Road Diets and Clowns

As many of you may have already read, PBOT has released its cross-section recommendations for Foster Road.  In essence, that means PBOT has chosen a preferred option for traffic configuration on Foster, and the stakeholder advisory committee (SAC) gets to endorse it (or not) through a vote.

Foster United detailed PBOT’s recommendation in an article yesterday, while also soliciting more feedback in advance of the SAC’s own evaluation of the plan.  Tweaks will be made, for sure, so continued input is important.  The SAC meets tonight, from 6 -8 pm, at SE Works.

What they’ll get to evaluate?

50's - 72nd

Cross-section recommendation for Foster, between 52nd and 72nd

– A proposed road diet, from SE 52nd to 88th.  This would reconfigure the current layout of four travel lanes (two in each direction) into three (one in each direction with a center turn lane)
– The addition of six-foot bike lanes in each direction
– The loss of pro-time parking on one side of Foster, from 72nd to 80th, to accommodate the addition of bike lanes
– The extension of sidewalks, from five feet to nine, between 84th and 90th
– The elimination of parking to accommodate widened sidewalks and added bike lanes in that same stretch

Thoughts and sentiments.

The battle to reshape Foster has been hard fought…and not just by advocates pressing the city to address safety concerns.  Much of the battle has been between factions within the neighborhoods, some of whom share widely different views of how Foster should look.  On one end of the spectrum, increased travel times due to a road diet has been portrayed as unfairly burdensome to folks living east of 82nd.  On the other end, many believe that increased travel times are well worth the added safety and livability features that would contribute to Foster’s ability to thrive as a neighborhood street.  Out of this argument has come accusation of inequity, unfair planning process, and even jabs at the makeup of Dingo and Olivefolks within the impacted neighborhoods.

So, if you want to see all of that come to a head tonight—or, if you just want to be part of the process and offer your input—this evening’s your chance.  It could be a bit of a circus.

And speaking of circus, and clowns in particular…

Dingo Dizmal and Olive Rootbeer are back at Pieper Cafe today for storytime.  Yes, clowns on Foster.  Every Wednesday at Pieper, 3 pm.  Oh, and bring the kids—because if you didn’t, that would be weird.

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