Alberta Main Street Plan

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Alberta Main Street Plan


!!! !!!2!!Forward The City of Portlands Main Street program provides resources, both technical and financial, to selected neighborhood commercial districts to support improving the economic vitality of these community centers. The program is based on the nationally proven model developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservations Main Street Center, which teaches a practical neighborhood business district management strategy that focuses on comprehensive and incremental improvements identified and supported by community members. Once organized, local Main Street programs provide a supportive network, business assistance, and continuous promotions that help keep shopping dollars local and the commercial district less susceptible to an economic downturn. Our international reputation for sustainability and livability rests on how we support and shape our distinctive neighborhoods going forward. Through Portland Main Street, neighborhoods can organize, promote local businesses, and preserve and enhance the character of their commercial districts. The Alberta Street Plan created by the students of Catlin Gabels urban studies class (PLACE) will contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the Alberta Main Street district. Jeremy Van Keuren Portland Development Commission Main Street Program !!! !!!3! Table of Contents !!1. Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 2. Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 3. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 a. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 b. Project Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 c. Who We Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 4. Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 a. Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 b. Preview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 c. Explanation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 d. Project Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 5. Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 a. Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 b. Wayfinding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 c. Pedestrian Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 6. Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 a. Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 b. Wayfinding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 c. Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 i. High Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 ii. Medium Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 iii. Low Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 d. Pedestrian Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 i. Curb Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 7. Final Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 a. Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 b. Pedestrian Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 c. Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 8. Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 9. Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 a. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 b. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 c. Survey Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 d. Citations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 !!!!! !!!4!!Executive Summary Alberta Main Street is a vibrant cultural arts district, motivated to foster its future development. Alberta received a grant from the National Main Street program by organizing and creating a comprehensive plan of its own for their Main Street. NE Alberta St. achieved this, even before the idea of a central Main Street became popularized, and became the first urban National Main Street west of the Mississippi. This plan aims to expand on their 2000 Streetscape Plan and to improve walkability along NE Alberta St. The main focuses in this plan are improved lighting and nightscaping, wayfinding through signage and pedestrian safety. Methodology: Initially we researched the different examples of Main Street improvement programs around the world and their effectiveness. While incorporating different aspects of other systems, we focused on making our project feasible for application on NE Alberta Street. Next, we gathered information from visitors and residents of NE Alberta Street, as well as from case studies and experts in the field of Main Street improvement. This involved conducting interviews and talking with people on and around Alberta. Additionally, we created on online survey for anyone to take, to gather data from a larger sample than the people we could speak to individually. The survey helped to develop the best sense of what the public felt most needed improvement on Alberta Street. Findings: Through interviews, surveys, and talking with residents and passersby, we found that approximately 70% of people walk on Alberta instead of an alternative form of transportation, such as driving. 97% of them said that they felt safe doing so during the day. That number decreased significantly at night. Although the majority of people feel safe walking on Alberta, most felt that the lighting, crosswalks, signage, and wayfinding could improve their experience significantly. The responses to our surveys suggest that the primary reason 82% of people go to Alberta Street is for the restaurants and bars, while 55% say they visit because they live nearby, and 50% of people visit the retail shops. !!! !!!5! Executive Summary Recommendations: The goal of our recommendations was to create an improvement plan to enhance the walkability of NE Alberta Street. Our recommendations focused around three key problem areas: Wayfinding and Signage: A gateway welcoming newcomers to Alberta Street will make the area more inviting. This could take on any form from traditional arch or post-lintel, to sandwiching the street with two creatively sculptured posts. A protected public map would offer a key to the commercial stretch of Alberta from 10th to 30th, along with the surrounding streets. It will inform the general public of the location of most businesses such as stores, restaurants, and cafes. A bike map should also be included with the public map to help riders know where its safest to ride. Bulletin space around the public map will provide a central location for the community to know whats going on. Pedestrian Safety: We recommend implementing curb extensions at intersections to make pedestrians more visible, and to slow down cars by narrowing the road. Additionally, reducing the speed limit would force cars to go more slowly along Alberta, giving pedestrians and drivers alike more time to react to traffic situations. This improves the overall pedestrian safety of the street and would also give Alberta a more relaxed atmosphere. Lighting: In areas where the sidewalks and surrounding areas are in need of more light, a combination of medium and low cost options should be implemented. Where lighting is nearly sufficient, using string lighting in trees may be implemented. Finally, in places where there is a break in commercial businesses and lighting is dim, the