November 14, 2022 ENA LUTC Meeting Minutes

ENA LUTC Meeting Minutes: November 14, 2022

Fremont Bridgehead Project Presentation – Allan Rudwick

Link to Recording: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHMcFXqs7H-qtIZm2BmbDqJJxGnrf3OZ8PYRKGzf5WKas6rQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

  • History & context of neighborhood
    • Displacement of homes for bridgehead and highway
    • Decreased census numbers
    • Removal of families
    • Proposed Prescott Freeway – never built
      • On ramps and off-ramps to this proposed freeway
    • Before and after images – dense single family homes; now parking lots and long ramp
  • Proposing removal of three quarters of ramp, essentially everything northeast of Mississippi Ave.
  • Question of ambulance access – new proposal would make for more direct access to ED for ambulances coming off the Fremont Bridge.
  • 8 acres would be reclaimed
  • Surrounded by City maintenance and shop yards
  • 6 acres on one side; 9 on other
  • Land valuation – high based on comparable land—$1 billion in land value and significant tax revenue
  • Keeping traffic down in adjacent neighborhoods is important
  • Pedestrian, bike and Tri-Met corridors could be constructed and cut off significant amounts of time and distance
  • Benefits:
    • ODOT: Less maintenance burden, opportunity to remedy bad design, positive public relations
    • City: Profit from land sale, tax revenue
      • Community: Compensation to displaced families, fill gap in urban fabric, rebuilt Tubman Middle School site
    • Legacy: Improved ED access
  • Next steps: City, community and state will all need to work together
    • Grant(s)
    • Stakeholder committee
    • Divide land, sell at auction
  • Q&A:
    • Carbon offset. Portland Clean Energy Fund.
    • New PPS school at Red Cross site?
      • Present to PPS
    • Reconnecting Communities grants for exactly these types of projects – part of federal infrastructure bill recently passed
    • Interest in keeping some public land for public use, for example a public pool or something similar to ease pressure on already existing public amenities in neighborhood
    • Include County leaders
  • Call to action – need to connect with organizations, etc. More voices.  Time to move past planning stages

Permits

  • Streimer rezoning
    • IG to EX. Layman’s terms: More industrial to slightly less industrial and flexible.
      • We will send letter that is supporting; mention that movement to EX across neighborhood is favored by ENA LUTC
        • Mike to write
      • Albina Library
        • Letter re support; push for activation on street front and less surface parking. Wonder Ballroom parking after hours, or other public parking use after hours
          • Jason to write
        • Vancouver & Russell apartment building
          • Unflattering design, no street front activation
          • Rezone push, generally supportive
          • Potential of LUTC signing on to higher height in exchange for better use of street front
          • Mike will write letter

Eliot Parking Committee

  • Allan is on committee

Freeway Lawsuit

  • Utilizing our network to fundraise

Updating ENA Design Guidelines

  • Current version does not address commercial or multi-family

Action Item:

  • Find old minutes and post online

Attendees:

  • Allan Rudwick
  • Mike Warwick
  • Andrew Champion
  • Jason Cohen
  • Michelle DePass
  • Doug Klotz
  • John Russell
  • Seth Anderson
  • John Pugsley
  • Paul Buchanan
  • Joseph Cortright
  • Alan Kessler
  • Jeremiah Via
  • Eric Wilhelm
  • Sherifa
  • Victoria
  • BNF

VOA Men’s Residential Center Seeks Amendment from ENA to Participate in New STEP Program

On NE MLK at Sacramento, there is a program that you might have never heard of in the Eliot Neighborhood. The Volunteers of America Men’s Residential Program (MRC) is housed there. This program was set up over 20 years ago when voters in Multnomah County voted to fund residential treatment programs for both Men and Women. The Men’s center was an old 50-room hotel that was converted to this use and the director Greg Stone has been running the center this entire time. They have a roughly 70% success rate at discharging clients and have only 1-2 police calls every 5 years (less than once per year).

