(June 13, 2019) The Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project is complete and almost 40 city blocks in Southeast Portland have been transformed from an unsafe, high-crash corridor to a walkable and bikeable commercial main street for Portlanders of all ages to enjoy. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) celebrated the completion of the project with a ribbon cutting ceremony alongside Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Transportation Director Chris Warner, representatives of the Foster Area Business and Neighborhood Associations, the Portland Mercado and Hacienda CDC, and Prosper Portland. Together they delighted in the positive impact the street improvements have already had in the neighborhood and looked ahead to a summer full of activities encouraging people to explore the newly improved street and thriving neighborhood.
Funded by the Fixing Our Streets program, the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project delivered a street that is safer and more attractive for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving. With improved crossings and other safety features, modern signals, new pavement, 190 street trees and new decorative street lights, the project has transformed Foster Road into an inviting thoroughfare that supports a vibrant commercial district and enhances the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The project extends from SE 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at SE 90th Avenue. The changes to the street and urban design transformed Foster Road from a high speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving. Additionally, the new design supports and enhances the growing mix of businesses and residences in the neighborhood.
Funding for the $9 million Foster Road project came from the Fixing our Streets Program, the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal District, Portland Transportation System Development Charges and a federal grant.
“Thank you to the community for your patience and understanding throughout the construction of this project. It has been many years of planning, development and construction, but I know it was worth the wait,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “I am particularly looking forward to the events and activities that PBOT and community organizations have put together on SE Foster Road for the summer! Now that construction is finished, it’s time to get out and enjoy this public space together.”
“This is a street that will support a vibrant commercial district, that will add to the quality of life in this neighborhood, and that people – whether they are walking, biking, rolling or driving – will want to use every day,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner. “To me, that is the power of what we do. We don’t just make Portland a better place to get around, we make it a better place to live.”
“As a small business owner, I’m especially pleased to celebrate better connections for businesses and residents in east Portland,” said Peter Platt, Prosper Portland Commissioner and founder and owner of Andina Restaurant. “The completion of the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project marks a milestone in Prosper Portland’s strategic goals to pursue transportation improvements in east Portland to realize job growth, increase connectivity and complement community-drive action plans…creating healthy, complete neighborhoods throughout Portland.”
"As we celebrate our new streetscape on Foster, we celebrate the potential for equitable neighborhood growth," said Shea Flaherty Betin, Director of the Portland Mercado. "We envision increased economic opportunity along Foster for small businesses, for POC entrepreneurs, and for the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem we have here at the Mercado. I’m excited to see more families biking to our massive festivals and events, or to see more folks walking on our new sidewalks to grab an empanada, or some coffee, or a sangria in the evening."
"The Foster Area Business Association is pleased to celebrate the completion of the Foster Streetscape project. We welcome Foster Road's transition from a highway to a main street for our district and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Allen Rowand, President of the Foster Area Business Association. “We look forward to Foster being safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, as well as bringing more visibility and easier access to our businesses. The Streetscape is the next step in Foster's growth as a destination and we thank PBOT for their support of the district throughout the project."
"Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association is excited to see the completion of the SE Foster Streetscape," said Eric Furlong, Co-Chair of the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association. "With the improvements on Foster I am certain it will help make the street safer for all users, increase the number of patrons to local businesses and add a lasting beauty to very needed area."
Learn more about the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project at www.saferfoster.com.
Summer Fun on Foster!
With the project complete and summer beginning, now is the time to get out and experience the new and improved Foster Road. To encourage people to get out and about, PBOT has developed a summer-long line up of community and PBOT-hosted events that are easily accessible by walking, rolling, biking or riding transit called the Foster Letter Hunt.
Participants in the Foster Letter Hunt can collect a secret letter at each of the ten events to be entered into a raffle for one of four $500 Visa gift cards at the end of summer:
What is your favorite business on Foster Road? During these dates, when you post a photo inside your favorite Foster business to Instagram or Facebook with #FosterFaves you’ll get a chance to win a prize. Each week there is a theme, click here to find out what the theme is. Photos will be judged by the event host, the Foster Area Business Association (FABA).
Dust off the bike sitting in storage and get it serviced for a smooth ride. Show the mailer promoting the Letter Hunt to Bike Frequency, Backpedal Cycleworks, or NW Pro Gear to get $5 off any service or repair! Limit one discount per mailer and while supplies last. This offer expires on July 8, 2019.
July 10: Sweet and Savory Summer Bike Ride - 5:45 PM. Starts at Woodstock Park (SE 47th Ave and Harold St)
Free sweet and savory treats to bribe you to take an easy ride through comfortable biking streets in the neighborhood and the new bike lanes on Foster Road. This event is hosted by PBOT Portland By Cycle which offers free guided bike rides and classes almost year-round.
July 13: Let’s Go FoPo NeighborWalks hosted by AARP Oregon - 10:00 AM. Starts at Essex Park (SE 79th Ave and Center St)
Join us for a leisurely pace walk through Foster-Powell neighborhood hosted by AARP Oregon and its volunteers. All ages and abilities are welcome. The NeighborWalks series is a volunteer-run program that is run by AARP Oregon in partnership with PBOT and Oregon Walks. If you are planning to attend, please register ahead of time to save time on the day of the event.
July 20: Foster Tasting Tour hosted by FABA - 2:00-10:00 PM. Various Locations on SE Foster Rd between Powell Ave and 82nd Ave
A family-friendly Tasting Tour hosted by the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) where you can try everything from booze to board games. Start out at any of the participating businesses, pick up your passport book and start tasting! Go to the Tasting Tour event webpage for details. Not only will you get a raffle entry for collecting your secret letter, you can also win prizes by filling up your Tasting Tour passport!
August 3: Lents Green Ring Ten Toe Walk - 9:00 AM. Starts at Glenwood Park, SE 87th and Glenwood St
Join us for a medium pace walk through the four legs of the Lents Green Ring--a loop of greenways and connected paths that highlight Lents community spaces. This event is hosted by PBOT Ten Toe Express Walks, which offers free guided walks throughout spring and summer.
August 6: The Art of Foster Bike Ride - 5:45 PM. Starts at Portland Mercado (7238 SE Foster Rd)
Take a look at public art near and along Foster Road, which is now more bike- and walk-friendly. This event is hosted by PBOT Portland By Cycle which offers free guided bike rides and classes almost year-round.
August 11: Lents Fair - 11:00-4:00 PM. SE Harold St and SE 92nd Ave
Now in its fourth year, the Lents Fair is a free and family-friendly celebration of summer and community that features local vendors, foods, and a Chicken Beauty Contest.
August 18: Grocery & Market Transit Tour - Event time and starting location TBD
Foster Road is home to food sources that are both healthy and highlight the cultural diversity of Southeast Portland. Join us as we hop on and off the bus to visit grocery stores and markets up and down Foster. Transit fare will be provided up to the first 25 people, and staff will be available to answer your transit questions. Time and starting location are still to be determined but we will end the tour where we start.
September 7: Portland Mercado Taste of Latinoamérica Festival - Event time TBD. Portland Mercado (7238 SE Foster Rd)
Stop by the PBOT booth at this Portland Mercado event, celebrating the flavors of Latin America.
Visit www.saferfoster.com for additional details and contest rules for all events.