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Opposition piles up on Holladay Street project

Posted by on May 11th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Mick O’Connell said his new development
must have auto access on Holladay.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Efforts to improve bike access through the Lloyd District took yet another turn for the worse at a Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting yesterday. Several influential business interests — including a representative of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) — expressed opposition motor vehicle access restrictions that many feel are key to turning NE Holladay Street into a low-stress bikeway.

Current proposals for Holladay that include various combinations of parking removal and auto closures in order to create a two-way bikeway have come under fire in recent weeks. On Tuesday, a project consultant with Alta Planning brought a new option to the table.

“As the representative of economic development agency of the City, I can’t support taking parking off. There’s redevelopment potential here… What I’m concerned about is getting more tax revenue to the City.”
— Irene Bowers, Portland Development Commission

Option 3 — which would have selected motor vehicle access restrictions, remove all parking except for eight spaces between NE 11th and 13th, and would require westbound bike traffic to use NE Multnomah — was met with criticism as well. But this time, the concerns came from committee members who felt it didn’t go far enough in creating a high quality bikeway.

As members expressed displeasure with the new option (which seems DOA at this point), member Justin Zeulner, who represents the Rose Garden/Rose Quarter and is President of the Association of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations, dropped a bombshell on the entire discussion:

“I see Holladay as such a narrow corridor that this feels like this has turned more into like a showcase project to me. That this is something we’d like to put on a map so we can show others what could be the future of alternative transportation… I’m wondering, are we just so down the rabbit hole that we’re afraid to say, O.K. what are we really effectively accomplishing with this project? … maybe we need to consider something else [a different street].”

NE Holladay-1
Holladay shouldn’t be the
bikeway, says Zeulner.

Zeulner said he feels the committee should do an about-face and consider a different street instead. “I’ve spoken with some of the business entities… and there’s a lot of momentum to consider [NE] Multnomah.”

Committee member Lance Poehler disagreed with Zeulner, saying,

“Every time we get the chance to make something better the same kind of comments come up… and then nothing gets done… This is the one opportunity we’ve had to make an improvement in the Lloyd District and for us to throw that away because we might have a better Multnomah in the future, is ridiculous.”

Adding to the challenges on Holladay was committee member Mick O’Connell, who represents a developer who plans to build on the empty lot between NE 1st and 2nd (just north of the Convention Center). O’Connell said his firm has already gotten permits and “We’re depending on having vehicular access eastbound on Holladay.”

At that point, the project team (PBOT and Alta Consultants) decided a straw poll was needed to put to bed the idea of whether or not Holladay should remain the focus. A large majority voted in favor of Holladay (versus considering a different street altogether).

David Gragg

When the discussion turned back to the proposed parking removal, David Gragg, Senior Parking Manager for commercial real estate firm Ashforth Pacific and Chairman of the Lloyd Transportation Management Association (TMA), doubled down on his opposition.

“We still oppose removing any parking on Holladay,” he said. Gragg said his concern was lost revenue to the Lloyd TMA, which he characterized as “precarious at best.” (They’re so cash-strapped, Gragg says, his company loans them office space.) But as Gragg continued, it became clear that lost revenue (estimated at $13-$17,000 annually) wasn’t his only concern (emphasis mine):

“There are other impacts… When you look at development opportunity and you start taking these options away from developers, it does restrict the type of development that can happen. Ashforth is selling several properties and the new owner is excited about the development potential… As we start making these decisions [about parking], we start affecting long term plans for the short term benefit of a carefree bicycle ride for 14 blocks.”

Backing up the positions of Gragg and O’Connell was Irene Bowers, a senior project manager for the Portland Development Commission. (Bowers was at the meeting to share information on a “Green Street” project that she hopes will turn Holladay into a “showcase” for sustainability.):

“As the representative of economic development agency of the City, I can’t support taking parking off. There’s redevelopment potential here and I think we can all get along here. I think it’s possible to do it and keep the parking there.”

Committee Chair Harlow interjected,

“The engineers have told us that there isn’t capacity on Holladay for two-way cycle traffic with parking, which is what this project is about.”

To which Bowers replied,

“I think this project was to look at all different options, and there’s always the no-build option and there’s always different options, so you need to look at everything.”

In conclusion, Bowers re-stated her concerns,

“What I’m concerned about is getting more tax revenue to the City and the redevelopment of some of these empty blocks. If for whatever reason it [parking removal] precludes that, I would hate to have that happen.”

Looking for clarity from the committee on the parking issue and saying, “This is the first we’ve heard of this opposition [from the PDC],” project consultant Scott Bricker pushed for a straw poll on whether parking removal from Grand to NE 11th was supported. Eight members voted in favor of parking removal and three voted against it (Bowers, CH2MHill rep Rick Kuehn, and a rep from Ashforth Pacific).

I tracked down Bowers after the meeting to better understand her opposition. Bowers said some of the spots are used for long term parking and carpools and that, “Carpooling is just as valid as somebody riding a bike.”

