The Save 39th Avenue group just won’t quit. After alleging last week that the city did not collect enough signatures in its recent effort to rename 39th Avenue as César Chávez Boulevard, group leader Eric Fruits has dug up another alleged reason why 39th Avenue can’t legally be renamed: the street actually ends in Milwaukie, which puts it out of the city’s grasp.

According to city code, a street must start and end entirely within Portland city limits to be a candidate for renaming. It is the responsibility of the applicant, the César E. Chávez committee, to prove the street starts and ends in Portland.

Marta Guembes, of the Chávez committee says different: “Our responsibility was to do the application. We brought the petition, and we’ve gone through the process.”

Back in 1975, the city of Milwaukie changed Kimbrough Road to 39th Avenue to be consistent with the metropolitan grid, says Fruits’ memo, thus demonstrating 39th Avenue does in fact continue into Milwaukie. Fruits says this fact, along with a map from Portland’s database, means 39th Avenue is not a legitimate candidate for renaming.

The city auditor’s office is yet to return a call for comment. Fruits also sent an email this morning to all the city commissioners and Mayor Sam Adams—they are all yet to respond to a follow-up email seeking comment.


39th Avenue crosses city borders.

-Rachael Marcus