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Getting it straight on 28th: A call for ‘common ground’ from two bikeway supporters

Posted by on May 7th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Brendon Haggerty, left, and Jeff Mandel, right.

This is a guest post from Brendon Haggerty and Jeff Mandel, who share a seat on the 20s Bikeway stakeholder advisory committee for the Kerns Neighborhood Association and see a possible road to an outcome that’s better for both biking and local business than the city’s current proposal. You can catch up on our recent 20s Bikeway coverage here.

We are pleased that so many people care so much about the central portion of the 20s Bikeway. Reactions during the past week or so have been varied and passionate, and we wanted to share our perspective as neighborhood residents and SAC members. We hope the four points below will advance the conversation and help us to get it straight on 28th.

1) This is not an all-or-nothing issue. Many of the comments we have read and heard over the past several days paint the issue of parking removal on 28th as an all-or-nothing decision, which has engendered polarization and an attitude of “you’re either with us or against us.” The reality is that there is a continuum of solutions and needs. In many ways, we are blessed to have businesses on 28th that understand what makes 28th a great place to be. After all, they located on walkable 28th instead of suburban strip malls for a reason. Many of the owners and employees regularly travel by bike and understand that car-light living is a strength of the neighborhood. They also have some legitimate concerns, like how to unload the kegs that customers in the neighborhood are so eager to guzzle. There is no need to boycott, but there is a need to continue the conversation. There is likely more common ground here than is apparent.

2) The strength of 28th is its walkability and bikeability, not its parking. Brendon likes to say that he’s found parking at Laurelhurst Theater 100% of the times he’s driven there – because he’s never driven there. What makes 28th an attractive place to be is that you don’t have to wade through acres of car parking to access a movie, an excellent dinner, or a pint of Portland’s finest. Unfortunately, the letter that accompanied the petition from business owners contributed to the polarization of the conversation by communicating an ultimatum about car parking. From the letter, one would conclude that the parking only on 28th makes or breaks businesses in the corridor. This assertion is simply not believable. If the 60 businesses that signed the petition each made that claim, it would suggest that all of their businesses are completely reliant on an average of 1.6 parking spaces each. We know from our interactions with business owners and from their prior actions that this is not the case. Businesses in our neighborhood and elsewhere around the city requested the removal of parking directly in front of their business for street seating and additional bike parking.

These trends show that businesses have a vision for more inclusive uses of our public streets, and that parking is not the make-or-break issue that the petition would have us believe it to be. In an area with constrained space, a business plan based on people traffic has a far higher capacity for growth than one reliant on car traffic and car parking. Equitable access for all would give more exposure to businesses on 28th while mitigating complaints about congestion and pollution.

Parking needs attention, but parking should not be the only factor that determines where improvements can be made and what the optimal route for access should be. PBOT should include parking pricing and permitting in the set of potential solutions.

3) Exclusion is not safety. Well meaning people on all sides are looking out for the safety of people on bikes, but everyone seems to come up with different solutions. There are trade-offs between 28th and 30th, but there are no strong data suggesting that one is safer than the other.

Fortunately, there are very few crashes on 28th, but still there is a perception that 28th is unsafe and uncomfortable. PBOT employs experts familiar with the latest research, and we expect them to bring an objective approach to safety.

Graphic by Copenhagenize Design Co. Used with permission.

People riding on 30th face arterial crossings at Glisan, Burnside, and Stark without the protection of signals. Instead of diverting people and resources away from 28th by installing expensive new signals on 30th and hoping people choose to ride there, a more savvy use of the limited budget would be to reconfigure the existing signals at 28th. Let’s not waste the money to duplicate their functionality on 30th. The money saved could be applied directly to improvements on 28th.

All people are using 28th Avenue for the same reasons – to shop, visit, to get home or to work or pass through to somewhere else. Excluding one mode of transportation from the roadway “for their own safety” does everyone a disservice. Each well meaning attempt at exclusion only complicates the route and in the end creates a very unsatisfactory solution. The street is open to all modes and we have an obligation to make it safe and comfortable for all modes.