The main prison system has a 50% reoffending rate, while treatment programs like the MRC have a much higher success rate. As a result, it has the support of DA Mike Schmidt and the Honorable Eric Bloch, a Multnomah County Judge. Judge Bloch and DA Schmidt are working on a relatively new program called STEP which currently exists but does not currently have a residential program. Currently, they have a 0% reoffending rate although as more time passes, all programs have an increasing reoffending rate. This program works by diverting people who would go to prison directly into the residential program. These men are monitored – many had ankle bracelets when I visited the facility with some other neighbors. If someone decides to leave the program, their parole officers are notified and they do not simply disappear into the community.

The Eliot Neighborhood Association has a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) with the MRC that stipulates that there is a citizen screening committee that is responsible for reviewing (before intake to the program) prospective clients with charges/history of violence to strangers and non-predatory sex offenders. This agreement has been in place since 1999 and we have not had a history of problems with the MRC. I have been on this committee for the past 10 years. The Eliot NA Board has the ability to change the makeup of this committee, and we recently added my co-Chair, Jimmy Wilson to the screening committee.

Judge Bloch and DA Schmidt have requested that we allow clients to come from this STEP program that are not meeting the current criteria for the program. Specifically, the current rules require clients to have served a year of time before they are admitted to the MRC, but the STEP program is designed to divert people from spending time in prison but instead they would go directly to the MRC if they meet strict screening criteria. The ENA Board will be voting to amend our GNA to allow these clients on a 90-day trial basis at the Monday November 21st meeting.

More information can be found in the many documents of this google drive folder. Please reach out to (chair@eliotneighbrohood.org) or the board (board@eliotneighborhood.org) with any questions or attend the board meeting this coming Monday.

iUrban Teen Presents the 13th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration on January 16, 2023

Join iUrban Teen’s 13th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast featuring Grammy Award Winning Group Take 6


In the midst of dangerous and divisive times, with our voting rights under attack, iUrban Teen invites students, staff and our dedicated community to gather together, to remember and “Believe” in the core values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Believe in integrity first, believe in service before self, believe in excellence in all we do and believe in a commitment to equality and social justice. 

Get your tickets now  

We believe in the tremendous power of Dr. Kings’ legacy and the righteous power of community to change injustice in our society.

I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one…should be a deep belief in your own dignity. Your worth and your own somebodiness… Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fourth Career Fair to Take Place Tuesday, November 1 in Dawson Park

A fourth job and resource fair sponsored by the Eliot Neighborhood Association, Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, Cascadia Health, and the Office of Community and Civic life will be held in Dawson Park on Tuesday, November 1 from 11am to 1pm.

Attendees will be able to meet employers and apply for jobs. Additionally, there will be a food giveaway and free vaccines available.

Volunteers are also welcomed for trash pick-up, setup, tear-down, and facilitation.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Parking Study comes to Eliot October 24-29

During the week of Oct. 24-29, you might see people walking around the Eliot neighborhood with clipboards writing down vehicle information. A parking consultant firm has been retained by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to conduct an on-street parking utilization study of the Eliot neighborhood. These personnel have authorization to collect vehicle information for the purposes of the data collection on behalf of the bureau. They will be collecting license plate numbers in order to get an accurate understanding of the turnover in the area. The license plate information will not be stored and no personal identification information will be collected. All vehicle information will be aggregated so no individual vehicle information will be available to the bureau or to the public. The surveyors will be out from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Questions? Contact PBOT Project Manager Kathryn Doherty-Chapman at 503-823-4761.

For more about this project visit the webpage where you can view Parking Task Force meeting information: www.portland.gov/transportation/parking/eliot-parking/eliot-parking-task-force

October 10, 2022 ENA LUTC Meeting Minutes

Attendees:

  • Eric & Shireen Hasan
  • Allan Rudwick
  • Alison Harmon
  • Mike Warwick
  • Kathryn Doherty-Chapman (PBOT)
  • Serena Li
  • Jason Cohen
  • Travis Sowerby
  • Suzanne McIllnay
  • Kyle Monroe
  • Danelle Isenhart
  • Mark Lisac
  • Taylor Gentry
  • Stan Hubert
  • Helen Spieth
  • Kyle Monroe
  • Clint Lundmark

  • PBOT spokesperson – Kathryn Doherty-Chapman (Kathryn.doherty-chapman@portlandoregon.gov)
    • The plan is to do a study and have a discussion. PBOT doesn’t know when, what, where or how much yet.  When PBOT does have a proposal, it will share widely and have an open house/survey.
    • Meter discussion. Permit parking.  Can stay beyond limit if you have a permit.
    • Wednesday night meetings on zoom going forwards. Regular meeting schedule.

