Overlook Neighborhood Update (Aug. 19)

1) Tour de Lab bicycle ride will close street in Overlook (Sept. 3)
2) Help Portland plan pedestrian improvements
3) General meeting recap


1) Tour de Lab bicycle ride will close street in Overlook (Sept. 3)

The ninth annual Tour de Lab bicycle ride returns on Sept. 3. This event, which visits the various Lucky Lab sites in Portland, including Overlook’s own Lucky Labrador Taproom on N Killingsworth Street, is a fundraiser to benefit Dove Lewis animal hospital. There are two routes, a 41-mile Big Dog and 18-mile Puppy.

To ensure the safety or riders and drivers alike, N Concord Avenue between Willamette Boulevard and Killingsworth will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

2) Help Portland plan pedestrian improvements

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is conducting a survey as a part of its PedPDX project. PedPDX will identify pedestrian needs across the city, including sidewalks, crossing improvements, and other investments that will make walking safer, more comfortable, and more accessible in Portland. The Plan will also prioritize those needs to help ensure that we are directing funding to locations with the greatest need first (based on user demand, safety conditions, transit access, and other priorities identified by the community).

Take the community survey by Sept. 30. Responses to the online survey will directly shape how PBOT prioritizes pedestrian improvements citywide. Your response will help PBOT understand the types of walking improvements that are most important and the general locations where they are needed most. The survey should take no more than 3 minutes. At the end, you will have an opportunity to enter for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a Fitbit Charge 2.

More information about PedPDX, including information on how to sign up for email updates to stay involved throughout the project, is available on the project website at pedpdx.com.

3) General meeting recap

For those who were unable to attend the OKNA General Meeting on Tuesday, a quick recap. More than 130 residents and guests attended the meeting.

The evening began with a special board meeting to respond to threats from Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. The board voted unanimously to remove from the general meeting agenda a bylaws amendment that would have clarified membership criteria for OKNA consistent with policies in more than a dozen other neighborhoods. The vote was not a reflection on the merits of the proposal but a response to Eudaly’s threats. OKNA Chairperson Chris Trejbal discussed the issue on Oregon Public Broadcasting this week.

During the General Meeting, the membership authorized the board to ask that the city address drift racing and drag racing on Swan Island and nearby streets and to spend $150 on design work for a flyer to promote the Sept. 19 annual meeting. The membership also approved an overhaul of the OKNA bylaws. Among the changes of note, the board will now have up to 15 members who will be elected at the annual meeting. If you’d like more information about running for the board, send an email to info@overlookneighborhood.org

Members also debated and voted on a resolution introduced by four Overlook residents in accordance with the bylaws. The measure (read the full text here) would have required that any good neighbor agreement between the Overlook Neighborhood and the Hazelnut Grove homeless camp include a three-month timeline for relocation of the camp. If no agreement were reached by Oct. 1, it called for relocating the camp.

During the debate neighbors and homeless advocates offered passionate arguments for and against the measure. A handful of disruptive attendees were not able to prevent an excellent show of local democracy and civil debate in action.

Using a parliamentary maneuver, one speaker attempted to replace that resolution with language that stated:

  • Overlook welcomes and celebrates Hazelnut Grove and others experiencing homelessness;
  • OKNA pledges to support homeless people;
  • OKNA places, as a top priority, that the neighborhood address the affordable housing and homelessness crisis.

Residents voted two-to-one against the change.

The original motion then went to a vote. It, too, failed, but on a much closer count. Hazelnut Grove campers were sufficient in number to swing the outcome.

After a brief recess during which most people left, the remaining residents discussed other issues of importance to the neighborhood. Several thanked the board for its hard work and for keeping a challenging meeting moving forward.

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