By Susan Pierce

The Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood runs from SE 28th Ave. to the river, but a good half of it is the Central Eastside Industrial District, which extends to the center of SE 12th Ave. As a result, our board, HAND, and the Central Eastside Industrial Council share some concerns, among them traffic along the 11th/12th Avenue corridor.  HAND would like to see changes on 12th that would improve the livability of that residential street, and we will be engaging with other similarly concerned stakeholders.

The board is trying to track down Portland Development Commission funds that were at one time earmarked for open space somewhere within the segment of HAND that overlaps the Central Eastside Urban Renewal Area.

Ladd’s Addition takes up a good-sized chunk of the residential-part of the Hosford-Abernethy. Rose gardens and a large circle with rhododendrons and lawns lie central to that historic district and are under the purview of the city Parks and Recreation.  The gardens are a popular tourist attraction and an asset to our neighborhood. The HAND board is concerned that proposed Parks budget cuts will eliminate the city’s contribution to the gardens’ upkeep. Neighborhood volunteers contribute their labor to the rose beds but can’t do the needed heavy lifting, mowing and hauling. The board has asked the city not to cut funds for this park. The HAND neighborhood is park deficient, with one other: the very small Piccolo Park.

Bounded by MAX, Grand, MLK, Powell and Hawthorne, the neighborhood wrestles with never-ending residential density and traffic issues. In the fall, residents will start to see changes created by a city plan, the so-called residential infill project. It will allow new living units to be folded into standard neighborhoods as well as increase density along the transportation corridors.

One traffic corridor, SE Clinton St., is now a dedicated greenway and hosts many hundreds of bicycle commuters twice a day. This was achieved with vehicle-access restrictions on Clinton. The city’s Bureau of Transportation is calling the project a success, but the board is hearing regularly from neighbors frustrated by the resulting traffic on residential streets who are hoping to find a solution.

Developers frequently present the HAND board their proposals for multi-unit residential buildings for suggestions and critiques. At board meetings, we spend a good amount of time learning the ins and outs of these large-scale projects. One such project,  proposed for Hawthorne near busy businesses across the street from one another, has prompted the board to try find a way to get a safe pedestrian crossing at that point.

We will be holding an executive committee meeting Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 pm at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The next board meeting is Tuesday, March 21, 7 pm, at Carvlin Hall, in St. Philip Neri Church.

The public is welcome at all HAND meetings and  invited to participate in the discussions.