  • Presentation on proposed apt. building on NE Graham – Danielle Isenhart, Travis Sowerby, & Mark Lisac
    • 29 units
    • Bike parking, no car parking
    • Three stories
    • Open questions
      • Q: Discussion of process – confusing that sign out front says nothing has been submitted to city; unclear where we are in terms of land use application
        • A: Not yet submitted for land use review
      • Q: Same address as existing building?
        • A: Will be partitioned
      • Q: Easement line for parking lot?
        • A: Will remain
      • Q: Difficult to understand where enterance and pedestrian ways are
        • A: Showing floorplan – screenshare
      • Q: Looks hard to get bikes inside – three doors to get to final rack location.
        • A: Yes, but not against code. Best we can do.
      • Q: Cost & time?
        • A: No cost projection yet; 12+ months
      • Q: Concern about too many units in the neighborhood; street parking being taken up; taking down beautiful trees
        • A: No response
      • Q: Who is the developer?
        • A: A family with an LLC but the architects are not willing to disclose their names. Lake Oswego P.O. Box.
      • Q: Low income options?
        • At least two under city rules
      • Q: Handicap accessible?
        • 8 type B units on ground floor and 1 type A unit on ground floor
      • Q: Is there market demand for this?
        • A: Yes

  • Demolition permit at 202 NE Graham
    • Looks like they are trying to demolish a garage and build an ADU on top
    • Garage has already been demolished

  • AirBNB contacts – City passes out a phone number to neighbors.

  • 7th & Tillamook Intersection
    • City is not doing anything in response to the neighborhood sentiment
    • Generic response letter to specific ENA LUTC letters
    • Should another letter be sent?
    • A neighbor who is an attorney has filed a lawsuit.
    • Leveraging Congressman Blumenauer?

  • Discussion about equity and inclusion in the development process in the neighborhood.

Portland Marathon & Related Street Closures this Sunday Oct 2

Broadway Bridge Closed 7-9:45AM

Burnside & Steel Bridge traffic impacts below.

Race route in our area

The Portland Marathon presented by OHSU will take place on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The map at the bottom of this flyer shows the race route in the proximity of your neighborhood. To see an interactive map of the entire route that allows you to zoom in to see the exact streets used for the race, please visit portlandmarathon.com/courses. As a rule of thumb, it will not be possible to drive on, or drive across, the streets used for the race until the last runner has passed the location and the traffic control devices have been removed. Vehicles will be turned away one block prior to reaching the race route.

ROUTE DESCRIPTION IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Although the actual race route does not enter Eliot, it will impact nearby streets. Runners begin the race Downtown and run through Old Town, Northwest District, and the Pearl District before accessing the Broadway Bridge. They then use the Broadway Bridge to cross to the east side and perform a clockwise loop around the Moda Center. The route then heads back west across the Broadway Bridge and makes its way south down Naito Pkwy into South Portland.

