Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Action sought to stop Bertha sidewalk holes

Glenn Bridger has written the City Council to demand that work be stopped on punching holes in the Bertha Court sidewalk. Here is his letter:

Dear Council,

Hillsdale has been very aggressive year in and year out on making its Town Center a place of pride for Portland. Citizen-initiated efforts crafted the Town Center Plan; focused attention on the library and street improvements; created a very successful Farmer’s Market; and help drive the community in its transition from a strip mall spot on the highway to become a Place. One of the steps that was fought hard, and even secured a majority vote in Hillsdale several years ago, was the push for the creation of an under grounding LID district for the utility services in the core area.

Last week, on the new sidewalk along Bertha that our community actively worked to secure funding for, new holes were punched without so much as community discussion and recognition of the community commitment to under grounding. Yes, the holes are for putting in utility poles, the likes of which would never be allowed in areas like the Pearl and South Waterfront. When several years ago City Council rejected the Hillsdale community-approved LID for under grounding, we were told “We won’t forget the issue and will help secure it in the future.”

What steps will Council take to get these holes filled in and control over the public rights of way exercised in a manner that will respect the public investment in the new roadways; the community commitment to under grounding; the public involvement process that should be a part of any intrusion into a town center; and Council’s past commitment to support us in our under grounding quest?

And here is my letter in support:

City Council members and other concerned parties:

I am adding my voice to Glenn Bridger's regarding the City's total disregard of our community's concern about the on-going and now expanded blight caused by utility poles, wires and transformers in the Hillsdale Town Center.

Why indeed doesn't the city council show the same commitment to streetscape aesthetics in Town Centers that it does in places like the Pearl and other parts of downtown?

At the very time we are asking the City to underground utilities around the new Watershed Senior Housing project (at an estimated cost of $60,000 on a $10 million project), the City has permitted MORE utility poles on our already blighted streetscape.

I urge the council to undo this travesty and to proceed with undergrounding around the new Watershed project.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home