On Dec. 13, the city of Portland notified Sabin Community Association’s Land Use and Transportation subcommittee that its proposed design for pedestrian crosswalks and storm-water abatement on Fremont Street next to Irving Park has been approved for permits. Construction could begin this winter and be completed by spring.
“This has been a long process for Sabin Community Association, the city and for WB Wells and Associates, our civil engineers just up the road,” explains Sabin resident Trent Thelen.
Almost five years ago, Thelen and other Sabin neighbors began working through SCA’s Land Use and Transportation subcommittee to address two problems: a lack of crosswalks on Fremont connecting the Sabin neighborhood to Irving Park, and flooding in the street after a heavy rain due to inadequate storm
The subcommittee proposed creating a Green Street project along Fremont using funding available through the city of Portland’s 1 Percent for Green grant program. The program is sponsored through the city’s Bureau of Environmental Services and is funded by system development charges, which developers pay to the city as part of their permit fees.
The Fremont Green Street project consists of building three sets of crosswalks and a series of bioswales — attractive plantings that manage rainwater runoff. Crosswalks would be connected to curb extensions of sidewalks, shortening the time pedestrians are actually in the street. Curb extensions make pedestrians
who are attempting to cross a street more visible to motorists and, at the same time, slow down traffic.
According to Thelen, the first curb extensions and crosswalks will be installed at 9th Avenue and Fremont, then similar installations will be built at 8th and 10th avenues later.
“We are expecting to solicit contractors early this new year and break ground late winter to early spring,” Thelen reports. “Many have seen that once we solicit bids, these Green Street structures are installed relatively quickly.”
Sabin Community Association plans to solicit donations of supplies and plant materials from local nurseries and supply yards. The association hopes to recruit neighborhood volunteers to do the planting. Watch for further information on how your family can contribute to this cool Sabin project!
- Randy Ward