The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Caught in the middle, PBOT tries to hammer out design compromise on NE Multnomah project

Posted by on July 11th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

PBOT project manager Ross Swanson
explains the plans to BAC members.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is trying to broker a compromise between real estate owners and developers in the Lloyd District and concerned citizens who want high-quality bicycle access on NE Multnomah Street. When staffers brought the latest plans for the Multnomah Street (NE) Main Street Pilot Project to the monthly meeting of the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee last night, several committee members expressed skepticism and objections to the philosophical underpinnings of the project, saying that PBOT was giving away too much in terms of bike access in order to meet the Lloyd TMA’s demands for auto parking.

At issue is how to allocate roadway space on NE Multnomah. PBOT is looking to transform it from a boring, 1980s-style, five-lane thoroughfare with no auto parking (and rarely used four-foot bike lanes), to a more vibrant and welcoming three-lane cross-section with protected bikeways and dozens of new, on-street auto parking spaces. (More background on the project here.) The street is already slated for a new 900-unit residential tower and other developments are expected in the future.

“We need a commercial corridor that shows you can put bikes at a higher priority than parking.”
— Ian Stude, BAC member

At the initial open house back in May, PBOT received considerable negative feedback from people who ride bicycles in the Lloyd District due to the combination of over 70 new on-street car parking spaces and an unimpressive bikeway treatment. Since then, PBOT has refined their design in an attempt to balance the demands of all stakeholders.

However, even with significant changes to the design, the discussion at the BAC last night was tense. BAC members expressed discomfort with several aspects of the project, from the proposed width of the bikeways, to the amount of on-street auto parking (and the complete lack of on-street bike parking). PBOT’s head of Transportation Systems Management (formerly City Traffic Engineer) Rob Burchfield and PBOT project manager Ross Swanson presented two versions of the plans — the “Pilot Project” they’d like to begin implementing this summer (PDF), and the “Possible Future Evolution” plan (PDF) that was put together by request of the Lloyd TMA to demonstrate the maximum number of parking spaces (I counted 94) that could be added if necessary in the future.

The plans sparked a debate about how PBOT balances the demands of stakeholders and what should have priority in a developing commercial district — on-street car parking, or high-quality bike access. It also provided bike advocates with a dilemma: Is it better to hold out and/or press for the highest-quality bike access possible, or accept an incremental improvement now and hope for enhancements in the future?

The Lloyd TMA (which is funded by Lloyd District business owners and real estate developers) sees parking as crucial to “activating” the street (planner-speak for making it more vibrant); but the eight feet required for a parking lane constrains the bikeway options (no to mention the other 29 feet for the two lanes and a center turn lane). PBOT has been put in the position of defending the parking, seeing it as a bargaining chip in order to get the Lloyd TMA’s endorsement of the project. (Note: The TMA is funding about half of the project’s $200,000 price tag.)

“It’s a little hard to imagine ‘world-class’ on a third-world budget. That’s the reality of where we’re at.”
— Rob Burchfield, PBOT

At the outset of the discussion, PBOT announced that the road is actually two feet narrower than they originally thought: 58 instead of 60 feet. A narrower road width, combined with the perceived need to maintain add auto parking and a desire to create a parking-protected bikeway, has led Burchfield to propose a narrower bike lane.

Instead of the seven-foot wide standard bike lanes (with cars parked against the curb) shown at the May open house, PBOT is now proposing a 5-foot bike lane and 3-foot buffer protected from moving traffic by parked cars. This new layout is seen by PBOT as the only way to provide a protected bikeway and still maintain auto parking.

BAC members expressed concerns that a five foot bike lane wouldn’t be adequate for future bike capacity. BAC member Ian Stude (who manages Transportation Options at Portland State University) pointed out that, “Every bike facility we’ve built today is not wide enough for the future. Where is future capacity for cycling in this?” Stude added that anything that narrows bikeway capacity will end up in the same situation we’re in with the Hawthorne Bridge and N. Williams, “Where it feels too narrow.”

