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The work we've been reporting lately on making a public place of a former public street has been completed, for now

DAVID F. ASHTON - The new Arleta Triangle community space - on what used to be a bypass street - in this view looking northwest. Recently, we reported the closure of one side of the "Arleta Triangle" — a bypass street creating a complex intersection at S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 72nd, with a small public island in the middle. Large concrete barrels now close off both ends of that bypass — done at the request of residents, who felt that the excessive shooting incidents on 72nd in the vicninity of Woodstock Boulevard had been facilitated by the "quick getaway" opportunity presented by that short bypass street.

The next step was to turn that cleared public space into something special for the community. And that began just after the start of autumn.

On an afternoon and evening, led by Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association Chair Mt. Matchu Williams, welcomed the neighborhood to the new triangular "street plaza" on the cleared bypass pavement.

"This is now a community space — finally here, fifteen years in the making," he said. "Thousands of volunteer hours went into making this happen. We're here to celebrate, today, a peaceful summer, compared to last year. Last year we had a surge of gunfire and reckless driving in our neighborhood.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Mom Stephanie was painting rocks with daughter Ayla as part of the fun that day at the new Arleta Triangle community space. "Thanks to some generous contributions from Anderson Construction, and the Center for Public Interest and Design at Portland State University, we now have here a performing stage, planters, and seating. We have public street trees — you can't often grow a Douglas fir like the two we have here, because of the presence of overhead utilities. Here, there is clear sky above.

"The stage you see here is permanent — it's large, sturdy, and bolted to the ground. All the furnishings you see here are also bolted into the street. In the conceptual rendering from the PSU folks, 4 x 4 posts are to go up for many of the platters to allow the use of shade sails; but we're also looking into finding a way to provide some lighting for the fall and winter months. It is a challenging location, because there is no electricity or water here."

DAVID F. ASHTON - Its Rocio Lopez - she made and brought 100 chicken and pork tamales - as well as huge pans of rice and beans. All of it was already gone just an hour after the celebration began. Helping provide a festive atmosphere for the day were food vendors. One was Rocio Lopez who offered chicken and pork tamales — there were 100 tamales; rice, and beans, and most of it was gone about an hour after they started, so great was the demand.

Williams concluded his remarks, "The Arleta Triangle is now a blank canvas to make what the community will of it, as we see here. My thanks to all the neighbors and volunteers; this space is by you, and for you. It could not have happened without you."

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