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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 21, 2012 8:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Only on a Friday afternoon.... The next post in this blog is Crocodile tears from Shaff and Randy. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Rose City Park getting Blumenauered

Some nice middle class folks along NE 77th Avenue in the Rose City Park neighborhood are suffering from a case of jangled nerves this week, after having received this missive from the City of Portland late last week. It seems that their street has been selected to be some sort of "neighborhood greenway," which is the modern city code for a bike boulevard. And they're being given little if any details about what that implies, which means that they now will have to make time for multiple neighborhood meetings and a lot of inconvenient yada yada to find out what's going on.

Whenever we open the mailbox and see a flyer from the City of Portland, we wonder, "What garbage are they foisting on us now?" We are never pleasantly surprised by what we find.

As usual with Portland City Hall shenanigans, there are a couple of charades in play in the Rose City deal. The first is the canard that no decisions have yet been made. The arrogant 20-something bureaucrats are going to take the neighbors' input at an open house, you see, and then, only then, will they decide what to do. Oh, and the input meeting is this Thursday night, on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend. Uh huh. Give us a break. The maps are drawn and the plans are all set -- all that's left is crafting the thin veneer of public participation.

The other fakery is the coating of the plan with heavy "green" overtones. Mostly they do this to justify spending sewer revenues on what is essentially a bike project. There's currently a lawsuit pending about the legality of such maneuvers. But it's also an effective way to persuade wide-eyed Portlanders to go along, because for most people in this town, anything "sustainable" must be a good idea.

How bad will the "improvements" be? Well, part of the "greenway" is Sacramento Street, which sits on the northern border of the Rose City Golf Course. It is unusually wide, and already has speed bumps, and so "greening" it up may not affect residents on the north side of the street much.

But 77th is a just a normal, quiet little Rose City street, and it's not wide at all. Channeling a lot of bike traffic onto it, installing bioswales and curb bubbles, and adding who knows what other noise, isn't likely to make residents' lives any easier. It can already be a little tough to get out of one's driveway at times, and adding more entitled cyclists to the traffic mix can't make the situation better. Maybe the city will try to remove parking on one side of the street or the other; that ought to go over like a lead balloon.

Anyway, good luck to the residents in the affected neighborhood, as they are probably going to need it. The City That Won't Leave Normal People Alone strikes again. As one neighbor said to us over the weekend, "It never ends."

Comments (24)

The 1% trumps again...what a load of B/S.

Of course it never ends.
By the time they are done with us the entire city will be "Blumenauered."
This is what will continue to happen with a population who won't be engaged in political matters until too late.
Meanwhile another name:
"The City of Passes for Perks!"
Isn't this what those two factions that Jack wrote about recently are all about?
The rest are considered outsiders, that don't count, our neighborhoods don't count, our health and financial interests don't count.
What is the Neighborhood Association's input on this?
One really has to wonder about them as there are over 90 NH Associations, do they like the city plans? Perhaps they like the role of the "tiny" part of somehow being "insiders" and having Commissioners coming to their meetings, WOW! Yes, they also get a few perks like entry into land use cases at city council. My point is what good is an entry at the table when the Council doesn't pay heed anyway?

"The City That Won't Leave People Alone" is exactly how I feel about it. It's like someone waiting until I'm just getting comfortable again and then they poke me with some project around my house.

The Rose City Park NA, is run by Realtors, and and is diligent about passing along the City of Portland "Party Line" down to the Neighborhood, including the anti Wal-Mart lobby that nixed construction at NE 82nd and Siskiyou that would have boosted the median income of neighborhood residents. My neighbors and I joke that we are really a "land bank" for the City to eventually be evicted from our home to be replaced by Urban Renewal Condos, and High Density Housing. I was asked to leave a meeting - along with my neighbor, because we would no "buy-in" to their "vision".

I don't suppose there was one mention of having any money to fix existing streets. Yet they seem to have plenty of staff, time and money for this crap.