installation of a streetlight is the most effective strategy. Our goal is to keep Alberta the vibrant artistic community it already is, and expand upon its promise. Since the NE Alberta St. community wants to preserve its individuality, we incorporated artistic elements, sustainability (including economic vitality, equal opportunity, and environmental quality) and support for local businesses. !!! !!!6! Introduction Since the 1970s, Portland has emphasized the development of districts as independent and vibrant communities in its planning goals. These districts tend to focus around a particular Main Street (such as NW 23rd Ave., SE Hawthorne, and SE Belmont) and have developed as areas of commerce and culture with strong identities and sense of place. These enclaves have become destinations for people living in the city, and they attract tourism. Some neighborhoods in north and northeast Portland, such as N Mississippi Ave. and NE Alberta St., are in the process of development similar to that of 23rd, Hawthorne, and Belmont. The process of development occurring in these up-and-coming areas in north and northeast is Portland is similar to that which occurred in other areas of the city, leading to bittersweet changes that are, on one hand, improving neighborhoods and, on the other, causing gentrification. However, the current development plans emphasize the districts unique characteristics and cultural history, and do not seek to homogenize these newer areas of development. The National Main Street (NMS) program seeks to revitalize the nations cities through the Main Street approach. The goal is to bring federal funding to programs that aim to partner businesses and communities together. The NMS has a four-pronged philosophy: promotion, design, organization, and economic restructuring. Through design and promotion, NMS programs seek to improve the image of particular districts through advertisements and campaigns and seek to attract visitors by emphasizing in the areas beauty and history. Through organization and economic restructuring, NMS programs aim to create a solid, sustainable economic plan for the area, with cooperation between business and property owners. The NMS program also seeks to encourage an areas business growth and diversification. In Portland, the Alberta Main Street (AMS) program seeks to apply the goals of the NMS to the Alberta area. It is the first urban Main Street project west of the Mississippi. It has received from the NMS program a district improvement grant of $20,000, although some of that money has already been pledged to ongoing projects. In addition to the district improvement grant, it has received a $5,000 green faade grant from the Portland Development Commission to make storefronts more attractive and reduce environmental impact. Investment, both in monetary and community capital, in public areas in NE Alberta will create an atmosphere amenable to residents, visitors, and businesses, and will create a greater sense of place for the emerging culture of the Alberta Arts District. !!! !!!7! Purpose The goal of our project is to improve walkability on NE Alberta St., focusing on artistic elements, sustainability (including the three Es: economic vitality, social equity, and environmental quality), and support for local businesses. Through a public meeting, community members voted on the top three priority attributes out of many: lighting and nightscaping, wayfinding and pedestrian safety. The ideas presented all revolved around the safety and attractiveness of NE Alberta St. for pedestrians and bicyclists. Lighting and nightscaping illuminates the street for possible increased safety. Wayfinding denotes both directional signs to services for increased mobility, and unique signs to identify Alberta St. as a cultural district. The community also identified pedestrian safety. There are currently many unmarked street crossings that could be hazardous to pedestrians along Alberta. Our plan uses these attributes to try to facilitate the greatest walkability in the Alberta arts district. Walkability: a measurement of the transportation and recreation opportunities for pedestrians, which considers pedestrian safety, convenience, and route aesthetics ! Sense of place: things that add up to a feeling that a community is a special place, distinct from anywhere else. -The National Trust for Historic Preservation ! Nightscaping combining products, techniques, and effects to create creative nighttime ambiances, while still illuminating the street effectively!Wayfinding enables a person to find his or her direction to a given destination of services or areas with both effective and unique signs that identify the area !The 3 Es of Sustainability: 1. Economic Vitality 2. Equal Opportunity 3. Environmental Quality !!!! !!!8! Project Context The Catlin Gabel School PLACE urban studies class is working in partnership with the Alberta Main Street Program to create a comprehensive addition to the Ablerta Streetscape Plan (2000) suggesting ways to improve the walkability of NE Alberta St. through restructuring of lighting, wayfinding, and pedestrian safety. The Catlin Gabel community has a direct stake in the Alberta community as a member of the larger Portland community. Additionally, many members of the Catlin Gabel community live on and use NE Alberta St., furthering the schools interest in supporting the Alberta Main Street Program. !!! !!!9! Who We Are We are Catlin Gabel high schools urban studies class, which is part of the PLACE (Planning and Leadership Across City Environments) program. Composed of ten well-informed students committed to making a difference in our community, the class studied urban planning and the political history of Portland for the first half of the course. For the second half, we worked with the Main Street program to improve the walkability of the Alberta area. Our clients, Sara Wittenberg and Elise Scolnick, asked us to make recommendations for lighting and nightscaping, pedestrian safety, and wayfinding along Alberta. Although we completed most of our project work in the classroom, we also conducted interviews and surveys in the Alberta Arts District. !!!! !!!10!!Methodology In order to form a comprehensive and complete work plan for Alberta Main Street, we researched what made a successful Main Street. We found that walkability, variety of businesses, vibrant street life, and affordability are all key for successfule Main Streets. Once we had a strong understanding of a Main Street, we began work to define our project. We met with the Alberta Main Street program manager, Sara Wittenberg, and narrowed down our project to focus on nightscaping, wayfinding, and pedestrian safety to improve the overall walkability of Alberta St. Then we began gathering information through surveys, interviews, and case studies. To make our recommendations on wayfinding, lighting, and pedestrian safety, our methodology consisted of researching the effectiveness of how these systems have been implemented in other cities and neighborhoods. For the most part, we used Google to access this information, finding case studies on these topics from which we gained information to make better-informed recommendations. Information regarding the change in speed limit reflects a study done in New York. We found