Bowers maintains she’s not anti-bikeway, we just need to “Find a balance between all forms of transportation.”

So, is the PDC opposed to any parking being removed? Or perhaps just in certain sections? I asked. “Well, I hate to put it that way,” replied Bowers, “It’s not that black and white.”

“I’m not going to say that the PDC is opposed to it; but at this point in time, as a representative, I need to look at everything that’s occurring in the district; and when you look and see that there has already been parking displaced because of streetcar and then to ask this one district to take out even more… This may not be the right timing.”

What might the right timing be? “I have no idea, that’s hard to say” said Bowers.

Another issue for Bowers is that the Lloyd District is currently part of a PDC Urban Renewal Area. As such, Bowers said, they have a, “Fiduciary responsibility to raise property values within the district in order to pay back the bonds that have already been let.”

In the end, Bowers has to speak up for developers.

I’m hearing from the Rose Quarter and from Ashforth that [removing parking] may be a hindrance to redevelopment. So even if it’s true, or not true, or old perspectives, whatever — I can’t just discount what they have to say… Don’t make us out to be the bad guys.”

The PDC, the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Ashforth Pacific, the Rose Garden — these are heavy hitters in local politics whose influence reaches far into City Hall. As these projects get closer to decision points, it will be very interesting to see if PBOT is able to strike a compromise that meets the approval of the stakeholders and also stays true to the goals of the project.

Stay tuned.

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

  • Todd Boulanger May 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Given the very recent news about Ashforth Pacific disinvesting from the Lloyd District…perhaps they should give their seat up to a more invested stakeholder?

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  • Don May 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    “Bowers maintains she’s not anti-bikeway, we just need to “Find a balance between all forms of transportation.””

    What a nonsense non-statement.

    It’s all so infuriating.

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  • are May 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    the oregonian story says ashforth will partner with the purchaser of the undeveloped property to develop it as a multi-use, “urban village,” with housing, retail, and office space. should not be necessary to preserve onstreet parking for this, and probably would benefit from having a bike and transit mall right out in front.

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  • mikeybikey May 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Wait, wait, wait. Isn’t PDC taxpayer funded? Ergo is it not unreasonable to expect they be advocates for ALL Portlanders not just folks who do real estate business in Portland?

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  • Ben May 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Great to see Scott Bricker in there fighting. Go Scott!

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  • Byron May 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    In looking at the map of that area it is clear, to have a bikeway in that area one has to take either Holladay or Multnomah. Now Multnomah has a lot more traffic on it with the mall, large office buildings, and the connection across the bridge and to MLK/Grand. Putting bike stuff on that street would slow traffic down and make things more difficult. In addition it has a lot of bus traffic. So the only other street is Holladay unless you go farther north and then you are into Weidler and Broadway, not good streets either as they are major thoroughfares.
    What they are saying is that the car is supreme and there is no way to help bikes. I think that PBOT should take Holladay off the list if and only if the objectors suggest an alternative.

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  • BURR May 11, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I put up with five years of this crap on the Hawthorne Blvd. Plan Advisory Committee, that’s why I don’t get involved anymore; taking on the business community on these issues is simply a losing proposition, even with plenty of community support for the project.

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  • Multnomah Resident May 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve lived just east of the Lloyd District on Multnomah for about a year now. Even with the “bike lanes” painted on Multnomah, it’s one of the most dangerous streets I’ve ridden on in Portland. Holladay is such a short stretch of road give it up to the bicycle and be happy that bike traffic will move away from Multnomah. Recreating Holladay as a bike-way will lend itself very well to a string of cafes, restaurants, and even the district farmers market.

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  • captainkarma May 11, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Would the lots north of the convention center go undeveloped w/o the parking spaces? I think not.

    “A balance between all forms of transportation.” –seriously? If the street remains motor-dominated, those parking spots should become some combination of bicycle, motor scooter, zip-car, and car pool only parking. Private property autos are just selfish in such a location.

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  • Bjorn May 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    has anyone ever, outside of that one time when they had the motivational speakers including bill cosby at the rose garden ever, and I mean ever had a hard time finding parking at lloyd center? There is parking everywhere there and every time I have ever gone to a movie or anything by car there the lot was well under half full. I can’t believe that removing a few parking spaces in this area that clearly has far too much parking even though people use it as a park and ride for the max could possibly be an issue for anyone.

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  • spare_wheel May 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    yet another reason to loathe the pdc with a fiery passion. its time to shut this corrupt organization down.

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  • KJ May 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    that area is FULL of parking garages… and rather walkable? Also really accessible by transist, with huge park and ride lots in outlying areas. So we need on street parking.. Huh. Ok…I’ll just KEEP taking my business away from that area. There are much more bike friendly places I can spend my money. What is that saying? “Avoid the Lloyd”?

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  • craig May 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks Jonathan for your continuing coverage–these challenges from the large commercial interests need all the exposure that can be created.

