Things are moving right along for the Gateway district wayfinding and rebranding projects, which are currently in the good hands of Friends of Gateway Green and local design firm Propel Studio.

At a Sept. 21 open house, the two organizations—along with Heather Hoell of Venture Portland—discussed immediate plans following the results of a public survey. Among other things, the survey asked residents to describe Gateway and its various attributes. The communal goal of the organizations is to individualize the unique aspects of the Gateway neighborhood and gain traction for Gateway Green, the new 25-acre mountain bike park that opened earlier this year and is located outside the Gateway area in a depression next to the I-205 freeway.

As previously reported (“Gateway district rebranding, wayfinding project laid out,” MCM Oct. 2017), it was revealed at the meeting that there are three immediate projects at hand. Lucas Gray, a project designer from Propel Studio, described them as follows: erecting wayfinding signs that lead to Gateway Green, signage to create identity throughout the district by showcasing Gateway’s many different cultures and languages (Gateway is the most diverse part of Portland) and stenciled graphics painted to help people locate the Gateway Transit Center.

These three action items are dependent on community grants. Prosper Portland had already awarded Propel Studio a grant of $50,000 for Gateway-centered work. Additionally, Prosper Portland have committed “approximately $1.6 million to the Halsey/Weidler Streetscape work,” according to Anne Mangan from Prosper Portland.

The wayfinding signage was connected to a grant that the organizations had applied for from PeopleForBikes. Now, they’ve officially got the go-ahead.

“Friends of Gateway Green received the PeopleForBikes grant on October 2: $5,000 to design, make and install temporary signs to help people find Gateway Green,” says Linda Robinson of Friends of Gateway Green. “We hope to be able to incorporate some of those temporary signs into longer-term signage later. Friends of Gateway Green will be contracting with Propel Studio to lead this work.”

Propel Studio will commit itself to the wayfinding signs over the next few months.

“We are having a meeting when I’m back in early November to talk about the next steps,” says Gray, who is currently stationed abroad in Japan for work. “The things we know we will be doing over the next few months are wayfinding signs specifically for Gateway Green [and] signage to help build district identity. These haven’t been designed or finalized yet, so I don’t know exactly what they will entail, and [there will also be] some sort of wayfinding element that will help people navigate through the neighborhoods and find the Gateway Transit Center and I-205 multi-use path. That also hasn’t been specifically designed yet, but [it] will build off the work we have done to date.”

Arlene Kimura, believed by Robinson to be heading the implementation of signage displaying the different cultural identities within the Gateway area, was contacted but did not update the Mid-county Memo on the project by press time.