Month: July 2021

New Fire Hydrants on SE 82nd Ave

Beginning last week, crews with the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) opened up portions of 82nd Ave to repair damage to the water main and install two new fire hydrants. Over the weekend, open trench construction diverted all traffic onto the southbound lanes, reducing five lanes down to two. Work focused on a short section of SE 82nd Ave from E Burnside Street to SE Pine Street.

Installation of the fire hydrants is part of the PWB Hydrant Asset Management Plan. However, the project’s timeline moved up to coincide with unplanned maintenance to damaged pipes. “This was an emergency repair to a leaking two-inch galvanized water main,” explained Jaymee Cuti, Public Information Officer with the Portland Water Bureau. With the street opened for leak repair, crews could accomplish both projects simultaneously.

New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave at 110 SE 82nd Ave.

One new hydrant is on the southeast corner of SE 82nd Ave and SE Ash Street. The second unit is positioned mid-block in front of 110 SE 82nd Ave. The added fire hydrants shorten the distance between fire-engine connection points on 82nd Ave, safeguarding the growing number of businesses in the area by providing continuous water to firefighters.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) assisted the PWB in restoring the roadway to a drivable condition. Construction has disrupted traffic in the area, but the confined work site prevented wide-reaching congestion. All traffic disruptions should clear by Tuesday.

New hydrants shown as red dots, existing hydrants are blue dots
New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave on the southeast corner of Ash Street
PBOT owned LeeBoy Asphalt Paver
Crews repairing roadway

Montavilla’s New Public Plaza

Starting today, a small portion of SE 79th Ave north of SE Stark Street is transforming into a Public Plaza. Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) will create the car-free gathering space as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Safe Streets Initiative. The program designates safe outdoor areas in neighborhoods across Portland, connecting communities and supporting economic recovery.

The Plaza will open to the public starting this weekend and remain accessible through Labor Day, September 6th. METBA plans to host several entertainment events in the space over the next few months. When not used for events, outdoor furniture in the Plaza will be available for spontaneous community use. The permit for the Plaza lasts through October, allowing a potential expanded season for events if residents express interest.

Unlike the Parking Plazas used by businesses along local streets, this temporary installation will block traffic flow through SE 79th Ave. METBA coordinated this project with local businesses and homeowners ahead of the closure. Although adjacent establishments support this new Public Plaza, patrons of those nearby businesses are not the only ones able to use this space. Similar to a public park, it is a family-friendly location for everyone to eat and gather. However, the PBOT permit prohibits the consumption of alcohol within this Plaza. Drinking outdoors will remain limited to licensed Parking Plazas.

Funds for live entertainment in the Plaza come from Travel Oregon. Earlier this year, they distributed grant money towards activities in Oregon that would increase tourism. METBA is currently developing an entertainment schedule consisting of daytime entertainment that won’t disrupt nearby business activities. Live music performances will play a significant role in programming for this Plaza, creating paying work for musicians.

Today volunteers are painting the road mural ahead of the outdoor furniture delivery tomorrow. An assortment of picnic tables, bistro tables, and Adirondack chairs will fill the street. By Saturday, crews will have completed the setup and have the space ready for public use. Keep an eye on METBA‘s website and social media accounts for information about Plaza events. Send questions or comments to Montavilla.Biz@gmail.com.

Skatepark Meeting and Survey

Last Thursday, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) held the first public engagement session for the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project. Staff invited community members to share their desires for the Park and participate in an online survey. The survey questions focus on the skatepark attributes and style. Other questions gather demographic information and gauge interest in general Park improvements that could become part of this project.

The event featured poster boards displaying four panels that included a multitude of skatepark design options. The same images appear in the survey to guide specific questions. The chosen images do not represent any particular plans for this Park but instead, provide general examples of various skatepark designs. The survey will remain open until Thursday, July 30.

Last week’s meeting was the first of three events that will take place ahead of construction. The following public engagement sessions will take place in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. Crews will begin work in Spring of 2023, with a targeted completion date of Fall 2024. Much of the design work is months away. However, PP&R planers have determined the placement of the skatepark and committed to frontage improvements around the Park.

As part of this project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will require sidewalks, curbs, and curb ramps around Berrydale Park’s parameters. Currently, SE Talyor Street and SE 89th Ave do not have sidewalks. Improvements may also come to the existing sidewalk on SE 92nd Ave. The park improvement presentation in the Fall will include some design details around this frontage work.

