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To make Outer Southeast Division safer for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is planning big changes for Division Street from 82nd Avenue to the city limits, including: filling in sidewalks and adding street lighting, enhanced pedestrian crossings, separated and/or protected bike lanes, measures to slow down drivers, including lower speed limits, speed reader boards and fixed cameras.

But the plan may come at a cost: The planned raised median islands could hurt auto-reliant businesses along the busy corridor.

PBOT plans an open house Thursday, Nov. 9, 5-7 p.m. at PCC’s Southeast Campus, Community Room Annex, 8305 SE 82nd Ave. PLEASE join PBOT and your neighbors, community businesses and organizations to find out what’s going on. These changes affect all of us!

In the meantime, find out more about the outer Division Multi Modal Safety Project at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/74204

PBOT will share its design maps at the Nov. 9 meeting.

The proposed median will begin at SE 82nd Avenue and continue to 156th, with breaks intermittently for pedestrian crosswalks and U-turns at designated intersections. Business and community access will be managed via U-turns at select intersections.

According to an Oregon Department of Transportation report a number of studies examining the economic impact of medians found:

  • Ivey, Harris and Walls Inc. (1995) surveyed business operators following construction of medians, and found that more than half of the business owners reported no change or an increase in their sales after the median construction.
  • Frawley and Eisele (1998) found that between 16 and 22 percent of business owners believed that their gross sales decreased following median construction. Eisele and Frawley (1999) later determined that those same corridors actually experienced an 18 percent increase in property values following median construction.
  • Stover & Koepke (2000) found that 68 percent of business owners who participated in a survey reported little or no economic impact to their businesses following median construction, although 27 percent reported some type of loss following the closure of select median openings.
  • The effects of medians are likely to vary by business type and location. Auto-related businesses that are extremely auto-dependent may be more vulnerable to negative effects of medians (Bonneson & McCoy, 1997b).

Generally, only right turns will be allowed onto Southeast Division except at some lights or U-turn locations.

For example, if you leave on 125th and want to go to Grocery Outlet at 122nd, you’ll have to go to the 130th Avenue U-turn.

Again, please join PBOT at the open house Nov. 9 to find out more as well as voice your concerns.