Archive for January, 2012

JAN 30: Fight Budget Cuts! Keep your City Maintenance, Recreation and Healthcare Services

Posted in News on January 29th, 2012 by Steve – 2 Comments

We all understand our transportation system is about more than just getting you from A to B. It’s about people. It’s about creating a system that serves everyone’s needs. That means the issues surrounding our local transportation system go beyond a lack of bike lanes and crosswalks.

The latest PBOT Budget proposals will sink our city into billions of dollars in deferred maintenance debt. Street lights will go dark. ADA ramps will not be built. Hard working people will lose their jobs.

This is unacceptable, and I hope you will join Laborers Local 483 in taking a stand against the city’s proposed budget cuts.  Please read their announcement below:

INVITATION TO THE COMMUNITY: MONDAY, JANUARY 30th

Keep your City Maintenance, Recreation and Healthcare Services!

PROTECT PORTLAND’S FUTURE!

On Monday, January 30th – join Laborers’ Local 483 members who are walking out at the end of their shifts at the Bureau of Transportation (which is eliminated over 60 positions) and hosting a community forum at Dishman Community Center, where we will discuss the deep cuts projected for Sanitation, Streets, and Parks’ Maintenance services. That day, all Portland City Bureaus will submit their budget recommendations to City Council. Nearby Legacy Emmanuel hospital workers of SEIU Local 49 will also join us to speak about imminent cuts to healthcare facilities across the state. Let’s talk about the consequences of CUTS to our community!

Join us after work at 3 pm for Local 483’s “3 o’clock Walk” & Rally at PBOT (2929 N. Kerby). Then march over with us and the Emanuel workers to Matt Dishman Community Center for a forum on cuts to services starting at 4 pm. Refreshments provided.

Imagine what rainy Portland will look like with your parks’ bathrooms shut, your streets and sewers full of debris, your children left with fewer indoor recreational centers to go, and your hospitals with even less staff to provide assistance to the sick and their visitors. The workers who keep Portland clean, moving, safe, and healthy need your support to PROTECT PORTLAND’S FUTURE! If you are interested in speaking at the community forum or any other time about how important these services are to your neighborhood, please feel free to call me at 971-322-8747 or erica@liuna483.org. Thank you!!!

In solidarity,
Erica B. Askin, organizer, Laborers’ Local 483

3:00pm: “3 o’clock Walk” and Rally at PBOT (2929 N. Kerby)

3:45pm: Refreshments at Dishman Community Center (77 NE Knot St.)

4:00pm: Forum on cutbacks and layoffs with impacted City maintenance and Legacy hospital workers.

Who is Laborers’ Local 483? 


Open House in Hillsdale on controversial Sunset Boulevard Ped and Bike facilities, Jan 31

Posted in News on January 19th, 2012 by Doug – 4 Comments

As part of PBOT’s Sidewalk Infill on Arterials program, the city is looking at adding  two blocks of sidewalk on SW Sunset Blvd. This leads north from the Hillsdale LIbrary, from Dewitt St. to 18th Drive.  This section was chosen by the neighborhood as a priority for sidewalks. Noting the Bike Plan designation, staff incorporated a Climbing Bike Lane, and presented this proposal to the neighbors in October.

Here are the two boards showing the initial designs, for the uphill (“Northeast side”) sidewalk and bike facility.  Board 2, shows the other three alternatives, with a plan of how they’d relate to each cross-section, and address topographic and large tree issues, and parking demand issues:

 

 

 

 

 

The Hillsdale Neighborhood Association supports this sidewalk (and bike facility project), but staff has gotten a lot of push-back from the few property owners whose property this project would run in front of.  Specifically, the northernmost block includes a giant hedge, that runs clear out to the travel lane, blocking pedestrian and bike travel, and making all modes of travel dangerous by blocking sight lines at the 18th/Sunset intersection.  A couple of property owners have recently built brick and stone walls out into the right of way as well, plus a row of young trees encroaches in the ROW.

These neighbors have been quite vocal, and contacted the Mayor’s office as well.  Staff is now looking at feasibility of installing the sidewalk on the downhill (“southwest”)  side instead.  This may mean the demise of the bike lane component.  The “southwest” side also has property-owner-installed landscaping that would have to be removed.  At least one neighbor is circulating a 10-point manifesto that prioritizes “neighborhood character” over pedestrian safety, and specifically calls out bike lanes for lowest priority.

There is a public “Community Meeting” to discuss the options, on January 31st, at 6-8 PM, at Hillsdale LIbrary, 1525 SW Sunset Blvd.  All members of the public are invited to come and have input into the design. The Library is one block north of Capitol Highway in Hillsdale, and there are numerous buses that stop on Capitol Highway at Sunset.  The entire Sidewalk Infill Project has a webpage at:  http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=51098, or contact April Bertelsen, Portland Pedestrian Coordinator, at 503-823-6177.

