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My hunch is that neigborhood responses to these new developments are a bit more complex than simply a reaction to the number of stories or lack of parking. And equally complex is the relationship between land use and transportation. If we are agreed that new multi-housing developments need not account for parking on a one-to-one basis, so be it--but Metro, Trimet, and the City all need to develop a transporation stategy to meet the growing demands that come with densifying older close-in neighborhoods. And that strategy ought to consist of more than just "not including parking" in a new buildng.

Division Street is already a very narrow artery that is often clogged with traffic. By limiting the parking available to these new apartment-renters, we favor the needs of current residents over future ones. Hardly seems like a cohesive plan for city development.


"NIMBY neighbors"? Seriously, that is what you label folks who are rightfully concerned about the proliferation and negative long-term effects of these horrendous crappy, no-parking constructs will have on the livability of these neighborhoods. Density design and building for density sake does not always mean that it should be done.

Brian Libby

To "pdxFTW" -

I regret using the NIMBY neighbors tag. Sometimes I find it frustrating that people in single-family houses within historic neighborhoods are overly hostile to higher-density development, but I completely agree that not all development is not created equally. There are SOME projects happening in Portland with no parking and substantial density that are not good for the surrounding neighborhood. I'm just sensitive because there are also times when neighborhoods seem to protest good high-density projects as well as bad one.

Incidentally, I would have greatly more respect for your point of view if you were willing to identify yourself rather than hiding behind an anonymous screen name. What do you have to hide?


Weren't the "NIMBY neighbors" the ones that stopped the MT. Hood expressway that would have obliterated Division? The expressway that was being touted by the urban planners of the era? NIMBY neighbors are the best judges of what makes a sustainable liveable neighborhood- they have the most at stake.

Brian Libby

Great point, D. Which is why I have expressed regret about the comment. My point is being lost here, it seems, because I used an unfair term. I honestly don't think it's as simple as being for one's neighborhood and its interests or being against it. I think density is like anything else: it's good up to a certain point. There's some kind of threshold that's hard to pinpoint precisely but at which a neighborhood can feel overrun with cars and people. But that threshold is much higher than the density accomplished with single-family houses alone. Division Street is better in general, I think, for having most of the new development there. But I can also understand feeling overwhelmed if one lives within a few blocks and had been used to parking in front of the street. I'm just saying, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I like these projects mentioned in the post, but the higher-density project without parking that was halted by the city may have been not so good.


There are two things Oregonians hate--density and sprawl. I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but I think you will get my meaning. Densifying historic neighborhoods can and must happen. But perhaps we ought to think less about NIMBY-ism, and more about the right to self-determination. What is most problematic about these developments is that the people who will be most immediately impacted by them have little or no say in the matter. And when they do mobilize, buildings that are already under construction get their permits revoked. I think this is indicative of a larger issue--namely, that the residents are not being heard. Who is to say what is "good" density and what is "bad" density? How are we measuring the improved quality of a streetscape before and after developement? These are the sorts of questions we need to be asking, and not AFTER the buidlings are already going up.

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