(June 11, 2014) – The Portland City Council today unanimously approved a Portland Bureau of Transportation plan for Foster Road that will improve safety from SE Powell Boulevard to SE 90th Avenue as well as enhance the streetscape to make the corridor more attractive and accessible for businesses and residents.
“Today we have a shared, pressing responsibility to ensure that all Portlanders—regardless of their zip code—have the access to the basic transportation infrastructure that is the backbone of thriving, safe communities,” said Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
“Foster Road is one of our High Crash Corridors, meaning it is one of ten areas in Portland that has the highest need for safety improvements. We have an ambitious goal of providing the vibrant and distinctive neighborhoods along the Foster Road corridor with safe streets and walkable communities. Today we moved forward with implementing the fruit of this labor,” he said.
That Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan will convert the four lane high-speed corridor into a three-lane street that includes a center lane for turning traffic, bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks and streetscape enhancements such as additional trees and lighting.
The new street configuration is designed to significantly reduce all crashes along the road, which has been the site of more than 1,200 crashes and eight fatalities in the last decade. PBOT projects a 20 percent reduction in all crashes after the project is complete. Construction is scheduled for 2016.
The improvements also mean that Foster Road will become more of a Main Street destination than a throughway. Through traffic is expected to be slowed by about three minutes at peak hours.
The plan was approved with significant public support during the 18-month planning process and at the Council hearing. During planning, more than 450 people attended five open houses, which is a larger than usual turnout, and 80 percent of comments supported the plan’s recommendations.
Funding for the $5.25 million capital project has been secured from sources outside the transportation bureau: $3 million are from federal funds, $2.25 million are urban renewal funds from the Portland Development Commission’s Lents Urban Renewal Area.
Find more information, including a two page fact sheet at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/57866