This month, Portland Street Response (PSR) expanded its boundaries beyond the Lents neighborhood. Starting April 1st, PSR teams will offer a non-police response to a larger area that includes the eastern half of Montavilla. With the expanded service area comes a broader service scope that now includes public spaces inside buildings.
The PSR program officially launched in late February with a new approach to specific emergency calls. The program diverts non-violent calls involving people experiencing houselessness or behavioral and mental health issues to specialists equipped to resolve those situations. At launch, the program only addressed incidents occurring outdoors and did not have staff enter buildings. The recent changes permit the teams to enter publicly accessible spaces such as a business, store, or a public lobby. PSR is not responding to calls within a private residence.
Initially, the PSR program used Portland Fire & Rescue’s boundary system called Fire Management Areas (FMA) to assign calls to their team members. Within a month, it became apparent that they missed calls outside the FMA that PSR had the capacity to address. As a test, PSR will switch to using the Portland Police Bureau’s police district areas to determine their response zone. That change has lead to the increased service area that now includes Montavilla from 82nd Ave to I205.
Dispatchers determine what calls are assigned to fire, police, and PSR staff. Requests for assistance with any situation should continue routing through 911 or the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333. However, if you live in the expanded service area, there is a possibility that PSR could handle your call. A potential PSR response will encourage some residents to reporting situations that they may not have before. Many concerns don’t require a police response but instead, need trained specialists to de-escalate a situation.
People interested in following the PSR team’s progress can use a newly created dashboard to view aggregate metrics regarding calls and a heat-map of activity. Expect to see more PSR dispatches in Montavilla soon.
Freezing rain, snow, and ice have shut down most of Portland this holiday weekend. Saturday saw near-empty streets and completely halted TriMet routes. However, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) crew are out today clearing roads, and TriMet is back to limited service.
To inform travelers about street clearing and de-icing efforts, PBOT created a live map of their activities. It displays the location of plows, salt trucks, and deicer vehicles on a map of Portland. The map also indicates what roads are a priority to treat or clear. This information will help drivers plan a trip that uses those priority roads. Knowing the last time a plow truck came through will help people select the safest travel window to venture out. Regardless of PBOT efforts, only drive if you have to, as the treated roads are not entirely safe.
Trimet Buses are moving along their snow routes, although a bit slower than usual. The winter weather enabled TriMet to use one of its newest addition to some Montavilla bus stops. The 13-inch ePaper display installed at select bus shelters informed riders of Saturday’s suspension of service. Now they are displaying updated schedules. If you plan to use TriMet to get where you are going, it is best to visit their website for the most accurate information about schedules and routes. Not too many bus shelters have ePaper digital displays yet.
The weather will warm by mid-week, melting the snow before too long. Many residents ventured out and enjoyed the winter weather, but not everyone appreciated the disruption. If possible, show some extra support to local businesses that had to close for the storm. They will need to make up for lost days of revenue during an already lean time.
This Sunday, Montavilla Farmer’s Market opens for the first day of their new winter schedule. This expanded season marks the start of year-round availability for the Market. Previous winters only offered customers four stock-up events between November and February.
Beginning on November 8th, the Market will open the second and fourth Sunday of the month. This twice-monthly schedule will run November through April, with a special Holiday Market on December 20th. The Market will be closed for the holidays on December 27th. Market hours are 10:00 AM through 2:00 PM.
The winter market is located at its regular space in Montavilla town, 7700 SE Stark Street. Moving to a year-round schedule demonstrates the successes experienced by the Farmer’s Market and offers constancy to their patrons. Winter vendors include:
The BIKETOWN bike-share program expanded into Montavilla this month, for the first time making bikes available for riders to rent in the area. With the program’s expansion, Portland is replacing the older bikes that first arrived in 2016. The new bicycles are all new pedal-assist electric bikes. These bikes will help average riders make the long trip downtown and back without an excessive amount of effort.
Previous to this expansion of the program, residents would only see the orange BIKETOWN bikes in Montavilla when someone had taken them out of their designated area. Now they can be seen all over the neighborhood, with a concentration around the Portland Community College campus.
The BIKETOWN website and the new BIKETOWN app (iPhone/Android) shows available bike locations near you. Additionally, thanks to a partnership with the ride-hailing app Lyft, riders can now rent e-bikes through the Lyft app. In addition to Lyft, the program sponsors are Nike, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and Kaiser Permanente.
BIKETOWN begins rolling out the expanded service this month, starting with 500 of the new e-bikes. That fleet will grow the to 1,500 e-bikes over the coming weeks. The 1,000 older BIKETOWN bicycles from 2016 are being removed from service as the new e-bikes become available.
The expanded coverage and new pedal-assist electric bikes come at a cost. The program is increasing its fares at all levels, leading some to question the choice of going all-electric. Regardless of its long term pricing effects, this is a growth opportunity for Montavilla’s transportation options.
We live in a bike-friendly city, and BIKETOWN continues to make that mode of transportation more accessible to all rider. The next few weeks will have summer-like weather, making now a great time to try out the new bikes.
Last night the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) held the first in a series of online business owner meetups. METBA has held many in person meetups, however this is the first time taking it online. What has traditionally been a social gathering, these meetups have taken on a more serious tone. All the subjects for these events, are around keeping your business sustainable in the midst of a pandemic.
Over ten Montavilla business owners attended the May 26th Zoom event. The topic was focused on paying rent and working with your landlord during the shutdown. Many participants shared their own experiences, and sought advice from others.
During the evenings conversation, the group identified the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as needing its own hour of conversation. It is probable that PPP will become the topic of week 4.
There are still three more events scheduled. If you are a Montavilla or East Tabor business owner, you are encouraged to participate. Pleaser register to join one, or all, of the remaining meetups. Participation is free and open to all businesse owners. Meetups are Tuesdays from 7-8pm.
WEEK 1: May 26th – Landlord communications (already occured) WEEK 2: June 2nd – Re-opening your business safely – current guidelines WEEK 3: June 9th – Networking during COVID – Supporting one another’s biz WEEK 4: June 16th – Topic TBA (Proposed: Paycheck Protection Program)
Everyone knows that the remainder of 2020 will be challenging to business owners all over the world. By banding together, our local businesses have much better chance of surviving this economic challenge.
We have all seen piles of trash dumped on the street or sidewalk in our neighborhood. Perhaps it has been in front of your house or business. This can be frustrating and a blight on the public areas. Fortunately Portland cares about it as much as we do and they have a way of reporting these trash dumps online.
Metro RID Patrol is the service that wants to hear about the abandoned trash. They can be contacted at 503-234-3000 or online. Some good citizens will clean up small items around the neighborhood, and we all thank you, but know that some items are too big and too dangerous. If there is a stockpile of needles or other sharp items, Metro RID Patrol is your safest option.
Metro RID Patrol’s dashboard is another great data visualization tool that Portlanders have at their disposal. There you can see the average crew response time and the tonnage of waste collected. It can be easy to think that we can not keep up on the trash being spread around our streets, but if we report it, we stand a good chance of keeping clean.
Although not a new business in Montavilla, ATC Autobody & Paint is making their U-Haul services more noticeable along Stark Street. Located at 8120 SE Stark Street, they are walking distance from many local businesses and bus stops. So if your lumber from Mr. Plywood will not fit your car or you are moving, remember this location is close to home.
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