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Policy Background Document

Updated:  August 24, 2007

St Johns MTIP

Policy Background


This memorandum summarizes the following City ofPortlandtransportation policy documents that are directly relevant to the St Johns MTIP Project:


  • Transportation System Plan (2003)
  • St Johns/LombardPlan (2004)
  • St Johns Truck Strategy (2000)


City of Portland

Transportation System Plan (TSP)

The TSP is the City’s primary transportation policy document that guides transportation decision making.  It is a state requirement of all jurisdictions to demonstrate how they intend to meet state mandated requirements and goals for transportation planning.  There are three main elements to the TSP: a) policies, both citywide and specific to the city’s seven transportation districts, b) street classifications that define the intended function of all streets, c) and a large list of system improvement projects that are intended to be implemented in the next 20 years to support of the policies and street classifications.   The TSP is updated every five years.

Web link:



Policy 6.34 North Transportation District

Reinforce neighborhood livability and commercial activity by planning and investing in a multi-modal transportation network, relieving traffic congestion, through measures that reduce transportation demand, and routing non-local and industrial traffic along the edges of residential areas.

Project specific objectives:

Objective A:  Improve truck and freight movement inNorth Portlandthrough changes to the street system, street classifications, and signing to enhance the economic vitality of the area and minimize impacts on residential, commercial , and recreation areas.

Objective B:  Support efficient functioning of theN Marine Dr/ N Lombard (west ofPhiladelphia)/N Columbia Blvdloop as the truck and commuter access to the Rivergate industrial area and adjacent industrial areas.

Objective C:  Direct industrial traffic ontoN Columbia Blvd, while allowing limited access from residential neighborhoods and mitigating for unacceptable traffic impacts.

Objective E:  Work with the Federal Highway Commission and ODOT to remove the US 30 Bypass designation fromPhiladelphiaand Lombard, west of martinLuther King Jr Blvd, and relocate it to more appropriate streets to minimize impacts to theSt Johnstown center andLombardmain street.

Objective J:  Improve pedestrian and bicycle access within theSt Johnstown center and from nearby destinations, includingPierPark, the Columbia Slough, and Smith andBybeeLakes.

Objective L:  Complete the sidewalk system inNorth Portland, including enhanced pedestrian crossings on streets with high volumes of vehicle traffic.


Street Classifications:

Every street within the City’s entire street network is classified in terms of how it is intended to function for each mode of travel.  Definitions of each classification can be found within the TSP, pages 2-1 – 2-35.




east of bridge


west of bridge

St Louis/ Lombard north of St Louis


District Collector

Major City Traffic

Major City Traffic


Transit Access

Transit Access

Transit Access


City Bikeway

City Bikeway

City Bikeway


Pedestrian District

Pedestrian District

Pedestrian District/ City Walkway





Emergency Response




Street Design

Community Corridor




TSP System Improvements project list

Each transportation district with the City has a list of projects that have been identified as needed to achieve the district’s and City’s policy goals for that district.  To be on this list is crucial in terms of moving a project forward, particularly in terms of funding. 

Specific to the St Johns MTIP Project:


St Johns Pedestrian District, N

Enhance pedestrian access to transit, improve safety, and enhance streetscape such as better lighting and crossings.  Improvements include realigning the ‘ivy’ island. curb extensions, and a new traffic signal at Richmond/Lombard (should read Ivanhoe), and pedestrian connections between St Johns and the riverfront based on the St Johns/Lombard Plan.

$1,000,000  (Years 1-5)


Lombard/St Louis/ Ivanhoe: Multi-modal Improvements

Implement signal and pedestrian crossing improvements to improve pedestrian safety and freight flow.



Other related St Johns Projects:


Lombard,St JohnsBridgetoMLK Jr. Blvd: Bikeway

Stripe bike lanes onto existing roadway.


Lombard,Taylorto Woolsey

Implement main street improvements along N Lombard consistent with the St Johns/ Lombard Plan.


St Johns Truck Strategy

Web link:

Adopted by City Council in 2001, the goal of the St Johns Truck Strategy is to reduce or eliminate conflicts between freight movement and neighborhood livability within theSt JohnsTownCenter.  By Council directive, the Strategy is intended to provide a near term solution to this problem, acknowledging that permanent fix probably entails a relatively large, expensive project.  The policy intent to pursue a long-term fix is addressed in the TSP as a refinement plan (North Willamette Crossing). 

The basic challenge is to provide a transportation system inSt Johnsthat supports efficient  freight access connections between theSt JohnsBridge, Rivergate and other nearby industrial districts, while at the same time supporting the revitalization of theSt JohnsTownCenter.  A key transportation issue associated with revitalization is improving the pedestrian environment within the town center. 

The Strategy addresses the near-term goal of reducing the conflict noted above by creating a phased package of incentive and disincentive projects designed to make sure freight movement through the St Johns area uses the appropriate freight route- Columbia Blvd to Burgard to Lombard/ St Louis/ Ivanhoe and the St Johns Bridge.  The Strategy identified four projects along the designated freight route designed primarily to improve the efficiency of the route, and four other projects designed primarily to discourage freight use of non-designated freight routes (chiefly Fessenden) and mitigate the safety /livability impacts on other modes along the designated freight route. 

