The King Neighborhood Association has delivered a letter to the mayor and city council urging that the Last Thursday events be managed by a responsible entity that is accountable to the neighborhoods along Alberta. As many as 10,000 visitors come to Alberta Street on some summer months. The impact of such a large street fair occuring monthly in a dense residential neighborhood had brought chronic complaints of noise, disruptive behavior, and illegal parking. KNA believes that the benefits to the Alberta business community should not come at a cost to residents’ livability.
Alchohol remains the biggest issue and most other complaints stem from the behavior of some intoxicated visitors who see Last Thursday as a reason to over-imbibe. John Janulis, owner of the popular restaurant and bar, the Bye and Bye, currently closes his establishment on Last Thursdays to avoid the disruptive clientele that comes to Alberta those nights. In 2008, the OLCC cited the Bye and Bye due to people having open alchohol containers in the parking lot. Mr. Janulis explained in a letter that accompanied the KNA letter that most of these people were not Bye and Bye customers. In order to avoid the risk to his business and liquor license, Janulis made the decision to close once a month and hires security to patrol the lot and rents a portable toilet to keep the lot clean.
As the City of Portland continues to discuss how Last Thursday should evolve, KNA hopes that the solution leads to a responsible body administering the event. That organization would be accountable for any undue impacts on the neighborhoods due to visitors and would make whatever changes that may need to be made.