    Everyone please plan to attend the next S.A.C. meeting for the Lloyd projects (always open to the public), and let your sincere, intelligent, and well-reasoned voices be heard.

    Thursday, 5/19, 8:30-10, 700 NE Multnomah 3rd floor conference room.

    FYI, these meetings are scheduled to suit availability an convenience of the committee members–sorry that the meeting times don’t necessarily accommodate everyone who would like to attend.

    Hearty thanks to those of you who attended on Tuesday!


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    • beth h May 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

      I appreciate that meetings must be set to accommodate committee members’ schedules, but when public comment is part of the meeting times should also accommodate those who work at jobs they can’t easily take time off from.

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      • craig May 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        Beth, I would agree with you. However, public comment isn’t normally part of the agenda. The public are allowed to attend, and to speak up and ask questions at the discretion of the committee chair (me) at all SAC meetings.

        The five minutes of public comment that kicked off the agenda on Tuesday was an exception that I had suggested to the project team, due to the support that followed from the TMA Bike Committee’s open house last week.

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  • Ethan May 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Developers like Ashforth get the benefit of MILLIONS spent on a rail corridor right through their area . . . and then balk at giving up a few parking spaces. Classic. Lets make sure we get equity on the table before we shell out millions to put in any more trains (which are really more about spurring development corridors anyways).

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  • craig May 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm


    National “Bike to Work Day” is the 20th, but the Lloyd TMA’s Bike Committee is hosting their Bike to Work Day Party a week early due to the gov’t employee furlough on the 20th which will leave hundreds of Lloyd District employees home from work on the 20th.

    Come, show your support for biking in the Lloyd District. Weather forecast is awesome!


    Holladay Street will be closed between 7th and 9th Ave’s; sit in the driver’s seat of a TriMet bus; practice using bus bike racks; enjoy tons of free delicious treats and coffee from local business, bike quick-tune-ups, massages, and the camaraderie of your fellows who bike! All for free! And you won’t have to miss any of the other BTWD action on the 20th!

    Friday 5/13 from 7:30 to 9:00 AM
    Oregon Square Courtyard

    More details:

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  • Doug Klotz May 12, 2011 at 12:35 am

    So Irene Bowers (whose King Blvd Gateway Project at Grand and Hancock left off a sidewalk on Grand), thinks that carpool parking is a reason to oppose the bikeway? I thought that the reason retailers wanted on-street parking was for the perception of drivers that they MIGHT find a parking place. If it’s carpool parking even that reason goes out the window.

    PDC seems hopelessly out of touch with where Portland is headed in transportation. Can we get some leadership from the Mayor here?

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  • Steve B May 12, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Has PDC ever made the right call about bikeways, ever? We can thank them for ruling out a bike facility on MLK and Grand along the new streetcar line, because they said it would be bad for business.

    PDC is overdue for serious reform. The question is, where to start?

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  • Al from PA May 12, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Opposition of this sort to bike facilities seems at first completely irrational. We as urban cyclists know that bicycles provide a viable, even necessary alternative to personal motorized transport. Others resist this: why?

    Of course some opposition is “financial.” Developers see increased bike traffic as somehow devaluing their real estate investment. This too is, from our perspective, largely irrational: generally property values *increase* when neighborhoods and commercial areas become more bike friendly. So what’s going on?

    I would suggest that much opposition to urban cycling is class based. It’s no coincidence that the most developed systems of urban bicycle infrastructure are in areas where class distinctions are the least pronounced: Denmark, Holland, northern Germany, some areas in northern Italy. It’s even true in the US: many college towns, as well as Portland, have less radical income and class disparity, and are relatively favorable to cycling; areas in the South, however, where race and class lines may be more starkly drawn, can be quite hostile to practical cycling.

    Wealthy people often tend to see cyclists as losers and indigents; after all, if cyclists could afford cars, they would drive them (hence the positions, perhaps, of some developers and shop keepers). Poorer car-dependent people dislike cyclists either because they feel mistrust for people even lower on the class hierarchy, or they are frightened by people who disrespect class rules which hold that cyclists are a priori inferior: hence the constant rants about “elitist” cyclists. After all, if you’re less wealthy and have to maintain a car, it’s a huge financial drain: if these know-it-alls are right, your enormous sacrifice for your car(s) has been for nothing. That’s irritating, to say the least.

    Long story short (and sorry for the length of this post): it’s not just about making cyclists feel more comfortable on the road. If we want more people to ride, and to make the city more bike friendly, perhaps we should start to think more directly about issues of class, and how to address them.

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    • Brad May 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

      Thank you for one of the best and most thoughtful posts that I have seen here in a long time. You have documented the very reasons why bicycling loses the majority of its political fights, the demographics lining up against us, and how we need to change and compromise to make gains.

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    • wsbob May 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

      The problem here is that proponents of the Holladay bike infrastructure projects are not producing numbers to counter or resolve concerns big stakeholders are having over loss of property value and development potential.

