Apartments built without parking
Just read your “From the Editor” [April BEE] regarding the city's approval of apartments and condominiums being built without parking spaces. Like you, I think this is totally ridiculous! I believe many groups of people are negatively impacted by this bizarre decision. First of all, occupiers of these apartments or condos have to search for parking spaces every day. Secondly, senior citizens and others who have difficulty walking and who must drive (like myself) are increasingly challenged to do business in areas such as Sellwood where parking is at a minimum. Thirdly, businesses in these areas must be losing customers because parking is taken up by occupants of the new housing instead of by customers who like to shop and dine in these areas. In my own case, my husband and I will drive around trying to find a place to park, only to have him drop me off and then park six blocks away (or we sometimes give up and go home or drive to another area).
I just feel angry about this issue and wonder how a city the size of Portland puts up with this stupid thinking. I've never lived anywhere where new condos could be built without providing parking. Actually, I think there should be more public parking provided in areas like Sellwood and Westmoreland. The city should work to make shopping and dining easier, not harder!
[Name given, but withheld by request]
Powerful points made, in the “From the Editor” article in the April BEE. Thank you, sir.
S.E. Foster Road
This is in response to your April editorial about parking requirements for new apartments. It seems obvious to say new apartments should be required to provide off-street parking for all of the expected cars of the new residents (and I don't disagree that most new residents will have cars). However, the issue seems a little more complicated to me.
There are many good reasons not to require new apartment buildings to provide off-street parking (keeping in mind that many of them will, because the codes require it in many instances, and prospective tenants will demand it in many more). One reason is certainly to encourage and promote more car-free living, which can help reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Another is to keep rents within range of more people – a huge issue these
days – by keeping construction costs down. Another is just aesthetic – who wants to see a neighborhood full of parking lots?
I am also struck by what seems to me an unfairness in the argument for requiring more new buildings to pay for off-street parking. The argument is made on behalf of existing residents and businesses who want to continue to park, or have their customers park, on the public street for free. What they are saying, in essence, is make the new guy pay so I don't have to. That seems a little selfish to me. First-come, first-serve is one way to allocate a public resource, but it seems to me more fair to say let's find new ways to share the public space (which is what on-street parking is) as the community grows.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the From the Editor article in the April edition. We finally have real information concerning the neighborhood parking debacle. I think most residents already knew that all the fear mongering coming out of City Hall warning that we couldn't afford space for parking for apartment buildings was ridiculous. Whether people take mass transit or ride a bike to work, a good portion still want/need a car. We have to stop preparing for the apocalyptic future by destroying our current quality of life. Neighborhoods are being devastated and businesses are losing customers for lack of parking. We need to quit allowing contractors to dictate our future. We can't solve new problems with old ideas. The mayoral candidate who agrees with this editorial gets my vote.
S.E. Ogden Street
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are indebted to ENA President and Southeast Uplift Chair Robert McCulloch for providing the documentation and observations which made the editorial possible.
Thanks to bystanders, after daughter struck
I am Ken Domen, the father of the pedestrian (Elina Domen) in the article “Car Hits Pedestrian in Brentwood-Darlington Crosswalk” in the April BEE.
I want to let you know that my daughter was seriously hurt. We went to Providence Milwaukie Emergency Center that night around 7 p.m., and we were told to see a specialist (Dr. Bret Kean) at Eastside Orthopedic Clinic. From there, we were told she had to have surgery because of chipped bones behind her knee. She had the surgery and now she's in physical therapy. It's unknown whether she may need further surgery in the future unless her bones heal correctly.
On the night of the accident, my daughter got off the bus and was crossing the crosswalk on 52nd at Flavel when the light was green for her to cross. The driver, who was an older gentleman, started to turn left, even though my daughter had the right of way, and the bus driver who had just let her off the bus honked to try to warn the driver to stop. He did not, and hit my daughter.
I arrived about ten minutes after the accident when I was contacted by someone who was helping my daughter. I don't believe the man was cited and he stayed by his car and didn't come to help my daughter. I talked to the police officer and he said I’d be getting a full police report but I still don't have that yet.
I want to thank the people who helped my daughter out.
Improve MAX parking: Do away with golf
May I propose/float an idea that would solve the parking issue in Eastmoreland. I propose that the City of Portland convert some of the vast amounts of land the Eastmoreland Golf Course uses into sport fields (soccer, baseball) which are in really short supply. Design these fields with parking so that during the week commuters can park while fields [are] not in use. Golf is a dying sport, plus games like soccer, etc., are growing sports with kids. Golf also uses lots of water, fertilizer etc. Easier off-street parking would also encourage mass transit use. Please consider my ideas [concerning] the parking issues caused by MAX.
