See below for the Land Use and Transportation update from committee chair, Stephenie Frederick. Questions? Email email@example.com
Click here for a PDF version of this report or click thru to read the report on our website.
To: LUTC Members, Associates, and Affiliates
From: Stephenie Frederick, BDNA LUTC Chair
Date: 10 August 2020
Re: Current land-use, transportation, parks and other LUTC items
Hello, everyone. I hope this August 2020 update finds you doing well. Be sure to send me questions, comments, corrections, and content I missed; I’ll respond, revise, and re-share.
Best wishes, Stephenie
The Climate Emergency
As reported in July, the city council has declared a climate emergency in Portland. Of course that emergency extends to the state, nation, and world.
As one step in the fight to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions and criteria pollutants, the State of Oregon is working with fourteen other states to create a market for electric trucks. See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions-trucks/15-u-s-states-to-jointly-work-to-advance-electric-heavy-duty-trucks-idUSKCN24F1EC and https://www.opb.org/news/article/electric-semi-trucks-west-coast-charging-interstate-5-daimler/
On the other hand, business groups are suing the state over its carbon reduction policy: https://www.opb.org/article/2020/07/31/business-groups-sue-oregon-governor-kate-brown-carbon-reduction-policy
Local Land Use
Proposed or Pending Development in Brentwood-Darlington
- 1 Accessory dwelling units; 1 permit issued
- 3 Single family dwellings 2 proposed; 1 permit issued
- 1 Land partition; Proposed
Data source: www.portladoregon.gov/bds/80319
Note: An extraordinary development is nearing completion on SE 62nd and 63rd avenues, south of Duke Street. It consists of six lots, each with a single-family dwelling plus an accessory dwelling unit for a total of 12 units! The lot addresses are 6521, 6527, 6535, and 6539 SE 63rd Avenue, and 6536 and 6544 SE 62nd Avenue. An old house was demolished on 62nd Avenue to make way for the development; I can’t find any evidence of a previous dwelling on 63rd; so the development overall adds five single-family residences and six ADUs to our housing stock.
A few doors to the south, seven three-story units are also nearing completion. These replace one dwelling, thus adding six single-family residences to our housing stock.
Homes Sold or for Sale
Homes sold during July 2020: 28 homes in Brentwood-Darlington (www.zillow.com)
As of August 9, 2020: 14 homes for sale in Brentwood-Darlington (www.niche.com/places-to-live/n/brentwood-darlington-portland-or/real-estate)
Home sales in Portland have increased since May, due largely to low mortgage rates. See https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-oregon-home-sales-rebound-economy-uncertain/ and https://www.oregonlive.com/realestate/2020/07/home-sales-across-oregon-and-southwest-washington-check-your-areas-value.html The latter article notes that Oregon has the largest housing shortage in the nation.
Demographic Portrait of Brentwood-Darlington
A comparison of 2010 census data with more recent estimates shows little change in the demographic profile of Brentwood-Darlington. Note a small increase in the percentage of Pacific Islanders, and a small decrease in the percentage of Black residents.
ACS* 2010 **
- White alone 66.1% 66.7%
- Hispanic (several identities) 13.7% 13.9%
- Asian alone 9.1% 10.3%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 2.7% 0.3%
- Black or African American alone 2.5% 3.5%
- American Indian and Alaska Native alone 0.7% 0.8%
- Some other race alone; two or more races 5.2% 4.4%
Total population 13,391 12,994
* American Community Survey, U. S. Census Bureau. Estimates are based on five sampling
years (2014-2018). Error margins are large. Sadly, this is probably the most reliable data we will have for years to come, as the 2020 census is under attack and has been directed to end its work a month early, before it can count the most difficult to count.
** U.S. 2010 Census Data www.pdx.edu/prc/sites/www.pdx.edu.prc/files/BRENTWOOD-DARLINGTON.pdf
As reported earlier, we have been trying to persuade PBOT to divert the Ogden-Knapp Greenway through Brentwood Park and thence along Ogden Street instead of Knapp. Recently project manager Lisa Patterson emailed us to say that the project is going into design and that she will consider our requests. She further shared that having lived on SE 47th Avenue between 52nd and 45th, she is aware of the sight-line problem of a greenway that crosses 45th at Knapp.