4) The advisory committee process has not been effective. The fact that the businesses felt the need to pull together a petition outside of the public process, and that the city immediately conceded to their position is evidence that the process hasn’t worked. It would be a sign of success if each of us involved could empathize and understand the position of the others.

The rhetoric of the last week has demonstrated that there are some big gaps in understanding of issues as well as positions. We have an opportunity now to step back from a hastily made ultimatum and frame the discussion in a more collaborative light. Organizations like Resolutions Northwest have talented facilitation staff who can help resolve disagreements in ways that avoid entrenchment and harsh language. We propose an open meeting of the SAC, neighborhood businesses, and interested parties facilitated by a conflict resolution specialist. We know there are businesses who are willing to participate, and we look forward to seeing them soon. We think we can get a straight line out of this project yet.

Brendon Haggerty and Jeff Mandel are residents of the Kerns Neighborhood and serve on the Kerns Neighborhood Association Board. This opinion does not necessarily represent that of the board.

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Comments
  • Jessica Roberts May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Very thoughtful message. Well done, Jeff and Brendon.

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  • David May 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    THIS:

    “All people are using 28th Avenue for the same reasons – to shop, visit, to get home or to work or pass through to somewhere else. Excluding one mode of transportation from the roadway “for their own safety” does everyone a disservice. Each well meaning attempt at exclusion only complicates the route and in the end creates a very unsatisfactory solution. The street is open to all modes and we have an obligation to make it safe and comfortable for all modes.”

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  • peejay May 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you Brendon and Jeff for saying what should have been said much earlier. I hope we can come to a better solution than any that have been proposed so far, by using the best ideas from all interested parties. The city has really bungled this so far, but let’s see if they can turn it around. If they’re successful, maybe this form of resolution could be used in future projects, baked into the process from the beginning.

    This is a big deal, and we need to get it right.

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  • Buzz Aldrin May 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Excellent!

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  • Spiffy May 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    here’s my take-away:

    PDX: We need people to help us decide what’s best.
    SAC: We’re here to help!
    PDX: Great, let’s come up with some ideas.
    Business: Here’s what we think of your idea.
    PDX: Ok, looks like we’ll scrap our idea and try again.
    SAC: WTF?

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  • Patrick Barber May 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for writing and publishing this.

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  • Spiffy May 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    They also have some legitimate concerns, like how to unload the kegs that customers in the neighborhood are so eager to guzzle.

    the same way they cart water bottles around large corporate campuses, with a hand truck…

    delivery people are no stranger to not being able to park in front of their destination… they’re often parking on side-streets and carting things to their destinations… I see this on the transit mall downtown all the time… and business is booming there…

    so this is NOT a legitimate concern…

    not only will the delivery people walk a block to deliver the goods you buy from them; customers will also walk a block to you to buy those goods from you…

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    • davemess May 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      And definitely not a concern for Holman’s

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    • Case May 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      5 gallon bottles of water are not 15.5 gallon kegs of carbonated beverage. When have you ever seen kegs delivered all stacked like bottles of water? Narrow city sidewalks are not large corporate campuses.

      so your assertion is NOT a legitimate rebuttal

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      • Spiffy May 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        a quick Google search shows that there are dollies designed for hauling multiple kegs… sure, they can’t fit 4, but they can fit 2…

        when I used to buy kegs the bar I bought them from rolled them out on a hand-truck for me…

        my point is that there are easy solutions to the businesses supposed issues… they picked a really bad example concern that is easily mitigated…

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      • Paul May 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        Ha. Really?

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        • Paul May 7, 2014 at 9:13 pm

          That was in response to Case

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      • Mindful Cyclist May 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        “When have you ever seen kegs delivered all stacked like bottles of water?”

