Those goals include, “a safe corridor for motor vehicle travel with smooth, consistent traffic movement” and “adequate on-street parking” as well as, “a safe attractive, and comfortable cycling environment.”

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Can we fix SE Foster while saving room for auto parking?

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The wide sidewalks at SE 78th and Foster seem well-suited to a walkable commercial district, but the four-lane street does not. (Photos © M. Andersen/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance announced Tuesday that Southeast Foster Road is among its top priorities to become one of the city’s best bikeways. But at an open house Tuesday night about rethinking the street, there was only one type of bike infrastructure on the menu.

White paint.

What happened to the ideas for a cycle track separated by plastic bollards and an auto parking lane? Or a shared bike-pedestrian sidewalk like on the Hawthorne Bridge? The city project manager says there’s just no room to do them right unless you also remove either a lane of auto parking or a center turn lane.

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Bike access projects for Cully, Foster, Broadway make first cut for ODOT grants

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Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-2

A PBOT project to improve safety for bicycling
on Broadway between N. Wheeler and Ross
is in the running for state funding.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has released an updated list of projects to be funded and constructed through their 2015-18 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For ODOT Region 1 (which includes Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah and parts of Washington County) the program splits $127 million between a “Fix-It” pot and an “Enhance” pot to the tune of $60.5 million and $66.4 million respectively. “Fix-It” projects “maintain or preserve the existing system” (primarily new signals, bridge repairs, and paving), while the “Enhance” projects “expand or improve the transportation system.”

The list released by ODOT today for public feedback is a 150% list — meaning they will further narrow down the list based on your comments.

For context, this is the first time ODOT has ever doled out these funds in this manner. Prior to last summer (when ODOT announced the changes), the STIP program had 22 different individual programs. All these dedicated funding pots have been simplified down to just these two.

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