1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
Halsey-Weidler Streetscape project to be completed Spring 2018. Illustration courtesy of the Portland Development Commission.
The purpose of the Gateway to Opportunity project is to use streets to connect people to opportunities. Gateway is an area that has been historically underinvested. It is a part of Portland where people have not had safe infrastructure to walk, bike, or take transit. The result of these streets that have been difficult to cross on foot is that they have acted as barriers to opportunity. The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) recent and upcoming safety improvements are aimed at changing that.
The focus area in Gateway will be used to improve livability, create more convenient transit connections, encourage bicycling, and contribute to increased safety. PBOT expects the results of these investments to be improved quality of life and better connections to schools, parks, neighborhood businesses, and public transit.
PBOT’s intends to supplement its infrastructure investments with Sunday Parkways. Sunday Parkways is PBOT’s highly successful open streets program where the City opens up 7 miles of streets for walking and biking 5 times over the course of the summer. One of the goals of Sunday Parkways is to highlight recent and upcoming walking and biking improvements in the area. As part of our Gateway to Opportunity project, we are bringing Sunday Parkways to Gateway for the first time on August 20, 2017. More information about Sunday Parkways can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/58929
The funding for these projects will come from a variety of sources including Fixing our Streets funding, Oregon Department of Transportation, City of Portland General Fund, Portland Development Commission, and transportation system development charges (TSDCs). TSDCs are fees paid by developers to offset the transportation impacts of new development.
The Gateway to Opportunity focus area is also part of a national effort to develop best practices related to multimodal network connectivity. In other words, the City is looking at best practices to connect people who are walking, biking, and taking transit through low-stress connections like neighborhood greenways and rapid flashing beacons.
Portland was chosen from a nationwide competition of 78 cities to be one of 10 partner cities focused on improving bicycle networks. This nationwide competition was hosted by People for Bikes which is a national non-profit focused on improving bicycling in America. The name of their nationwide challenge is called “The Big Jump”.
Portland worked with a number of community organizations including East Portland Action Plan’s Land Use & Transportation committee, Friends of Gateway Green, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Oregon Walks, and The Street Trust to put together a proposal centered on how bicycle infrastructure in Gateway would increase access to parks, transit, and employment opportunities. Portland’s proposal for this national challenge was titled “Gateway to Opportunity” for two reasons. First, our goal was to highlight that bicycles can be a tool to help people access economic opportunity and second, because the focus area that was chosen in partnership with community stakeholders is in Gateway.
The proposal area boundary is I-205 bike path to the west, I-84 to the north, NE 132nd Ave to the east (the 130’s bikeway), and E. Burnside to the south connecting to Tri-Met’s Blue Line MAX service. As part of this effort, PBOT is also focusing on key connections for walking and bicycling across I-205 and I-84.
PBOT staff will use information from this effort to determine best practices for bicycle network connectivity and share best practices with other cities across America.
PBOT would like to acknowledge and thank the Portland Development Commission for its efforts in funding safe transportation infrastructure in Gateway.
Questions about the Gateway to Opportunity project?
Please contact Project Manager Timur Ender at Timur.Ender@portlandoregon.gov