Overlook Neighborhood Update (June 17)

1) Design OKNA’s new logo
2) OKNA’s June general meeting
3) Adidas opens Montgomery Park offices
4) Celebrate Juneteenth at the North Portland Library on Sunday
5) I-5 tolling and impacts on Overlook
6) Safe Routes to School projects selected


Do you have a love of graphic design and your neighborhood? The Overlook Neighborhood Association is considering changing its logo, and you can help. Join your neighbors who have already submitted some great ideas and maybe your design will grace our neighborhood newsletter, website and more. We are accepting submissions until July 1. Email your sketches, ideas or finished designs to info@overlookneighborhood.org.

2) OKNA’s June general meeting

The Overlook Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, June 19, 6:30-8:20 p.m. at Kaiser Town Hall. Join your neighbors to learn more about what’s happening in Overlook. Topics on this month’s agenda include a development proposal for 4212 N Interstate Ave., the adidas expansion project and more.

3) Adidas opens Montgomery Park offices

While addias pursues its expansion plans at its Overlook campus, it has also opened new office space in the Montgomery Park building across the river. According to a story by the Portland Business Journal, the company has the entire sixth floor, with 80,000 square feet.

The move included relocating the company’s employee store from Overlook to Montgomery Park’s second floor. The Overlook store is now closed, and the company hopes that will reduce some of the spill-over parking onto neighborhood streets.

4) Celebrate Juneteenth at the North Portland Library on Sunday

June 19 marks the day – more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation became effective – that Union soldiers read a general order announcing the end of slavery in Texas. We celebrate that day as Juneteenth, and events are underway in Portland.

The North Portland libraries will host two events this afternoon:

  • Free to Read: A Juneteenth Celebration. From 2 to 4 p.m. June 17 at the Kenton Library, Eva Abram of Rainwater Storytelling will share a story about Charles Mitchell – a story of slavery in the Northwest. There will be crafts, books, giveaways and light refreshments. For more information, visit the library’s website.
  • Juneteenth: Words Along the Way. North Portland Library will commemorate Juneteenth with words and music by PassinArt from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit the library’s website.

5) I-5 tolling and impacts on Overlook

A representative from the Oregon Department of Transportation presented potential interstate tolling plans — which ODOT calls value pricing — for the Portland area at last month’s OKNA general meeting. One of the top contenders is to charge motorists on Interstate 5 between the Going Street/Alberta Street exits at the north end and the Multnomah Boulevard exit at the south end.

The Going Street/Alberta Street I-5 exits are in the Overlook neighborhood, and starting tolls there could create an incentive for motorists to divert onto neighborhood streets to avoiding paying them. A consultant’s report to the committee overseeing the tolling project noted, “Diversion from freeways in off-peak periods may increase the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes on the potentially impacted roadways and at intersections. Additionally, nonvehicular travel (e.g., bicyclists and pedestrians) on diversion routes could experience increased conflicts with motor vehicles during off-peak periods, which could increase crash frequency.”

Nevertheless, the consultant recommends using this option – called Concept B – as a test run of tolling in Portland. It did not, however, include any recommended mitigation to ensure Overlook and other nearby neighbors are kept safe from cut-through traffic.

OKNA is monitoring this situation, and the board welcomes residents’ input to info@overlookneighborhood.org. In the meantime, you can learn more about the proposal at the official website. You can comment on the proposals online or by email to valuepricingpac@odot.state.or.us. Finally, a public meeting of the committee will take place on June 25, 9-noon at the ODOT Region 1 Offices. It will include an opportunity for public comment if you’d like to speak to the committee in person.

6) Safe Routes to School projects selected

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has selected 88 safety and improvement projects to be funded by the voter-approved local gas tax. You can view a map of all of the selected projects online. None was of the projects proposed for the Overlook neighborhood was chosen.

Across Portland, the top concern heard by PBOT staff was unsafe crossings. Parents and students noted that major street crossings were the biggest barrier in walking to school. Missing sidewalks and traffic speed were also major safety concerns. Students and families confirmed that they prefer to take the shortest path and not to walk more than one or two blocks out of their way to use a better route or crossing.

Construction on the 88 projects will begin this year and should be completed by 2021.

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