BAC Chair Matt Arnold (an urban planner at SERA Architects) sees Multnomah as a perfect place for Portland to (finally) build a world-class bikeway through a commercial corridor. “We don’t have too many opportunities to look at this type of area, with a big bike connection that gets you from neighborhoods, to a bridge and then into downtown… This is the one place where you can do something very cool.”

Burchfield urged for the compromise. He said he recently rode new protected bikeways in Chicago with the 5/3 dimensions and said they worked “fine”. “I wasn’t promoting this until I rode it in Chicago with [PBOT Director Tom Miller] and we thought, ‘This totally works, why can’t we make this work here?'”

As a comparison, the existing parking-protected bikeway (a.k.a. cycle track) on SW Broadway near PSU is seven feet wide. The one on NE 7th through the Lloyd District is six feet wide. “Ride NE 7th and think about… If that bike space was one foot narrower, how would that space work for you?” Burchfield asked the BAC.

Rob Burchfield

He then explained how coming to terms with a five foot bike lane was essential, not only to making this project work, but perhaps in building future parking protected bike lanes throughout the city.

“Basically, if we want to have a parking protected facility as opposed to an outboard bike lane,” continued Burchfield, “we’ve got to be willing to understand the minimum dimensions that we can work with here and be comfortable with. By going to that dimension, we can provide more areas that have that parking buffer/protection.”

BAC members stood up for their concerns, and for bike access in general, and continued to press Burchfield.

In one exchange, Stude questioned the need for on-street auto parking in a certain section and Burchfield responded by saying the Lloyd TMA “wants some activation at the street level”. To that, Stude replied, “We’re just saying, that [activation] isn’t parking.” “I heard what you’re saying,” said Burchfield, “But they [the TMA] believe it is.”

Arnold also questioned whether parking was necessary between NE Grand and 9th. “Do we actually need to introduce parking here at all?” he asked. “The reality is,” Burchfield replied, “I don’t think we’ll get our stakeholders in the Lloyd District to agree to that.”

Arnold is a veteran of Portland bike advocacy and has been involved with PBOT projects for many years. He tried to strike a diplomatic tone with Burchfield, but it was clear that Arnold has become tired of PBOT compromising bikeway quality for business interests. “The Lloyd District is an area where we can make the connection for interested but concerned riders to ride through here in large numbers… Is this a place, where, for once, the city of Portland can put a stake in the ground?”

Also speaking to the opportunity this project represents, Stude added, “We need a commercial corridor that shows you can put bikes at a higher priority than parking.”

Heather McCarey (executive director of the Westside Transportation Alliance) expressed displeasure that the plans — despite showing 40-90 new auto parking spaces — still don’t show any on-street bike parking (a point that I and others raised back in May). “I want to see some on-street bike parking in the plan,” she said. Burchfield replied by saying, “We need to see demand for it.” McCarey, who used to work in the Lloyd District, assured him the demand was there.

McCarey then asked a question: “We have triggers to add on-street auto parking, is it possible to have triggers that would move toward a world class bike facility?”

The “triggers” McCarey mentioned are a set of metrics being discussed between PBOT and the Lloyd TMA stakeholders that if met, would obligate PBOT to add more on-street auto parking. The triggers could be occupancy rates of the new parking (it’ll all be metered, so PBOT will have good data), land-use changes, new developments, and so on.

Another big point of contention at the meeting was the section of Multnomah between NE 7th and 9th. Of all the segments, this is the worst one for bike access. In the eastbound direction, it’s proposed to have a standard, six-foot bike lane with no buffer against moving auto traffic. Here’s the plan drawing:

And the cross-section:

Burchfield says that because the median is not planned for removal in this project (not enough money), the design options are limited. He acknowledged that this is the worst section of bikeway in the project; but said the entire project shouldn’t be judged by this one “anomalous” block face.

