Thursday, March 9, 2017

Public Safety and Livability at NW 6th and Flanders

Person Crimes

The corner of NW Sixth Avenue and NW Flanders is critical to addressing public safety issue on Sixth Avenue and Flanders as well as surrounding blocks that include NW 5th and NW 4th Avenues and cross streets from Davis to Hoyt and the Greyhound bus terminal.  Think of Katrina’s as the hub.


Society Crimes also signal a kind of neighborhood that does not represent Portland’s Healthy Connected Neighborhood Strategy for even  the most basic activities such as walking, sleeping, and grocery shopping.  Many women who live and work here carry pepper spray. Friends from other neighborhoods hesitate to visit.  Most of the decision makers (community association, City agency staff, elected officials, business owners, developers) don’t live here, but may work here.  The Portland Development Commission offices are here, just around the corner from me on NW 5th and Everett.  

And hang on to your belongings, lock your car, and be careful who has access to your building.  Many of us live in buildings with lobbies that are not staffed during day hours - only late hours on weekends if at all. 

Back to the hub at the Corner of NW Sixth and Flanders. The corner store continues to deteriorate. 

Historical buildings contribute to the blight of our neighborhood. The City lacks any ability, despite programs and investments of the Portland Development Commission - not to mention URMs as this is one - to even stem the tide of blight and crime.  
See my video on the Story of U here on my blogpost, right column.

Across the street is P:EAR a program to creatively mentor homeless youth and a bus stop.  

It’s a popular corner too and across the street from the hub.

On the whole these folks are uninterested in non-buyers and can be courteous even. They are role models for our young homeless youth? Really.

As noted in a previous blog post on NW Flanders and NW 4th Avenue, it’s not uncommon to have men posted at corners, sometime two or three.  This is Nw 4th and Everett. The building is vacant and vacant buildings, historical and otherwise, parking lots, and empty retail space attract campers and drug dealers. It’s on the same block as my apartment. I pass it daily.

Getting off the Max at Sixth and Davis recently there were five people standing around on the NE corner and another four or five people at NW Sixth and Everett, an increasingly popular streetscape as many cars use Everett on their way out of the City which can also be viewed as a flow of customers.  I was not able to photograph the crowded corners and at Everett two women were fighting on the corner and in the street so I quickly turned and walked over to NW 4th and to my apartment.  Shouting, yelling, fighting. I don’t go out much in the evenings. Too scary.

It is complicated. Our first person accounts have been discounted, statistics and trend reports are unavailable, and the City as a whole is short on police officers.  A new look at the PDC’s role in our community would help and before the remaining amount of the $58M in funding (Five Year Action Plan) gets spent or is moved to the post office project. 

I might add this is the neighborhood where young adults from the suburbs come to be entertained. They park on and all around NW Flanders late at night.

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