        About 23 years ago when I was going to college in the Twin Cities. I saw 8 16 gallon kegs (two stacks=4 each stack) in front of a fraternity near the UM campus.

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    • Cory Poole May 8, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Hold it. The safety of my family is being overlooked for BEER DELIVERY? So very wrong…

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      • Chris I May 9, 2014 at 8:12 am

        Beer delivery, to serve customers that must have a parking space, so they can drive home after drinking said beer. Welcome to America.

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  • davemess May 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    “The advisory committee process has not been effective. The fact that the businesses felt the need to pull together a petition outside of the public process, and that the city immediately conceded to their position is evidence that the process hasn’t worked. It would be a sign of success if each of us involved could empathize and understand the position of the others.”

    This completely sums up the situation and I think many here are just tired of this happening, over and over and over again. It has become obvious that street parking a sacred cow in Portland.

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    • Buzz Aldrin May 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      …over and over and over again…

      you can say that again! SE Hawthorne, SE Woodstock, N. Williams, NE Knott, N. Interstate, the list goes on and on…

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      • Reza May 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        NE Holladay

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      • davemess May 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

        It’s true, it’s really hard to find an example of a commercial street in Portland without parking lanes (to even compare).

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      • 9watts May 8, 2014 at 9:06 am

        Foster

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      • Buzz May 14, 2014 at 12:12 am

        SE Division.

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      • spare_wheel May 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Sandy.

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      • Alan 1.0 May 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Barbur Blvd

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    • dwainedibbly May 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could try it, just once? Then we can see if the concerns are real or if bike traffic makes up for the perceived loss of business due to parking removal.

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      • Mike May 7, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        I was hoping that the South Waterfront area would have become hip and vibrant by now (and that cyclists would have become a bigger part of that happening), since that neighborhood has a balanced multi-modal mix — including cycle tracks — built in from the start.

        Seems like we cyclists need to convincingly PROVE to the business community that we can BRING $$$ to a community if you give us truly equal access. Make it a no-brainer for them.

        Perhaps the Tilikum Crossing will be the spark that lights this fuse?

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        • davemess May 8, 2014 at 7:13 am

          The spark needs to be a destination worth going. Unless you work at OHSU or are visiting a doctor there is very little reason to visit the south waterfront. Just making decent transportation options to a place doesn’t automatically make it worth the trip.

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          • Mike May 8, 2014 at 11:36 am

            We’ve got a chicken and egg problem in this town.

            Some of the business districts most worth visiting (Alberta, Mississippi, Hawthorne, 28th, NW 23rd) have a warm, inviting feel but poor direct bike access and grew up in the era of the auto. PBOT seems to favor the “parallel greenways” model in these cases to placate the cycling public rather than enrolling them (pun intended) in helping to keep these areas vibrant.

            On the flipside, you’ve got South Waterfront, an area designed from scratch with modern urbanist concepts built in (high density housing, multi-modal transit, cycle tracks), and it’s relatively dead.

            All the more confusing since it’s obvious, by the looks of the bike valet at the base of the tram, that tons of cyclists at least begin and end their workday in the area. Do we just need to be patient for this area to turn into something and prove the planners right??

            Or is South Waterfront’s cold feel a proper justification for the don’t-tread-on-our-parking-and-auto-access feelings of 28th Ave merchants??

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            • davemess May 9, 2014 at 7:13 am

              Cost is some of that. I am under the impression that retirees (some of who probably can’t afford the Pearl) make up a lot of the population of South Waterfront. They keep trying to market the area to us students at OHSU, but it’s out of the price range of most of us.

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            • spare_wheel May 10, 2014 at 7:12 am

              studio — $1240-1260
              1 bed room — $1680-2400

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              • davemess May 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm

                Wow, they’ve gone up that much?!?!? When I was briefly looking four years ago you could still get a studio for the “cheap” price of $1k/month.

