Letter Regarding SE 64th & Division Entrance to Mount Tabor Park: Approved Feb. 18

To: Commissoner Amanda Fritz; Commissioner Dan Saltzman; Commissioner Nick Fish; Commissioner Steve Novick; Mike Abbaté, Director, Portland Parks and Recreation; Mayor Charlie Hales
Re: Funding the SE 64th Street and Division Multi-Use-Path southern entrance to Mount Tabor Park

The board of the North Tabor Neighborhood Association would like to give its unanimous support for funding the construction of a southern entrance to Mount Tabor Park at SE 64th and Division as part of prioritizing the PK_01 – Workplace Improvements: Tabor Yard $2,040,000 request in this year’s parks budget. The benefits of this investment to the park’s headquarters will be a great benefit to all, but is not the main point of our endorsement. As a Neighborhood Association we feel it is in all of our best interests to have equitable access to the park from all directions. Currently there is no southern entrance.

Construction of this path is in the 2030 Bike Master Plan, the park’s master plan, is supported by other neighboring associations, including SEUL and was listed– but not funded– in last year’s park’s department budget. It has been a priority since the park’s inception. Most important to us as a neighborhood without a central park, it is the only current physical barrier in a north-south “Mount Tabor Greenway” from the 60th street MAX stop to the Springwater corridor.

Here is the proposed route.http://goo.gl/maps/EchJB

From our perspective north of the Mountain, a few blocks SE of the 60th street MAX stop at Oregon, 62nd begins a quiet residential route southbound connecting to the Davis-Everett Greenway and to Scott Drive at Stark. This is our only walkable connection to the NE entrance to Mount Tabor Park at 69th. Scott Drive is a low volume residential street whose switch back nature makes the climb much more gradual than the dangerous, congested and steep 60th. This route also allows for a safe connection to SE Yamhill, another listed greenway, through Mount Tabor park to SE Salmon and via East Tabor Drive the SE Lincoln-Harrison Greenway. This multi-use-path south to Division is the last gap in this serene, low traffic volume, active transportation corridor south to the city limits and beyond. This route: SE 64th to SE Woodward, SE 65th to SE Center, and SE 67th to the Springwater would open up Mount Tabor Park to all of south Portland and points beyond. Leveraging either the Green and future Orange lines for the return trip to North Tabor creates opportunities for a safe circular day trip for everyone aged 8 to 80.

Mount Tabor Park is a regional asset that should have safe and equitable access for all modes of travel, from all directions. It is already served by Tri-met and has east-west greenways for pedestrian and bicycle access, but no currently built north-south corridor. A near future PBOT funded crossing of Division would significantly leverage this new southern entrance and has local support.

Thank you for your consideration in funding this important project. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss this further.

Sincerely,

the Board of the North Tabor Neighborhood Association

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