The Eliot Land Use & Transportation committee has had a busy few months. We have a few new energetic members, and we have been busy discussing projects as well.
On the transportation side of things, we have been discussing the possibility of installing a parking permit district in southern Eliot. I am really curious to hear what you think of this. This doesn’t affect me personally, as I live on a block that would be outside of this district. I live on a block that seems to have enough space for everyone to park most of the time. However I realize that there are some who park on the next block over every day, and they feel like it is a problem for them to park on a regular basis.
As we see more housing units get installed in the neighborhood, some expect the parking situation to get even direr. Some other residents have the opinion that in 5 years we will continue to see the rise of Uber, Lyft, car2go and Reach Now, future improvements in Tri-Met service and bike share, Zipcar and other car sharing companies and think that we may be near the maximum parking demand that Eliot will see right now. Autonomous cars often come into these conversations. It is hard to know what the future of parking demand will do. As a result of these factors, I personally see Eliot’s future as being a low-car future where most of our long-term frustrations will be with the high volume of commuters that pollute our air and fill our streets. As a result of this worldview I want to make sure that any parking management system we set up has defined goals and that implementation of the system achieves those goals. Similar comments were made at a recent committee meeting.
On the Land Use side of things, large buildings continue to be proposed and built in Eliot, along with some smaller ones. A few lots are gaining accessory dwelling units in basements or back yards, but most of the new units are coming from large lots being subdivided and huge apartment complexes built along our main streets. Near New Seasons, there is a proposal for 205 micro-units at Fargo and Williams, and at Cook and Williams another 80 units. Both of these are proposed with underground parking. Across the street just to the south of the new Carbon 12 tower, there is a proposal for another building of 6-stories with an alley and 2-story buildings behind it facing the adjacent single family homes. This project was promised to us by the developer and his co-investor to be a 5-story project but this particular developer has a habit of enlarging their buildings as the process goes along.
Along Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd, the Cascadia Garlington center is progressing nicely through construction, and 2 other subsidized housing projects are going up on the east side of the street, a large addition to the Magnolia building and a project by Bridge Housing north of it. I’m glad to see most of our vacant land finally being built on.
Finally, the city is proposing to add much needed traffic calming to NE 7th avenue through their “Lloyd to Woodlawn” bikeway project. This project currently has not made any decisions and is considering routing bikes onto NE 9th as an alternative but the Eliot Neighborhood Association has come out loudly in support of the NE 7th option due to its shallower grade up the hill, existing use by bicycles, smoother pavement, already-existing traffic signals, and lack of a detour around Irving Park. We will continue to advocate for safer conditions on NE 7th no matter what is considered and we look forward to working with the city as this project picks up steam.
Allan Rudwick is the Chair of the Land Use and Transportation committee which meets the 2nd week of the month at 120 NE Knott.