Exasperated with the BAC’s objections — and trying to impress upon the group that this is an important, incremental improvement — at one point Burchfield said, “Does perfect need to be the enemy of the good?”

In his defense, Burchfield leveled with the BAC, saying, “It’s a little hard to imagine ‘world-class’ on a third-world budget. That’s the reality of where we’re at. If we were doing world-class here, I would want three-quarters of a million dollar budget to do it.”

A major part of the heartburn by the BAC is that PBOT showed one version of the plan with over 90 on-street auto parking spaces and an even less desirable bikeway. PBOT called that draft of the plan an “evolution”. “If you’re opposed to parking, that’s the worst-case scenario,” Burchfield acknowledged. PBOT project manager Ross Swanson said they drew up that plan to, “Reassure the interests in the Lloyd District that they can evolve their parking and we can live together with the bike community.”

Arnold tried to explain that the tension Burchfield was feeling from BAC members is due to the power the Lloyd TMA and their parking demands seem to be having over this project. “This plan was put together to assuage the concerns of the Lloyd TMA and the property owners they represent. We don’t see the alternative vision that shows the world-class facility for bikes.”

Arnold also expressed that this project on Multnomah was “dangled out by the Lloyd District” as an alternative to bike access improvements on NE Holladay. “We aspired for world-class bike conditions on Holladway. When we start to see less than world-class on Multnomah, it feels like we got baited and switched by the Lloyd District… And they end up getting a lot parking and we end up getting some striping… It doesn’t feel good.”

Advocate Carl Larson with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance then piled on, “It went from, ‘Holladay doesn’t work because parking can’t be removed’, to, ‘One lane of parking on Multnomah doesn’t work because we can’t add yet another lane of parking’.”

Again Burchfield tried to defend the project and the Lloyd TMA. “It’s a main street project, not a bike project,” he said, “So the people that own the property, that have the business, they need to be willing partners for the project to be successful.” Burchfield then continued:

“As bike advocates you can be loud for what you think is best for bikes, but ultimately what we’re trying to do is come up with a street that works well for everyone that has a stake in it. We’re trying to strike a good and reasonable balance… Personally, I think this is a big step fwd over what we have today. To be able to get there with the resources we have, as opposed to saying ‘It’s not good enough, let’s go back to drawing board, let’s push for more and see what we can get,’ That’s a risk. You may get nothing. It’s strategy question.”

Arnold tried to explain to Burchfield that the frustration felt by the BAC comes from years of having bike facilities in these larger projects done “on a shoestring budget.” “We’ve got this 2030 bike plan, we tinker in the neighborhood streets; but when it comes to really doing cool stuff, we’re tired of doing it on the cheap in the big, dense commercial areas.”

Burchfield expressed that he feels he’s getting beat up from both sides. “It’s not about one party getting everything they want, it’s about finding the right balance.” He said the BAC should look for win-wins and try to “get something that’s good for cyclists and also that works well for the business environment.” “If we can find those win-win solutions, we’re going to have more opportunity to get things done in the future. If we always fight a win-lose battle, well, some days you win and some days you lose.”

The BAC made no official decision as to whether endorse the project; but in general, PBOT seems firm on their current plans. “If this [general plan] isn’t good enough,” Burchfield said a few times, “If you can’t live with this, we’re done. We don’t have a project we can do this summer.”

Stay tuned.

— Read further coverage of this project here.
— Download the Pilot Project plans (PDF) and the Possible Future Evolution plans (PDF)
— Visit the official project website and email PBOT your comments and feedback here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    You folks are saints to keep playing in this ring. So frustrating.

    “Burchfield urged for the compromise.”

    Why does Lloyd TMA keep getting veto power over all the important stuff? Why not get out in front of this circus, Mr. Burchfield, and advocate for serious, no dithering, I can’t believe how excellent this facility is, bike infrastructure? Do you really think we’re going to need additional on street car parking in the future? Young people are not even that into cars anymore. And the cheap gasoline isn’t going to be around either. I’m not impressed with how captive to 20th Century auto-addicted thinking this is.

