By Laura Smith

Transportation and land use concerns dominated the discussions at the August meeting of the Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association.

In an effort to get the City of Portland to address the need for traffic calming on SE Thorburn St., a petition has been circulated in the neighborhood. Presently, 268 signatures have been collected.

A productive meeting about this issue was held on August 4 with the City’s transportation policy advisor and MTNA board member Paul Leistner, two Portland Bureau of Transportation representatives, Terry Dublinski from North Tabor Neighborhood Association, and a staff person from Steve Novick’s office. They came out of that meeting in agreement that new crash and speed limit studies, traffic counts, and truck use evaluations were needed, as well as evaluations of the greenway, crossing improvements, designs for traffic calming, signage directing through-traffic to downtown via Burnside, and lowering the speed limit on SE Stark approaching Gilham.  Paul will continue as our liaison with the City to work on this long standing transportation issue in our neighborhood.

Other transportation issues upon which MTNA is continuing to focus include the SE 52nd Ave. diverter, SE 64th Ave. pedestrian access, and the increased traffic on SE 50th as a result of the large amount of new construction there.

Hilary Larson, community engagement liaison for Portland Hawthorne Hostel, provided an overview of the Portland Hawthorne Hostel and its amenities. She said their facility has meeting space to accommodate 15-20 people that can be reserved for free for local nonprofits and community groups. For more info, go to their website:  www.portlandhostel.org

Stephanie Stewart, MTNA land use chair, shared neighbors’ concerns about air quality issues that could affect neighbors and especially children walking to nearby Glencoe Elementary related to the pending demolition of the house at 1017 SE 50th.

Stephanie announced that reservoir disconnect construction meetings with the Water Bureau will begin in September and will be held monthly. She will provide an update at the next MTNA meeting along with information about a complaint hotline.

Meetings with the Water Bureau regarding historic structures repair and funding will begin next month also in order to prioritize repairs and determine what will be in the upcoming budget.  It appears Reservoir 6 (the largest, along SE 60th Ave.) may be refilled by mid-October.

Southeast Uplift representative Paul Leistner told us he sent an email to the Parks Bureau informing them of MTNA’s interest in seeing the proposals for Y’s Choice’s purchase and development of the property at SE 60th and Stark.

Paul shared a copy of the email response from Rich Newlands at Portland Bureau of Transportation about the letter Paul sent on behalf of MTNA regarding the negative effects of the traffic diverter at SE 52nd and Division. Rich acknowledged that there would be more traffic data collection, so Paul will work with Steve Novick’s office to make sure the community’s concerns are heard and addressed.  The suggestion was made to request traffic counts in November 2015 and April 2016, to reflect before and after effects of the development at SE 50th and Lincoln.

In news from the Friends of Mt Tabor Park, the Movies in the Park event at Warner Pacific was attended by approximately 600 people.  The 2015 Adult Soapbox Derby took place with few incidents, but there was a report of a nonconforming charcoal barbecue brought into the park during the derby. Please encourage park users to follow park rules regarding barbecue usage, as well as observing any local or state fire bans that may be in effect.  The next Weed Warrior meeting in Mt. Tabor Park is Saturday, August 29 at 9 am.

The next MTNA meeting will be Wednesday, September 16 at 7 pm at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont (downstairs in the dining hall), with a social time starting at 6:50 pm.  For more information, visit www.mttaborpdx.org.