Possibility of One-Way Streets
As reported earlier, we are thinking of asking PBOT to change two or more of the residential streets between SE 52nd and SE 45th avenues (Knapp, Ogden, Rural) to one-way traffic. These narrow streets with cars parked along one side are difficult for both drivers and cyclists to use (the greenway will run along one of them). I have asked a few residents who live in that area to sound out their neighbors; if responses are generally favorable, we will survey residents to get a better idea of support for the concept. If it is largely favorable, we will take up the matter with PBOT.
Speeding on Flavel Drive
As reported earlier, because of so many complaints about speeding on Flavel Drive, we are looking into a new approach called Neighborhood Speed Watch. While exploring that possibility, we are also taking these actions:
- We have purchased a radar speed gun and will shortly begin gathering vehicle speed data to convey to PBOT.
- On August 6th, the BDNA board formally approved asking the city to (1) install speed bumps on Flavel Drive (using a style approved by the Portland Fire Department); and (2) install a flashing beacon crossing on Flavel Drive at Hazeltine Park. A helpful resident has offered to share Creston-Kenilworth’s success with speed-bump installation.
- We plan to bring up the Flavel Drive speeding problem to PBOT on a regular basis; pursue development of a Neighborhood Speed Watch; and call the problem to the attention of the TGM planning managers. [Note: TGM stands for Transportation & Growth Management; it is a planning grant that PBOT and BPS obtained for our area; the planning project will begin with fall 2020 data collection; public outreach will follow in 2021.]
Flavel Drive is a neighborhood collector and (according to Scott Cohen, PBOT planner) a secondary emergency response route.
PBOT Notification Protocols
We are continuing to try to learn PBOT guidelines for notifying residents and local organizations of pending capital improvement projects. Since we have not heard back from John Brady, communications director of PBOT, we are turning to other contacts.
Errol Heights LID Street Improvements
With the Errol Heights Street Improvement Project, PBOT proposes “to implement new City street designs for the neighborhood’s unpaved roads. The project will build a new network of narrow, curbless roads, and storm water facilities.” Design was slated to conclude before August 2020. Construction may begin in the spring of 2021.
Here is the city’s statement on funding:
Public funds will pay for the project design, construction of storm water facilities, additional street lighting and street tree planting. Portland Parks and Recreation will fund construction of street and sidewalk improvements on SE Tenino Court adjacent to Errol Heights Park. The City of Portland will be working with area property owners to form a Local Improvement District (LID) to pay for a portion of construction costs related to street improvements (grading, paving, and shoulder work). Special financing for the LID will allow homeowners to defer payment of the LID assessment until properties are sold.
For more project detail, see:
For some LID background, see https://pamplinmedia.com/sb/74-news/399694-294446-errol-heights-street-paving-lid-passes-pwoff
Springwater Connector serving 80s and 70s Neighborhood Greenways
According to PBOT’s July 2nd predictive update, work has begun on creating a connection from SE Flavel Street through Flavel Park to the Springwater Corridor. The project will be completed in January 2021.
ODOT’s planned widening of I-5 faces opposition
ODOT’s plan to improve I-5 traffic flow through the Rose Quarter fails to right historic wrongs as promised, according to officials of Albina Vision Trust, City of Portland, and Multnomah County, who have resigned in protest from an executive steering committee associated with the project. When built through Portland in the 1950s, I-5 was a large factor (along with gentrification and urban renewal) in destroying a thriving Black community. Albina Vision Trust has proposed a sweeping vision of freeway covers and public spaces that would help to compensate for what was destroyed. For detail, visit Albina Vision’s beautiful website that lays out the proposed restoration: https://www.albinavisioninc.com
For more information, see also:
The BDNA board has approved directing a letter of vision support to Albina Vision Trust and to ODOT director Kris Strickler.
I-205 Toll Project environmental review process – public comment invited
“Learn more about the places along I-205 where tolls could start and stop — and how the different options could pay for roadway improvements along the corridor and manage congestion.” Public comment period ends September 16, 2020. See https://www.oregon.gov/odot/tolling/Pages/I-205-Tolling.aspx
Electric Transportation Alternatives
- Electric Scooters. Portland appears to have extended contracts to five scooter companies (Bird, Bolt, Lime, Razor, and Spin). Spin scooters have been appearing around Brentwood-Darlington.
See detail at https://www.portland.gov/transportation/escooterpdx/cash-payment-e-scooter-rental-options (This site links to low-income and non-smart-phone use.)
