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$94m Washington Park master plan approved by Portland City Council

Washington Park master plan rendering.

A 20-year master plan for Washington Park in Portland, Oregon was approved by the city council last week.  

Washington Park is a 166-hectare public park that includes a zoo, forestry museum, arboretum, children’s museum, rose garden, Japanese garden, amphitheatre, memorials, archery range, tennis courts and soccer field. It also has a large amount of wild forest with miles of trails.

The master plan addresses transportation and parking issues, maintenance and access, identifies opportunities for a new park entrance on West Burnside, and for plazas and gardens. It will see approximately $94m spent on the upgrades.

“This new master plan will guide Washington Park towards an enhanced visitor experience for everyone, with less dependence on cars,” said Amanda Fritz, commissioner of Portland Parks

“The park’s natural areas will be improved and preserved, maintenance will be a key initiative, and Washington Park will become more transit-friendly and pedestrian-friendly.”

Elements of the plan include:

  • Managing and enhancing current park assets.
  • Improving access to and around the park.
  • Protecting and preserving Washington Park’s natural areas and wildlife.
  • Improved safety for park visitors.
  • A new entrance off West Burnside for people on foot and bike.
  • Maintaining the same amount of parking spaces while reducing congestion.
  • A garden plaza between the Portland Japanese Garden and International Rose Test Garden.
  • A garden plaza when you get off the MAX so you enter a park, not a parking lot.
  • Offering clear park and wayfinding information at multiple park sites.
  • Enhancing the visitor experience for pedestrians and people on bikes, while ensuring the park is less car-dependent through a variety of improvements.

The master plan will be implemented in three phases over 20 years. The first phase will take up to five years and will focus on upgrades and repairs to existing facilities.

Phase two will take place in years five to 15 and will comprise of modifications to park roadways, transit services and parking. It will also include the restoration of the Chiming Fountain as well as improvements to the roundabout, the playground, the Depot Cafe and the Rose Garden Plaza.

The final phase will see the construction of new features such as a forest canopy walk, indoor garden. It will also include upgrades to the amphitheatre and the off-road cycling trail.

Image: c. PLACE Studio, LLC.

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