SPECIAL TRAFFIC CONSIDERATIONS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
● The Broadway Bridge will be entirely closed to all vehicles (including Portland Streetcar) from 7:15-9:45 a.m. After 9:45 a.m. there will be no restrictions on use of the Broadway Bridge. No vehicles will be able to travel west on Broadway anywhere past Benton Ave.
● The Steel Bridge will remain open during the entire event, but vehicles entering Old Town from the Lloyd District using the Steel Bridge will experience delays from 7:15-9:45 a.m.
● The Burnside Bridge will always maintain one eastbound lane and one westbound lane open during the entire event, but vehicles traveling west up Burnside from the Bridge will experience delays from 7:00-8:00 a.m., including a complete temporary closure of Burnside from 7:10-7:30 a.m.
● N Interstate Ave will not be restricted and should be used to cross underneath the race route on the Broadway Bridge if access across the route is needed in that area between 7:15 and 9:45 a.m. The only special consideration on N Interstate Ave is that the fly-over exit from southbound N Interstate Ave onto N Larrabee Ave will be closed from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m.
● Those needing to travel between Eliot and the west side of the river will experience the least amount of inconvenience by doing so via the I-405 or I-5 freeways (Fremont or Marquam Bridges).
● The I-5 Southbound freeway on-ramp at the northeast corner of the Moda Center (Wheeler Ave / Williams Ave) will remain open and unobstructed during the entire event.

ENTIRE RACE ROUTE
If you plan to travel into or through any neighborhoods near the race route between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, please take a moment to read the detailed traffic control description for that neighborhood by visiting portlandmarathon.com/traffic and selecting the neighborhood in question.

For questions regarding the City’s administration of this permit, please contact Allison Madsen at

allison.madsen@portlandoregon.gov or 503-865-2482.

Third Career Fair being hosted at Dawson Park October 4 11am-1pm

A third job and resource fair sponsored by the Eliot Neighborhood Association, Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, Cascadia Health, and the Office of Community and Civic life will be held in Dawson Park on Tuesday, October 4.

Attendees will be able to meet employers and apply for jobs. Additionally, there will be a food giveaway and free vaccines available.

Our last career fair was featured in a short KGW segment, and we look forward to bringing this community resource back next week.

Interacting with PBOT Work Crews: A Neighbor shares their account of confrontation as the tree in the traffic circle at 7th and Tillamook was about to be cut down

By Mark Bennett

Every story has a backstory and the struggle between the 7th and Tillamook neighborhood and PBOT is no different, but I’m not going to dive too deeply into that rathole – instead I want mostly to relate my experience as PBOT contractors showed up to cut down the tree and start removing the traffic circle on Monday Sept. 27th.

Our neighborhood knew they might be coming, not because PBOT explicitly notified us, but because we have long since stopped trusting them because they don’t respond to our letters, emails or phonecalls and instead we try to anticipate their every move. Myself and a few others (who didn’t have Monday morning office responsibilities) assembled at the traffic circle at 6:45am. Shortly thereafter, a PBOT truck and a contractor parked some distance away on 7th and began to observe us.  They talked on their phones while observing us – a good indication that they were calling PBOT for instructions.

Shortly thereafter a tree cutting service pulled up next to the traffic circle and a squad of five or six guys with chainsaws and chippers approached us at the circle.  

I informed them, “We need to see your permit to cut down the tree.”  

After some back and forth, the contractor’s supervisor walked up and said, “We’re cutting down this tree, you need to move now.”

I replied, “ We need to see your permit or you aren’t cutting down the tree.”

The contractor snarled back, “I don’t need a damn permit, we’re cutting this tree down.”

Again I said, “Without a permit, you aren’t cutting this tree. We can’t just have people walk into our neighborhood and cut down trees without a valid permit.”

The PBOT inspector joined the discussion, “We have an approved project and the start date is today.”

I repeated, “Show me the permit.”

He pulled out his phone and showed me a long document which I visually scanned.  I pointed out, “This is a project description, not a permit.”

The contractor said to the PBOT inspector, “We can start cutting down the other tree while you make a call to clear the intersection.”

The PBOT inspector was on an animated call for a few minutes and returned, “We have full authorization and we’re cutting down this tree.  You need to move your protest off the circle.”

I said, “You have no compunction acting completely against the obvious will of this neighborhood”.

Inspector, “I’m just doing my job.”

I replied, “How often has that argument been used to justify bad things?”

And then.. the community response team of PBOT showed up in the guise of a Portland Police sergeant all dressed in black with a bullet proof vest and a 9mm pistol on his belt.

The sergeant said, “You have the right to protest, but not on this circle.  If you do not move from the circle, I will arrest you for misdemeanor trespass.  It may not be a serious charge, but I will take you in for booking and it may not look good to your employers or any future employment you might seek.”

I responded, “You show up and the first thing you do is try to intimidate us”.

The sergeant said, “I’m not intimidating, I’m just doing my job.” 

I thought, There it is again, just doing his job.

I replied, “Is it your job to suggest we might lose our jobs and not be able to find employment?  Isn’t it a little intimidating that the person PBOT sends to talk to us has a 9mm?

The sergeant said, ‘This is just my uniform and I am just trying to make you aware of the consequences.”

I said, “Well you are intimidating me whether you intend to or not.  You have turned this peaceful protest into a dangerous confrontation.”

I noticed that I was shaking, I couldn’t tell if I was cold or if it was the fear of the officer.

The Sergeant said, “You’ve been warned.”

I left for a bit as I had to get ready for an appointment and when I got back, the PBOT project manager had showed up and was addressing our group (now that she had Police protection). She may have said many things before I had arrived back on the scene, but the first thing I heard her say was, “We are already over budget and behind schedule, you should allow us to move forward and trust that you will have an opportunity for changes when the project is completed”.

This was too much, I blurted out, “Trust you? You have misled and lied to us every step of the way.  Three years ago the community approved a plan with a straw vote of over 150 voters and then mysteriously PBOT changed the plan because unidentified powers brokered a behind-the-scenes deal.  Now you come back, without notifying the neighborhood, to remove the traffic circle — the only speed abatement in this intersection, and we are supposed to trust you?  We wouldn’t even be here if you didn’t refuse to add two stop signs to the plan with the only reason provided being that it doesn’t meet Federal guidelines.  You may steamroll us, but it will result in a lot of bad will. This isn’t going away. You are liars” 

The sergeant announced, “This isn’t productive”.

I said, “Oh, so the guy with the gun gets to say what’s productive and appropriate.”

At this point, one of my neighbors pulled me aside and said, “I’m nervous about too much confrontation with a police officer with a gun.”

I agreed with my neighbor, mostly because I had no idea how I would react if the officer tried to arrest me.

Our story ends with the tree cut down and the traffic circle ready for bulldozing.  Car speeds which already average 29 miles an hour with a standard deviation of 4 mph will undoubtedly increase (incredibly 1 out of every 20 cars is already going over 37mph).  The traffic volume which is currently 6000 cars a day (five times PBOTs planned volume for 7th) will almost assuredly increase as well.  We must not forget that the circle was originally built because a child was killed 50 feet from the existing circle by a speeding car.

I cannot help but ask myself, “Why does PBOT ram this project down our throats in the face of nearly universal neighborhood opposition?”  I believe the answer lies in the words of the PBOT project manager and the PBOT traffic engineer.  The project manager said, “We can’t have another meeting, we are already over budget and behind schedule and the engineer said, “We can’t add the two stop signs because of Federal guidelines”.  It’s clear as day, since PBOT thrives on Federal money, they march to Federal schedules and budgets and once a project is approved they don’t want any changes – it jeopardizes the money that pays their salaries.  PBOT’s interest is to keep the federal dollars flowing.  Community involvement and input is all just for show. 

Mark Bennett

7th and Tillamook

safeOn7th.org

Porches & Stoops Pop-Up

The porch. It’s where we tell stories, sleep on summer nights, braid hair, take photos, watch the world, learn about the past and imagine the future. The porches of Afrotopia are no different. Here you will be met by sounds of music, singing, the smell of food carts and other market stalls. You may come across a youth or griot sharing their own migration tales. Artists creating new worlds. The care and nurture of community. And Black childhood as remembered through common consciousness.

We hope you’re able to join us!

Our apologies that this was posted too late to join the Saturday event, but please register for Sunday here!

