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Monday, September 17, 2012

Portland City Hall car haters eye Foster Road

The Portland planners have a plan for Foster Road in the southeast part of town -- and surprise! It involves removing a lane of auto traffic in each direction, in favor of bike lanes, bioswales, and probably restaurant tables:

We envision lane reductions for regular car traffic as a way to make Foster Road a better and safer street for all modes of transportation.

Lane reductions will free up space for bike lanes, on-street parking, bus-stop pull-outs, turn lanes, curb extensions for safer crosswalks, and other safety and livability enhancements. Lane reductions will also reduce excessive speeding, improve yielding, and increase safety for people crossing the street.

City Hall has even started up a "stakeholder advisory committee" to oversee "improving" Foster, which carries something like 24,000 cars a day at the moment. And guess who's on it. Bicycle activists! Pedestrian activists! Here's the first agenda.

They will not rest until the theme park extends to the furthest reaches of the region. No one should use streets like Foster to commute to an actual job. Which is why there are so few real jobs in this town any more.

Comments (43)

Started reading those docs, Jack, and had to pause after looking at the City's Bureau of Transportation logo composed of those swooshy industrially-impressionistic highway lanes.

Maybe the new administration, be it Char-Lie's or Nutcracker's, should change it to Tarzan swings instead.

It may be the only way left to get around on time -- if Tri-Met doesn't keep cutting down our trees for trains, that is.

Hey, it's the "progressive" way!!

The plan you linked appears to be developed by the local business association and two (or three) affected neighborhood associations. If that is the case I would say they are bringing it on themselves.

They should contact Wally Remmers and see if he wants to develop a few 80 unit cell blocks in their multi-modal wonderland. Keep him and other moral slobs out of neighborhoods that don't want them.

Well, we don't have to guess how this is going to end; PDOT already has a track record in Lents, and it's dismal.

There is the Foster Road light rail station on the Green Line -- a big concrete eyesore with virtually no transportation function, and a creepy place to spend any time. Not exactly an incentive to do business in the neighborhood.

Then just to the north we have the 30-block mega-bikeway on Holgate from 92nd to 122nd, where two entire auto lanes were removed about 3 years ago. The ostensible purpose was to provide for safe bike passage to the new Holgate light rail station on the Green line, but in 4 different periods of field monitoring out there, I never saw a single person bicycling on the mega bikeway to the LRT station, and very few cyclists going anywhere.

This is such an escape from reality. Can't Portland planners just get a job at Pixar and leave the rest of us alone?

And what "expediting stakeholder community educationalist" consulting company (manned by former city, county, metro or state employees) has landed the contract to measure and influence public opinion on THIS project?

to measure and influence public opinion on THIS project

Influence public opinion, or "influence" survey results?

All the same old stuff! The fix is in.
So sad; Portland used to be a decent place to work and live. Now there's no place left to work and the living' ain't easy, unless you work for the multi modal hipster tweeters and influence peddlers.

I would never, never, never condone what Timothy McVeigh did, but now I can sense his frustration with bureaucrats.

You know, they have to kill this one. It's one of the last efficient thoroughfares that allows travel in and out of the city. NE Burnside was wrecked with light rail. Same with N Interstate. McLoughlin will be wrecked with light rail, SW Barbur will be wrecked with rail, and SW Macadam will be wrecked with the streetcar that LO residents have been fooled into thinking they're not going to get.

It's all part of the city's mandatory shutdown of all personal travel except by foot, bike, or city controlled transit (if it's running).

Forced segregation of neighborhoods probably helps keep down the cost of controlling civil unrest, too.

Usually I don't agree with you on most bike stuff but this time it's going too far.There is a bike path on Woodstock. The holgate bike lane gets zero use and that is no joke.

