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Residents have plans for the empty, wide median on SE 72nd, but bureaucracy isn't helping...

DAVID F. ASHTON - As soon as they get approval from the appropriate City Bureaus, FPNA Chair Eric Furlong and Board Member Aron Goffin are very ready to start creating Firland Parkway in this undeveloped median on S.E. 72nd. An unimproved strip of land lying between the north and southbound lanes of S.E. 72nd Avenue – from Foster Road to Holgate Boulevard – might become more pedestrian-friendly. It's currently grass, trees, and a worn dirt path down the middle of the street.

It might – if the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Parks & Recreation can agree on who actually "controls" this undeveloped right-of-way.

Earlier this year, the project was taking shape thanks to efforts of the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association (FPNA), which had applied for and received a $2,000 "Community Change Micro Grant" from "America Walks", a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization.

According to FPNA Chair Eric Furlong, the proposal – selected from more than 600 applications – is to start with creating a wood-chipped path along the length of what neighbors have been calling "Firland Parkway"; and additional features are under consideration, including a park, whenever resources and approvals allow.

"Our goal is to improve the greenspace, and encourage active community use of the Firland Parkway," explained Furlong. "Bureaus in the City of Portland are still trying to figure out who actually owns it! This land seems to fall somewhere between the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Portland Parks & Recreation – as does Eastmoreland's 'Linden Allée', along S.E. Reed College Place."

A local arborist will donate the woodchips for the project, Furlong said. "We're hoping to make some very large-scale park improvements, on a limited budget, and we hope to have them completed by the end of 2019."

The grant is administered through FPNA's fiscal sponsor, Southeast Uplift, Furlong added.

To follow their progress, and find out more about FPNA, see their website – www.fosterpowell.com


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