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BPS E-News: Vision for Barbur Boulevard is coming into focus

From its inception as a railroad line, then as an early tourism route, and later as a mid-century highway,Barbur Boulevardhas provided a vital transportation link from the Central City toSouthwest Portland. But ever since I-5 replaced the functionality of Barbur as the primary route through the Southwest, the adjacent neighborhoods have pondered how Barbur could be transformed into a place of civic pride.

A new vision for the corridor is coming into view, with the help of the Barbur Concept Plan Community Working Group (CWG). On Thursday, Nov. 29, the CWG and City staff will present the draft concept plan for the Barbur Corridor at a community forum in the Multnomah Art Center. There the project team will give a brief overview of the process and corridor wide concept, and participants will be able to weigh in on possible development concepts for seven focus areas along Barbur, including PCC-Sylvania, Crossroads, 26th Avenue, Capitol Hill, 13th Avenue, Hamilton, and the Kelly Area. Participants will also help identify other critical recommendations that will transform Barbur into a more vibrant, walkable and enjoyable place to work and live.

Input from this community forum will be used to shape and refine the final concept plan, which will then be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission, Metro, TriMet, ODOT and ultimately City Council in the winter.

Background and Technical Work

The Barbur Concept Plan project brought together stakeholders from each of the affected neighborhoods, local businesses and other advocates into the CWG, which met over 14 months to discuss various issues that might impede change and to deliberate on a shared vision for the future of the corridor. Their work was shared and vetted with the public in two community forums.

Recognizing that ultimately it’s the property owners and real estate market conditions that determine if and when new projects are built, the project team tested scenarios for seven different focus areas against current and projected market conditions.

The addition of certain amenities can influence market conditions. For example, street trees, full-width sidewalks, retail activity, stormwater improvements and access to trails and parks would all affect when and if the projected level of development could be supported by the market. Likewise, the introduction of reliable high-capacity transit could have a significant effect on the market. These influencing factors were analyzed to understand the interplay between regional investments in transit and infrastructure and redevelopment opportunities.

In addition to summarizing the market analysis and catalyzing focus areas, the concept plan includes a series of recommendations and implementation tools to guide and react to future decisions related to infrastructure and transit investments. This will ensure that Barbur, the adjoining neighborhoods and the City are positioned to take advantage of opportunities when they arise in a manner that forwards the community's shared vision.

For more information about the Barbur Concept Plan and the Community Forum, please visit

Relationship between the Barbur Concept Plan and the Southwest Corridor Plan

The Southwest Corridor Plan is a multi-jurisdictional effort focusing on the corridor betweenSouthwest Portlandand Sherwood. This effort examines land use, transportation improvements and strategies for improving the built environment. Priorities are to increase prosperity, health and mobility within and through the corridor. The Barbur Concept plan is a subset of the Southwest Corridor Plan, providing land use analysis and identifying key transportation and other infrastructure improvements.

Get involved in the Southwest Corridor Plan

Join Metro and project partner agencies from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 to learn about projected areas of growth in the corridor, discuss potential transit improvements and provide input on how investments will be made in your community.

You can also share your priorities for the SW Corridor using the online tool "shape Southwest" until December 31. "Shape Southwest" gives you the opportunity to share your ideas about how to invest limited resources in transportation improvements, parks and habitat, sidewalks, bikeways and roads. See how these investments affect safety, health, prosperity, access and mobility, while giving commuters better options to get where they need to go.

For more information on the Southwest Corridor Plan project or to participate in the Shape Southwest online tool, please visit the website at