Within three blocks from where I live in Northeast Portland are a bike route, numerous bus lines, a MAX stop, and I-84. My neighborhood has low-income and affordable housing, apartments, condos, houses with yards, places to eat and drink, a grocery store, a day care center and several other businesses. It feels like there’s something for everyone. I like the diversity of this place and having so many choices about how I get around. I can walk, ride a bike, take transit, carpool or drive.
The Powell-Division Transit and Development Project is about much more than creating a better experience and faster ride for transit riders between Portland and Gresham on what will be the region's first bus rapid transit line. It's about bicycling, walking, driving and moving goods in one of our busiest travel corridors. It's about the future of diverse neighborhoods, local businesses and growing educational campuses. And your thoughts are crucial to its success.
Metro, the cities of Portland and Gresham, Multnomah County, TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation need to hear from you. This month is your chance to contribute to the project conversation – whether you want to share your preferences for where bus rapid transit should go, changes you'd welcome (or those you wouldn't) along the line, or improvements for safe biking and walking in the corridor.
I think moving through the Powell-Division corridor using a variety of transportation options is really important. I don’t live in the corridor, but I travel to and through it often for work and recreation. My favorite way to travel in the corridor is on bike. When I need to be somewhere at a specific time, I ride the bike lanes. When I’m more relaxed about where I’m going in the corridor, I ride the Springwater Trail, other paths and bike routes. Several times, I’ve been on my bike in the Gresham area when weather and (once) a mechanical failure made me happy I could put my bike on transit.
Do you like having choices about how you get around the region? Do you wish you had more where you live?
I recognize that many people in the Powell-Division corridor do not have as many easy transportation choices as I do. Maybe they don't have a safe way to walk to a store or a bus stop. Maybe they have disabilities that limit their mobility. Maybe they experience barriers to driving. Maybe they don’t have a secure place to store a bike.
Everyone who travels through the Powell-Division corridor – whether they live, work or play there – knows what would improve their experience getting places. As one of the busiest transit corridors in the region, Powell-Division should be a place where there’s something for everyone: places to go, ways to get there, things to do.
The Powell-Division project relies on input from diverse interests to make it be the best project it can be. It's about more than transit. The project’s guiding goals and outcomes allow planning for other modes of transportation and neighborhood improvement, too. The project's steering committee has called for coordinating the project with related transportation investments throughout the system. Add to this the project's goals for well-being and equity, and the conversation broadens substantially to include safe, healthy neighborhoods and a commitment to equitably distribute the benefits and burdens of change.
Help us tackle these questions
You can help us figure out how to do this.
In February and March, three hands-on workshops and an open house provide opportunities for you to share your thoughts about what would make this new kind of transit line work best for you. Your input will help the project steering committee understand which transit route options are the most promising and inform their decision about which options to move forward. In addition to transit route options and bus rapid transit design treatments, we would like to hear from you about the kinds of activities you would like to see in areas around station areas. We look forward to seeing you at one of these events:
Feb. 12 Gresham hands-on workshop and open house
Gresham City Hall, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 East Portland hands-on workshop and open house
East Garden Restaurant, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 East/Southeast Portland hands-on workshop and open house
Fubonn, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
March 10 Southeast Portland open house
Cleveland High School cafeteria, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
If you can’t make one of these workshops or open houses, you can comment online starting next week. There are also additional opportunities to provide input coming up in March.
Learn more about the project