Patrick C. Baures
S.E. 43rd Avenue
Or, improve MAX parking while still playing golf
Two months ago, I wrote to THE BEE after e-mailing TriMet. I felt I had hit upon a reasonable solution to the street parking problem near the Bybee Station on the MAX EOrange Line. After their initial response telling me it had been sent upstairs, I heard no follow up. I just wrote them again with an update I'd like to share.
On March 31st, 1 p.m., on a beautifully sunny and calm day, I drove down from my house to 27th and Rex, the 9th Tee on the course. The Golf Course was alive with Golfers and I was envious because I wasn’t with them. A day like the 31st was the one concern I’d had with the idea I had presented TriMet with. Would there be enough parking for the Golf Course on a truly beautiful day?
While I didn't stop in the parking lot at 27th & Bybee (there were two cars in the lot but I don't know how many empty spots there were), I did enter the main Golf Course parking lot and checked it out for availability. There were 79 spaces in the lot that were empty: Many more than I thought I would find on such a beautiful weekday.
If there were that many spaces available [on a great day for golf], I needed to increase my original 45 to 50 spaces [estimate], for dedication to Orange Line parking on weekdays to 50 to 60 spaces. So, again, I have written to TriMet about my thoughts, and I will be sharing with THE BEE
any response that I receive.
Yesterday I wrote you that I had once again reached out to TriMet to work on a resolution to the street parking problem around the Bybee Orange Line Station. I received a very nice call from TriMet this morning to discuss the situation.
The long and the short of it is that I have nothing positive to share. TriMet approached, through the City, the Eastmoreland Golf Course about setting aside assigned parking spaces in the Golf Course parking lot for Monday thru Friday parking for that purpose. The Golf Course Management said no. They also brought up another potential problem for doing what I suggested. If we create a small "Park & Ride" it would create more cars trying to use the area and while it might solve the problem short term, they felt that in a very short time the problem would be as bad or worse. While I had considered that, I felt it would not be as bad as they think.
Now for the rest of the story: There are no plans to build the Tacoma Park & Ride [parking structure] in the foreseeable future! So we must look at this as a permanent problem. What options does the neighborhood have?
Actually, there are a couple. Getting the “home side” of the streets labeled for a parking limit signage (e.g., four hours between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is the most difficult solution. The easiest solution is permit parking. We need to petition the City to create a new Permit Parking Zone. The only catch is that the petition must be signed by every single homeowner where the petition will effect. I don't see that as a problem.
New rules for neighborhood cleanups this year!
Just wanted to mention the annual “SMILE” Sellwood-Westmoreland Neighborhood Clean Up on Saturday, May 21. It starts at 9 a.m., and ends promptly at 2 p.m. This year we would like to make sure everyone is aware of certain “What Not to Bring Items”.
No Metro-prohibited materials are accepted, including – but not limited to – food garbage, plaster, concrete, dirt, sheet rock, batteries, ANY construction/demolition materials, or hazardous materials. NO MATERIALS Possibly Containing ASBESTOS – please refer to “where asbestos may be found”, online at: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn -about-asbestos
Volunteers are welcome to arrive at 8:15 a.m. at the cleanup site – in the south-end parking lot in Westmoreland Park. Bring gloves and a smile.
Also, for Senior curbside pick-up only – call 503/794-8212, and give your name and address, and ask for instructions on how to prepare your items. Remember – NO asbestos-related materials!!
SMILE Neighborhood Committee
Dismayed by coverage
I take great umbrage at THE BEE’s soft coverage of the gross negligence that has occurred at the Bullseye Glass Company.
While we are all pleased that Bullseye has suspended use of these metals and thus reduced their presence in the soil and air, I think it is disingenuous to brush off the health concerns so lightly after we in the neighborhood have lived through a continual exposure to these carcinogens for decades despite Bullseye's claims the they are a “good neighbor” and DEQ's purported mandate to protect Portland's citizens.
I am surprised and dismayed that our local community paper comes off as a corporate and governmental stooge and spends not even one or two lines of its follow-up story on the lasting effects that this crisis is having on our community.
Portland Wine Company
EDITOR’S NOTE: We pointed out in our original front page story in the month before that the reported amounts of emissions at Bullseye were miniscule and below levels capable of causing harm, and at the time we were alone in pointing out this “moss-gathered” test information. Subsequent testing has confirmed this. We think we engaged in good journalism by telling the truth, rather than spreading alarm.
Local students succeed in Idaho
Kim’s Taekwon-do of Sellwood took eighteen contestants to compete in the 32nd Idaho state Championship tournament held on Saturday, March 19th. I’m pleased to report that it was a “clean sweep” for Sellwood, as we won both men’s and women’s grand-champion titles. 2nd Degree black belt, Lizzet Garcia, and 4th Degree, Robert Secord, worked hard to attain this year’s title. Our school also swept team competition, taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places. I enclose a photo of the team (below).
Master Cynthia Brown
S.E. 13th Avenue