Remember when Foster was going to get all snazzed up?
We were all the buzz. Our deadly thoroughfare was in the city’s cross-hairs. And the planners saw room for adding livability features, too, such as bike infrastructure and trees.
We were the talk of the town—a major city thoroughfare cutting diagonally through a wide swath of Southeast (and part of East) Portland, ripe for transforming the way the city plans for safe and sustainable streets.
And then that talk stopped.
The last Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting was in December, simply serving as a follow up to the December 5th open house in which the city presented the proposed plan to the public. A survey was conducted at that open house, and the results showed overwhelming support for the proposal. The follow-up SAC meeting a few weeks later marked 15 months since the committee met for the first time in September, 2012.
At that first meeting, the agenda gave the following timeline for the process:
“The planning process is expected to last approximately 10‐12 months. At the end of the process a Draft Plan will be developed for adoption by City Council in 2013.”
In theory, a 2013 adoption by City Council would have put construction’s start in the summer of 2014.
Well, it is 2014. And summer is just a few months away. City Council has yet to be presented with a formal plan, let alone adopt it.
If we use the timeline above as a guide, the design phase would take place from Fall through Spring of the following year. Call it a six-month phase. Construction could then (theoretically) take place a couple months after that, which would span several months into the following year.
Since there’s yet to be word of a presentation to City Council, we can assume we’re 6, 7, or maybe 8 months away from allowing proper design time for construction. And that’s a minimum…if (and only if) City Council sees the plan in the next month or two. Oh, and then they have to adopt it.
Preliminary engineering would then commence.
So when will that be?
As we approach Spring, we’re within a few months of being a year beyond the originally stated timeframe. At that pace, 2016 could be the earliest we see the project completed. “Could” is the operative word.
Now we have to hope Foster Road remains a priority for the city, and that the already allocated funds will be put to use in our neighborhood. The next step still is getting City Council approval…when that will be is still unknown.
Hopefully good news is on the horizon…