Barbur Boulevard: Designing a Model Civic Corridor for the 21st Century


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The transit infrastructure along Barbur Boulevard in southwest Portland creates significant
safety hazards due to intermittent bicycle lanes and sidewalks. The need for improved
pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist safety, as well as increased housing and public
transportation options in the Southwest Corridor (SWC) of Portland have spurred an
assement of the potential for transit-oriented development along Barbur Boulevard. TriMet
has asked students in the Landscape Architecture 4/594 Fall Planning Studio to analyze
and experimentally design a 2.5-mile segment of Barbur Boulevard to accommodate a
center-running light rail line.
This project aims to reduce automobile congestion; improve safety for all modes of
transportation; increase connectivity between neighborhoods adjacent to Barbur Boulevard and
downtown Portland; promote a diversity of employment opportunities, mixed income housing,
and urban amenities; and integrate stormwater facilities, trees, and public green spaces into
the streetscape.
The 2.5-mile segment of Barbur Boulevard was divided into seven distinct study areas. Threeperson
design teams were responsible for conducting in-depth analyses of their study area and
producing plans for three standard right-of-way cross sections identified by TriMet with potential
for the final street design.
Each team was responsible for analyzing current conditions within their site across six broad
categories: property viability and future development; urban spatial patterns and boundaries;
natural capital and systems; land use; off-arterial vehicular circulation; and pedestrian and
bicycle safety and circulation. Each of these six categories required multiple analyses and
methodological approaches. Analysis maps were used extensively to inform street design
and planning decisions throughout the studio. In addition, each team created projections
for building footprints and massing, land use classifications, and potential timeframe for
redevelopment to accompany their finalized street design plans.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

Sustainable City Year Program Contact Info
Megan Banks
Sustainable City Year Program Manager
(541) 346-6395

University Faculty Contact
Rob Ribe
Landscape Architecture

Local Government / Community Contact
Amy Fandrich
Director Program Management

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