Month: January 2021

New Sidewalks and Bike Lanes on Market Street

UPDATE – Crews are beginning work on SE Market Street’s sidewalks and corners. Expect some disruption to normal traffic patterns during the next few weeks.


Original story from December 17th, 2020.

Continuous sidewalks and bike lanes are coming to SE Market street as part of a Greenway expansion program. Starting at SE 92nd Ave, improvements on Market street will extend east to 130th Ave. This work includes Curb Extensions and new Curb Ramps along the project’s path.

The East Portland Access to Employment and Education project is principally focused east of Montavilla. Market Street is one of a handful of East Portland streets that cross over Interstate 205 (I205). Consequently, it’s heavily used by cars, bikes, and pedestrians trying to cross the freeway. Although there are some sidewalk segments between 92nd Ave and the overpass, they are not continuous. East of I205, sidewalks become less consistent on Market Street.

SE Market street will gain bike lanes starting just before the freeway overpass heading east. The new safe bike route will connect with the future 4M Neighborhood Greenway in the outer Southeast. Sidewalk infill on SE Market Street will branch out north on SE Cherry Blossom Drive towards SE Washington Street. At completion, these projects will add approximately 75 new ADA ramps.

The intersection of 92nd Ave and Market Street is the only Montavilla location receiving new ramps as part of this construction. Reconstruction of the northwest and southeast corners will add Curb Extensions to the sidewalk. Curb Extensions extend the sidewalk area into the parking lane, making pedestrians increasingly visible to cars before they cross. Additionally, they shorten the distance of a crosswalk for the pedestrian.

These improvements will make another safe crossing point over I205 and help residents connect with neighborhoods and services to the east. This section of Montavilla is quickly becoming a dense traffic area during peak travel times. Hopefully, this project will improve conditions and give people alternatives to driving when navigating these streets.

Curb Extensions and new ramps at intersection

Detailed construction prints are available here.

Gas Line Work Closes Lanes on Division

Westbound travel on SE Division is down to one lane due to roadwork. NW Natural is repairing gas lines along the roadway near SE 85th Ave. Affected traffic is diverted to the center turn lane for two blocks, creating a minor traffic slowdown.

Access to SE Division Street is blocked from SE 85th Ave’s north approach. Work is underway at an intersection recently rebuilt as part of the TriMet Division Transit Project. That Curb work had already cut into the road surface in this area, making it an ideal time for the gas line work. Now a single repair to the roadway will restore the street damage caused by two projects.

SE Division looking west at SE 87th Ave
SE Division looking east at SE 84th Ave

Refreshed 130 Year-Old Rental

The recently renovated 1890 era house on Everett Street is renting as a duplex. Bought in August of 2020, the property’s new owners transformed the house into an impressive multi-unit building. This latest iteration echoes the rental history for this property that began 100 years before.

Split into a ground-floor unit and a larger upper two-story residence, 7524 NE Everett Street cleverly hides its duplex nature. Both renters share the unfinished basement. Descriptions for Unit A and Unit B highlight the full remodel of the homes. They feature new plumbing and electrical with durable but attractive flooring. Kitchens feature a five-burner gas range, microhood, and dishwasher. Much of the overgrown landscaping is now removed, revealing the shape of this classic structure.

Initially addressed as 410 E Everett Street, the house predates Montavilla’s annexation into Portland. The house sat behind a storefront, positioned tightly at the back of the lot. By 1918 the house belonged to V. Cladek, a Montavilla resident and businessman. Cladek may have lived at this location. However, by 1920, he moved closer to the center of Montavilla town. A Capital Journal article from August 20th lists Cladek’s address as 53 East Seventy-ninth Street (now 317 SE 79th Ave).

410 E Everett Street, Sanborn Map 1909.

With Cladek living on 79th, his house on Everett became available for rent. Now being part of Portland, it changed to an address of 1910 E Everett Street. Newspaper ads in 1920 and later in 1922 list the home for rent. The Sanborn Map for 1924 illustrates Cladek’s expansion of the rental property beyond a single structure. A boarding house replaced the stores seen in the 1909 map. That two-story building still exists today as a fourplex located at 235 NE 76th Ave. The property also expanded to include other houses along 76th, likely all rental properties owned by Cladek.

1910 E Everett Street, Sanborn Map 1924

Beyond ownership of these buildings, V. Cladek participated in civic issues during the World War I years. Although likely the same person, a strong link between the public figure and property owner is missing. Cladek first engaged in public life with an unsuccessful run for Multnomah County Assessor in 1916. By early 1917 he was President of the Bohemian Association in Portland. Bohemian being used to denote the Czech people in the early 20th century. With the first world war raging, Cladek authored an article about Bohemia’s Suffering during the Great War.

