The Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association (NA) voted Monday to support an area coalition’s vision for making the Foster Corridor safer and more livable. By no means representing a development guideline or request for strict adherence to it, the vision document drafted by the Foster Road Coalition signifies a collaborative effort by local residents who seek some semblance of control or influence in a city-dictated process, which, to some, has taken too long to address the wants and needs of the community.
Prompted into action by the numerous traffic accidents —some fatal— along Foster Road, the coalition behind the vision document is simply seeking to draw more community input into the process of effecting real and lasting changes on Foster. Some of the changes sought are directly related to the upcoming refresh of the Foster Streetscape Plan, which is nearly 10 years in the making. Much of the sentiment outlined in the document represents the views, concerns, and hopes expressed by residents who took part in community meetings and surveys over the last several months.
Currently, the city’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is creating a stakeholders advisory committee (SAC) to jumpstart the planning process for the streetscape plan. And while this SAC will assist with community outreach and ensuring, to some extent, the plans represent the needs of area residents, businesses, and organizations, it has also been hand-picked by the city and may not adequately grasp the energy and activism taking place at the local level. And thus, the Foster Road Coalition can in some fashion act as an independent source for collaborating at a grass roots level, while also providing community-based input if the city so seeks it.
For this effort to truly make an impact, however, more collaboration will need to take place, and getting the participation of a wider cross section of the Foster area will be key. The ideals for Foster may vary greatly, but the goal for a better corridor remains the same. To get more involved, or to hear what the next steps may be, you’re encouraged to contact the transportation chairs in the Mt. Scott-Arleta and Foster-Powell Neighborhood Associations.