Lents neighbors voice concerns over Foster lane changes

PBOT's plan is a done deal

A cyclist in a bike lane in Portland (KOIN, file)
A cyclist in a bike lane in Portland (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some people in the Lents community are frustrated with city plans to convert 2 lanes on Foster Road into bike lanes and walkways.

The project has been in the works for years and has already been approved by city council. The plan will affect lanes between SE 50th and SE 90th.

“There [were] a number of terrible crashes and deaths along the roadway and priorities in the neighborhood shifted to truly safer streets,” project manager Rich Newlands said.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation said the project will also help businesses in the area by creating more foot traffic. But some in the community don’t like the idea and while it is a done deal, they made their voices heard at a meeting on October 12. 

“It’s going to increase the rent,” Char Pennie with Lents Livability Association said. “Cause right now, a lot of it is smaller businesses in these older buildings and I’m guessing the rents are a lot lower.”

“The city’s got this thing in their brains about bicycle lanes everywhere…people aren’t going to have places to park,” neighbor Neola Larson said. “It’s not fair.”

Some think fewer car lanes will mean more traffic and more danger.

“It’s not going to make it any safer, as far as the people who drive and get angry,” Pennie said.

The city may still make amendments to the plan, but it’s unlikely. Groundbreaking will happen in spring 2018.