After years of advocacy, ownership of 82nd Ave--formerly known as Oregon Highway 213--was transferred from the Oregon Department of Transportation to the City of Portland. With that transfer came $185 million dollars to improve the road. For years, this highway served as the main north-south corridor for vehicles and freight on the east side of Portland. Over the decades, Portland grew to the east and subsumed the highway while low density residential and commercial activity grew along the corridor.
After all this growth, 82nd Ave is now the geographical center of Portland. It is also the most culturally diverse area of Portland and is home to bus line 72, the highest ridership route of the entire Trimet system. After years of neglect, however, the road deteriorated, pedestrian access became more and more dangerous, and injuries and deaths along the corridor grew in numbers. With the jurisdictional transfer complete, Portland has an opportunity to make 82nd Ave a safe, thriving corridor for all.
Funded by the American Relief Act, Oregon Walks is tasked with building a community-led coalition that will reimagine 82nd Ave. The coalition will focus on three areas:
- safety and pedestrian movement,
- placemaking, public art, and uplifting the diverse cultures in the community,
- exploring achievable mixed-income and affordable housing development opportunities.
Working in partnership with Asia Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Unite Oregon, and Verde, Oregon Walks is excited to build a thriving coalition. Recognizing there are limited funds that cannot pay for all the desired investments, this coalition will be positioned to help the City of Portland prioritize current and future investments to best meet community needs.
If you are interested in knowing more and/or joining the efforts, contact Zachary Lauritzen, the 82nd Ave Coalition and Project Manager.