      Show them numbers indicating a two-direction bike lane will significantly increase their business, and they’ll be pleading for the Holladay bike projects to proceed. In the overall scheme of things, loss of 8 on street car parking spaces/$10,000-$15000 meter revenue, or even a higher figure, is no big deal if the amount of business that sacrifice results in, is vastly, or at least significantly exceeded by business brought by improved access provided to bike traffic.

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      • 9watts May 12, 2011 at 11:51 am

        While I agree with you in principle, wsbob, I think looking at parking meter revenue projections is the wrong place. If that is what the parties are counting then we need to broaden the conversation to talk about larger trends. A term that arose in the context of electricity deregulation may be helpful here: stranded assets. http://tinyurl.com/stranded-assets
        What we are discussing here strikes me as similar if not analagous. We don’t want to end up having built infrastructure that is worthless in a few years because the assumptions on which it was based no longer obtain.
        Whether you agree that cheap oil won’t be around much longer, that for several reasons automobility will wind down in the near future, the fact is that all of our planning should take into account the fact that within the lifetime of infrastructure the distribution of transport modes, and plausible changes therein. We even have folks working on this here in Oregon.
        See http://www.keeporegoncool.org/ and more specifically the Transportation and Land Use Roadmap to 2020 Report to the Oregon Global Warming Commission at
        Specifically, section 7. titled Embed Climate Change in Transportation Planning

        Also Portland’s own Peak Oil Taskforce Report might be worth dusting off. http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=42894&a=145732
        Overarching Recommendations:
        I. Foster a land use pattern and transportation system that will make it easier for people to
        shift trips to walking, biking and transit when oil prices stimulate changes in travel behavior.
        II. Prioritize investments in improvements to the city’s network of pedestrian and bicycle
        facilities, especially in areas of low accessibility.

        Oh, and look. What a handy list they put together (5) years ago:
        1. People living in neighborhoods without affordable travel options will spend an increasing
        portion of their disposable incomes on travel.
        2. There will be reduced funding for transportation improvements – for transit, pedestrian
        and bicycle improvements as well as for road capacity for cars – due to reducing travel by
        gas-powered vehicles.
        3. There will be reduced funding for transit operations.
        4. The cost of housing will rise in more “accessible” neighborhoods.
        5. Lower income households will be forced to the edges of communities, where transit
        service is poorer.
        6. There will be fewer car trips.
        7. There will be a shift of trips to walking, biking and transit.
        8. There will be increased demand for telecommuting and compressed work week.
        9. Mode shift is most likely to occur in discretionary, non-work trips.
        10. There will be a reduced demand for parking.
        11. There will be increased demand for housing and retail services near transit stops,
        especially near light rail and street car stops.
        12. There will be an increased demand for retail, professional and civic services within
        walking and biking distance of more households.
        13. There will be increased demand

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    • beth h May 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Al is spot-on here.
      Sadly, the most powerful players in this game benefit from our continued society-wide denial of a class system in this country. If we don’t have a class problem, then we don’t have to acknowledge the various factors that continue to promote car-centric communities, geographic divisions along race and class lines, and developments that encourage wealthier people to live in virtual enclaves that are as free of the poor as possible.

      This is not just about bicycle planning; it is about planning and development to protect not only the commercial interests of the wealthy, but their residential interests as well. And that’s why we DON’T need another “showcase” street to try and prove to anyone how bicycle transportation benefits the community.
      Sustainable transport only benefits people if they WANT to benefitted by it. Changing the national psyche is a VERY tall order.

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    • BURR May 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      I’ve actually heard a developer say in a meeting regarding bike parking provisions for commercial buildings that the bank would not loan the money for the project if they had to include a few bike parking spaces in their mega parking garage.


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  • 9watts May 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Well put, Al from PA.
    “they are frightened by people who disrespect class rules which hold that cyclists are a priori inferior: hence the constant rants about “elitist” cyclists. After all, if you’re less wealthy and have to maintain a car, it’s a huge financial drain: if these know-it-alls are right, your enormous sacrifice for your car(s) has been for nothing. That’s irritating, to say the least.”

    Where are we going to be in five, ten years when our infrastructure $ have continued to flow where the ‘business interests’ wanted them to, and cars are passe; too expensive; no longer feasible? Will the ‘business interests’ whose autocentric priorities were stuck in the mid-20th Century foot the bill to rip out the parts that serve no useful purpose in a post-auto society (starting with the parking garages)? and plant trees instead? Why am I not hopeful?

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  • John Boyd May 12, 2011 at 7:59 am

    So what’s going on indeed? What increase in development interest in town did not also involve displacing cars? Something else is a play.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

      This has nothing to do with bikes or parking. This has everything to do with people who simply don’t want to “lose” and don’t want to give the City (and Mayor Adams especially) what they want.

      The opposition is from a small handful of very powerful interests that do not represent the greater community.

