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Barbur Concept Plan Overview

In July 2009, Metro Council selected the southwest corridor as a priority for investment in High Capacity Transit (e.g. light rail, bus rapid transit). Planning is underway for the entire corridor from Portland's central city to Sherwood called the Southwest Corridor Plan. Multiple jurisdictions and agencies are working together to leverage current efforts (including the Barbur Concept Plan) and to look beyond just building a transit project. The Southwest Corridor Plan will integrate affordable housing, parks, green infrastructure, economic development, and public health into land use and transportation decisions. The Southwest Corridor, including Barbur Boulevard, is poised to become the recipient of significant federal and regional transportation dollars. An investment of this magnitude has the ability to create great places that achieve our region's transportation goals while catalyzing development that fulfills the goals of the community.

The Southwest Corridor Plan will identify a narrow list of possible alternatives for High Capacity Transit in terms of where the facility will be aligned (in Barbur, along I-5) and the mode of transit (light rail, bus rapid transit). Although the Barbur Concept Plan will not make decisions about mode or alignment, it will inform those regional discussions.

The majority of Barbur Boulevard is presently characterized by post-war auto-oriented commercial development that lacks distinct centers or a sense of place. Sidewalks and safe crossings are also lacking in many areas along Barbur. Other challenges include steep hillsides, sensitive natural resources, and limited options for expanding the roadway. To efficiently address these challenges, all modes of moving people and goods through the corridor (cars, bikes, pedestrians, buses, and freight) will need to be considered as part of this process.

Working with the Community

Public participation is crucial to the development of the Barbur Concept Plan. At several milestones during the 18-month process, community members will be invited to learn about the project and provide input through public workshops, open houses, and neighborhood and business association meetings. Additionally, feedback on the project is encouraged by contacting project staff and by commenting formally to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council.

As part of this comprehensive public involvement program, a 15-20 member Community Working Group (CWG) comprised of neighborhood and business interests, community advocacy groups, and other interested stakeholders will serve as an advisory body on these and other topics.

  • Defining the public involvement process
  • Identifying needs, opportunities, and constraints
  • Developing project goals, criteria, and alternative land use and transportation concepts
  • Evaluating alternative land use and transportation concepts
  • Presenting alternative(s) to public officials

To ensure adequate input at these milestones, the process will include 12 CWG meetings, 3 public meetings, 3 City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings, and a final briefing with the Portland City Council, Metro Council, and the Trimet Board of Directors. There will also be ongoing meetings with neighborhood and business associations and key stakeholder groups to provide regular updates and receive input.

Project Schedule

Timeframe Milestones Public Events

July - Dec 2011

Existing conditions, needs, opportunities,


Barbur neighborhood walks

Dec 2011 - Apr 2012

Goals, criteria, and alternatives development

Open house #1

May - Sept 2012

Alternative analysis / investment strategies

Open house #2

Oct - Dec 2012

Concept Plan development

Open house #3

Briefings with officials