I would like to extend my very strong support to the Better Burnside Alliance in their efforts to stop the West Burnside-Couch Couplet.
While I’m sure there are many well intentioned individuals who think the project is a positive step forward, as a community activist in East Portland who faces multiple transportation and connectivity issues, I personally cannot understand why this project has made it to this point when all of the supporting data strongly suggests it is the wrong path to follow.
Data clearly shows that one way streets do not work. In fact, earlier this Summer, a walkability audit was done in our Neighborhood, Powellhurst-Gilbert, with proactive support from the City of Portland, as well as two other locations in the Metro area. National experts facilitating the audits and discussion repeatedly mentioned that installing one way streets was the absolute wrong thing to do for any urban environment.
As for the streets, NW Couch in particular would be a dream come true for any Neighborhood in this City. A beautiful pedestrian friendly and vibrant street clearly connected to the surrounding community. I find it particularly hard to fathom the possible destruction of such a vibrant and robust and existing facility, especially when my Neighborhood struggles with just trying to get contiguous sidewalks installed on all of our main thoroughfares.
While many people might think East Portland and the Pearl have little in common, clearly that is not the case. The commitment to a built environment that supports and promotes community, healthy active living, and business is a common shared value — one shared by all Portlanders.
I strongly encourage you to critically review the data being presented. I’m sure you will discover that there are much better and more cost effective ways to revitalize West Burnside to the level of significance it deserves as one of the most important boulevards in the City of Portland.
President, Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association