We are writing to provide some very long overdue updates to what is happening with the next phase of the Division Street Plan implementation. There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes that we want to bring into the open:
*** 7 Corners design project details and report are being completed by Stuart Emmons and the Planning Bureau and should be available for review shortly. While there were limitations as to what could creatively happen at the Ladd Ave corner because of historic preservation issues and other concerns, there were some great ideas that have been captured in the summary and will help inform the design of the overall street as well as 7 Corners. Which leads to…
*** Proposals are currently being reviewed from design firms for the Division Streetscape and Reconstruction Project. The winning firm will oversee the design and citizen involvement portions of the project. The consultant(s) should be in place by the end of this month and ready for the first Citizens Advisory Group meetings starting in April …
***A Citizens Working Group and Technical Advisory Group are currently being put together with Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). Membership on these groups should be confirmed this month with the first of monthly meetings beginning within a few weeks. This will be the group that oversees the Design and talks through the pro-time lane decision etc. Anyone is welcome to come to these meetings while remembering that committee members are the only ones who vote…
*** Pro-time lanes and other roadway issues are being studied by Kittleson traffic engineers. They have concluded the first part of their study, and it indicates traffic flows are down a bit. Their report on existing conditions will lay the groundwork for all future discussions on roadwork and streetscape etc.
*** Funding for the project continues to evolve. According to PBOT the combined funding sources for the project (General Transportation Revenue and the 2004 MTIP award) total $5.8 million. Paving estimates (as of the end of 2008) total $8.2 million. Costs for the streetscape will be established once the conceptual streetscape design has been identified. Total budget is projected at $9 million. We did not get the additional funds requested through Metro so that leaves a deficit. However, some of the material costs for this project have gone down recently with the overall economic slump. There is no way to know if that will continue to be the case, but it is hopeful, since cost escalation has been one of the stumbling blocks to moving this project forward in satisfying way. The other good news is there is a chance that we can coordinate some of the work to happen on Division with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Tabor to the River (Taggart D) Project. BES and transportation are working to align their design and construction schedules and BES will be on hand to answer questions at upcoming CWG and Community Meetings.
*** There is a small case study going on around the Urban Development Partners multiuse project scheduled for 38th and Division. The goal of the study is to try and learn from the relationships between the Division Street Plan, place, neighborhood association, business association and local neighbors. Learnings from reflecting on both the process and the design may help inform some of the work to come along the Division Street.
*** We are continuing to be strong advocates with PBOT and other agency stakeholders to ensure that the next phase of the project will embody the collaborative approach we have been modeling since the start of this vision 7 years ago. We have been promised that regular updates and communications will be coming from PBOT on this project. In the meantime, while we look forward to that happening, after a couple months of delays, we want to pick up responsibility for providing this update so we can all have a better sense of what is going on and where you can get involved or provide input.
Charles and Linda