Updated: More on bike parking from the other side of the hill

[View update at end of story.]

(Photo from OregonLive.com)

Portland’s new on-street bike parking corrals are the subject of an editorial in the Hillsboro Argus today (Hillsboro is about 17 miles west of Portland).

In OK Bike Corral, Argus publisher Clark Gallagher shares concerns from delivery truck drivers about the new parking. Mr. Gallagher overheard one such driver recently tell a TV news camera,

“Well I don’t know what you want me to say. My truck’s parked in the middle of the street, and I have to get past this thing to make deliveries to two stores. It took my loading zone. I’m sure somebody’s happy, but it’s made my life tougher.”

Gallagher writes this is a case of “when green meets reality” and adds that, “it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.”

Then, channeling a commonly held gripe about bike-specific infrastructure, he writes (emphasis mine),

“We suspect the corrals will get some usage during the good weather and almost no usage during the bad. The delivery trucks and those of us from the suburbs will be on at least four wheels downtown no matter what the weather.”

And if you’re wondering why he titled the piece “OK Bike Corral” it was a reference the classic, 1957 film, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which explains his final sentence, “Now we have a corral to fight over.”


Update, 6:54pm: PDOT bike coordinator Roger Geller chimed in below with more on the loading zone issue:

“We know it’s important for businesses to have loading zones so that the delivery companies can find an easy, convenient, and quick means to make their deliveries. We moved the loading zone to provide for the corral. We didn’t eliminate it. We simply hadn’t yet made the change that first day when the driver came by to make his daily deliveries. It’s in place now.”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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jeff
jeff
15 years ago

How would it had been any easier for this guy to unload if there was a car there instead? And we’re talking about four corrals here, how many deliveries can he make in front of one?

Hillsborough. It’s ok, stay there, we don’t need you downtown anyways.

Bob
Bob
15 years ago

Geez, the horror of having four parking spaces removed in a city that has hundreds, if not thousands of parking spaces. How on earth are people like Mr. Gallagher ever going to survive? We need to remove those bike corrals so that more cars are downtown. That will help the parking situation for sure!

ambrown
15 years ago

Actually Jeff, quite a few downtown businesses depend on shoppers from Beaverton, Gresham, Lake Oswego, and Hillsboro. Instead of allowing this story and this particular issue be framed as suburban vs urban, business vs environmentalism, car vs bike, what can bicycle advocates do to make sure that downtown businesses don’t actively resent Portland’s burgeoning bike culture? What are the specific problems with the bike racks?

Jason
Jason
15 years ago

Well, wheelchair ramps are really expensive and block a lot of real estate that could be used for walking, but fortunately the ADA stepped in and thought it was important to make sure everyone, had access to the same places. Last time I checked bicyclists pay just as much in taxes for roads, streets, sidewalks etc.
Hey does Hillsboro even pay the TriMet tax that all of us Portland businesses need to pay? I know LO doesn’t and yet the buses run out there.
Very clever title for the article Mr. Gallagher, lets stir up yet more bike/car animosity, and compare downtown Portland to the wild west of fiction. What is he trying to ‘kick up a row’ I think he outta jus pull in dem horns. I think they need a new sheriff out there in Hillsboroville, or at least a new penny rag.

Zaphod
15 years ago

This is entirely a function of viewing cycling as a legitimate form of transportation. If ONE car was there, it’d be OK because we, as a society, have come to accept all the negative externalities which cars bring to the table. It’s funny that even with this huge multiplier (# of bikes per car space) we’re still finding people who will complain.

Surely this “man on the street” interview is a guy who cannot imagine actually riding year round.

I think those skeptics will be surprised when Portland bike commuters show them what’s up by keeping the corrals well utilized on the darkest of rainy days. We’re not afraid of a little rain.

Seriously, does he think we live in LA?

Hart
Hart
15 years ago

Anybody notice this car-loving Hillsboro @$$clown looks like Dick Cheney?

brewcaster
15 years ago

LOL Hart

I thought the same thing before reading the article. I thought was Cheney’s face as a joke!

