PBOT reveals ‘82nd Avenue Major Maintenance 60% Design’ plan

Here’s why parents of grade school kids in the Lents neighborhood believe that this thoroughfare’s upgrade is critically important to folks in outer East Portland …

Although Oliver Lent Elementary School parents unsuccessfully protested in 2022 trying to keep kids in the neighborhood, many of them were reassigned to this campus, Marysville Elementary – forcing them to cross S. E. 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As construction on the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) 82nd Avenue Critical Fixes: Major Maintenance project will start this summer – part of the bureau’s multi-year Building a Better 82nd program – neighbors on both sides of S. E. 82nd Avenue of Roses were invited to an open house on March 4 to talk with staff and leave comments.

At the meeting’s location in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, at Marysville Elementary School, narrow S.E. Raymond Street and its side roads were packed with vehicles, as people flocked to the evening meeting.

Bike Portland publisher Jonathan Maus speaks with PBOT Public Information Officer Dylan Rivera, during the 82nd Avenue Critical Fixes: Major Maintenance project open house.

“We’re holding this open house so members of the public can view detailed plans for the project, ask questions, and give their ideas and comments directly to the PBOT staff who are finalizing plans for construction that’s scheduled to start this summer,” explained PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera.

With the southern area of this project, PBOT will improve S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses from Mill Street to Foster Road. This project area was selected based on:
           Safety needs
           Pavement maintenance needs
          Serving equity
          Serving Centers and other major destinations

“Additionally, PBOT selected these areas because the designed improvements can be constructed largely within the existing public right-of-way,” noted Rivera.

Parents from the Lents neighborhood write comments about the plan during the open house.

“We’re hearing this project is especially important to families in outer East Portland – especially in the Lents neighborhood, where children who once attended Oliver Lent Elementary School were relocated to Marysville Elementary,” Rivera told East Portland News

“We’re making it safer and more comfortable for students, and their parents, who are walking or biking to school; this plan that will make pedestrians more visible.”

Marysville Elementary School Principal Cathy Murray says she’s enthusiastic about the improvements coming to S. E. 82nd Avenue near her school.

Marysville Elementary School Principal Cathy Murray agreed. “We are thrilled; we are so excited about this for the families – especially for the students who have to cross 82nd Avenue.

“This is so important to our school, because many of our students independently come to the school, and go home again, by themselves – because we’ve never been able to staff a crossing guard along 82nd Avenue. We’re really happy there’s going to be protected walkway there.”

Here’s a PBOT illustration of the southern portion of the project.

Many parents from Lents were leaving notes approving of the plans for crossings near the school.

At $55 million, it is the largest part of the $185 million overhaul of 82nd Avenue that will be built through the end of 2026.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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