Local Motion: Portland Mayoral Candidates Discuss Active Transportation Feb 6

Posted in News on January 18th, 2012 by Rebecca – 1 Comment

I’m really excited about this and I think you should be, too.

On February 6, the three frontrunner candidates for Mayor – Charlie Hales, Eileen Brady, and Jefferson Smith – will all be attending Local Motion and answering our burning questions about the active transportation issues that we care about.   (Why yes, that same event that we saw on BikePortland today.)

This is an opportunity to ask each candidate where they stand on issues that make a difference to us. What are their priorities?  What’s their funding strategy?  Who will Build It?  The leader we elect will dramatically impact the landscape and livability of Portland for years to come; let’s educate ourselves and make the best choice.

Here’s how it works: You and 400 of your closest friends gather in Lincoln Hall at 1620 SW Park Ave @ Portland State University on February 6, 2012.  The event starts at 7:00, but come anytime after 6:15 to schmooze and mingle while you get your snack and coffee on, get registered to vote if you need to, and get a good seat.

First our MCs, Sara Mirk (Portland Mercury) and Larry Wallack (the Dean of my college) will be asking all three of the candidates to answer about 10 questions, questions that were crafted with love and intention by a coalition of co-sponsors including:

The WPC.  The BTA.  The CCC.  Coalition for a Livable Future.  Upstream Public Health.  OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon.  Ride Connect. PSU Environmental Club. and 1,000 Friends of Oregon.

If you’re on the AROW list, chances are you belong to at least three of these organizations.

If we get through that list of Q’s, we’ll turn to the audience for question suggestions.  And if your question still doesn’t get answered, the candidates will be sticking around after the forum to hang out in the lobby to meet their constituents.

Portland State’s Planning Club is proud to host the event with this all-star cast of co-sponsors.  I would so love to see each of you there.  Don’t miss it.

 

Case study: Portland’s “Community Design Guidelines”

Posted in News on January 16th, 2012 by Ted – 2 Comments

Portland is a leader in “New Urbanist” infill development, where buildings in the central city are built to appear and function similar to their 100+ year old neighbors.

The central document that guides new development is the “Community Design Guidelines.” They are detailed instructions on how to build suitable new buildings in much of the older parts of the city, including the Boise Neighborhood. The Guidelines are a 240 page document that outline how buildings should face streets, provide lively pedestrian spaces, favor bicycling, walking and transit, and achieve many other beneficial goals. Read them at http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?a=58822&c=34250 (Note that these are just “guidelines”, not “requirements”. — they have no legal standing. But, if a developer wants to be in the good graces of the City of Portland, they do well to follow them).

In 2009, Menashe Development proposed “The Albert” a 4-story, 200 foot long building on N Williams at Beech. The building would tower over everything else in he neighborhood, and be big and blocky.

The Boise Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Chair, Ellen Cusick, wrote and excellent appeal to the proposal. She showed how many other new buildings in town follow The Guidelines carefully, and create better streetscapes and living spaces than The Albert. Her document is here (June, 2009). 20120104_EllenAppeal LU 09-101831_final (Note — there’s an intermediate page here — you’ll need to click on the document name in the next screen to pull up the document).

Then, in July, 2009, Ellen and the BNA testified at the city’s hearing for the building. Their testimony is here. 20120104_EllenLU 09-101831 Testimony-2 (Thanks to Ellen for providing the documents)

But in August, 2009, the city soundly rejected almost all elements of the appeal. Their decision is here. Appeal_Rejection_2009_lu_09_101831_dzm_dec(aug26)_PDF (Thanks to Lupin for getting this document)

Ground was broken spring 2011, and now “The Albert” is nearly completed, looming over thei neighborhood, but providing dense urban living for Portlanders.

Now, Menashe Development is proposing a nearly identical building 3 blocks north, at Williams and Mason. Read their application here: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=378057&c=47126 Once again, the neighborhood can comment and make requests, based on the Community Design Guidelines, or any other basis. We have about 6 weeks to come up with our response. Responses can be made collectively or individually.

Ted Buehler

Columbia River Crossing Momentum Meets Reality

Posted in Infrastructure, News on January 13th, 2012 by Steve – 2 Comments

The Smarter Bridge coalition organized a press conference on the dire financial straits of the  Portland-Vancouver Freeway Expansion project, otherwise understood as the CRC.  Here are some reactions  on twitter:

http://storify.com/AROWportland/columbia-river-crossing-meets-reality