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Latest News and Updates from the Barbur Concept Plan

Neighborhood Walks: Good Turn Out and Great Input!

Barber Neighborhood WalksBarbur Boulevard and surrounding neighborhoods were the focus of two neighborhood walks on September 22nd and 24th to get feedback on what the community would like to see improved along Portland's major southwest corridor. Project staff, residents and business owners walked with Community Working Group (CWG) members to get a first hand perspective of four distinct sections of Barbur Boulevard (Walk A covered sections 1 and 2 and Walk B covered sections 3 and 4). The walking groups explored the areas on both a weekday and weekend to experience the different levels of activity and traffic along the thoroughfare. Participants had a chance to chat with each other and share their unique perspectives and ideas for possible future improvements within the corridor.

Some observations...

We heard again about the incomplete network of sidewalks and how bicyclists do not feel safe on many parts of Barbur. In certain areas - around the Safeway store at Capitol Hill Road and the West Portland Crossroads area near Capitol Highway, for example - the sidewalk network is incomplete and lacks connections to other sections of Barbur Boulevard and the adjacent neighborhoods and schools. Even with these deficiencies, however, there are a number of pedestrians and bicyclists making due with the facilities at hand. People indicated that pedestrian safety could be improved with more clearly defined left turn pockets and driveway entrances.

Barbur Boulevard tends to be noisy and a less inviting place for people to congregate, but participants observed that the noise level decreased significantly not far from the high-traffic boulevard. In these quieter areas, some observed that these could be good areas for additional residents, but also noted concerns with air quality near the freeway. They encouraged staff to strategically think about the role of on-street parking on Barbur as it can act as a buffer from traffic; however, it can also pose additional risks to drivers and cyclists.

Much of the commercial development on Barbur tends to be single or two-story buildings, with large areas of surface parking. But the City's development standards for much of the corridor allow three and four story buildings and no minimum parking requirement - due to the frequent bus service. Some participants envisioned smaller shopping streets that spurred from Barbur, with a variety of local merchants and shopping choices. Others saw potential for additional office buildings that could benefit from being close to high capacity transit while buffering Barbur from the freeway.

Read more about what the groups observed and suggested as improvements by reading the complete summary.

What's next?

The information gathered during these walks will be packaged with transportation, environmental, economic and other analyses as staff develop a complete picture of Barbur as it currently exists. This information will help identify needs for the area, as well as help reveal some of the constraints and opportunities for the future of the Barbur corridor. The CWG will meet next on November 3rd to review the Draft Existing Conditions Report and begin discussing their expectations for the Barbur Concept Plan.

Join Project Staff on the Barbur Neighborhood Walks

What sort of vision do you have for the future of Barbur Boulevard? One of the best ways to understand the needs of an area is to walk with people who live and work in the community for a first-hand perspective. The Barbur Concept Plan team wants to hear from Portlanders who live and work in neighborhoods along Barbur Blvd. We invite community members to join us as we walk portions of the Barbur study area in late September.

The walks will help us identify community needs and opportunities, while hearing from participants what their issues and concerns are. We've scheduled two walking routes to cover different parts of the study area and will be leading both walks concurrently on two different days to give people scheduling options:

Weekday Afternoon Walks

Thursday, September 22nd

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekday Morning Walks

Saturday, September 24th

10 a.m. to noon

Groups will gather at the meeting locations noted below for Walk A and Walk B for a brief overview and detailed description of the routes. Walks will last about two hours. Notetakers and photographers will be on hand to record your observations. Bus tickets will be provided to participants.

Walk A - Capitol Hill and Hamilton - view detailed map

Meet near the Safeway on the corner of SW Barbur and SW Capitol Hill Road (TriMet stop #170). Walk and discuss the Burlingame area, then after about 50 minutes, board the bus together to visit the Hamilton area.

Walk B - West Portland and Terwilliger - view detailed map

Meet outside Starbucks on the corner of SW Barbur and SW Capitol Hwy (south), TriMet stop #168. Walk around the West Portland Crossroads area. About 60 minutes into the tour, board the bus together to visit the area around SW Terwilliger.

Please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather!

Also, note that there are several areas along SW Barbur Blvd and adjoining streets that have no sidewalks. Portions of these routes may not be fully accessible by wheelchair.

For more information

Please contact Morgan Tracy at or 503-823-6879 if you have questions, concerns or wish to join us for a portion of the tour or take a modified route.

Staff will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Please notify us no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the event by phone at 503-823-7700, by the TTY line at 503-823-6868, or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900