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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.

(more…)

Washington County election hinges on land use and transportation issues

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Washington County Chair Andy Duyck and
challenger Allen Amabisca.
(Photos from campaign websites)

Two months from today, voters in Oregon’s second-largest county will decide who will have their fingers on the region’s biggest sprawl button.

Though Washington County, which sits on the western third of the Portland metro area, isn’t facing the rocketing housing demand it once was, its political conversation continues to be dominated by issues of land use, real estate development and transportation — and its five-member board is essentially split 3-2 in favor of expanding urban growth boundaries.

Three of those seats, though, are up for grabs, and a trio of candidates — two challengers, one incumbent — are hoping to tip the county’s balance against suburban expansion. Candidates in two of those races faced off at an event covered by the Oregonian Wednesday night.

County Chair Andy Duyck said that the central question of the campaign is whether the county has enough room in its urban areas to continue developing single-family homes.
(more…)

New map reveals important key to the future of Portland transportation

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Screen grab of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Comp Plan Map App.

Forget the free bike map taped to your fridge. Forget the city’s terrific but frequently ignored 20-year bike plan. Forget the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s map of its top 16 regional priorities, and even Metro’s long-term vision of a region with multiple urban centers and a huge grid of mass transit lines.

To understand the potential for where good urban transportation is currently within reach in Portland, you’ve got to look at the map above. Its green area shows “where the street grid meets connectivity standards and where the majority of the streets have sidewalks.”

Without a massive surge of political will, this is likely to be, for decades, the only area of Portland where most people will actually find it appealing to frequently get around without a car.

(more…)

NY Times columnist: Americans prefer sprawl

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

“Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but Americans never seem to want to live there.”
– David Brooks in the New York Times

In his latest piece in the New York Times, columnist David Brooks opines that, while Americans might appreciate the finer points of Amsterdam’s urban life (like bikes and beer), they really would rather have their suburbs.

Citing the economic downturn and recent momentum of ideas about sustainable transportation and livability, Brooks writes:

The time has finally come, some writers are predicting, when Americans will finally repent. They’ll move back to the urban core. They will ride more bicycles, have smaller homes and tinier fridges and rediscover the joys of dense community — and maybe even superior beer. (more…)

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