I am glad people have the forums and rights to complain, but nobody has to listen to them.

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

There are 6,215 on-street parking spaces and 35,650 off-street parking spaces downtown. We took 8 of them, (less than gets removed anytime there is a construction project,) or 0.02% of them. When this truck driver starts complaining about the 99.98% of parking spaces that are blocked by cars, maybe I’ll care, but right now his complaints don’t mean very much to me…

And I’d be surprised if the spaces aren’t nearly full in the winter too. Ridership only drops 40% in the winter from the summer before it, and bicycle traffic is increasing by about 20% a year, which means that the winter of 08/09 will have about the same number of riders at the summer of 06, or a still fairly large number…

Oliver
Oliver
15 years ago

I didn’t know they were removing loading zones to create bike parking. My opinion has completely changed now.

Seriously, drivers, how many of you have driven around and around infuriated by the 4 or 5 empty loading zones on the block on which you’re trying to park?

(I have my hand up)

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

The truck driver quoted above didn’t specify the location where his loading zone was taken away, but actually, now that I think about it, I realize that the bike corral location at Southpark (SW 9th and Salmon) may have taken the space occupied by a truck loading zone before it. I’ll have to check for sure next time I’m walking by. If so, the city should probably be careful about doing that.

Argentius
15 years ago

So, those who DO live in the suburbs, and commute by bicycle, who are they? What do they do?

Bah,etc.

no one in particular
no one in particular
15 years ago

Blah, blah, blah. Idiotic and pointless personal attacks. Who cares if he looks like Cheney? Sometimes the comments on this site are good, but any time anyone says anything bad about bikes ever, the comments just turn rabid and angry and contentless.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

RE: loading zones.

It’s important to remember that PDOT has a lot of discretion to work with business owners (and residents) to fulfill requests about parking.

these businesses requested this parking… they could have requested a truck loading zone if they wanted it to…both things perform a “critical business function” according a PDOT staffer i spoke with this morning.

Also, RE: the “they’ll be empty in winter” thinking.

At any given time (summer or winter) downtown, there are hundreds of unused car parking spaces in any number of behemoth, concrete, multi-level parking structures.

kg
kg
15 years ago

I see trucks illegally parked in the bike lane everyday. This is a joke.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

Is Argus an Oregonian publication? If so, that might explain the mentality. I find the writer’s concluding sentence in this article unnecessary and ignorant.

I don’t do any business in Hillsboro simply because there are too many cars there – the traffic sucks. I work in Beaverton (drive in from the Gorge and rent a room here) and find it quite easy and safe to get around by bike (year round, despite what this writer generalizes). Both towns may be “on the other side of the hill” and considered evil car-culture suburbia to many Portlanders, but I find the two towns quite different from each other.

And while the delivery driver makes a valid point that they take away his loading zones, the pictures I see in Jonathan’s original article show that he’d either be blocking crosswalks or parking in front of a fire hydrant.

So yeah, instead of saying there are too many cars in Portland, the writer conveys the message that bicyclists are the ones making life harder for delivery drivers. Forget that one car parking spot can fit 6+ bikes!

When we get our first snow storm this year I’ll ride out there just to send him a picture of my bike parked there. Who’s joining me?

GLV
GLV
15 years ago

“what can bicycle advocates do to make sure that downtown businesses don’t actively resent Portland’s burgeoning bike culture? What are the specific problems with the bike racks?”

Amen. Keep in mind that bicyclists rely on truck deliveries just as much as people who don’t ride a bike. That’s the jist of the man’s gripe, since almost everyone seems to have missed it.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

ambrown (#3): I read that the businesses that these corrals were placed in front of were consulted and were highly supportive of them.

Not that I believe everything I read, mind you… 😉

Argentius (#11): I’m a suburbanite who’s commuted by bike nearly two decades and makes a living in front of a laptop in various cubicles. Bike commuting isn’t just for city dwellers anymore. 🙂

And by the way your blog is awesome, and that Sojourn is a beauty!

