Street Greening Upsets Some Portland Businesses

A new street greening project in North Portland that seeks to reduce stormwater runoff is fueling a debate between the area's young, eco-conscious businesses owners and older owners who are worried about interruption from the project.
September 4, 2009, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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The project will update the street with concrete and line it with planters to help absorb stormwater. It's located in the Kenton Neighborhood of North Portland, an area within the city's urban renewal boundaries that has seen an influx of investment and development in recent years.

"The $2.85 million Denver Avenue Streetscape Project aims to turn four blocks of the Kenton artery into the city's first fully retrofitted green main street. The project - a joint venture between the Portland Development Commission, the city's urban renewal agency, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation - excites some of the area's younger entrepreneurs while leaving some longtime business owners cold.

Project coordinators acknowledge that Denver Avenue extending south from Paul Bunyan and Interstate Avenue to Watts Street will be a mess for the next few months. Workers will remove a center turn lane, broaden the sidewalks and bike lanes, and install benches and vegetation. They hope to start construction in early September and have it finished by the end of the year."

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Published on Thursday, September 3, 2009 in The Oregonian
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