ODOT shares vision of Division Street ‘Underpass’

See what people thought of this idea – and what other issues were brought up at the meeting …

ODOT Project Leader Nate Scott answers questions about improvements they’re considering for pedestrian safety along the I-205 Multi-Use Path at SE Division Street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the aim of keeping bicyclists and pedestrians safer as they travel along the “I-205 Multi-Use Path” at SE Division Street, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) showed off their new rerouting plan on October 9, at the East Portland Community Center.

“We are here to talk about an improvement that we are making, and collaboration with the City of Portland, ODOT Public Policy & Community Affairs Manager Shelli Romero told East Portland News.

“ODOT will be constructing a new ‘under-crossing’ at SE Division Street, which links up with the Multi-Use Path on either side.”

About 40 visitors came by to look at the drawings, to talk with staff, and to make comments about safety along the outer East Portland Multi-Use Path.

Guest Keith Jones writes comments about places he considers dangerous along the I-205 Multi-Use Path.

“I have no specific concerns for this particular proposal,” commented guest Keith Jones, who came with bicycle helmet in hand.

“I do have overall concerns for different points on the bike path. I ride along this corridor frequently. Mostly my concerns are about sight-lines at critical intersections in many places along the route.”

Members of the City of Portland’s Transportation Bureau (PBOT) staff were also on hand – to talk about a new and improved “rapid-flash beacon” at the SE Division Street upper crossing, just west of I-205.

As this illustration shows, a new path will go under SE Division Street and I-205, keeping its users from having to cross this busy street.

“Initially, ODOT was going to construct the undercrossing, and there were no plans to improve the at-grade crossing (the crosswalk crossing Division),” said Romero, after the open house.

“What we heard at the open house was public validation that the at-grade improvement is important. People were happy with the project, including both crossings,” Romero continued. “We listened to the public, to Portland Police and path users. And, we’re partnering with PBOT to construct the under-crossing and improve the at-grade crossing.”

To keep up with this project as it continues, see ODOT’s webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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