Meeting Minute, May 4, 2016

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting, May 4, 2016

Don Baack chaired the meeting. Agenda was approved as presented.

Minutes of the last meeting were approved, moved by Arnie Panitch, seconded by Rick Meigs. Self-introductions were provided by all in attendance.

Guests from Google Fiber: Daniel Pickens-Jones and Sean Flak, and from City of Portland, Office for Community Technology, Manager, Mary Beth Henry.


Expansion Lead for Google Fiber, Sean Flak, Project Manager of Build Team (construction) described proposed fiber hut anticipated in our neighborhood, Council Crest. He described what fiber huts are, what will they look like. Finding sites is a key issue, can’t be definitive yet until those are finalized. Might not be able to give pricing info until then.


US is 14th in world for internet speed. 14.2 Mbps average connection speed. Google Fiber offers a superfast internet to the home connection—60-70X faster than today’s average connection. Much of today’s infrastructure is coaxial. This move from mega to giga bits should create/spur innovation.

Today, downloading 100 photos can take 4.40 minutes on average, with Google fiber will be .03 seconds. HD movie today 10-15 minutes to download, fiber 7-10 seconds. When Google enters new markets, others tend to provide increases in speed to compete. Google Fiber Customer Support Philosophy: respond quickly to questions, provide experienced installation. Call center answers within 30 seconds; installations made for specific time, 96% on time.

Google Fiber is now in Kansas City, MO, Provo, UT, in construction in several other cities. In discussions with many cities like Portland.  Strive to provide simplicity of pricing. Leasing or selling in home equipment—1 box included with subscription, additional at a charge. Does Google bear full cost of installation? Are there surcharges? Google is very cognizant of pricing transparency—very limited times when there are add-ons.

This is a private sector investment. The city will collect a 5% fee because of use of right of way. How much is the investment in Portland to bring google fiber? It is on a scale cities may only see once in a generation. Equity lens: is this rolling out citywide? Legally, can’t discriminate and serve only certain areas. Digital inclusion is a key value. Google is making large investments in this and each new market. Build local capacity, partner with agencies. Free to public housing, other underserved populations.

Portland/Multnomah County just adopted a digital equity plan:  {}

Google described their plans for resilience in the case of natural disasters (such as earthquake).


What is fiber optic? A new way to connect, higher transmission speeds.

What does Fiber’s network architecture look like? Begin at local aggregation site, a connection to the backbone ringing city. Gives some redundancy, 1 or 2 rings if just the city, 3+ if beyond city only.

Huts have electricity and natural gas for backup generator. Most of network is passive. At the huts, there is a generator in case power is lost long term. Does generator cycle, and how often? Monthly? Google works with noise officer. KW output on generator will be provided, likely smaller than one at Wilson.

Huts serve about 40,000 homes per hut. Distribution fiber towards neighborhoods, then split into hubs (passive, splitter). The number of times it splits between hub and house, can’t be too many or it will degrade quality. Is there a radius of service? about 5km from hut?

Dimensions of hut: 10×30 designed to fit into neighborhood character, within fenced enclosure for safety and security. Anticipate seven huts in city, two in Southwest. How large are the hubs? Similar to other telecomm if above ground, but prefer to bury. No sound associated with these. No radiation from these (unlike cell towers now). Now underground, or run along existing utility poles to homes. First build to edge of property line, then installation crew if service is purchased. Fiber jack inside. No installation charge.  Working with Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, other cities in metro area.

What kind of equipment for installation? Use boring machines when possible to avoid surface disturbance. Optical to digital conversion happens inside the house at jack.  Google will have “standard” rates, will be competitive with others.

Will utility poles be overloaded at some point as we keep adding to them? Engineering is done to determine of poles need to be replaced. Similar or identical pricing within same city/metro area. Most cities with Google have common pricing.

