Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished a fire inside a duplex on SE 76th Ave. Crews had the fire under control by 11:33 AM today. Only a single room inside the back unit caught fire, and no injuries occurred.
The impacted duplex is located at 18 SE 76th Ave and accessed from a narrow driveway. Fire department vehicles parked on both SE 76th Ave and E Burnside Street. At least four fire engines and three support vehicles responded to the fire. Crews containing the fire broke a second-story window, adding to the smoke, fire, and water damage.
This duplex is adjacent to a two-story apartment building. The fast action from fire crews limited damage to the structure and surrounding buildings.
TriMet recently installed a tablet-sized electronic screen into the bus shelter at NE 82nd Ave and E Burnside Street. Displaying regularly updated bus departure times, the solar-powered device is an upgrade to the older infrastructure at this stop. TriMet installed this 13-inch ePaper display as part of their digital information display project.
This bus shelter is one of forty-five locations currently deemed to have enough sunlight and ridership to be a successful launch location. Eighty-five TriMet stops will receive the digital displays this year. The transit focused Keep Oregon Moving Act provided funding for the project. TriMet prioritized heavily used bus stops in low-income communities for the initial distribution of these displays.
Solar-power allows for truly wireless displays that can attach to any bus shelter with enough sunlight. Internal batteries keep the screens updated and operational overnight. TriMet’s existing digital display technology required an electrical connection to the bus shelter. This new option will allow an even distribution of devices to areas that could not support it previously.
Most of the information presented on the digital information displays will mirror the data available on TriMet’s website. However, these always-on screens make the data available to all riders, regardless of their access to a smartphone. It also will present rider-alert information to people who might otherwise be unaware of disruptions to the schedule. The success of these displays will take time to determine. However, they represent a significant jump in bus shelter technology.
UPDATE – New curb ramps are completed at SE 91st Ave and E Burnside Frontage Road.
Update from October 11th, 2020.
UPDATE – New curb ramps are under construction at SE 91st Ave and E Burnside Frontage Road. The old curbs and sidewalk are now removed. The ground is prepared with crushed rock for reconstruction. The next phase will see forms laid and soon after pouring of concrete.
Original Story published September 3rd
New curb ramps are coming to SE 91st Ave and E Burnside Frontage Road. The corners are marked with cut lines and construction markings ahead of curb reconstruction.
Hannah Schafer, with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), commented that this intersection is “having the existing curb ramps reconstructed to meet current ADA standards as part of our ongoing updates to curb ramps across the city.”
This stretch of roadway has long been neglected, with one curb recessed to near road-surface level. Sidewalks are only present on Burnside Frontage Road, and PBOT has no plans to expand them along SE 91st Ave during this project.
A historically separated two-block portion of E Burnside runs parallel to the current path of E Burnside. Often listed as E Burnside Frontage Road, it was created when Burnside became a major road for traveling east. City engineers straightened the road to make Burnside continuous, leaving this section of Burnside wider. Later, Burnside was made a standard width creating this short frontage road. The 1928 Sanborn map illustrates the 12 block tract of land that shifted the streets off the standard grid.
This article will be updated when construction begins.
This November, voters will have an opportunity to approve ballot measure 26-218. Among other transportation-related projects, Metro created this ballot measure to seek funding for ten significant initiatives. A winning yes vote on 26-218 would create a new payroll tax on businesses with more than 25 employees.
A pro Measure 26-218 website, Let’s Get Moving, states that “91% of our region’s businesses are exempt from the tax.” By their account, this would only burden larger businesses that can absorb the added expense. The measure will authorize the Metro Council to impose a payroll tax of up to 0.75%. It would exempt businesses with 25 or fewer employees and local governments from the tax.
Opponents of this measure contend that the increase in payroll taxes will deter job growth and favors public transportation projects when ridership is at a historic low. Other arguments against Measure 26-218 focus on project flexibility within the measure. Although initially focused on specific initiatives in 17 regional corridors located in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, project funds will be used at Metro’s discretion. The measure allows the council to remove or add corridors and amend the list of programs as they see fit.
The opposition’s perspective is understandable. Increasing taxes in a rough economic period is rarely a popular choice. However, that difficult economic time is going to cause a budget shortfall to some degree. The region already has road and transit deficiencies that would need to be addressed in the coming years, regardless of the economy. Money from this tax could help alleviate the impact on infrastructure from budget cuts.
The focus on improved public transit will ultimately help employers. COVID-19 has forced people off the roads in the short term. Those workers that can work from home indefinitely were not heavy users of public transportation. Public transportation often serves those who have jobs requiring physical attendance. Increasing the speed and availability of transportation means employers have a more comprehensive selection of people that can commute to their location.
