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Doubletree Hotel dumps vendor whose truck blocked bike lane

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on July 12th, 2013 at 8:04 am

The operators of this truck blocked the
bike lane on NE Multnomah and used it
as a loading zone. (Note: The yellow portion
is the buffer. The unpainted, curbside
section is the bike lane.)
(Photo courtesy Adam Rogers)

A third-party event vendor whose workers illegally parked their truck in the middle of a nearby bike lane has lost its relationship with a prominent Portland hotel.

Workers for the vendor had asked permission to park in the lane during an event at the Doubletree hotel in the Lloyd District and had been told to instead use the hotel's large driveway or underground loading area, according to Doubletree's manager Terry Goldman.

Then the workers apparently parked there anyway, and were caught in the act by a woman riding her bike on Multnomah Street's separated bike lane.

"Unfortunately we did not catch them in the act while this was happening," Goldman wrote in an email to BikePortland after seeing the photo. "My event management team was shocked to see the photo and embarrassed they did not catch it. ... We have made an internal note to not use the third party vendor that violated the rules."

Adam Rogers, who knows the woman that took the photograph, said he thinks this situation highlights a problem with the new cycle track on Multnomah. "The buffered bike lane needs more physical separation," he says, "more of those concrete planters, for example, or more plastic posts. The fact a truck this large is able to park in the bike lane indicates a serious design flaw, in my opinion."

The Doubletree is no stranger to making sure their hotel is friendly to bicycling customers. Three years ago we profiled their impressive new bike parking area which has space for 54 bikes.

We're curious: What have you experienced while riding in the separated bike lanes on Multnomah Street? Do large trucks and other vehicles block the bike lane regularly? Or is it a rare occurrence?

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Comments
  • longgone July 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Good. Way to go DT management.

    Recommended Thumb up 26

  • Paul in the 'couve July 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Double tree chain just earned my recommendation for when family visits, or people I know are looking for a place in Portland or Vancouver.

    Recommended Thumb up 29

  • Jessica Roberts July 12, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Wow - I am seriously impressed with Doubletree's response. I'll be contacting Terry to thank him at tgoldman@portlandDoubleTree.com.

    Recommended Thumb up 22

  • Mindful Cyclist July 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Nice!!!

    And have only ridden in a few times and have had no problems, but do see how it could be an issue with cars using it as a loading zone. It does seem to be a common complaint along a lot of buffered bike lanes regardless of location.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • gutterbunnybikes July 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Nice to see someone holding people parking/driving in bike lanes responsible (cough cough PPD???)

    No offence here...but isn't the real story that someone was riding a bike on Multnomah Blvd?

    I've ridden on it many times at different times and different days of the week (if I'm in the area I will often go out of my way to ride it just gawk at the lack of bike traffic) and I've seldom seen even one other cyclist on it once you're east of MLK/Grand.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Mindful Cyclist July 12, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Come to think of it, the few times I have been on it, I was the only bike. I was even at a restaurant a few nights ago and had a good view of it and did not see many going by.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • spare_wheel July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

      I ride Multnomahk fairly often and most of the cyclists I see are in the full traffic lane (like me). While mall driveways, debris in lane, and right hook merge-zones contribute, I suspect many riders avoid the lane because the want to turn left. While PBOT and ODOT planners might be enamoured with the copenhagen left their user base is most definitely not.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • gutterbunnybikes July 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

        I wasn't just talking of the lane, but the street as a whole. Not many people ride it. Infact I see more riders constantly on say SE Foster (205-82nd), SE 82nd just about everywhere SE, Powell, Division Stark---you name it. And I'm sure many other main streets in NE/N as well apply, but these are areas where I ride less frequently.

        My orginal comment was intended to be somewhat backhanded. I've never understood the Multnomah track. It's alot of money and time that could better serve the city elsewhere. One need not look too far on this blog to see what really needs to be done else where in the city (right sizing roads, more lights, speed limit drops etc, more bike lanes and crosswalks).

        How many paths and lights could have been installed in dagerous streets and intersections elsewhere in the city where it's desperately needed for public safety, as opposed to showing off how urban fashion forward we are for the tourists?

        Don't get wrong I'd love some more cycle track--elsewhere, but there are bigger issues for bike and pedistrians in this city than more planters on Multnomah, espcially considering its ridership levels.