Image from Google Maps

PP&R coordinated with the neighboring Creative Science School to place the skatepark within the Park’s southeast corner. School administrators requested that its position allow school staff to see into the area from the school parking lot. Additionally, PP&R planners wanted to avoid any tree removal or demolition of existing park amenities. A small clearing near the school meets both conditions and provides a clear choice for placement.

Participate in the online survey within the next few days and look for a notice regarding the next phase of planning in the Fall. Outside of the survey, direct questions and comments about this project to Ken Rumbaugh, PP&R Community Engagement Coordinator, at 971-269-9042 or ken.rumbaugh@portlandoregon.gov

Berrydale Skatepark Design Outreach

Today, July 15th, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will hold its first community outreach event ahead of building a new Skatepark at Berrydale Park. The in-person meeting will begin at 5:30 PM and run until 7:30 PM. Presenters will share vision boards and discuss the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project with attendees. To attend, gather at the corner of SE 92nd Ave and Salmon Street at 5:30 PM. 

The second community meeting will occur sometime in the Fall of 2021. More information is available on the project’s website.


Original Story published May 12th, 2021

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) recently created a Berrydale Park Skatepark Project page, featuring information about the proposed new amenities and a tentative schedule for community involvement with the planning process. The first community engagement meeting will occur this summer and is the best opportunity for residents to shape this development.

Funding for the new skatepark will come from System Development Charges (SDC) and not the City’s general budget, currently in negation. These enhancements are made possible thanks in part to voters approving Measure 26-213 last year. With additional funding, the park may gain improved pathways, updated playground equipment, and new site furnishings. Those furnishings could include lighting, drinking fountains, benches, trash cans, and signage.

When announced last month, there was substantial community interest in this project. PP&R quickly mobilized a Community Engagement Coordinator to lead this part of the development and start the outreach process. Below is the rough schedule for project milestones, of which the first four involve public communication. For the firm date of this summer’s listening session, keep an eye on the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project page and make time to express your vision for the park’s future.


  • Community Meeting 1 (Summer 2021) – Primarily a listening session. What’s important to the community?
  • Community Meeting 2 (Fall 2021) – Present skate park and park improvement design options based on what we heard in the first meeting.
  • Community Meeting 3 – (Winter 2022) – Refinements to designs we heard during meeting #2. We aim to cultivate community support. 
  • Community Meeting 4 (TBD) – (If necessary)
  • Conceptual Design and Analysis – August 2021 to January 2022
  • Construction Documentation – February 2022 to June 2022
  • Permitting and Bidding – July 2022 to July 2023
  • Construction – July 2023 to April 2024
  • Grand Opening – Summer 2024

PDX Reporter Web App

PDX Reporter is a website and mobile web app that helps Portlanders report concerns to the appropriate city agency. Much like the Oregon Metro RID map, this tool seeks to make reporting concerns convenient and efficient. On the site, people can report various sidewalk-related problems, graffiti, road obstructions, and potholes.

PDX Reporter started as a native phone app but later changed to a web app to streamline maintenance and reduce the time between updates. Much of its functionality still targets mobile app performance. However, the desktop website scales up to fit any sized screen. The site is tagged as “Beta” and is not an all-in-one tool. Some reporting sections redirect users to other resources or encourage users to go to another reporting tool for faster service.

Instead of replacing all the forms used by various bureaus, the site acts as the portal for many city services. This approach saves residents time looking for the proper place to report issues. Portland has a labyrinth of websites that make finding the appropriate resource difficult. PDX Reporter is an admirable attempt to cut through the confusion and take people to the form they need.

Notifying the city about issues can make public spaces more livable and safe. Without reports from residents, City staff cannot prioritize troubled areas and are less efficient in resolving issues. People using this service should exercise good judgment in deciding what to report. Any information included within the body of a PDX Reporter report is subject to public records laws. Although users have to create a free portlandoregon.gov website login to use this service, information used to create an account on portlandoregon.gov is kept confidential.

Portlanders are far from having a streamlined method for interacting with City services. However, Portland continually deploys technology to alleviate the frustrations of navigating disparate bureau procedures. Although this tool has existed for years, many people don’t know it exists or forget about it when they need to file a report. You might no need PDX Reporter today, but bookmarking pdxreporter.org can save you time and frustration in the future.

Glisan Warehouse for Lease

The 10,000 square-foot warehouse located at 7056 NE Glisan Street is for lease. The space is vacant and available for immediate occupancy. The property houses two other businesses, True North Studios at 455 NE 71st Ave and another business at 7034 NE Glisan Street.