      In my opinion, it was risky for PBOT to came into these projects with an extremely open and timid attitude that allowed the stakeholders to guide the process almost 100%. There have also been a lot of side/private meetings with these parties in opposition that have been held outside the SAC process and have been held with parties not even on the SAC itself.

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      • 'Hen May 12, 2011 at 8:27 am

        JM’s spot-on again. Portland planning (transportation or otherwise) too often assumes that the experts the City hires (folks like Alta and Scott Bricker) aren’t actually experts at all. By giving over all the decision-making to the citizenry – regardless of ‘facts’ or ‘stats’ or ‘reality’ – we end up on a non-stop trip to the middle. What happened to Vision?

        And thanks for calling out PDC on this one. They actually have done some great projects (see Denver Ave and Downtown Kenton) in recent memory, but Irene Bowers seems woefully if not maddeningly out of touch on this one.

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  • Paul Manson May 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

    This project is a perfect example of how the Bicycle Master Plan is limited. The plan identified the Lloyd District as a top priority for improving bicycle facilities, recommended separated facilities to protect cyclists, and specifically called out Holladay as the sole opportunity. After all that work on the Master Plan, it is re-opened in the public process – which begs the question why have a Master Plan? If we work hard to develop the plan but then shelve it with each project and start over again, we are all wasting our hard work.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

      I agree with you Paul, but I think it’s premature to start putting a nail in the coffin if this project. PBOT still has a chance to rise up and make things right. I’ll try to hold off making further, big-picture assessments of things until I feel the project is officially stalled.

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      • Paul Manson May 12, 2011 at 9:29 am

        You are right – I need to temper my worries…

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  • k. May 12, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I regularly commute on Holladay from the Convention Center on up to 7th or 9th during the PM rush hour. There’s never more than a car or two transiting that corridor than anyway. It’s clearly not needed for it’s capacity. Access to undeveloped lots my be a legitimate concern to property owners, but there are often multiple solutions to that, especially if the City is willing to play along.

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  • Sigma May 12, 2011 at 8:50 am

    What’s the problem we are trying to solve here? Isn’t Holladay already a relatively low volume side street that provides a pretty comfortable ride?

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    • craig May 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

      Great question. Eastbound bike traffic–as you described–already has the street almost entirely to itself. However, the critical connection which is the Lloyd District is painfully lacking in a comfortable and well-connected westbound route. Riders heading into and out of NE and SE are left either braving the highly hostile bike lanes on Multnomah Street or Lloyd Boulevard, or else, more frequently, inventing their own workaround using sidewalks–none of which works for (1) increasing bike volumes (ergo reducing car volumes), (2) reducing crash risk, (3) accommodating family biking.

      The #1 objective of this project is to,

      “Evaluate Holladay as a two-way street for bikes that provides a connection between the Rose Quarter and the 12th Street Overpass and bikeway connections between.”

      The remaining stated objectives are:

      #2 Activate space by improving non-motorized accessibility and increasing users.
      #3 Provide compatibility with future streetscape plans and opportunities.
      #4 Maintain or improve circulation for all modes.
      #5 Maintain safe and reliable operations between trains and bikes.
      #6 Move carpool parking where necessary.


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  • Lenny Anderson May 12, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I would trade the bike lanes on Multnomah for a good two way bikeway on Holladay between Rose Quarter and Holladay Park. Remove the silly center turn lane on Multnomah as well and there is room to put parking, a lot more and better placed parking, there to replace what is lost on Holladay.

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  • Mike May 12, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I worked at a specialty store in downtown Portland for a few years. We had on street parking, three adjacent pay lots, a parking deck, the street car and the max within 1 minute walk.
    Wouldn’t you know it, the most often heard complaint and reason people did not want to come to our store was lack of a private parking lot.
    The store was/is a bike shop.

    I guess my point is this: just because BikePortland readers/commenters are (I am assuming) primarily composed of cyclists does not mean that the comments here represent the majority of cyclists.

    Sure, the Holladay plan sounds great to 100-200 BP readers, but is that enough to tell these businesses and developers to take their money elsewere? Even if that number is 10x bigger, thats not very many people. Is Portland so flush with cash that they can do that? Maybe with a few more tax increases on homeowners…

    Hate on the PDC, but they are going to side with the majority of the population (which is understandable) and with the money (also understandable).

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    • Paul Manson May 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Half the existing business support the car-free option. The business community is not unified. JCafe has lobbied for a carfree route.

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    • 9watts May 12, 2011 at 9:32 am


      interesting perspective on bike store customers complaining about not enough parking. Makes you wonder. But it is also good to remember other minorities. In the 2000 census, 18% of Multnomah Co. households did not own a car. And before you jump to conclusions, 5.6% of homeowners in Multnomah Co. didn’t own a car.
      In Census Tract 24.02, which is N of I-84 up to NE Thompson and between 9th & 20th, 31% of households didn’t own a car, including 22% of homeowners. One wonders whether these folks are part of the discussion, and what they might say about the need for parking if asked.

