Mt. Tabor 

By Kate Mitchell

 

Testing is underway of the disputed “regulatory diverter” at SE 52nd Ave. and Division St., a key link in the new 50s Bikeway. Testing was to begin the first week of September. Feedback can be given to Rich Newlands, project manager for the city Transportation Bureau, at rich.newlands@portlandoregon.gov or 503.823.7780. Newlands will be at the September 17 MTNA meeting.

The 4.3-mile bikeway, which has been in the works for about four years, connects eight east side neighborhoods from Rose City Park, through Mt. Tabor and down to Woodstock. The diverter at Division and 52nd, has been something of a pinch point in the project, which otherwise has wide support.

Some Mt. Tabor neighbors fear that northbound drivers when diverted from 52nd will cut over to quiet streets like 51st and 53rd. The city agreed to make the diverters just a test—if after eight months, data shows that an extra 150 cars are being pushed onto those neighborhood streets, the city will take the diverter out..

At our August 20 meeting, Rhetta Drennan with the city Bureau of Environmental Services discussed the Tabor-Powell Sewer Project.  The project is in the design phase and construction will begin in spring 2015. Work can be expected to impact parking and access as well as generate noise. Efforts are made to maintain local access for residents. Neighbors will be notified if they are in the affected area – the map distributed at the meeting indicates the construction in the Mt Tabor Neighborhood will be between Burnside and Stark streets and 45th and 66th. Rhetta can be contacted at  rhetta.drennan@portlandoregon.gov

Sara Ori and Ken Becker from Portland Nursery spoke about zoning concerns that could hamper their operations. Everyone present agreed the nursery is an asset to the neighborhood. The NA would like to work with Portland Nursery to come to a resolution to present to the city and allow Portland Nursery to continue to serve the neighborhood within an appropriate zoning designation and resolve concerns about potential future development.

Portland Nursery currently has split zoning, the portion along Stark is zoned Neighborhood Commercial and the rear portion of the lot is Residential. As long as the nursery is zoned part residential they will remain non-compliant, due to zoning changes, and unable to update or alter their buildings. MTNA Board members Brian Mitchell, John Laursen and Steve Stenberg will meet with Portland Nursery and report back to the board.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 17 at 7 pm at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont, with a social time starting 6:50 pm. For information, visit www.mttaborpdx.org.