The people have spoken, but more words are needed. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) held an open house centered on the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan on Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting’s intent was to gauge community opinion on what improvements denizens would like ODOT to prioritize as part of the plan.
For a quick reminder, the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan is a series of realistic, small-scale projects to improve safety, mobility and access for the seven-mile segment of 82nd Avenue between Northeast Killingsworth Street and Southeast Johnson Creek Boulevard.
Despite the onerous rainfall, around 20 people showed up to the event, voices in tow. “We don’t have our full results in [from the open house], but what we heard is that the community is [the need for] continuing to support pedestrian improvements, so that includes sidewalk lining and adding in enhanced pedestrian crossings at specific locations along 82nd Avenue,” says Terra Lingley, senior planner for the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan. “We are heading in the right direction with our scenario options, which all work toward the end to make it more pleasant and safer to walk along 82nd Avenue.”
Lingley encourages locals to take an online survey at 82ndaveprojects.org to further ODOT’s understanding of which pedestrian crossings deserve immediate attention. Right now, the options are: Northeast 82nd Avenue and Beech Street, Northeast 82nd and Thompson Street, Northeast 82nd and Ash Street, Northeast 82nd and Harrison Street, Northeast 82nd and Klickitat Street, Northeast 82nd and Schuyler Street and finally, Northeast 82nd and Pacific Street.
“There are some places [along Northeast 82nd Avenue] where the sidewalk is really normal, but there are places where it’s hard for mobility devices—or to push a stroller,” says Lingley. “We’re proposing widening them to meet our standards.”
Then there’s the separation between state and city. If ODOT ends up dominating this end of the project, sidewalks will be widened to meet their code of being 5 to 6 feet wide. If the Portland Bureau of Transportation ends up in charge, sidewalks will be 15 to 16 feet wide. Some places along Northeast 82nd Avenue, Lingley notes, don’t have sidewalks at all. She’s referring more toward the southern tip of Northeast 82nd Avenue around Clackamas County. There, she hopes sidewalks will be put in where they’re currently unavailable.
Lingley notes that the date for the next Steering Committee Meeting on the project has not officially been set in stone, but it will be held at some point in November.
Take ODOT’s survey on pedestrian crossings on their website: 82ndaveprojects.org.