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[May 2, 2022]
The story about the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association reaction to the Rose Lane Project generated more responses to the idea of a bus-only lane through Hillsdale:
I recently came across the Hillsdale news articles on the Rose Lane Project. As someone who lives a mile away from Hillsdale in the Hayhurst neighborhood, I am saddened to see such a negative outlook on a project designed to improve the community. One of the main points I see brought up is increased traffic on local streets. I ride my bike frequently on Terwilliger and on Neighborhood Greenways, those roads are miserable to be on, even on a bicycle. They are narrow, curvy, bumpy and steep. No one in their right mind would want to use those as a "quicker" way only to have to still be in traffic when they get to Hillsdale center. Another point I see is if this project is even needed, and I say yes. To quote the article, "Expected benefits include a 1-2 minute reduction in travel time, greenhouse gas reduction, and improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists" is good enough reason to do it. Bike lanes are small and close to people frequently speeding, it's loud on the sidewalks from all the cars and crossing four travel lanes is not pedestrian friendly.
By saying no to the Rose Lane, you are saying yes to wanting people to continue using Hillsdale as nothing more than a bypass road, polluting the air we breathe, making noise pollution, and encouraging speeding by having two travel lanes. The business association says they want to protect small businesses but many studies have shown that car-dependent infrastructure hurts small businesses, and encourages big chains. Those "320 drivers per day" that choose an alternate route would never stop in Hillsdale to begin with, but merely want to get where they need to be. Tell me, how many times have you made a spontaneous visit to a store when you are commuting to work? We should be encouraging the Rose Lane Project and other projects that make it more hostile to driving in Hillsdale, encourage walking and biking and make Hillsdale feel more like the community it deserves, not a concrete wasteland. We should discourage OHSU to add parking, further driving the dependence of car dependence and fossil fuels.
So much space is taken up by unnecessary car parking that the cafe and food places have no space for outdoor seating other than on narrow, cramped little sidewalks. For now, I will continue to support places that care about walkability and creating spaces designed for people, not for cars.
Thank you for the very informative summary of this issue. I am absolutely in favor of petitioning for the three-year postponement. Surely the City of Portland can find more pressing needs in the interim for spending money. But if it’s a done deal, I’d rather it be a done deal three years down the road to allow for further community understanding and input.
This thing sounds like a terrible idea!
Absolutely NO!!!! The traffic will be backed up on Barbur Blvd.heading West and Beaverton Hillsdale highway heading East.
Do not implement!!!!!
The traffic pattern works very well as it is, even for buses. This strange convoluted proposal creates many problems with navigating the Hillsdale center. I especially don’t understand why these unnecessary and expensive changes would be made without community input or support.
[April 8, 2022]
Readers responded to the March 11 article on PBOT's plans to reduce traffic lanes on SW Capitol Hwy in Hillsdale.
Joan Hamilton emailed to say:
I hope people will remember that the PBOT project is all about transit commuters. Any glitch along the route can slow down speed to get to work and school. Shaving off minutes at stops along the way achieves the goal of getting people where they need to go.
I hope to read new voices representing Hillsdale in the future.
Drew Williamson contributed this reaction:
I just wanted to say that I strongly support this. I often ride my bike through the area and occasionally spend time at neighboring shops and restaurants in Hillsdale (I live just over the crest of the hill towards Multnomah). I’ve long thought that “downtown” Hillsdale could be much more pleasant if there was less of an auto-orientation.
I would like to see the street be repaved while they’re at it, as pavement in the current bike lanes is in pretty crummy shape. For those who suggest that this project be delayed to better understand traffic impacts, I implore a move away from the status quo, “what of the cars” thinking. This is genuinely about more than buses, it’s about re-calibrating the entirety of public right of way to something more balanced, more favorable to the environment, and more equitable. If Hillsdale town center is calmed by the removal of general purpose traffic lanes, then it will be a much more pleasant area in which to be a pedestrian or ride a bike at all times, in addition to saving time if traveling through by bus.
