South Verses Southwest Portland

Attorney Richard Rizk’s Position on the S vs SW Address Change

South Portland Business Association President, Attorney Richard Rizk, has been on top of the Southwest to South address change issue of late. This is an issue that affects many Southwest Portland businesses directly. Richard has been a voice for the people affected in this change. His goal, as always, is to make sure the people of Southwest Portland have their voices heard and opinions considered. This is important to stress before the city makes even larger decisions that affect people and businesses that live in Southwest Portland.

City Hall Meeting on May 31st

At last months’ City Hall hearing, on May 31st, Richard spoke on behalf of the South Portland Business Association (SPBA) as their President and as a business owner in Southwest Portland. His overarching stance on this topic is that Southwest Portland residents and business owners are in need of more details on this issue, as well as more time to consider this change before the city moves forward on its decision. “It’s important that the people of Portland are heard, considering that larger issues and decisions could be set forth in the future that are not as agreeable as this one is,” stated President Richard Rizk.

What are your Thoughts?

As of June 6th, the ordinance has been passed that will create a sixth sextant called South Portland. The project plans to be rolled out by May 2020 according to PBOT. Many people, including Richard, feel like this could be a good update for the city. “Rebranding this area as South Portland may be the best thing that ever happened to us. We could be the hottest up and coming place in Portland. With all of our waterfront land, we could be the ‘new Pearl,” said President Richard Rizk at a recent SPBA meeting.

Come and be a voice in our community. 

Another subtopic of this change is to remove the leading Zero before addresses. The city claims that emergency personnel has had many delays attempting to provide service to people at addresses having e a leading zero. The emergency personal’s GPS systems have a very difficult time computing that leading zero. Therefore, it has proved difficult in finding actual emergency locations at times. 

Early last this week Rich met with Deputy Chief Russ,

Portland Votes for 20MPH Speed Limits

Portland City Council recently voted to set 20 miles per hour speed limits on residential streets. The council voted unanimously to reduce speeds to 20 mph from 25 mph in residential areas, which make up about 70% of the city’s street grid. The ordinance takes effect immediately on roads that lack speed limit signs. The council predicts that replacing all the 25 mph signs throughout the city will take until April and cost upwards of $300,000. Speed limits on arterial streets will not change.

Portland commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish strongly support the change. Ms. Fritz has had three family members killed in traffic collisions. She believes that excessive speed may have contributed to the death of her husband who died in 2014 in a car crash. Mr. Fish thinks law enforcement should work to enforce the policy, recalling a time driving through Northeast Portland when he drove the posted speed limits and surrounding drivers were visibly upset.

By |February 19th, 2018|General News|

Is Congestion Pricing Right for Portland?

The Oregon Department of Transportation recently invited the public to opine on the use of congestion pricing to improve the flow of traffic on the state’s vital highways: I-5 and I-205 in Portland. The state hopes to ease the volume of traffic on freeways, highways, and bridges in the gem of Oregon, known for around-the-clock rush hour. That’s right; traffic has officially gotten so bad that we are now considering congestion pricing to alleviate one of Portland’s greatest headaches.

This past December, Portland City Council and Mayor Ted Wheeler directed the Bureau of Transportation to study congestion pricing to see how using tolls on select portions of the city’s roads and bridges could reduce some of the congestion that is plaguing the city. ODOT recently hosted a series of open house events to receive public input. Residents were able to voice their opinions at several local events. If you missed out, you may still be able to submit comments and questions to the project team or submit feedback online.

By |February 5th, 2018|General News|

Oregon Daycare Suspended for Two Infant Deaths in Two Years

Long gone are the days where a typical two-parent household could survive on one income. With the exorbitant cost of living reaching unprecedented figures, most families require two working adults to stay afloat. As a result, working couples with young children are often forced to surrender their offspring to caregivers. Parents are overwhelmingly enrolling children in expensive daycare programs so that they can work to make ends meet.

By |January 22nd, 2018|General News|

Some Oregonians Can Now Pump Their Own Gas

A law that affects fewer than 300,000 Oregonians sparked a national debate on social media just days before it went into effect. On January first, Oregonians stepped into the new year with more freedoms they didn’t even want. House Bill 2482 allows gas stations in certain, rural parts of the state to offer self-service and is responsible for making Oregon the rear-end of all the gas-pumping jokes you may have heard lately.

By |January 8th, 2018|General News|

Will Portland Commuters Soon Pay Tolls on Local Interstates?