Residents near NE 7th and Tillamook gather signatures, ask for traffic reduction and calming

In addition to the letter that the Eliot Neighborhood wrote (and Irvington Community Association Endorsed), I woke up to this in my inbox:

Dear Representative Earl Blumenauer, Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Joann Hardesty, Commissioner Mingus Mapps, PBOT Director Warner, Mr. Sziegethy, Ms. Peirce, Mr. Falbo, and other PBOT Capital Projects decision makers:

Enclosed please find a letter signed by more than 30 local residents from the intersection of NE 7th Avenue and NE Tillamook Street.  We respectfully request that the City of Portland begin the process now to address the root cause of the dangerous conditions that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has allowed to develop over many decades in our residential neighborhood from excessive traffic volumes and reckless traffic speeds on Lower 7th Avenue.

Also enclosed is a petition signed by nearly 50 pedestrians and cyclists who happened to pass through this intersection during a few short hours on Sunday afternoon.  Our neighbor who volunteered his time to undertake this petition effort yesterday received overwhelming support from every person on foot or bicycle who had the time to stop and speak.  We believe this provides you with a sampling of the level of support you will see for real efforts to make this stretch of Lower 7th Avenue safer for the entire community.

Finally, we would like to bring to your attention the letter published yesterday by the Eliot Neighborhood Association and recent coverage of this issue by KGW and BikePortland.

Sincerely,

Rose Francis

Concerned mom from Tillamook and 7th

Diversion Needed on NE 7th Avenue to reduce traffic volumes for increased safety

The Eliot Neighborhood Association has written a letter to City and PBOT leaders asking for them to maintain a diverter on NE 7th blocking vehicle travel indefinitely. You can sign on to the letter here.

Residents around the intersection wrote their own letter which you can see here.

See the letter below:

Here is the text of the letter if that is easier to read:

September 18, 2022

United States Representative Earl Blumenauer

Mayor Ted Wheeler

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Director Chris Warner, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Nick Falbo, Nicole Peirce, Roger Geller, PBOT Staff

RE: Diversion Needed on NE 7th Avenue to reduce traffic volumes for increased safety

Representative, Mayor, Commissioner, Director, and City Employees,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENA), which has received numerous complaints from neighbors about the dangerous conditions of NE 7th Avenue, between NE Broadway and NE Fremont. The ENA has written to you in 2018, 2015 and earlier particularly concerned about the continued deterioration of the road from a traffic standpoint. NE 7th has way too many cars for a local street: 6,000 per day by the PBOT’s estimation. It is difficult to walk, bicycle and even at times drive on the street due to the pre-construction level of car traffic. Additionally it is difficult to cross 7th at most intersections when not in a car. NE 7th has been a high-volume cut-through route for years and we were previously excited for the Lloyd to Woodlawn project to put this traffic back where it belongs: on NE Martin Luther King Jr, Blvd (MLK).

We would like to reiterate the need for traffic DIVERSION on NE 7th due to the extremely high volume of traffic that it receives despite being classified as a local street. Now that the Blumenauer Bridge has been built, we are excited that the city is prioritizing bicycle improvements on NE 7th. Our concern is that the current design does not reflect the city’s policies to make NE 7th a truly local street with minimal cut-through traffic. The City is proposing a design that will work with the existing traffic volumes instead of trying to change the traffic volumes to meet the City’s published policy goals as we have repeatedly asked. While we like the additional speed bumps and horizontal deflection that were proposed on Thursday, September 15th after the public meeting on the street on Wednesday, September 14th, we believe that traffic volumes need to be reduced as part of the project, concurrently with this project or at a minimum before NE 7th is reopened.  At the Wednesday night meeting, PBOT said that it had no current plans to reduce traffic volumes, but agreed to reopen the dialogue. Our request is that PBOT only reopen NE 7th Avenue to vehicle traffic after traffic diverters blocking North-South through traffic are on the ground.

Prior to the construction fencing, NE 7th Avenue was a well-used de facto bike route despite the high volume of cars on the road. In the pre-construction-fencing configuration, many non-local drivers utilize the street as a way to avoid Martin Luther King Boulevard. These also tend to be the most motivated, hurried, and aggressive drivers who have already decided they are unwilling to tolerate being slowed by the traffic on MLK. 

