ODOT shares 82nd Avenue of Roses upgrade plans
Staff members from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) shared what they learned during their "82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan" process – and also asked interested people to chime in on their ideas – at an open house on Saturday, October 21, at Portland Community College's Southeast Campus.
ODOT is developing the plan for the 7.5 mile stretch of 82nd Avenue of Roses from N.E. Killingsworth Street in the north, to S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard in the south, explained Improvement Plan Manager Terra Lingley.
The plan, Lingley said is for projects:
· To improve safety for people walking, biking, using mobility devices, taking transit and driving on 82nd Avenue
· That could be funded and built in the next 5-10 years.
"We worked with community groups to learn what their priorities were for 82nd Avenue," Lingley told THE BEE.
"What we heard, overwhelmingly, was to make it safer, more comfortable to walk along, and more easy to cross 82nd Avenue. "So, we focused on ways to facilitate crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists, and also considered upgrades to the sidewalks, and the 'feel' of the street to walk along," Lingley said.
Proposed were contingencies envisioned with three different levels of funding:
· Lowest -- using funding expected to be available next 5 to 10 years
· Middle -- improvements that can be funded by obtaining a major grant
· Highest -- should the Oregon State legislature earmark funding for some major improvements
"The first two scenarios are really focused on sidewalk infill and crossing improvements," commented Lingley. "The third scenario is more transformative of what could be done if curves could be moved, street trees installed, and sidewalks added in specific areas."
Focusing on the segment from S.E. Harney Street to Johnson Creek Boulevard, Lingley said, "This is the area where we see the most challenges for pedestrians to walk along, and to cross the street.
"We have some very constrained and very narrow sidewalks -- in some places, there are no sidewalks; and in one case, there is a building literally in the way!" Lingley exclaimed.
In one of the scenarios put forth, she said, "We have a concept to provide enhanced pedestrian crossings where we know we have gaps; in one area, to direct pedestrians to the west side of the street, and then upgrade that sidewalk so there is space so folks can kind of get around that that obstruction."
The plan also proposes replacing a traffic signal at Woodstock Boulevard, Flavel Street, and Foster Road, and moving a bus stop. Re-paving the highway from S.E. Foster Road to Lindy Street is currently scheduled for design in 2019, with paving to begin in 2020 -- a project estimated to cost $9.4 million.
ODOT has already invested $35 million to improve the thoroughfare in the past ten years, Lingley pointed out -- and proposed projects represent another $10 million to $15 million in projects, including that already-budged paving project.
For more information, go online to project's website: www.82ndaveprojects.org