The Beauty and Livability Committee was formed in 2012 to implement the Neighborhood Livability Partnership. This one-of-a-kind Partnership between the Lloyd Community Association, Eliot neighborhood, and the Portland Arena Management (Trail Blazers) is a unique opportunity for political support, collaboration and physical investments. The focus of improvement is the area between Weidler and Russell from south to north and between NE 7th to the river, an area plagued by sports-related traffic and parking issues. In April of 2013, the Eliot Board of Directors voted to accept funding from the Neighborhood Livability Partnership for two projects. The Board approved the funds for planting 14 street trees and the Intersection Repair, a painting on Tillamook and Rodney Avenue, completed by over 50 volunteers who designed and completed the project in June 2013. Unused funding from 2013 will roll forward since the funding from the Trail Blazers offers three-consecutive years at $5,000 per year for improvements. The Beauty team is hoping that they will be able to partner with landowners for matching funds to implement larger projects.
Last June, the Eliot Neighborhood Beauty Committee posed a question for all readers of the Eliot News:
What great ideas do you have for making Eliot more beautiful and safe?
In September, the Beauty group held a walking tour focusing on the tree inventory and looking at where to build identity between Wiedler to Tillamook, from MLK to the freeway. This walking tour highlighted the problems of the Wiedler and Broadway area, but also positive improvements like the new storefronts and buildings occupants like the Community Cycling Center.
During the September Beauty tour the group decided it is best to focus on positive impacts on a streetscape level. In 2014, the Beauty committee will prioritize two projects: the street sign caps project and expanding the street trees into the areas along major corridors like MLK and Broadway/Wiedler. The Street Cap project consists of installing the “street caps,” a fabricated metal additional sign, to the existing street signs in selected areas. The City Bureau of Transportation charges $75 per cap to install the over the street signs but its up to the committee to design the map showing where, how many, and what sections are installed first. The actual fabricated cap must be designed; typically these caps indicate the neighborhood or historic district with an artistic symbol or icon. You can see samples of the sign caps from other neighborhoods such as St. Johns or Alberta and the bikeways also have orange bicycle sign caps as well. The sign caps are not paid for by the City but require fundraising or Business District investment covering the costs of making the sign cap, though fabrication, and, installation through the Street Caps program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
The Beauty committee also includes a Tree team headed up by Jeff Ramsey, who joined the committee in December and will be leading Tree Inventory and planting efforts. The Tree team is developing partnerships with the Friends of Trees and Boise neighborhood and welcome volunteers for these upcoming Spring events.
The Beauty team is looking for additional members to help with design, outreach, and funding. For example, the Beauty team and the Eliot Board of Directors are developing outreach, see the sample Eliot Beauty survey in this issue and posted on the website. The committee also wants to reach out to business owners and large landowners for ideas and sponsorships, particularly of street caps and other improvements like trash receptacles. The Street Cap team offers volunteers the satisfaction of immediate results while meeting great people who live nearby.
The next meeting of the Beauty Committee is on January 28 at 6:15 p.m.- 8 p.m. at Koch Landscape Architects, 2nd and Wielder. The Eliot Board also meets on the 2nd Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Emanuel Medical Office Building, West Conference Room, 501 North Graham Street.
Please contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved in either of these projects.