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  • Allan May 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Diverting to 30th will suck because 28th is much flatter than 30th. I will never take 30th, period

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    • KYouell May 8, 2014 at 6:54 am

      This is the point that cargo bikes need to make! Families with kids WANT to come to that area (how many were at Crema and Staccatto Gelato last June on our Kidical Mass Pedalpalooza ice cream ride? 70?) but even with all the corrals it’s hard for some of us big bikes to park as things are. As for safety as things are, in my experience drivers don’t respect the double yellow line. I’ve even had a woman stop and honk at me while I was parked inside a corral as if I was somehow impeding her progress. I know my bike is big and slow and I pull over to let cars pass whenever it is safe to do so – rarely am I acknowledged, other than by excessive speed around me. I’d take a different route if it was flatter, believe me, with my 90-pound bike + 100 pounds of kids! I just simply CAN’T take them on a hillier route.

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  • kiel johnson May 7, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    if the city is going to demand people submit so much of their time to advisory committees and meetings there needs to be a clear way for these groups to represent a process and come to a decision. Didn’t the same thing happen on NE Holladay and arguably Williams?

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  • spare_wheel May 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    “There is no need to boycott, but there is a need to continue the conversation. There is likely more common ground here than is apparent.”

    I don’t find two members of a SAC that in their own words “has not been effective” calling for conversation to be terribly convincing. IMO, firing off that petition ended the conversation and subsequent attempts at spin by signatories only reinforced this view.

    “This is not an all-or-nothing issue.”

    Newlands and two city traffic engineers said, the first two strategies are likely to limit the possibilities for…[using]…several traffic calming tactics on 28th Avenue between Oregon and Stark.

    http://bikeportland.org/2014/04/25/parking-power-prevails-for-now-pbot-pulls-plug-on-28th-ave-bike-lanes-105104

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  • dwainedibbly May 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    If all it takes is a petition, I bet some of us here could come up with one of those, right? Just make up any old thing. Given how sloppy the business owners are with reading petitions before they sign, we could probably get some of them on board with whatever we propose.

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  • gutterbunny May 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    From the very start PDOT has said it needed to get creative on 28th. OF course creative meaning nothing for 28th. I still don’t think they ever intended for anything but 30th.

    No one has the “brass ones” to do what needs to be done here, and we’ve heard it first from the businesses and now from the neighborhood. 20 MPH with full lane both ways to both bikes and cars. Bike traffic will essentially lower the speed limit further depending on the bike riders on the street at the time.

    I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal. The proposal was for one super sharrow, and one bike lane. Why bother with the bike lane at all. If a super sharrow is good enough for one way, why not the other?

    Have there been any incidents on some of the other super sharrows? 60th Lincoln to Division, as far as I know has been clear and working well. Or am I missing something.

    What is the worse that can happen. It doesn’t work, and then we change a few street signs back to normal. If it’s successful, and businesses thrive, it wont take long for those “other” (you know all those ones you’re forced to ride two blocks away from) business districts to notice and start demanding the same treatment.

    It’s cheap, it’s easy, doesn’t require major infrastructure changes, pot holes get filled (because we all suffer them now), no debris in the bike lanes, you’re out of the door zone/right hook zone, better access to commercial establishments, businesses get to keep their parking and for those that have it street seating. Who loses?

    Cars have to go a little slower. What is the adjusted commute time for 5-8 blocks at 20/15 mph compared to 25 mph? We’re talking seconds at best, less than the time you sit at one light.

    But it really is the only way to go. We’re going to have to start doing it sooner than later. NYC is lowering speed limits and putting up traffic enforcement cameras all over the place. And I’m willing to bet that in the next year they start doing the shared roads.

    If bike travel picks up transportation share, bike lanes ain’t going to cut it for long. Just look at the bike traffic on the Hawthorne at peek times, there really isn’t the room needed there for all the bike riders currently. Next year the new bridge will alleviate some of it, but right now it is a perfect example of too many bike too few space. There would be plenty – now and for a long time down the road, if we were allowed the entire right lane (which some still choose to do).

