City plans redesign of Washington Park, seeks public input

City seeks input on Washington Park plan

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Some big changes are in store for Washington Park.

The city is putting together a new master plan for the park. One of its goals is to get many of the cars out, and put in a lot more park space.

Washington Park has been a popular Portland attraction ever since it was built back the 1890s. The last time it underwent a big remodel was in 1981.

Since then, Portland's population has nearly doubled. The park now draws more than three million visitors from all over the world every year.

The city's master plan would redesign the park and help eliminate traffic congestion.

"I think one of the biggest changes is that we're going to try and move all the cars to the edges," said Emily Roth, senior planner with Portland Parks & Recreation.

The plan also proposes installing a 900-space parking garage near the Oregon Zoo, and turning the existing 1,000-space lot into a park.

It would also look at adding cafes or food carts both near the zoo and down near the International Rose Test Garden.

"Maybe bring in a few food carts there in the summer time to have some diversity in food," said Roth.

The tennis courts near the garden would be moved and that area would also become a garden. Also proposed in the plan: a single track bike trail, an upgraded amphitheater and a new visitors center. We may also one day see electric people movers in the park.

"You leave your car, you can either walk, ride your bike, or take an electric, driverless people mover through the whole entire park where you can jump on and jump off," explained Roth.

The city is asking for public input on the plan. Those interested in giving it will have until April 30 to submit their ideas online.

The city will finalize the master plan by the end of the year.

KGW


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