The Oregon Legislative Assembly pulled off its biggest achievement of the 2017 session: it approved a huge transportation bill (House Bill 2017) that seeks to raise $5.3 billion over the next ten years. By introducing tolls on interstate highways, new taxes, and raising current transportation taxes and fees, the state hopes to raise enough revenue to repair its failing infrastructure, expand public transit, and reduce highway traffic congestion.

The bill’s approval is a boon to legislators who have tried to pass a revenue-producing package to strengthen the state’s infrastructure two years in a row with little success. Crumbling roads and bridges put lives at risk and are at high risk for causing mass destruction in the event of an earthquake. By taking somewhat drastic, out-of-the-box measures, the state expects to meet its goal.

Some of these measures are attracting more attention than others. To the average commuter, they are all generally unwelcome expenses.

New Taxes

Part of the package outlines tax and fee increases such as:

  • New sales taxes on cars and bikes
  • Increased gas tax
  • Increased vehicle registration fees
  • A -cent gas tax and $15 vehicle registration fee in the Portland metro area
  • A 0.1% employer payroll tax to pay for public transit projects

Upon implementation, Oregon would see its first tax on bike sales, a 3% tax. Used and new vehicle sales would also see a 0.75% tax.

Interstate Tolls on the Horizon

A central component of the hefty 298-page bill is the proposal to build a toll system on I-5 and I-205 beginning at the Oregon-Washington border, up through Portland, and until the highways connect in Wilsonville. The bill would create a transportation commission that would seek federal approval to add tolls to the state’s most congested highways: I-5 and I-205. It could take until December 31, 2018 to receive such approval, upon which construction can begin.

It remains unclear exactly what the toll system would look like, but we do know that the tolls would work on a value pricing system, meaning that the rates would vary by the level of congestion and the time of day. Value

By |August 28th, 2017|General News|

Top 5 Things to Expect for the Great American Eclipse

The much-anticipated total eclipse is quickly approaching, with less than a month to spare. On August 21, 2017, the solar eclipse will first make landfall in Oregon before gliding over the Midwest and Southeastern United States. It is the first eclipse ever recorded to cross the United States exclusively, and one of the few total solar eclipses to even make landfall. The once-in-a-lifetime event is luring visitors from all over the world. To experience the eclipse in all its glory, Oregonians should anticipate five key things.

Millions of “Outsiders”

Between 1 and 2 million visitors are expected to arrive in Oregon just for the eclipse. Eclipse tourists from all over the country and possibly several other countries are flocking to small Oregon towns that have never before received so many tourists in a year, let alone one for one event. There will be people on the streets eager to arrive at their destination who do not know their way around town, nor are they familiar with local customs and rules of the road. Mustering up patience in anticipation of a sharp, temporary urge in the state’s population will be important to maintaining your cool and maximizing your own personal enjoyment of the eclipse.

Ungodly Congestion

Interstate highways are expected to overflow in the days leading up to the eclipse and on August 22, 2017. ODOT recommends avoiding major highways like I-5, US 101, and US 26, if possible. While major highways are not expected to close, traffic patterns may change to optimize traffic flow.

Oregon’s coastal cities will be the first to receive the spectacle, which is why highways leading to and up and down the coast are expected to be the most seriously congested. Avoid traveling in the path of totality and, if possible, work from home. If you happen to find yourself stuck on the highway during the couple of minutes in which the eclipse is visible, be sure to arm your car with food, water, a first aid kit, and extra gasoline. ODOT suggests viewers “arrive early, stay put, and leave late.”

Reduced or Zero Cell Service

One of the immediate effects of a rapid rise in population is the increased strain on cellular networks.

By |August 8th, 2017|General News|

August Solar Eclipse Will Be Oregon’s Greatest Traffic Event

As residents of Lincoln County are stocking up on water, food, gas, and snow fencing, Governor Kate Brown has authorized the Oregon National Guard to deploy 150 soldiers and six aircraft to help keep traffic under control. No, we aren’t expecting that overdue earthquake– yet. We are preparing for what NASA predicts will be one of the worst traffic days in U.S. history: The Great American Eclipse!

Oregon will be the lucky first state to witness the moon passing between the sun and Earth in the first total solar eclipse viewable in Oregon since 1979. It is also the first solar eclipse to pass exclusively over the United States of America. Any other eclipse that may have passed over this region occurred before the country was established.

What Makes This Eclipse Special?

The highly-anticipated event is drawing attention worldwide. Thousands of viewing events like music festivals and wine tastings are planned throughout country in the “path of totality,” or a band about 70 miles wide stretching from Oregon to South Carolina in which a total eclipse will be viewable. Several “totality parties” are taking place in Central Oregon, but are quite possibly all sold out. Hotels near the path of totality have been booked for months, with some standard rooms in humdrum towns going for as much as $600 per night. Some of the last campsites in Madras, Oregon, no larger than 20’x 20’, were reserved for $1,500. Oregon State Parks auctioned off thirty of the very last camping spots for $60,000 each!