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    • Alan 1.0 July 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      You folks are saints to keep playing in this ring. So frustrating.


      Why does Lloyd TMA keep getting veto power over all the important stuff?

      “The TMA is funding about half of the project’s $200,000 price tag.” (from this article)

      TMA needs to look at the Pearl and at urban development worldwide instead of burying their vision deep in the last century. While risk avoidance comes with the money territory they are playing in, so should wide-field, long-distance vision with an eye toward truly investing in Portland’s (and therefore their own) future. Playing “safe” with old plans in a rapidly changing world isn’t going to earn them the returns they’re looking for.

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      • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        But if we raised $100,000 to put toward this project and told them we don’t want their money, would Lloyd TMA shut up?
        I don’t think so.

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        • Alan 1.0 July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          “We” would probably get bike racks. </cynical>

          100K is just the start. Then there’s permitting and design fees, and taxes in perpetuity. The city should listen to that. But it should also listen to “us” (meaning all Portland citizens), and so should TMA…we’re their customers! To me, that seems like a big disconnect: TMA are acting on design ideas (plans) from a past epoch where they should be looking at current trends in Portland of biking, public transit, urban living, densification, decline of VMT, etc.

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  • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    He said he recently rode new protected bikeways in Chicago with the 5/3 dimensions and said they worked “fine”.

    I recently drove on a two-way country road near where I grew up in Germany and it was 9′ wide including both fog lines. It worked “fine.”

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  • NW Biker July 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I also don’t understand the focus on parking in a part of town that’s half covered in parking lots. And why do they insist on putting the bike lane in the door zone? I’m a fairly confident rider, but you’ll never see me on Multnomah.

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    • Evan July 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Exactly. I posted this image in a previous discussion of this project, but it’s still important. Half, if not more, of the street for this project is fronted by parking lots.

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  • BURR July 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    It’s good to see the BAC finally standing up to PBOT management, and some coverage of the BAC here on

    You should cover the discussions of these projects at the BAC more frequently, Jonathan; they meet every month yet I rarely see much on about their discussions, I think that would lend additional perspective to many of these issues.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      It’s good to see the BAC finally standing up to PBOT management

      couldn’t agree more. I’ve been hoping to see this for years.

      You should cover the discussions of these projects at the BAC more frequently, Jonathan; they meet every month yet I rarely see much on about their discussions

      I cover the projects discussed at the BAC all the time… you just might not realize I got the story from the meeting. As for their discussions, they’re not usually as important/interesting as this. 😉 But point taken.

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      • 'Hen July 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        a) I’m bummed that I missed last night’s meeting because it does sound like it was pretty damn interesting. But,

        b) I think that your (continued) characterization of the BAC as spineless ‘rubber stampers’ (your term from elsewhere) of PBOT plans and policies seems unfair and kind of off-base. While yes, they are probably more to the center than you and your readers may want them to be, I feel like they’ve actually done a lot for cycling in Portland in recent years, and have (strategically) stood up to both PBOT and/or electeds on occasion….

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm


          I hope you’re not referring to me as someone who has said the BAC is “spineless rubber stampers”. I don’t think that at all. I do however, know that they have been relatively conservative and afraid to push back against PBOT over the years. It’s been something openly discussed at the meetings in terms of how they can be most effective.

          I have been attending the monthly meetings consistently for over 5 yrs and I have tons and tons of respect for the members. And I know how important they are and how much work they do! Cheers,

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  • andy July 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve always wondered why so many people sit in traffic on I-5 and I-84 every day. Now we know: it’s “street activation”. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else?

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  • Alex Reed July 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Parking-protected, 5′-wide bike lane with a 3′ buffer is fine with me! As long as that 3′ buffer doesn’t disappear at crucial spots or get encroached on by people parking creatively, I think that will be a comfortable facility for people in bikes. Personally, I’ll ride close to the curb because some car doors are longer than 3′. But there aren’t any that are 8 feet long!