Why isn't the North-South portion of this project running on Cully Blvd. where they have already installed a major bicycle lane that is raised and protected from the street by cement curbing and sidewalk?

"The City That Won't Leave Normal People Alone" except when it comes time to raise rates for water, sewer, garbage, etc., etc....then EVERYBODY gets to donate.

PLEASE NOTE: The Eastern most boundary of the Rose City Park Neighborhood is the centrline on 65th Avenue. 67th Avenue and 77th Avenue (as noted on the map)along with the area around 82nd & Siskiyou are all in the Roseway Neighborhood.

Clineman has a good point. I have been thinking about the increase in public input at the same time we have more and more disregard for citizen opinion. I think citizen input has been irrelevant from its inception, but if something can become less than irrelevant, then this has happened chiefly because politicians no longer need to get our approval before collecting and spending our money. Burgeoning utility fees and TIF funds have created the equivilant of slush funds for politicians, bureaucrats and developer vultures to play with with complete disregard for what the public wants. There is no accountability. No shame. Only money. It is really sick.

I don't care how many citizen committees and pubIic hearings there are - the same people who approved the plans in the first place are the ones hearing our pleas to change them at the end. No surprises here when they basically turn their backs and make up some damn excuse for why they are going ahead anyway.

A generation ago we elected leaders to come up with plans to keep our cities functioning. If a new sewer treatment plant was needed, a new city hall or park, they had to ask the citizens for the money through general obligation bonds. If the community was in agreement, the plans went forward. Now that we supposedly have more citizen input than ever, we have less control than ever. Time to undo what has been done to us and by us. Get control of the money back into the hands of the citizens.

I am one of those "normal", "working class" folks that lives in Roseway. I bike, not drive, to my job every day and I am happy for increased bike infrastructure. Plenty of my tax dollars have gone to fixing up major car intersections (like 72nd and Sandy right now), and I'm happy to see some infrastructure money going to make biking and walking safer for all the families in this neighborhood.

The Eastern most boundary of the Rose City Park Neighborhood is the centrline on 65th Avenue.

Thanks for that correction. And I have confused Rose City Park -- the actual park -- with the golf course.

I live on 77th which is anything but "just a normal, quiet little Rose City street". From Sandy to Fremont, we have cars speeding down our street daily to get through the Sandy/77th light and frequent near collisons on Beech and 77th because there are no stop signs. We have been asking the city to install traffic slowing devices on the block and were told that there have not been "enough accidents" to justify it. While I was surprised to hear the news that speed bumps and stop signs were coming to our block, I welcome anything that will slow down cars on our family street.

The citizens of Portland continue to vote in liberal politicians who think that government should be in charge of everything. Then when the decisions they make begin to effect your neighborhood, you begin to scream about that government being unwilling to listen to what you have to say. The agenda of any liberal government is that the government knows more about what is good for you than do those who are effected by it's decisions. As long as Portland continues to be the bastion for liberal politics that it is, you can count on not having a say. The best government is a balanced government, where neither liberal or conservatives have absolute power, but rather where the dividing line is so close that either side can be heard and be influential in decision making. If that type of balance existed in our city, you would be heard, and would have the opportunity to influence the final decision.

I have spent many an afternoon and evening on 77th near Klickitat. It is a normal, quiet, narrow NE Portland residential street.

First no additional Stop Signs have been promised on 77th Avenue ONLY crossing Island at NE Fremont, Prescott and NE 57th - I spoke with the City of Portland - but he admitted anything could happen. Second NE 60th to Sacramento, to NE 77th, is a recognized through way connecting NE Halsey to Sandy Blvd.(Hwy 30), so there is and always will be traffic. 6 years ago I asked about making NE 77th & Klickitat & NE 77th and Beech a 4 way Stop, and was told cars stopping, and starting caused to much carbon monoxide to collect, so a 4 Way Stop was not possible. I was also told that the socio-economic group who lived along NE 77th between NE Siskiyou and Klickitat along NE 77th didn't support the installation of speed bumps on our street, only along Siskiyou between NE 77th and 82nd, which in my opinion funneled more cars down NE 77th.