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      • Mike May 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

        Agreed. Though that census is 11 years old now, it might be good to have recent numbers; 11 years ago I owned 1 truck. Now I have 2 cars, 1 truck and a motorcycle (I would probably have an impact on a neghborhood census). A neighborhood could see a significant amount of demographic change in 11 years, many in Portland have.

        One would wonder if those homeowners would choose the additional revenue generated by the businesses (as claimed by the businesses) or to have that section of Holladay without parking. I wonder if any of them knew about the share holder meeting, or cared enough to go?

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    • Andrew Seger May 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      I’m confused, you just said that despite on street parking people still wanted you to have private parking. This project wouldn’t remove any private parking within the buildings, just on street parking, which as you said wasn’t the problem with people coming to your store.

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      • Brad May 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

        Read that to mean “Customers wanted FREE parking.”.

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      • Mike May 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm

        Customers wanted parking to be closer than across the street. They did not want to have to walk more than 1 minute.
        Regardless of any of that – it was bike store customers complaining about a lack of parking – free or otherwise. If they are not willing to walk more than 100 yards, why would anyone else?

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  • Art May 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I agree with Lenny. Trade bike lanes on the lower stretch of Multnomah for Holladay Street. However dont forget that cyclists need to continue east from 12th at least to 16th to link over to quieter streets.

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  • Diane Goodwin May 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I work on Holladay and this district has plenty of paid parking lots and a tons of good transit. Businesses here do not rely on metered-parking to survive. Most of retail outlets thrive because of the high volume of pedestrians working in the district.

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  • Jim Lee May 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    So Portland Streetcar, which is run by and for developers and forbids normal people from even appearing before its board of directors, is in cahoots with Portland Development Commission, and this unholy alliance is the reason for the irrational and dangerous location of the new tracks to the right on the MLK-Grand couplet, counter to common practice for more than a century and strongly recommended by Alta Planning and Design in its definitive report.

    Gee whiz, people!

    When I am Mayor I will:

    A. Revert the silly four block one-way on Lovejoy between 9th and 13th to normal two-way traffic–and MAKE PORTLAND STREETCAR PICK UP THE TAB FOR THAT.

    B. Also make Portland Streetcar PICK UP THE TAB for realigning the westbound tracks off the Broadway Bridge to the center of the Lovejoy ramp, so they will not force cars into the bike lane.

    C. Pave over the dysfunctional and dangerous right-side tracks on MLK-Grand to make TWO SMOKIN’ CYCLE TRACKS.

    As Mayor I could run PBOT and make this city really great for bikes!

    Also build an indoor velodrome.

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  • J.R. (Dir. Keeping Lights On) May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Parking replacement is a red herring. If you can’t find a place to park in Lloyd, you should not be driving because you are obviously severely visually impaired.

    See this map of parking in Lloyd.

    The issue is more about the process and who is leading whom. Asking for input is important. Consultants can save legwork otherwise borne by city staff. Executing the plan that strives for the city’s goals and builds on its reputation is the right thing to do. Please write to PBOT expressing your opinion and/or attend future committee meetings. The other elements of this plan (not just Holladay) are equally important and they have to work in conjunction.

    It’s a quick and dirty map and does not include onstreet parking, probably misses a lot but illustrates how much we have accommodated cars rather than people. Interesting to see how many unused spaces there are too!

    BTW, Quiznos is one business not interested in diminished on street parking removal so you might roll up and let them know that Bikes mean Business. I’d go myself but can’t seem to find a way to penetrate the Lloyd fortress that wants to send me around but not welcome me in.

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    • Alan 1.0 May 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      J.R. (Dir. Keeping Lights On)
      See this map of parking in Lloyd.
      It’s a quick and dirty map and does not include onstreet parking, probably misses a lot but illustrates how much we have accommodated cars rather than people. Interesting to see how many unused spaces there are too!

      Wow!! Nicely done! Consider that map as a foil to a figure/ground map of the area done in the style of Nolli’s Map of Rome. The area is dominated by parking with occupiable buildings being a relatively small minority of the space.

      It is obvious that such use is far from the highest and best use for core urban land. While “the numbers” that wsbob mentions upthread are important and have to be considered in the planning process, true leaders of Portland’s development must have the vision to see beyond today’s numbers to the far-and-away greater potential that those lands will deliver when used more efficiently.

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      • wsbob May 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

        “… true leaders of Portland’s development must have the vision to see beyond today’s numbers to the far-and-away greater potential that those lands will deliver when used more efficiently.” Alan 1.0

        That’s of course, the big question that bike project proponents should be, but apparently aren’t effectively answering: ‘What is the far-and-away greater potential, more efficient use of those lands that doesn’t include the use of motor vehicles on Holladay St?’.