[March 11, 2022]
From Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen, Multnomah Historical Association:
Just read the article about Key Bank closing. As the local "history lady" for SW neighborhoods I feel the need to give you a little update. The building that currently houses Key Bank was actually built to be Dean's Rexall Drugs. That drug store had been in part of the building that is shoe repair and Bank of America now. It was a big space for the drug store but they had a lot of stock. I believe Dean's moved out and into a smaller space before completely folding. Key Bank moved in next.
[August 27, 2021]
Elaine Gillaspie contributed this memory in response to the June 18 article about Ardys Braidwood:
In 1995, Ardy Braidwood helped me create my vision of the Portland Wellness Center. She was stern but always fair, and allowed me to grow from the small clinic in the back to finally including the large waiting room and offices in front. We were able to have many health practioners start their practices and become part of the Hillsdale community. They are still going today!
Ardy was always there taking tickets for the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast!
[July 30, 2021]
In response to the article published on July 2 about new street trees for the Hillsdale Library, Carol Hall commented:
Although the replacement trees at the library may be attractive I am disappointed that this opportunity was not embraced to plant appropriate native trees. The Portland plant list for natives as well as EMSWCD* would be an excellent resource. This is an opportunity to educate and be an advocate for restoring native habitat. I sincerely hope you will reconsider your choices.
*EMSWCD is the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District --Ed.
[June 21, 2021]
Richard Stein is owner of the Hillsdale Food Park. He shared this in response to the June 18 remembrance of Ardys Braidwood:
Thank you for the tribute article about Hillsdale icon Ardys Braidwood. I wanted to share one more example of Ardy's vision: Ardy had not one second of hesitation when I came to her proposing to build the Hillsdale Food Park. She recognized immediately that her vacant piece of land could become a real hang-out place for the neighborhood. Starting the Food Park, I had absolutely no idea how to run a business nor be a landlord. Ardy kindly became my mentor, fielding my distressed calls at all hours and offering her wise counsel. She was a generous and sensible landlord and yes, at times she let me know my other name was "Buster."
[May 23, 2021]
Two reactions to April's article, Red Electric Bridge, New Trail Signs
Megan Hughes has suggestions for renaming Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and for replacing the name Custer (which is still attached to a street; the park named for Custer is now known by a place-holder designation, "A Park," pending Parks department development of a renaming process).
There’s a movement afoot in taxonomy (that’s the science of naming and classifying organisms by their degree of relatedness) to replace ALL names that are connected with individual humans, since, really, there isn’t one of us without a flaw that might make us unworthy of memorializing in a scientific name. There’s enough descriptive terms in various languages to last a long time in renaming things.
I’d like to amend my previous suggestion on renaming Beavo-Hillsdale Hwy. Let’s name it after the beavers themselves: "Beaver Highway." Or how about "Due West," that’s useful and non-controversial.
Custard would work well for the street, the park could be Pudding or Pie. It makes it easy to imagine picnicking there.
Rick Seifert writes:
This paragraph raised a few questions: "New way-finding signs on the urban trail system can be found in Marshall Park (6), Lesser Park (5), Stevens Creek Crossing (3), Albert Kelly Park (2), Woods Memorial Park (2) and April Hill, George Himes and Washington Park (1 each)."
Question: Who were "Marshall," "Stevens," "Albert Kelly," "Woods" and "Himes"? And what about the omnipresent "Bertha" and a few other forgettable names scattered about Southwest Portland?
Why not name public places and streets after enduring beliefs? "Courage" "Community" "Truth" anyone? Wasn't Washington a slave owner? And Custer still "stands". . . in our neighborhood. Just sayin'
A reader response to the news that Custer Park will be renamed:
"For years after learning some local history and hearing Mary Lyman Becker (1920 - 2004) from the Multnomah Historical Association reference the Raz family and their history, I felt that Custer Park should be renamed the Raz Pasture Park."