The City Council via St Johns/ Lombard Plan clarified the phasing of the eight total projects by directing that the truck street projects TSI Area No. 1 and No.2 and an upgrade of the weight restricted  Burgard Bridge be completed before any of the four safety/livability projects move forward (page 55, action item TC 6).  Currently, through MTIP, TSI Area No. 1 and No.2 are funded for construction, andBurgardBridge is funded for construction via an OTIA grant from the State ofOregon.


St Johns/ Lombard Plan

Web link:

Adopted by City Council in 2004, the St Johns/ Lombard Plan is comprehensive land use and transportation plan for revitalizing the St Johns Town Center.  The plan recommends a variety of transportation improvements, primarily related to improving the pedestrian environment within the commercial core and access to the core from the surrounding neighborhood.  The MTIP project is intended to implement the pedestrian crossing improvements identified in the St Johns/ Lombard Plan.

The St Johns/ Lombard Plan recommends 9 crossing improvements within the town center, grouped into two tiers of priority.  The specific design of each location is not specified, with the intent of a follow-up process which would confirm the priority locations, identify a specific design (curb extension vs. median vs. other) and mitigate any associated issues (on-street parking impacts, transit service, traffic operations, etc.) using the design guidelines also contain in the plan (page 85).  Additionally, there a new signal proposed at the intersection ofRichmond/ Ivanhoe to improve pedestrian crossing safety.

Pedestrian Crossing Improvements Design Guidelines

  • Involve the local neighborhood associations, business associations, adjacent property owners and surrounding community into the design process.
  • Design improvements that improve pedestrian safety and enhance access to commercial destinations and transit service.
  • Design improvements that directly support the urban development concept’s land use vision and objectives.
  • Design improvements that minimize impacts to traffic flow, turn movements and on-street parking.
  • If curb extensions are proposed at transit stops, bus zones (no curb extensions) should be placed at the following stop to reduce impacts to traffic flow.


Action Items (pages 53-57):

TC 1

Richmond/ Ivanhoe: add full traffic signal

Next 5 years

TC 4

Baltimore/ Ivanhoe: evaluate upgrading the existing traffic signal to improve traffic access and circulation from the riverfront.

6-10 years

TC 6

Truck access to theSt JohnsBridge- short term: support implementation of the entire St Johns Truck Strategy.  The improvements should control vehicle speeds consistent with the posted speed limit and ensure adequate signage to control trucks near Reno/Lombard pedestrian crossing.  Evaluate potential for special surface treatments and signage to direct freight to appropriate routes.  Ensure the completion of the St Johns Truck Strategy projects to improve freight capacity (TCI 1 and 2 and improvements to the Burgard Bridge) on the designated Lombard/ Burgard/ Columbia Blvd freight route to handle volume and physical loads before implementing traffic calming and safety elements (TC/S 2 and 3) of the St Johns truck Strategy.


Next 5 years

TC 14

Provide curb extensions at the following priority intersections along Ivanhoe:Richmond, John (orCharleston) andNew York; and atSt Louis/ Central (consider refuge island).  When placing curb extensions at transit stops, bus zones should be placed periodically within the sequence of transit stops to reduce impacts to traffic flow.  Use the design guidelines listed in Section 5B, Transportation Implementation Tools.

Next 5 years

TC 15

Evaluate the potential for curb extensions at the following town center intersections: Ivanhoe/Charleston (or John), Invanhoe/Chicago, Richmond/Willamette, andCharleston betweenJamesJohnSchool and the library.  Also evaluate Lombard/Charleston if TC 5 is implemented.  Evaluate curb extensions at Lombard/John and Lombard/Leavitt, if they are not placed at transit stops and there is no resulting on-street parking loss.  Consider a raised crosswalk onCharleston Street between the school and library.  When placing curb extensions at transit stops, bus zones should be placed periodically within the sequence of transit stops to reduce impacts to traffic flow.  Use the design guidelines listed in Section B, Transportation Implementation Tools.


TC 16

Evaluate the potential for improving pedestrian crossings at Philadelphia/ Ivanhoe as part of any intersection improvements, particularly acrossPhiladelphia west of Ivanhoe.  Provide and improved, direct pedestrian connection from the plaza to thePhiladelphia/ Ivanhoe intersection as part of any intersection re-design work (coordinate with HR5).

Next 5 years

MS 19

Until the Freight Master Plan is adopted, accommodate over-dimensional freight needs in design of improvements toLombard, including height requirements, curb-to-curb dimensions, planting plans, median locations, light fixture placement, street signs and turn radius as part of the engineering process.




MTIP Grant

A condition placed on the MTIP grant funding also guides the design process by acknowledging the relationship between the St Johns Truck Strategy and theSt Johns/ Lombard Plan:


Both the pedestrian and freight elements of the St Johns improvements shall be designed and constructed in tandem.  The design process shall include involvement of community residents, businesses and area freight interests to ensure the design is consistent with the St Johns Truck Strategy and the St Johns Town Center and Lombard Main Street Plan.