that a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has an 80 percent chance of survival, but has only a 30 percent chance when hit at 40 mph. This is one example of how we found information that we could use to make our informed recommendations. !!! !!!11! Methodology: Process At the start of our project, students attended one of two Alberta Main Street meetings. Both the March 1st and March 2nd meetings were open to the public; the meetings were for critical input on the future work of Alberta Main Street and implementing the communitys vision. There was brainstorming for organization, promotion, design, economic restructuring, and, for a select committees, sustainability. These topics are the main components of the National and Portland Main Street Projects. The public was informed about projects that were already in progress or already planned for the coming year. The workshop participants recorded specific, measurable projects that their Main Street program should work on in the coming year, based on vision statement goals or existing work that the program is doing. Each suggestion was evaluated on timeline, correlation with mission and vision statements, importance, and measurable results. Then participants voted for their top three projects. Committee members voted for projects listed for the other committees and for their assigned committee. This established the consensus of those participating, although the committees and ultimately the board of directors determined the final decision of projects. Using the votes as our guide, we determined our overall goal of improved walkability for NE Alberta St. The committees focused on the attributes of improved pedestrian safety, street lighting and nightscaping, and increased wayfinding signage. We used surveys and personal interviews to determine the publics opinions on these subjects. Each of these gave us more focus for our final recommendations. !!! !!!12! Methodology: Preview Interviews After our initial visit to NE Alberta St., we returned to talk to local businesses to gain their perspective on what our project should entail. We also sought out the advice of planning experts familiar with Main Streets. Surveys To get a broad spectrum of views and gauge the opinions of actual visitors to NE Alberta, we created a survey to be passed out on Alberta St. Case Studies We researched previous Main Street programs from across the country, and their solutions to challenges of nightscaping, wayfinding, and pedestrian safety. We incorporated what we learned from case studies into our recommendations. Case studies about painted intersections: Paint the Pavement and City Repair !!! !!!13! Methodology: Explanation Interviews We held interviews occurred shortly after meeting with Sara Wittenberg and completing the work plan. First, the interview team came up with a short list of diverse questions, ranging from focused questions about our specific project, to questions about what it is like to be a business on NE Alberta Street. A group of Catlin Gabel students then conducted interviews on NE Alberta St (a compilation DVD is included at the back of the plan). These consisted of personal interviews with a manger at the co-op grocery, an employee at the bicycling center, the owner of the Tumbleweed and Grasshopper shops, and an employee at the PedX shoe shop. We recorded the interviews with a Flip camera, and later wrote up interview summaries. We choose to interview business owners and employees because we wanted to talk to people who spent the majority of their time on Alberta and had a vested interest in any changes to the street. We also conducted a phone interview with an expert of Main Street programs. While we valued highly the face-to-face interviews, time constraints limited the number of people we talked to. Survey Process We created a survey to reach a wide range of people who used NE Alberta St. The survey went through multiple revisions until it was ready to be distributed. We surveyed in Alberta arts district itself, asking people walking on the street. We also knocked on doors of residences within a block on either side of NE Alberta Street to catch those who might not walk on the street on a regular basis. We made sure to survey on the street during the week and weekends and also during different times of day. We also sent the survey out through a web link, using social media and the current email list on record provided by our client to garner more responses. Paper copies of the survey were also placed in local businesses, with collection boxes that we provided. We received over 150 responses to the surveys due to the many ways it was made available to people, but more time spent canvassing would have yielded a more representative sample. !!! !!!14! Project Limitations Although we were able to complete the surveys, interviews, and research case studies our time was limited, which prevented us from delving into these areas further. For the surveys, we were only able to walk down some of the side streets off of NE Alberta, which limited the number of residential survey responses we received. Because of our school schedules we couldnt survey people during certain times of days, like weekday mornings. Another problem we faced was an inconsistency between the online survey and the hardcopy survey. One of the questions in the online survey had one less answer option, making the results for that particular question unreliable. Even with these conflicts, we still managed to get the necessary survey responses and information. Similar to the limitations with surveying, the largest problem facing the interview team was finding enough time to go Alberta and meet with people. Also, it was difficult to find business owners and employees who were available to talk to us while we were there. After our initial two visits for interviews, we tried to set up two additional interviews with Earl from Earls barbershop and Sam Brooks, but scheduling didnt allow us to conduct the last two interviews. Even with the amount of time we had to interview people we still managed to learn a lot from business owners and employees. !!!! !!!15! Findings With the main focus of improving walkability on Alberta St., our surveys, interviews, and case studies found facts and statistics that are helpful to our project. 