Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
Transportation System Plan Expert Group (TEG) is a part of the Comprehensive Plan Update
Courtney Duke, PBOT
March 20, 2015
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is accepting applications through April 10, 2015, for additional community members to serve on the Transportation System Plan (TSP) Expert Group, convened jointly by the bureaus of Transportation and Planning and Sustainability as a component of the Portland Comprehensive Plan Update.
PBOT is looking to add six (6) members that represent one of each of the following areas: Equity Interests, Small Business Owner, Youth, Public Health (community member or agency representative), Transit Advocacy, and Persons with Disabilities.
Portland’s Comprehensive Plan helps the City prepare for and manage expected population and employment growth, as well as the major public investments to accommodate that growth. It provides direction for decision-making on land use, transportation, sewer and water systems, and natural resource management programs, while ensuring that investments in major city systems are coordinated.
The Transportation System Plan (TSP) is the long-range plan to guide transportation investments in Portland. The TSP meets State and regional planning requirements and addresses local transportation needs for cost-effective street, transit, freight, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The plan provides transportation choices for residents, employees, visitors and companies doing business in Portland, making it more convenient to walk, bicycle, take transit and drive less to meet their daily needs. The TSP provides a balanced transportation system to support neighborhood livability and economic development.
The TEG advises City staff on the Transportation System Plan. Over the past year plus, the TEG has been engaged in review of draft transportation policies and projects in the Comprehensive Plan. The TEG will be shifting its attention over the next year to how best to implement these policies and projects, concentrating on initiatives such as a Citywide Parking Strategy, a hierarchy for responding to multiple transportation needs, district-level transportation plans, and possible changes to street classifications.
The Expert Group has typically met monthly since mid-December 2013 and will continue to do so at least through 2015. Occasionally, additional meetings or subcommittee meetings may occur outside of the monthly meeting time.
Member Qualifications and Skills
Community members who are interested in serving on the TSP Expert Group should consider the following qualifications or skills:
Applications will be reviewed by PBOT staff. Final appointment to the Expert Group will be made by the Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. If selected you will be notified early in the week of April 13.
PBOT will work to ensure diversity of members, including but not limited to, field experts, neighborhood groups, business and institutional associations, persons with disabilities, communities of color, and interest groups.
First TEG Meeting
If selected, the first meeting would be Thursday, April 16; 3:30 – 6:00 PM in the Lovejoy Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, downtown Portland.
To apply to be a member of the TSP Expert Group, please fill out the application by April 10, 2015 and send to:
Courtney Duke, PBOT
1120 SW 4th Ave, Room 800
Portland OR 97204
Or email to email@example.com
To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City ofPortlandwill reasonable modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-2030 or 503-823-4000 with such requests.
Volunteer commissioners dive into discussions about housing, residential densities, employment land and West Hayden Island, the Transportation Systems Plan, community involvement and more
To attend a recent Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) meeting is to witness public service at its finest. Last fall the PSC held four public hearings throughout the city on the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft. And since January 27 of this year, commissioners have been holding long work sessions to review public testimony and staff recommendations as they move through the outstanding issues of the draft plan.
They’ve dug into the details of proposals for housing, addressing displacement, residential down-designations and densities, and nonconforming uses. They’ve had spirited discussions about centers and corridors and how the Transportation System Plan (TSP) would serve the additional people, jobs, housing and businesses in these growing areas. They’ve revisited West Hayden Island and considered strategies to create and intensify employment land to provide more jobs for Portlanders yet to come. And they’ve reviewed how the policies in the new Comprehensive Plan would guide decision-making and make the City’s public involvement efforts more inclusive.
Many of the PSC’s 11 members have served on the commission since the Portland Plan days (six years or more) and will continue on until they have recommended the Comprehensive Plan to City Council. Normally they meet for two to four hours twice a month, but the scope and complexity of the draft Comprehensive Plan, the update to the Central City Plan and other long-range plans, code amendments and special projects have meant more and longer meetings. To cover this much material and provide thoughtful and thorough guidance to the City Council, commissioners have spent countless hours preparing for and engaging in sometimes four and five-hour meetings every two weeks. You can read the meeting minutes and watch the video of each meeting on the PSC website.
Who are they?
