Gateway Plaza at Grand and Hancock Missing SidewalkPosted by Doug in News on March 27th, 2011 – 14 Comments
Portland Development Commission is applying for Design Review for the Gateway and Heritage Markers Project, a plaza to be built in the triangle formed by the angled section of Grand Ave., the narrow north-south Grand Ave, and Hancock Street. The project will omit putting a much-needed sidewalk along the diagonal Grand Avenue. According to Eliot neighborhood folks, the neighborhood wanted the sidewalk there, but PDC got an opinion (and an official Design Exception) from PBOT, to omit that sidewalk, since PBOT says it would be unsafe to encourage folks to cross that Grand Ave. “exit lane” at the south end of the triangle to walk along the diagonal Grand to take the shortest route. The plaza plan includes a meandering wall/fence that comes very near to the Grand Ave. curb, specifically to discourage walkers from using the well-worn path that is there now.
The Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee is sending a letter to the planner requesting the sidewalk, AROW is working on a response (contact Steve), and neighbors and concerned citizens can also write to the planner, Tim Heron, regarding case LU 11-115003 DZ. Heron’s number is 823-7726, and email is Tim.Heron@portlandoregon.gov. The relevant city regulations are in the Community Design Guidelines, and Guideline E1 says: “Create an efficient, pleasant, and safe network of sidewalks and paths for pedestrians that link destination points and nearby residential areas while visually and physically buffering pedestrians from vehicle areas.” The buffering the guideline speaks of is usually a planting strip with street trees along the curb, not an 8 foot high fence.
Here’s the site:
Here’s the plan for the plaza, from the Design Exception, where PBOT shows “conventional sidewalks”, and the “difficult crossing” at lower right. Neighbors also would like a crossing of Martin Luther King Blvd at Hancock, at the north of the project.
Letters to Tim Heron (email or snail mail to Bureau of Development Services, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Ste. 5000, 97201) are due by March 31st at 5 PM. The PDC project manager is Irene Bowers, 503-823-2419. To contact her by email use the email contact form at the bottom of the project’s web page. The website also includes pretty pictures of the project, but notably none as seen from Grand Ave.
There is a meeting of the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee on Thursday, April 21, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, at Irvington Village, Vanport Conference Room, 420 NE Mason St. This might be an opportunity for a show of support for sidewalks. The agenda lists only “project update”.