How Foster Fits Into the Vision Zero Conversation

Streetscape II

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Dare we tempt fate and initiate a conversation about pedestrian, bike, and car safety on Foster?

Why, yes…yes we should. (Well, not really. But….)

In the spirit of the City’s adoption of Vision Zero—or at least their stated intentions to—we’ll offer a little teaser. We present to you, fine Foster people, the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Plan.

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Portland Bureau of Transportation

This is mostly for those who haven’t acquainted themselves with the plan yet, or, if they have, forgot about it in the years it’s been in the works. Design and construction are planned for the end of 2016 and into 2017—not fast enough for those who’ve been advocating and helping with the planning process, but right around the corner when considering the pace at which these projects typically play out.

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Portland Bureau of Transportation

So while bike advocates fight car advocates (and fellow bike advocates, too) and vice-versa, and pedestrians fight for their piece of the safe-transportation pie, we have a local project that might offer something for everyone: room for bikes, safer driving conditions, visible and (hopefully) efficient crossings for pedestrians (which include many school-age children crossing Foster every morning and afternoon), and a visual upgrade that might combat the highway look and feel of Foster.

So check it out, get to know it, pick it apart, and expect construction sometime in the next year or two.

More links:
PBOT Streetscape Site
Streetscape Plan
Project Update

* Also worth noting is a recent article on Foster United, which points to recent legislation that could lead to much-needed traffic enforcement on Foster (and Powell and 82nd, for that matter).

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5 Responses to How Foster Fits Into the Vision Zero Conversation

  1. Bob Strong says:

    Good gawd, it’s 51 pages of fine print! is it possible to present this in a shorter summary?

    • “…room for bikes, safer driving conditions, visible and (hopefully) efficient crossings for pedestrians (which include many school-age children crossing Foster every morning and afternoon), and a visual upgrade that might combat the highway look and feel of Foster.”

      That was the short version. A little more: four auto lanes will become two (one each way) with an added middle turn lane; bike lanes added in each direction; more lighting; rapid flash beacons; trees; public art.

  2. Adam Herstein says:

    Theres space for bikes, yes, but they are door zone lanes. I would have like to see the center turn lane removed for wider sidewalks and more protected space to ride a bike.

    • Yes, protected bike lanes would be nice. Not sure there’s enough local push to make that happen, though. However, Foster could be the first major transportation project since the City’s newfound—ahem—focus on road safety, so going bold could make a statement. Planning process dragged, though…not sure folks want to refresh the plan again.

  3. Kaye says:

    Personally, I’ll be glad to see *any* improvement that slows Foster down and makes it more attractive and safe for pedestrian and bike traffic, and less attractive for people who just want use Foster as a high speed ‘get across town’ corridor. I know construction is going to be a hassle, but I’m looking forward to it starting. I just hope it doesn’t increase traffic in the neighborhoods….I’m already seeing increased traffic on my street as people try to avoid the Mercado traffic at Foster and 72nd.

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