Foster Road is a major corridor for auto traffic in S.E., and I used to commute on it for almost a decade. As mentioned by the previous poster a substantial bike lane already exists on S.E. Woodstock to the south. S.E. Division also has a significant bike lane to the north up to S.E. 82nd, which shifts over to S.E. Clinton west of 82nd. Foster Rd. is a death trap for cyclists,(Joey Harrington almost got killed on a bike at 88th and Foster), and pedestrians get hit all the time between 62nd and 82nd trying to cross four lanes of 40 plus mile an hour traffic. The logical solution is to encourage bike transportation on the side streets, step up traffic enforcement to slow down the speeders, and put in more pedestrian crossings. Doing a massively expensive infrastructure project that discourages automobile traffic is not an intelligent solution to a problem that can be fixed with less cost and little to no impact on the flow of auto traffic on a critical corridor in S.E.

Sorry, you have your information incorrect. That document did not come from city planners. That document is a visioning document which came from a coalition of the neighborhood associations (and business association) listed on the front cover. Before making claims about the fix being in, you might want to do a bit more fact checking. While lane reductions might be the desire of people living in parts of the corridor, feasibility studies haven't even been done yet, and the city planners have yet to take a position. Everybody just settle down.

I believe erica is correct. The plan linked is not a CoP document. If it was a city document it would have called for a street car line and no parking.

Do they ever add lanes?

Erica, we are not as stupid as you think we are. In Portland, the fix is always, always, always, always in. A "bike diet" for Foster is a done deal, and only an idiot would believe otherwise.

Good lord. I didn't accuse you of being stupid. It's just a fact that your information was incorrect. This is why I don't post comments on websites. Total lack of civility.

Years ago, when the Portland Bicycle & Pedestrian program was still in its infancy (and when the City didn yet support Bike to Work day in any way, shape or form), one of the first priorities was to design and publish a map that included suggested biking routes not using major arterials. The idea was to avoid heavy traffic.

The map was originally designed by veteran commuters who understood how to get safely around the City. Of course at that time, with exception of summer riders, the cyclists on the road were mostly commuters. The sport riders were either going outside the city for planned group rides or at USCF-managed events.

When actual bike lanes were proposed, which wasn't often (because it was nearly always done when some kind of federal funding was available and then there was a scramble to do something RIGHT AWAY or lose the money), the process always included several neighborhood hearings where the committee would normally get an earful, mostly from taxpayers who didn't want to lose their onstreet parking. This scotched more than a few projected lanes because, while TriMet could preemptively annex curbside footage for stops, etc., the City of Portland bike program couldn't without a process. Thus the popularity of the map.

Unless I had no other choice, I wouldn't ride on Foster, esp not in the heavily-trafficked area near the Powell intersection, the "death intersections" of 82nd, etc.

Has some City wonk decided that commuters are going to start crossing the Ross Island Bridge in huge numbers? Brrrrrrr.

It's just a fact that your information was incorrect.

But it isn't. I didn't say the first link was to a city document -- but I did suggest that it was the city's plan. And come on, of course it is the city's plan. Mayor Creepy himself wants to "prioritize" every means of transportation other than a car. No new "plan" for any Portland street over the last 20 years has ever resulted in helping traffic move. Every "plan" has been to put bikes where they don't belong and try in vain to stop people from driving.

Whoever you are, Erica, you're either a shill for the city or someone who hasn't been paying attention.

bus-stop pull-outs

Funny - the current move is away from bus pull-outs because it creates a safety hazard as buses pull back into traffic, often unable to see ignorant bicyclists that pass into a bus's blind spot rather than stop and wait behind the bus.

I actually find Foster currently SAFER because there are two lanes and thus it is safer to pass buses and bikes in the right lane. Foster is generally a smooth-moving street owing to fewer signallized intersections. Yes, pedestrian crossings DO need to be improved, but you don't fix pedestrian crossing issues by "fixing" what isn't broke and has nothing to do with pedestrians. You fix them by fixing the problems. Portland's approach is far too often to take a half-baked idea, and overcooking it four times over in the oven.