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    • BURR July 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      don’t forget about those nasty double wide sunken drainage grates that you will be sure to find along the curb, which will reduce the effective width of a curb-side 5′ protected bike lane to 3′ or less….

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      • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

        “3′ or less”

        Heh, that’s nothing; my homeward bound 4′ bike lanes have sections where they are effectively 8″ (inches) wide due to sunken grates.

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  • Andrew Seger July 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Hey doing nothing this summer is a perfectly reasonable alternative. I hate the incrementalism. It saps the desire for further improvements once the all mighty business owners are satisfied.

    Considering his vetoing of bike lanes on Hawthorne back in the 90’s to the N Williams debacle perhaps its time for a new city traffic engineer? How close is rob burchfield to retirement anyways? Not once have I ever seen him on the side of people walking or people biking.

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    • 'Hen July 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      ANDREW – I think your characterization of Rob Burchfield is both off-base and out-of-line. While I’ve been frustrated by the City’s designs on occasions, Burchfield has proven himself to be someone striving to find balance – both technically and politically – in an environment that is (to say the least) challenging. This article itself (and I’m hoping our fair Editor will back me up on this) shows a guy that, while probably on the defensive, is still trying his best to provide much better bike facilities while also responding to the concerns of other stakeholders.

      I also believe that if you look back through Burchfield’s long, long list of projects, you’ll find that he has – doggedly – tried to do his best for bikes and peds over the years. And he’s done do so on an absolute shoestring of a budget. Said differently, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find better given the demands on such a position.

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      • Andrew Seger July 12, 2012 at 3:51 am

        I have no doubt Rob Burchfield has always done his best and cares about making the city better for everyone. In no way am I attacking or challenging his character. I’m questioning his professional acumen. The results we get out of his designs are often so subpar that it’s fair to raise the question: would we be better of with someone else? My tempered point is that we see the same frustrations from the same projects over and over again. Look at the shenanigans that went down late in the N Williams project surrounding traffic modeling and one lane vs two. They left a pretty bad taste in my mouth and reminded me of the other previous failures we’ve had putting bikes on main streets.

        Looking at the results, and this project is just one more example, if we really want to make riding a bike easy enough for 8-80s it might be time for someone without this long history of compromised designs. Is it better to throw the baby out with the bathwater over one poorly designed segment? I say yes. A bike network is only as strong as it’s weakest points. Better to have nothing and just take a lane over an unsafe design. Plus it saps whatever desire there is for something more difficult. For example, now that bike access is improved on the 12th ave overcrossing is there any impetus or stakeholder who is really pushing for the 7th ave bridge? I know an ask for a better crossing was part of the project, but does that really mean anything? Portland plans great things, but too often we implement them poorly. At some point you gotta ask if perhaps it’s time for someone else.

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        • Hoover P July 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

          Actually, the whole point of a redundant system is to make the overall system (in this case the bike network) much stronger than its weakest link. I think you have to look big picture on this one.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson July 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    The real problem on Multnomah is buses and bikes; this re-design does not fix that, though with the rerouting of the 70/73, there will be two fewer buses to play tag with west of 9th.
    I think a fair trade is put Multnomah on the “road diet,” add parking and remove all parking on Holladay and make it a two way bike way with a future connection to the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail and a 7th Avenue bike/ped bridge. The Lloyd bike route could shift from Multnomah to Holladay at 11th (with yes, a 90 degree rail crossing) and/or put sharrows in the traffic lanes and lower the signal speeds so things are more like downtown. Just take the lane!

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  • dwainedibbly July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    My biggest problem with this is that no matter what we get today, at some point in the future the Lloyd TMA gets to veto it all, rip it out, and turn it into even more parking. Who thinks that those “triggers” won’t be gamed?

