Tuesday, October 28, 2008

East Park Blocks: Reed College Parkway

Reed College Parkway

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This stop on our tour of the East Park Blocks takes us south, to Reed College Parkway, which as you might imagine is right next to Reed College. And the parkway runs the length of SE Reed College Place, in case the location was still at all unclear.

Well, you'd think it'd all be very clear, but the city sometimes mistakenly calls it the "Reedway Blocks". Reedway is an entirely different street, east-west instead of north-south, and which doesn't have any park blocks along its entire length, as far as I can tell.

Of all the East Park Blocks around town, Reed College Parkway may be the closest to how they were all intended to turn out. Large, genteel houses line both sides of the street, and stately old elms run the length of the parkway. It's really quite nice, although I don't know what you'd have to do to afford a house here. The parkway isn't the only thing that gives the area such a patrician, old money feel, but it certainly helps.

Of course, being next to a rather, er, alternative-minded college, it's not all tea and crumpets on Reed College Parkway. Or rather, when it is tea and crumpets, it just might be performance art, like this 2007 TBA event. (In the article, the parkway is described as a "tree-lined expanse of grass", not as a park. FWIW.) An OregonLive blog post has more about the conceptual art tea party, with photos.

I can answer the perennial "who waters/mows the grass" question this time. Recent meeting minutes for the Eastmoreland neighborhood association shed a little light on the not-quite-a-city-park, not-quite-a-street-median status of this and the other East Park Blocks around town. Like most of them, Reed College Parkway is owned by the city's Transportation Bureau, and in this case they're responsible for watering the grass, but the Parks Bureau has the job of mowing the grass. It's all clear now, yes?

An East County News piece about area residents unhappy with the current arrangement. Our mayor-elect suggests that the locals form a "Local Improvement District" and tax themselves extra to help maintain the place, because the city just doesn't have the money.

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