It’s been 10 years since a plan was adopted to beautify Foster. That plan called for street trees, ornamental lighting, public art and benches, and a gateway sign for the neighborhood. In the decade since, that plan sat unfunded in some file cabinet at City Hall. Or at PBOT’s headquarters while other improvements were made city-wide. In that same timespan, numerous traffic fatalities brought the streetscape plan back into focus, with an added emphasis on pedestrian safety.
More than two years ago, the PDC pledged $2 million to help get the dusty streetscape plan off the ground. A year after that, PBOT had taken over the project and was knee-deep in a process to refresh the original plan so as to reflect the changing needs of the neighborhood, as well as new city-wide planning principles (i.e. adding bike facilities). And just a few months ago, the streetscape plan secured its second Metro grant, bringing the funding for the project up to $5.25 million. At the same time, PBOT and a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) began narrowing down options for a new traffic configuration on Foster.
The result: a PBOT-recommended and SAC-approved reconfiguration of Foster Road that will calm traffic conditions, increase pedestrian and bike use, and improve overall safety. The new configuration calls for a reduction of vehicular travel lanes—from four to two—with an added, center turn lane. The bonus? Room for bike lanes in each direction.
There are many more elements to this plan, and PBOT will be presenting them to the community for final feedback before taking it to City Council. There will be an open house this Thursday, Dec 5, for you to get a glimpse of the plan and make any final comments. SE Works (7916 SE Foster) , 6 – 8 p.m.