LUTC Meeting Agenda 2012-04-11

Land Use Committee Time and Date change.  Wednesday 4/11 at 5:30pm.

Meeting of the Land Use and Transportation Committee(Public welcome) at “MOB East” at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.  5:30pm.  (Location may change- see room assignment outside the door)

This is a conference room just across the semi-circular driveway of the Medical Office Building, at 501 N Graham. (directions)


0.  Review minutes from March

1.  Changes to Agenda?

2. Meet regarding the North/Northeast Quadrant Project.

3. Discuss Sullivan’s Gulch Trail

4. Any other business/Public Comment


North/Northeast Quadrant Freeway Option Summary

Details about the NNEQ Options in the Eliot Neighborhood (from Mike Warwick, Chair):

This document  rebuild options 4.9.12 represents the “posters” that were used for the walking tour last week and will be discussed both tomorrow and at the SAC meeting.  There are 5 options to consider (some with variations).

Options 4 and 5 reflect the “Hancouver” proposal that eliminates Vancouver in its current location and adds an intersection over the freeway to provide through traffic on Hancock.  This option was rejected by the “west of I-5” property owners and, therefore, by the entire South Albina group (including Eliot’s representatives to the SAC).  Retaining Vancouver and Williams in their present alignment best meets the needs of those property owners, the bike community and probably Tri-Met.  These options also include come modifications to traffic flows south of Broadway around the Left Bank.  Two way traffic in front of the Left Bank (except for pedestrians and bikes) has been opposed by the Left Bank and the South Albina group.  Both are also opposed to redirecting traffic on the Flint alignment across Broadway/Weidler.  In summary, there seems to be united opposition locally to both Options 4 and 5.

Option 1 is “no change” in alignment.  All 5 overpasses will be demolished and rebuilt.

  • Option 2 terminates Flint at Dixon on the west side of I-5 where it connects to Dixon.  There is no connection between Dixon and Hancock, so Williams and Vancouver continue to function as is.
  • Option 3 terminates Flint at Tillamook but establishes a direct connection between Dixon and Hancock over the freeway.

All of the options have some common assumptions, any of which can be challenged.  The key assumptions are as follows:

  • All options envision demolition of all overpasses and replacement of most of them (depending on the option).  The South Albina group remains deeply concerned about the potential disruption this will bring not only to South Albina, but to commercial activity in the Lloyd District as well.  Construction projects of this scale always result in business failures and job losses until they are complete.  Project completion is 10-15 years out.  In our opinion, this presents a potentially inequitable burden on the local community for marginal increases in safety and reductions in commute times (minutes and fractions at best).
  • All options assume a “lid” over I-5 between Broadway/Weidler with two new traffic lanes to ease congestion in the “box” and improve pedestrian/bile safety.  Options 3-5 include “lid” for the Hancock overpass.  In option 3, the lid is continuous between Weidler and Hancock.
  • All options assume freeway expansion and funds from it to make the proposed changes.
  • The City has been marketing redevelopment of the “Blanchard” site to potential tenants (like Columbia Sportswear) and developers.  Connectivity to Williams/Vancouver to avoids the “box” on Broadway/Weidler is essential for both developers and tenants, accordingly, redevelopment of that area, which is supported by the South Albina group, is dependent on connection across I-5 per options 3-5.

Joanna wanted to know what I thought about these, so here goes, Option 1 doesn’t address the “connectivity” need essential for redevelopment in the Blanchard area.  Accordingly, I do not favor it.  I like Option 2 for the simple reason that it can be implemented for a few tens of millions of dollars (versus $400 Million) within the near-term (versus taking 10 to 15 years).  The school district (PPS) has once again proposed closing Tubman School.  This Option would provide “connectivity” that could stimulate redevelopment of both PPS sites (Tubman and Blanchard) in the near term, rather than waiting until the freeway overpasses are built.  It also enhances Eliot’s connections to the waterfront, downtown, Broadway Bridge, etc.  Inasmuch as there is no connection to Hancock, it also protects the neighborhood from cut-through traffic, although traffic would build up on Russell during the evening commute and that could stimulate cut-through traffic on Rodney.  Option 3 provides for a direct connection to Hancock as well as a larger “lid” that will offer additional redevelopment opportunities.  If there are physical barriers to prevent cut-through traffic to/from Hancock, this option shouldn’t harm Eliot’s historic district and should “knit together” the community across the freeway allowing for development of new facilities to serve the local community.  As proposed, this option eliminates the Flint overpass.  I am opposed to that.  Flint needs to be retained both to enhance access to the Tubman site and commercial activities along Flint, and to provide a more “user friendly” bike and pedestrian path across I-5 to Dixon.  That is even more essential if that area redevelops with enterprises that serve the local community.  This option will require reconstruction of the overpasses, so I am uncertain if it can be developed without the federal funds from freeway expansion.  That is something I want the City and State to address going forward.  The SAC would have to agree to it however.