‘Foster Road Streetscape’ completed; celebrated

Years in the making, it’s the end of work on this outer East Portland project; see officials gather to cut the ceremonial ribbon …

News reporters gather in the Foster-Powell neighborhood to witness and record the official conclusion of the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A project that began in earnest back in 2012 – then called the “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy”, along SE Foster Road, from 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at SE 91st Avenue – officially came to a conclusion on Thursday morning, June 13, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.

>> To see coverage of this project, see our article, “Foster Road makeover project underway”, CLICK HERE – it links to previous articles.

Officials from the City of Portland, as well as area business and neighborhood associations, gathered at the intersection of SE Foster Road and 72nd Avenue in the Portland Mercado lot to celebrate the completion of what was later renamed the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project”.

The result is that SE Foster Road is “no longer a high speed, auto-oriented corridor”, says Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly remarked that the $9 million project has transformed Foster Road from a “high speed, auto-oriented corridor, into a streetscape that is safer, and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit – and driving.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the planning and construction of the project, as well as your vital input,” commended Eudaly. “I know it’s been a long time coming; and I hope it was worth the wait, because it is beautiful. This is not just about changing the street; it’s about fostering a sense of community.”

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Director Chris Warner didn’t mention that vehicle traffic lanes had been reduced from four down to two, with a center turn lane; but he did point out that six rapid-flash beacons were installed, “blocks and blocks” of bike lanes were added, 200 street trees were planted, and additional street lights were put in.

The Foster Area Business Association sees the improvements a step toward making their district “destination”, says its president, Allen Rowand.

“As President of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA), and on our organization’s behalf, we’re happy to celebrate the completion of the Foster Streetscape projects,” said Allen Rowand. “This is the next step in our Neighborhood Business District’s evolution to becoming a destination – rather than a throughway.

“And, we thank PBOT for their ongoing support, working with us throughout the whole process, including sponsoring several of our events, which we are repeating this year.”

Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin praises the project as something that will increase economic opportunity in the area.

Shea Flaherty Betin, Director of the “Portland Mercado”, commented, “We envision increased economic opportunity along Foster for small businesses, for entrepreneurs, and for the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem we have here at the Mercado.”

Praising PBOT’s “open communication and transparency” during the lengthy project is Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association Co-Chair Eric Furlong.

Members of the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association were also happy to witness the conclusion of the “Foster Road Streetscape”, said the association’s co-chair, Eric Furlong.

“We have collaborated on this project since its inception,” Furlong recalled, “and, through all its ‘twists and turns’, this is a good example of how, with open communication and transparency, PBOT, the City Commissioners, and the stakeholders can complete a project as successful as this one.

“We look forward to seeing you all out on Foster Road!” concluded Furlong.

Clipping the ceremonial ribbon at the conclusion of the Foster Road Streetscape project are Foster Area Business Association President Allen Rowand, Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association Co-chair Eric Furlong, Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin, Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Transportation Director Chris Warner and Prosper Portland Commissioner Peter Plat.

After the ceremonial ribbon was cut, FABA’s Rowand told East Portland News that they’d just set July 20 as the date for their summer promotion, the “Foster Tasting Tour”, in which “you can try everything from booze to board games, and win prizes by filling up your Tasting Tour passport.”

Find out more about the the “Foster Tasting Tour”, at FABA’s official website: CLICK HERE

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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