Last month we shared the news that the City of Portland, with full support from adjacent businesses, planned to move forward with a pilot program to make SW Ankeny Street carfree between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
The City plans to re-program the space by prohibiting motor vehicles and effectively turning the narrow street into an extended sidewalk with seating for nearby cafes. Business owners love the idea (they even agreed to pay the City for lost parking revenue) because Ankeny’s narrow sidewalks make outdoor seating impossible.
With support from businesses and PBOT, a grand opening was slated for June 21st, the official start of summer.
But when the ordinance came up at City Council this week, the plans hit a snag. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz voted against it and since it was proposed as an “emergency” ordinance (in order to meet the June 21st date), it had to pass unanimously. With Fritz’s no vote, it failed 4-1.