A delegation from the neighborhood met with Adidas on June 28 to discuss parking and other issues. The delegation included three members of the Overlook Neighborhood Association Board – Cynthia Sulaski, Vice Chair Alan Crana and Chair Chris Trejbal – and four Adidas neighbors. We met with Tom Hughes, Adidas’ corporate affairs manager. Tom will be the point person for the neighborhood going forward.
Our meeting went very well. Tom came in ready to discuss the parking issue and with news that should lead to improvements in coming months. Things won’t change overnight, but plans are in the works to ease the parking pressure.
Tom reported that the workforce on site nearly doubled over the past two years. There now are about 1,700 employees at the Adidas campus. They do not have enough parking spaces for all of them, hence the spillover onto public neighborhood streets.
The good news is that Adidas will move five full divisions (and their cars) to other sites in Portland. Neighbors should start to see improvements soon, but all five off-site locations will not be open until November, so some patience will be required.
The company has canceled all deliveries around the back of the campus, so trucks and forklifts no longer will be on the streets. Other measures in the works to reduce the number of cars driving to Adidas daily include incentives for employees to carpool and subsidized transit passes. The company already provides bikes on campus and rideshare passes. It also is developing a shuttle between its Portland sites.
Adidas leadership also will send an internal letter to all employees and vendors asking them to be more respectful to neighbors. That includes being more mindful about parking and not leaving trash and cigarette butts on the ground. They recognize that how employees interact with neighbors reflects on the company.
Tom also said that he hopes this first meeting was the beginning of much better communication between the company and the neighborhood. They will soon have a dedicated email address set up for neighbors to send comments, questions and concerns. He will personally respond to messages. Stay tuned for more details once it is ready to launch.
The increased communications will include sharing event calendars for the campus so that we can circulate them in the Overlook weekly email (signup by contacting email@example.com). If residents know what events are coming when, there will be less of a surprise.
Other opportunities for communication and collaboration will be discussed going forward. We’ll report on them as they are fleshed out.
Overall, the delegation left with the sense that the company has heard our concerns and genuinely wants to work with us and to be a good neighbor. Things won’t change overnight, but we are hopeful that by the end of the year, the parking issues will be much improved.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Chris Trejbal at firstname.lastname@example.org.