These dedicated volunteers represent a broad spectrum of the community. They’re busy people whose love of Portland and commitment to making it better for everyone is reflected in their hard work on behalf of all Portlanders.
Take Chris Smith, digital marketer for Xerox who serves on the Portland Streetcar Inc. Board of Directors as well as many other advisory committees and commissions. And Michelle Rudd, a partner with Stoel Rives who was just named one of Savoy Magazine’s 2015 Most Influential Black Lawyers. People like Karen Gray, superintendent of the Parkrose School District. Or Don Hanson, principal at OTAK, who also served on the commission back when it was the Planning Commission. Teresa St Martin of Windermere and Margaret Tallmadge with the Coalition of Communities of Color, are the commission’s newest members. Mike Houck, executive director of Urban Greenspaces Institute, and Gary Oxman, retired Chief Health Officer for Multnomah County, look after our human and environmental health. Then there are vice chairs Howard Shapiro, who also chairs the Community Involvement Committee for the Comp Plan, and Katherine Schultz of GBD Architects. At the helm is André Baugh, a consultant with Group AGB Ltd, perhaps the commission’s most passionate equity advocate.
As a group, they have a variety of viewpoints, and together they work to balance and realize the goals of a prosperous, healthy and equitable city. In addition to working on the Comprehensive Plan, they’ve been holding hearings, briefings and meetings about Central City’s West Quadrant Plan, energy performance in commercial buildings, urban renewal areas and a proposal to build a propane transport facility at the Port’s T6 terminal.
In the next couple of months alone, they’ll be holding public hearings on the updated Economic Opportunities Analysis (April 28) and revised Growth Scenarios Report (May 12) for the Comprehensive Plan as well as the T6 code amendment (April 7), the RICAP 7 package (also April 28) and the SE Quadrant Plan (May 26). In addition they’ll hear briefings on the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project, something BPS is working on in partnership with Metro and TriMet. Please check the PSC calendar approximately one week prior to each tentative meeting date for specific agendas.
Powell-Division Transit and Development Project gathers community feedback in the Jade District and Midway; interactive mapping tool allows for virtual commenting
Every day tens of thousands of people ride TriMet bus lines 4 and 9 between Portland and Gresham to connect to Portland’s Central City, Downtown Gresham, Portland Community College’s Southeast Center and many places in between. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is collaborating with Metro, TriMet, the City of Gresham, ODOT and Multnomah County on the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project to provide faster, more reliable high capacity transit to more Portlanders, especially those living, working or going to school in East Portland.
The project team has been conducting extensive outreach, focusing on the needs and interests of East and Southeast Portland and Gresham residents as well as the many immigrant and refugee and limited English proficiency (LEP) populations in the area. In addition to focus groups and youth outreach, the City of Portland and Metro recently partnered with the Jade District and Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement to host community workshops at local businesses at East Garden restaurant on SE Division and 124th and at Fubonn on SE 82nd Ave. Successful and lively events, the Jade District workshop on February 28 included live translation services for Cantonese and Vietnamese speakers provided by community leaders Rosaline Hui and Thao Tran, respectively. A joint Powell-Division and Mixed Use Zones Project open house was also held at Cleveland High School on March 10.
Community outreach has also been supported by Metro’s new interactive map tool, which asked participants to share their preferences for alignments and station area planning. Metro received more than 1,500 comments between February 13 and March 4, 2015, which were shared with the project's Steering Committee in advance of their March 16 meeting. Representatives from the Tongan community, the Russian Speaking Network and the Latino Network all spoke at the meeting, and youth organizers shared insights they gained while canvassing businesses in the City of Gresham. The project team is looking forward to them continuing their work as they move west into the City of Portland. Additional focus groups are slated for April and May, and staff will schedule presentations and discussions with Neighborhood Associations during that time as well.
At the same meeting the Steering Committee, which includes community and government agency representatives, reached consensus on the most promising route options for the new high-capacity transit services slated for the Powell-Division corridor. The new bus rapid transit service will travel from the Central City across the Tilikum Crossing, up Powell Blvd to either 50th, 52nd or 82nd Avenues, where it will head north to Division St. It will then travel on Division to Gresham, where it will connect to Mount Hood Community College. The Steering Committee expressed strong support for 82nd Ave as the north-south crossing, but some cautioned that additional engineering, design and traffic studies need to be completed to better understand the opportunities and challenges. Further refinements to the design will take place as the team moves into project development and completes additional engineering and traffic studies.
