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Portland celebrates holiday shopping with free parking in downtown garages

by on December 8th, 2015 at 11:07 am

outside target
Parking is always free for many shoppers.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The latest piece of Portland’s ongoing effort to get people to realize that there are places to park cars downtown other than curbs is to offer free parking in its six public garages.

Here’s the word from tourism promotion group Travel Portland:

On three Sundays in December 2015 (Dec. 6, 13 and 20), parking at downtown SmartPark lots is free. Customers who park at SmartPark garages can visit the customer service kiosk at Pioneer Place (lower level near the Gap) or Boys’ Fort (902 S.W. Morrison St.) or PDX Pop-Up Shops (438 N.W. Broadway and 341 N.W. Fifth Ave.) any time between noon and 5 p.m. to show their eligible SmartPark ticket and receive one $5 parking voucher to cover parking for the day.

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A backwards incentive in Portland, where bus rides cost more than parking spaces

by on November 17th, 2015 at 10:07 am

Bike-Bus leapfrog -1
We’ve made driving both cheap and convenient even though it causes a whole lot of problems.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Though lovers of bikes, transit and walking hate to admit it, driving a car is often the most convenient way to get around Portland. Until we start reconfiguring our roads to give more space to bicycling and dedicated transit lines, that will likely remain the case years into the future.

An odd thing about driving is that not only is it usually convenient; it’s also usually pretty cheap.

The question is, why are we also going out of our way to make driving so cheap?

At least, that’s the question asked Sunday by Tony Jordan, a member of the committee that’s currently advising the city on whether it should raise its downtown parking rates from $1.60 to $2 per hour.

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City hires project manager for high-profile downtown protected bike lane project

by on May 13th, 2015 at 10:01 am

The project management gig that one local planning pro has referred to as the “job of the year” has been filled.

Rick Browning, an architect and urban designer with a long history in Portland, will start work May 28 on a federally funded project that’s widely expected to implement the first substantial protected bike lanes in downtown Portland — indeed, some of the only low-stress bike infrastructure in downtown, which has by far the city’s highest concentration of bike commuters.

The $6.6 million Central City Multimodal Safety Project might also look for ways to improve the awkward bike connections to bridges like the Burnside, Steel and Hawthorne or even crossings of Interstate 405 to the west.

As it has been in other U.S. cities over the last few years, the downtown protected bike lanes would be a companion project to a planned bike sharing system that the city continues to say will launch in 2016.

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As Obama visits, three words of advice for Thursday and Friday trips downtown

by on May 7th, 2015 at 12:09 am

Click the two areas of the map above for information on each street closure.

To paraphrase the city’s official news release only slightly:

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Proposed plaza outside Voodoo Doughnut could be permanent by year’s end

by on March 17th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

ankeny alley rendering
Removable bollards would pedestrianize the road bed on 3rd Avenue outside Voodoo Doughnut.
(Image: Ankeny Alley Association grant application)

One of Portland’s top tourist attractions seems poised to become dramatically less car-oriented by the start of 2016.

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Meetup Thursday kicks off new push for land bridge over I-405

by on January 28th, 2015 at 3:12 pm

freeway cap
(Image via ProspectPDX)

A downtown consulting firm is hosting a conversation tomorrow morning about one of Portland’s most persistent ideas: a cap over the Interstate 405 freeway.

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After success of 3rd Avenue demonstration in Old Town, real changes are coming

by on December 4th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Better Block
A temporary crosswalk across 3rd Avenue, crossing one lane of mixed traffic and one protected bike lane, on Oct. 4.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)

Two months after a three-day demo of a human-oriented 3rd Avenue captured many visitors’ imaginations, permanent changes are afoot.

The city is proposing to spend $10,000 next spring to add paint to 14 unmarked crosswalks on NW 2nd, 3rd and 4th between Burnside and Glisan. Several nearby properties have just changed hands. And Howard Weiner, chair of the Old Town Community Association, is working on plans that could bring much larger changes to the area.

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James Beard Market plans could be chance to fix Morrison Bridge bike access issues

by on December 4th, 2014 at 9:16 am

beard market birdseye sketch

An indoor food market planned for the west side of the Morrison Bridge might bring the money needed to improve Portland’s newest and arguably most awkward downtown bridge landing.

At an open house and design forum on Saturday, Dec. 13, the public will get its first big chance to review and weigh in on the proposal to convert the little-used parking lots inside the bridge’s cloverleafs to a space inspired by Vancouver BC’s Granville Island or Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne. A local biking advocate, who identified the opportunity, is urging people who care about the area to join him in attending.

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Rave reviews roll in for temporary ‘Better Block’ on 3rd Ave

by on October 6th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

3rd Avenue Better Block PDX
The temporary plaza in front of Ankeny Alley and Voodoo Doughnut was bustling with commerce and enjoyment for most of the weekend.
(Photos: Greg Raisman unless noted)

This weekend in downtown Portland’s slightly seedy north side, a citizen group temporarily converted two lanes of auto parking, a big expanse of empty pavement and two traditional travel lanes into a huge new pedestrian plaza, rows of street seats and ping-pong tables and a protected bike lane.

And it was, more or less, a huge hit.

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Student biking to Portland State is down by a third over two years

by on September 12th, 2014 at 8:36 am

empty racks
PSU’s bike parking will be more crowded once the fall term starts, but student biking rates have leveled off and started to drop even as employee biking has kept climbing.
(Photos: M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

Bike transportation among Portland State University students peaked at 12 percent in 2010-2011 and has since fallen to 8 percent, newly released student surveys show.

And in a development its transportation director called “alarming,” the popularity of driving to PSU classes rose last year for the first time since 2000.

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