Even if a Foster road business coalition or a neighborhood association wants this I'm against it. Sorry but Foster is mostly a road for people to get out past 82nd. If you own a business on Foster likely you knew what type of street Foster is when you bought a building there or leased space there. We need some roads to be realtively high speed high capacity vehicle movers. Cheap rent and cheap buildings are cheap because they are on Foster. Move if want more foot and bicycle traffic.

The coalition of neighborhood association does not include all the affected areas especially those east of 82nd. And they have not been welcoming to those with dissenting views. Something like TPTB, the 'coalition' is a homogenous group of like-minded individuals, who are smarter than the rest of us louts. Imagine "Heathers" . . . . just older.

The idea that there is a problem addding time on working peoples commute from the places that have living wage jobs is lost on them.

I guess it was our turn at bat with the young creatives set.

I went to a "Future of Foster Road" meeting oh, about three years ago, and there's a bit of bait-and-switch going on here. Back then, Foster had to reworked in order to accomodate a light rail (or maybe it was streetcar) line.
I feel cheated.

I bet the people that have to cross Foster would be happy with slower traffic. There's been a lot of pedestrians killed there.

Portland Dept of Transportation is now involved...they are NOT a neighborhood association or a business group.
The fix is in, and the "cars are evil" folks are ready to strike another street off the map. Just how do they think any goods will be delivered to grocery stores? Oh silly me by cargo bikes of course.
Great, we will all be reduced to "coolie transport" in 10 years or less. Even the Chinese have given up on that idea!
erica, I don't know how old you are, but if you are still young enough to ride a bike, try and imagine being SO old and infirm, that you cannot walk or ride a bike and a vehicle is your only viable mode of transport.
Try, just try, perhaps you have an elderly relative you could consult with on the difficulties of using public transportation at age 60 or even 70 or 80.

Plus, Tri-Met service gets worse and worse even if public transit were an option. In a few years, Tri-Met will be bankrupt.

"That document is a visioning document which came from a coalition of the neighborhood associations (and business association) listed on the front cover."

Oh how fresh. A coalition and association are representing the public. That can't be anything other than wholesome.

"lane reductions might be the desire of people living in parts of the corridor,"

Of course it is. And those would be the same people chosen for the committees to chose the "locally preferred option" for the whole corridor.

"feasibility studies haven't even been done yet, and the city planners have yet to take a position."

And those are always objective and accurate so that planners can make wise impartial choices.

"Everybody just settle down".

That is hilarious. It's the same message told to the Clackistanis the entire time the Light Rail invasion has been underway in Clackamas County.

I have a better idea. Fire all the planners and stop all of the wasteful, unneeded planning until voters approve it.

The public never authorized the spending of countless millions on the endless planning of plans for the sake of plans the voters would not approve.

I'd bet dollars to donuts there was a PDOT planner facilitating the meetings that drew up that document.

Mr. Grumpy - Lake Oswegans are not fooled about a potential streetcar to LO. As long as Homer has his hands in our pockets with Foothills, there will be plenty of politicians and hucksters ready to reverse the "hold" on the streetcar. We are backing candidates for mayor and council who will put LO, not Metro first. And that is NOT Greg Macpherson, streetcar supporter, Junto member, secret schemer and planner for Oregon. It isn't just PDX that's in trouble - we all are. Blogs are good to let people know about the issues, but getting the creeps out of power is the end game.

I've lived in Foster Powell for 10 years, it's an affordable, diverse, community oriented neighborhood with a lot of new families moving in. We are surrounded by busy corridors and look to Foster as a walkable area to go out and support local businesses. According to Portland's Foster Road High Crash Corridor Report (2000-2009) of the over 2200 crashes on Foster, 71 involved pedestrians/bicyclists and 11 of those were fatalities. It's actually not that safe for any mode of transportation right now. So, I think we're all just looking for the obvious improvements (safety, trees, some essence of walkability). I hope there can be some compromise between residents and commuters.

There are no compromises when Portland planning is involved. The decisions have already been made. The public involvement is pure kabuki theater. You may get what you want, if it's what the planning cabal with its Portland State urban planning degrees wants. Go by streetcar!