Some of these drivers drive very dangerously including: 

  • ignoring the speed limit,
  • driving too fast around the intersection planters (sometimes crashing spectacularly), 
  • driving too close to cyclists, 
  • yelling at cyclists and pedestrians, 
  • failing to stop for pedestrians crossing the street, 
  • and running stop signs. 

In addition to acting as a major bikeway, NE 7th Avenue is a crossing point for elementary-school children headed east-bound to Irvington School and middle schoolers headed west-bound to Tubman Middle School. Because of an interruption of sight-lines due to street trees and numerous off-set or 3-legged intersections, car drivers make it especially dangerous to walk and bicycle across NE 7th. NE 7th also serves as a gateway for several local preschools to reach Irving Park on walking visits.

Before installation of the construction fencing, dangerous conditions on NE 7th were obvious to PBOT, residents and other road users. We believe that it is paramount that PBOT take steps to ensure that NE 7th becomes a safe neighborhood street. After over 50 years of incremental changes, NE 7th is a street that well exceeds the traffic volume goals for local streets of 1000 cars per day. The construction fencing has brought NE 7th much closer to meeting the City’s goals for the street and we would like to make sure we do not revert to the old condition. Redirecting non-local vehicle trips to use other routes, primarily MLK, provides safety improvements for vulnerable road users within and beyond the local neighborhood. Neighbors and PBOT know this would not be happening without DIVERSION, so we are asking for a jump-start to this planning so that some diversion of cars from NE 7th will be kept at the end of the construction project.

The construction fencing that has been installed for over a week now is a great demonstration of the benefits of reduced traffic on NE 7th. Residents are able to talk to each other more easily, people can cross the street without fear and the few cars that are left are traveling quite slowly as their trips are more local in nature. There is more bicycle traffic on NE 7th than ever before, and it helps people get to the new Blumenauer bridge 13 blocks away. The current conditions are making it hard to access some houses and businesses, but drivers have already adapted to the change in roadway access and many cars are avoiding NE 7th, exactly the goal of our request.  

We have been and continue to be very supportive of adding many proposed diverters along 7th along the Eliot and Irvington Neighborhood border. Since the last plan for NE 7th was deemed too controversial, we are proposing to keep the street closed to vehicles until at least one diverter is installed.  Split diverters for North- and South-bound vehicle traffic near the project area at NE 7th and Tillamook would also be acceptable. Since we understand that there are some public outreach rules that take time to comply with and that the road is scheduled to be closed for at least 6–8 weeks during construction, we ask that you start this process immediately and/or delay the removal of construction barriers so that when the road is reopened to vehicle traffic, a diverter (pilot or permanent) is in place.

Thank you for your attention to these matters and helping make our neighborhood safer and more comfortable for children and easier for everyone to cross and travel along our streets. I look forward to hearing from you shortly regarding a diverter proposal.

Regards,

Allan Rudwick

Co-Chair and Land Use Chair, Eliot Neighborhood Association 

503-703-3910

Organizational Signatories

The Irvington Community Association (ICA), which borders 7th Ave., and has long been concerned about the safety of 7th Ave., particularly in regard to vulnerable users such as cyclists and pedestrians, particularly children, endorses and supports the above letter.  We also thank the Eliot Neighborhood Association for bringing this matter to our attention and we too look forward to working with PBOT to come up with a solution which will result in a much safer neighborhood street.

Regards,

Steven Cole

President, Irvington Community Association

503-754-7713

Individual Signatories:

Rose Francis

Laura and Eric Kading

2157 NE 7th Ave 

612-246-6562

Paxton Rothwell

3911 NE Grand Ave

Sarah Milliron 

2124 NE 7th Ave 

Peggy and Jay Winchester 

2259 NE 7th ave.

Randy Haj

Mollie & Eric Hart

NE Tillamook Street

Ari and Michaell Steinberg-Lake

2023 NE 7th Ave

Arisafed@gmail.com

808-937-4864

Jason Owen

2100 SE Belmont St #404

Jonathan Hinkle and Spencer Alan

NE Tillamook and Rodney

<we are continuing to collect signatures and will send another version in approximately a week with additional signatures>