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HAND Meeting Minutes, October, 2009

HAND Board Meeting minutes
October 20, 2009
St. Phillip Neri, 7:00 p.m.

Board members present: Chair alex Bassos, vice Chair Linda Nettekoven, Treasurer Matthew Masini, Publicity Chair Amy Lewin, Frank Dufay, Liz Gatti, Lois Hankins, Dave Kaplan, Lindsey McBride, Joseph Murphy, Sue Pearce, Jack Spadaro, Marilee Tillstrom, Ethan Timm, Land Use Chair Kina Voelz.
Board members absent: Wendy Kunkel.

Board meeting called to order at 7:00.

Neighborhood Crime Report
Officer Yee from the Portland Police Bureau spoke brieflya about recent crime statistics in the HAND neighborhood. There was a relatively normal level of burglary and vandalism during the past month, with most household burglaries occurring during the day when homeowners are at work. Reports were distributed as were announcements of Crime Prevention Workshops to be held on Personal Safety (10/26) at the East Precinct, and Crime Prevention for Home and Business (10/28) at the North Precinct.

Linda Nettekoven reported that a new “Fusion Effort” was being used to identify crime patterns pro-actively to identify low level activity and intervene before more serious crimes are committed.

Treasurer’s Report
The current balance was reported to be $34,329.35.

A discussion rose concerning whether the balance should be reported publicly at Board meetings. It was suggested that the funds could be an attractive target for someone who would seek aelections and manipulate Board policy in order to use the funds for personal gain.

Sue Pearce offered a motion that balance reporting be done only in Executive Committee meetings and not be reported in the minutes or on the web site. The motion failed for lack of a second.

“Great Places” Award
Ladd’s Addition was named one of “America’s Great Places” by the American Planning Association. This award recognizes the success of planning efforts that create compact and desirable neighborhoods. A plaque was awarded to the neighborhood and accepted by Richard Ross at City Council. This will be hung at Palio. A duplicate award plaque will hang in City Hall.

Portland Women’s Crisis Line (PWCL)
Christopher Bergstrom from the PWCL introduced himself, and reported that the Crisis line has operated a safe house in our neighborhood, and wants to maintain open communications with the neighborhood. The house provides a safe place for survivors of domestic violence.

Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation
Laurel Lyon and Kim Knox presented information about The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, an all volunteer organization that has restored and now maintains the two city-owned historic steam locomotives. They are currently housed at Brooklyn Yard, but must be moved by January of 2012. A new site has been secured in the HAND neighborhood near OMSI where the locomotives can be stored and maintained. Phase One will be a modes facility to replace the current facility. The group hopes to expand the facility to add more public amenities at a later time welcoming more visitors to the facility. Ms. Lyon shared that the Brooklyn and HAND neighborhoods have an historic affinity for the railroads, with a large number of early residents working in the industry.

Bicycle Safety
A discussion of bicycle and pedestrian safety was led by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) by a panel including Michelle Poyourow (BTA), Lt. Brian Parman (Portland Police), and Greg Reisman (PDOT Safety Specialist). Mr. Reisman stated that he was aware of public interest in safety – particularly at Ladd Circle. He has received many complaints of bicycles riding at high speed, failure to comply with stop signs, and failure to yield to pedestrians. His hope was to focus on an outcome rather than re-visit historic complaints.

Mr. Reisman stated that the methodology in collecting statistics hampers his ability to prioritize and craft solutions. Traffic safety data do not include accidents that do not involve cars. Any incidents that are Bike/Pedestrian, Bike/Bike, or Bike solo are removed from statistical analysis.

Compliance for the stop sign on Ladd Circle is 5% for bicycles, and 17% for cars (stop being defined as “wheels stop rolling”). While compliance appears low, it is typical, and does not represent “the greatest safety concern in the city.” He thought he recognized that the volume and speed of bicycles presents livability issues for neighbors. Mr. Reisman hopes to identify specific issues and define criteria for success. Officer Parman offered that he would like to see solutions that go beyond enforcement as tools to address the issue.

Several attendees offered anecdotal observations about the current situation. Many believe that restoring the original squared off configuration to Ladd Avenue on the circle would result in greater safety for pedestrians and improve stop sign compliance. Ms. Poyourow observed that the population of bicycle commuters is changing to be more diverse in both age and skills. Planning needs to address the needs of older and slower riders as well as the generally “young and tough” commuters we see today. Others offered that there are serious problems at 21st and 26th and Clinton that also need to be addressed in the conversation.

An education campaign was proposed with the goal of education and improving courtesy and respect from everyone. Many believed that the campaign must go beyond the “Share the Road” theme. PDOT has signs that can be made available. Local communities can customize them if needed.

BTA will come back to HAND with tools and materials that may be useful for an education campaign in the neighborhood.

Friends of Trees Planting
Jack Spadero reported that HAND tree planting for Friends of Trees will be held on December 5.

Portland Plan Workshops
Linda reported that the City will host a series of workshops on the Portland Plan with the closest one for southeast residents scheduled for Saturday, Dec 5th at the Mt Scott Community Center.
SEUL Grants
Amy asked for input in seeking grant monies form SEUL and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. After a short discussion direction was given to seek funding to “Roots of the Neighborhood” festival in conjunction with Abernethy, and a second request to fund start-up costs for the 19th Ave pocket park events.
September Minutes
• Linda Nettekoven moved approval of September Minutes. Kina Seconded the motion. All present voted approval with abstentions from : Dave, Ethan, Frank, and Sue.

Division Street Open House
A series of open Houses may be scheduled to discuss the Division Street Plan and the anticipated impacts of the light rail station on the street. These will be a series of drop-in sessions at the former Smiths/Natures/Wild Oats/Obama building on 30th and Division. Date will be announced soon. The design team for the Division Street Streetscape and Reconstruction will be on hand at scheduled times to meet with interested business and property owners to talk about plans for specific blocks of the corridor.
Washington HS/Community Center
Comments will be taken through October 23rd about the options for the Community Center at the former Washington High School. The options include building inside the shell of the school, or building a new building on the corner of 12th and Stark. Many issues remain concerning financing, and options that will be entertained by the School district. There is some community interest in preserving the school for education uses. The Community Advisory Committee will make its recommendation in November.

Other issues
Patty Fink Spoke to the need to find a use – even if temporary, for the REACH lot on Ladd and Division. She also asked for help in purchasing tools for a tool library at Abernethy. She also had hoped to talk about changing the historic guidelines relative to Accessory Dwelling Units. No time was available for discussion.

Alex asked if there was anyone who could serve as the SEUL representative. Nobody volunteered. Position will be temporarily vacant.

Submitted by: Dave Kaplan, Note-taker Carolyn Brock, Secretary

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