        I'd be a little more forgiving if it were part of the Sylvian Gultch Trail Project, but it's not.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Craig Harlow July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

          To set the record straight--the Multnomah project was super cheap, consisting mostly of paint, with the planters salvaged from downtown, and with a great deal of of the cost paid by the Lloyd TMA. This was a low-budget pilot, the cost of which probably wouldn't pay for a single traffic signal.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Reza July 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

      It's because as long as you aren't going to one of the office towers on Multnomah or the mall, there is little reason to take it when you have Lloyd to the south and Broadway to the north. The only reason I've used Multnomah in the last few months is go to the movie theater. If I'm going to SE, I'm taking Lloyd to 12th, and if I'm going further NE I'm on Broadway and Tillamook.

      Once those parking lots finally get developed, there will be more reason to use the cycle track. :-)

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Craig Harlow July 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Reza, although I do work in one of those towers, I also use Multnomah as the link between my neighborhood and the waterfront/downtown, especially when riding with my kids. We used to take sidewalks through the Lloyd District when riding together, skirting the south side of the mall...

        ...although I ride slow with the kids on Multnomah, and I am ultra-alert to hazards such as passenger car doors opening across the sometimes narrow buffer, and dodging cars and trucks parked in the bike lane, and unpredictable interactions at intersections, and cars suddenly and blindly entering/exiting parking entrances. It's unfortunate that all of those hazards are quite common.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Victor July 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    TriMet LIFT vehicles routinely park in the bike lane. I've seen it in front of the Lloyd Cinemas and near the building with the MAC store.
    Also if you've ever ridden this and gotten caught behind a bus, it's frustrating how it stops every 2 blocks (plus the weird mid block stop at Holliday Park -- especially annoying) and you basically play tag with the bus for the length of the cycletrack.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Craig Harlow July 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

      True.

      And they do this in front of the MAC store when there is a far superior drop-off spot at the entrance on the opposite side of the building. And they do it for upwards of an hour, by my observation (I work nearby). This practice also cuts visibility for autos approaching the crosswalk.

      They park right where you see the bike next to the pole in this Google Streets View image.

      The could be doing their drop-offs here (Google Streets View), away from traffic, under cover from weather, with no curb to negotiate, and 1/4 the distance from the building entrance.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • chad July 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

    This still happens on at least a twice weekly basis near the springwater in front of McCoy Millwork at 4th and Caruthers. Last week, there were not one, but two 53' semi trailers parked there. I've called the city hotline numerous times...never seen any enforcement.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Kat July 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Did you call the Parking Enforcement hotline directly? (503-823-5195).

      I've called them in the past, and they actually DO send enforcement officers out to ticket! In particular - I called about a car parked somewhat obnoxiously across the entire sidewalk on my way to the grocery store, then half an hour later, on my way back, there was a yellow envelope slapped on the windshield.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • q`Tzal July 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

        For something that egregious the Parking Enforcement staff, that respond in those little vehicles, should apply a wheel boot too as a prelude to preventing the driver from escaping and ensuring that it can be towed, impounded and the driver charged a series of absurdly large fees for the convenience of parking where ever the heck they want.
        For example: I think parking on a sidewalk should be the driver's tacit admission that they would like to donate $2,000 to the local municipality.

        Recommended Thumb up 12

        • JebJeb July 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm

          Amen to this. As a pedestrian I get so tired of clowns parking on the sidewalk. It's a rare day when I do not encounter one. But worse are people backing out of their driveway without looking. On foot you soon learn that every driveway is just another intersection. Sidewalks should be declared handicap right of ways, $2000 sounds about right to me. Get serious and get rid of the problem. Sorry for the slight rant.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

  • andy July 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

    On a related note, I saw at least a couple of motorists this morning using the new wide buffered bike lane at the bottom of the Broadway Bridge as a turn lane (and making an illegal right on red).

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • BikeFunFinder July 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

    And that is why I aways suggest people visiting to stay at the Doubletree in the Lloyd.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Kat July 12, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I ride this route somewhat regularly, and find the place where there is the least compliance is outside the Regal Cinema on Multnomah at night. Just last week, there was a flashy BMW parked in the cycle track directly outside the cinema.

    I think the problem is that the cycletrack is so wide, that it just looks like a parking lane. More bike stencils would be a welcome start. And I agree - more planters etc, to prevent drivers from accessing it.

