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BPS E-News: Central City Plans emphasize strengths, chart course for local and regional civic center

On Sept. 11, 2012, three major plans for Portland’s city center had an audience with the Planning and Sustainability Commission. The Central City 2035 (CC2035) Concept Plan articulates the aspirations and big moves for the future of the Central City, which includes downtown and surrounding districts as well as portions of the Central Eastside. The mutually supportive N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway-Weidler Plans combine a vision for revitalization of the Lloyd District and preservation of the Lower Albina, with planning for much-needed freeway improvements in the area.

Central City 2035 Concept Plan

Created collaboratively with the CC2035 Steering Committee and BPS staff, the CC2035 Concept Plan is an update of the City’s 1988 Central City Plan and the first step in implementing the Portland Plan. Developed over two years of stakeholder involvement and public outreach, the concept plan outlines policies and directions that provide high-level guidance for the Central City’s growth and development. It emphasizes the important role the city center plays in the region and is intended to guide development of four detailed quadrant plans (N/NE, SE, NW and SW). The Concept Plan sets up the Central City as a Center for Innovation and Exchange. Its draft policies are framed by the economy, housing and neighborhoods, the Willamette River, urban design, and health and the environment.

For more information or to download a copy of the CC2035 Concept Plan, please go to or contact project staff via email at

N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans

The N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans are the result of a unique collaboration between the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Portland to integrate land use, urban design and local transportation planning for Lower Albina and the Lloyd District with planning for freeway improvements that address long-identified safety and operational issues on Interstate 5 near the Rose Quarter.
Guided by a diverse Stakeholder Advisory Committee and an extensive public involvement process, these mutually supportive plans provide a vision for an intensely vibrant and urban Lloyd District, growing employment and economic activity in Lower Albina, and a much safer and more efficient freeway interchange at NE Broadway and NE Weidler Streets.

The N/NE Quadrant Plan is a land use, urban design and local transportation plan that will help direct and manage growth for the Lloyd District and Lower Albina over the next 25 years. Key proposals in the plan include:

  • Preserving and enhancing Lower Albina by protecting the working harbor and increasing land use flexibility that promotes a mix of uses on historic Russell Street and greater employment densities.
  • Protecting historic neighborhoods and cultural resources.
  • Concentrating high density development in the Lloyd District, with a focus on new residential development that will add activity and vibrancy to the district.
  • Providing amenities, such as parks, street improvements and green infrastructure to support and encourage new development.
  • Improving regional access and local street safety and connectivity for all modes. Encouraging sustainable development that supports the Lloyd EcoDistrict and goals for improved environmental health.
  • Future changes to zoning and building height regulations that implement the plan goals.

I-5 Broadway-Weidler Facility Plan

The I-5 Broadway-Weidler Facility Plan contains a planning-level concept for improvements that address long-standing safety and operations issues on and around Interstate 5 and the Broadway-Weidler interchange. Key elements include:

  • Adding auxiliary lanes and full-width shoulders (within existing right-of-way) to reduce dangerous traffic weaves and allow disabled vehicles to move out of traffic lanes.
  • Rebuilding structures at Broadway, Weidler, Vancouver and Williams and adding a lid over the freeway that will simplify construction, increase development potential and improve the urban environment.
  • Moving the I-5 southbound on-ramp to Weidler to improve circulation and safety.
    Improving conditions for pedestrian and bicycle travel by adding new connections over the freeway and safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the interchange area.

The freeway concept will help guide future development in the interchange area and serves as an important step in the funding process, allowing the City and State to jointly seek funding for the project. In the short term, the City and ODOT will actively work on fixes to address pedestrian and bicycle safety issues in the interchange area.

For more information about the N/NE Quadrant Project visit or contact project staff at

Next Steps

The Central City 2035 Concept Plan and N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans were presented to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) at a hearing on Sept. 11, 2012. The PSC will hold a work session and make recommendations on Sept. 25. There will be another opportunity for public testimony and comment at City Council hearings, scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25.