Budget Forum Wednesday, April 9th — Safe Route to Robert Gray School

SWTrails needs your help to urge the Portland City Council to budget funds to construct a key SW 25th Safe Routes to School connection between SW Bertha and SW Kanan, which includes a short bridge over Fanno Creek replacing an exisiting trail that is unsafe to walk on, is muddy most of the year and very steep in locations. It has a failing culvert in the creek, steep slopes on which folks have been injured. It connects the Crossing at Stephens Creek with Robert Gray School, where 40 to 60 students will be able to walk to school if this connection is completed. See more detail below. Come to the hearing to support the low income folks in our community.

Community Budget Forum
Wednesday, April 9th, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Performing Arts Center
12000 SW 49th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97219

The Case for a city funded safe route to school for middle school children from The Crossing at Stephens Creek and the adjacent neighborhood.

Our elected officials and PBOT staff have known, since work on the new facilities began in 2009, about the need for a safe route for the many children from Stephens Creek Crossing to walk to Robert Gray School, many of the staff and officials have personally walked the route and discussed the need. Yet, here we are with a new, very expensive ($52.8 million), facility for 122 low income families to live in but without a safe way for their children to walk to middle school. This is a shame for a city supposedly noted for its planning.

The Request: Portland fund the construction of a stairs, bridge, more stairs and a sidewalk the existing SW 25th street right of way from SW Bertha to SW Kanan to make walking to Robert Gray safe and easy to negotiate in street shoes.

The existing trail is not usable, is a muddy mess all winter (most of the school year), steep and slippery. Many people have slipped and fallen on this crossing, including the current Principal of Robert Gray.
We have some parts of the route, a pedestrian operated signal to safely cross Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, and SWTrails has built 500 feet of trail along SW 25th south of Bertha.

The trail is in the Hillsdale Pedestrian District, and there is an action item in the Hillsdale Town Center plan providing funds for improving pedestrian facilities in the district.

The City has secured significant funds to make our transportation system more equitable, dedicated almost exclusively to SE Portland. This project is the only one we are aware of in SW Portland that will serve a large population of low income residents, and it will make the walking journey to Robert Gray much safer, and will encourage walking to school.

We ask funds to accomplish this small but critical and equitable improvement be included in the 2014-2015 budget.

See the map below for the route, and a photo of the crossing area. from north of BH Hwy looking south.
The route from the Crossing at Stephens Creek goes east for a block on Capitol Hwy, then north along SW 25th to Robert Gray at SW Kanan. The main street shown on the right is Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, next street south is SW Bertha. The request is to build stairs, a bridge and sidewalk along existing curbs to Kanan.

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Looking south across BeavertonHillsdale Highway along SW 25th, the connection will go to the car parked on SW Bertha.

 

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Existing trail is steep, eroded, muddy and dangerous. The principal of Robert Gray broke her arm walking here!

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Culvert in Fanno Creek needs replacement, replace with a bridge.

 

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