View Full Version : No Parking

02-02-2007, 09:10 AM
I am curious where we are headed with our bike lane/bike route infastructure. Portland is a GREAT place to travel by bike. To work, school, down to the store, where ever... Recent articles about the "interested but concerned" demographic & "concerns about the crossing"; as well as my recent experience living in the Netherlands for the past year, have me thinking about our infastructure.
My thought is that we remove parking along bike path/bike routes and give that space to 'Dutch style' bike lanes. It would seem the best way to truly move Portland ahead of the curve, and mobilize the "I but C" folks is to provide better protection for all of us. These lanes would be partitioned off from auto traffic, be wide enough for 3 or more bikes, like the dutch lanes, and also provide a means of turning left without leaving the safe confines of the the bike lane.
I'm sure many of you have visited the Netherlands, and seen the model. Especially if ventured out of Amsterdam into the rest of the nation, like Den Haag/ Leiden you have seen or experienced the beauty of a full scale bike-way (fietspad) system covering the entire country. Having experienced this firsthand I can tell you it is exactly why a majority of the Dutch make most trips by bike. They feel safe on their bikes.
I'd like to start an initiative based on this idea. I'd love to hear from anyone on this issue; pro or con....
Believe me I'm all about sharing the road, but part of sharing is giving. How about giving us a fietspad system.

Feel free to pm me or post here for discussion

Viva la revolution (of the wheel) ;)

02-02-2007, 11:29 AM
In the Netherlands, how do they deal with parking for occupants of houses on streets with bike lanes who have no garages or driveways?

02-02-2007, 11:50 AM
BillD: i don't have a car so i'm not sure how i'd feel about that myself. I do own a house though, and i definately borrow a pick-up truck now and then for projects, and my girlfriend has a car (though she bikes 9 days out of 10, so her car is parked a lot). it does make me think of very densely populated neighborhoods like NW, or other cities (mostly back east i reckon), where parking is so limited (so many other cars) there is no gurantee you're gonna park in front of your place, or even on your block.

just thinking out loud i suppose...

02-02-2007, 12:54 PM
If you want a better idea about where our bicycle infrastructure is headed, a good first step would be attending the Bicycle Master Plan Ride on Tuesday, February 6, and hearing about it from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

> There are multiple goals for these rides: > > 1) Education. To have Portlanders understand the standard tools the City > uses to create bikeways; how we use them and why we use them. Most > importantly, people need to experience them and get a feel for how they > work and begin to think about what might work better. > > 2) Vision. Can we create--even if only for a little while and in a limited > area--the feeling one gets when riding in world class cycling cities? Can > we give people a vision and perhaps the sensation of how Portland can be a > world-class cycling city? > > 3) Discussion Forum. I want to create a regular forum in which people > interested in bicycling can meet regularly, look at conditions in the > field, and hold discussions about them that range as far as the group > wishes to take them. What works, what doesn't work, how do we improve? > > These rides are an initial part of an overall outreach strategy for the > update to the Bicycle Master Plan. As PDOT is currently working on an > existing conditions report for the Bike Master Plan, the rides for the > first few months will focus primarily on existing bikeways. As our focus > expands to how to change the network and develop new routes, the rides > will change to reflect the search for new ways to ride. > We're starting in the inner eastside, mostly on established bicycle boulevards because these roads are among the most bikeable in the city. Future rides will take us to every section of the city--wherever we've developed bikeways.
Meet at 5:15 at Terry Schrunk Plaza (SW 3rd between Madison & Jefferson).

I also appreciated the discussion in this article (http://bikeportland.org/2007/01/05/is-it-time-to-try-physically-separated-bike-lanes/#more-2776).

02-02-2007, 01:07 PM
I think those are both good comments. I guess my reply as far as our situation in Portland is:
First, On 1 way streets we would only need to remove parking from one side of the street as the feitspad would go along with traffic, so only on the right side of the street. Example, lower Hawthorne.
Second, I am proposing this only for bike lane/ bike route streets, not all streets. So, yes it might impeded folks that don't have driveways from parking in front of their house if they live on a bike route, but there are plenty of other places to park, like the next street over etc...

As far as how do the Dutch deal with this. Well, thats another ball of wax. Since the VAT (taxes) on new cars are somewhere around 60%, most folks either own a small car or none at all. It is not uncommon to park away from your home. Also, alot of the NED has been re-built since WW2 and fietspads were just part of the plan, so they have parking between the auto lane and the fietspad along some of them, but not all.
I have faith in us, we can give up a little parking, to get alot back in bike value!