    It is frustrating when car drivers park in the cycletrack here after hours - parking enforcement only operate during business hours, meaning the chances of the illegally parked vehicle receiving a ticket after 6pm are virtually nil.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • osmill July 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      You can call police non-emergency at 503-823-3333 for after-hours parking enforcement. Of course, it can take a few minutes to get to a dispatcher and then enforcement is dependent on an officer being in the area without a higher-priority incident to attend to. I have, however, had a police officer show up within 15 minutes or so and issue a ticket to a car partially blocking our driveway.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • e July 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I ride down Multnomah every day, and I am far from alone during the typical commute hours. I haven't had a problem in front of the Doubletree, but across the street, in front of Stanfords restaurant is a trouble spot. Many mornings their suppliers are parked in the bike lane. The odd thing is, before the reconfiguration, the suppliers would park in the center turn lane. The turn lane still exists, but now the trucks park in either the bike lane, or straddling the bike lane and the parking lane. I should clarify that by saying that not ALL of the trucks do it, but it is a frequent occurrence.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Larry July 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thank you DT for supporting cyclists!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Reza July 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    When I used to work in the area (before the cycle track), I noticed a lot of people would illegally park in the bike lane on NE 7th just south of Multnomah because it's so wide and they thought it was a parking lane, I guess. Have people been noticing if that trend has continued?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Blair July 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I am also an every day user of Multnomah, for commuting and any other connection to downtown/sw. I frequently join up with 2-3 other cyclists, so to other readers who say the lane is totally empty, maybe it's a time of day thing. I also chose where I live right now because this had just been put in place a couple months before - I'm sure as it becomes more a part of people's mental maps of the area it will get more use. That said, it's not a perfect facility. But I generally prefer it to my main alternative, Broadway, because of the significant traffic calming that has occurred and the what I feel are (slightly) better intersection treatments.

    I haven't noticed so may trucks totally blocking the bike lane in front of Stanfords, but it is basically default that overly wide trucks will park in the parking lane and encroach into the bike lane area. At the time I usually use it though it hasn't been a major problem.

    I see people parked in the lane on the side of the Doubletree all the time though. At first I started taking photos and considered complaining, but I thought I would just get the old "they're loading/unloading which is totally legal" response. And super frustrating, considering there is always lots of open parking, literally around the corner on 11th. Maybe now I will actually send in incidents that I know the Hotel actually takes this seriously.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Dabby July 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Of course this is a huge issue in Portland with even the major box delivery trucks/TRI MET abusing parking/ double parking/ etc. Look at The buses parked on the west end of the Burnside bridge. ALL THE TIME.
    The real problem seems to be a lack of enforcement by either the police or parking patrols.
    I have had police (more than once) try to explain to me that it was ok for trucks, cars etc, to double park in the bike lane outside of hotels.
    One time was right outside of the Benson on Broadway.
    I of course laughed at and told the officer that she should be fired for negligence.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • TOM July 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I ride NE 122nd frequently ....the car carrier trucks delivering to the auto dealerships routinely block the bike lanes ... gotta start carrying a camera , I guess ..

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ted Buehler July 13, 2013 at 2:55 am

    You can print this out, highlight items E & Q, and leave it on the windshield. Or just call it in to parking enforcement.
    http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=28591&a=16044

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • matheasmichaels@gmail.com July 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Nice. :-D

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Sho July 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Well done Double Tree, I wish other companies around town would grow some balls and follow your lead

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim July 14, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I see beer trucks parked in the travel lane of Mississippi all the time. You just go around them.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim July 14, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Buses do the same thing as this truck. Bikes need to figure out a way to go around.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matheasmichaels@gmail.com July 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    What a positive thing to happen! I'm happy to hear that DT has taken this route, more businesses should be operating like this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Patrick Barber July 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I ride Multnomah twice a day to and from work -- it's a nice connection to the Steel Bridge and access to downtown. I originally tried it out because I wanted to see how the buffered bike lanes work. The answer is, not very well -- it's a long string of stopgap measures that ends up _looking_ like a bike facility more than acting like one.

    I experience large trucks parked in the bike lane on about a weekly basis. My favorite is when the mall maintenance truck is parked in the buffer, just next to the lane, and the guy's got his watering hose running across the bike lane so he can water the plants on the sidewalk.

    More common, though, are the large produce trucks parked just next to the lane. They are often lined up two or three long. The lane remains clear, but I still elect to take the main travel lane and avoid squeezing between the sidewalk and the trucks, risking sudden crossings by people with hand trucks. The produce trucks also often put me in the position of entering a right turn lane without being able to see if cars are going to enter it at the same time.

    There are some serious design flaws, but Multnomah overall is a surprisingly useful and pleasant connector and I am sure more people would use it if it were better designed (and given time to become more well known).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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