The 4 way stop sign requested is not possible because of too much carbon monoxide?
It seems that with that kind of thinking, the entire plan of the UGB and extreme traffic congestion of stop and go would fit into the category of too much carbon monoxide!

What is it when people in their own neighborhood cannot have what they deem best for their area? It is like we are children and that others know better. I don't advocate for others to lose jobs, but how many planners do we really need?

Yes, Carbon Monoxide that is what he told me. He also told me that all money for speed bumps was gone - at that time - but we would have to pay for our own if we wanted them because what we generated in Property Tax revenue wasn't adequate enough to warrant such an investment in our section of street. We could also lobby the Neighborhood Association for a grant, but since we were asked to leave their meeting, because we didn't agree with their political approach, or neighborhood vision we didn't think that was worth our time. This was during the Vera Katz Administration.

Cars traveling at a constant speed produce less emissions than when accelerating and slowing down; therefore adding speed bumps to a street increases carbon monoxide. This is just like when PBOT adds bubble curbs at bus stops so busses obstruct travel lanes when taking on passengers. Drivers with engines idling behind the stopped bus both waste fuel and add unnecessary emissions indirectly created by PBOT’s obsession with bubble curbs. With all the Mayor’s propaganda about reducing emissions and climate change, the term hypocrite comes to mind.

I live on 77th Ave between Fremont and Sandy and I can tell you that any traffic device that slows down the cars on this street would be a welcome addition. I'm home most of the time taking care of the kids and I see cars flying down the street! We have already had a few car accidents along the street, 2 south of us and one right in front of our house within the past 2 years. The accident in front of our house totalled a car parked on the street. The other accidents on 77th also totalled parked street cars. As a result of frequent car-related incidents, we never park our car on the street anymore.

I live a few blocks from that stretch of 77th and a friend in the neighborhood was hit by a car there last year. As others have said, lots of cars fly down that street as a shortcut to Sandy, as they do on my street, Siskiyou, despite it being a "bike" road with speedbumps. On a number of occasions, while backing out of my driveway, people cruising down the road a fair distance away have chosen to lay on the gas in an attempt to pass---and got all road-ragey when unable to. Lots of kids in this neighborhood, and people in a rush to cut over to Sandy from 82nd use it as a speedway.

If all this is is speed bumps, nobody will mind. But it looks like considerably more than that. Of course, given the fact that the city's hiding the ball, we have no idea what they've decided to do.

If the city were hiding the ball, would they have put out a flyer asking residents to come voice their concerns and provide feedback at the upcoming Neighborhood Greenway project meeting? Since you seem to be so concerned about this affecting you, come to the meeting. There's never going to be a perfect time to hold it, but if you are really concerned, you'll make time to come. Personally, I don't know how this can be anything but a positive since it's making our neighborhood safer and probably increasing our property values. Yes, we will have noise for a while as they make these improvements, but I'd rather have safer streets for the future rather than a persistant speeding/high incident area.

First of all Banana, the amount of traffic has not really increased on NE 77th at least in the past 15 years we have lived there. Second - finding the time in this economy means I have to take time from work - without pay - to keep an eye on the idiots from the city - who continue to work to regulate and manipulate our behavior, rather than serve our needs. This meeting will cost me about $200 in income just to be at their beck & call. That's almost one water bill, and 7% of my annual property tax bill, but the City of Portland has no idea, because they don't respect us or care.

An easier, and undoubtedly cheaper solution to the problem would be to install some stop signs around the neighborhood. I believe that the ones on 72nd are the only ones east to 82nd. Have seen many people flying through them with impunity.

Not to mention, after all the money spent on the clusterf**k at the intersection of 72nd and Sandy, the North/South light on 72nd remains a blinking yellow. Although so many people make a left turn there, often people cruise right through as if it were a green light. Have seen a number of accidents there and have had lots of close calls myself.


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