City Houses Inc. manages this property of four separate addresses. Both 7044 and 7056 NE Glisan are offered together at the cost of one dollar per square foot. However, the owner would divide it into two spaces again if desired by a new tenant. Interested businesses should contact 503-235-1781 for more information or to schedule a tour.


UPDATE – Removed reference to the Marijuana-related business closing.

Officials Tour 82nd Ave Ahead of Improvements

Today, three elected officials toured SE 82nd Ave to highlight proposed safety investments coming to the roadway. Thanks to United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the recently passed US House infrastructure package contains $5 million for 82nd Ave safety improvements. These federal dollars will join $185 million in State and City funds previously committed to 82nd Ave improvements as part of the jurisdictional transfer of the State-owned highway to the City of Portland.

State Representative Khanh Pham and Portland City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty joined Rep. Blumenauer on the July 9th walk from SE Hawthorne Blvd to the APANO offices on SE Division Street. Positioned on the sidewalks of 82nd Ave, members of the procession observed the failing infrastructure and talked about future repairs.

Along the journey, Comm. Hardesty and others address the concern that gentrification often follows transit improvement projects. The group agreed that 82nd Ave projects need to consider their impact on existing residents and businesses to minimize displacement. Preventing community upheaval was a concern echoed later by Rep. Blumenauer at the press conference that followed today’s tour. “There is a significant amount of wealth to be generated by doing it right, but we have to do it… so it doesn’t displace and drive people away.” He called for projects to “reinforce the elements of community” and kickstart developments that serve all income levels.

At the press conference, the speakers celebrated the infrastructure improvements coming to the roadway. Better lighting and enhanced crosswalks will provide residents near this street the same safety other Portlanders have within their neighborhoods. These upgrades join public transportation developments designed to make living along 82nd Ave feasible.

These infrastructure improvements make the area suitable for more density housing projects that use the untaped real estate above commercial spaces. Rep. Pham expressed dismay at the number of “Mega Storage Units” being created along the roadway. Rep. Blumenauer agreed that those facilities negatively affect community-building efforts. He explained that Self Storage businesses allow companies to hold onto land and generate some profit while they wait for the value of the property to rise, creating “black holes in the community.”

Rep. Blumenauer is a longtime believer in East Portland’s potential. Years ago, he aggressively pressed for PCC’s to expand into the Southeast, with the desire to create social destinations. Much of 82nd Ave’s transportation move people through the area instead of bringing people in. “82nd Ave is the highest volume of transit in the city [and] it has been a lost opportunity for as long as I remember,” Rep. Blumenauer recalled. Fortunately, investments coming to the highway will create the safe spaces people need to live, walk, and build their community. 

Early next year, 82nd Ave will become part of Portland’s network of roads and begin receiving upgrades to make the street safe and modern. Last month, the Oregon legislature approved $80 million in funds that will partially pay for 82nd Ave’s transfer to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It was one of the last obstacles to overcome ahead of next year’s jurisdictional transfer.

Rep. Blumenauer praised the work of Rep. Pham and Comm. Hardesty on their efforts to move the decades-long transfer process near completion. It required countless hours of negotiations before State and City staff agreed to the terms of transfer. However, the agreement would have stalled if not for an influx of federal recovery funding. Years of work needed to coincide with the right timing for infrastructure investments. Today’s events represented an acknowledgment that supporters won the fight for change on 82nd Ave. Now, efforts will shift to enacting projects that build up the community without pushing people out.

Moto PDX Cafe on Stark

Next month, a performance-motorcycle themed cafe will open at 8826 SE Stark Street. Titled Moto PDX Cafe, they will serve Italian coffee drinks and rider-friendly meals that digest well on the road. Within this mid-century modern storefront, owner Brendan Jones brings together his enthusiasm for European MotoGP and his penchant for creating engaging community spaces.

Seven years ago, Jones left an advertising career and created The Big Legrowlski in downtown Portland. What had started as a growler shop eventually grew into a live music venue. He let that business develop organically based on customer feedback. Jones explained that the same process would shape this new venture, “to be successful in business like this, you have to pivot quickly and just listen to or at least observe [customers], because it really is a like a focus group.”

Jones is moving on from The Big Legrowlski, letting others grow that business. He is looking to build a different type of place for people to congregate, based less on nightlife activities and more on a shared passion. The building on Stark Street became available late last year, providing a location for his new creation. Living just ten minutes away from the building and the storefront’s proximity to the motorcycle store Cycle Gear, it seemed like an ideal location to bring his longtime vision to fruition.

