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Analysis shows NE Holladay is best east-west bikeway option through Lloyd District

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 1st, 2011 at 11:15 am

NE Holladay-2
Analysis shows NE Holladay has
great potential as a bikeway
corridor.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Alta Planning and Design has evaluated three east-west corridors through the Lloyd District to determine which one has the most potential as a high-quality bikeway. The study examined NE Lloyd Boulevard, NE Multnomah, and NE Holladay streets. The winner was NE Holladay; which, if you've been paying attention, shouldn't come as a big surprise.

The big question now is: Will this analysis be enough to persuade opposition to the Holladay project? Here's the backstory...

Way back in May 2009, the Lloyd Transportation Management Association introduced an inspiring vision of a carfree NE Holladay Street. The street is already home to a MAX line and it doesn't serve many motor vehicle trips at all. With its development potential and connections to the Rose Quarter and Holladay Park, the street is a natural candidate to become a non-motorized corridor.

Graphic from Holladay Alternative Route Analysis by Alta Planning and Design.

Unfortunately, powerful stakeholders — including building and parking garage owners as well as the Portland Development Commission — have expressed opposition to the Holladay project. Their concerns are based on fears of negative impacts on motor vehicle access and a loss of on-street parking.

This opposition has compromised the project from Day One and the sudden and unexpected push-back to removal of any on-street parking by a PDC representative back in May has sent PBOT back to the drawing board. With Holladay bogged down in opposition and potential controversy, some stakeholders began to promote the idea of making a different street into the main bike route.

An evaluation completed last month by Alta Planning compared NE Holladay with Multnomah and Lloyd to determine which street had the best potential to serve as a major east-west bikeway. The evaluation used eight categories to compare the three routes including; connectivity, width, parking, land use, "bicycling comfort," and so on.

In the end, Holladay came out on top. Here's an excerpt from Alta's evaluation (download PDF here):

"The route demonstrating the highest overall score was NE Holladay Street. Though NE Multnomah Street and NE Holladay Street score similarly in many respects, Holladay’s classification as a minor roadway and its nearly equal level of directness contributed to its score. The high redevelopment potential of the street, due to a large number of low-rise parking garages and surface parking lots facing the street, and its ability to provide excellent bicyclist comfort were also significant factors influencing its high score. These results indicate that the project team's original focus on the development of NE Holladay into an enhanced bikeway was not in error. NE Holladay provides the most direct route with the greatest cycling comfort, readily available links to high capacity transit and the fewest tradeoffs/impacts to motor vehicle traffic."

In some ways, this evaluation just confirmed what many people around the table already know — that Holladay is the best street for an enhanced bikeway through the Lloyd District.

Will this analysis impact the politics around this project? Will PBOT and other Stakeholder Advisory Committee members in support of Holladay use it push back against the opposition and move forward?

Time will tell. The SAC doesn't meet again until September. Stay tuned.

— For more on this and other Lloyd District Bikeway Development Projects, browse the BikePortland archives. You can also download the PDF of Alta's "Holladay Alternative Route Analysis" here.

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Comments
  • Michael, Portland Afoot August 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Any link to the full study?

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  • Babygorilla August 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

    A "Major East West bike route" with no real connectivity into or out of the Lloyd District? Really? It dead ends at 13th.

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    • Lazlo August 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      +1 I'd rather take Lloyd Blvd or Multnomah, at least they go somewhere.

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    • Andrew Seger August 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      It's a future connector to the sullivan's gulch trail. And the buildings in that area are hard to get to right now as it is. I hate being on those other streets with their hordes of vantucky drivers coming into the lloyd center as well.

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    • Alex Reed August 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      I take it to NE 9th or 11th, depending on where I'm headed. NE 9th is my favorite route to Tillamook: no door-zone bike lane; very low motor vehicle traffic for two lanes each way. In fact, a great candidate for a short cycle track!

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  • craig August 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Proposed changes would facilitate the connection to both the 12th Ave. overcrossing and to NE Multnomah (at either 11th or 13th).

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  • wsbob August 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    "...The big question now is: Will this analysis be enough to persuade opposition to the Holladay project? Here's the backstory..." maus/bikeportland

    An even bigger question, is, in what way could the conclusion of the analysis that NE Holladay is best east-west bikeway option through Lloyd District, be sufficiently persuasive to the the opposition for them to set aside their needs, real or perceived, and approve of and support removal of parking for the bikeway?

    The opposition seems certain that the success of future business proposals they have in mind, and which the city apparently eagerly anticipates, relies on continued availability of some on-street parking options. Unless Alta or someone else can come up with an idea to address that need, this latest analysis/conclusion probably isn't going to do anything to get the bikeway built.

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  • Allan August 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    It kind of depends on how things are weighted. It wasn't a slam-dunk for Holliday. I am hopeful that something gets built in the near future - which at this point means next year probably

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  • Jon August 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    just make sure holladay has good connections before pressing ahead so that it will be heavily used from day one. the connection to the west by steel bridge is fairly good but i'm not sure about to the east, or north/south in the lloyd. and plan how it might connect to a future sullivans gulch trail.

    similarly, stark/oak downtown are fantastic routes for bikes but of little use now since they have poor north-south connections... how about a nw/sw 9th ave bikeway? (9th ave is the missing piece in the westside bike network)

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  • Jason McHuff August 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    If parking is the issue, what about agreeing to give up the current bike lanes on Multnomah and let their space be used for parking?

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