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Eastmoreland residents organize against wider bike lanes that would remove parking

Monday, May 4th, 2015
yellow house from below
Some people bike on Woodstock Boulevard’s sidewalk to avoid the door-zone bike lane that would be upgraded as part of the 20s Bikeway Project.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association is trying to stop Portland from widening the four-foot door-zone bike lanes along four blocks of Woodstock Boulevard.

The four blocks would be a key link in the planned 20s Bikeway, the first continuous all-ages bike route to stretch all the way from Portland’s northern to southern border. But Kurt Krause, chair of the neighborhood association’s bike committee, said the benefits of a continuously comfortable route aren’t worth the costs of removing curbside parking in front of seven large houses that overlook the Reed College campus across the street.

All seven houses have private driveways and garages on their lots.

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What would bike-friendly auto parking reform look like? Seven ideas

Thursday, February 26th, 2015
7488005252_da5d66ae49_z
Squeezed on Northeast Alberta Street.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

As the City of Portland continues public meetings with its two massive parking reform committees, most attention has been on parking prices: how much permits and meters should cost and how the money should be spent.

But another issue has, so far, mostly escaped notice: The many ways that parking spaces can conflict with biking improvements.

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Portland parking reformers puzzle over how to value bike lanes

Friday, January 30th, 2015
New striping on Broadway ramp-2
What’s it worth?
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

How much is a bike lane worth?

As the City of Portland begins moving toward an overhaul of its auto parking policy, the people on two massive parking-reform stakeholder committees (one for the central city and one for neighborhood commercial districts) are beginning to confront an interesting problem.

If modern acolytes of market-priced street parking are correct, it’s actually not hard to discover the economic value of an on-street auto parking space: use meters or permits to raise the price of parking until 15 percent of spaces in a given area — about one per block — are always empty and available. It’s the curbside equivalent of a store that’s acquiring new inventory at the same rate that it sells its current stock.

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Milwaukie approves proposal to demolish downtown buildings for parking lot

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
milwaukie
A Google Street View image of the building that
could be destroyed.

Here’s an odd story forwarded to us this afternoon by reader Tim D.

According to Pamplin Media, a downtown Milwaukie business that already has a parking lot has gotten permission to demolish a row of sidewalk-facing shops on its small commercial Main Street in order to build a parking lot.

The property owner, regional credit firm Reliable Credit, doesn’t seem to have immediate plans to destroy the row of buildings at 10605 SE Main Street, which county records value at $180,000. Instead, the firm’s owner is apparently acting to ensure the company has the right to do so in the future.

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Parking and planning: Lessons from a map of Portland land value

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
land-value-540
Land in dark red is worth $100 or more per square foot. Land in pale green is worth $5 or less.
(All images except the last are © Fat Pencil Studio – click through to reach a larger version)

Money isn’t everything, and neither is land value.

But if you want to know how the world works, they’re both worth understanding. That’s why the above map, created as a policy exercise by our friend Joshua Cohen of the civic graphics firm Fat Pencil Studio, is so much fun.

It’s a color-coded map of the market value per acre of the land — not the buildings, just the land — beneath every tax lot in the City of Portland.

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Portlanders say street parking is getting worse, but their neighborhoods are getting better

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The people have spoken, and they say that in most of Portland, it’s getting harder to park a car on the street:

street parking bad
(Source: 2011 and 2014 community surveys, Portland auditor’s office)

Since the central-city building boom resumed, residents of every part of the city except East Portland are more likely to say it’s annoying to find a car parking space.

But this is interesting: they say something else, too.

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Two years after Portland’s auto parking wars, apartment garages aren’t filling up

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
empty lower garage
The Linden apartments at SE 12th and Burnside are 98 percent leased, but 39 of their 110 on-site parking spaces, including the entire lower-level garage, have never been rented. These spaces rent for $110 a month, but street parking is free. (Note the occupied bike rack at the back of the garage.)
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Steven Van Zile moved from Los Angeles to the Pearl District last year for a job managing Guardian Management’s portfolio of Portland-area apartment buildings, the low number of parking spaces at some of the newer properties made him nervous.

Linden, the company’s new building on Burnside and 12th, had only 110 parking spaces for 132 units. In an interview at the time, Van Zile expressed gratitude to the building’s developer that the on-site parting lot was larger than at some other buildings. But what would happen if garage space ran short?

It turns out that Van Zile needn’t have worried.

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After city balks at neighbors’ request for bike lane, 34th Ave resident goes public

Friday, September 5th, 2014
narrow passage
Riding on 34th between Clinton and Division.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

After nine months and 270 petition signatures, the people who live on SE 34th Avenue between Clinton and Division just can’t seem to persuade the city to remove five parking spots in front of their houses in order to add a bike lane.

“It’s not strictly a bicycle issue. It’s just traffic working more smoothly.”
— Mark Zahner

“We’re just framing the argument as safety on this block vs. parking spots,” said Mark Zahner, who lives at 34th and Clinton and has led the campaign. “We see there’s a lot of near misses, we’ve acknowledged the problem, we’ve got support from the neighbors. Where do we go from here?”

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City will add ‘no parking’ signs along 52nd Ave bike lanes

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
ambiguous bike lane
It’s easy to see how this new bike lane
could be mistaken for parking space.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The new northbound bike lane on 52nd Avenue between Woodward and Division replaced a parking lane, but since July we’ve heard from many readers that the stripe of paint hasn’t stopped people from leaving their cars and garbage cans there.

City traffic engineer Eva Huntsinger said in an interview Thursday that “no parking” signs will go into the commercial node north of Woodward after a discussion about the subject by city staff late last week.

Hopefully these signs will make things safer for people like reader David Ross, who got in touch in July to share his thoughts.

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Tech will make central-city parking spaces pointless, Gabe Klein tells Portland crowd

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
klein at table
Gabe Klein, right, speaks to a panel of local transportation experts at the Multnomah Athletic Club Thursday.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The author of the transportation reinventions in Washington DC and Chicago offered some advice to Portland-area developers Thursday: start building for parking-free cities.

Self-driving cars will be available in a few years, predicted Gabe Klein, the former transportation director of both those cities, and they’ll mean “the end of parking as we know it.”

Klein, now a fellow at the Urban Land Institute, an organization for real-estate and land-use professionals, spoke to a room of local ULI members and other guests Thursday morning at the Multnomah Athletic Club in southwest Portland.

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