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City’s Comp Plan makes it clear: Portland is mostly finished adding auto capacity

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Bike traffic on NW Broadway-20
Traffic on the Broadway Bridge, 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In case you weren’t sure whether Portland is truly unusual as mid-sized U.S. cities go, the 20-year comprehensive plan map released this week ought to make it clear.

The plan might be the city’s clearest statement ever that it’s betting everything — not just the future of biking or riding mass transit, but everything — on being able to make car-lite transportation dramatically more attractive than it is now.

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Maybe this is why you can’t afford to rent in the central city

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Yellow areas are zoned for single-family homes, blue for mixed-use and multifamily, gray primarily for industry and office (with some residential allowed), green for park and open space.

Real Estate Beat is sponsored by Portlandia Home

Seven miles is an important distance in the world of bike transportation.

It’s about the distance a casual city rider can pedal in an hour, which studies show is the upper limit of the time most humans prefer to commute. It’s the distance where, even in the Netherlands, public transit trips become more popular than bike trips (and car trips are eight times more common than either).

So as Portland’s apartment rents have jumped an average 11 percent in the last year, with the tightest markets in North and inner Northeast Portland, the city’s biking population has felt it — in either their wallets or their thighs.

Here’s one factor at play in one of the country’s most persistent urban rental shortages: in two-thirds of Portland’s central seven miles, it’s illegal to build a multi-family building.

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