The funding flexibility within the projects could be concerning. If the public were voting on a bond for a specific project, there should be an expectation of fixed budgets and measured results. However, Measure 26-218 is a new tax without a particular end date attached to it or a definition of complete. Spending focus will change as projects complete, and new initiatives will replace them. A requirement of this measure will create an oversight board to review and report on project progress. Additionally, an external auditor will give annual reviews of fund collection and use.
The Let’s Get Moving site has high-level information on what could be addressed by funding from this new tax. Although the ten launch programs below offer a perspective on what Measure 26-218 hopes to fix, the implemented programs will change based on funds collected and need over time.
Safe Routes to Schools,
Safety Hot Spots,
Thriving Main Streets,
Regional Walking and Biking Connections,
Youth Transit Access,
Better Bus, and
Future Corridor Planning.
Specifically looking at the impact on Montavilla, two of the regional corridors run through the center of the neighborhood. Work on Burnside Street will improve safety through added lighting and enhanced crosswalks.
Perhaps the most significant neighborhood improvements will happen along 82nd Ave. The county-owned roadway will receive a much-needed rebuild. Our MAX station at 82nd and I84 will receive attention regarding pedestrian access. Taxes from Measure 26-218 would pay for safety improvements through better lighting, crosswalks, protected bike lanes, and Greenways. Traffic signal upgrades would also be part of work on this project corridor.
Measure 26-218 proposed updates across the TriMet footprint will benefit Montavilla residents. Bus electrification is one of the marquee projects featured in ballot text. Replacing older vehicles with electric models will cut dangerous diesel emissions in our neighborhood and lower our streets’ noise levels.
Voting yes on a new tax is not an easy choice for voters. As a payroll tax, it will not directly impact the individual voter’s income. However, many residents work for companies with 26 or more employees. This tax will affect their employer, and it could change how those companies choose to grow staff. The harmful impact of the tax is unknowable at this point. However, we acknowledge our roads and transportation systems are underfunded for the number of people living and working in the region. Ultimately, having poor infrastructure could hurt our ability to recover quickly from the wounded economy. People desperate for employment will travel further for work opportunities; they will need dependable roads and transit to make those long commutes. Measure 26-218 could be a tool to help with the recovery and hopefully not hinder it.
Montavilla News does not endorse individual candidates or ballot measures
A tree limb has fallen across SE 70th Ave, blocking traffic and cutting power for local residents. As high winds continue in the Portland area, a large branch has blown loose, bringing down power lines and striking the house at 6934 E Burnside Street. Crews are on-site, removing the tree and working to restore power.
Located on the SE 70th Ave side of the corner house at 7004 E Burnside Street, The tree is planted between the sidewalk and curb. Although the lost limb is large, damage to surrounding property seems to be minimal. The power lines took most of the impact and held the branch back from fully impacting the house at 6934 E Burnside Street.
A project on the corner of NE 72nd Ave and E Burnside becomes more defined, thanks to new permit applications and a land use decision. New permits were filed last week as a condition of land use decision 19-227829. The text of the decision and supporting illustrations, show a flag lot configuration instead of a direct split.
In a previous article, it was observed that the new split lot would be prohibitively skinny. At the time of publishing, Portland Maps indicated that the land division would be parallel to E Burnside. However it looks like the current house will remain as the corner property. The new house will be fronted to the west of the existing house, along Burnside. Its driveway will come off the back of the lot to connect with NE 72nd Ave.
This orientation makes better use of the property than previously though, although the two buildings will still be unusually close to one another. It is noted in the land use decision that the existing house would have a roof overhang within 3 feet of the property line. That prompted the requirement for permit 20-148149 “Fire rate existing eave overhang on west end of dwelling structure. This permit fulfills requirements of condition c.3 of LU 19-227829.”
A less obvious requirement was triggered by the splitting of the lot. Portland has extensive rules around trees during development. The city required that trees be planted on the original property, or a fee would be collected. Permit application 20-148157 to “Plant 2 new Leland cypress trees to fulfill condition c.5 of LU 19-227829,” was submitted to plant trees instead of paying the fee.
Yet another permit was issues to complete work that was started 100 years ago. Permit 20-149271 was issued to “decommission [an] old cesspool” on the property. Historic plumbing records show the house was disconnected from the cesspool in June of 1920, and connected to the sewer system. The unused cesspool appears to have survived and needs to be removed.
Increase sidewalk size around both properties, is another benefit of the construction on this corner. Portland Bureau of Transportation will receive a 4-foot property dedication along both E Burnside and NE 72nd Ave. This extra space will be used for sidewalk improvements.
This is shaping up to be an attractive development on a visible street. It will save the 120 year-old building and provide new trees and sidewalks for the neighborhood. All that, in addition to adding more housing.
Neighborhood news site focused on buildings and changing businesses