Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 18th, 2012 at 11:52 am
On Wednesday I shared a look at what PBOT plans to do on NE Multnomah as part of a project to re-configure that key east-west connector through the Lloyd District. NE Multnomah is poised for major residential and retail development, and this project is a golden opportunity to transform what is now a sleepy, old-school urban arterial with too much auto-capacity into a street where people feel comfortable bicycling, walking, shopping, and living.
Since this project has been developed outside the purview of citizen activists, PBOT's Bicycle Advisory Committee (one of whom's members said they were "bulldozed" by this process), and bike advocacy groups — other than the open house on Tuesday, there has not been any opportunity for the public to weigh in.
This project was designed by an invite-only "task force" (members listed below) of private business owners, real estate developers, and local agency representatives — several of whom opposed the NE Holladay project (which was the catalyst of the Multnomah project) because they didn't want to lose any on-street auto parking and/or they wanted to maintain all existing auto capacity.
Task force member Irene Bowers with the Portland Development Commission (PDC) said she couldn't support a proposal on Holladay because, "As the representative of economic development agency of the City, I can't support taking parking off [the street]."
During a meeting for the Holladay project, Bowers came to the defense of David Gragg, the Senior Parking Manager for commercial real estate firm Ashforth Pacific and Chairman of the Lloyd Transportation Management Association (TMA), who was concerned about losing auto parking because his company was trying to sell buildings in the area and fewer parking spaces would mean lower building values. Gragg said, "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."
Wade Lange, a former Ashforth Pacific VP, was the sole "no" vote on the Holladay project and he convinced PBOT to switch their attention to Multnomah.
It's worth noting that NE Multnomah currently has zero on-street auto parking, and the proposed plan would add around 70 new on-street spaces (while adding no bike parking, at least initially).
PBOT is ready to go with this project. They have the funding in place, and from their comments at the open house, they would like to get it built and in place this summer. There is not a formal public process, nor are their more open houses planned. The only way to weigh in is by sending your comments to project staff via email.
Just yesterday, the City of Portland posted the design proposals online and posted a website for the project.
If you have input about this project you would like to share with PBOT, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— For background, please see the NE Multnomah St Project story archives.
Here is the list of people that were on the task force:
Alan Huston - Lloyd TMA Pedestrian Committee/DoubleTree
Craig Harlow — Lloyd TMA Bicycle Committee
Wanda Rosenbarger — Lloyd Center/Glimcher
Justin Zeulner — Rose Quarter
Wade Lange — Langley Investment/ American Assets
Mick O’Connell — Schlesinger Companies
John Sullivan — Kaiser Permanente
Shannon Mayorga — Kaiser Permanente
Rick Kuehn — Lloyd TMA/CH2MHill
Terry Goldman — DoubleTree Hotel
Irene Bowers — PDC
Dan Marchand — TriMet
Young Park — TriMet
Sarah Heinicke — Lloyd EcoDistrict
Karen Totaro — Oregon Convention Center
Jerry Becker — Legacy Health
Kip Wadden — City of Portland ‐ Parks & Rec.
Sue Glenn — City of Portland ‐ Parks & Rec.
Tom Miller — City of Portland ‐ PBOT
Ellen Vanderslice — City of Portland ‐ PBOT
Rob Burchfield — City of Portland ‐ PBOT
Dan Layden — City of Portland ‐ PBOT
Wendy Cawley — City of Portland ‐ PBOT
Mauricio LeClerc — City of Portland ‐ PBOT