By Laura Smith

Safety issues opened the March meeting of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA) with a reminder from our neighborhood liaison from the Portland Police bureau to report criminal activity you see. Calls give the police department direction on where to focus their patrols.

Thorburn Safety Project updates included news that Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer has been talking with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) about neighbors’ concerns. Recent surveys of residents along Thorburn and in the upper Mt. Tabor area showed strong support for installation of speed cushions and the willingness to make donations for them. MTNA is working with SE Uplift (SEUL) to set up a fiscal sponsorship for the Thorburn Safety Project on behalf of the neighborhood.

To make our neighborhood safer for bicyclists, MTNA will make a formal request to Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) for bike boxes at the intersection of SE 50th and SE Lincoln

Several pending comprehensive plan and zoning changes have the potential to affect the Mt. Tabor neighborhood skyline and traffic. They include an amendment by city councilman Dan Saltzman to change Portland Nursery’s zoning to all commercial (which neighbors do not support), up-zoning the empty lot on the northeast corner SE 60th and Belmont from Mixed Use Dispersed that allows a maximum of three stories to Mixed Use Neighborhood that allows four stories (supported by City council members Hales and Novick but which neighbors do not support), and changing zoning between SE 50th and 51st along SE Hawthorne from Mixed Use Neighborhood down to Mixed Use Dispersed (which neighbors support as part of the original vision for that area).

Written testimonies to the City from residents about all changes are now being accepted through April 12, by email: psc@portlandoregon.gov, by US mail: Planning and Sustainability Commission, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 1700, Portland OR 97201, or through the Map App: portlandmaps.com/bps/mapapp.  If you have questions, call the Comprehensive Plan Helpline at 503.823.0195.

Portland Parks and Recreation (PPR) have completed the appraisal process by for the property at SE 60th and Stark currently occupied by Y’s Choice.  After that, PPR will attend an MTNA monthly meeting to provide an update on their plans for the site.

Mt. Tabor Reservoir work is still going on.  There are hotlines for reservoir disconnect construction issues and updates.  For online updates, go to: portlandoregon.gov > Bureaus > Portland Water Bureau > What we do > Construction Projects > Mt. Tabor Reservoir Disconnection Project. For human contact, call or email Terry Black, Sr. Community Outreach, 503.823.1168 or terry.black@portlandoregon.gov.

Friends of Mt. Tabor Park (FMTP) held their annual meeting winter program in March, featuring Kevin Robinson, director of the Mt. Tabor Adult Soapbox Derby, who shared a teaser video about the soapbox derby, part of a documentary they are making for the film festival circuit.  At the annual FMTP meeting, the Friend of the Year Award went to Dave Hillman. FMTP needs volunteers for staffing the visitor center and foot patrols.  For more info, go to taborfriends.org.

Want to contribute to the health of Mt. Tabor Park’s ecosystem? Become a Weed Warrior. Training is free and lunch is provided at every two-hour monthly session. For info: contact Stasia Honnold at fmtpweedwarriors@gmail.com.

The joint Mt. Tabor/North Tabor Neighborhood Associations annual cleanup is Saturday, April 30 in the parking lot of Mt. Tabor Middle School at 5800 SE 58th Ave, from 9 am – 1 pm. This year’s sponsors include Portland Disposal & Recycling, McFarlane’s, Community Warehouse and Green Century.

If you live, work or own property in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, then you are a member of MTNA. Join us at the next MTNA meeting, Wednesday, April 20, 7 pm at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont (downstairs in the dining hall), with a social time (and homemade cookies) starting at 6:50 pm. For more information, visit mttaborpdx.org.