The Fred Meyer grocery has been an anchor on our vibrant Hawthorne Boulevard for over 70 years with a main entrance opening onto the street. But in the last 6 months the Fred Meyer Hawthorne grocery, owned by Kroger, has closed or restricted the use of its only entrance onto Hawthorne Boulevard.
As a “Transit Street Main Entrance”, these doors are required to be open onto the sidewalk (for entry and exiting) by Portland’s Zoning Code to “promote walking and the use of transit.” The closure is burdensome for all users, but is especially inequitable and concerning for seniors and disabled people. The only entrance is now on the opposite side of the building–through the parking lot. In addition, this closed entrance has created a “zombie block” which significantly reduces foot traffic and has a negative effect on the vitality of the Hawthorne shopping district.
The city has notified Fred Meyer that this closure is a violation of city code and started fining them $700 a month since May. After the notice of violation, Fred Meyer submitted an application to permanently close the Hawthorne pedestrian entrance.
Inner Southeast Action (ISEA), a local community group focusing on land use, transportation, climate and equity, along with Oregon Walks, a state-wide pedestrian safety group, met with Fred Meyer local and corporate management about alternative solutions. One suggestion was to post a security guard at the entrance, but Fred Meyer insisted closure is necessary to stop theft and for “safety concerns”. It is interesting to note that both the New Seasons and Safeway grocery stores have managed to keep multiple entrances open onto the Hawthorne sidewalk.
ISEA and Oregon Walks have launched an awareness and advocacy effort to persuade the city to deny Fred Meyer’s application to permanently close the pedestrian entrance and to persuade Fred Meyer to fully re-open this entrance. The groups have launched a petition to get the doors reopened. The petition has over 425 signers so far, and will be sent to the Mayor, Commissioner Ryan and the Director of Bureau of Development Services. You can add your name to it here: https://bit.ly/3CWjH2N
The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association will discuss the situation and a possible neighborhood response at their next meeting on October 14th.
Emergency Preparedness for all Sunnysiders? ?
Is there a ‘one size fits all’ for emergency preparedness? No, there is not. However, the advice remains the same–getting prepared is much much better than doing nothing and hoping that an earthquake won’t happen anytime soon. Hmmm….
There are multiple ways to make preparedness more appealing. In my mind, it is the ways that each of us can help to build neighborhood resilience
and a sense of place in Sunnyside that will result in all of us getting to
know each other better. And to help each other get ready…
Questions, comments? Weigh in please via email to [email protected] and thank you.
Board Member Officer Positions Established, Inner Southeast Action, and Community Engagement
On September 9th, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association held its first meeting with newly elected board members. The board appointed new officer roles which you can see updated on the last page of the newsletter. The board appointed Emily McCadden and Chris Waldman to fill the vacant board seats. The board reviewed some operational workflow processes and held conversations on the organization’s endorsement process. The SNA will pick up on endorsement protocols for October’s meeting. During the General Meeting we had Doug Klotz from Inner Southeast Action! present information about their petition to Save the Fred Meyer Hawthorne Pedestrian Entrance! (Read more about this in a separate article in this newsletter.) The SNA is inviting Doug and the Inner Southeast Action! team back to the October meeting for further conversation and to answer any questions the Sunnyside community may have. We ended the General meeting with an open forum – speaking with attendees on efforts they would like to see the SNA work towards in the coming months. Topics mentioned included hosting more community events to connect on a local level with other neighbors and coordinating a neighborhood clean-up like we’ve held in past years. The SNA will reach out to the Richmond Neighborhood Association to see if they’d like to partner with us.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming October meeting on Thursday the 14th. Meeting details and the agenda will be posted on the SNA website (sunnysideportland.org) on Monday the 11th. The Board meeting is from 7:00-8:00 p.m. and is open to the public. The General Meeting follows directly from 8:00-9:00pm. We encourage you to join us.