What's happening now

Formerly the home of Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth, the Portland Land Matters blog explores citywide land-use concerns, such as home demolitions, with the belief that development should create an improvement.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For Valentine's we send big love to everyone in favor of a better building

... and this includes media folk like Larry Bingham and Jack Bog, who recently helped focus attention on our case. Thank you.

With the building proposed for Northeast Fremont, it looks like we've got two tracks to take: Either we continue to press for a better building, one that serves its tenants and its community and provides handsome return for its builder, or if we end up with the building as proposed, we deserve the infrastructure that supports it. 

A few facts show why neighborhood impacts need to be addressed, especially in the area of safety:
• One side of the affected block has no sidewalk, and residents' landscaping there means that pedestrians must either walk in the street or cross it. Beech is a popular choice for drivers avoiding the 20-mph limit and stoplight on Fremont. City studies show that drivers will be navigating a several-block radius of the building to find parking.
• Numerous elderly, disabled, and young people walk Fremont. It is desirable to protect, if not enhance, this good pedestrian atmosphere, which is why the area is classified as a City Walkway.
• The project site is farther than 500 feet from peak transit service, the usual city requirement for a project of this kind. The developer should work with TriMet to restore service levels at his building's location.
• The landlocked site has no access other than Fremont, a city-designated emergency response route. If Fremont is too congested (such as now, with construction fencing in the street) or unavailable, is there an alternative route? This affects many east-siders in addition to Beaumont Wilshire residents.
• Using recent city data, at least 70 cars will be added to an already burdened traffic situation (low visibility, lack of good street connectivity, numerous accidents). Where will the drivers park them, and how much will they have to circle to find spaces? How best to get pedestrians out of their way? (Answer: Build a sidewalk; see first item.)

The area deserves a re-evaluation of its traffic capacity and recommendations for making it safer. Watching the kids race across Fremont at rush hour to get to school is harrowing.

There was a too-early start time today at the site, adding to the issues of signage and hazardous placement of the fence into Fremont. Hopefully the city sees a training opportunity in lower-impact construction and development basics.

This guy has to wiggle his way out of the site and then make a left onto Fremont.

Making it green

Could a wheelchair user navigate this corner?

Bus must cross center line to pass.

Walk this way

The project includes parking after all.
In Kerns, a historic shared driveway facility got the ax with no notice, no negotiation.

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