        With a big convention center, sports arenas and a big shopping mall, along or near the street, what economic growth building business can a dedicated bike thoroughfare bring to this area? Nice as it is on S.W. Third Ave, it’s got to be more than coffee shops such as Stumptown, cafes and other small businesses. those are important in the mix, but what big business could a bike thoroughfare bring to Holladay?

        In reading the comments of “… Irene Bowers, a senior project manager for the Portland Development Commission …”, in Maus’s above story, it’s clear enough that at the office she works for, which is a key part of city hall, big money from big business is a top priority for the area.

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    • Mike May 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      That is a great map. It certainly illustrates an abundance of parking. Thank you. I have never had an issue parking in the Sears lot.

      Personally, I never drive down Holladay and hope I never have to. I support making it car free.

      That being said, I do not own any property or business there and my livelyhood is not dependent upon it. If I did – In light of plummeting real estate value and the current economy, I would be very hesitant to make any changes that might jeopardize my financial well-being. It’s much easier to tell someone else to take the risk – especially if we cyclists(as a known minority and minimal stakeholder) assure them that it will work out for the best.

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    • Carl May 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Huge thanks for the map, J.R. I noticed it’s editable, so I added a few additional shapes — hope you don’t mind.

      There are a bunch of smaller lots tucked in there that are still unmarked, so if anyone else has a few minutes to spare, it’s kind of a fun communal exercise. And makes a strong visual case for why the parking argument is pitifully weak.

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      • craig May 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        And several of those larger plots are multi-story parking garages.

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  • Steve B May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    There is no parking shortage in the Lloyd District. What if we made a street that MAX riders would overwhelm with pedestrian traffic and patronize businesses along it? That could be Holladay.

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    • Steve B May 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Think Saturday Market, every freaking day, on a carfree Holladay. That’s the sort of visioning we need from PDC, which sadly appears void of this level of innovation. PDC should know that people walking are the most likely to patronize walkable retail corridors.

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  • Bob May 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    “the short term benefit of a carefree bicycle ride for 14 blocks”??? Actually it’s the long term benefit of bike riding vs. the short term benefit of a few parking spaces. There’s no such thing as a carefree bicycle ride in the city. In addition, it’s a link in the chain. I ride those 14 blocks almost everyday coming out of the city. There would be very many more bikes if they turned it into a bikeway.

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  • Unit May 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    The problem here is that on-street parking is a really good thing, in general. Think of a walkable, interesting street that you like. I’m going to guess it has on-street parking. I challenge anyone to think of a single walkable, interesting street without it. Street-fronting businesses locate almost exclusively on such streets – making them interesting. Think Hawthorne, Mississippi, 23rd, etc.

    There are no all-bike streets (that I know of), so how do you justify trading in parking for a bike street to a concerned business who sees no examples of it working somewhere else?

    I wonder if anyone knows of any examples of this anywhere in the world that could be showcased?

    If not, Ashforth’s and PDC’s concern is totally rational. Sorry but true.

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    • Paul Manson May 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      The urban design on Holladay is pretty unique. LRT on one side, the mega-blocks that were used for development, and limited street facing spaces. Its pretty special. Adding more people to the street will not come from more cars – but from an easier and more personal scale.

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    • Alan 1.0 May 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Calgary, Dallas, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Gainesville, Honolulu…well, you get the idea.

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    • J.R. (Dir. Keeping Lights On) May 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

      This Holladay segment of the Lloyd traffic improvements is not bike only. The alignment is for people to walk, bike and Max with minimal incursion by auto traffic. To me, that makes it hospitable and interesting. The bigger picture of opening up easier access to and through the area is an attempt to make it more interesting to more people and businesses. I think the type and quality of businesses along the other local streets you point out have more to do with their respective areas attractiveness than on-street parking. You can put in a quiznos, a mortgage lender and a Bonneville Power office on Mississippi and I’d still ignore them. But establish a sidewalk cafe I can hit on my ride to work or friendly pub where I can take my family straight from PDX on our way to the Convention Center, Rose Garden or riverfront and, for me, it starts to get interesting.
      Note too that once you remove parking and car traffic, streets get recategorized to “Places”, “Malls”, “Squares”..you know, destinations.

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  • BURR May 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Hawthorne is not an interesting walkable street, it is dominated by four lanes of auto traffic and two lanes of curbside parking and has substandard width sidewalks as a result of a past road widening project to benefit motorists. I cannot think of a more unpleasant place to walk and even though I live in the neighborhood I avoid Hawthorne almost completely as a result.

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  • wsbob May 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “… Adding to the challenges on Holladay was committee member Mick O’Connell, who represents a developer who plans to build on the empty lot between NE 1st and 2nd (just north of the Convention Center). O’Connell said his firm has already gotten permits and “We’re depending on having vehicular access eastbound on Holladay.” …” maus/bikeportland

    What about the concern expressed here by Mick O’Connell? I’ve read something to the effect that restriction of motor vehicles from the entirety of Holladay is off the table. In the specs for the bike lane projects, is provision included to provide access to these as of yet undeveloped blocks?