Hart
Hart
15 years ago

Are goods and services going to get stuck somewhere in the tunnel if I park my bike downtown? Is that the point these Hillsboro car clowns are trying to make?

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

I like the disabled parking/access analogy (#4 above). The question is – do cyclist have a right to secure bike parking? The city of Portland and many local businesses have said “yes.” Apparently some others, including “news” outlets, have decided “no.” Tension is part of any change.

kg
kg
15 years ago

There are plenty of places to park your bike DT without the corrals:
True

The bike corrals will be less than half used when the weather turns:
True

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

why do we care what hellsboro thinks? they could just as soon fall off the map and i doubt many would notice.

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

First of all, I live in the suburbs and I will be riding throughout the winter, thank you very much. Can you say, “self-fulfilling prophecy” Mr. “I pay terrorists to kill Americans” Gallagher?

Second, loading zones are are not parking places. I highly value the need for commercial drivers to be able to perform their jobs (as opposed to people too obese to leave their SUV in order to walk into Starbucks).

However, if PDOT has replaced loading zones with parking, that is a separate issue that is completely unrelated to whether or not designated parking is for bicycles versus motor vehicles.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
15 years ago

Hmmm

Two parking spaces… at most about 8 potential shoppers at any one time.
2 = 8

Or

Two parking spaces with bike racks for 24 bikes each, and each with a potential shopper at any one time
2 = 48

My math shows that we’d need to have 12 more spaces to accommidate that number of shoppers if all used a car with four passengers each…

It is however, very unlikely that each car will have four people, or even three in it. It is VERY likely that each bike will have at least one rider. And we get to ditch 16 cars that are trying to find parking.

Why is that so hard for these people to grasp?

GLV
GLV
15 years ago

He was talking about loading zones.

Why is that so hard for these people to grasp?

T Williams
T Williams
15 years ago

Anyone see all the four bike related ads on the right side of the article? I love that.

woogie
woogie
15 years ago

toddistic,

This is the Portland insular elitist attitude that creates these types of articles.

You want people from the burbs to commute by bike, then show them some respect rather than attitude. You just might win some converts.

Let’s hope the folks up the mountain don’t decide Portland is self sufficient enough to survive without their Bull Run water.

Roger Geller
Roger Geller
15 years ago

We know it’s important for businesses to have loading zones so that the delivery companies can find an easy, convenient, and quick means to make their deliveries. We moved the loading zone to provide for the corral. We didn’t eliminate it. We simply hadn’t yet made the change that first day when the driver came by to make his daily deliveries. It’s in place now.

GLV
GLV
15 years ago

“However, if PDOT has replaced loading zones with parking, that is a separate issue that is completely unrelated to whether or not designated parking is for bicycles versus motor vehicles.”

That was PRECISELY THE POINT of the Op-ed. Please read it before commenting.

Oh, and now anyone who drives a car is “I pay terrorists to kill Americans.” I’ll let you in on a little secret, A-nonymous: our ENTIRE ECONOMY is completely soaked in oil. EVERYONE is responsible for perpetuating it, including you. You don’t drive? Ok, you are very, very slightly less responsible. But do you eat food? How did it get here? How was it grown? Do you drink coffee? How did it get here? Beer? Clothes? Where does it come from?

That mouse you are holding in your hand? What is it made out of?

I could go on and on and on, but I’m sure the point would be completely lost on you.

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

i am being an elitist and im proud of it!

BURR
BURR
15 years ago

where was a loading zone removed? I thought it was all normal parking spaces that were removed. Therefore, I think this whole story is complete BS.

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

woogie,

my attitude doesnt create articles like this, its the people who write them who are unable to grasp that people unlike themselves enjoy other ways to get around that dont rely on fear and indimidation of soveign nations.

not to mention this whole article / news story is complete and utter garbage! we take 8 spaces out of thousands and people actually have the nerve to complain.

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

BURR @ 29

it was a mistake by PDOT, and they are removing two car spots to accomidate the loading zone. i saw it on KGW web version of the story.

matt picio
15 years ago

woogie (#26) – you mean Washington, D.C.? Bull Run is entirely part of the Mount Hood National Forest. It’s federal land.