70% of survey respondents usually walk along Alberta, and 83% find it enjoyable to walk now. We want to improve those numbers through lighting, wayfinding, and pedestrian safety. !!! !!!16! Findings: Lighting The most common complaint about the lighting on NE Alberta was focused on the safety of crosswalks for pedestrians and drivers. The owner of Tumbleweed believes that better lighting is needed to prevent crime. She finds crack vials in her storefront without lights, so for safety she would like more. In keeping with NE Albertas focus, she would love artistic lighting (old fashioned lights strung from buildings), but not generic street posts. She believes a funky lighting option would be better. This would also prevent graffiti and future vandalism due to the broken window effect. She believes Alberta is a colorful neighborhood, so Alberta needs to stand out with color. The Cycling Center employee believed lighting needs to be improved, especially during the holiday season. He would like a campaign to string lights across from the building to the trees, especially if it was energy efficient. In accordance with the artistic theme of the Alberta cultural district and its innovativeness, we explored a case study involving the dark skies movement. The movement is a recent campaign by people who want to reduce light pollution so people can see the stars, reduce the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment, and cut down on energy usage. As one of Portland Main Street programs goals is environmental awareness, this movement is in harmony with the AMS philosophy. The movement started with professional and amateur astronomers alarmed that light pollution from urban areas was blotting out the sight of stars. The movement has since spread with groups like the International Dark-Sky Association, as other concerns have been raised. For example, nocturnal animals can be harmed by light pollution. The dark-sky movement works to encourage the use of lighting that casts little or no light upward in public areas and generally to encourage communities to adopt lighting regulations. !!! !!!17! Findings: Lighting - About 40% of respondents would say lighting is inadequate along storefronts - Only about 36% said that lighting was adequate on sidewalks or crosswalks - Only 9% agreed that there was adequate lighting in alleys Among residents, our survey was split for lighting in residential area; about 30% of respondents stated they agreed, disagreed, or were neutral in the residential area around 10th and Alberta, and NE Grand to NE 10th From the data we collected in our survey, it seems that lighting needs most improvement around crosswalks, sidewalks, and intersections. Most people feel that lighting on storefronts is satisfactory, but could be better. Many people feel that there is an inadequate level of lighting around crosswalks, which make drivers wary of driving on Alberta at night, taking extra precautions to avoid the street particularly in the rain. !!! !!!18! Findings: Wayfinding After analyzing survey results about what community members wanted more of, we see that some did answer no to the questions. After reading written responses to these questions like It will take away from the charm and visually pretty cluttered we learn that these negative responses to adding signage derive predominantly from negative feelings about Alberta becoming more crowded and less pleasant. Still, the majority of people said yes: - 34.3 % of people said they would like more directional signs pointing to locations and services - 67.6% of people said they would like more directional signs to bicycle-friendly streets - 48.9 % of people said they would like more public maps - 71.6% of people said they would like more distinct signage to brand Alberta as a unique cultural street !!! !!!19! Findings: Wayfinding The overwhelming amount of people who answered yes to unique signage let us know they were really into the idea. Here are some written responses we collected from those. From these responses we can see they want signage to promote businesses, to brand the street, to know about upcoming events, and inform bikers of nearby routes for their safety. The PedX interviewee stated that casual bikers dont know about the bike street, which could be ameliorated by a wayfinding sign to those streets. The employee at the Cycling Center believed an entryway sign to the Alberta arts district would be a good idea. The PedX interviewee expanded saying that the community would have to be a part of the street signs and have input in the design to make it unique to NE Alberta. Identify neighborhood with signage Businesses want people to use them Community signage for upcoming events Please get bikers onto bike avenues !!! !!!20! Findings: Pedestrian Safety Safe and accessible pedestrian crossings on Alberta are key to enhancing the districts walkability. Many Alberta visitors choose to walk, which creates a greater need for pedestrian safety in crossways. We came to our results through personal interviews. As Jason, a member of Alberta Co-op, noted, foot traffic on Alberta is very important, as many view it as the best part of being on Alberta. He believes that if the Co-op wasnt in a pedestrian neighborhood like this one, the business might not succeed. Walking is the best way to see shops, and services, and to browse. A car is just a hassle, a survey respondent added. We researched case studies on a possible solution: community building and placemaking through creating public art. In St. Paul, Minnesota, Paint the Pavement supports groups of neighbors to organize to create their own public mural on low-traffic residential streets. Residents living around the painted intersections say that drivers are more observant and cautious. It also gathers the community so that neighbors know each other and are more conscientious about children living near them. Paint the Pavement also argues that painted pavement, along with any other visual cues (toys, benches, bird feeders) on or along the road, let passers-by know that it is a lived-in neighborhood where folks know each other and might be outside chatting, playing, or gardening at any time -- so they should drive carefully. City Repair, in Portland, Oregon, has a similar mission and assisted neighborhood residents on nearby 30th and Killingsworth Avenue with creating street-corner murals that brand the area.!!!! !!!21! Findings: Pedestrian Safety Less than half of Alberta visitors surveyed thought marked crosswalks were safe to cross, and fewer than 15 percent thought unmarked crosswalks were safe to cross. o The owner of Tumbleweed and Grasshopper, two shops on Alberta St., is enraged at pedestrian crossings. Ten years ago they put in bump outs on the pedestrian crossings, but they havent slowed traffic down at all. She believes that these crossings make cars pull up further and are a big waste of money. Over 95 percent of Alberta visitors feel safe walking in the day time, but only just over 70% feel safe walking at night, and only just over 60% of women feel safe walking at night. Only 17% of respondents think the speed limit does not need to be lowered. People need to learn to share the road Cycling Center Employee Many crosswalks are not well-lighted, making it hard for drivers to see pedestrians waiting to cross Alberta St. or even in the middle of hte crosswalk Survey Respondent Drivers tend not to stop for pedestrians at either marked or unmarked crosswalks. As a business district, 25 MPH seems reasonable. 