    It a great place to try it, and we’ve got to start somewhere, because there just isn’t the available space to make separated cylcetrack an option for most neighborhoods in the city. Though this might be where east of the 205 has an advantage over the city core – many of those streets do have the space for them.

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    • Rob Chapman May 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Can we trade Steve Novick for gutterbunny, pretty please?

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    • Chris Anderson May 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      This treatment would also be nice on Mississippi north of Fremont.

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    • spare_wheel May 7, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      i think even one buffered bike lane is an improvement over sharrows for many. perhaps sharrows with aggressive traffic calming going both ways would work for some but this petition has taken that off the table. the business stake holders won and their letters indicate that some are smug about it. let me repeat: newlands flat out stated that due to funding limitations pbot felt the only option at this point was to do nothing on 28th. nothing. so unless gutterbunny, Brendon Haggerty or Jeff Mandel are willing to generously endow a traffic-calmed shared bikeway on 28th all of this talk about compromise is, imo, just wishful thinking.

      moreover, this is not just about cycling. it’s also about sustainability — moving in a direction where we favor people over morotvehicle storage and wide motorvehicle lanes. as it stands now improvements in the commercial districat are now going to be shunted to a street that i will never use as a pedestrian or a cyclist.

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      • gutterbunny May 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        In what way did the petition take that off the table. Had you actually read the petition the businesses actually say they support traffic calming and bike access on the street AND (repeated for emphasis ANDDDD) the greenway on 30th. Here is the quote from the petition.

        “We support a shared bikeway on 28th avenue, with an enhanced greenway for bicyclist on 30th Ave., lowering the speed limit on 28th Ave. and installing crosswalks and traffic calming devices along this route to make a safer route for bicyclists and pedestrians.”

        Feel free to follow the link instead if you don’t trust me
        http://bikeportland.org/2014/04/28/the-letter-and-petition-that-made-pbot-change-their-mind-on-28th-ave-

        They didn’t say no to bikes on 28th, they said “Yes bring them on. and oh yeah – toss in that greenway on 30th for good measure.”

        But too many of you, with no help from this site (from framing the petition article before publishing the petition) just went down the list and read the shops that signed it, and assumed that it anti-bike. And in fact it was the opposite, they want parking yes…but they want all the bikes. They just didn’t see any sense in giving up parking for a single one way bike lane, and I don’t see any sense in it either.

        And that was PDOT’s compromise that wouldn’t make anyone happy. They knew they couldn’t get all the parking off 28th for two bike lanes, so instead of trying something new and innovated they decided to make alternative plans and ask the businesses and the bike riders to “cut the baby in half” (King Solomon reference for those that don’t know).

        Cutting the baby in half guaranteed that no one would be happy and they could go on their merry way and say “we tried” and placate all interested parties.

        Because the businesses didn’t give up parking, they aren’t the bad guys to the bike riders (we did offer you a lane). And because they did have a plan on the 28th but it wasn’t good enough for those bike riders, they aren’t the bad guys to the businesses who want the bikes. They in effect have succeed in dividing and conquering all involved, and have all of us- who are in agreement, up at arms and yelling and fighting at each other.

        For once, we have a neighborhood community, a business community, and the bike and pedestrian advocates saying we want bikes on 28th. And PDOT doesn’t appear to want to.

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        • davemess May 9, 2014 at 7:21 am

          But they want it both ways. And when push comes to shove they continue to support the parking over bike infrastructure. Parking on the street is always going to make that area sketchier for bikes (even with sharrows and supposedly reduced speeds), and it’s still not going to appeal to a many riders.

          I guess you take the words of the petition at face value “We want bikes on 28th with traffic calming, etc”. I guess I do not and still view it as prioritizing on street parking over infrastructure (and I disagree and feel that one bike lane is better than no bike lane).

