Opposition to I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion Project

At out last meeting in March, the topic of the I-5 Rose Quarter Expansion Project was discussed and an unanimous vote was taken to oppose the project. See our prior post for more details, including information about the survey to confirm our opposition —

The results of the survey exceeded the threshold of more than 60% of the respondents opposing the I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion project and supporting No More Freeways PDX. If we had not exceeded the threshold, our vote to oppose the project would stand, but we would not publish a letter expressing our opposition. Exceeding that threshold was the agreed upon trigger for Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association to release an official letter of opposition, which you can see below. Thank you for engaging in this important policy discussion and allowing us to amplify your voices to the city and state!

File Your Own Comments

The public comment period is ending at 5 PM on Monday 1-April.

Support Freeway Expansion: If you support the project, you can file your comments directly at the I-5 Rose Quarter Project site.

Oppose Freeway Expansion: If you opposed the project, you can file your comments directly at the project’s site (link above), or you can use the system at No More Freeways PDX where you will find talking points to help you build your case.

History of Activism through Neighborhood Associations

The Neighborhood Association system was formed based on citizens stepping up to have their voices heard in city planning efforts.

The League of Women Voters of Portland studied Portland’s neighborhood system in the mid-2000s. As part of this effort, the League prepared a short history of Portland’s neighborhood system through 2005.

History and Related Documents, City of Portland Office of Community & Civic Life

Here is an excerpt from that study:

Neighborhood Voice in Portland
Neighborhoods of Portland emerged as participants in city planning between 1966 and 1980. Among the earliest was Lair Hill, where students, renters, and Jewish and Italian families displaced by the South Auditorium urban renewal project rose up against city plans for redevelopment. In 1966, Northeast Portland applied to participate in the Model Cities program; a citizens’ planning board was appointed to guide the project. In Northwest Portland, proposals to expand Good Samaritan Hospital and to build a freeway spurred neighborhoods to organize and become negotiators for plans that saved older neighborhoods. In 1971, Southeast neighborhoods successfully challenged the building of the Mount Hood Freeway. Forces behind the emergence of neighborhood voice were:

  • Residents who reacted against city plans to urbanize older, inner city neighborhoods through increased densities, commercial uses, and transportation projects.
  • New city leaders who were not tied to old planning practices.
  • Increased requirements for citizen participation in federal and state programs, including Model Cities, Office of Economic Opportunity, Urban Renewal, Housing and Community Development, and in Oregon, SB 100 initiating the state’s land use laws.
League of Women Voters of Portland, Portland’s Neighborhood Associations–Part I — History, October 2005

Crosswalk Enforcement at Powell & 54th on Wed 27-Mar

Received from the Portland Bureau of Transportation:

Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division will be conducting a crosswalk education and enforcement action on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, from noon to 1:30 PM, at the marked crossing on Southeast Powell Boulevard at Southeast 54 Avenue.

Portland is committed to ending traffic violence in our communities. Through the Vision Zero program, the City of Portland and our partners are working to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets.  Education and enforcement actions such as the March 27th event are a key part of the City of Portland’s citywide effort to reach its Vision Zero goal.

People walking who are struck by speeding drivers on roads like Southeast Powell Boulevard are unlikely to survive.  We need your help! As drivers, be cautious and on the lookout for people walking in marked and unmarked crosswalks, stop for people in the crosswalk when they are in your motor lane and the motor lane on either side of you (Oregon law), and slow down so you can stop safely.  As walkers, look before crossing and continue looking while you cross to make sure drivers see you and are stopping for you, make eye contact with drivers when possible, and make yourself visible to drivers.

To request a Vision Zero community briefing or enforcement action in your area, call the 823-SAFE Traffic Safety Hot Line at (503) 823-7233, or submit a Traffic Safety Hot Line request using the online form.

Learn more about rights and responsibilities for crossing streets in Oregon (in EnglishEspanol); and view the results of previous actions.

Still confused about the crosswalk laws in Oregon? Read this fantastic article from Bike Portland.


I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion

Our meeting on Monday 11-March included a presentation by No More Freeways PDX, which is a grassroots advocacy group in opposition to the Oregon Department of Transportation and City of Portland’s I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion project.

Video from the project’s website
Video from No More Freeways PDX

After the presentation and the discussion that followed, the consensus was that we, the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association, oppose the I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion project. There are many reasons why this project should not move forward, which are summarized on the Public Comment page of No More Freeways PDX. One of the core reasons that we, as the Foster-Powell Neighborhood, would oppose this is that the $500 million dollars could be better spent on other projects such as:

  • Funds to complete the Jurisdictional Transfer of 82nd Ave and Powell Blvd from ODOT to City of Portland
  • Improvements to other modes of transit including Light Rail, Bus, Bike and Pedestrian paths

However, before the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association officially adopts a position of opposition to the I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion project, we agreed to survey our neighbors and ask their position on the matter. If more than 60% of survey respondents support No More Freeways PDX position, then we will publish a letter of opposition.

If you live, rent, work, or own property within the Foster-Powell triangle, you’re a member of our neighborhood. Please complete the survey below to state your position and help guide this process. Thank you!

The survey has been closed. Thank you for participating! We will be posting the results soon.