By Ken Peterson
Broadway-Weidler Alliance communications chair
and Grant Park Neighborhood Association president and land use chair
Do you think cars drive too fast on Northeast Broadway? Is the Broadway-Weidler one-way couplet the best design, or should Broadway be two-way its entire length? Should there be better crosswalks or signals? Wider sidewalks? Better landscaping? Safer and easier bike transit? A streetcar line? Another MAX station? More inviting street-side seating and dining options? A greater variety of retail businesses and restaurants? How can they be attracted?
The Broadway-Weidler Alliance, a unique consortium of neighborhoods and business associations bordering Northeast Broadway from the Willamette River to the Hollywood Transit Center, is seeking fresh public input to help answer those questions.
If you have opinions on these issues, or simply want to learn more about them, plan to attend the Better Broadway Charrette (French for an intense period of design or planning activity) on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the Grace Memorial Church, 1535 N.E. 17th Ave. The event is open to the public and there will be plenty of free parking available for all types of vehicles. TriMet bus lines 8, 17, and 77 stop nearby and the Lloyd Center MAX station is just a few blocks away. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
District Five Metro Councilor Sam Chase will be the keynote speaker, focusing on Metro’s Climate Smart Strategy, a regional plan to implement local visions for land use and transportation, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Representatives of ALTA Planning and Design, Better Block, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Walks, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Streetcar Company and TriMet will be available to answer questions and receive public input.
Speeches will be few and brief, and the event is primarily intended to be an opportunity for informal sharing of ideas and concerns about the Broadway corridor.
Partnering with the alliance, Better Block PDX plans a temporary demonstration installation on Broadway between Northeast Seventh and 24th avenues, just a short walk from the charrette site. The goal is to physically demonstrate a range of possible pedestrian, bicycle, crossing and other street enhancements for the public to evaluate and comment upon. Better Block previously made temporary changes to Naito Parkway and Old Town Chinatown along Third avenue that prompted considerable comment and influenced future permanent planning for those areas.
The Broadway-Weidler Alliance invites you to spend a Saturday morning envisioning the possibilities for a better Broadway for all Portlanders. For more information, visit www.bwapdx.org.