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          • James Sherbondy May 9, 2014 at 11:50 am

            The business’s absolutely did not support parking over infrastructure, their very letter states thay want traffic calming. Traffic calming is infrastructue. Infrastructure that will go farther in increasing mode share than ONE strip of thermoplastic in the gutter. Nobody had to “lose” anything( Well, drivers would have lost their quick shot up 28th), the business’s could have kept parking and bikers and peds could have had a traffic calmed street. A difference of opinion I know, but I don’t think the business’s here did anything wrong and in this case, may have saved us from getting a bad piece of infrastructure. Bike lanes to me reflect the mindset of “bikes need to be out of the way of cars” and people feel that on the street. I want to see a street where all modes feel welcome and safe to use 100% of the street, not one where you go here, here’s your place, and you go there, and if you stray from that, you’re going to get a ticket!

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            • spare_wheel May 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

              One of the most vocal petition supporters in an interview with bikeportland last year:

              She’s strongly in favor of moving most bike traffic off the street, though she thinks some will still use it.

              http://bikeportland.org/2013/11/27/ne-28th-avenue-business-owners-split-on-bikes-and-parking-interviews-show-97807

              I don’t care if businesses pay lip service to a shared bikeway. It’s very easy to spin when your petition took that option off the table without any public debate.

              Bike Portland:

              “The city’s new “interim solution” for the Buckman/Kerns commercial district (that is, keep things pretty much like they are now).

              keep things pretty much like they are now

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              • James Sherbondy May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

                I just read your link. Do you know her exact wording? There’s no quoted text that I read that suggests “strongly” in favor of moving bikes off 28th. Was there more interview that’s just not in the link? This is the only quoted text I saw “I’m a longtime bike commuter in this area. I’m very glad they’re doing something. … A skinny bike lane can be worse than no bike lane. … It’s not the speed of the traffic. It’s the people pulling in and out. … It’s a combination of parked cars and people just not paying attention” She also stated she’d be fine with losing a few parking spots here and there, not the entire side of one street

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                • spare_wheel May 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

                  I assume BP’s description of this interview is correct. Since the interview occurred last Nov and this was already a contentious issue Ms. Holliday would have presumably corrected the record if she were misrepresented.

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            • davemess May 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

              Traffic calming (whether you call it infrastructure or not) is going to lead to reduced volumes of auto traffic (and if we do it to a point where MOST cyclists will feel completely comfortable in the middle of the street, it is going to extremely reduce auto traffic). I’m curious if the businesses really are in support of that?

              I guess we’ll agree to disagree, no where in that petition did I read that parking was even debatable or on the table, and that is a major problem to me.

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        • Bruce May 9, 2014 at 7:37 am

          Wait, back up to the “cutting the baby in half” metaphor. We (bikers) are losing the opportunity for a bike lane. They (businesses) are losing absolutely nothing. Remind me again how this is a compromise or a starting point for a fair conversation? This isn’t cutting the baby in half, this is just giving the baby to them and letting us have visitation rights.

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          • spare_wheel May 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

            and some of these business owners don’t even want us to have visitation rights. they want us off 28th entirely!

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    • John Liu May 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Agree. The commercial stretch of 28th is a good place to experiment with a “shared street” concept. It is short, flat, and traffic already moves relatively slowly. Similar to what gutterbunny just described, or what Jonathon discussed in a post a week ago. There is not the money or space to put bike lanes everywhere we want, to say nothing of buffered cycletracks. If shared streets can work in the narrower and slower streets in the city, it would go a long way to improving the bikability of the city. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but how will Portland find out if it doesn’t try?

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      • Pate May 9, 2014 at 2:07 am

        “There is not the money or space to put bike lanes everywhere we want, to say nothing of buffered cycletracks.”

        How come there is enough money to build roads everywhere, but not enough money to build cycletracks, which cost significantly less than roads?