20 seems too slow Survey Respondent !!! !!!22!!Recommendations: Lighting Improved lighting would aid drivers and walkers alike and make people feel more comfortable along Alberta at night. It would attract people to businesses and allow Alberta St. to creatively continue developing its unique style and culture. Lighting strategies range from simple street lights and wall-mounted lights outside of businesses to strings of lights in trees connecting the trees to the buildings, LED strip lighting that fits along the base of a level change in concrete, and landscape and illuminating feature light. Many people surveyed expressed concern over the safety of crosswalks for pedestrians and drivers. Stretches without commercial businesses and residential areas are also thought to be lacking in light. Essentially, because not everyone has the same opinion, we want to meet in the middle. While we are sensitive to the fact that unnecessarily lighting dark areas of NE Alberta may lead to light pollution and increased electrical costs, we believe that to provide an overall continuity for the street at night and to improve safety for pedestrians, areas that are currently dark such as businesses that are closed at night and parking lots should be lit in an minimal but effective way. Within the constraints of our budget, we recommend three options for lighting that range from high to medium to low in cost. Because we recognize that the goals are to increase pedestrian safety and draw more people out to walk around for businesses, our recommendation is as follows: In areas where the sidewalks and surrounding areas are in need of more light, a combination of medium and low cost options should be implemented. Where lighting is nearly sufficient, string lighting in trees may be used. In places where there is a break in commercial businesses and lighting is dim, the installation of a streetlight is the most effective strategy. !!! !!!23! Recommendations: Lighting LED Street Lamps: Due to the amount of light emitted and proven effectiveness in street environments, a streetlight installed above crosswalks would significantly increase visibility. Streetlights can run off solar power and LEDs, which use much less energy than a typical incandescent bulb, but emit more light. A typical light of this kind may start in price at around $1,000, but the benefit of implementing even a few would be dramatic. Ground-Level Lighting: In-ground and ground-level lighting offers increased light at a lower level and on landscape items such as trees. Lights can be either installed in planters or under trees, which illuminate the sidewalks and make walking more enjoyable at night. Depending on how they are configured, they can also address the problem at crosswalks, although pedestrians may temporarily become dimly lit towards the middle of the street as the range of light is not much further than five or six feet. String and Rope Lighting: String and rope lighting is an effective, decorative, and simple way to bring more light to any area. Rope lighting can wrap around trees or be strung from tree to tree or even tree to building. This option does not contribute light pollution and can address poor lighting at crosswalks, which is a definite advantage over the medium cost option. One problem that may arise with the use of rope or string lighting is that it is more susceptible to environmental factors than a streetlight. For example, extremely heavy wind could cause damage to a system of string lights. Cost for an entire block may be as little as $100. !!! !!!24! Recommendations: Wayfinding Walkability includes the ability to maneuver around any Main Street community comfortably and with confidence. A more confident pedestrian feels safer, and knows how to take advantage of the local resources. Wayfinding and signage are among the most effective ways to boost the aesthetics and safety of a Main Street. Some survey respondents said that these improvements would take away from the charm and make the area visually pretty cluttered. We learned that these negative responses to adding signage derive predominantly from apprehension about NE Alberta becoming too commercialized. However, the overwhelming amount of people would like unique signage. Signage promotes businesses, brands the street, is a communication tool among community members and informs bikers of nearby routes for their safety. We want to create something that the community will enjoy, based on the responses to the survey. Since no two people have the same opinion, we tried to create options so that the community members could compromise. The Alberta Main Street program would like an entrance on either 33rd or 30th and NE Alberta to let passers-by know they are entering a pedestrian-safe, unique arts district. We combined this idea with the ideas of people we surveyed to create one multipurpose entrance providing the following: !!! !!!25! Recommendations: Wayfinding Public map: A protected public map with a key to the commercial stretch of Alberta from 10th to 30th, with surrounding streets. It directs pedestrians to local businesses and amenities such as stores, restaurants, and cafes. It can also list details on bus stops and MAX. This will encourage both visitors and regulars to check out the local businesses lining Alberta, encourage public transportation and most important, increase pedestrians confidence so they can enjoy themselves to the fullest. Bike map: A potential part of the public map, a bike map is essential in order to show riders where it is safest to ride. This may include side streets or bike routes as alternatives to the narrow streets of NE Alberta. Bulletin space: Community members love to know whats going on, and a bulletin space is perfect for this. It may include boxes and a place to staple or tack up newsletters or posters for shows, events, or community meetings. This keeps people in the community in touch and encourages people to join the community and share their events or ideas. Getting Bikers onto the Bike Boulevard We figure that if it is clear to bikers that there is a bike boulevard next door, they will use it more frequently, lowering the chance of dangers on NE Alberta. Each of the gateway options has a map with a bike route. However, we have also designed a sign to go on Alberta that points pedestrians and vehicles onto Alberta and bicyclists to the Bike Boulevard. !!! !!!26! Recommendations: Gateway Gateway: The gateway to Alberta could take on any form, from traditional arch or post-lintel, to sandwiching the street with two creatively sculptured posts. It can be made out of anything, ranging from more common concrete to a local artist-made piece constructed of found objects. It can also serve the purpose of displaying Alberta Streets name and/or motto. Overall, we would like the gateway to have a unique feel to it, with a design that would work with community-based public maps or bulletin boards. To manage the cost of the design of the gateway and encourage that branding, it is possible to encourage a design contest with a set budget. The materials could be provided, and a local artist could be recognized with pride. Low Cost: This option is small, and creates a small gateway to Alberta Street with informational panels. It can have a creative twist to it, and would be a great option to make out of found objects. Medium Cost: This option is elaborate, but only sits on one side of either end of Alberta. It would add a lighting element to NE Alberta. High Cost: This option will most likely use metal, because it covers a larger amount of space and will be more expensive. It will take a longer amount of time to install, but as mentioned before, arches create a great entrance. Business Map Bulletin Space Transit/Bike Map Sculpture Entrance Sign Other High Cost x medium x x gateway arch Medium Cost x large x interactive x lighting Low Cost x small x x !!! !!!27! Recommendations: Gateway Potential Elements: Arch: The gateway to Alberta could take on any form from traditional arch or post-lintel, to sandwiching the street with two creatively sculptured