By Jill Riebesehl
Smoky, rain-and-shine September, and digging out of the coronavirus doldrums, our neighborhood, Hosford-Abernethy, along with others should soon be seeing some urban improvements, one being the anticipated opening this fall of the Gideon Overcrossing at SE 14th Ave.
Further along will be a newly-paved and painted Hawthorne Blvd. City planners have kept us up on proposals to improve safety and protect the integrity of the street. They include lane changes and crosswalk and curb improvements. Recently, the staff added proposals to include bicycle traffic in the mix. Neighbors seeking information about the project can find it at tinyurl.com/SEhawthorne.
Work is rapidly moving ahead on Portland’s Historic Resources Code Update. Anticipated would be changes in the way Portland identifies, designates and preserves historic resources and could affect Ladd’s Addition. HAND and Richmond land-use committees have set an online October 6 joint meeting to discuss state regulations that could affect properties in Ladd’s. Contact Brandon Spencer-Hartle at Portland Planning and Sustainability.
The HAND board recently lent its support to two grass roots efforts. PDX Main Street Design wants to enlarge its guidelines to include four busy streets in the neighborhood. The guidelines encourages developers to consider and respect the city’s historical buildings pattern. We supported the Division St. guidelines, and now would include Powell, Hawthorne and Martin Luther King Blvds as well as 11th and 12th Aves. More information is available at tinyurl.com/DivisionPDF. With an eye far into the future, the Board signed onto another grassroots effort: to relocate the Brooklyn and Albina railroad yards. See albinarailrelocation.org
HAND meets via Zoom, for now, at 7 pm every third Tuesday of the month, except December and August. All are welcome.
Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association
By Jan McManus
Earlier this year, neighbors called for the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association (LNA) Board of Directors to take a position on police reform in Portland. On September 8, the LNA Board approved a statement that advocates for:
1) the Portland Police Bureau to acknowledge its history of discrimination towards the disability community, the houseless, communities of color, and sexual and gender minorities;
2) the restoration of police operations fully grounded in the principles of community policing, including the expansion of Neighborhood Response Officers;
3) the formation of a truly independent civilian oversight system;
4) a police union contract that ensures both transparency and accountability in the investigation of alleged policy misconduct;
5) the re-allocation of funds from the Portland Police Bureau budget to support restorative justice practices and to mobilize unarmed first responders such as social workers and paramedics to address calls for assistance with mental health, addiction, medical, and homelessness issues; and
6) local government and affected communities to work together in good faith and with utmost urgency to remake the Portland Police Bureau as part of an overall system of public safety and social welfare for all.
The LNA Board came to this decision after establishing an Ad Hoc Task Force to address the issue of police reform. To engage as many neighbors as possible in the discussion, the Ad Hoc Task Force published a draft statement about police reform in a special edition of our neighborhood newsletter, followed by a facilitated neighborhood discussion in July.
The LNA Board will follow up on this action by disseminating the statement widely to local government leaders, other neighborhood associations and to both print and social media.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Louis Hoff
Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) elections will be postponed until November. Many Boards are moving the elections up one month to insure there is time for new election arrangements to be made. With the help of SE Uplift we encourage candidates to come to the October 12 online general meeting and express their interest for being on the Board. The board will vote on the roster, SE Uplift will create a ballot and it will be published on our website and MNA Facebook page. Neighborhood members who have attended at least one meeting (the October 12 meeting, for instance) can then vote on the roster online. We are currently awaiting the decision if people can download the ballot and mail it to SEUL if they choose.
To date, we have one candidate for Public Safety Chair and no candidate yet for Board Secretary. All other positions will be Chairs of Committees. Neighbors have introduced great ideas about additional community gardens, annual run, more greenways and more traffic safety in the side streets. We are hoping for more.
The MNA donated $250 to Montavilla Jazz for the coming year and the great service they perform and heritage they maintain in our community. We are all doing what we can to keep our small, local businesses going during these days of COVID-19 and many are starting to feel that Zoom meetings are the new normal.
