FABA Reiterates Support of Streetscape Plan

The Foster Area Business Association (FABA) has opened up about their stance on the Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan.

Matthew Micetic, owner of Red Castle Games and president of FABA, recently penned a letter in response to a small handful of businesses that have displayed neon-colored posters in their windows proclaiming their disdain for the project. Those posters have IMG_3614grown in number and visibility in recent weeks, even grabbing the attention of local media outlets. Most of the signage states a desire to keep Foster a car-centric corridor with preserved travel times and auto speeds. But the number of businesses who share this sentiment appear to be in the minority, and their common appeal seems toward people using Foster from outside of the community, not those who live and play (and walk, and have kids, and bike, and eat, and do other shopping) in the neighborhood.

While the Streetscape Plan clearly is a divisive issue, the benefits are fairly obvious: pedestrians will now only have to cross three lanes of auto traffic instead of four; crossings will also be improved with curb extensions, rapid flash beacons, and better lighting; a center turn lane will allow for better traffic flow; bikers will now have the ability to share the road; and trees, added lighting, and public art will make for a more visually appealing Foster.

Foster is, after all, a high crash corridor. And though the Streetscape plan may not be perfect, it is a step toward a safer and more vibrant commercial corridor.

IMG_3619The signs at Euro Classic Furniture, Buck’s Stove Palace, Mt. Scott Fuel, and the Sew/Vac shop at SE 67th, all appear to be in favor of maintaining travel speeds. There’s a bit of hypocrisy at play here, as some of the signs at Euro Classic Furniture suggest a desire to prevent accidents and maintain safety as rationale for opposing the plan, something that seems nearly impossible when maintaining current conditions. The message also appears to be advocating for the convenience of those driving cars, not the safety of drivers, pedestrians and bikers this plan is hoping to be fully inclusive of. And across the street at Buck’s, it should be noted that, despite their current and visible opposition to the plan, they sat at the stakeholderss’ table where the plan was voted for adoption nearly two years ago—they shared no opposition then.

While some of the concerns with the plan may have merit, they are not shared by all. And it is for this reason that FABA president, Matthew Micetic, penned his letter. To go further, not only does Micetic reiterate FABA’s support of the Streetscape Plan, but he points out that the quartet of businesses opposing it do not represent the overall business community as they might be suggesting. He goes further to state what outreach has been done since the plan has taken shape, and how he and FABA have and will make themselves available to discuss any questions or concerns about it. (With the outreach that has been done, and with the plan being in the works for years, these businesses should not be as surprised as they are coming across.) It should also be noted that FABA has increasingly been pushing to better promote Foster as a commercial district, and they’re developing strategies to help maintain business during the plan’s construction.

Here is the letter from Matthew:
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13 Responses to FABA Reiterates Support of Streetscape Plan

  1. hamellr says:

    Which makes their opposition to this now, even more puzzling.

  2. Alex says:

    Anything the common folk (resident and local consumer) can do to support the plan? Call the mayor, etc?

    Or is it unnecessary since it has been approved by city council? There’s no way they can go back on it, right?

    We can’t wait for the changes to take place.

    • Alex,

      Thankfully Euro Classic Furniture provided the Mayor’s number in case folks want to voice support for the plan.

      As for other ways to get involved, PBOT is scheduled to attend the FoPo Neighborhood Association meeting tonight, from 6:30 – 8:00 at Foster Burger.

  3. Jess M. says:

    Can someone explain why these improvements keep getting pushed back? Last year it was all supposed to start in 2016…now it 2017?

  4. BC says:

    Out with the old in with the new. Maybe these businesses are worried they will no longer be able to afford to operate a business on Foster. Although I bet most of the opposing businesses own their property so they stand to gain a lot of money eventually.

    I was about to go get several loads of bark dust and river rock at Mount Scott Fuel, looks like I’ll be finding somewhere else to go. I won’t be supporting those guys anymore.

  5. RM Chapman says:

    I called the mayor (as directed by the signs) and left a message supporting the coming Foster changes. As a resident of the area, I’d much rather have Foster be liveable and safe than fast. Personally, I was nearly hit crossing the street (at a light, right of way, and everything!), so I can attest to the need for drastic changes.

  6. Susan says:

    I attended all of the road plan meetings and cannot wait for the change. Foster road is so hazardous to cross! My son was hit in a well marked crosswalk by someone passing a car that was stopped for the crosswalk. I take the 14 bus and that crosswalk by Round Table is treacherous every time I try to cross. People need to know that this is a neighborhood, not their freeway to and from work.

  7. Tony says:

    I just wish proper or at least wider notification had happened. We live on Mt Scott but use Foster multiple times daily, and at least a few times a week in the affected zone. It is unconscionable that we were not notified of the plans for this major thoroughfare, perhaps just because the affected area stops in the 90s and we are off 112th.

    Quick progress through town is necessary, sorry to say to residents of Foster Powell. Did you not know about Foster when you moved there? Do you think that other major streets do not also have accidents? I guess we will never know, but I am sure if they had properly notified, we and our neighbors up here could have helped temper the craziness of thinking that minimizing it to 2-lane traffic was the only answer. I hope the side-street/backroad maneuverers’ traffic increases do not lead to increased injuries in neighboring areas’ small streets.

    I suspect that Foster area approved this project mainly because the area DID need improvements. If only other options like photo tickets for speeders, etc etc. had been tried first.

    • Foster is a high-crash corridor, one of the ten most unsafe streets in the city. That puts us into a different league. Minimizing the deaths, injuries and numerous other accidents that take place on Foster just because other streets have accidents, too, is not a good argument.

      Also, just because Foster has always been a busy, high-crash corridor doesn’t mean it should always be that way. Progress, Tony, requires us to move away from the status quo sometimes. And I might add, traffic probably hasn’t always been this bad…my guess is that the spate of new homes on Mt. Scott and in Happy Valley over the last couple decades may have something to do with that. We do not want to be an expressway for the burbs.

      Sorry your commute will be a tad longer, but a lot of folks here are excited that we’ll have less accidents, safer streets for people to cross, and a livable commercial district. Feel free to stop by on your way home some day…you might like what’s to come.

      Oh, and to be accurate, there will be more than two lanes of traffic: in addition to the two you refer to, there will be a center turn lane and two additional lanes for bicycles–that’s five total.

      • championheart says:

        Your condescending attitude was not necessary, esp. if you’re sure of your own viewpoint. I was accurate to what I was speaking about: automobile traffic movement.

        But I did do some checking and I think if anything the Lents N.A. should have done better outreach. The city alloted time for notifying, it just sadly did not reach us. Maybe it was a city failure, but I can’t say for sure.

        I don’t want Foster to be an UNSAFE corridor, but its location lends itself to a whole section of town that is not easily gotten to otherwise and so could have had its safety profile improved but not by a major restriction.

        I think you betrayed an important factor in your view… you don’t want to be a thoroughfare for the burbs. If you consider Lents and Mt Scott the burbs, I will just have to smile and disagree. But I understand why you’d not want so much traffic. My beef is really not having had a say. Oh well.

        • championheart, are you Tony? I don’t see a previous comment…

          In regards to the condescension, that was aimed at the suggestion that locals should accept Foster’s current high-traffic, high-crash conditions because that’s how it was prior to certain people moving here. And the assertion that other streets have crashes, too, is insensitive to the real and numerous tragedies that we’ve seen on Foster.

          My comment was also in response to the notion that the local commercial district should remain a thoroughfare for others’ commuting needs. There needs to be balance. Is this plan perfect? No. But I believe we have to move away from the highway-feel Foster currently has. It’s unsafe, and it doesn’t lend itself to a livable commercial corridor. There’s going to be a sacrifice–in this case it’s a few extra minutes on the commute.

          As for the “burbs” comment, double-check what I wrote. Tony said he lives on Mt. Scott…that’s Clackamas County. So is Happy Valley. I never said Lents was the burbs.

          To comment on your beef–not having had a say–I understand that. If you live in Foster-Powell, Mt. Scott-Arleta, or Lents, you probably would have heard a lot about the project and opportunities to learn more about it. If you live outside of one of these neighborhoods, proper outreach was probably not done. And that’s on the city….and unfortunately, a lesson they still have not learned for some reason. However, would Portland conduct outreach in, say, Clackamas County as a rule? I’m not sure what the precedent is for that.

          In any event, it is a road that impacts thousands of people–the thousands that drive through the neighborhood every day, and the thousands that live here. Not everybody can be happy, but on some level the people who send their kids to school in the neighborhood and have to cross Foster with them, or the people who don’t rely on cars and prefer to walk to amenities close by…their safety needs should take some priority.

          Thanks for commenting. We respect and appreciate the dialogue.

    • BC says:

      Why don’t you just stick to Powell Blvd, its an actual state highway. No neighborhood needs two different 4 lane fast roadways within a couple blocks of each other.

  8. Pingback: Shleifer Speaks—Euro Classic’s Owner Gives His Two Cents on the Streetscape Plan | Foster-Powell. A neighborhood blog.

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