Two things make SE Foster dangerous. People ignoring stop signs and drunk pedestrians. For example "Police say a man who was hit by a car and critically injured on Friday when he stepped out onto Foster Road was intoxicated.Gregory Thomas, 56, is in critical condition at a local hospital after he was struck on Foster Road between 70th and 71st. He was not in a crosswalk and suffered life threatening injuries.Police said at this point their investigation has found that the driver was not speeding and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police did not issue any citations." Solution stepped up traffic enforcement on SE Foster and investigation of some bars on SE Foster. Granted had the cars been going 25 instead of 35 maybe the pedestrians would have lived but taking out a lane of traffic in both directions and slowing traffic down is not the solution to these typtes of problems

So now that we have Bike Boulevards on Clinton St. and Gladstone / Center St. (north and south of Foster / Powell), as well as bike lanes on Holgate and Woodstock (north and south of Foster / Powell), we need it on Foster too? Gonna remove lanes from Powell next?

Utterly ridiculous.

"Gonna remove lanes from Powell next?"

Of course. Metro and TriMet have been planning a light rail line for Powell for years.

Just give them time...

Bob & Alices's has the best $1.00 Tacos in town each Friday afternoon starting at 4:30 pm.

Bob & Alice's Tavern
6517 Southeast Foster Road
Portland, OR 97206

The thing that "Foster Powell resident" doesn't understand is that the residents ARE commuters. This group is so insular that they may not know that folks who live on the Foster corridor use it to commute to work/school/transporting kids,etc.

And they are purposefully refusing to allow that fact to be part of the conversation. Thusly, setting up some false dynamic that outsiders are speeding through the neighborhood endangering the residents.

Pure kabuki meetings.
The "separate table" scheme works well to have an insider on each table to manage control! People are expected to sit at tables and pretty much go along with the program.
I Remember years ago when the public demanded a question and answer period and did not want to go to separate tables, then Commissioner Charlie Hales would not allow a public question and answer and told the people to go to their tables. Some still refused, but there was no public question and answer allowed for all to hear.

A marvelous opportunity to create Portland's first Parklet Corridor.

Where are the slots on the advisory committee for the drivers that pay the road user fees that will likely be raided to pay for everything? Without the financial stakeholder representation, this is just more discrimination from scammy Sammyboy and company. Dxxx arrogant bicyclists!

There ya go again- CoP claiming that 13 neighbors representing a whole neighborhood speaks for the 6200 people living in the neighborhood.And even worse affecting over 200,000 people that use this corridor.

Clineman- you were Delphied. Devide and conquer. We will never see a true Town Hall again - too dangerous. http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf001.htm.

It appears the link I posted does not work. Try googling "the Delphi I Technique. What is it?". It's not new anymore, but it is now the standard way for public meetings to be run so that the public is manipulated and controlled.

Is this something new? Earlier today I received a tidbit of information that as of October 1, recently passed federal transportation legislation will declare over 600 miles of city streets in Oregon as part of the National Highway System. Similar to the Interstates that run through Portland, the declaration would likely include highway routes through cities like US 26. Examples include streets such as Powell Blvd, Sandy Blvd, Lombard and 82nd Avenue. The information provided was less than extensive, but noted the new designation forces state and local governments to treat these arterials like major highways for the purpose of moving large volumes of cars and trucks as opposed to being designed specifically to accommodate bikes or transit options. Things like curb extensions that slow traffic would not be allowed.

Can anybody confirm or expand on this seemingly realistic and logical concept? If it is true, maybe PBOT will actually have to comply. Is it possible there there is an under cover God in Washington DC? As we all know, it definitely doesn't go by the name of Blumenauer.


Yes I have been there and our community has been Delphied. I found this link.
I am afraid you are right about not having true town hall meetings.
The city makes sure they have plenty of "their" kind of meetings so the citizens are kept busy and under their control.

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