By Laura Smith

One of our neighborhood’s favorite gathering places is TaborSpace, located on the grounds of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately, the bell tower and church buildings currently need expensive repairs and improvements. With a declining church membership that can’t bear the very large amount of capital needed to get the work done, Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church and TaborSpace’s steering committee is turning to the community who use the space. They will hold an auction fundraiser this November 18, from 6-9 pm, so mark your calendars. If you’d like to make a direct donation, go to their website: taborspace.org/#/support.

About three quarters of the speed bumps have been installed along Thorburn Ave. as part of the Thorburn Safety Project. Three to four months after installation of the bumps, another traffic study will be done. In the meantime, the Thorburn Safety Project committee is now moving forward with pedestrian safety projects in that area.

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability is in the middle of the Portland Map Refinement Project (Comprehensive Plan and Zoning). There are four properties in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood that are going to be affected by zoning changes: 344 SE 52nd Ave., 6134 E Burnside, 253 SE 74th Ave., and 511 SE 60th Ave. For details, read the Map Refinement Project Discussion Draft at portlandoregon.gov//bps/article/643572.

One of the properties listed above – 511 SE 60th Ave.– is where Y’s Choice YMCA Child Development Center is currently located. Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) purchased that property from the previous owner, Portland Parks and Recreation. Though it is very early in the redevelopment plan process for the property, PHB reps say it will be a mixed-use project featuring affordable housing above Y’s Choice, with parking on the site.

Discussion among attendees at the July MTNA meeting included positive feedback about the affordable housing and concerns about traffic at the corner on SE 60th and SE Stark and how it will affect the flow in and out of the parking areas.

Portland Bureau of Transportation’s proposed SE Clay-to-64th Neighborhood Greenway Project includes curb ramps, sharrow crossings, traffic diverters, speed bumps and median barriers along the greenway. Many neighbors, including bike commuters, feel strongly that the proposed median barrier at SE 50th and Lincoln would create more problems than it would solve. They believe it will worsen traffic backups on SE 50th between Hawthorne and Division, and that not being able to turn left from northbound or southbound SE 50th will put more traffic on the greenway and other side streets which will cause more safety concerns. Construction of the proposed projects will begin in Spring 2018, so send your feedback now to sheila.parrott@portlandoregon.gov.

The MTNA reservoir committee is making progress with the Water Bureau to get work started on restoring Reservoir 1 and replacing the chain-link fence at the top of the dam face below Reservoir 5. The Parks and Recreation Bureau has agreed to reinstate the working group for neighborhood involvement in the Maintenance Yard improvement project.

South Tabor Neighborhood Association has made an advocacy request for SE Uplift to help advocate that TriMet purchase electric buses for the Division Street Transit Project, and SEUL has asked for support from the other neighborhood associations. MTNA made a motion at their July meeting to support STNA’s request.

The Weed Warriors program has started its new season in Mt. Tabor Park.  Check the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park website for info on how to get involved: taborfriends.org.

The next meeting of the MTNA will be Wednesday, August 16, at 7 pm at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont, with social time and homemade cookies starting 6:50 pm. For more information, visit mttaborpdx.org.