PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The next phase of PBOT’s Safe Streets Initiative is set to be released on Thursday.
The idea behind this is for neighborhood streets to get converted into walkable, bikeable areas where people can shop and eat while social distancing and now, we’re seeing specific neighborhoods and businesses pushing for this.
The restaurant-heavy stretch of Southeast Belmont between 33rd Avenue and 35th Avenue is one of the proposed Portland Promenade Project locations and organizers say they’re getting a lot of support from businesses and neighbors.
The concept is for Belmont and part of 34th Avenue to be blocked off to car traffic so that people can wander the street and eat outside while maintaining 6-foot distances.
Jehnee Rains, owner of Suzette Creperie, says allowing restaurants to expand eating areas into the street would make a huge difference allowing them to seat more customers in a safe way.
“We want to be able to see our neighbors and friends and this way we’ll get to see them, we’ll be more spread out and we’ll get to have some of our old life back,” Rains said.
Northeast 28th Avenue and Ankeny Street is another proposed spot for this walk able open-air plaza. Others are also in the works.
Although there’s talk to make some of these Promenades permanent, organizers say the idea is to make use of the reduced traffic and need for social distancing during the summer months while the pandemic continues.
Details and community support are still in the works. But Portland Promenade Project organizers say they eventually plan to present their ideas to the city.
A PBOT spokesperson told FOX 12 by the end of this week neighborhoods like Belmont will have a better idea of what the application and permit process will look like.
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