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Are parking permits a solution to neighborhood parking wars?

Monday, April 21st, 2014
Auto parking on Southeast Division Street.
(Photo by M.Andersen)

As the city's transportation director says Portland should stop giving away so much of its on-street parking space for free, a local parking expert is floating one way to do it.

From the embattled 20s Bikeway to Foster's broken bike lanes to the chronic shortage of rental housing in low-car-friendly parts of town, residents' annoyance over the lack of on-street auto parking in central Portland is making it harder for the city to become bike-friendlier. At the Oregon Active Transportation Summit Monday, parking consultant Rick Williams said a paid parking permit program could be the solution — but there are a couple catches.

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Miracle on 34th? Neighbors ask city to improve bike access by removing auto parking

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
Mark Zahner outside his 34th Avenue home.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

It's an anomaly in Southeast Portland's parking wars: a group of homeowners is asking the City of Portland to please remove a row of auto parking spaces from their street.

They'd rather have a bike lane, the group says. But it's not yet clear whether their request will be granted.

"It's a street where nobody's been killed, but many, many near misses," said Mark Zahner of the street where he lives, 34th Avenue between Clinton and Division streets. "We feel like it's only a matter of time."
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NE 28th Avenue business owners split on bike access and parking, interviews show

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
James Lanagen of Beulahland said the neighborhood
would "adapt" if buffered bike lanes replaced on-street
parking, but that he'd rather keep the parking.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The question of how to make biking better in the NE 28th Avenue area divides employees from their bosses, businesses from their customers, tenants from their landlords and different kinds of bike users from each other.

If there's one thing this project doesn't have, it's consensus — not among the "bike community" (whatever that is) and not among the "business community" (whatever that is).

We know because we asked.

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What if you could auction off the right to park a car in front of your home?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Auto parking on Southeast Division Street.
(Photos by M.Andersen)

Unlimited free on-street car parking is one of the big problems stopping Portland from becoming a better place to live, work, ride a bike, and do business — and a Portland planning expert is floating an interesting solution.

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Wonk Night kickstarts effort to reform Portland's bike parking code

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Bike Parking Wonk Night-7
An unprecedented gathering of bike parking
brain-power met at Lancaster Engineering
Tuesday night.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Staple racks at the grocery store blocked by piles of pumpkins; events with 800 people and zero additional bike parking; apartment buildings with dozens of wall hooks that are difficult and awkward to use for many people...

Portland is full of bike parking problems. Fortunately, most of them are solvable.

On Tuesday night, Jonathan and I joined the bike coordinators for Oregon's two largest-employment universities, three representatives of bike parking equipment companies, two city employees, three architects, a team of engineers, the operator of the largest bike parking facility in North America and 25 other wonky Portland citizens for drinks and sandwiches to start talking about the solutions. (more...)

Portlanders prepare for Park(ing) Day party

Monday, September 16th, 2013
IMG_2531.JPG
(Park)ing Day in San Francisco, 2010.
(Photo: Josh Jackson)

The international festival that envisions ways to repurpose the 30% of central business district land area (PDF) that U.S. cities currently devote to auto parking keeps getting more interesting.

This Friday, Sept. 20, Park(ing) Day celebrations are going down at a few spots around Portland. But the most interesting might be the plan for SW Stark Street between 10th and 11th, close to Powell's City of Books and just outside the Ace Hotel.

"We're taking all of the parking spaces on SW Stark between 10th and 11th and turning them into extra bike parking, ping-pong tables, public parklets and outdoor seating for the nearby restaurants," writes Katrina Johnston, the local researcher and designer behind THINK.urban. "Ace Hotel will also be doing two spaces in front of their place and there will be an event going on at The Cleaners that will serve as an unofficial after party."

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Bikes help 'Pickathon' build a city of music just outside Portland

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
lots of bikes
Pickathon offered 200 bike parking spaces this year and was full to overflowing.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

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'Flex parking' gives space to bikes and cars

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
Flex parking in Copenhagen-7
Reserved parking for bikes in the street — but
only for part of the day.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of ongoing coverage from Europe. Read more stories from my trip here.

You might have a perception that everyone bikes in Copenhagen, or that the City has carte blanche to put cycle tracks and bike parking wherever they please. It turns out that's not exactly true.

Copenhagen has some of the same problems we do: Such as finding space for bikes when cars need space too. As the number of people who bike goes up, so does competition for road space. And there are still many people in Copenhagen (a growing number actually) who prefer to drive. A few days ago I met Niels Hoe, a consultant who formerly managed the City of Copenhagen's bicycle parking program. Hoe shared an interesting concept called "flex parking". (more...)

Commissioner Fritz on Portland's "low-car" apartment debate

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Bike-centric apartments on Williams-1
Apartments without car parking
are springing up all over town.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Other than her unfortunate position on bike share (which she ultimately supported), Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz isn't known for her record on transportation policy. Even so, there have been stirrings this week — thanks to results of a survey of city hall staffers released by The Portland Mercury yesterday — about her being named the commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).

We'll address that issue in another post. For now, ever wondered how Commissioner Fritz feels about the heated topic of apartment buildings being built without car parking (a.k.a. "low-car apartments")?
(more...)

As more 'street seats' pop up, thoughts about access impacts

Friday, October 19th, 2012
20121019-IMG_4351-2
New 'street seat' on Mississippi Ave makes
a future bikeway hard(er) to envision.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two new 'street seats' installations have popped up around Portland recently. The City of Portland program allows cafe owners to pay for a permit (along with other fees) and then install a patio seating structure in the street. Instead of car parking, businesses get more human parking, expand their dining footprint, and (potentially) expand their revenue.

The other day I noticed one on NW Everett between 10th and 11th (outside Oven & Shaker pizza joint) and on N Mississippi north of Fremont (in front of Mississippi Pizza Pub).

The Oven & Shaker installation is pretty minimal at this point, with just the wooden structure and side railings. (more...)

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