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    • are July 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

      i did ask rob burchfield the other night if he could be specific about the “triggers,” and how specific he was with the TMA. i do not feel i got clear answers to either question.

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  • Ben Guernsey July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Interesting. I admit the Lloyd area feels stuffy, dated and dead. No big reason to stop there unless you work there, I usually just go a little further to Lloyd Blvd, but granted I’m usually headed more south and not east. I’d rather not deal with all the cross traffic of Lloyd Center or the sketch Max tracks on 11th. If they want to pull a page from the Pearl and make a vibrant building with apartments on the top and businesses on the bottom a 4-lane road will be a culture killer.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    As an urban planner there is a thread of truth… to the desire for on street parking to ‘activate’ lifeless commercial streets…but the level of parking activation for the density of these blocks seems a bit of a stretch unless all the stalls are 15 minute and serving multiple Starbucks and other big chain coffee shops. 99% of the drivers are still going to be parking in structures and far away from the “street”.

    The Lloyd TMA sounds like it is getting a sweet deal – $100k for access to ~90 parking spaces…at $1100 a stall that is so much less than the typical construction cost of $30k plus cost of a structured space w/o losing the rent for the space to house these 90 parking stalls.

    Q: Should traffic safety and modal capacity take a back seat to on street vehicle storage when there is a lot of structured parking all around this district?

    Of any places in Portland outside the core…the Lloyd District should be able to make it work and thus help the City gain its Copenhagen 25%+ Bike Platinum mode split.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I really love the idea of setting up a kick-starter to offset the $100k Lloyd District money…imagine if 1000 Lloyd District bike commuters (and bike businesses) all sent in a $100 check.

    Let me know the address for my check…I do not even have to commute through this area…but this type of project poor facility has got to stop.

    (Unless Portland really wants to stop telling its story – about being Bikevanna and the City that Works.)

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    • Opus the Poet July 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      I would like to see the TMA charged market rates for their parking spots, and then charged taxes on those spots. If they fall behind on their taxes use bollards and K-rails to block out the parking spots (which will probably result in cyclists using it for bike parking). It’s not the city’s job to provide parking for free. Also putting K-rails in front of a building instead of filing a lien against the property has an aspect of public shaming and lets people know who isn’t paying their fair share of the infrastructure costs.

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  • Terry D July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This adding parking debate on Multnomah is just plain dumb. This is the most heavily pavemented area in the central city and has public transit everywhere. To “Activate” a street for retail they need pedestrians…..turning ONE parking lot into a “garage” for the whole district, paid for by business interests, would solve the parking “problem.” People can walk a few blocks down the new Greener street. Walking is good for even SUV drivers. The city needs to stop subsidizing public parking in the ROW.

    Give the bikes two whole lanes, or one lane separated from car traffic by a barrier which allows biking in both directions (requiring creative bike lights) like they do in Europe (which is out of the budget range), or do not do it. Use the money to plan a real solution.

    If PBOT does this plan anyway, then do NOT by any means call it “World Class,” it is just a 20th century retro-fit with a few extra feet thrown in for image, plus when compared to what was promised with the Holiday project, this plan is a slap in the face.

    It is, however, what we can expect from a private-public partnership. Private business interests always win out over the public good, especially in the age of trickle down economics. Since the business world is run on perception, a few spaces per block are more important than safety. Social costs are carried by the city as a whole, so why should the business care?

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  • Todd Boulanger July 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Jonathan, please have the City traffic engineers report on the ability of these new ‘proposed’ narrower planes to be able to handle the 2030 bike volumes that the City’s 25%+ bike mode splits with require. Has this been modeled? Will our BLOS still be B level or a F level?

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  • Todd Boulanger July 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry – typo alert above – “planes” should have been “lanes”.

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  • spare_wheel July 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    “If you can’t live with this, we’re done.”

    Somehow I doubt real estate infestors/developers have had to listen to this kind of an ultimatum.

