One thing we invariably all have in common is the overwhelming amount of time we spend on the PSU campus. As a destination for 28,000 students, 3,000 employees, and numerous visitors, PSU is a highly influential institution within the Portland area. From humble beginnings in Lincoln Hall in 1952, the University has grown to become the largest in the state of Oregon and has constructed scores of buildings, purchased dozens more, and has truly shaped the course of this part of the city. Nearly 3000 students now live on campus and the combined bus, MAX, and streetcar stations on campus make it the most frequented transit destination in the TriMet service area. Given that, I thought a brief summary of what’s going on on campus today might be of interest.

Electric Vehicles

Oregon is one of several states benefiting from a $200M federal Department of energy project to bring thousands of electric-powered automobiles to the U.S. Through this effort, The EV Project, hundreds of EV charging stations will be installed throughout the Northwest and PSU is collaborating with a number of partners to provide on-street charging stations along stretches of street in the university area. The Portland State “Electric Avenue” will include Type II and III chargers, which can recharge a vehicle in 4-5 hours or as little as 30 minutes, respectively. Other improvements to these streets may include electric bike charging, bikeways, and Green Street infrastructure. Once a final road segment is selected and PSU coordinates with PBOT on traffic and parking concerns, chargers may be installed as early as February 2011. Below is a photo simulation showing potential charging stations on SW Mill between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Bicycles

The opening of the new Harrison Street Bike Garage between 5th and 6th Avenues has been very successful. Nearly 80% of the available permits for this 86-space facility have been sold out for the quarter. Not including bicycle garages the University has just over 1600 short-term bicycle parking spaces on campus. On September 29 of this year there were 1103 bikes parked on campus, a strong indication of the 11% bicycle mode share the University reports. The University is working with public partners to develop other bicycle routes to and from campus, including possible extensions to the Broadway Cycletrack, facilities on northbound 4th Avenue, and routes eastbound towards the river and South Waterfront.

Food Carts

Another component of the renovations to the University Center Building included the construction of a corner location ready for future retail development. PSU is in the process of soliciting food cart vendors to occupy the location, on the southwest corner of SW Harrison and SE 5th. Keep an eye out for carts possibly moving in by January 2011.

Campus Housing

At the far southern end of campus, demolition work in anticipation of a new University Housing building has nearly been completed. The new College Station development between Jackson, College, 5th and 6th will house over 600 students, provide additional academic office space, and support ground floor commercial uses. A second set of campus-area MAX stations will be incoming as the Milwaukie Orange Line MAX is developed over the next five years.

Climate Action Plan

PSU has one. We’re a member of the American College & University President’s Climate Committee, and thus we have agreed by charter to numerous carbon reduction strategies. Find it here: http://www.pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu.sustainability/files/media_assets/ClimateActionPlan%284mb%29.pdf

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