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’20s Bikeway’ project will bring city plans to a wider audience

Posted by on March 4th, 2014 at 10:18 am

Along 28th near Burnside, the city’s lead plan
calls for northbound green-backed sharrows and
southbound buffered bike lanes.

A few weeks after taking the temperature of bike advocates and local retail businesses on its proposal to make 28th Avenue the city’s bike-friendliest commercial district, Portland is opening the debate up to the broader public.

The much-discussed stretch of 28th between Stark Street and Interstate 84, though, is just part of a 9.1-mile route that runs mostly on 26th, 27th and 28th avenues from Northeast Lombard Street to the Springwater Corridor, connecting many of Portland’s fastest-growing neighborhoods, Reed College, Concordia University, Grant and Cleveland High Schools and three major grocery stores.


Here are the three meetings, scheduled for late next week or early the week after that:

Thursday, March 13, 6-8:30 pm
Fremont United Methodist Church
2620 NE Fremont

Monday, March 17, 6-8:30 pm
Cleveland High School
3400 SE 26th Ave

Tuesday, March 18, 6-8:30 pm
Central Catholic High School
2401 SE Stark

More info on the 20s Bikeway Project:
- Past coverage on BikePortland
- PBOT’s official project page

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Comments
  • peejay March 4, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I love outreach, but I’m deeply suspicious of just whose opinions are going to be heard loudest. The most we can hope for is that the facts are clearly presented, and mistaken beliefs gently corrected. Let’s fill the halls with smiling faces and clear heads at all three meetings.

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    • John Lascurettes March 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

      I was about to say the same thing. At some point, can’t PBOT just take the authority and say, “we’re trying it for 1 year and we’ll review it at the end of that”? Anything more revolutionary will almost always be met with more dissenting voices than not.

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  • RH March 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

    New projects move so slooooow in this city….if they ever get done at all. If you slow traffic down on a commerical street, it a good thing…more people can your storefront while providing a safer street. Win-Win!

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  • dan March 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Money talks. Maybe PBOT should offer to make up any shortfall in revenue from the previous year. We’re all 100% certain that removing parking and increasing bike and walk-ability will increase business, right?

    So…maybe some kind of guarantee is in order. I can see how businesses are not very excited about the approach of “Hey, we’re removing all the car parking in front of your business. This will grow your business substantially! If we’re wrong, you’ll lose your shirt, and we’ll feel bad about it.”

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    • Spiffy March 4, 2014 at 11:04 am

      PBOT can’t guarantee that you won’t run your business into the ground…

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      • dan March 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

        Yeah, that’s true and a weakness of my suggestion. But on the other hand, these are established businesses that have been operating for years without being run into the ground — many of them weathered the 2008 recession.

        As it stands now, PBOT is saying “just trust us, this will be great for you!” This would be a way for them to show some trust of their own…and would give them a great incentive to track impact of these changes and leverage them in case studies for similar changes in other parts of town.

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        • John Lascurettes March 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

          They haven’t all been operating for years. Some yes, others no. There seems to be a fair amount of turnover on some of those store fronts between Burnside and Stark – particularly among the restaurants.

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        • davemess March 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

          In reality they should be saying “This is public right of way, and it should be used for such!”

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        • nuovorecord March 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

          Business owners, in my experience, have little to no practical knowledge of how auto parking impacts their business. Their input is largely based on fear of the status quo being changed.

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          • Gezellig March 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm

            Similarly they are likely also fully unaware of how many people on bikes are turned off of passing through their districts due to auto-centricity. Especially since reports show that bike passers-through tend to spend more money in such commercial districts than do those in cars, this may mean many never-realized potential sales even with comparatively small bike numbers.

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  • Jeff March 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I plan to show up to all of these meetings if I can …I’m a full time cyclist and this project is pretty important to me. I think the more of us that feel that way the better…I worry that the conversation might be dominated by the businesses rather then the residents that would actually use the route

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  • Todd Hudson March 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I swear there’s an Entitlement Virus and most of this city is infected with it. Things can’t get done……because someone’s entitled. Anyone driving a car feels entitled such that they should have ample and nearby parking wherever they go.

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    • davemess March 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      I don’t think that’s the case here. Most people that I know head to that area in a car expecting to not find parking on 28th and having to walk at least a few blocks.

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  • Granpa March 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I would like to be directed to the research results that show how diminished parking replaced by bike lanes improves business.

    My thought for the project is that the congested business district traffic travels no faster than a bicycle, so sharrows for this section of the 20s project would give business owners their parking and cyclists their connectivity.

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  • Jeff March 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Granpa
    I would like to be directed to the research results that show how diminished parking replaced by bike lanes improves business.
    My thought for the project is that the congested business district traffic travels no faster than a bicycle, so sharrows for this section of the 20s project would give business owners their parking and cyclists their connectivity.
    Recommended 0

    Here are a few articles
    http://www.americabikes.org/nyc_study_finds_protected_bicycle_lanes_boost_local_business

    http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/08/12/seattle-transit-blog-business-on-ne-65th-dramatically-increased-after-bike-lane-was-installed/

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  • gutterbunny March 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    More meetings. Perhaps we should schedule a meeting to discuss a possible meeting about meeting before the meeting.

    I still get a sense that all these meetings are basically damage control. In that the planners can say “we really – really – tried, so sorry” when the path ends up a literal maze of compromise.

    Personally I think they need to make it good or don’t bother.

    At least we’re getting more than a couple hours notice of the meetings this time.

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    • davemess March 5, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Isn’t that how most things are done in this city?

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  • Chris I March 5, 2014 at 7:38 am

    How much public outreach was done when they ripped apart established neighborhoods to build freeways and “urban renewal” projects in the 1950s and 1960s? If we are going to re-create this city for the better, we can’t afford to go about it at this pace.

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    • Nick Falbo March 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Interesting comparison. I have no doubt the planners in the 50′s thought they were making changes ‘for the better.’

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      • John Lascurettes March 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        Except there’s a mighty difference between uprooting people from their homes and dividing neighborhoods – never to be repaired – than there is in painting some fresh paint lines and removing limited free parking – which is easily reversed if need be.

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      • Gezellig March 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        Great point. Most of them and their supporters were absolutely confident they were making changes for the better:

        My son asked me what I hoped to accomplish as Governor. I told him: essentially to make life more comfortable for people, as far as government can. I think that embraces everything from developing the water resources vital to California’s growth, to getting a man to work and back fifteen minutes earlier if it can be done through a state highway program. –Edmond “Pat” Brown, Governor of California (1959-1967)

        Of course they either didn’t have the technological means and/or the foresight to fully model the true impacts of these decisions, so in hindsight of course many unintended consequences resulted, as we now well know.

        I’m kind of torn on the typically lengthy and thorough community feedback processes. Obviously there needs to be some degree of this, but when combined with hyper-democratic city structures where anything can be torpedoed by a vocal minority the middling solution that happens years later can be disappointing for everyone…if it happens at all.

        I guess one thing about bike infrastructure is at least many more of its individual components are modifiable for after-the-fact trial-and-error than is the case with, say, highways.

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