Ask Mrs. Trails: Interview with Nick Falbo
In this edition we interview Portland Bureau of Transportation Senior Planner Nick Falbo about urban trails, SWIM, and upcoming projects.
Could you tell us who you are?
My name is Nick Falbo. I am a Senior Transportation Planner in the Area and Project Planning Section. I work on district and corridor plans to re-envision streets and communities.
Can you tell us about your next project?
We are really excited about Southwest in Motion (SWIM). It’s a plan to prioritize and refine the projects we have been talking about in Southwest for years.
So what’s covered in SWIM?
Our project is based in past planning efforts which include the Bike Master Plan for 2030, the Pedestrian Master Plan (now PedPDX), and supportive of other ongoing plans like SW Corridor.
So why is this exciting?
We’ve been planning in SW for a long time. What SWIM does is help direct our energy. The Transportation System Plan/Bike Master Plan/PedPDX are big plans, but what SW needs right now is a plan to get started. So what SWIM is trying to answer is “what do we build next?”
What’s exciting is we are recommending a series of small projects that will have a big impact. We are also trying to solve problems in innovative ways by looking at new types of street design and facilities to give people a safer place to walk and bike. Some key projects include building a “safer shoulder” on Markham Hill Road which would provide a larger walkable/bikeable surface that would connect people from OHSU to Fairmount Blvd. We have new bike lanes proposed near Jackson Middle School and SW 45th just North of Gabriel Park.
How does this support urban trails?
We are trying to identify safer crossing locations and are currently prioritizing SRTS crossings and important trail crossings in SW. This would improve walkability across the SW and connect to various types of pedestrian/bike infrastructure, whether sidewalks, shoulders or local urban trails.
How can people find out more about SWIM?
We are currently seeking feedback for the draft SW in Motion project list through our Online Open House. You can find the link here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SWIM_Open_House) . We will be collecting feedback until December 17th, 2018.