I’m a Portland writer who, through my guidebooks, has made a living off the well-designed pedestrian infrastructure in the City. I’m writing to ask you to continue the excellence by addressing the deficits in walking resources in Southwest Portland.
As I’ve learned in giving talks and leading walks over the years, many people will not venture where they do not feel safe, or guided. The Red Electric Trail with the Slavin Road route offers people in outer SW a relatively gentle grade into South Waterfront and downtown. You don’t need to be in primo shape to do it, unlike other routes up and over the West Hills.
I’m not familiar with the details of the proposed priorities, but I do know there is a dearth of usable pedestrian/bike infrastructure crossing the West Hills. I’m a huge fan of the work SW Trails has done—without them and the City teaming up to provide alternatives to cars, Southwest Portland would be a pedestrian’s no-man’s-land. It still has a ways to go, and I hope you will make the Red Electric Route a top priority. (And also keep the need for better pedestrian access on Marquam Hill Road at the top of your list—It’s a 19th century road with 21st century traffic, plus pedestrians. It needs work!)
Thanks much for your attention and the work you do.
Laura O. Foster
14355 NW McNamee Road
Portland, OR 97231
Author of Portland Hill Walks, Portland City Walks, The Portland Stairs Book, and Walk There!