The City of Portland might be able to lay claim to it, or possibly Multnomah and Clackamas Counties (which Bull Run straddles), but no other municipalities have jurisdiction.

In fact, Portland could cut off water to Beaverton and Hillsboro, both of which are wholesale water customers.

The “folks up the mountain” are all Water Bureau employees, since the public has been restricted from Bull Run for over 100 years.

GLV
GLV
15 years ago

“people unlike themselves enjoy other ways to get around that dont (sic) rely on fear and indimidation (sic) of soveign (sic) nations.”

Riiight…because your bike has no plastic components, and every metal part was mined, smelted, and shipped around the globe by zero emission vehicles powered by your own sense of self worth.

You’re not an elitist, you’re an ***insult deleted***.

[Note: GLV, please don’t call other commenters names. Thanks.]

Paul
Paul
15 years ago

Loading zones are good. The more, the merrier so that it keeps trucks from double parking – especially in bike lanes. I would hate for downtown to become like NYC where people park and drive wherever the hell they feel like.

Sarah Figliozzi
15 years ago

The confusion surrounding the truck loading zone was compounded last week by a scheduling error on PDOT’s side related to signage changes (many of you commented on the pay to park signs that were still hanging despite the racks being in place).

At SW 3rd and Pine Street, in front of Bijou Cafe, PDOT, in conjunction with the Bijou and Stumptown Cofee, chose to relocate the truck loading zone down the block, north, four spaces.

No loading zones were removed as part of this project. Further, the new location of the loading zone should improve trucks access as they can pull in rather than backing into the space.

In the case of the Ace Hotel, the curb space was previously a Hotel Zone which the Ace allocated approximately 40 feet to bike parking.

Thanks
Sarah Figliozzi
Bicycle Program Specialist

Hart
Hart
15 years ago

So what if, JUST WHAT IF there was a way to drive cars AND bikes AND PARK THEM all in the same city! DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THIS IS EVEN PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE TO DO????

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

oh he can point out my spelling mistakes too! OH GEEZ!!! you obviously didn’t pick up the referenced comment “fear and intimidation of sovergein nations”

… i’ll leave it alone.

Bob
Bob
15 years ago

Do you think he is speaking for delivery drivers when he writes: “Now we have a corral to fight over”? Or when he writes about those being on four wheels from the suburbs?

If so, there won’t be much of a fight. People realize the importance of loading zones. I don’t interpret his comments that way, however. He has used the story of a delivery driver (which he heard second hand from a tv report) to call into question bike corrals that have not taken away loading zones and were, in fact, asked for by local businesses. His editorial isn’t pro-delivery zones. It is anti-bike parking.

And, yes, I have read his entire piece.

kgb (the poster formly known as kg.
kgb (the poster formly known as kg.
15 years ago

Somebody is posting with my handle.

According to the PDOT press Release:

All the businesses that these facilities have been placed in front of were very enthusiastic to have them. I don’t know who this mythical delivery driver who was so put out was trying to deliver to but it should be noted that he does get paid to deliver his goods.

Other important goals which PDOT is trying to achieve which completely blow apart the delivery hogwash:
#

Improving visibility at intersections by eliminating the opportunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners.
(So they are intentionally trying to eliminate trucks in these locations!)
#

Supporting increased commercial activity. Testimonials from local retail shops with existing on-street bike parking corrals affirm that they are appreciated by the business community. The higher ratio of bikes to vehicle capacity that corrals afford equates to a higher potential customer turnover. They also tell us that de-cluttering the sidewalk improves the aesthetics of their retail faades and allows for activities such as caf seating.

Delivery services are there to serve businesses. If the businesses tell them to adapt they will.

Dick Cheney, err Clark Gallagher is just upset because there is one less space for him to park his car and his mind is to limited to allow him to realize that all these bicycles are actually freeing up parking spaces.