Proposed location: Water Bureau property, by towers on Council Crest — Master Lease Agreement with City of Portland near Stonehenge, NW Natural, PGE, AT&T towers. Lease revenue will go to Water Bureau if the site is theirs. No Parks properties under consideration.

Google is planning 8’ cedar fence which would mask full hut/generator, etc. Video cam is not standard procedure, but could be considered for security. What is Water Bureau’s seismic assessment? Can look into this.

Construction Schedule: Can’t say right now. Deeply engaged in work needed to move full project forward. Land Use review currently happening. Getting conditional use approved one step.

Right now Google contemplating broad band and video, not phone. Google will set rate. 5% franchise fee revenue to city. Not necessarily new source if folks transition from one utility to another. Wes asked about possibility of putting this to PBOT for right of way improvements. Can design of hut not be more imaginative?

ERIC WILHELM/Transportation Report:

Following up on project at Barbur & Capitol Highway, improvements to reduce one southbound lane on Barbur over Newbury and Vermont bridges to provide bike lanes. ODOT had done road safety audit.

Near term response, much may change with SW Corridor, as local improvements along the Corridor will be prioritized.

Timing: Likely that something will happen since City Council added this to SDC eligible list, but unclear when road striping (first step) would take place. Possible could happen in less than a year. HNA will invite engineers in to discuss.  SW Corridor upcoming decisions: mode choice, PCC connection. We will have input on connections. Shared Investment Strategy, getting local projects into DEIS important, related to matching federal funds, etc.

An update on 30th Dosch safety improvements was provided; grant request in for intersection design.

The handrail on steps behind A-Boy was lost after a recent crash of stolen pickup during high speed chase and will be replaced by the city.

Bike Share system to launch in July. May is bike month—BTA promotion. 25% of all trips will be taken by bike by 2030 (projected). Many issues to ensure equitable access for bike/ped. N. Williams bike lane already oversubscribed. Better Block downtown—bike/ped for festivals.

LAND USE:  Iowa – 6107 proposed demolitions, 3 large Douglas Firs slated for removal, up to 10 homes. SW 18th and Iowa zoned for higher density. Patchwork projects are being approved individually without overall capacity/plan needed if zoning is maximized. No traffic light at end of 18th Drive. Frequently used as bypass to Sunset. Developers have been purchasing lots. Collectively n-hood is being transformed—discussion ensued about issues with increased density.

Someone who lives behind library on Pendleton, working with neighbors to review planned developments. The covenant is an “opportunity” to work with Johnson or other developers, to shape development. “We’re not being obstructionist. We’d like to work with HNA to look more holistically.” They will get in touch with Glenn Bridger (Interim Land Use Chair) and start to put their ideas together.

FOOD CARTS:  Richard Stein – 4 years ago, floated idea of food carts. Have gotten ideas and concerns from HNA, and the carts have become successful. Now coming with another idea: exploring idea of wine and beer service, would operate only when school is not open, later afternoon and evening, weekends, summer. Barbara Bowers concerned about Fridays—when games are taking place. During summer, pool is open in summer, many youth in and out of area. Ballet studio in area. Question: Is this happening in other neighborhoods with so many youth? OLCC guidelines very specific about designated area—alcohol consumption on site only. Apartment dwellers next door to carts—didn’t like music, but Richard hasn’t heard from them lately. Richard’s email: This Friday there will be a celebration at the food carts, all are invited.

ARNIE PANITCH, TRANSIT UPDATE: Epic Max disruption anticipated during May. Arnie described changes.

SCHOOLS: School Boundaries changing, info available at Portland Public Schools.

CALENDAR: May 9 SWNI clean up 9-1.  May 9 Wilson High clean up 9-12, done twice a year. 30-40 people work over the grounds. School provides food at lunch.

PARKS: Rieke Soccer Field Meeting, May 18.  No Movies in Park at DeWitt this summer. Opening Crossroads Garden – behind UCC. Call Parks & Rec to sign up.

COMMUNICATIONS: Rick and Eric working on communications strategies for HNA.


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