Since 2003, Foster Road has been eagerly waiting for a city-adopted, collaboratively planned facelift. This facelift, long overdue, and hoped for well before 2003, has become somewhat of rallying point for many in the neighborhood, including those in Mt. Scott-Arleta. The Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan, as it is known, was drafted by city planners, transportation officials, and a citizens advisory committee, many of whom are from Foster-Powell. In July of the same year, the City of Portland adopted the plan, which meant funding was the only thing in between adoption and implementation.
Nearly nine years later, it appears as if the Foster Streetscape Plan is not only gaining traction, but slated to receive a serious shot in the arm. With $2 million earmarked from the Portland Development Commission (PDC), and an additional $1.25 million in regional flexible funds, Foster Road will indeed see its facelift.
Now it’s a matter of when, and how much change will we see.
With the inclusion of Foster Road (west of 82nd) in the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area (LTCURA), naturally, there is some level of bureaucracy that also stands in the way. However, that is more about the process, as opposed to its laying dormant and forgotten about up until a couple years ago. Part of the process now includes reviewing the plan and seeing how current trends and planning goals fit into it. That means a new study will be conducted, with a likely refreshing of the plan to include the possibility of bike facilities and a future streetcar.
At the LTCURA’s January Citizen Advisory Committee meeting, the PDC presented a briefing sheet on this “Refresh of the Foster Streetscape Plan,” laying out some of the details on funding that’s been secured, as well as specific areas along Foster they want to focus on. For example, the vacant lot on 72nd and Foster is owned by the PDC, and they’ve identified that as a key area for improvement. As such, the “heart of Foster,” between 63rd and 67th, will also be a center of focus.
As the PDC has implemented a new Foster Corridor Investment Strategy, stemming from the Foster Lents Integration Partnership (FLIP), the review and amending of the streetscape plan will largely take place through this channel, with the PDC and Portland Bureau of Transportation overseeing the project. There will be another round of community outreach and workshopping around the plan, with an anticipated project start date at the end of 2013.
This is all good news for those who depend on Foster Road for commercial needs, as a mode of transportation, or simply live nearby. For more information, you can email us directly or contact the PDC or PBOT.