Those who have been fortunate enough to view a total eclipse find it difficult to put their awe into words. A total solar eclipse occurs in that rare moment when the sun, Earth, and moon are in alignment. The moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that leaves the Earth in darkness, exposing the sun’s corona. Those who are just a few miles outside of the path can view up to a 99% eclipse, which will not bring darkness or reveal the corona, the main attraction of a “total” eclipse.

Although total eclipses occur about every 18 months, it’s rare to witness one. This is because they usually take place over

By |July 31st, 2017|General News|

The Portland Riot Problem

Portland is often viewed through rose-colored lenses as a city in which open-minded individuals receptive to different ideas, viewpoints, beliefs, and backgrounds come together to indulge in craft beer, legalized marijuana and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It is a place that prides itself on political participation and exercising free speech. Peaceful protests against seemingly every issue imaginable often take place; yet more recently, escalating tensions between far left and far right activists have taken protests to a new level, leading to chaos and destruction.

Rioting around the city has been increasingly prominent since November’s election. People have been hurt, property has been destroyed, and the city’s image of tolerance and acceptance has been tarnished as violence erupts from both sides of the political spectrum. The second that free speech stands to put lives at risk, it is not considered protected speech. This level of so-called activism does little to sway those with opposing viewpoints while creating a problem the city is finding difficult to keep under control.

November Riots (November 9, 2016)

The night of the election sparked protests around the country, but perhaps none grew so violent as those in Portland. Over four thousand protesters marched through the streets during what began as a peaceful protest. The tune quickly changed as certain self-described anarchists turned the dial to full-on riot mode. Rioters threw objects at police, vandalized several businesses, lit fires, and blocked freeways. Police fought back with pepper spray and rubber bullets. Fights broke out between protesters and supporters; someone chucked a Molotov cocktail into a bonfire. Shattered glass illuminated the city as the riots destroyed downtown.

Toyota of Portland was badly hit, with vehicles completely totaled by the rioters. Brick, bats, cinder blocks, and human power were all used to break glass and cause irreversible damage to new cars on the lot. Areas of the Pearl and Pioneer Square looked as if a storm had hit. About a thousand protesters marched on I-5 and I-84 blocking swaths of freeway. The demonstrations lasted three days.

The damage: over $1 million worth of property damage; 26 arrests.

Inauguration Day Protests (January 20, 2017)

Five individual protests took place Inauguration Day Friday, but none as large

By |July 23rd, 2017|General News|

Are Driverless Trucks Coming to Portland?

From the computer mouse to the Nike swoosh, many great inventions bloomed in Portland. Most recently, self-driving trucks have been developed in Rose City by a team of engineers working for Daimler Trucks North America, headquartered east of the Willamette. The group is a big piece of the automation puzzle and seeks to adapt automation to revolutionize the trucking industry.

Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, developed the first-ever self-driving semi truck in six months based on technology it has developed over the past two decades. The Freightliner semi truck, named Inspiration, was granted the first autonomous vehicle license plate for legal operation in Nevada in 2015. In order to gain that special license plate, Daimler had to prove that the truck could safely drive 10,000 on its own. It is considered a Level 3 autonomous vehicle on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s scale of automated driving systems because it still requires a human operator.

Using front-facing stereoscopic cameras and radar sensors to monitor road conditions in autopilot mode, the Inspiration navigates highways with ease. A human operator is still a vital component of the process, helping the vehicle get on and off the highway, navigate during adverse weather conditions, and even change lanes. Daimler stresses that humans will be necessary to oversee the operation of such vehicles for the foreseeable future.

Daimler has also been testing platooning semi-autonomous trucks on local highways. Platooning entails a string of trucks following one another for maximum wind resistance and fuel efficiency. Between two and five trucks may follow each other closely and use technology to communicate when any truck in the series is about to hit an obstacle. Through the use of technology that allows them to communicate, the trucks can follow each other much more closely than if humans were operating them.

These trucks were tested most recently on Interstate 84, which has become a standard route for testing fuel economy, according to Daimler officials.

Potential Benefits of Driverless Trucks

Daimler’s engineers are continuously working on technology that seeks to boost the trucking industry, which would in turn benefit consumers. Through rigid testing, tweaking, and retesting of autonomous trucks, the company’s progress in automation pushes us ever-closer to a world

By |July 22nd, 2017|General News|