        This “lack of money” argument gets used a lot, but no one seems to question why there is money to build a road (or maintain one) but not enough money to build a cycletrack.

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        • Terry D May 9, 2014 at 9:05 am

          Actually we do not have enough money to build roads OR maintain them (we have a $70,000,000 a year shortfall in funding just to maintain our system), hence why everyone is fighting so much over scraps. Portlanders have underpaid for their transportation system for decades. Nationally, ever since 1980, we as a country have consistently under-invested in infrastructure and now everything is coming home to roost. Leave it to the Baby Boomers…..not fund anything until it crumbles, then retire and make the rest of society pay for their medical care. Demographically they have had voting control since they election.

          Finally, the younger generations have enough votes (assuming they turn out) to out-vote this old rubric of ideas and start dealing with fixing the mistakes of the second half of the 20th century. Obviously though……PBOT has not gotten the memo yet.

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  • Alexis May 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I agree with this on all points except the boycott. For me, boycotting businesses willing to sign ultimatums about parking is an expression of how strongly I feel about not supporting a business that is unwilling to value me as a customer. It’s a wholly appropriate response. I’m happy to go back to Dove Vivian as soon as I see their name go off the petition. I don’t hate these businesses or want them to suffer. I want to be their customer. But I will not do it if they don’t value my custom.

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    • 9watts May 8, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I completely agree! Consumer boycotts are a neglected strategy that deserves to be revived. This editorial hits a lot of great notes and I appreciate the two for taking the time to write it, but sometimes a direct frontal critique such as a (threatened) boycott is useful in communicating strongly felt objections.
      What was the petition, after all, but a boycott of the process? An end run around public input.

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  • Terry D May 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    This is not a bikeway…it is series of crossings connected with sharrows. At Lombard it starts at 27th, the 29th, then back to 26th then 28th…the at Oregon move over to 30th where the city can Target “bike funds” for pedestrian crossings….then back to 27th then over to 28th….back to 26th, then over to 32nd after Reed to finally connect to the Springwater at 37th.

    If this was REALLY a bikeway, then from Reed north, with the exceptions of moving to 27th for Hawthorne and 26th for Broadway because of the curves north of Wasco/Alameda Ridge it would be a STRAIGHT SHOT CORRIDOR USING 28th that PRIORITIZES bikeway conductivity and safety over parking.

    Again, in attempting to please as many as possible, PBOT’s solution pleases NO ONE. All this will do is connect locals to local places….$2.5 million and it will do nothing for commuters or retail access.

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    • KYouell May 8, 2014 at 7:00 am

      A straight shot on 28th? Are one of those people that thinks there are no 90-pound bikes? I can ride between Division and Belmont on some of that without the kids’ additional 100-pounds in the bakfiets, but certainly to past Hosford Middle School. We need a route that works for everyone, and that includes 48-year-old moms with big bikes, kids, and no e-assist.

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      • Terry D May 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

        Hence my point, this is not a bike way that does anything for the group you are talking about…it give lots of parallel access and MEANDERS all over the place, but does nothing for direct retail access or creates a good commuter route.

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  • Allan May 7, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    It is a shame that the city spends so much on outreach when it won’t even listen to the SAC groups it convenes. I sat in the Williams one and I have to say top down decision-making wouldn’t be much worse and would be way cheaper. More projects could get built

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  • Eli May 8, 2014 at 8:39 am

    This thread is interesting to me as a frequent Portland tourist (and as someone who has spent and brought countless thousands of dollars at Portland area businesses).

    I actually had no idea there were businesses on 28th, since the bike infrastructure doesn’t take me there.

    Likewise, I spent years riding on Going having no idea that it parallels a major commercial street, until a friend who lived in Portland told me about it. I still have not been to that commercial street.

    If the bike infrastructure doesn’t take me by your business, I’m probably not going to check it out unless it has a 5* Yelp review that pulls me there.

