Proposed plan to realign streets near NW 23rd and Burnside. Portland, OR. 1980s
Street grid as built. Map: Google, 2016.
Street grid as built. Photo: Google, 2016.
Though I am unsure the exact date on this project, I would estimate sometime in the mid eighties as the property at the lower righthand corner: Barbra Sue Seal real estate office on the corner of NW 23rd and Burnside was drawn in the plan.
Structure of a Good Neighborhood. Portland, OR. Portland City Planning Commission. February, 1965
East Portland has many such blocks. This one closely follows the digram. Google Maps, 2016.
A “Good Neighborhood” Google Maps, 2016.
Neighborhood surrounding David Douglas High School. Photo: Google, 2015
SE 122nd Ave near Division, Looking N. Photo: Google, 2016
SE Division St near 122nd, Looking E. Photo: Google, 2016
SE 148th Ave near Division, Looking N. Photo: Google, 2016
SE Stark St, Looking W. Photo: Google, 2016
This slide from 1965 was mixed in my collection and provides a humorous, if depressing, notion of what Portland city planners once thought constituted the “ideal” neighborhood. Not particularly innovative, this concept built around traffic management was already quite old by this point and thankfully never fully realized in Portland proper.
There is a fair bit of this in East Portland and I would wager, the defining reason why most people would prefer not to live there. For being designed completely post-auto, the area is striking hard to travel by car or otherwise. Though it wouldn’t be annexed by Portland until the 1980s and was not the hand of Portland city planning, plenty of these super blocks were created from the 1950s-1970s. The ramifications of this development pattern we are only now beginning to grapple with and the permanently depressed housing prices will leave a legacy for many generations to come.
Some interesting maps showing changes in traffic volumes from baseline year 1977 by 1990.
1977 Portland Transportation District Concept: Northeast District. Not sure how they figured -8% East-West traffic flows by 1990.
1977 Portland Transportation District Concept: Southeast District. So, apparently there was a vision to make the old Portland Traction Co. ROW into a regional transitway in by 1990! Fascinating!
1977 Portland Transportation District Concept: Northwest District. Seems to me by 1990 we saw far greater than 60% increase in flows EB on the Sunset Hwy.