Beyond written support of the war, Cladek and the Bohemian Association contributed to a Red Cross fundraiser in 1917. Proceeds from that event provided relief for those suffering in the Great War. Cladek further expressed his opinions regarding the war, declaring in the Morning Oregonian of December 3rd, “We hate the Kaiser and all his ways.”

In 1918, at the age of 64, V. Cladek further inserted himself into the war efforts. In the Morning Oregonian of May 23rd, he is one of many citizens willing to go to war regardless of age. Once again, he appealed to Bohemians and cultural pride in the war effort. He most likely did not travel overseas.

V. Cladek remained the property owner into the 1920s. With the war over, his participation in public events diminished, and it appears he mainly focused on his business efforts. This modern transformation of the Cladek building did an admirable job maintaining its original form. The changes to the structure enhanced its classic stylings while making it a modern living space. Future renters should enjoy the updated amenities along with the rich history of the building.

Image by Weston Ruter

Another Postal Collection Box Vandalized

UPDATE – In less than a week, a new USPS mail collection box has replaced the vandalized unit.


Original article from January 18th, 2021

Over the weekend, vandals forcibly opened a USPS mail collection box located at 1231 SE 92nd Ave. This postal dropbox is the second location in Montavilla to see this type of destruction. It is unknown if the perpetrators successfully stole mail in this latest incident.

At the end of 2020, miscreants targeted the collection box at the corner of SE 76th and Salmon Street, similar to this weekend’s assault. Twice postal staff have replaced that unit on SE 76th, with the most recent replacement delayed by weeks. A new collection box on the corner SE 92nd Ave and Hawthorne Street could also require weeks before installation. With luck, USPS staff will remove the damaged unit soon and begin work on acquiring its replacement. Until then, residents can locate other collection boxes available in the neighborhood with the list below.

Metro Seeks Input on TBN Development

Two years from now, Montavilla will gain 120 to 150 new households on NE Glisan Street. In a partnership between Metro and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) site will transform into affordable housing. With the project in an early planning phase, opportunities for community input will become available next month.

A development of this scale requires years of negotiation and planning before construction can begin. Senior Communications Specialist with Metro, Constantino Khalaf, estimates it will take at least 24 months before Metro demolishes the current structure at 432 NE 74th Ave. “It will take some time for Metro and PHB to identify the right developer and nail down the details of the project, and the actual demolition and redevelopment won’t take place for another couple of years.”

Although construction is years away, community input occurs at this early phase of development. Khalaf indicated Metro would start their community engagement sometime next month. “There will be a survey going out in February to gather neighbor feedback on the values the community thinks we should embrace as we develop this housing.” Survey results will guild PHB and Metro in selecting a developer for this project that will incorporate the neighborhood’s guidance.

When completed, housing build on this property will prioritize “very” low-income tenants and substantially boost residential capacity in the area. Additional features of the development could add limited commercial space to the project, further strengthening NE Glisan’s growth as a retail and dining destination. Residents near this site are encouraged to participate in the survey and express their insights regarding this transformative development.


Residents wishing to receive the survey can sign up for project notifications at this link. https://forms.gle/63bfsp4WnQNVVny99  

EV Charging Coming to Glisan Fred Meyer

A recent permit application reveals that the Fred Meyer grocery store on NE Glisan Street plans to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The proposed project would create four charging stations along the parking lot’s southern edge. Fred Meyer stores frequently offer Blink branded EV charges. 

Permit application 21-002507 seeks to install the four EV charging stations and supporting infrastructure at 6615 NE Glisan Street. In addition to the car chargers, concrete pads and bollards will protect the new equipment. Installation of a nearby utility vault will contain the substantial electricity connections needed to operate the chargers. The project area may also receive decorative screening to obscure the hardware from street view.

When completed, this Fred Meyer store will join three other public locations offering recharging service in the Montavilla area. Those locations are:

Drivers of electric vehicles will welcome the expanded availability of EV charging stations in the neighborhood. When visiting businesses on NE Glisan, they can soon charge their electric car and feel confident they have the energy to get back on the road. EV charging stations will be just one more feature to attract customers to NE Glisan and help grow businesses in the area.

AYCO Opens Center at TBN site

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) recently relocated to Montavilla on NE Glisan. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the group offers support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. The expanded space obtained through this move allows their programs to grow, even while social distancing during COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive Director Jamal Dar founded AYCO in 2009 with an emphasis on athletics and mentoring. Over its first decade, the organization expanded its offerings to include health and education services. Added support for families continued the programs’ growth trajectory, supporting parents and people caring for special needs children.

