19th Avenue and Sparrow Street Greenway Design Milwaukie, Oregon

When a proposed development threatened a historic neighborhood’s quiet streets, the City of Milwaukie recognized that a woonerf street design might provide an appropriate, cost-effective solution.

An Innovative Woonerf Street Design Updates a Historic Neighborhood

A woonerf is a living street, a concept from the Netherlands and Belgium, with shared space, traffic calming, and low speed limits. Using the concept, the complete design identified opportunities to increase active transportation, including bicycling and walking, and highlight the district’s identity. Hosting a series of neighborhood meetings, the team brought together an active public to solve conflicting goals and unify on a vision and the ultimate design. We assuaged initial concerns regarding change in the community and made sure the design reflected the neighborhood’s qualities. The pedestrian-friendly final design created a unique neighborhood greenway connection between two parks along the Willamette River. Otak provided design assistance and worked with the neighborhood and City engineering staff to develop an innovative woonerf design in Island Station neighborhood’s section of 19th Avenue and Sparrow Street. The City adopted the design along with new policies and engineering standards for use in other locations.

Want to talk projects? Contact our team leads.

Planning & Landscape Architecture
“I enjoy planning at various scales and understanding how people interact with spaces and environments to ultimately improve those experiences.”

Mandi Roberts


Director of Planning & Landscape Architecture

“I advocate for safe, equitable, and resilient transportation access for all modes and mobilities.”

Amanda Owings

Manager of Transportation and Infrastructure, Oregon & SW Washington