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Bike friendly development spreads to outer east Portland

Posted by on February 15th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Glendoveer Woods will have a self-service bike repair shop consisting of work benches and tools for the project’s residents and community biking organizations to utilize.
— From City of Portland memo about the development

We’ve covered new housing developments (like the “Milano” coming to the Lloyd District) that actively seek bike-oriented tenants in the central city; but now the trend is spreading to a place not usually associated with bike-friendliness — outer east Portland.

According to a staff report on the project by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, developers of a proposed 113 unit, four-story apartment building on NE 146th between Glisan and East Burnside (about 10 miles east of downtown Portland) plan to offer residents a large bike repair room, parking spaces for 124 bicycles, and even a “transportation coordination” center in the lobby for bus schedules, bike maps and more.

Developers of the Glendoveer Woods Apartments are seeking tax exemptions under the City of Portland’s Transit-oriented Development policy (the location is 1/4 mile from a MAX light rail stop and just 1/10 mile from the route 25 TriMet bus stop) and as such, they are required to demonstrate public benefits their development will have. Among the benefits listed in a memo to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability are:

Glendoveer Woods will have a self-service bike repair shop consisting of work benches and tools for the project’s residents and community biking organizations to utilize.

Glendoveer Woods will have an area of its lobby dedicated to transportation coordination that will display and hold copies of maps, schedules, and other valuable information relating to mass transportation in the Portland metropolitan area.

According to the builders of the apartment the bike repair room will be 500 square feet and will be stocked with tools, work benches, and an air compressor.

When it comes to parking, the new apartments will provide 124 outdoor bike parking spots. Six of those will be short-term spots for visitors and half of them will be covered. (As a comparison, the Glendoveer Woods will provide 115 parking stalls and 11 garages.)

The Planning Commissioned approved the developers request for tax abatement “with the condition that all proposed public benefits be provided.” I’m hoping to track down some drawings of the bike repair room. I’ll update this post when I get them.

NOTE: The original headline of his post was “Bike-oriented development…” After reading your comments and thinking about it a bit more, I realized “Bike-oriented development” was not the right term to use. I’ve changed it to “Bike friendly”. Thanks — JM

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  • beelnite February 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Welcome to the neighborhood! I’ll sweep the bikelane in anticipation of your arrival.

    Don’t worry folks… it’s not all that bad out here. Just get yourself some Stop Flats 2 and keep your eyes peeled for “Salmon” in plaid and jeans.

    We’re pioneers. On the frontier of bike civilization. Come join the movement.

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  • Chris I February 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I ride and run through this area on occasion, and have observed very little bike and pedestrian activity. 146th has no sidewalks for these residents to get to the nearby MAX station. Glisan has no bike lanes, and you would be pretty crazy to want to ride with the high speed auto traffic there. Burnside is actually a pretty nice bike facility. MAX creates a nice separation and keeps traffic speeds down a bit. Most of these residents will own cars, and my fear is that they will spill out onto the street and block pedestrian access even further (again, no sidewalks).

    Finishing sidewalks on the entire length of 146th between Burnside and Glisan should be a requirement for this project to proceed.

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    • Chris I February 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Also, the #25 bus runs less than once per hour. Not really much of a mobility asset here…

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  • RH February 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    sounds like the developer is just trying to be ‘creative’ to get a tax exemption and also attempting to save costs by not having to provide any car parking…..

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    • Steve February 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Why would any developer in his or her right mind spend money on parking with such abundant free parking the City offers on it’s streets.

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  • NF February 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Does it matter whether or not the developer is just doing this for the tax exemption? More often than not, tax exemptions exist for this reason, to induce development practices that would not otherwise be supported by the market.

    It’s great to see some options for outer east residents who want to (or have to) live carfree.

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  • maccoinnich February 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Portland’s zoning code requires 1.1 bike spaces per unit in multifamily dwellings outside of the central city. 113 units x 1.1 = 124.3 bike spaces. They also require 1 short term space per 20 units, which in this case works out as 6 spaces minimum.

    So essentially, they are doing the minimum required by Portland’s zoning code. They may actually be doing even less, as I can’t find the language in the code that allows the requirements for short and long term to be combined.

    I’m very pro-development, but in this case, it looks like the developers are merely adding bike friendly marketing (no bad thing) to what they’re legally required to do to get a permit.

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  • WheelTalk February 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    This project certainly does not seem to qualify as bike oriented development as I think of it. There is also a community garden that will be included in the amenity package for the Glendoveer, does this mean it is garden oriented development?

    There are no existing separated travel lanes for bikes on either Glisan or 146th, though there are separated bike lanes along 148th. the Bicycle Master Plan does designate 146th as a future bicycle boulevard or enhanced shared roadway and identifies Glisan to recieve separated in-roadway improvements in the future.

    Don’t get me wrong, we should celebrate and encourage high quality and thoughtfully designed affordable housing like this in East Portland (and throughout the city) with access to transit and nearby bike infrastructure. Who knows, maybe the 113 new units will tip the scales in prioritizing more bike infrastructure in this corner of East Portland. I just feel that if we want to use the term bicycle oriented development, and encourage this as a legitimate development type, we should be more critical of how we identify such projects and not use the term too loosely.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Hey WheelTalk,

      I agree with you. My use of “bike-oriented” in the headline isn’t the right thing to use in this case. I’ve changed it to “Bike friendly”. Thanks for your comment.

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  • P Finn February 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    than car parking…? 2nd pp

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  • Tim Davis February 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I am also confused by “than car parking.” I’m not sure what that means. Are there no parking spots designated for cars? Just seeking clarification. Thanks!

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  • Dave February 18, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Secure bike parking is most important. Outdoor parking overnight just isn’t as optimal for those who want to keep their bikes. they will need a plan to ensure the tool room and info kiosk stay properly stocked and maintained… too often I think the tendency is to take the credits for amenities like this at he outset and then let them fall into disrepair.

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