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Moving More People Through PDX, Not More Cars

The City of Portland calls it the “Central City In Motion” plan.  It’s a long list of transportation upgrades for, you guessed it, Portland’s urban core, primarily downtown.

I’ll back up a bit.

In learning more about this new transportation plan, I’ve also learned much more about the anticipated population growth in Portland’s “central city”.

Downtown Portland and the surrounding urban core makes up around 5-percent of the entire PDX metro.  However, city planners expect this specific area will experience 30-percent of the metro’s population growth over the next 20 years.

That is certainly a lot more people in a small space, not to mention, it will mean a much higher demand for effective transportation through Portland’s urban core.

A spokeswoman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation tells me there is very little room to add traffic lanes.  She says transportation planners are compelled to upgrade existing streets to allow for more modes of travel.

Naturally, it’s a rather fancy way of saying, “there will probably be less space for cars in Portland’s urban core”.

Take a look at the “Central City In Motion” plan here.

In multiple projects you can see plans for pedestrian cross-walk improvements, “protected bike lanes”, and an emphasis on more access to TriMet.  Travel lanes for commuters will be squeezed significantly in some cases.

If you imagined the “Better Naito” project and just applied it to more areas of the urban core, you would about have it right.

The projects total more than $70M.  It’s billed as a 5 to 10 year transportation plan.  Portland City Commissioners approved it last November.




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