    As undeveloped land, it’s likely not known at present, exactly what will eventually be built there. Potential developers though, looking at these properties, may come to have in mind businesses that rely on the ability to drive right up to the front door, possibly even parking on the street in front of whatever becomes built there.

    If bike project proponents were able to come up with viable alternative methods to driving to and parking motor vehicles at the front door, chances of approving the Holladay bike projects might improve.

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  • 007 May 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    wsbob, just what I wanted to talk about:
    “….committee member Mick O’Connell, who represents a developer who plans to build on the empty lot between NE 1st and 2nd (just north of the Convention Center). O’Connell said his firm has already gotten permits and “We’re depending on having vehicular access eastbound on Holladay.”

    If O’Connell, et. al. are depending on eastbound Holladay traffic, they sure haven’t done their homework. I ride this section Mo-Fri every afternoon. Believe me, drivers are not going to use Holladay to access his new development. Holladay is apparently not a choice street to access anything by car and is certainly not designed for automobile speed or convenience.

    Hardly anyone but cyclists uses this street. Holladay is already a fantastic bikeway heading east except that the lights don’t change when we approach. You could sit there all day, and if a car doesn’t come by, the light won’t change. Just do it! This street above any alternative is ripe for parking removal. Multnomah as a westbound bike route? What insanity.

    In all actuality, Holladay could be a very lively, fun place to shop, hangout, and travel by foot, rail and bike. The coffee shops and sandwich shops there now would flourish and more would no doubt follow. With all the potential rush hour bicycle traffic going by, think of the potential for businesses to provide after-work places to socialize. Friends could meet there by bike, foot or Max.

    The PDC and developers (from gawd knows where) need to keep in mind why people want to move to Portland and why tourists from around the world and the country visit PORTLAND in droves. It’s because of the way our city has been planned over the decades. Portland isn’t an accident. I grew up in Washington state in the 1950s and 60s and remember as a child reading about Portland and thinking how cool Oregon was and wanting to live here.

    Lately, it seems as if aliens have taken over the committees, bureaus, and commissions and are trying to drag us backwards to an autocentric way of life where no one knows their neighbors or experiences wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail, and blasting heat on one’s face, or smells the scent of cherry blossoms, or says hi to a coyote on their way to work because they go from their air conditioned/heated home to their air conditioned/heated car to their air conditioned/heated workplace and back.

    This isn’t Houston or Phoenix, and Portland doesn’t want to be anything like them. Believe me, plenty of people here are addicted to driving and don’t need to be enabled any further. If these developers, business owners and the PDC don’t appreciate Portland or understand why people love this city, then maybe they are in the wrong jobs and city and should just throw in the towel and move. Just curious, how many on the PDC live in Portland?

    Thank you, Jonathan for covering this story so well.

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    • wsbob May 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      “… just what I wanted to talk about:
      “….committee member Mick O’Connell, who represents a developer who plans to build on the empty lot between NE 1st and 2nd (just north of the Convention Center). O’Connell said his firm has already gotten permits and “We’re depending on having vehicular access eastbound on Holladay.”

      If O’Connell, et. al. are depending on eastbound Holladay traffic, they sure haven’t done their homework. I ride this section Mo-Fri every afternoon. Believe me, drivers are not going to use Holladay to access his new development. …” 007

      Permits for what type development? If for example, the developer O’Connell represents, is considering building a hotel, this could be why vehicular access to Holladay is being figured into their plans. Would 1st, 2nd, or Multnomah work as well or better for such a use instead? I don’t know. Maybe some of the proponents of the bike projects know the answers to these questions.

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  • Bjorn May 13, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Saw this today, confirmed my hunch that the Lloyd District is mostly parking lots and that the parking that might be removed is insignificant compared to the many many parking lots in the area:


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  • Cat May 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’m on the Lloyd SAC meeting email list, but I can’t easily take off work to be at a meeting between 8:30 and 10am. And I’m not entirely sure what value I would add if I can’t say anything anyway…

    However, I’m working on getting myself and neighbors to fill out these PDFs for comments and mail them in: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=53906&a=339235 You should do it too!

    We’re in Sullivan’s Gulch and many of us walk or bike along Multnomah/Holladay/Lloyd depending on destinations and how the spirit moves us. I can confirm that the traffic on Holladay is mostly me slipping on the algae sidewalk bricks, bicycles on the sidewalk heading west (careful braking on bricks when wet), bicycles heading east, a few carpoolers for the federal building (can’t we get them a few spots somewhere nearby?) and a few confused cars that don’t want to be Holladay but can’t figure out how to get off. Poor things — when a couple of trains come through, they are stuck at a left turn light for LONG time. But even so, it’s a pretty darn quiet street.

    BTW, I think the neighborhood could use a street fair or something. It’s DEAD after work hours. It’s like my personal apocalypse training ground. I wonder what it’s like to live in those condos above J Cafe…

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