Land Use and Transportation End of Summer Update

I’ll talk transportation first because there are a few things happening on this front.  TriMet has a survey of what improvements they should make this year.  There was a bump in bus funding statewide as part of a large transportation package that passed this year.  At the top of Eliot’s priority list would be extending line #24 to NW Portland.  The #24 is currently a marginally useful line that runs from Legacy Emanuel hospital east along Fremont to Gateway TC.  The proposal is to have the line continue westward across the Fremont bridge to Goose hollow, connecting to the MAX on both ends.

At our September Land Use Meeting we met with Portland Streetcar, Inc. about their future expansion plans – which don’t seem to include a streetcar on MLK in Eliot in the near future, and a representative from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Another major transportation topic has been coming to a head lately. A new advocacy organization calling itself No More Freeway Expansions has been pushing the City of Portland to remove the I-5 Broadway/Weidler expansion project from its Transportation System Plan. This would be a huge blow to the project and a step in the right direction for Eliot, in my opinion. If advanced, this highway widening is the plan that would cost upwards of $400 Million to slightly widen I-5 for 1 mile while disrupting traffic in Eliot substantially over the course of several years. Eliot has been on record opposing this project since it got to a final plan and we expect to continue to do so at every opportunity.

Portland’s Comprehensive Plan update is nearing completion.  The plan is supposed to guide us through 2035 and started about 7 years ago.  Once this comes into effect, zoning changes that have been discussed in Eliot for a long time will slowly take effect.  Some of the construction currently going on in Eliot is due to down-zoning that will take place during this effort.

There are a few updates on large development projects currently going on. The Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building at Fremont and Williams is nearing completion, and the building that will take the space to the south of it is going through the design approvals process.  That project will be 6 stories, with a 2 story building behind it. Another project proposal at N Cook and Williams is proposing to have 6 stories with underground parking. Several projects along Williams near Monroe have stalled due to a developer folding, but there are still quite a few construction projects going on right now.  Cascadia Healthcare’s Garlington center is nearing full height along Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd as is Bridge Housing’s project near Ivy Street. Several projects along the southern Vancouver/Williams corridor seem like they will wrap up this winter.

We have also seen plans for a few other projects but none of them seem to match the same scale of these projects under construction. This may be due to a lull in permit applications that is currently going on around the city. Things may pick up again after the updated zoning map takes effect and developers figure out how to capitalize on the new zoning that is coming.

To stay up to date, you can find our meeting agendas and minutes online.

See you around the neighborhood!