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  • Cory Poole May 8, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Yesterday evening I took my six year old to Staccato Gelato by bike. It was busy and only one pair of customers came by car. (there was plenty of parking) The rest came by bike or on foot. (The bike racks were stacked three deep.) As we sat outside watching the parade of cyclists go by it really drove home how ridiculous this whole debate is. The future success of these business will be determined by access by bike and on foot. The cars going by were not stopping. There was open parking everywhere and most of the businesses were busy. Just for fun I decided to pretend that the 30th bikeway was already there. What a waste. Routed down a narrow neighborhood street two blocks from where we wanted to go. Then it dead ends at Burnside? Whoever baked up the 30th alternative must not have ridden it much. I hope the shared street alternative gains traction. It’s the only alternative that I have seen that might work.

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    • 9watts May 8, 2014 at 9:23 am

      “It was busy and only one pair of customers came by car. (there was plenty of parking) The rest came by bike or on foot.”

      hahahahaha
      thanks, Cory, for that bit of ground truthing. Amazing!

      Like I say, a boycott–well organized and run–could communicate a lot.

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      • Cory Poole May 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

        I did ask the overwhelmed single employee to communicate to the owner that we came by bike and look forward to her support in the future.

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  • GlowBoy May 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I’m personally not boycotting the businesses that signed the letter. I think a lot of them had legitimate concerns about PBOT’s proposal and signed it on that basis, even if they may have thought the concern it expressed over the loss of parking was overblown.

    I’m not saying I’m at all happy with how this letter circumvented the public process and the SAC, but I think the blame for that lies with the specific business that wrote and circulated the letter in the first place, and with PBOT for withdrawing the proposal almost immediately, without public discussion.

    I think a lot of BikePortlanders agree that PBOT’s compromise was a flawed one. I was certainly interested in it as an experiment, but I think as gutterbunny and others have said, it might be better to have a 20mph zone with lots of traffic calming and as close as we can legally get to a “cars-as-guests” feel to it – AND do the improvements to 30th so cyclists have both options.

    I still wonder if it would be possible to widen the sidewalks and narrow the street (removing the center stripe) to the point that it could be classified as an alley, and qualify for a 15mph speed limit.

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    • davemess May 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

      And I think THAT would really show the business’ true colors. Would they be willing to give up parking for a wide sidewalk?

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  • Terry D May 8, 2014 at 10:36 am

    If they kept the route on 27th from Hawthorne to Ankeny, they would only have to remove parking completely from Ankeny to Couch, then it could route to 29th until Oregon….or we could build a real bike way and remove parking completely for the WHOLE 11 blocks between Ankeny and Wasco on 28th. If the point was to be a BIKEWAY that serves the most people PBOT’s own studies show it need to be direct, have a buffer and not be in a door zone. But hey, it is only research…and.we only only build partial bikeways around here.

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  • Glenn May 8, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I don’t live in Portland, or visit often. But the businesses which signed the petition puzzle me. If they get their way, and cycling shifts to 30th, won’t they lose a lot of new or spontaneous customers, who will no longer be passing their businesses?

    So, give them what they ask for. Then everyone will see if they get more customers by car or bike, or if there is a good way to accommodate both. Patronize the businesses on 30th and give it a test.

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    • bruce May 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

      They will lose customers. The problem for us is that there aren’t really any businesses on 30th. It’s mostly residential.

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  • J3 May 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Living in NE (Irvington), today 28th st is incredibly difficult to get to – as I bike daily. Looks like I’m still not getting a chance to patronize these businesses. (Continuing to take my money elsewhere)

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    • spare_wheel May 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      We have made a concerted effort to talk with stakeholders on both sides to continue the conversation …

      A petition to the city?

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  • paul g. May 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Another example of uncoordinated change–DaVinci is changing its start time to 8:45 next year. not sure of the rationale, yet, but this is going to put a couple hundred additional cars into that corridor during the morning commute.

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