home
steve novick

At just $20,000, Ankeny Plaza is Portland’s cheapest “bridge” project ever

by on August 9th, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Ankeny Plaza ribbon cutting-13.jpg
Cheap. Fast. Popular. Now let’s do another one.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s the cheapest bridge project ever completed in the Portland region. For just $20,000, the city’s Bureau of Transportation has changed the face of an iconic and historic part of town. And they’re sort of bragging about it, which is awesome.

At the ribbon-cutting event for Ankeny Plaza today, City Commissioner Steve Novick delighted in how his Bureau of Transportation has radically transformed the streets between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Old Town/Chinatown. “This is incredibly awesome,” he bubbled, before making a reference to Martha & The Vandellas’ classic tune, “Dancing in the Streets.”
(more…)

Who’s mad and who’s glad about ‘Better Naito’?

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on July 29th, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Naito Parkway traffic observations -13.jpg
Naito Parkway on Thursday afternoon as seen looking north from the Morrison Bridge.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend, the City of Portland plans to remove the temporary multi-use path from the eastern side of Naito Parkway so the space can be used by cars instead.

(more…)

City weighs parking rule for NW that could block a fifth of new homes

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on July 5th, 2016 at 11:41 am

~1950 Pettygrove.
The Tess O’Brien Apartments on NW 19th and Pettygrove, built with no on-site parking, are the largest project that would have been illegal under a proposal going before city council tomorrow.
(Photo: Ted Timmons)

Portland’s City Council will meet Wednesday to consider a new mandatory parking requirement that, if it had existed for the last eight years, would have illegalized 23 percent of the new housing supply in northwest Portland during the period.

The Tess O’Brien Apartments, a 126-unit project that starts pre-leasing next week and will offer some of the cheapest new market-rate housing in northwest Portland, couldn’t have been built if they’d been required to have 42 on-site parking spaces, its developer said in an interview.

“Do the math,” Martin Kehoe of Portland LEEDS Living said Friday. “The apartments at the Tess O’Brien are between $1250 and $1400 a month. If we were required to build parking, you’d be between $1800 and $2000 a month. … It probably just wouldn’t have been built. And then what’s that going to do to the existing project that’s out there and has been built? It’s just going to drive the rents of those up.”

(more…)

Portland will offer Biketown-branded cycles for people with disabilities

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on June 30th, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Adaptive Bike Clinic-20.jpg
Participants in the June 5 adaptive bike clinic where the city gathered suggestions for an accessibility program.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

After taking criticism from local accessibility advocates and from the transportation commissioner’s political challenger, Portland says it’ll fund a discounted rental program for handcycles and trikes.

It seems to be the first such program in the country, though city staff couldn’t say for sure.

The goal is to make it possible for more people with disabilities get access to bicycles, in the same way that most other people will have an option to use Biketown, the publicly backed bike sharing system that launches July 19.

(more…)

Late returns push bookseller Chloe Eudaly toward runoff with Novick in November

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on May 18th, 2016 at 8:33 pm

chloe eudaly
Chloe Eudaly.
(Photo via Eudaly campaign)

Looks as if Portland’s sitting transportation commissioner will get to spend the next five months running against the candidate for whom he had nothing but praise Tuesday night.

Commissioner Steve Novick took 43 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, sending him toward a runoff with what many people (including him) seemed to assume would be the relatively well-funded architect Stuart Emmons.

But Chloe Eudaly, owner of the independent bookstore Reading Frenzy and a co-founder of the Independent Publishing Resource Center and the tenant-focused Facebook community The Shed, has spent the last 20 hours first eating into Emmons’s lead, then (at 7:30 pm Wednesday) zooming past him for a lead of almost 1,000 votes.

By that point, Eudaly had 14.8 percent of the vote to Emmons’s 14.2 percent. It was a thin margin, but there are probably fewer than 10,000 votes left to be cast for either candidate (assuming that the two continue to take about 30 percent of the vote between them). Eudaly’s gains over Emmons have been not just growing but accelerating with almost every new release of ballots, making the chances of an Emmons rebound seem slim.

(more…)

Ted Wheeler is Portland’s next mayor; new local gas tax will improve streets

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on May 17th, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Sunday Parkways September 2015-7.jpg
Ted Wheeler crosses Tilikum Crossing during Sunday Parkways in September 2015.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland

Portland’s next mayor is a Multnomah County commissioner turned state treasurer who embraced protected bike lanes and more neighborhood greenway traffic diverters from almost the start of his run for office.

Ted Wheeler was drawing 58 percent of Portland’s primary vote Tuesday night, easily defeating opponents Jules Bailey and Sarah Iannarone, among others.

Wheeler also set himself apart on transportation issues by endorsing a local gas tax to improve Portland streets on the day he announced his campaign — a position that rapidly became conventional wisdom among local politicians and won a narrow victory Tuesday night.

(more…)

Leaders consider driver re-licensing tests after Vision Zero ‘listening session’

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on May 10th, 2016 at 11:56 am

ginger edwards
Ginger Edwards of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association told the story of a young father who was paralyzed last month by a man who ran a red light on Rosa Parks Way.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

An impressive array of local officials heard from grieving relatives and others Monday in a “listening session” about the costs of traffic violence.

(more…)

With Naito transformed, Better Block launches its biggest summer yet

by on May 3rd, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Naito bike traffic observations-6.jpg
Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg
You should start getting used to streets that look like this.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Is there a more Portland story than a group of “tactical urbanists” who go from putting up chairs and tables in parking spaces to partnering with the City of Portland on several major projects in less than three years? That’s the story of Better Block PDX, the all-volunteer group of aspiring engineers, transportation activists and urban planners who today kicked off the what they’re calling “the largest temporary street transformation in America.”

And that’s just one-third of their summer workload.

(more…)

Very few poor people drive to work downtown

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on November 24th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

The Portland area has invested $4.8 billion in a regional public rail network, and currently spends $313 million a year to hold down ticket prices on the system.

Another several million dollars each year go toward expansions of the region’s biking network.

Despite that investment, at least one Portland city council member has been arguing in the lead-up to a hearing next month that the public should also be subsidizing downtown car trips.

His reasoning: some of the people who drive downtown are poor.

(more…)

With Blumenauer in his corner, Novick pressures ODOT for changes on Barbur

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on November 9th, 2015 at 4:38 pm

southbound barbur street view
Almost half of southbound rush-hour traffic on Barbur turns right here. Converting the right lane to exit-only could boost driver safety on Barbur while making room for continuous bike lanes to the south.
(Image: Google Street View)

Consensus seems to be building around a new concept that could finally create continuous bike lanes on state-run Barbur Boulevard.

And now, support for changes to a notoriously dangerous section of Barbur have a new ally: U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer. (more…)