“We think it’s a likely next step en route to making Portland’s transportation infrastructure as accessible as necessary.”
-Tom Miller (Commissioner
Adams’ Chief of Staff)
BikeStation Executive Director Andrea White was in town earlier this week. Accompanied by a BikeStation board member, the pair met with city officials and private developers to discuss the potential of a new bike parking facility (or facilities) in Portland.
In an interview after her trip, White said the possibility for a “bike-transit” facility in Portland is stronger now than it’s ever been,
“… there is incredible interest in and support for bike-transit centers in Portland. I would say since my last trip there two years ago, the people that we met with have moved forward significantly in their commitment to building facilities. I think it’s just a matter of where and when.”
White is especially excited by the recent interest of private developers.
She says the end result of all the discussions could range from a full-service, fully staffed facility to a partially or unstaffed and completely automated underground parking system.
White says BikeStation doesn’t push a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, they will work with Portland to come up with whatever bike-parking solution serves the city’s needs most effectively.
For instance, she wonders if it might make more sense to have a “hub and satellite system that all users can access,” instead of just one main facility.
As for where it (or they) would go, White says there isn’t one, clear front-runner for a potential site.
BikeStation board member Todd Boulanger has his money on Portland State University,
“If I have to pick one…PSU would be the easiest to pull off due to the parking environment, cost of parking, large bicyclist population and bike theft issues.”
In addition to PSU, other locations on the table are the old Powell’s Travel Bookstore space in Pioneer Courthouse Square and the former McCall’s Restaurant site adjacent to the Salmon Street Fountain.
Commissioner Adams’ Chief of Staff Tom Miller says centralized, secure bike parking is, “an investment we think Portland is poised to implement.” Inspired by the example of the Dutch, Miller says,
“We think it’s a likely next step en route to making Portland’s transportation infrastructure as accessible as necessary to achieve our mode split goals. Our field trip to Holland revealed the myriad of capital investments the Dutch have made to make bicycling as safe, convenient, and accessible as possible.”
But he also points out that they will be careful before moving forward,
“Because this a new concept we want to be sure we’ve thought through as many items as possible to ensure success. Investments in innovation are always more challenging than funding proven winners.”
So far, BikeStation has opened six successful facilities in 11 years with their most recent opening in Santa Barbara, California last May.