Halloween has become a national favorite holiday, but in order to protect the children our very, very creative community has come up with the most wonderful ideas that range from elaborate ones like a Peacock Lane viewing of decorated homes to simple ones like dropping treats through a long tube or hanging treats on a low clothesline.
Last but not least, a wonderful ceramic muralist Hector Hernandez is being considered for the new plaza wall on SE 82nd Ave. and Glisan St.
Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Stephanie Stewart
At MTNA’s community meeting September 16, PBOT offered a proposal for major changes along Hawthorne Blvd, which could include a reduction of car lanes between 24th and 50th Ave. Learn more and offer feedback through a survey by going to bit.ly/2Gff8Is. Commissioner Amanda Fritz attended the meeting to educate the community about three measures on the November ballot: 26-213 Parks levy; 26-217 Police Oversight; 26-219 Uses of Water Bureau Funds.
MTNA will host a community meeting on Zoom each month this fall. Find links for these meetings, under the “Meetings and Events” tab of our website mttaborpdx.org.
MTNA offers a written roll-up about important civic issues, on our website where we keep the meeting minutes.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Allen Field
The RNA meets the second Monday of the month, 6:30–8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Agendas are posted on richmondpdx.org and sent out via the RNA Announce listserv. Meetings will be via Zoom until further notice. Preregistration is required; the link to preregister is on the agenda. To be added to the RNA’s listserv, email email@example.com.
At the September 14 monthly meeting, Mauricio Leclerk and Maggie Derk gave an update on the Hawthorne Blvd Paint and Pave Project. PBOT recently issued an Evaluation Report on the four traffic configurations they are considering, which will extend from 24th to 50th on SE Hawthorne Blvd.
The four configurations under consideration are: (1) keep the existing four-lane configuration; (2) two travel lanes with a third center turn-lane west of Cesar E Chavez Blvd. that will mirror the configuration east of Cesar Chavez; (3) two travel lanes with buffered bike lanes next to the driver-side of parked cars (Alt 3A), and (4) two travel lanes with parking-protected bike lanes between parked cars and the sidewalk (Alt 3B).
The Report compares the four configurations using metrics of safety, crossings, parking, travel time and bike lanes, and evaluates them under the project goals of improving safety, supporting Main Street functions, impact to current greenways, connecting people to Hawthorne, supporting city’s goals of equity and climate issues. PBOT is not making a recommendation at this time, but will make a final decision in October or November after further public outreach. There is an online survey on the project website that PBOT is urging people to fill out. See bit.ly/2Gff8Is.
Thomas Scharff, TriMet, gave an update on the Division Transit Project (trimet.org/division). According to the website, the goal of the project is to “improve travel between Downtown Portland, SE and East Portland and Gresham with easier, faster and more reliable bus service.” He summarized construction phases, construction highlights (SE 60th Ave ADA elements, SE 76th Ave new traffic signals), steps to reduce impacts to community and next steps. Fall 2022 is the target date for completion.
The Gideon overcrossing near the SE 11th/12th train crossing was also discussed; it will open late Fall 2020. Some Board members stated their objections that the project relies on diesel buses and not electric busses.
Neighbors on SE Waverleigh Blvd. described the growing number of tents, trash and hazardous materials/biowaste on the street’s median and SE 33rd Ave next to the Cleveland High School field. They explained their efforts to work with the city to address health and safety issues that impact everyone, those on the streets and in houses/apartments. The neighbors made a specific request for a No Camping sign for the Waverleigh Blvd median, which is owned by Portland Parks & Rec. Since camping is prohibited in all parks, often with signage. The Board agreed to request such signage from the city. It is a very hazardous situation to have tents/campers on the median of a well-traveled city street.
The RNA’s next meeting is Monday, October 14. To get on the agenda, fill out an agenda request form on the RNA’s website.