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.
Construction of the Eliot Sewer and Stormwater Project begins this fall and will take about a year to complete. City of Portland Environmental Services will be replacing or repairing approximately 10,000 feet of public sewer pipes in the southern part of the Eliot Neighborhood. These pipes are deteriorating due to age or are undersized for the sewer and stormwater flows in this area. The oldest pipe being replaced is 115 years old. These improvements will help protect public health, property and our environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases into streets, homes and businesses.
ODOT and the City of Portland are continuing to study and design improvements to I-5 between I-84 and I-405 and to local streets near the Broadway-Weidler interchange in Portland. Attend an informational open house to learn about the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project and the planned improvements. The open house is drop-in, so stop by to learn and talk to project team members about:
The recently adopted NE Quadrant Plan (a part of the Central City and Comprehensive Plans) was conducted in cooperation with the Transportation offices of the State (ODOT) and City (PDOT) to coordinate ODOT’s plans to expand capacity on I-5 through the Rose Quarter and the I-5 ramps with PDOT’s plans for the area between at Broadway/Weidler, an area known as “the Box”.
Northeast Broadway and Weidler Streets between the Willamette River and Northeast 24th Avenue are streets that are looking for traffic. Currently, the number of cars on Broadway and Weidler do not, even during the busiest rush hours, meet even 70% of the designed capacity of the streets. That is to say that the streets are bigger than they need to be in terms of the number of lanes that are striped on them. What are the consequences of this? Cars can speed down Broadway and Weidler streets quickly all day and all night.
Residents of south Eliot and others may have noticed all of the colored paint on the street, sidewalk and even parking strips as well as surveyors blocking traffic on MLK weekend mornings. This is all part of planning for the City’s South Eliot Sewer and Storm Water Project. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017, so it is a ways off.
During the construction of Interstate 84 through Sullivan’s gulch, NE Broadway was, for 4 years used as the way to connect from a completed part of the highway, east of Hollywood, to the rest of Portland. During this time, NE Broadway was widened and converted to be the fast, wide road it is today. This design, which could have been temporary, was never really considered for changes.
Starting 6 years ago, there was a long series of discussions about N Williams and what the community wanted to see there. A big part of that was seeing a neighborhood street with thriving businesses; seeing a street that was easy to cross and one that was not a racetrack for cut-through drivers. We have nearby MLK Blvd and Interstate-5 serving those purposes.
To those who missed the Grand Opening on September 22-23, and are otherwise unaware of it, by the time you read this the Portland Streetcar should be alive, reasonably well, and operating on the southern fringe of Eliot.
This column has described the NE Quadrant Planning process over the past 20 months of Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings. That portion of the Central City Plan is nearing its end with the SAC’s adoption of the Facility Plan. The process has been driven by the desire of ODOT to expand I-5 between I-405 and I-84 and PDOT’s hope of leveraging federal freeway dollars for surface street improvements. Because the City’s hope depends on federal money, this hope has always been a house of cards and remains so.
The City of Portland is currently evaluating options for renaming Broadway, Grand Ave or NE 39th after civil rights leader Cesar E Chavez. At the April 13th Eliot Neighborhood Association Spring General Membership meeting a motion was brought to the floor to oppose renaming a street after Cezar E Chavez.
TriMet is facing a $13.5 million budget shortfall which is forcing them to make a 5% cut in programs and services agency-wide. After taking a number of steps to reduce costs and improve efficiency, TriMet has proposed service reductions and discontinuations effective September 2009. For Eliot Neighborhood bus line 33-Fremont and the Max Yellow Line may see some changes.
The City of Portland is currently evaluating options for renaming a street after civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. After a failed attempt in 2007 to rename North Interstate after the Latino labor and civil rights leader, the Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard Committee has initiated the street renaming process. This time Broadway, Grand and 39th “streets” are potential candidates.