AYCO seeks to strengthen a sense of cultural identity within the immigrant community while facilitating integration. Like the community they support, many of the team at AYCO immigrated from East Africa. Staff leverage that personal experience to guide newly arriving families adapting to this country. Their youth programs develop academic and team-building skills in a culturally familiar environment. Health services provide assistance navigating healthcare and disability resources, understanding the language and culture of those seeking support.

In 2015 AYCO opened its first location at 1390 SE 122nd Ave. That space allowed the organization to expand the services offered substantially. However, with increased community need, that location became too small. The building on NE Glisan offers the room need to grow the organization further. The new Center’s increased footprint will feature a gym to help the children embrace athletics beyond soccer and basketball. The new location also allows for a clinic to support children of all ages and abilities.

AYCO leased part of the single-story building from Metro, which acquired the site from Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The previous owners used the building as a TV studio and broadcasting facility before selling the property in late 2019. Metro plans to develop the site two years from now and sought short term tenants. “The building where AYCO is leasing space will eventually be demolished, and the new housing that will be built in its place will prioritize families and households with very low incomes.” Said Constantino Khalaf, Senior Communications Specialist with Metro.

Metro happily made space in the building available for AYCO, reducing the rent to support the group’s efforts. “We’re excited that such a great, community-serving organization can use the space during these early stages rather than let it sit vacant.” Explained Khalaf.

Regardless of the short-term lease on the space, Dar looks forward to the site’s pending development. He intends to become a tenant within the new development’s commercial area when completed. NE Glisan Street is close to the community AYCO servers, and Dar feels it will be an ideal home for his organization.

When the pandemic’s risk has subsided, Dar hopes to interact with the Montavilla community more. Until then, his organization plans to continue to their outward community engagement through support for the hungry and unsheltered. Look for the location to become more lively with youth activities over the coming months, and visit the AYCO website if you want to know more about the organization.

Support Montavilla’s Core

Montavilla’s Stark Street cycles through times of flourishing community and empty obscurity. It could be hard to remember what the street looked like 20 years ago by walking it today. However vibrant the town is now, the area was deep in a down cycle two decades previous. Fortunes started to change for the neighborhood thanks in part to businesses betting on the community’s resurgence.

Bipartisan Cafe is one of the earliest businesses to see the regrowth potential. For 17 years, the cafe stood as the cornerstone of foodservice prosperity in the area. It is a safe place for residents to gather and meet with friends.

Now, after years of supporting the neighborhood, the Bipartisan Cafe needs support from the community. They are seeking donations to bridge the gap caused by COVID-19’s economic impact. The Help keep the Bipartisan Cafe open campaign on GoFundMe details the full explanation for their fundraising efforts. If you can afford it, consider visiting the GoFundMe page and keep the core of Montavilla on an upward cycle.


Disclosure – The author of this article serves on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board with Peter Emerson, one of the owners of Bipartisan Cafe.

Lower Speeds on NE Glisan

This week crews posted new speed limit signs along NE Glisan Street east of 82nd Ave. Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) reduced the speed on this heavily traveled roadway as part of Portland’s Vision Zero goal. A program established to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. The change follows a year full of collisions in this area.

The recent speed limit adjustments made to NE Glisan from 82nd Ave to 122nd Ave creates continuity along the roadway. “With this change in place, NE Glisan Street now has a consistent 30 mph speed limit across most of Portland.” Explained Hannah Schafer, a Communications and Public Involvement representative with PBOT.

Although only reduced by five mph, a reduction from 35 mph to 30 mph can substantially decrease crash fatalities. According to Schafer, “speed is a factor in nearly half of deadly crashes that occur in Portland. Lower speeds result in fewer crashes. When crashes occur, lower speeds make it more likely that people will survive.”

The speed limit reduction joins other efforts by PBOT to improve safety on NE Glisan. Earlier this year, pedestrian crossing lights near Multnomah University joined other similar lights on this road. Reduced speed limits may help calm traffic. However, speeding on this road between I205 and 82nd Ave is a constant issue, regardless of the posted limit. With luck, this change and other PBOT initiatives will improve safety for all users of NE Glisan.

Continued work on NE 80th Curb Ramps

The corner reconstruction of NE Couch Street and NE 80th Ave is nearing completion. The work underway is the final portion of a project designed to improve curb ramps at this intersection. Construction on this last section is technically challenging, requiring the relocation of a stormwater catch basin.

The catch basin’s previous location placed it inside the extended footprint for the new sidewalk corner. Crews first had to reposition the catch basin along the NE Couch Street before laying concrete forms.

Children heavily use this stretch of sidewalk on their way to the back entrance for Vestal School. Improvements to this intersection ensure all pedestrians have a safe path down this road. Work should complete on this project over the next week, depending on weather conditions.