Overlook Neighborhood Update (March 26)

1) Mayor visits OKNA meeting
2) Filming at Adidas (Tuesday & Wednesday, March 28-29)
3) Eastbank Esplanade closed
4) Traffic safety action workshop (Thursday, March 30)
5) Sustainable landscaping workshops
6) Renters’ rights workshop (April 5)
7) How should Safe Routes to School spend $8 million? (April 20)


1) Mayor visits OKNA meeting

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler visited the Overlook Neighborhood Association General Meeting on March 21. He updated the neighborhood on his priorities as mayor and addressed concerns about the Hazelnut Grove homeless camp in Overlook. During the Q&A session, residents overwhelmingly asked the mayor to make good on the city’s pledge that the camp would be relocated within a year of its founding. It has been there for 18 months.

Thank you to all Overlook residents who came out for this important meeting and shared their views.

Wheeler conceded that the city had treated Overlook “shabbily” under the previous mayor with regard to Hazelnut Grove, but he had no immediate solutions for neighbors concerned about the dangers of having an unregulated homeless camp in wildfire and landslide zones. He has asked Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office to oversee next steps, which will include mediated discussions between the neighborhood and the homeless campers.

OKNA’s board will discuss what the mayor said at its April board meeting. For now, we await word from City Hall and Hazelnut Grove about when they are willing to return to the table to discuss moving forward.

You can find out more about the visit in news coverage from KGW, (“Neighbors voice anger over N Portland homeless camp”) and KATU (“Mayor wants neighborhood to drive solution for Hazelnut Grove”). You can also watch a video of the mayor answering neighbor’s questions below. Later in the video, a representative of Commissioner Eudaly’s office talks about next steps.

2) Filming at Adidas (Tuesday & Wednesday, March 28-29)

A film crew will be on location at the Adidas Village on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 28-29) shooting for the Pensole Sneaker Challenge. As a result, some nearby street parking will be unavailable. Specifically, “No Parking” will be posted on both sides of N Sumner Street between N Delaware Avenue and the dead end, and on both sides of N Delaware Avenue between N Sumner Street and N Webster Street.

Read the full announcement.

3) Eastbank Esplanade closed

Portland Parks & Recreation has temporarily closed the floating portion of the Eastbank Esplanade between the Steel and Burnside bridges due to extremely high Willamette River water levels. PP&R has been carefully monitoring this section of the popular riverside trail, located on the east side of the Willamette, over the past few days. During periods of very high water, when the river reaches approximately 17.5 feet, the ramps rise to an angle determined to be potentially unsafe for people on bikes, on foot, and for those using mobility devices. This situation has occurred in the past during rare, extremely high river elevations (most recently in May of 2011).

The closure will remain in effect for an undetermined length of time – until river conditions allow for safe travel on the impacted section of walkway.  Commuters, walkers, cyclists, etc., should use street alternatives.

4) Traffic safety action workshop (Thursday, March 30)

Are you interested in creating awareness, changing policy and finding money to improve safety on neighborhood streets? North Portland Neighborhood Services will hold a workshop this week to teach you how to do it.

Bring an idea about a traffic safety problem you want to solve and they’ll help you develop a plan for taking action. They’ve invited transportation experts and neighbors who can share stories about what worked in their own neighborhoods. Learn more.

RSVP online.

Traffic safety action workshop
Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m.
Historic Kenton Firehouse (8105 N Brandon Ave.)

5) Sustainable landscaping workshops

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District has free landscaping workshops scheduled for coming weeks. Learn how to create low-maintenance, low-cost landscapes that conserve water, prevent pollution, and create a healthy habitat for local birds and wildlife. These workshops are free and open to everyone. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Learn more and register online.

All three will take place at Livingscape (3926 N Vancouver Ave.).

Beneficial Insects (April 15, 9-11:30 a.m.)

Meet the beetles, bugs, flies, lacewings and other invertebrates that provide free pest control. You will discover ways to attract and sustain these friendly beneficial insects that help your garden thrive, and also learn about a few invasive insects to keep an eye out for. 

Naturescaping Basics (April 22, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Learn how to design your landscape to reduce water use, decrease storm water runoff and save you time, money, and energy – all while providing a beautiful habitat for birds, wildlife and you.

Attracting Pollinators to the Urban Garden (May 5, 6:30-9 p.m.)

Learn about the bees, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies that provide vital pollination services in urban gardens, and discover which plants can help attract and support them. We will go beyond the bloom so you can find out how to provide water, shelter, nesting and overwintering sites.

6) Renters’ rights workshop (April 5)

Community Alliance of Tenants will host a free renters’ rights workshop on Wednesday, April 5 at Clarendon School in North Portland. Attendees will learn about what landlords are responsible for repairing or replacing, renters’ legal rights and responsibilities, and how to communicate with landlords to get the best outcome.

Free lead and hemoglobin testing for kids by Multnomah County will be available after the meeting. During the meeting, there will be childcare and snacks. To register for childcare and lead testing, contact Michelle Rodriguez at 503-916-3138 or Crystal Ball at 503-916-6298.

Renters’ rights & repairs workshop
Wednesday, April 5, 3:15 p.m.
Clarendon Regional Early Learning Academy (9325 N Van Houten Ave.)

7) How should Safe Routes to School spend $8 million? (April 20)

Through the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Fixing Our Streets program, Safe Routes to School is expecting to make a large investment in safety improvements around Portland schools in the next few years. This spring they’re asking families to help figure out what is needed most in each high school cluster. They will come to the Jefferson cluster, which includes Overlook, on Thursday, April 20.

The Safe Routes to School program is hosting open house events across the city to listen to families about their routes to school and the barriers they face. At the most recent events, families from the Grant and Roosevelt High School clusters talked about speeding drivers, difficult crossings and arrival/dismissal traffic concerns. While at the open house, parents expressed why they walked or rolled…or didn’t; what was their number one safety concern; and how far they would go out of their way for a safer crossing. They also drew their routes on school maps and learned just how much it costs to create their perfect intersection.

Portland Public Schools was also there to share information about their www.SafeRoutesPDX.org web app that lets families share their safety concerns online.

Safe Routes to Schools Session
Thursday, April 20, 6-8 p.m.
Ockley Green Middle School (6031 N Montana Ave.)

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