posts. This specific model is made from metal, a simple medium that can be welded into almost any shape. It can also serve the purpose of displaying Alberta Streets name and/or motto. Kiosk: there will be four kiosks total, two on each gateway, and one on each base of the gateway. Each kiosk will have three panels; a public map, pedestrian education, and bulletin space. Bulletin Space: Community members love to know whats going on, and a bulletin space is perfect for this. It may include boxes and a place to staple or tack up newsletters or posters for shows, events, or community meetings. This keeps people in the community in touch, as well as encourages people to join the community and share their events or ideas. Pedestrian Information: With specific focus on pedestrian safety, we thought it would be helpful to include a panel briefly educating pedestrians about proactive methods of crossing the street, the types of crosswalks, the current speed limit, and general information about walking in the Alberta arts district. Public Map: A protected public map might displaying mainly the stretch of Alberta from 11th to 31st with surrounding large streets. Similar to mall maps, it will let the general public know where most businesses are, , such as stores, restaurants, and cafes. It can also have details on bus stops and MAX, as well as nearby landmarks such as parks and grocers. This will encourage both visitors and regulars to visit the local businesses lining NE Alberta, encourage public transportation, and most important, make pedestrians more confident in where they are going, allowing them to enjoy themselves. Maintenance: A concern was raised about maintenance for the gateway. One optional solution would be to have the neighborhood association be in charge of updating the bulletin board and map. Another idea would be to give the responsibility to the Alberta Main Street Program. We feel that responsibility should be given to someone so that this community board doesnt contribute to an over-abundance of flyers. Another part of the job of maintaining the kiosk would be to revise the magnetic map of businesses on Alberta. This job would not be a huge time or effort commitment, because the businesses will be in charge of notifying the maintainers about changes. Plexiglas would be placed over the bulletin board and map to keep the updates protected from vandalism and can be replaced swiftly and cheaply. !!! !!!28! Recommendations: Gateway (High Cost) Multipurpose Gateway: $$$ This is the largest option, and the most definitive gateway to Alberta out of all the options. It provides an arch that reads Alberta which could alternatively read Welcome to Alberta, Alberta Arts District, Only on Alberta, or the like. This example is made from metal, and spirals down into one kiosk on each base. In addition, this option provides signage, pointing bikers to Going St., and pedestrians and vehicles into NE Alberta. There will be one gateway per entrance, making four kiosks total. !!! !!!29! Recommendations: Gateway (Medium Cost) !"#$%&'#()$*+(,-.*/(#0*1(2"3**!!"!"#$%&'(#&)%(*+,$%(",%#)-&./*(#&)%-.&/%(",%+#&$+%*)0%/&1,$%#(%&)(&%*)%#)(,.*2(#1,%'#,2,%&-%$234'(3.,5%!"#$%,6*/'4,7%*4("&38"%(",%&'(#&)%2*)%9,%0#$'4*:,0%#)%/*):%1*.#*(#&)$7%8#1,$%&--%4#8"(7%*)0%#$%'4*2,0%&)%*%$'#))#)8%9*$,%-&.%',0,$(.#*)$%(&%3$,5%;(%*4$&%*00$%(",%#0,*%&-%(#(4#)8%(",%$(.,,(5%!"#$%,6*/'4,%"*$%*%!!! !!!30! Recommendations: Gateway (Low Cost) Small Kiosks: $ This option lines two short poles with a three-panel kiosk. The smaller surface area that it covers gives it the ability to be charming, and not be too loud. It can also provide a sign on top saying Welcome to Alberta Street or Only on Alberta. This option provides two kiosks per entrance. !!! !!!31! Recommendations: Pedestrian Safety Pedestrian crossings on Alberta Street are particularly important because pedestrian safety is key to attracting people to the area, and keeping people who visit Alberta out of harms way. Crosswalks are the chief area of concern, as it is here that people and cars must negotiate the same space. Alberta Street has already seen improvements to its crosswalks. Many have the zebra stripes painted on the road, and a few have signs indicating pedestrian crossings. A number of crosswalks even have curb extensions. There is little consistency, however, among the crosswalks of NE Alberta, and this is a recommendation of for the as-yet unimproved crosswalks on the street. Based on our survey results, visitors to NE Alberta St. are looking for lower speed limits and improved crosswalks. Despite these feelings, however, an overwhelming majority felt that Alberta was an enjoyable place to walk. Our survey data and interviews show two main themes among pedestrians and business owners on Alberta. First, drivers have a hard time seeing pedestrians trying to cross the street. This is especially dangerous at night, when visibility is worse. Secondly, the speed limit on Alberta should be lowered. Cars currently travel at 30 mph or more down Alberta, and many pedestrians would like to see a reduction by at least 5 mph. Cars moving more slowly means drivers have more time to see pedestrians entering the street, and also mitigates injury or damage in the event of a collision. !!! !!!32! Recommendations: Pedestrian Safety Pedestrian Flags: Pedestrian flags are available for people at intersections to carry with them as they cross the street, thereby increasing their visibility to drivers, and clearly indicating their intention to cross. This option addresses the visibility problems that pedestrians face, but can also add a pleasant aesthetic to the street; the standard orange or yellow flag might be substituted for something funky and homespun for Alberta St. The cost of this option would be minimal only that of the signs but ongoing. Inevitably some of the signs will be stolen and will require replacement. The installation of the flag-holders plus six flags would be about $100 per intersection. Painted Curbs: The creation of a community-painted street mural has been used in other areas of Portland to calm traffic and draw drivers attention to intersections. The cost would be approximately $25 per gallon of paint, which must include special abrasive and reflective additives. One advantage of painting a mural is that it would involve the whole community in an artistic process. In other neighborhoods, such murals have become community focal points. Depending on the design, this could be a low to medium cost option, as the amount of paint varies with size of mural. Even if curb extensions arent used, painting the curbs will still have a traffic calming effect. It will make them bright and interesting and add to the artistic elements already present in the Alberta arts district. The community can also design these paintings and help complete the theme. The designs could also add to pedestrian interest and incentive to walk. This idea would require little maintenance. Since the painting is only on the curb and not on the roadway where cars drive over it, there would be significantly less wear and tear on the design. At the very earliest, the designs would need to be painted after two years, but painting will go much faster the second time. With the designs already outlined, its just a matter of coloring