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Experience the Green Loop, virtually

Computer-generated simulation tool shows the community their own “Emerald City.”

Imagine … You slip on a pair of special glasses, allow your eyes to adjust — and click play. Fade into scene. Look left, then right. Now try up and down. You are quickly orienting, and now you recognize a few landmarks: the building where your favorite café was and a magnolia tree that put on a show every spring.

You see a street sign that says you’re are at SE 6th and Washington. But this intersection is different than it used to be. There are more street trees, benches with people eating lunch and reading the newspaper. And that café? It’s now a pizzeria, its garage doors rolled up and beckoning you to sit down for a slice.

As you take it all in, several bicyclists zip by your shoulder. They were close, but you feel safe because they sped along a painted track that keeps you comfortably separated. Seconds later, a laughing child runs in front of you as her mom gives chase. You turn left and see that a parking lot is now a three-story building with restaurants on the first floor and offices above. You wonder if you’ve stepped into the future. 

Welcome to virtual reality.

What you just experienced is Portland’s Green Loop. Conceived by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to be a linear park, the loop will provide residents, workers and visitors a place to walk, bike, run and play along a 6-mile loop around the Central City.

In the past, BPS has shown what new development could look like with maps, photos and drawings. But as part of Design Week Portland, the bureau partnered with Oregon Story Board and Shovels and Whiskey to create a virtual reality experience of the Green Loop.

Green Loop VRVirtual reality (or VR) is best known in the computer gaming world, but it’s now being used by health care practitioners, educators, artists and marketers. VR uses headset viewers to create immersive visual experiences that can feel very real. Employing it as a community engagement tool is pioneering and — as far as we know — BPS is one of the first planning agencies in the country to do so.

If you are at Design Week Portland’s Opening Gala, you can try it for yourself. Later in May, BPS will release a version of the Green Loop virtual reality experience to view online or with the Google Cardboard App. Look for more details about that soon.

So stay tuned for more exciting new about the Green Loop and how you can continue to experience it at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/greenloop.

Love Forest Park?

Community input and ideas needed on draft trail concepts for the popular natural area.

The City is considering five draft trail concepts to enhance off-road cycling in Forest Park as part of the citywide Off-road Cycling Master Plan.

All of the draft concepts include trail improvements for safety and sustainability as well as restoration of nearby natural habitat. Whether you walk, run, bike, or enjoy Forest Park in other ways, we want to hear what you think about these trail ideas.

These concepts were guided by the Forest Park Planning Principles, which translate the project’s vision and the many plans for Forest Park into specific guidance for off-road cycling. The principles support:

  • Preserving the highest-use pedestrian trails in the park (including the Wildwood and Maple trails)
  • Achieving a net ecological benefit through trail improvements
  • Focusing on cross-country cycling experiences on narrower, rolling trails.

Important note: Building or implementing any potential project would require additional planning and community input, robust environmental review and multiple approvals.

The five draft trail concepts are:

  1. Open Tolinda Trail to off-road cycling
  2. Open Firelane 7, Firelane 7A, and Oil Line Road to off-road cycling
  3. Open Firelane 4 to off-road cycling and connect it to Saltzman Road
  4. Improve Firelane 1 and build a new trail parallel to Highway 30
  5. Build a new trail south of NW 53rd Drive

Head to the project website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/offroadcycling and click “Off-road Cycling in Forest Park” to see the drafts and learn more. The website also includes a detailed feedback form where you can provide input on each Trail Concept and the Planning Principles. You can also add new ideas and more general comments.

Community members say where new dirt trails and bike parks should go

Feedback on Off-road Cycling Master Plan options will help planners meet the needs of a wide range of users

In just a couple of weeks, community members have left nearly 2,000 comments on the Off-road Cycling Master Plan

Through in-person open houses, the online interactive map, Forest Park questionnaire, general comment form and email, community members shared their ideas for creating more places for people of all ages and abilities to walk and ride on dirt paths and in bike parks.

These comments will help shape the proposal later this spring. We hope to hear from many more people by the end of the April.

NEW COLUMBIA EVENT A HIT

Kids on bikes at New Columbia bike park

About 150 people, including lots of children, shared their ideas at a community event at New Columbia on Saturday, April 8. Kids, parents and grandparents added their comments about where new dirt trails and bicycle parks should be built. Many of the youth took the opportunity to try out the skill park on their own or on a borrowed bike. The Community Cycling Center opened up the Bike HUB, loaned bikes and helmets, and fixed a number of bikes.

JOIN US IN EAST PORTLAND THIS WEEKEND!

