South Waterfront plans ignore cyclists

PDOT and Portland Streetcar, Inc. are embarking on a major project in the South Waterfront district. This new area will be like another Pearl District; complete with a streetcar line, tons of retail shops, and high-density, super expensive condos. Sounds great right?

Unfortunately, from plans I saw and heard discussed at the recent Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, the options on the table make it painfully clear that bikes were an afterthought in the design process.

The current “best option” for bikes has us riding down the middle of a street on a narrow strip with streetcar and auto traffic running in both ways on either side of us! And it includes very dangerous transitions through intersections.

How can this be? We are supposed to be a bicycle friendly city and here we have a clean slate to develop an area and bikes are treated like second class citizens. How did the process get this far without acceptable bike facilities? Am I missing something here?

What really blows me away is that to my understanding the major players in the bike community were not made aware of this situation until a month ago, giving them no time to weigh in on the plans.

Tuesday night was the first I’d heard about this so I will post more when I know more. There’s a City Council meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, 9:30 AM at City Hall (1221 SW Fourth Ave.) where this issue will be discussed. We need to get as many cyclists as possible to attend and make our voices heard. (**see my comment on this below)

City planners and engineers in PDOT, ODOT and Portland Streetcar Inc. must realize that it is not acceptable for a project like this to move forward without making safe accommodations for cyclists.

Please direct your comments and concerns about these plans to Tom Miller, Chief of Staff and Transportation policy guy in Commissioner Adam’s office. Email – or call 503-823-1121. And you might as well CC your emails to Sam –

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