and retouching. !!! !!!33! Recommendations: Curb Extensions Curb extensions entail bumping out the curb at intersections to make pedestrians more visible and slow down cars by narrowing the road. This is the most costly option, ranging from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on drainage assessments, but it is highly effective for making pedestrians more visible to cars, and can be made very visually appealing with the addition of plants, trees, lights, etc. With Curb Extensions With Curb Extensions Without Curb Extensions With Curb Extensions Without Curb Extensions !!! !!!34! Final Recommendations A unique gateway to Alberta $$$ Curb extensions on key intersections $$$ Painted curbs $ Solar street lights in dark areas $$$ Cobra street lights in dark areas $$ String lights $ Pedestrian flags $$ Key: $$$ - high cost option $$ - medium cost option $ - low cost option We are happy to say the speed limit recommended has already been implemented on Alberta St. !!! !!!35! Final Recommendations: Gateway The gateway could provide a meeting place, a central focal point on the street, sense of place, and a unique way to distinguish the NE Alberta arts district. It can display a business map, a bulletin board, and pedestrian educational materials. Keeping in mind the multitude of responses received, we recommend a gateway combined with an information kiosk that does not clutter the street with sign sprawl. A gateway could be implemented as an entrance on 33rd or 31st and 10th or 11th. This would allow passers-by know they are entering the pedestrian safe, unique, Alberta arts district. !!! !!!36! Final Recommendations: Pedestrian Safety Curb Extensions Pedestrian Flags Painted Curbs !!! !!!37! Final Recommendations: Lighting In any streetscape environment, there are three different layers of light. The first layer is public, which consists of streetlights, streetlamps, cobra heads, etc. They are maintained and paid for by the city. The next layer is semi-private, which consists of string lights and wall-mounted lighting on storefronts. These lights are paid for and maintained by the businesses themselves. Finally, private lighting is the last layer, and it's found indoors. The maintenance and care for this layer is much lower than public and semi-private lighting, although the cost is similar to semi-private lighting and is taken care of exclusively by the businesses in which they are implemented. In the darkest places between businesses or where there are only a few businesses, we recommend a high-emission street lights, either solar or cobra head. In places where only minimal light is needed, string lights should be implemented. The maintenance of the string lights would rest upon the business owners, who would string the lights from outside their businesses to trees on the street or just along the eaves of their business. The few business owners we talked to about stringing lights were enthusiastic about the idea, and wanted it to be a community effort in which all businesses agreed to maintain and pay for the lighting costs. Although we recommend that the business owners keep up the maintenance of the string lights, we recommend that the Alberta Main Street program should allocate the green faade grant given by the PDC to local business to provide incentive to put up and maintain eco-friendly lighting. !!! !!!38! Final Recommendations: Lighting ! 9th-10th, semi-private string lights on market, string lights on trees, more cobra-heads on telephone poles ! 10th-11th, LED-string on Bye and Bye patio/awning, large display of string lights, lights on south-side maple tree in front of community center, 2 corner lights on westernmost corners of 11th & NE Alberta intersection ! 11th-12th, string lights on trees and side of radio room, string lights on south-side trees ! 12th-13th, possible LED lights on Black Cat Caf and other businesses in green-topped building, string lights on south-side trees ! 13th-14th, 2 corner lights on westernmost corners of 13th & NE Alberta intersection, LEDs on Bikram's Yoga, cobra-heads on south-side telephone pole, street lamp on north side next to vacant lot at the end of the block ! 14th-15th, LEDs on A.C. Candy Co, string lights on all north-side trees, snakehead on telephone pole at intersection of 14th Place ! 15th-17th, LED string lights on building on the southeast corner of 15th and Alberta, LEDs on Portland Auto Service building, string lights on trees until 17th Ave., LED string lights on Halo Thai ! 17th-18th, 2 large streetlights on eastern corners of 17th & NE Alberta, string lights on south-side buildings and north-side fence for extent of the block ! 18th-19th, string lights on trees and businesses for extent of block ! 19th-20th, string lights on north-side trees, cobra-head lights on telephone poles ! 20th-21st, LED lights on Don Pancho Taqueria, possibly ground lights on north sidewalk, string lights in trees on east side of block ! 21st-22nd, string lights on trees, string lights on Aladdin Finishers ! 22nd-23rd, string lights on trees, cobra head on mid-block telephone pole, 2 street lamps on east-side block corners ! 23rd-24th, LED string lights on business rooftop-corners (gutters?) ! 24th-25th, bright lights on top of Star E Rose restaurant, cobra-heads on south-side telephone poles ! 25th-26th, cobra-heads on building roofs ! 26th-27th, string lights in trees, ground lights in sidewalks, LED string lights on buildings ! 27th-29th, LED string lights on building roofs down entire block ! 29th-30th, string lights on trees (enough trees on this block for it to work alone) ! 30th-31st, LED lights on buildings north sidewalk, string lights on trees south sidewalk !!! !!!39! Implementation In making our recommendations, we acknowledge that NE Alberta is already a lively street, with many of the amenities that we call for already in place in some areas. Some intersections have curb extensions already, and many businesses already have outdoor lighting to entice evening patrons. These great features, however, are unevenly implemented along Alberta. Many buildings are dark at night, for instance, and many crosswalks lack measures to ensure pedestrian visibility. We also acknowledge that there is more on NE Alberta for other planners to take on possibly other students such as ourselves. We hope that our recommendations will help Alberta Main Street focus their efforts by specifying the areas of future improvement along NE Alberta. With the current Alberta Main Street budget for this project being $20,000, we would like to make the following suggestions for implementation, keeping in mind that the improvements suggested generally fall into two categories: safety and aesthetics. While curb extensions are effective means of slowing cars and making pedestrians more visible, we suggest focus on other, more cost-effective options. Pedestrian flags would be easy to implement, and could tie into Albertas artistic image, just as a community painted intersection would. Both of these options have also been shown to be effective in traffic calming. Improved lighting along Alberta stands to make the street safer and more walkable. For the most part, we recommend encouraging business and property owners to light their businesses at night, even when the businesses are closed. This would