City's reply on Transportation Strategy

Those from our community who wrote comments to Art Pierce received the following letter on Oct 6.

Dear International School parents,  teachers and staff,

Thank you for your comments and concerns regarding a variety of motor vehicle projects being evaluated through the North Macadam Transportation Strategy (Transportation Strategy). It is always encouraging to see interest and participation in City planning processes.

As I hope you are aware, the Transportation Strategy is charged with developing a long range plan for multimodal transportation projects to support the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area over the next 20 -30 years. This strategy has developed an array of short and long range motor vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit project proposals with the aim of creating a more balanced transportation system in this area of Portland as it continues to grow.   As part of the Transportation Strategy, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), comprised of representatives from the neighborhood, businesses, and property owners, including The International School (TIS) representatives, has spent numerous hours over the past year collaboratively discussing the needs for the area and the projects proposed.

Per your comments, the project that appears to have resulted in the strongest concern from The International School is MV-2, the Sherman Roadway Extension. This project was carried into the Transportation Strategy from its initial concept in the Harbor/Naito Development Plan developed in 2004.  The plan is intended to show conceptually, what could occur in the Harbor/Naito area with the maximization of development potential for the area.  With that plan, the Sherman roadway extension was proposed to provide additional local access to the International School and adjacent properties and was not proposed as an additional connection between outside destinations.

As such, the Sherman St Roadway Extension (MV-2) is not identified as a high priority in the Transportation Strategy.  Rather it is a local improvement and will only occur through initiation and funding by property owners, including TIS, to support future development, such as the middle school included in your Strategic Plan. To ensure that this connection would not unintentionally serve as a cut through route, the closure of SW Water/Sheridan and/or traffic calming measures were proposed to happen concurrently, should property owners initiate this local access improvement.

As The International School has not developed a detailed master plan for its expansion, the Sherman Roadway Extension was included in the Transportation Strategy to serve as a placeholder for the additional street infrastructure that would be required to provide sufficient and safe access to the site. Alternative circulation proposals could be developed by a TIS transportation consultant through its master planning process and reviewed by the City of Portland Office of Transportation to ensure adequate level of service.
The other motor vehicle projects listed of concern in your letters have a broader context of providing portal capacity for the entire North Macadam Urban Renewal Area (including The International School) and would be difficult to fully address in this email. I encourage you to attend the October 7th Open House to obtain additional information about future access issues in this area and the variety of solutions that are currently being considered.

If there is interest I am happy to coordinate and present at TIS to provide for a more targeted discussion of your transportation needs. In addition to the motor vehicle projects that were shared with you, there are a number of pedestrian, bicycle and transit projects (including a trail connecting the Eastside Springwater Trail to Downtown Portland on SW Caruthers Ave) that I believe would also be of great interest to the TIS community.  I have also attached a copy of the proposed High Priority Project list and map for your reference.

I hope that you will continue to be engaged in this planning project and shaping its outcome and I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Art Pearce
Project Manager

Attachment - Top Priority Projects N Macadam Trans Strategy100408

Art Pearce
Project Manager
Portland Office of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation Engineering and Development
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 800
Portland, Oregon 97204
503-823-7791

Background
In late September, TIS learned that the City of Portland had plans to significantly and adversely affect the streets around the school. The school sent its own formal and detailed comments on the proposals, and asked as many parents as possible to provide public comment to the City on or before October 7, 2008.

Resources
These documents are all as of late September '08

And - links to the City's pages: