Writing this column about land use issues in our neighborhood tends to get my dander up because our neighborhood seems to bear the brunt of some poor land use policies and decisions. The problem with that is that I want to discuss more issues in more detail than space in this column allows. I have been encouraged therefore, to participate in the Eliot web site land use blog to supplement the Eliot News column and to provide more timely news. I haven’t blogged before, so you may have to bear with me. As a result, I am going to try to just present highlights of current land use and transportation issues in Eliot News and provide more background, detail, and discussion on the web site.
Eliot resident Amy Reifenrath has a great new blog titled “The Mighty 6 ” about riding the No. 6 bus.
The city has undertaken a comprehensive look at potential new streetcar routes. This process is a first step to identify possible routes potentially as a way to begin a longer term planning effort to designate preferred routes and plans to expand the system. Two routes through Eliot were identified, the Williams/Vancouver couplet and MLK.
Portland transportation officials are looking at the Williams/Vancouver corridor and MLK as possible street car routes.
Officials are looking at neighborhood support and whether the street has under-developed property.
Mike Warwick, Eliot resident and longtime land-use committee chairman, says MLK fits the bill perfectly.
And clearly, the street car won’t be built on both streets.
An article in the July 6 issue of The Oregonian discusses how property owners near the Street Car will have to pay assessments to help cover the cost of the east side extension.
The article mentioned how much longtime Eliot resident Pauline Bradford will have to pay, and might leave some with the impression that all property owners near the line will be charged.
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is looking at Northeast Rodney Avenue as a future bike boulevard.
Such a designation could mean a variety of changes to calm traffic. Speed bumps, traffic circles and street resurfacing would be possibilities.
A bike boulevard designation could also include improvements to help bicyclists and pedestrians cross Fremont at Rodney.
As part of the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan Update, Commissioner Sam Adams and the City of Portland are holding three town halls in June to discuss:
– Current cycling conditions in the city, especially in less bicycle-friendly areas
– Safety concerns
– How the City is working to increase bicycle use
By early 2011, the new eastside line of the Portland Streetcar is expected to be up and running. The line will run from downtown across the Broadway Bridge, hugging the southern edge of Eliot before heading south to OMSI and then back again.