The building across from Joe Sanderson’s home in North Portland is an eyesore. The yard is overgrown with weeds, graffiti tags mar the walls, and grocery carts dot the yard.
Sanderson, a 44-year-old sound engineer, routinely runs across the street to gather trash when his parents are due for a visit. His neighbor? This week’s Rogue: TriMet.
Sanderson’s well-kept home faces the northbound MAX stop at North Killingsworth Street, just east of I-5. Near the platform is a small cinderblock building housing a MAX-line power generator (photo below).
“If the building were a residence, the city would come out and clean up the tags and clean the yard,” Sanderson says. “All I’m asking is that TriMet come out and clean it up once a week.”
Especially grating for Sanderson is that a TriMet vehicle will regularly park in front of the building and an employee will stride through the knee-high weeds toward the platform and clean that, but never touch the piles of trash in front of the building.
“When I ask why they’re not cleaning the building, they’ll say, ‘We clean the platforms, not the building.’”
TriMet confirmed to the Rogue desk that different employee groups are responsible for cleaning, meaning that the department charged with cleaning the platform is separate from the one that cares for the building.
TriMet officials say they have tried unsuccessfully to remove the graffiti from the North Killingsworth Street substation.
But Sanderson’s complaint is bigger than graffiti: TriMet should take care of its infrastructure, just like any good resident would.