The 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan has finally wrapped. A second and final Steering Committee meeting, held on Jan. 22 at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Region 1 offices (123 N.W. Flanders St.), saw the committee provide a thumbs-up to three design scenarios that have been disbursed throughout the community to better Portland’s dividing line. Yet, at this point, the scenarios are mostly talk.
Currently, there’s no funding tied to the implementation of the plan, with the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan set to receive less fiscal state aid in 2018 than in recent years. “Scenario 1 is lower than what we’ve historically spent and what we’re going to spend over the next three years. We’re putting around $9 million into the streets due to House Bill 2017, which provided us with general ‘fix it’ money allocated to us according to how we see fit. ODOT allotted the $9 million [from hundreds of millions of dollars] to 82nd projects, which will fund pavement work along Lindy to Foster [streets], as well as some ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] ramps,” according to Terra M. Lingley, the project manager of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan.
Legally speaking, ODOT is required to accompany street pavement jobs with ADA ramps as part of a state safety standard. The design process for the Lindy and Foster streets repaving will occur in 2018 and is set to see fruition by 2020. This will be ODOT’s primary focus for 82nd Avenue over the next few years, along with a few smaller projects.
As for the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan itself, Lingley sums it up like so: “We had three scenarios. One scenario was lowball funds, business as usual; ‘What would you do if you get approximately the same amount of money each year that you have received in the past?’ The second scenario was a moderate investment: a couple of grants, with the question of, ‘What would you do first [if given a financial boost]?’ The third scenario was, ‘If we get legislative action [a significant increase in funding], what would you do?’”
As previously reported (“82nd hits planning road bump” MCM January 2018), the three scenarios ranged in funding. Scenario 1 projected spending just under $1 million for street-wide improvements, while scenario 3 invoked around $10 million for repairs and adjustments. Lingley describes the Steering Committee’s role as “endorsing the project sets for potential future scenarios. Say next year, the legislature dumps a bunch of money in our lap; the Steering Committee was recommending these projects [for realization] if money falls from the sky.”
Now that the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan is a thing of the past, the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition will step in as the main envoys for the street. The group is led by one of its founders, Brian Wong. As expressed last month (“Coalition wants 82nd in city’s hands, not state’s” MCM January 2018), the coalition’s overarching pursuit is to make 82nd Avenue property of the City of Portland, rather than the State of Oregon.
Though House Bill 2017 has not been phenomenally supportive of development along 82nd Avenue so far in the near future, the bill does give Wong’s coalition’s long-term plans some direction, as well as some hope.
“House Bill 2017 included $110 million to make an outer Southeast Powell jurisdictional transfer [Powell east of I-205] to add bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways. The legislature gave us money to construct the full length of those improvements, and once those are complete, there will be a transfer of this portion of Powell to the City of Portland [by 2022]. We’re watching that; it might be a template for jurisdictional transfer of 82nd to the coalition,” says Lingley. “Similar legislation would have to happen in the legislature for the city to take 82nd.”
ODOT’s sympathy for the central mission of the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition could prove promising. Indeed, they’re friends in high places. If 82nd Avenue was to be baton-passed to the city from the state, it’s possible it could receive a surplus of economical and developmental attention that certain locals believe it’s sorely lacking.
To learn more about the 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan and what it means for the next three years of 82nd Avenue, go to its website at 82ndaveprojects.org.