The Montgomery Park to Hollywood Transit and Land Use Development Strategy (MP2H) is exploring opportunities to create an equitable development plan for potential transit-oriented districts in NW Portland (extending to Montgomery Park), as well as NE Portland (extending to the Hollywood District).
The MP2H study considers land use and urban design options, affordable housing and economic development opportunities, as well as possible public benefits with a transit-oriented development scenario and the extension of the Portland Streetcar into the area. The project will also consider how such opportunities could support the City’s racial equity, climate justice, employment and housing goals. The work is funded in part by a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant.
The project is looking at two distinct study areas that would:
- Northwest Portland: Explore extending streetcar transit service to the Montgomery Park area in NW Portland and consider options for land use and transportation changes to support a new climate-friendly and transit-oriented neighborhood. This area is also being considered for nearer term transit investment and land use changes.
- Northeast Portland: Explore the land use implications of different transit alignments to the Hollywood District. This is a preliminary assessment to look at land uses along alternate routes for streetcar service. Land use changes or streetcar transit investments are not planned at this time and will require further study.
Major transit investments can be used to shape the future growth of the Central City and surrounding areas. The MP2H project assesses different transit and land use scenarios to support compact development, with an emphasis on identifying tools to help advance equitable development.
What is “equitable development”?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), equitable development is “an approach for meeting the needs of underserved communities through policies and programs that reduce disparities while fostering places that are healthy and vibrant. It is increasingly considered an effective placed-based action for creating strong and livable communities.”
In 2001, Portland launched the country’s first modern-era streetcar system to serve the Downtown Portland, NW Portland and the developing Pearl District. The streetcar system was expanded in the mid-2000s to serve new development in the emerging South Waterfront district, and later the Lloyd Center and Central Eastside areas. The results are visible every day as thousands of Portlanders and visitors travel around a vibrant Central City, complete with commercial and office spaces, market rate apartments and condos, as well as the highest concentration of affordable housing in the city.
The 2009 Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan took a citywide view of system expansion. A future line to Montgomery Park (the city’s second largest office complex) and a line to the Hollywood Town Center were among several lines identified in the report. During the recent 2035 Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan process, these two lines were prioritized for streetcar planning and implementation.
In 2018, Portland City Council funded a preliminary Northwest Portland Streetcar Extension and Land Use Alternatives Analysis to study an extension of streetcar to Montgomery Park:
That analysis identified a potential new alignment along NW Wilson and NW York streets, through an area that currently includes industrial land uses. That study also included a Preliminary Racial Equity Analysis of the transit and land use changes being considered.
The preliminary study explored the employment/jobs and housing implications of land use scenarios ranging from industrial to mixed use. The MP2H Strategy furthers that analysis and will make a recommendation on future land uses, transportation, and related community benefits in the area.
The 2035 Comprehensive Plan also updated land use and zoning designations in and around the Hollywood Town Center, and along key corridors such as NE Sandy and NE Broadway. Three potential streetcar alignment corridors are being evaluated: NE Broadway; NE Sandy Boulevard; and NE Irving/NE Sandy. The MP2H Strategy conducted a preliminary analysis to determine if there is a preferred streetcar/transit alignment corridor for future planning and refinement.
A Community Engagement Plan for the MP2H Strategy was completed in December 2019.It calls for engaging with local advisory bodies (such as neighborhood and business associations) to ensure institutional, community and private sector input.
Another focus of the effort is to engage with underserved communities living or working in and around the study areas to learn about their needs, concerns, and aspirations, and how development along the project corridors might benefit them. As part of the MP2H effort, small grants or contracts were offered to community-based organizations to help facilitate engagement with underserved communities.
Staff will continue to seek community input as well as draw from the 2019 Preliminary Equity Analysis of NW Streetcar Expansion created in earlier planning efforts for the NW area.
Project steps and timeline
2019 – Initial outreach and background
- Initial public engagement – neighborhood and business groups, other organizations
- Existing conditions – land use and transportation
2020 – Develop and analyze scenarios and alternatives
- Ongoing public engagement
- Outreach with partner community-based organizations
- Form a Project Working Group (PWG) for the Northwest study area
- Consider alternative development scenarios for Northwest study area
- Evaluate alignment alternatives for Northeast study area
2021 – Select and refine preferred alternatives
- Complete Urban Design Concepts for Northwest and Northeast study areas
- Complete economic evaluations for Northwest and Northeast study areas
- Consider housing and community equitable development needs
- Develop preferred land use and transportation proposals for the Northwest study area
2022 – Publish Discussion Draft Plan for the Northwest study area
- Publish Discussion Draft Plan for Northwest study area, December 2021
- Public review and comments on Discussion Draft Plan for Northwest area through April 2022
- Consider public comments on, and further analysis of, discussion draft for plan refinement
2023-2024 – Refine plans and publish Proposed Draft Plan for Northwest area
- Continue plan evaluation and refinements, including creation of additional of urban design elements and character statement, and development of public benefits proposal
- Publish Proposed Draft Plan for Northwest (expected late 2023/winter 2024)
- Design Commission public hearings (expected winter 2024)
- Planning Commission public hearings (expected winter 2024)
- Publish Recommended Draft Plan for Northwest (tentative spring 2024)
- Portland City Council public hearings (tentative spring/summer 2024)