Terminal 6 Environmental Overlay Zone Boundary and Code Amendment — briefing
An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.
Materials from the recent SE Quadrant Plan virtual open house that ended on March 20th
Following the February 19th open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, all materials from the event were posted online along with a comment form to provide feedback on staff proposals. This “virtual” open house is now closed, and the comment form removed, but you can still access the materials below. If you have comments or questions about the SE Quadrant Plan or planning process in general, please contact email Derek Dauphin or call 503-823-5869.
Now you can share the experience of the February 19 open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.
Perhaps you’re a business owner in the Central Eastside Industrial District. Maybe you pass through the district on your way to and from downtown. Or just like to visit to enjoy the food, drink and creative energy of the area. Any way you experience it, there’s no denying this part of Portland is bustling with activity: new development and businesses; more bikes, cars and trucks; and increased attention and interest from near and far.
The SE Quadrant planning effort is harnessing all of that energy into a new long-range plan for the area. The plan will help ensure that this unique part of the city evolves the way Portlanders want it to.
So far we’ve heard that people want to preserve the character of the area with its historic warehouses and protect its unique role as an industrial sanctuary and business incubator. But they also recognize that as the area grows and changes, it creates pressure on the streets and transportation system to accommodate more trucks, cars and even bikes. And then there’s its relationship to the river, which provides opportunities for greater access to this beloved natural resource, recreation, and even arts and culture.
As you look at the proposals that follow, keep in mind that most of the SE Quadrant is an industrial sanctuary and has long served as an incubator for small businesses. A key goal of the new plan is to maintain this sanctuary while allowing for new industrial businesses and increased employment density.
Land for Jobs
The Central Eastside is experiencing a period of extensive growth and renewal. But without new regulatory tools, the Central City will not be able to keep up with the demand for employment land. Staff land use proposals tweak the existing zoning to allow for more dense employment in the Central Eastside, including the new station areas along the MAX Orange Line due to open in September 2015.
Staff are also preparing a new industrial disclosure statement that would inform people and businesses moving into the area about the characteristics (noise, fumes, trucks) common to the district. The disclosure would make it clear that the City of Portland would not enforce complaints against lawful activity within the district.
Proposals also call for recognizing the historic character of much of the Central Eastside, particularly along historic main streets such as Morrison Street.
Potential conflicts between different kinds of businesses and uses — particularly residential, retail and industrial areas — are addressed through urban design. These proposals seek to clarify how areas with different zoning can co-exist.
Transportation, parking, freight
Another area of concern is the already limited parking in the district. With more jobs and residents coming to the district, congestion on the streets will affect the ability of businesses to move freight. These proposals address concerns about traffic and congestion by applying a wide set of tools.
Other proposals would help reduce conflicts between trucks and other types of traveling to and through the district. By making some routes that are less important to freight more attractive for bicycles and pedestrians, trucks and bikes will be less likely to get in each other’s way.
A concept for a bicycle and pedestrian loop is proposed for the Central City. This “Green Loop” would be a key north-south route in the Central Eastside, connecting to the South Waterfront and downtown via the new Tilikum Crossing bridge. The eastside leg would include an I-84 pedestrian/bicycle bridge. What factors should be considered in picking a route, considering some initial data showing how loading and intersections could impact design?
Staff responded to concerns about the lack of open space and green infrastructure such as trees. Due to the industrial nature of the district, areas for employees and residents to gather and relax will likely be near the most intense employment or residential development. The exception would be at the waterfront where there may be new park-like areas and enhanced habitat.
The Willamette River and Riverfront
Staff presented a strategy for the Willamette River and riverfront which includes restoring and enhancing habitat, enlivening key locations with new activities and uses, and improving recreation options such as swimming and boating. This strategy is closely linked with all of the other concepts in the district; open space linkages, economic development and transportation alternatives are important components of the strategy along the riverfront.
Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the Public Review Draft of the SE Quadrant Plan to be released in late April. In late May/June, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft, followed by City Council hearings on the plan in summer/early fall of 2015.