Planning underway for East Portal

 

Last updated 9/14/2022 at Noon

TROY RAYBURN

Working groups dug into the requirements for a transportation hub at the East Portal to Sisters last week.

Initial planning has begun on the proposed multi-modal transportation hub slated for the East Portal property. A concept workshop involving multiple entities was held last week to begin brainstorming what would be needed to make the site work for all those involved.

Kittleson & Associates are acting as the consultants on the project. Matt Kittleson, consultant, Troy Rayburn, City of Sisters project manager, and Andrea Breault, transportation director for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) outlined the purpose of the project, providing background and context. They explained the importance of transportation hubs considering travel demands. They also reviewed the agreement between the City of Sisters and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) regarding the construction and use of the East Portal. Anticipated outcomes of the project were also reviewed.

The officials in attendance broke into working groups that provided for a balanced distribution of perspectives. Each participant had an opportunity to work with a group for over an hour, to use tools to produce multiple site layout options. The Kittleson consultant team was available to all the work group members, to answer questions and provide input.

Those attending included Mayor Michael Preedin, and Andrea Blum, who is the City Council representative to the Public Works Advisory Board (PWAB). The PWAB was represented by chair Dave Moyer and vice chair Bill Kelly. Transit interests were represented by Anthony Ferro, president of Pacific Crest Bus Lines, Tarren Black, operations manager for PCBL, and Mike Murphy, supervisor for Cascades East Transit.

ODOT Region 4 personnel included Regional Transit Coordinator Theresa Conley, Planning Manager Jim Scholtes, and Active Transportation Liaison Chris Cheng. Lt. Chad Davis from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in Sisters spoke to both site security and rider safety issues.

Breault was the COIC representative. City of Sisters staff included Public Works Director Paul Bertagna and Rayburn, as well as Matt Martin, principal planner, and Emme Shoup, associate planner.

The teams reviewed the needs analysis and design criteria and looked at the site objectives, such as what facilities should be provided and what the options are for things like amenities and access. Kittleson reported on the concepts developed by the work groups, with initial feedback and input from the entire group.

Kittleson is scheduled to provide a brief this week based on the work done at the concept workshop. A public open house is scheduled for mid-November 2022 with the date yet to be determined.

 

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