improve the overall continuity and ambiance of Alberta as a walkable district, discourage crime and vandalism, and improve overall safety. We have several options for accomplishing this, including string lights and outdoor-LED systems, many of which are already in use by businesses along Alberta. Wayfinding along Alberta is also important, for aesthetic and practical reasons. One way to make the street safer is to have cyclists use the bike boulevard located one block away. We recommend signage to direct cyclists to the bike boulevard to increase its utilization. We also suggest placing creating a public map of Alberta indicating transit options and points of interest along the street. Finally, the pice de rsistance of our wayfinding recommendation: a gateway across the street officially welcoming visitors to the arts district of Alberta, while also providing a public landmark and acting as a kind of waypoint. This gateway could consist simply of two pillars at the start of the street, or may also include an archway across the road. In either case, the bases of the arch would be good places to put the public map and bulletin board space. We realize that, given the budget for this project, a gateway in addition to some of the other more costly options may not be feasible. We leave it, therefore, for Alberta Main Street to decide between the recommendations that we have laid out, erring on the side of greatest concern as per their judgment: safety or aesthetics. !!! !!!40! References Sara Wittenberg Alberta Main Street executive director Sara has overseen our project, contributing her years of experience and her connections and relationships with both the public and private sector. P. Elise Scolnick, AICP Associate planner for the City of Damascus and a volunteer for the Alberta Main Street Design Committee. Elise had many older documents and information that helped move our project forward. Tom Moisan Co-founder of Ankrom Moisan Architecture Tom was contacted because of his connections with the Alberta neighborhood and his familiarity with the architecture of the surrounding area. Kara Larson Owner of Tumbleweed and Grasshopper Retail Boutiques Jason Blake-Beach Manager of the Alberta Co-op Grocery Store Micah Employee at the Community Cycling Center Anonymous pedX Shoe Store employee !!! !!!41! Acknowledgments A special thank you to: Sara Wittenberg o For all her help and enthusiasm from the very beginning Elise Scolnick o For her previous surveys, guidance, and edits George Zaninovich o For leading this project and teaching this class Kashi Tamang o For the amazing sketches All the interviewees and survey-takers o For their input and time Residents/business owners of Alberta o For welcoming us into your community !!! !!!42!!Survey Results !!What is your gender? Answer Options Response Percent Response Count Male 39.6% 63 Female 60.4% 96 answered question 159 skipped question 0 !How old are you? Answer Options Response Percent Response Count Under 19 13.2% 21 19 24 8.2% 13 25 29 17.6% 28 30 39 30.2% 48 40 49 14.5% 23 50 59 11.3% 18 Over 60 5.0% 8 answered question 159 skipped question 0 !What is your income level? (per year) Answer Options Response Percent Response Count $0 - $20,000 30.6% 45 $20,001 - $40,000 27.9% 41 $40,001 - $60,000 17.7% 26 $60,001 - $80,000 6.1% 9 $80,001 - $100,000 4.8% 7 Over $100,000 12.9% 19 answered question 147 skipped question 12 !!!! !!!43!!Survey Results What are your primary reasons for visiting Alberta Street? (Please check all that apply) Answer Options Response Percent Response Count Retail shops 47.4% 72 Specialty shops 27.0% 41 Art galleries 19.7% 30 Special Events 33.6% 51 Restaurants/bars 82.2% 125 Live nearby 55.3% 84 Work nearby 22.4% 34 Go to school nearby 2.0% 3 Access transit (bus) 9.2% 14 Other (please specify) 26 answered question 152 skipped question 7 !!!!! !!!44!!Survey Results !How often do you visit NE Alberta Street? Answer Options Response Percent Response Count Daily 31.8% 50 Once Weekly 12.1% 19 A few times weekly 19.1% 30 Monthly 10.2% 16 A few times monthly 10.8% 17 Yearly or less 3.8% 6 A few times yearly 12.1% 19 answered question 157 skipped question 2 !!!!! !!!45!!Survey Results !!When do you visit Alberta Street most often? Answer Options Most often Often Rarely Least often N/A Rating Average Response Count Weekday daytime 50 28 20 37 6 2.33 141 Weekday afternoon/evening 34 68 26 12 3 2.11 143 Weekend daytime 34 57 26 13 2 2.14 132 Weekend afternoon/evening 37 65 24 12 3 2.08 141 answered question 155 skipped question 4 !!!!! !!!46!!Survey Results !!In general, there is adequate lighting: Answer Options Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Dont Know Response Count On storefronts 12 78 29 12 4 16 151 In alleys 5 8 32 47 19 36 147 In residential areas 7 39 43 26 12 22 149 On sidewalks 11 45 39 27 9 15 146 At crosswalks 8 44 30 34 12 18 146 Do you know of a specific area that could use more lighting? 19 answered question 151 skipped question 8 !!!!! !!!47!!Survey Results !!Would you like more: Answer Options Yes No I don't know Response Count Directional signs pointing to locations and services 47 54 38 139 Directional signs to bicycle-friendly streets 98 23 21 142 Public Maps 67 45 27 139 Unique signage identifying Alberta as a unique cultural Street and sidewalk lighting 105 20 23 148 Other (please specify) 15 answered question 151 skipped question 8 !!!!! !!!48!!Survey Results !!What is your usual means of transportation along Alberta? Answer Options Response Percent Response Count Walk 69.9% 107 Drive 48.4% 74 Bike 37.9% 58 Bus 11.8% 18 Other (please specify) 3 answered question 153 skipped question 6 !!!!! !!!49!!Survey Results !Please respond to the following statements: Answer Options Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Dont know Response Count Marked crosswalks on Alberta are safe to cross and are recognized by drivers 15 54 33 38 8 4 152 Unmarked crosswalks on Alberta are safe to cross and are recognized by drivers 4 17 38 63 26 2 150 The speed limit should be lowered to 20 MPH 29 31 37 36 10 5 148 The speed limit should be lowered to 25 MPH 19 68 32 14 5 6 144 The speed limit should stay the same 7 19 40 45 15 12 138 I find it enjoyable to walk on Alberta St. 49 79 21 3 0 3 155 Why or why not? 40 answered question 157 skipped question 2 !!!!! !!!50!!Survey Results !!I feel safe walking on Alberta St. Answer Options Yes No I don't know Response Count During the day 150 4 0 154 During the night 115 26 13 154 Why or why not? 31 answered question 156 skipped question 3 !!!!!! !!!51! Citations Documents: Alberta Streetscape Plan, 1999 Alberta Street Development Opportunity Strategy, 1998!Albina Community Plan, 1993 Websites:! !!! !!!52! Citations: Images All photos of Alberta St. are either originals or are taken from Google Images !!! !!!53! Acknowledgments A special thank you to: Sara Wittenberg o For all her help and enthusiasm from the very beginning Elise Scolnick o For her previous surveys, guidance, and edits George Zaninovich o For leading this project and teaching this class Kashi Tamang o For the amazing sketches All the interviewees and survey-takers o For their input and time Residents/business owners of Alberta o For welcoming us into your community !!! !!!54!


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