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Brooklyn Station Areas Open House Summary

Attendees: About 20
Staff: Diane Hale, Marty Stockton, Alex Howard, Deborah Stein, Steve Kountz, Madeline Kovacs, Grant Morehead (PBOT)

Event Summary

On May 15, BPS hosted an open house for residents, local business owners, and other community members to learn about all plans and goals pertaining to the Brooklyn Station Areas project, and to provide feedback. The open house was the last in a series of five events surrounding plans accompanying two Light Rail (LRT) stations proposed at SE 17th & Rhine St., and at SE 17th & Holgate Blvd.  

Three informational stations were set up around the room, pertaining to: Proposed zoning changes along Milwaukie and Holgate; Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Transportation Systems Plan (TSP) updates on Portland-Milwaukie Station Areas; and the Powell-Division Transit project. Staff were on hand at each station to answer questions, and to discuss projects in-depth with community members.

A fourth station asked attendees to select their top three priorities from the list of projects developed throughout the process. Community support will be among the factors considered as projects are evaluated during the Transportation System Plan update process in the summer and fall of 2014. The three transportation projects that were selected most:

  • Holgate Street Reconfiguration (9 votes): Improve bike/pedestrian environment on Holgate.
  • Milwaukie Avenue Streetscape (9 votes): Plan and implement streetscape improvements to SE Milwaukie Avenue between SE Woodward and SE Holgate.
  • Powell Streetscape (8 votes): Implement recommendations from Inner Powell Boulevard Streetscape Plan. 

Summary of Comments 
Feedback cards were also distributed, asking open house attendees to give feedback more specifically on proposed zoning changes to be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan Update, and on transportation projects in the area. Most (4 out of 6) respondents indicated that they are supportive of changes, while one did not specify and another opposed changes. Priorities among respondents included making sure that development design compliments and enhances the neighborhood, and that resident’s access to key services be improved, especially by foot and by bike. 

Prompt: “The City is proposing zoning changes in the Brooklyn neighborhood to support neighborhood commercial development along Milwaukie Avenue, and transportation changes to minimize conflicts between residential and commercial development south of Holgate Boulevard. What do you think about these proposals? Please make sure to tell us the specific area or proposal you are commenting about, if applicable.”

Summary of Responses 
Summary of circled responses to changing current R1 zoning

Option Circled

Number of Respondents

Support Change

4

Unsure/Need More Info

0

Oppose Change

1

No Response

2

Total

7

Full Responses 

Option Circled

Comments

Support Change

Question about whether the “d” overlay could be applied here. Would like great cohesion with design.

No Response

R area in block bound by Milwaukie, 12th, Cora and Boise should be R1. It’s already high density. Downzoning seems wrong in that area.

Support Change

However, I would have liked to see CS along Milwaukie south of Holgate.

Oppose Change

Is there an actual proposal to limit EG zoning to only employment uses? It was hard to tell from the maps if this is being brought to the neighborhood or not. When in the process will this be obvious as a proposal? – Jay Higgins, Trimet

Support Change

I am in support of encouraging commercial development North and South of Holgate, West of Milwaukie. This area is under-utilized and not desirable for residential. I also support development at the Holgate/17th Avenue intersection. I support mixed use commercial residential on Milwaukie South of Center. I am not opposed to multi-story development along any of those streets, especially Holgate, 17th, and also Powell. I am a home owner near SE 12th and Mall.

Support Change

SE Milwaukie Ave, I support change of zoning to encourage more essential businesses in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Brooklyn needs this (and PDC funding) to actually become a “20-minute neighborhood.” Along with continued basic permeability improvements across Powell, Holgate and River accessibility for the Brooklyn neighborhood, Brooklyn needs all the help it can get to make it desirable for entrepreneurs. Please green buffer Powell as much as possible from the 17th Avenue rail bridge to the river. Please beautify, improve, and add more pedestrian/bike crossings across Powell for the safety and quality of life of Brooklyn residents. Please create at least one river access/Springwater access between Powell and Holgate: Our quality of life, real estate values will improve dramatically. Please encourage cultural and essential services at Holgate: Groceries, hardware, theater.

No Response

1) Traffic on Holgate is a barrier for pedestrians trying to cross from the south to the Holgate station on the north. There needs to be better north/south pedestrian crossings at key locations on Holgate to break down that barrier.

2) Conversion of R1 properties on the north side of Holgate to CG will benefit the area and energize the east/west corridor from the station (and potentially) the Spring Water Trail at some future date. This could also be reinforced with a bike lane running east west on Holgate - however the current ROW won't accommodate this improvement without removal of a lane.

3) Trees would also soften the traffic on Holgate and should be considered on the north, south or both. They may also be useful at pedestrian crossings over Holgate.

4) Having talked to Grant I know there is peak demand for freight running east and am commuter demand running west.  Is there a way to shift the double lanes so they support both uses? Either by placing two lanes running west at the intersection of 99 then switching and running two lanes east beyond the intersection for freight relief. Or could we have the center lane available for morning commuter traffic and switch back for all other hours? One thing I love about Portland is - even if it's never been done before - we'll give it a shot.

One final point: Holgate and its traffic pattern will evolve once the station is built. It's very possible the freight and commuter traffic will change significantly allowing for removal of a lane.