A roundabout on Halsey? It's proposed
Could a traffic roundabout serve as the front door to a newly urbanized Halsey Street?
The regional planners behind Main Streets on Halsey are certainly spitballing the idea.
"It's a dartboard," admitted Fairview Public Works Director Allan Berry during a meeting of the Halsey Community Collaborative Executive Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 28. "The nice thing about the roundabout (is) you could include artwork in the center, which would definitely brand it further. The idea is not to do 45 mph and scream around there."
The proposal would create a park-and-ride and dog park on approximately five acres of land just north of Halsey on the corner of Fairview Parkway, which leads to exit 14 of Interstate 84.
A mockup prepared for the group shows a connection between the parking lot and Northeast Weidler Place with space for food carts, restrooms and outdoor seating near the looping trail of the dog park. The park-and-ride would hypothetically allow tourists and locals to hop on a trolley-style Columbia Gorge Tour Bus, city leaders say, and would have 172 parking spaces and 10 electric-vehicle charging stations.
A trailhead at Hancock Street would provide access to the fenced dog run and let pedestrians walk to nearby Cleone City Park.
There are plenty of roadblocks ahead of the proposal. For one, the relevant streets are controlled by Multnomah County, while the land is owned by Pacific Power and Light, according to property tax records.
Regional officials say they originally approached the utility about using the space as a sports field, but learned that engineers don't like to have athletes playing beneath heavy-duty transmission lines.
"What is the best access to this property?" wondered Fairview City Manager Nolan Young. "It is a tough nut to crack, and potentially we could bring someone in to study that."
In other news
The Halsey Committee is searching for a consultant after successfully securing a $64,000 grant funded by local city coffers and the Department of Land Conservation and Development.
The consultant will be tasked with reporting on incongruities in the three cities' development codes, identifying what kind of businesses could flourish in the area's subregions and creating more thematic branding for Halsey. After that, the group is already eyeing another grant from Metro. The regional government's grant application is heavily tilted in favor of housing.