The Portland Bureau of Transportation informed CAN on August 15, 2016 that they were applying for a grant to make safety improvements to NE 72nd Avenue. The grant would come from Regional Flexible Funds—Federal money administered by Metro. The proposed improvements include:
Multi-use path on west side from Killingsworth to Sumner
Separated sidewalk and two-way bike path on west side from Sumner to Prescott
Multi-use path down center of Roseway median from Prescott to Sandy
Enhanced crossings and signal safety improvements at Alberta, Prescott, Mason, and Sandy/Fremont
These are changes that have been sought by CAN for some years. If the project is funded, which seems likely, construction would begin in 2020 or 2021. At its meeting on August 16, the CAN board unanimously approved the following letter of support for the project.
August 17, 2016
To Whom it May Concern:
The Cully Association of Neighbors (CAN) is pleased to support the City of Portland application for Regional Flexible Funds for the Connected Cully Phase 2 project. The application wisely focuses on pedestrian and bicycle safety for NE 72nd Avenue.
NE 72nd Avenue in the Cully neighborhood is currently a narrow street with fast-moving vehicle traffic, and no pedestrian or bicycle infrastructure. It is widely used by low-income Cully residents on foot to access the Northeast Emergency Food Program at 4800 NE 72nd and Sacajawea Headstart at 4800 NE 74th. 72nd Avenue is also the terminus of the popular Going/Alberta Street Neighborhood Greenway, requiring many bicycle riders to continue their trips sharing the travel lanes with speeding cars.
Cully is a neighborhood with many needs. Annexed to Portland in 1985, we lack basic infrastructure that other neighborhoods take for granted—sidewalks, parks and paved streets. As Portland’s most diverse neighborhood, with a high percentage of low-income families, Cully is unable to fund infrastructure by creating local improvement districts. We must reach out to a variety of public and private funders to correct these historical inequities.
CAN has sought funding for 72nd Avenue safety improvements from other sources in the past, without success. We urge you to grant funds for the much-needed Connected Cully Phase 2.
Laura Young, Chair David Sweet
For the CAN Board CAN Land Use & Transportation Chair