02-02-2007, 01:19 PM
Donnambr...That sounds great! I'll be there Tuesday.

Jonathan Maus
02-02-2007, 03:06 PM
from what I've heard as a fly in the wall in many meetings is that businesses are constantly opposed to removal of on-street parking.

so much so, that no one is willing to fight them on it.

Take the Burnside/Couch project as an example. Plans call for on-street parking on both sides of both streets!

I don't think Portland (or any US city) will ever be world-class if we can't start taking away some privileges of motor vehicles.

removing parking would be a great start.

02-02-2007, 03:15 PM
I too have faith in us. I was just curious what the Dutch solution was. Having lived in a densely populated neighborhood in San Francisco, I am familiar with having to park a street or two away from home.

I was not thinking so much about commercial/industrial streets such as lower Hawthorne as I was about strictly residential streets with single family housing on both sides. There are many houses in SE that were built in the early 20th century on a double lot. Most were split into two lots and had another house or duplex built on the "extra" lot, sometimes without a driveway. I would imagine that non cyclist homeowners on streets such as these would not be in favor of losing their on street parking.

If I am remembering it correctly, this issue came up many years ago when the bike lanes were put in on SE 26th from Powell to Gladstone. The original plan was to remove the parking from both sides in order to have room for two wide traffic lanes and two bike lanes. The residents of those blocks didn't like that plan and forced a change to keep the parking on the east side of 26th and have narrower traffic lanes.

02-02-2007, 04:24 PM
from what I've heard as a fly in the wall in many meetings is that businesses are constantly opposed to removal of on-street parking.

so much so, that no one is willing to fight them on it.

Take the Burnside/Couch project as an example. Plans call for on-street parking on both sides of both streets!

I don't think Portland (or any US city) will ever be world-class if we can't start taking away some privileges of motor vehicles.

removing parking would be a great start.

Just a bit of recent, local history here:

In the 1970's, N. Union Avenue (now MLK Blvd.) was a cesspit of drug dealers, prostitution and assorted criminal activity. The City tried to get a handle on the situation by doing some street improvements.

They did away with on street parking for most of the affected area... roughly from N Hancock to N Dekum. This was to eliminate the likelihood of traffic pulling over to do business with the dealers or prostitutes. What actually happened was that Johns and drug customers would cruise up and down the street and pull around the corner to conduct their business in front of someone's house. The legitimate small businesses in the area had a service delivery area in the alley out back and depended on parking in the street for their customers.

A center median was installed and planted with trees, ivy and tall bushes. Most left turns were prohibited... except for major intersections about 5 blocks apart. Crosswalks were also mainly at major intersections. Traffic calming devices on adjacent north/south streets were installed to force traffic onto MLK Blvd. The street became a BARRIER to east/west movement of pedestrians and vehicles. A once vibrant, if somewhat funky, neighborhood was cut in half by a Berlin Wall made of motor vehicles speeding on their way to somewhere else. A pedestrian who wanted to cross without walking 5 blocks out of her way had to overcome 2 lanes of 40 mph traffic, 8 feet of brush and another 2 lanes of traffic to reach the other side of the street. Crosswalks were few and accidents many, often with fatal results. One of these happened 4 feet from where I was standing at N. Emerson. It was gruesome.

After 15 years of this madness, The City tried to get a handle on the situation by doing a few street improvements.

They cut down the big trees and replaced a few of them with smaller varieties. They pulled out the ivy (which is actually an invasive, non-native plant). They cut through the brush and installed crosswalks with signs. They offered more opportunities for left turns so that local (inter-neighborhood) traffic would find MLK Blvd more useful. They installed some on-street parking with curb extensions; similar to what is on N/NE Broadway so that all those boarded up commercial buildings could, once again, house some family-friendly business that a neighborhood needs to thrive.

I am very much in favor of increased reliance on bikes as a transportation mode but it's not for everyone. You can't just do away with parking and expect a business to get by on whatever money arrives by bike. There used to be an appliance store on MLK just north of Fremont. They did a good business and were the only appliance store in the area. I used to deliver washers and dryers there in the 70's. They had to close when they ran out of customers after the city took their on-street parking away.

04-04-2007, 08:41 AM
I thought I'd post to bump this to the top again, considering Jonathon's article about Commissioner Adam's observations in Montreal.
I hope he (Sam) does push this thru. While generally being opposed to the Burnside/ Couch couplet idea, I think if it does go thru, a separated bike way would be not only a good idea, but absolutely essential considering the amount of non-bike traffic the couplet would carry.