A South Tabor neighbor digging through old files last year found minutes of an August 7, 1972 neighborhood association meeting (then called South Tabor Community Association, STCA). At that meeting a committee report outlined concerns regarding traffic congestion at 67th and Division, hazardous pedestrian crossings, and speeding on Division. The minutes go on to say, "At this point the group voted to go on record as supporting installation of a traffic and/or pedestrian light at 67th and Division."
Later in the minutes there is an interesting section about a presentation by then mayor elect Neil Goldschmidt:
He (Goldschmidt) explained that community associations have proved to be effective ways of letting governmental agencies know what is best for a neighborhood . . . In illustrating the point that "the way to design traffic patterns is through people," he suggested that the STCA write a letter to Don Bergstrom of the Traffic Engineers office, outlining South Tabor's specific concerns with reference to traffic problems, and invite him to a community meeting.I haven't found a record yet of a letter or visit from Mr. Bergstrom, but we all know there is no pedestrian light between 60th and 71st so we can assume STCA's efforts were unsuccessful.
Fast forward to March 1996 when the City of Portland adopted the South Tabor Neighborhood Plan. Under Policy 2: Transportation on page 19, I found the following:
Powell Boulevard, Division Street and 82nd Avenue are extremely difficult to cross. Both able-bodied and disabled persons have trouble crossing these streets. Crossings are difficult east of SE 60th because traffic is excessive and travels too fast to cross safely.In the Action Chart on page 21, item T9 says, "Request that PDOT study the feasibility of making changes to SE Division to ensure that it functions as a pedestrian-friendly street with safe crossings and access to Mt. Tabor." The goal for implementation is five years.
Moving forward again to this year, 40 years after the first mention of pedestrian safety, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has committed to a year long SE Division High Crash Corridor project that could result in the long needed safety improvements. It's about time.
PBOT needs input from South Tabor neighbors. If you want to know more click HERE for more information and HERE for a copy of the survey. You can also contact Wendy Cawley, project manager, at email@example.com.