ME 2
ME 2
15 years ago

GLV, what point of its made his life a little harder don’t you get? Yes we all depend on trucks to deliver goods to us, but its not like these racks have made it impossible for the driver to do this. As far as I can tell, he had to go through\around the racks for one day until he was informed about a new loading zone.

I personally could give 2 licks of concern about a truck driver being slightly inconvienced. There are 1000s of people out there whose lives are harder because they have to do more with less at their jobs or worse yet make their money stretch a little further because they have no jobs.

And to Mr Gallagher are drivers going to be up in arms over the loss of 0.02% of the available parking spaces?

John Reinhold
John Reinhold
15 years ago

PDOT says there are over 7000 on-street parking spots in the central city, and almost 4000 more in city owned “Smart Park” garages.

There are tens of thousands more in private garages and lots, with over 13,000 of them being “all-day”.

Why are we still talking about using 8 for bicycles. There only needs to be 8 bikes locked up to equal what would be considered “OK” for cars to be there…

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

Just an FYI, here is some very current information on car parking spaces in the Central City of Portland (taken from a PDOT document shown at an open house for the Central Portland Transportation Plan):

“Since 1988, approximately 22,500 new parking spaces have been created in the Central City. Most of the parking has been tied to new development. There are over 20,000 surface parking spaces and close to 60,000 garage spaces in the Central City. “

BURR
BURR
15 years ago

and every one of those parking spaces represents some idiot you have to fight for right of way as you’re cycling into or out of downtown.

I wonder if anyone has any statistics on how many of them are filled by Clark County drivers every day? Washington County drivers? Drivers that live within five miles of downtown?

I’d love to see them close downtown to private vehicles completely!

diddy
diddy
15 years ago

biker’s rul3!!!!!

we do what we want and all others palin comparison

Lynne
15 years ago

#11 suburban cyclists – yes, we do exist and commute every day, rain or shine. I ride to my place of employ and store my bike in a first-come, first-served enclosed locker. There are about 60 of them outside my building, and they are all occupied this month…

Parking elsewhere – signposts, bike racks, or the bike comes in the store with me.

I should note that many of the employees here live in Portland. We live in a metro area, not a bunch of silos.

bill
bill
15 years ago

Seriously, who the hell gives a frack about the Hillsboro Argus?

Hillsboro has a newspaper? I’m shocked.

grasshopper
grasshopper
15 years ago

quoting ambrown: “what can bicycle advocates do to make sure that downtown businesses don’t actively resent Portland’s burgeoning bike culture?”

I appreciate any and all dialogue but I also have a question of my own which I ask myself every day that a driver honks at me for not being on the sidewalk, or WHATEVER is bugging them at that moment:

why are bicyclists and bike advocates being held responsible for an increasingly antiquated infrastructure, which was built with long distance travel (such as long-haul trucking) and other commercial development in the forefront of the design?

our needs are changing in this world. Whether or not it’s drivers vs. bicyclists, or whatever, why does change always need to be a freaken war?

a.O
15 years ago

The fact that Mr Cheney, er, … Gallagher has become upset about a reassignment of 0.02 percent of Portland’s parking spaces demonstrates just how deeply ingrained the anti-bike bias is in our society.

Given the facts of this story, it’s a stretch for him to use the word “reality” to describe his understanding of the situation.

Mr Gallagher needs to understand that we Portlanders are interested in designing our City primarily to be as sustainable as possible, and when it comes to transportation that means more bikes, streetcars, busses, Max trains, and fewer subsidies for single-occupancy vehicles.

More importantly, Mr Gallagher needs to understand that we Portlanders are not interested in designing our City to make it convenient for out-of-towners to drive through at the expense of our values.

And to those of you who are admonishing other readers not to make it about bikes v. cars, please direct that message first and foremost to Mr Gallagher. As Bob says at #38, if you read the entire piece, it is clear that it’s anti-bike and nothing more.

k.
k.
15 years ago

This is a meaningless issue as many have pointed out. The statistics regarding the number of parking spaces and how many are being taken bear this out. The more we talk about it, the more we just keep the (non)issue alive.