Standing on the corner of Southeast Foster Road and 72nd Avenue, you can feel a steady breeze as cars pass by, many exceeding the posted speed limit of 35mph. A middle school age child dashes across the street on his way back from a convenience store. A speeding car screeches its brakes at the last minute and avoids hitting the boy. This scene plays out every day on Southeast Foster Road.
Unfortunately, all too often the ending is not so innocent. For more than a decade, crash data has identified Southeast Foster Road as having one of the city’s highest incidences of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
A group of citizens from the neighborhoods next to Southeast Foster Road is determined to change this by bringing a new vision to the busy arterial. It is a vision of a road that helps local businesses to thrive and where people in cars and transit, on foot, and on bicycle can get around safely.
The Foster Road Coalition is made up of members from the Mt. Scott-Arleta, Creston-Kenilworth, and Foster Powell Neighborhood Associations, as well as representatives from the Foster Area Business Association. The coalition, run entirely by volunteers, has worked for months to gather input from local citizens through meetings and public events.
The result of this outreach and labor is the coalition’s Foster Vision Document, which outlines their aspirations for a more livable SE Foster Road and which proposes measures to achieve the community vision.
The Foster Road Coalition Vision document demonstrates what community members can do when they come together to discuss common challenges and seek common solutions. It offers the city, which is just now updating its Foster Road Streetscape Plan with a timeline for construction to begin in 2014, clear direction about the type of place residents and businesses along Southeast Foster Road want the road to become.
For more information about neighborhood involvement in the Foster area and for updates about the Foster Road Streetscape Plan, visit: fosterunited.org
By: Bob Kellett