Jul 5, 2012

Seeking Input and Support for Draft Foster Road Vision

Neighborhood representatives from Mt. Scott-Arleta, Foster-Powell, and the Lents neighborhood associations have met with the Mayor and staff from the city's transportation bureau of transportation in recent months and attended the first Foster Lents Integrated Partnership meeting that is updating the Foster Road Streetscape Plan. In June, the three neighborhood associations also sponsored a community meeting to gather input about what the general concerns, wishes and priorities are as they relate to improvements along the Foster Road.

The DRAFT below is the first step of a vision and action measures based on conversations and input from members of neighborhoods along Foster Road.

The goal is to have an endorsed Foster Road Vision and Action Measures statement  by the three Neighborhood Associations and the Foster Area Business Association by the end of August so that it can be submitted to the City.  The Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association is seeking your comments.  Please leave comments below, attend our neighborhood association meeting on Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Scott Community Center or email them to Marcel Hermans, MSA Transportation Chair at euroguy_pdx@yahoo.com

Draft of Community Vision and Goals for Foster PDF


Anonymous said...

Small business! We don't need a 7-11 or a Sherwin williams!

Arthur said...

I'll probably have more to babble at the neighborhood meeting (finally able to make one, yay!), but some quick thoughts:

"Bicycle Friendly" - text should mention bicycles, not pedestrians.

As far as the proposed measures go:

Should we have a separate item for bike lanes, particularly if we're going the road diet route?

Also, I'm surprised adding crosswalks and crosswalk signals -- or indeed, more four-way stop-lights -- didn't make the list. Was that deliberate, or is that just part of this being a draft?

Thanks for posting this!

Rian said...

Be sure to read the whole draft! There are three (3) pages.

Thank you to everyone who has made a commitment to attend meetings and contribute to this process so far. I'm thrilled to see so many of my own sentiments captured in the Draft.

I feel it is important that our definition of "business-friendly" include serving patrons regardless of their mode of transportation. Whether they arrive by foot, bike, bus, automobile or motorcycle, a dollar spent in our neighborhood will help us thrive. Foster Rd has an excess of cars but that fact is killing business (and us) not improving their bottom line.

I think the document should expand on what we feel it means to be a "main street". The current proposed measures focus on the "street" part, but we might uncover additional ideas by thinking more about the "main". What does it mean for this part of our area to be the focal point of our community?

While the "street" is important for carrying vehicles through, and for bringing visitors to our neighborhoods, the public spaces adjoining the roadway are even more important. What would make families comfortable to stroll the "main" with their kids worry free? What type of sidewalk uses would enable businesses to be more inviting? What would make our generations more accustomed to taking the car more comfortable with leaving it at home?

I hope to see planners consider zoning/building code changes to make sidewalk cafe seating more common and easier for businesses.

I'd like to see brick-style intersections like downtown near Pioneer Square. This road feature tends to slow traffic by visually interrupting the roadway and making the space more pedestrian oriented.

I'd like to see bike corrals or other off-sidewalk bike parking incorporated so that the sidewalks allow ample room to stroll in both directions.

I'd like to see Foster Rd become the first major main street to incorporate a grade-separated "cycle track". The cycle track could be positioned inside the bus/parking lane so that bus aren't constantly crisscrossing the bicycle lanes to reach their stops. They weaving is frighteningly dangerous.

I'd like to see careful thought about the impact on SE Holgate to ensure it doesn't become the expedient cut-through. Traffic could continue to fly down Foster from Powell, turn on to Holgate and create a new "most dangeroues road in the city".

I'd like to see long-term parking discouraged through the use of meters, especially on side streets near the intersection of Holgate and 62nd. If that intersection is a gateway to our "Heart", it could easily become clogged with parked cars or cars waiting to park.

Even business, large or small, needs freight delivery. Are their any details we should consider to ensure freight doesn't conflict with our safety goals while simultaneously ensuring businesses easily receive the goods they need?

Safe roads rely on safe drivers. And safe drivers need to be about their wits. Could we ask planners to change the parking lot requirements for businesses so that if they sell alcohol they are not required to have parking? Hopefully to discourage drunk driving.

Is there an opportunity to bring street cars back to our part of town? It would be a long-term vision, perhaps a "much later phase" of the project, but are there considerations we could make now to support that possible future?

I feel that while parked cars may act as barriers, if we succeed in reducing speeds, more pleasant barriers should be used. Street "furniture" such as benches, trees, recycling/trash bins can provide protection if planned correctly and this approach makes pedestrians more visible. If sidewalks are full of pedestrians easily seen by drivers, speeds should naturally reduce.

Arthur said...

Ah, there's the third page. Must've been a problem on the other computer.

Erika Palmer-Wilson said...

Thanks for the comments, we are getting great feedback and we will work on incorporating it into the next final draft. We hope that we are at least capturing the INTENT of what we are hearing from our neighbors and community -- wordsmithing and edits will follow. THANKS AGAIN!

Jed Roberts said...

This is a fantastic start. I think it properly prioritizes the elements that will make Foster Road a more livable corridor. This lays out a holistic approach that does not promote band-aid efforts (such as crosswalks with flashing lights -- not a good solution!) but instead systematic changes that eliminate the need for one-off installations.

I would only add some extra text regarding bike lanes. It should be noted that the addition of bike lanes along Foster Road would greatly improve the connectivity of the existing bike route network. Its "as-the-crow-flies" orientation makes it a vital connection within the network, tying in very nicely with PBOT's new 50's Bikeway project. Also, I would like to see some mention of bike parking facilities, which go hand-in-hand with bike lanes.

Great work! Looking forward to getting this on MSANA letterhead and out to all the Foster Lents Integration Partners.

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