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Monday, August 22, 2011

You ain't goin' nowhere

A reader writes:

I've sent in notes before from over here "under the tram." This last week was a special week in my neighborhood.

I live in a little pocket of a neighborhood between Barbur and Terwilliger. Every time Portland stages one of its road events through the area (Marathon, Shamrock Run...) our neighborhood gets partitioned off, and our only notice of the pending travel restriction is the traffic barriers getting dumped on our street corners the week before the event.

This week we were graced with a new event, the Portland Triathlon. I tried to leave my neighborhood around 9:00 am, and found both ends of my block closed with barricades. Trying to leave, I was greeted by a volunteer scolding me for being on a closed street.

Informing him that this was where I lived, and I that I needed to leave, and then return to my neighborhood, he threatened to take my license number and report me to the police. I suggested he go ahead and do so. I wheeled around, tried another exit, and eventually headed back home where I walked to the nearest corner and talked to a couple coppers, who said I could exit through the Barbur-Hamilton intersection.

So, it's now 10:30 p.m., and though all the barricades have been taken down along most of Barbur, the crack city/race crews have forgotten to take down the barriers at the end of my block. (Then again, since I have a problem with traffic entering the end of my street in disregard of "Do Not Enter" signs -- for which the city claims there not to be a problem -- maybe it's a good thing the barriers are still up.)

This delightful surprise ended a week where we had rows of semi-trucks parked in our little neighborhood for the filming of an upcoming NBC TV show (called Grimm?). Camera crews, all-night shooting, blocked access, and rent-a-cops directing/restricting traffic. Again, no forewarning.

The best part of this story, though, was seeing four squad cars parked on the street with nary a cop around. (I had intended to send this in following up on the paying-for-idle-time thread, but a neighbor apparently looked inside the squad cars, and found them to be just props.)

Anyway, sorry for the rant and the marginal quality pictures. It sure would be nice to have some awareness of what will be affecting us in our own neighborhood, but that wouldn't be the Portland way, would it?

Comments (6)

We have access to our streets upon the order of the king. Thy shalt not drive, but thy shalt continue to pay taxes.

Yes, but citizen it's a small price to pay for the privilege of living in America's premier "Smart City".
You should prostrate yourself and give thanks to City Hall before you get reported for placing your personal interests above that of The Body.

You shouldn't have been driving your car anyhow. Biking, running, and even swimming are MUCH more appropriate ways to commute and run errands.

Why did the city give permission for this new NBC "Grimm" show to use police cars and uniforms that look exactly the same as PPB's? I saw on the news over the week that this Grimm show was shooting up near Forest Park and many of the actors looked exactly like PPB cops. I realize PPB is in the process of changing the look of the patrol cars and the uniforms but it just strikes me as wrong. I realize the TV show and movie shoots supposedly bring a great deal of money into the area but I also hate that they can take over streets, parks and neighborhoods (and apparently police depts) without any notice or say of the area citizens.

Make your own sign: "Closed To Thru Traffic"

Maybe you should remind the pushy movie folks that the street is yours by firing up yje leaf blower/mower/power washer/nail gun.

That sound equipment is pretty sensitive.

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