Council agenda doesn’t include Barbur; BTA will rally – UPDATED

Council agenda doesn’t include Barbur; BTA will rally – UPDATED

UPDATE, 10/8: The BTA is no longer holding a rally, but they still encourage folks to show up and testify. More on their blog here.

Next week’s Portland City Council agenda has been published and it doesn’t include a key amendment on the SW Corridor Plan resolution that the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) was hoping to see.

As we reported earlier this week, the BTA had made a very public request to Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and the rest of City Council. They wanted a vote on a resolution supporting the SW Corridor Plan to be amended to include the following:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Council directs staff to initiate a transparent and collaborative process with Metro and ODOT to study the Barbur lane diet option on SW Barbur Blvd. from Terwilliger to Hamilton. (SW Corridor Plan Projects #5006 & #1019)

But the SW Corridor Plan agenda item that was just published on the City’s website doesn’t include that language. In response, the BTA plans to hold a rally at City Hall prior to the vote on Wednesday. Here’s more from a BTA blog post that just went up:

“Unfortunately, the City of Portland is not planning to study safety of SW Barbur when they adopt the SW Corridor Plan on October 9th.

If ODOT is going to make safety improvements on SW Barbur, they need to know it’s a local priority. If Portland City Council won’t speak up for safety, it’s time for us to speak up for ourselves.”

The BTA is urging everyone who cares about this issue to show up and testify in support of the amendment. The rally is scheduled for City Hall at 1:30 pm on Wednesday October 9th. More details here.

In other Barbur road diet news, noted citizen activist and Portland Planning Commissioner Chris Smith published an ‘Open Letter to City Council’ about the issue. Smith is strongly in favor of the Barbur road diet and traffic study. “The proposed road diet,” he writes, “would be a great first step in the series of changes needed to make Barbur a place that delivers on the Portland Plan ‘healthy connected city’ promise.” Read Smith’s letter here.

Stay tuned. Next week is likely to bring some key developments.

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