East Portland Access to Employment & Education is a transportation project that will provide workers and families of all incomes lower cost access to jobs, businesses and education opportunities by building and improving sidewalks, street crossings, bus stops, bikeway facilities and other safety improvements in East Portland.
The project consists of the following elements:
- Sidewalk infill and new bike lanes on SE Cherry Blossom Drive / 102nd Avenue / 103rd Avenue between Washington Street and Market Street.
- Sidewalk infill and new bike lanes on SE Market Street between 92nd and 130th Avenue, also known as the “4M Bikeway/Walkway.”
- 100s Neighborhood Greenway extension from SE Bush Street to NE Klickitat Street (4.1 miles of low traffic streets and multi-use paths).
- 150s Neighborhood Greenway from NE Halsey Street to SE Powell Boulevard (3.7 miles of low traffic streets and multi-use paths).
- Transit safety, comfort and access improvements at bus stops, including seven new or enhanced pedestrian/bicycle crossings (rapid flash beacons or pedestrian hybrid signals) on arterial streets including NE Halsey Street, NE Glisan Street, SE Stark Street, SE Division Street, SE and SE Powell Boulevard.
Together, these improvements will enhance access to major employment hubs and business districts including the Gateway Regional Center, Mall 205, Halsey-Weidler Business District, Division-Midway District and the Rosewood Initiative District. The project will also improve pedestrian/bicycle access to eight public schools including David Douglas High School, Floyd Light Middle School and Glenfair Elementary School. Transit access improvements will help residents connect to more distant employment and education centers including downtown Portland, Clackamas County, Portland International Airport and the Columbia Corridor, via light rail or bus. In addition, the project will connect to major community open spaces including Gateway Discovery Park, Kelly Butte, Glenfair Park and Parklane Park.
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Much of east Portland developed in the mid-20th century when transportation infrastructure and land use patterns were oriented toward the automobile. As a result, many streets lack sidewalks, bicycle facilities and safe crossings; street connectivity is poor; and most major streets have five lanes and traffic speeds of 35 to 50 mph. Serious injury and crash records collected over the last ten years indicate a person is more likely to be killed walking, biking and driving in east Portland than in any other part of Portland.
At the same time, east Portland has experienced significant infill development and has attracted many families and individuals with lower incomes, including people that do not have access or cannot afford to use an automobile. Investments in pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure are needed to help people of all income levels reach destinations, particularly education and employment sites that provide “ladders of opportunity” for people to improve their economic prospects.
In 2012, Portland City Council adopted East Portland in Motion, a five-year implementation strategy for active transportation projects east of 82nd Avenue. Developed in partnership with the diverse neighborhoods and organizations of east Portland, the strategy identified over $80 million in walking, biking and transit access projects to pursue with existing and future funding. With East Portland in Motion as a guide, PBOT has continued to seek federal, state and local funding to implement the projects recommended in the strategy.
In 2013, as part of Metro regional government’s recurring allocation of federal transportation dollars, $33.8 million in unanticipated additional funding became available for the Portland region to invest in transportation projects in the 2016-2018 time frame. The Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, consisting of local elected officials, decided to brand these extra funds as a “Regional Economic Opportunity Fund” and worked with city and county staff to identify five transportation projects that would spur economic development throughout the region.
The City of Portland decided to invest its share of the Regional Economic Opportunity Fund in the continued implementation of East Portland in Motion. PBOT staff put together the $8.3 million proposal for East Portland Access to Employment & Education, consisting of sidewalk infill, neighborhood greenways, bike lanes and crosswalks that had been identified in East Portland in Motion and prioritized by community leaders, but not yet funded. $3 million of the funds were dedicated to pedestrian/bicycle improvements on SE Powell Boulevard, and that money was transferred to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) through an intergovernmental agreement.
The remaining $5 million, plus a local match, resulted in a total project budget of $5,869,831. Portland City Council accepted the federal grant from ODOT in September 2016.
Project design began in December 2016. Design is anticipated to be complete in the fall of 2018, with construction taking place in spring-summer 2019.
This project is funded primarily by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, disbursed through the Oregon Department of Transportation. A 10.27% local match is required and funded by the City of Portland. See Project Background for more details on how federal funds were allocated to this project.
PBOT staff have been visiting the affected neighborhood associations and will be contacting property owners and residents directly affected by the project. Feel free to contact the project manager with any questions, concerns or ideas related to the project: