There’s been a flurry of exercise across the Northeast seventh and Tillamook undertaking for the reason that Metropolis of Portland met with a big group of involved residents final Wednesday night time.
As anticipated (and as requested by some neighbors) the Portland Bureau of Transportation adopted up rapidly with a brand new proposal that provides extra site visitors calming options. PBOT says that if the 60 or so individuals within the advert hoc neighborhood group let their crews start building on a undertaking to take away the prevailing site visitors circle and restripe the intersection with bike lanes, they’ll add two new pace bumps and a concrete planter to assist sluggish drivers down.
As of Monday morning, it seems many neighbors and secure streets advocates aren’t happy. To date, three letters have been fired off to PBOT and Metropolis Corridor workplaces. They’ve come from the Eliot Neighborhood Affiliation, the nascent “Secure on seventh” group, and nonprofit advocacy group Bike Loud PDX.
The three letters have two large issues in frequent: They need extra dialogue with PBOT earlier than adjustments are made they usually need the Metropolis to implement a undertaking that can transfer us extra rapidly to adopted targets of much less driving and extra biking.
The Eliot NA and Secure on seventh each make it crystal clear that they need PBOT to put in site visitors diverters that drastically cut back the variety of automobiles on the road (there’s even a petition to collect extra help). Regardless of seeing round 4,000 to six,000 automobiles per day, Tillamook is designated as an area avenue and metropolis bikeway in PBOT’s Transportation System Plan. PBOT has mentioned that ideally, seventh Ave would have simply 1,000 automotive journeys per day, however to this point they haven’t been prepared to do what it will take to realize that purpose.
Now they (as soon as once more) have robust help from some neighborhood teams to try this.
In 2018 when PBOT did the preliminary outreach for this Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway undertaking, in addition they had robust help from many neighbors (and biking advocates). However that help bumped into extreme pushback from some Black residents and leaders of the organizations who serve them. Confronted with a alternative of pushing again in opposition to Black residents saying the plan would “whitewash” and additional gentrify the neighborhood, PBOT shifted the greenway alignment to NE ninth.
“The Metropolis is proposing a design that can work with the prevailing site visitors volumes as an alternative of making an attempt to vary the site visitors volumes to satisfy the Metropolis’s printed coverage targets,” The Eliot NA letter states. “Our request is that PBOT solely reopen NE seventh Avenue to automobile site visitors after site visitors diverters blocking North-South by site visitors are on the bottom.”
And the letter from Secure on seventh says, “The site visitors island has been the finger within the gap of the dam. Eradicating it exposes the underlying design flaws on Decrease seventh Avenue. This inevitably will end in a flood of excessive pace site visitors by our neighborhood… the priority of this neighborhood is to cut back the pace and quantity of automobiles on the intersection.”
Each the Eliot NA and the Secure on seventh group additionally urge the Metropolis to keep up the calm that their building undertaking closures have created. “The development fencing has introduced NE seventh a lot nearer to assembly the Metropolis’s targets for the road and we wish to be sure we don’t revert to the outdated situation,” says the Eliot NA letter. “After only one week of closure… only a few automobiles are attempting to make use of our neighborhood instead throughway to MLK. Our group members and faculty kids and passing cyclists are safer, and one thing particular is going on – long-time neighbors are congregating on the road within the evenings and making connections we’ve by no means made earlier than. The atmosphere has already shifted and our neighborhood really looks like a neighborhood,” says Secure on seventh group.
Bike Loud says they need PBOT to launch a Northeast In Movement planning course of, which might, “Have the sources to start with a strong group engagement course of that brings in lots of various pursuits from the beginning and may higher acknowledge the damaging historical past of previous racist insurance policies.”
In the meantime, PBOT crews had been on the intersection this morning doing preliminary surveys and inspections, however a undertaking supervisor mentioned they haven’t damaged floor but.
We’ll maintain you posted as issues develop.
UPDATE: 6:45 pm: PBOT has simply launched a press release saying building will start this week. They’re calling it “Part 1” and can embrace removing of the site visitors circle and the addition of the pace bumps and concrete planter outlined of their revised plan in gentle of latest resident considerations. PBOT’s assertion additionally says they’ll monitor site visitors volumes and speeds and “could embrace follow-up mitigation if crucial” and that if any future adjustments are made on NE seventh PBOT could be required to “re-engage the broader group to make sure that such an final result would work for customers alongside all the hall and replicate the priorities of traditionally deprived communities.”