Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project

10 Replies

I was reading up on Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan green lit back in 2014.  Looks like the city is still moving forward with it.  I'm curious to know what others are thinking on this, I tried searching the forums but didn't find anything.  I've summarized from their page for those unfamiliar or need a refresher..Link

The Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan prioritizes safety and streetscape elements to transform the Foster Road corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods into centers of vibrant and unique neighborhoods, resulting in an array of benefits for residents and businesses.

The project extends from SE 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at SE 90th Avenue. Recommended changes to the street and urban design are meant to transform Foster Road from a largely high speed, auto-oriented corridor into a series of interconnected pedestrian-oriented places that are accessible by all transportation modes and support a vibrant mix of businesses and residences.

The Foster Road Corridor contains five district nodes: Gateway District, Western Core, Heart of Foster, Green Link, and Crossroads District.

Spring 2017 Update: The project has incorporated additional funding from the Fixing Our Streets program to add reconstruction and paving of Foster Road between SE 82nd and 90th Ave. By combining the two projects construction coordination will be improved and impacts associated with construction activity minimized. Because the project is federally funded, incorporating the added work requires additional environmental approvals that have pushed the anticipated start of construction in the spring of 2018.

My thoughts-

1. Why "East Portland" when there are many other places needing attention closer in?

2. I've used Foster/Hawthorne many times instead of 205 so their traffic points hit home

3. Looks like the local businesses are pretty mad about it but is that enough to kill the project?

Morning Kevin,

1. Heck, we need infrastructure work all over the city! Why Foster? I believe a couple of things are at work here. Politics (east Portland has long been neglected in the eyes of many residents.) There’s also safety-I  believe there have been multiple crashes with bicycle/pedestrian fatalities. Also, I think they’re thinking that it will encourage growth and development and generate more property tax revenues, quicker than comparable projects close-in where the yearly caps are already being met. These are just a number of ideas that have been tossed around in casual conversation with friends who live in the area, I’m not an expert on city development/planning!

2. Yup. It’s going to be brutal losing a lane on an already crowded arterial. 

3. Nope. Unless the businesses can tie it to a larger social issue, I don’t think the council will want to hear any dissenting views.  

@Mathew Wray   Thank you for your thoughts.  I'm all for safety but seems like the least offender with all PDX offers today in terms of violence.  Did you see though its not just losing 1 lane its going from 4 to 2 unless you count the bike lane :)  

I agree! I think there are far larger concerns in the city if the pursuit of “safety” is our goal. Installing sidewalks east of the 205, improving the dismal drop out rate, actually preparing for snow instead of waiting for it to happen, staffing the police, opening Wapato as a shelter, dealing with the homeless/heroin/opioid crisis instead of wishing it away or playing the blame game-any of these would actually improve safety in the city.  

Yeah, losing one lane in each direction will be rough. I don’t know how left turns will work...are they going to eliminate the turn outs too? If so, that’ll just block traffic even worse.  

The business owners that are upset by this project are out of their mind. This is a fantastic project that has already been greenlit years ago and not objection can stop it now. PDC has dumped nearly $100m into Lents and this project will connect inner city with that district.

Foster itself has a lot of great retail oriented building stock that can be upgraded to great effect. This is a vision for the future of the city, one in which we have to be thinking about mass transit and bicycle connectivity, rather than accommodating automobiles.

FoPo’s housing stock is a mixed bag, but the area has already seen a drastic uptick this cycle because the fact that the area is relatively close-in, has neighborhood amenities, and the new upcoming improvements. I for one am looking forward to seeing a safer and more dense Foster Blvd with more footfall than cars.

I have to commute down Foster every day, and the loss of a lane in each direction is going to devastate this whole area.  People aren't simply going to switch to bikes to get to work - that's a ridiculous pipe dream.  I've sold all of my properties in the Foster-Powell area, and am planning on selling my Lents-area properties this year.

Old thread but I just saw the last comment so it's new to me. @Barry Hawkey , do you remember when people were complaining about the exact same thing when City of Portland proposed the same changes for Division Street? You may want to hold onto those properties because there is a lot more room to grow.

@Neal Collins , I couldn't agree more. I own three properties near Lents Park (and live in one), and I think this is going to change things for the better. There are already leases signed for a new bakery, and really rad brunch spot. I expect this to continue. There is another post on BP about the best areas to invest in (due to gentrification), and Lents is top of the list. Yes, traffic will get worse. Yes, trendy spots will show up. Yes, people all over portland put up with traffic for good eats, big sidewalks, and "hip" spots. It's one of the few of the places that retail and food can come in and make some money without giving it all in rent. Only time will tell, but I've put all my eggs in the Lents basket, so I guess we'll see.

I highly agree with @Neal Collins . Selling now in this area would be similar to selling on Division pre 2012. Allowing your own opinions, rather than the opinions of buyers as a whole, drive your buying/selling decisions is a poor mistake for a real estate investor. It doesn't matter how you feel, it matters how the market as a whole will respond and Fo-Po and Lents are poised to become great appreciation plays. 

@Jason Fleming that isn't a bad basket to put those eggs in, in my opinion.

Infrastructure investment in this area also makes much more sense than east of I-205 for many reasons. 

1) Infrastructure is already in place and it is a connecting road for two areas (Powell Blvd up to 52nd and Lents town center) already in progress of gentrification. Development here is much less costly than "east Portland"

2) Foster has a great mix of historic storefront product along this section, good development land and the width to become a really nice urban village district. 

3) It's one of the most affordable neighborhoods that is still bike-able to downtown. 

4) This area will become a highly desirable neighborhood once the commercial development comes to fruition. Where else will Portlanders find this amount of single family housing, with the type of walking amenities it will have, still relatively close to downtown (no matter how much longer than new drive will take you) and at a price point that's open to many (until that changes). 

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