In 2011, Foster Road was marked as one of Portland’s five “high crash corridors,” areas with an exceptional concentration of crashes. The City of Portland, Metro, and the Portland Development Commission hoped to reestablish the major thoroughfare as a vibrant retail space and comfortable streetscape safe for all users including people walking, riding bicycles, driving, and taking transit.
Nelson\Nygaard identified three key safety issues along Foster Road: limited pedestrian crossings, a lack of bicycle infrastructure, and speeding motor vehicles. We established a multimodal evaluation process—a first of its kind for planning future corridor investments in the City—to analyze over 24 cross section options. The evaluation process helped to effectively weigh tradeoffs and win broad acceptance of plan recommendations.
After conducting a half-day design charrette with City staff and stakeholders, Nelson\Nygaard developed a range of design alternatives to turn Foster Road into a Complete Street. We recommended extending curbs; installing rapid flashing beacons and new median islands; and adding bike lanes to manage vehicle speeds and protect people walking and bicycling. Finally, we created detailed plan view graphics that illustrated the extent, location, and intent of recommended designs.
Using Nelson\Nygaard’s initial design work, Portland Bureau of Transportation secured funding for the final design and construction of the Foster Road plan as well as three rapid flashing beacons and other pedestrian improvements prior to construction.