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Ken

This will never happen in your lifetime Brian. I mean look how slow the post office site is moving. This isn’t even CLOSE to being started let alone finished anytime soon..

Brian Libby

Ken, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can understand your skepticism. However, I would have to think you're merely speculating, no matter how much you phrase it as established fact.

As it happens, these plans do take quite a long time to come to fruition. The thing is, they're plans, not building projects. That said, you're right that some of these never come to fruition. Centennial Mills is a particularly tragic example and a permanent blemish on the City of Portland for causing such historic buildings to fall into ruin.

Even so, perhaps it's also worth re-emphasizing that this plan is citizen driven. It's not directly comparable to the Broadway Corridor (the post office site you mentioned) because it actually has people behind it.

If the Albina Vision does move forward with a plan, we naturally can't guarantee that development would happen right away. But two of the most important parcels to kick-start this process are city-owned: the two Rose Quarter parking garages. If market-rate offices and housing are viable in buildings there over below-ground parking, that, along with the presence of the streetcar on Broadway as well as attendant zoning changes and the demand for developable central-city real estate given the urban growth boundary can in time make this viable.

I guess we'll see. And if it turns out that you ARE right to be skeptical — that this risks dying on the vine — I'm all the more glad to be advocating for something tangible to happen.

Brad Perkins

Brian,
You shouldn’t assume that the I-5 Rose Quarter widening Project is a done deal! Yes, ODOT presented options to the North/NE quadrant study group 6 years ago. Yes, there were some hearings 2 years ago in Salem regarding the huge $5.3 billion transportation package for the State of Oregon in 2017. But the opportunity for the public to comment on the Environmental Assessment and the recent plan first occurred on March 12, 2019. 90% of the people who testified opposed the project.
The power of Portland’s citizens to stop this project should not be underestimated, especially after the minimal improvement conclusions documented that were given in the Environmental Assessment Report. We all want to successfully connect the business district on both sides of the I-5 freeway in the Rose Quarter. Widening a noisy freeway and topping it with poorly designed covers to support trees and shrubs will become dangerous places to walk or bike through.
The “Albina Vision” will remain a vision if there is not a catalyst to spur real estate development. A master plan is needed for a larger affected area from MLK Jr Blvd to the Willamette River and North Russell Street to I-84. Within this context we then can understand how transportation systems work together and become a catalyst that influences economic feasibility for developments on covers over freeways when density is built nearby. Transportation systems include pedestrian corridors, bikeways, transit, high speed rail, freight rail, street, highways, water taxis, etc.
Nothing we do in land use planning or transportation planning should be done in a silo. What we do on the street relates to the surrounding environment and vice versa. Successful urban neighborhoods are based on vibrant streets that support a variety of travel and open space options that is edged by dense and diverse architecture. This sensitive settlement pattern does not happen with a freeway widening and cover project.
The Rose Quarter and its surrounding area should be studied by stakeholders of how transportation corridors connect with a new Rose Quarter Transportation Hub including a Cascadia High Speed Rail Station.(cascadiahighspeedrail.com) To spur conversation Prosper Portland should offer the 33.5 acres of public land around the Rose Quarter for sale via a Request for Proposals from developers similar as to what was done at the Post Office site in NW Portland. This new CHSR/Town Center development opportunity, with proper citizen involvement, will be a paradigm shift for the City, Metro, State of Oregon and the Northwest in non-freeway oriented development paid for by both public and private investment.
We are currently getting Oregon and Washington legislators interested in shifting $450 million transferred from this I-5 widening disaster project to a new Hybrid Bridge Project next to the BNSF Columbia River Bridge for rails and vehicles, which will relieve a third of the traffic and pollution on I-5. The future is now.
Brad Perkins, CEO/CHSR

Brian Libby

Thanks Brad! I hope you're right. I'd be happy to see this I-5 project stopped. It's true that Albina Vision can happen without the I-5 caps. We just have to make sure that if the I-5 expansion does come, it's accompanied by buildable caps. Still, I'm on your side.

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