Mt. Tabor Park, so close and yet so far. One of the most beautiful parks in the city is right across the street, but residents of South Tabor can’t get there.While there is safe and easy access on the West, East, and North sides of the park, the only access for South Tabor is through the dog park at 66th or 68th. Both locations are too steep for bikes or anyone except serious hikers, they are dangerous due to unsupervised dogs, the path is muddy and impassable three seasons of the year, and these back door entrances buried in the trees are dark and creepy.
When Mt. Tabor Park opened more than 100 years ago, one of the major entrances was shown on the plan at SE 64th and Division. The entrance was never built and over the years access at that location was first blocked by the Water Bureau and then the Portland Parks Maintenance Yard. Now that the SE Division Street Reorganization Project will make the street safer, a group of neighbors are working to open the public right of way at SE 64th between Division and Sherman to allow safe access to Mt. Tabor for pedestrians and bicycles.
The rendering at the top of this post shows the location of a proposed path at 64th along the West fence of the Maintenance Yard. The cost to build this path was estimated at $135,500 in 2008. This path is part of Phase 4 of a multi-million dollar long range plan for the Parks Maintenance Yard that may or may not be funded at some date in the distant future. Click here to read the whole Mt. Tabor Plan. The information about the proposal for the yard is in an appendix near the end.
We don’t want to wait another hundred years for equitable access so we are gathering interested neighbors and partners who want to brainstorm ideas for making this project happen sooner rather than later. If you are interested in working on this project click here then choose MaryLouise Ott from the drop down menu to send me a message.
Access to the park for South Tabor neighbors seems as important as the truck and gravel storage in these photos.