Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Portland Parks Bureau Weighs In On Lents

The Portland Parks Bureau weighs in on the Lents deal, and the Oregonian mentions Saltzman's demands for a triple AAA ballpark to be placed in the Lents district. The more I read about the situation, the more I realize that these are conditions that could be easily met by Merritt Paulson, if he's convinced that Lents will work for the Beavers. Nothing on the list seems that unreasonable, from working out parking at close park and rides, refurbishing elementary school fields near the park, and replacing some park land. The parking situation still needs to be addressed, but since I lived near PGE Park when it was refurbished in 2001 and saw the work they did there, it can be done rather easily. I paid for a resident permit to have for friends that wanted to park in the area, and the parking patrols went by and checked for cars that had the permits.

The first few years after 2001, the permits had to be used until 11 PM, so it kept many folks at bay from using parking near my old apartment, but recently, I noticed the parking permits are Monday through Friday so the parking must not be as much of a concern. I get that the city needs to work with the neighborhood on these concerns, and while I understand their issue with some of the park being lost, there is still over half the park that would still be available for use, for the ballpark plan uses 16 of the 38 acres available. Plus, it will be a destination point for many, including myself, who would normally not venture to Lents. I thought about it last night, and what other reason do I have to go there right now? I have reasons to go downtown, to North Portland, to NW Portland, Clackamas, Lloyd Center, and a lot of other areas of town, whether they relate to businesses in the area, shopping, or places that I like to frequent. Lents, while it might be a very nice neighborhood, doesn't have anything that is drawing right now, but baseball could change it.

I expect over the next few weeks, we'll hear more about the deal. Paulson hasn't weighed in with his thoughts, and at this point, the other city council members supporting the deal, Sam Adams and Randy Leonard, haven't said whether they like Saltzman's suggestions or not. Nick Fish has already said no, but he's been saying no since the original vote, despite being proclaimed "the biggest soccer fan around", while Amanda Fritz hasn't said much lately about it, but it's expected she'll stay with the negative vote she provided back in March from the original proposal. It's going to be an interesting few weeks, not only on the pitch, but in the council chambers.

And today, it's Rose Festival parade day, and it's raining. How fitting is that for the Rose City to have rain on our signature day? Feels more like the way things should be around here!!

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