When the Bicycle Transportation Alliance listed Make Big Streets Safe as a top priority in our Blueprint for World Class Bicycling, we were calling out streets like Foster Road — one of Portland’s 10 high-crash corridors which is currently an unpleasant, unsafe place to walk or bike.
This week, the Portland City Council took a big step towards making Foster Road a safer, better street by approving the Foster Streetscape Plan. The plan will reconfigure the street to provide bike lanes, shorter pedestrian crossings, and lower traffic speeds. Roughly 1/3 of the plan budget is devoted to improving sidewalks east of 82nd Avenue. City Hall was packed with supporters young and old wearing green “Yes for Foster” stickers. Many had first-hand stories of witnessing crashes and being personally impacted by the road’s numerous pedestrian fatalities. Business owners, frustrated by high traffic speeds and low walk-in traffic, spoke passionately about the need to slow the street down and improve conditions for walking and biking.
Although this project does not provide the physically separated bikeway called for in our Blueprint, we recognize that, given budgetary constraints, this is an important step towards a safer Foster Road.
Many thanks are due to BTA member & volunteer Meghan Humphrey who represented us on the plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and those who attended open houses and got involved with groups like Foster United in order to amass the support we saw at council this week.