Residents of the Vernon Neighborhood in northeast Portland are organizing opposition to a proposed 7-Eleven at the corner of NE Killingsworth and 15th (map). Among their list of concerns about the potential store are how it would impact traffic safety — particularly among people walking and biking.
In a newsletter emailed out on Wednesday, the Vernon Neighborhood Association said after an “overwhelming majority” of residents at a recent meeting expressed concerns about the store, they have decided to oppose the development. In addition to the fact that the new 7-Eleven would be within one block of three locally and minority-owned convenient stores, the neighbors say they are,
“concerned about traffic safety impacts on bicyclists and pedestrians, especially the children walking to Vernon School each day and those that use the Number 8 bus. We also feel strongly that a 7-Eleven will not help improve the safety and livability of our neighborhood.”
The neighborhood plans a coordinated campaign to pressure City Council members to deny the lease. They’ve also circulated an online survey to garner feedback from more neighbors.
The intersection of NE 15th and Killingsworth is a tricky one. Killingsworth is a high volume and high speed neighborhood collector street
Todd Borkowitz, a landscape architect and urban designer, lives near the intersection. He got in touch with us to say he agrees with the Vernon Neighborhood Association and that, “additional congestion at an already busy offset intersection would be problematic for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Borkowitz also points out that Killingsworth at this location is part of a “Main Street Pedestrian Design Area” identified in the Portland Pedestrian Master Plan. In addition, NE 15th is designated to receive a “separated in roadway” bikeway (meaning a bike lane, buffered bike lane, or cycle track) in the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 as part of the City’s “World-Class Strategy” of long-term yet unfunded projects.
“Based on these designations,” says Borkowitz, “I see the City as having committed to making this intersection safe and accessible for bike/peds, and hope that elected officials will be responsive to residents concerned about the impacts of the proposed project.”