Report problems as directed at: https://www.portland.gov/transportation/escooterpdx/e-scooter-reporting-and-feedback
- Electric Bicycles. “Portland Bureau of Transportation and its corporate partner, the ride-hailing company Lyft, will roll out a new fleet of 1,500 pedal-assist e-bikes across an expanded 32-square-mile service area beginning in September 2020, according to a Thursday, July 16, announcement.
Many TriMet bus lines are resuming regular service in August. New passenger limits have been set for buses and trains. Find information at www.trimet.org/health/#limits
But transit operators are distressed by travelers who refuse to follow TriMet’s Covid-I9 protocols. See https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/08/some-trimet-employees-cry-foul-over-maskless-riders-trimet-says-vast-majority-of-riders-workers-comply.html
TriMet has launched its largest-ever MAX improvement project. During the month of August, TriMet “will replace and upgrade nearly 9,000 feet of rail, signal equipment, switches and switching machines on the 108-year-old Steel Bridge.”
Shuttle-bus service routes will use Burnside and Broadway bridges to ferry MAX travelers to their destinations. See routes at https://trimet.org/alerts/steelbridge/index.htm#traveling
Portland Traffic Fatalities:
As of August 4, 2020: 27 traffic fatalities
As of August 4, 2019: 33 traffic fatalities
Proposed Operating Levy
Portland Parks & Recreation has always been funded by fees for its programs; these have been variable, unreliable, insufficient . . . and in the time of Covid-19, absent. Mayor Ted Wheeler has proposed that Portland adopt an operating levy assessed on real property to give Parks & Rec a reliable stream of income. Mayor Wheeler stated the following:
In the near future, we will ask City Council to refer an operating levy to the November 2020 ballot. With additional funding from a temporary levy, we would:
- Center equity in the delivery of our programs and services
- Restart recreation to open pools, community centers, classes, and camps for summer 2021 and end our dependence on fees so cost is no longer a barrier to community members
- Improve access for all Portlanders by making our parks cleaner, safer, and more welcoming
- Grow nature by restoring natural areas, planting more trees, and taking better care of trees in our neighborhood parks
The five-year levy would cost the average household eleven dollars per month (but Parks & Rec program fees would be waived for low-income residents). For detail, see:
Free meals and fun at Portland Parks
“Portland Parks is providing free meals and grab ‘n’ go activities for youth at 26 locations this summer.” Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/freelunch
A study conducted by a PSU professor and graduate students shows that people of color are more likely to live near Portland’s biggest air polluters. The ten worst polluters are located in the northern parts of the city; but we have a pretty good polluter in Brentwood-Darlington (Precision Castparts) . . . and our neighborhood is home to many people of color. See April 2020 OPB article at
Keller-Rohrback class-action lawsuit against Precision Castparts. “The judge overseeing the case has set a public hearing for the class certification motion on Friday, August 14, 2020.”
For background and plume map, see https://krcomplexlit.com/currentcases/precision-castparts/
Meanwhile, Covid-19 sharply reduced Warren Buffett’s Precision Castparts operating profit. We don’t know at what capacity the plant is presently functioning or whether Precision Castparts is reporting emissions data to the Oregon Health Authority. PCC has laid off 10,000 workers worldwide.
In early July, Governor Kate Brown declared a water emergency in seven Oregon counties “where agriculture relies on scant water: Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson in central Oregon, Douglas and Josephine counties in southern Oregon, and Gilliam and Wasco counties in the Columbia River Gorge.” For detail, see: https://www.opb.org/news/article/bend-oregon-drought-water-warning/
According to a mid-July statement by the National Weather Service, “Drought conditions persist across most of Oregon, as depicted by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Almost half of the state is in severe or extreme drought, primarily affecting north-central, south-central, and southwest Oregon. Another quarter of the state is in moderate drought. The only part of Oregon not currently affected by drought or abnormally-dry conditions is northeast Oregon. For map and detail, see: https://www.weather.gov/media/pqr/WaterSupplyOutlook.pdf and https://www.drought.gov/drought/states/oregon
See the City of Portland’s Draft 2020 Water Management & Conservation Plan at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/46238 The plan encourages Portlanders to use water efficiently; the last time the city restricted water use was in 1992. Note: Drought.gov shows that moderate drought (worse than “abnormally dry”) conditions exist all the way up the Willamette Valley . . . almost to Portland’s walls.
The Office of Community & Civic Life (OCCL) has published a well done online magazine called “This is Your Portland: One City, Many Communities.”
According to OCCL, the “zine was designed as an introduction (or refresher) to amplifying your voice within city government so we can continue to keep the [Covid-19 response] momentum going.” See zine at: