SW Moody Avenue

In Portland, we are building a sustainable transportation system to reduce carbon emissions, addressing the threat of global climate change and ensuring our future well-being. Census data from 2010 tells us approximately 23 percent of Portland commuter trips were by active transportation – walking, biking or transit – and another 6 percent of Portlanders worked from home. By 2035, the city hopes 70 percent of Portlanders will commute via active transportation or work from home. The South Waterfront district and SW Moody Avenue are emerging as a living laboratory for active transportation infrastructure. They exemplify the city’s plans for a sustainable transportation system that provides access to jobs and housing and supports a healthy lifestyle.

SW Moody Avenue is the main portal into the South Waterfront district, a rapidly developing, 120-acre urban district in Portland’s central city. In 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation rebuilt a 3,200-foot-long segment of the roadway between SW River Parkway and SW Gibbs Street to accommodate transportation needs for redevelopment. The project constructed new sidewalks, installed a two-way cycle track, and expanded Moody Avenue to a three-lane roadway with streetcar tracks running in both directions. Green street planters in the sidewalk treat stormwater runoff from the roadway and sidewalks before it enters the sewer system.

Landscape architects were directly involved in laying the foundation for the district’s transportation system. Previously, South Waterfront had few streets to accommodate its future growth. A plan was needed to determine where streets would be built to provide traffic access and circulation, as well as provide transit in the district. Landscape architect Lloyd Lindley prepared the 1996 North Macadam Street Plan and was later joined by landscape architect Ben Ngan to develop the 2003 South Waterfront street plan. The transformation of SW Moody Avenue was managed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the design was a multi-disciplinary effort typical of street improvement projects that was led by Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, a Portland-based consulting firm with a staff of engineers, surveyors, planners, and landscape architects.

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