We’re looking forward to hearing from more community members at the East Portland Community Center this Saturday, April 15.

This event will feature an open house, bike skills course, loaner bikes, free ice cream (!) — and a raffle for tickets to the Oregon Zoo and bike-related goodies. Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese-speaking community members are invited to come and chat with a Community Engagement Liaison to add their voice to the conversation. We hope you can join us!

ELSEWHERE IN PORTLAND …

Traditional open houses in Downtown and SW Portland were also a hit. About 100 interested and invested community members left detailed comments about places they want to, and don’t want to, see more trails and bike parks. Many also spent time talking with staff and other community members.

Additional open houses are scheduled this Thursday and Monday evenings (in Northwest and Southeast Portland).

People writing comments on maps

Community Collection Events offer neighbors spring cleaning disposal options

These events do not accept household hazardous waste, construction demolition and remodeling debris and asbestos-containing materials.

For a reasonable donation / fee, Portland residents can participate in the over 40 Community Collection Events scheduled in April and May. Materials accepted at collection events vary, from bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances, to items for recycling and reuse like scrap metal and household goods.

Community Collection Events welcome a wide range of Portland residents, including seniors and people with disabilities. Portland’s Neighborhood Coalitions, the City of Portland, and Metro collaborate to sponsor these events to invest in and build community capacity, including advancing equity, waste reduction and reuse.

Items not accepted at these events include: Hazardous waste materials; all construction, remodeling or demolition materials (see examples below); all kitchen garbage; residential yard debris and trimmings; commercial landscaping; roofing; waste and recyclables collected curbside; and waste not allowed at a regional transfer station.

Read the FAQ about asbestos containing materials at the Metro transfer stations. New rules apply as of April 1, 2017.

Your support in protecting neighborhood volunteers and transfer station staff from exposure to asbestos and keeping our neighborhoods clean and safe is appreciated.

Need to find contact information for your neighborhood association?
Contact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement or call 503-823-4519.  

Have bulky items at other times of the year?
Your garbage and recycling company can remove large items that are not reusable or recyclable for an extra charge. Here are some tips:

  • Call your company a week in advance and they will give you a cost estimate.
  • For a reasonable charge, they will pick up appliances, furniture, large branches, stumps and other big items.
  • For curbside pickup, set bulky items at your curb on the day your garbage and recycling company has agreed to pick them up. 

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Green Loop is star attraction at Design Week Portland

New concept for a “linear park” throughout the Central City is brought to life by Untitled Studio.

The last week in April is an exciting time in Portland, which is home to a variety of artists and artisans, designers, software developers, makers and other creators. But you don’t have to be “creative” to appreciate Design Week Portland (April 23 – 29). There’s something for everyone at this annual event featuring the latest thinking, trends and issues in all areas of design.

This year, Design Week Portland Headquarters will bring to life the Green Loop, a planned pedestrian/bike urban promenade linking the city’s east and west sides around the Central City. A “big idea” from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s (BPS) Central City 2035 Plan and shepherded by BPS’ Urban Design Studio, the Green Loop concept caught the eye of Untitled Studio, the winners of last year’s LoopPDX competition.

As part of their winning proposal for the Green Loop, Untitled Studio reimagined the design process as a public celebration. So along with City bureau partners, they will host a weeklong exhibition that invites the community to engage, react to, discuss and further envision the Green Loop’s potential.

The Exhibition

The concept for the Green Loop put forth by Untitled Studio, The Portland Mosaic, is a framework to be filled through collaborative efforts – a massive mosaic in which every Portlander can have a tile. With this exhibition, Untitled Studio invites community members to join them in imagining a diverse yet unified Green Loop.

Green loop graphic

In the exhibition, participants can experience and engage with the concept through collaboration, creative programming, a streetscape prototype and a large-scale interactive map. A special feature of the exhibit will be a virtual reality “tour” of the Green Loop, where participants can explore the various features of the loop through an immersive experience.

The Events

Because the Green Loop is the “headliner” event for this year’s Design Week, a series of workshops, charrettes, evening lectures and happy hour events will be coordinated with the Green Loop or larger themes about public space and city design, including:

Green Beer!

HUB Green Loop IPA label

No, it’s not St Patrick’s Day again. But in honor of the Green Loop, Hopworks Urban Brewery has created a new IPA dubbed … you guessed it: Green Loop IPA. A limited edition beverage from one of Portland’s most popular brew pubs, this “deliciously hoppy” IPA was made with “Certified Salmon-Safe Chinook and Crystal hops to represent the river that intersect the districts in the loop.”

So enjoy a “green beer” during Design Week while you experience the Green Loop. Cheers!