In a column on May 29, opinion writer Rick Seifert announced that he and others had convinced TriMet to drop the name "Custer" from a future Max station and proposed a new name for Bertha Blvd. Readers responded with their reactions and suggestions for renaming our public spaces.
"Thank you for getting Tri-Met to ditch the Custer name. If we could rename something, my vote would be to rename Custer Park! I've had a similar thought about Pendleton Park in my neighborhood (Hayhurst), which was named after an Ohio congressman who ran for vice president on the ticket against Abraham Lincoln and voted against the Civil Rights Act. * Apparently, it used to be common practice for public buildings and parks to be named after politicians and military leaders.
We old-timers have a fondness for the "Bertha" name, in remembrance of the Red Electric railroad. At the Tillamook Forest Center on the way to the coast, one of the displays has an old Red Electric train schedule showing the stops along what is now Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. (which used to be called Bertha-Beaverton Hwy., by the way.) Portlanders used to be able to take the train to the beach! Maybe we should let Bertha live on.
*The most well-known of the Civil Rights acts was passed in 1964. It was preceded by several other proposed or accepted acts with the same name, going as far back as 1866. —Ed.
I think the road ripe for renaming is Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy., a mouthful of place names that replaced the old Bertha-Beaverton, which, if obscure, at least was euphonious and snappy.
I think it should be renamed for one of the Japanese farmers in Washington County whose lives were destroyed by internment in World War II. There weren’t many, most of the Japanese farmers were in East County, and Clackamas. But there were a few in the Tigard area. It would be a nice research project for the Wilson history students.
Then we could be “Hillsdale, Gateway to Reconciliation;” "Hillsdale, Tolerance Starts Here;" "Hillsdale, We Right Wrongs;" "Hillsdale, The Highway is Long and It Curves Toward Justice."
Your new article on Custer Station reminded me of the open sore of the Custer name around SW Portland. The Harney name is almost as pervasive as Custer in Oregon and the western US. His history is also quite dark although he had many accomplishments as well.
I have a strong opinion about what should replace the Custer name at SW Portland locations. In my mind, Captain Jack (Kintpuash) has just as inspiring a story** as Chief Joseph and is mostly unknown in Portland.
**Kintpuash, also known as Captain Jack, was a Native American leader of the 1872-73 Modoc War. The US Government, to accommodate European settlers, had earlier forced the Modoc from their ancestral lands in Southern Oregon and Northern California to the Klamath Reservation in Oregon. The war ended after a six-month battle during which 50-60 Modocs held off 1,000 US troops. Kintpuash was executed and the Modoc were divided, some remaining on the reservation while the government sent others to Oklahoma where a second Modoc reservation was instituted. Source: https://www.nps.gov/labe/planyourvisit/upload/Modoc-War-FINAL.pdf. —Ed.
I think that you have a GREAT idea, rename "Bertha Boulevard" to "Hillsdale Boulevard" (the way to Hillsdale).
Opinion Writer Rick Seifert’s response:
It’s great that four readers engaged with the “naming” story in the last issue. Thank you!
The dropping of George Armstrong Custer’s name for the proposed MAX stop is, of course, part of a much larger awakening to our nation’s history.
Then there’s the matter of replacing that prominent half-mile-long gateway stretch of Bertha Boulevard with the name “HIllsdale Boulevard.” I suggest those with a fondness for the name Bertha follow the boulevard as it continues to the west There the name will remain the same. Or the nostalgic could visit Bertha Court or Bertha Avenue. Or imbibe the water stored in the Bertha Water Tanks on Healy Heights.
I confess that, like Patricia Peters, I am fonder of “HIllsdale" than I am of “Bertha" whose identity, unlike Custer’s, is a mystery to nearly everyone.
I welcome anyone who would like to join me in lobbying City Hall for the Hillsdale Boulevard name change. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Your thoughts? Let us know.