Better Block PDX


From October 3-5, Better Block PDX will launch a streetscape demonstration in Old Town/Chinatown. The new concept will include an extended pedestrian space and a southbound protected bicycle lane on 3rd Avenue from NW Davis until SW Ash. The new street configuration sets the path towards a permanent alternative to the district’s weekend street closures, due to end in October 2014. The design concept, spearheaded by Dan Lenzen of the Old Town Hospitality Group and Howard Weiner of the Old Town Chinatown Community Association inspired Better Block PDX to build the weekend-long pilot. Fat Pencil Studio helped out by creating a 3d model of the site that was used to develop the design and promote the project.

This temporary installation will expand sidewalk space, and convert one traffic lane to a cycling lane, along three blocks in the Old Town / Chinatown neighborhood. Beginning on Friday at 7 AM ending on Sunday at 10PM, Better Blocks will monitor weekday and weekend traffic patterns and space use, in order to plan comprehensive improvements to our community neighborhoods and infrastructure.

What is Better Block PDX?

Founded in 2013, Better Block PDX seeks to provide low-cost, temporary treatments to activate public space. The volunteer-based group works to create attractive environments for those who live, work, shop and play in Portland. Better Block PDX works as a series of independent projects that act as living charrettes so that communities can actively engage in the "complete streets" buildout process and see the potential of reimagined streetscapes. Better Blocks are now being performed around the world, and have helped cities rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes.


Yelena Prusakova was an illustrator at Fat Pencil Studio from 2013-2017.