The idea for a motorcycle cafe occurred to Jones when he lived in San Francisco. However, real estate costs in California made it difficult to act on that idea. Fortunately, Portland can support the economics of operating an establishment like Moto PDX Cafe, where other cities could not. “Portland is a great space, It isn’t too expensive yet, and it’s still a place where, if you have an idea, you can make it happen.” Explained Jones.

Work on the building will have a light touch, maintaining much of the current layout. White paint will replace the deep black color on the building’s exterior. Green painted highlights will tie in the cafe’s logo to the building. An attempt to expose the original vertical wood beams and raw aluminum window frames is underway, but the many layers of paint pose a challenge. 

The building sits back from the street, creating a deep parking lot. Jones is not a fan of large car-centric spaces and wants to add planers around the property to create a courtyard aesthetic. Motorcycle parking takes up significantly less space than car stalls, allowing him to reshape the street side of the property towards people-focused activities.

Inside the cafe, televisions will show race footage and live events. The long bank of glass-front refrigerators that remain from the buildings earlier use as a grocery will hold European beer and refrigerated foods. Moto PDX Cafe will sell both beer and wine for consumption onsite or carryout. Jones is not interested in recreating a drinking-focused business like his last project, but he understands that it will complement the location’s overall vibe. The cafe will have a full kitchen. However, the menu is still in development. Thanks to an idea from his wife, Jones envisions guest chefs taking over the kitchen, offering a rotating menu and new takes on standard dishes.

Moto PDX Cafe will eventually open to customers from 10 AM to 10 PM. Staffing will have some challenges. Jones is looking for people who are modern motorcycle enthusiasts. Performance bikes throughout the shop will provide additional decoration and be the item of conversation. Additionally, plans for a consignment sales area will ensure this is more than just a food destination for the motorcycle racing community. Cafe staff that can prepare food and speaks with experience about bikes will be imperative to the operation of the cafe. Finding people with both skill sets will take time. 

Look for work on the property to continue through the end of July. The intention is for the cafe to open in early August. As construction tasks complete and furniture arrives, Jones will announce an appropriate opening date. More information on that date should come by the end of the month.

AYCO Hosting Vaccine Clinic July 5th

Tomorrow, African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. In a partnership with Walgreens Pharmacy, the community group seeks to supply vaccination opportunities for the people they directly serve and neighbors still needing their shot. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the medical staff will dispense both the Johnson & Johnson single-dose shots and Pfizer’s two-dose shots. Those receiving Pfizer will schedule a second dose at a local Walgreens before leaving.

The event begins at 10 AM on Monday, July 5th, and runs until 5 PM. People are encouraged to signup in advance via the event registration link or through the QR code below. This popup clinic is an excellent opportunity to receive the vaccine on a day that many have off from work due to the Independence Day holiday. 


The Yard at Montavilla Opening Weekend

Yesterday, The Yard at Montavilla opened to customers for the first time. The new food cart pod has space for sixteen vendors, although only a handful are currently serving customers during the first few days. Located at 8220 NE Davis Street, the food vendor collective sits on a corner lot across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary School.

La Taquiza Vegana – All Vegan Mexican Street Food

The early days of operation are encouraging for the cart operators. A small but steady flow of customers have ventured in to see what carts are open. July 4th is set as the official first day, although not all food carts are starting at the same time. Today La Taquiza Vegana and Bobablastic were serving customers.

covered seating area

Staff completed all the amenities for the food cart pod ahead of this weekend. Portable restrooms and handwashing stations are set up near the trash enclosure. A large covered seating area is surrounded by standup umbrella tables, protecting the customers from the summer sun. 

Portable restrooms and hand washing stations

An ATM is on-site for those who wish to pay in cash. However, the vendors open today all accept credit card payments.

The list of carts is below, but The Yard at Montavilla website has updated information on what vendors are open this weekend. Make some time to stop by and visit with the cart operators and snag some delicious food.

La Taquiza Vegana – All four taco options
  • Guisados PDX – Mexican Food
  • East African Cuisine
  • Kings of Steak – Philly Cheese Steaks
  • Bai Yok Thai Food
  • Wood Fired Pizza
  • Shawarma Express – Mediterranean Food
  • Bobablastic – BobaTea, Poke Bowl, Hot Dog, Fries
  • Scout Beverages, Inc. – Beer & Wine
  • Taj Mahal Punjabi – Indian Cuisine
  • La Taquiza Vegana – All Vegan Mexican Street Food
  • Little Bear – Bingsu Tofu Popcorn Chx
  • Esan Thai Food Cart – Thai Food
  • Ricky’s Sushi – Sushi Rolls & Appetizers