Sam Adams Policies are anti-family

Reading this editorial I realized one thing:  Sam Adams doesn’t live a life with kids.  Of course, I already knew that given the public airing of his dirty laundry, but having been a vicitim of these “Green Streets” projects, it is pretty clear to me.  We live off of Hawthorne in a relatively busy neighborhood, which tends to have a lot of families with kids.  One common element with those  families is that they all have to drive their kids to various activities and locations.  Biking is really not an option, most of the destination are spread throughout Southeast Portland, and carrying twenty pounds of baseball gear on a bike just isn’t a good idea.   As a result of this need to drive, we have cars.  Cars have to be parked somewhere.  One of the charms of the neighborhood is that many of the houses don’t have driveways.  They didn’t really need them when the houses were built, so people park their cars on the street.  In addition, we have had two condos constructed in our neighborhood in the last five years.  One of them has three offstreet parking places for the twelve units, and the other has no offstreet parking for the twenty-four units.  The City’s policy is that since the condos were built within 100 feet of a bus stop, they don’t require offstreet parking.  The unfortunate thing is that every single person that has moved into the 24 unit condo has two cars.  The available parking in the neighborhood has disappeared.  These condos are a direct push for “high density housing”, which is another Adams policy of note. 

Back to the “Green Streets” project:  The parking study for it was done prior to the construction of the condos.  These curb extensions eat up many of the preexisting parking spaces, which makes the parking all the worse.  In the early stages of the project, various families in the neighborhood tried to point this out to the group in charge of the project.  They made small allowances, but nothing significant.   In personal experience my family has  lost two parking spaces in front of our house.  For what?  The argument is that it reduces stormwater backup, and provides filtering.  Well, with yesterday’s rain, ALL of these additions  in our neighborhood were full of water by 7 AM, and our street was  flooded.  We had a little over an inch of rain yesterday in our neighborhood according to my weather station.  Big help they were. 

His argument in the editorial is that these extensions are going to somehow make things safer to bicycles.  Given that our street is barely wide enough for one lane of traffic with cars parked on both sides of the street, all the extensions do is force the bikes into the middle of the street.  How does that make anything safer?  It does slow traffic down a lot.  Several times a day,  we have people backing up a half a block to the intersection because there is only enough room for one car on the street at a time.  Prior to the condos, and green streets project, there were often room for two at a time.

The city also has the nerve to expect that the home owners are going to make efforts to clean and maintain these curb extensions.  If by “clean and maintain”, they really mean “ignore”, then I’m all for it.

Back to my initial premise:  These projects are anti-family.  Increased traffic in our neighborhood due to high density housing makes it dangerous for kids to play outside,  no parking near our homes makes it difficult to deal with children (ever had to carry your groceries an extra block in the rain from your car while managing a 3-year old?),  and storm water facilities that don’t really work and just compound the traffic problem.

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  1. #1 by Ted on May 17, 2010 - 8:21 am


  2. #2 by Shawn on January 2, 2011 - 11:01 am

    I agree with everything you just outlined.

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