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

      heh–“infestors”. That almost looked intentional…

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

      If “we’re done”, what happens? No bike treatments this Summer? What about future? Would parking still be added this Summer? Spare makes a good point: ultimatums like this seem to go one way and (I think) come across as very parental.

      “Aw, come on Dad! Can’t we please-please-please-please have safe bike access?”
      “Hey, as soon as you start paying the bills around here you can make the rules and have whatever you want. Until then, what I say goes!”

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  • John R July 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Is PBOT really caught in the middle? The business/bike dichotomy is a false one. The real middle is the public and the first mandate is safety for all modes. Everything else, including parking, is a bonus (or not). We should demand nothing less than a prioritization on safety and implementation of that already stated goal from out public servants.

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    • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Excellent point. Perhaps PBOT has positioned itself in the middle, framing the issue as business/cake vs bikes/frosting, when, as you say, the real objective could more easily be met with a sturdier long-term vision unfettered from this lurching between fossilized parking protocols and timid bike infrastructure accommodations.

      Does anyone really think the ambitious increases in mode share for bicycles foretold in the 2030 Plan is bad for business? If anyone does, maybe they should compare this anachronistic specter with the prospect of a vanished economy thanks to Lloyd TMA’s and others’ refusal to anticipate future changes to our energy economy.

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

      “…the first mandate is safety for all modes.”

      Unfortunately, I think the real first mandate is “throughput for all cars”. After that it seems to be “on-street car parking for all customers”. After that you have to refer to the ORS and DMV manuals.

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  • Pliny July 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Y’know. I can empathize with Burchfield’s appeal not to throw the baby out with the bathwater over the 7th to 9th section.

    That said, the first response that popped into my brain was: “Broadway has decent bike access, except for that one ‘anomalous’ bit between Flint and Wheeler…”

    And let’s be honest, if they do build it out this way it’ll only be matter of time until a cyclist gets smushed by a bus that forgot which side to expect bikes on.

    I wonder how much blood 11 parking spaces are worth.

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I have a couple of questions:
      a) How is the median situation mid-block between 7th & 9th different from that at 6th? Why can’t the same configuration of bike lane + parking be maintained all the way through? Would that make drivers uncomfortable, driving that close to parked cars? Would folks tend to look more carefully when opening their car doors? Well what do you know.

      b) why can’t there be “NO PARKING” on these blocks (7th-9th)? Or why can’t we at least remove the two parking spaces closest to the unmovable median and replace them with planters? It might create a “mini-chicane” for drivers, but wouldn’t that add to traffic calming? Or is the fear that drivers would just drive up onto the concrete median and damage their cars?

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  • Opus the Poet July 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    You know when infrastructure causes death of cyclists in the UK the people in charge can be sentenced to prison for corporate manslaughter, perhaps a similar law would result in fewer stupid bike facilities that get people killed in the US like the constant stream of right hooks on B-way and (?)Flint and where Jarolment (sp?) was killed. (Names are not my forte)

    Place bureaucrats in situation that if they do nothing they can go to prison if someone gets killed on the roads, and if they do a half-buttocked job that gets people killed they can still go to prison, so that the only way they can stay out of prison is to do the job right so that people are not killed by foreseeable defects in design and execution. This would also help prevent the power-hungry who don’t give a rodent’s backside from getting in positions that affect people’s everyday lives.

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  • Alexis July 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I’m really glad to see the BAC speaking up here. I agree completely with Matt Arnold — it really seems to be a case of stakeholders holding process hostage to get what they want. If the process is supposed to be consensus-based (and it must be, theoretically, because I’m not aware of other alternatives that would allow a 12-1 approval to mean “not approved”), it can’t be about one party holding their ground because they have the money and the power to do that — that’s not any kind of effective consensus process. That’s just might makes right.

    I also appreciate the BAC pressing Rob on the question of balance, even beyond the stakeholder issue. It is the wrong notion — the goal is for the street to effectively serve people, which means it’s safe, comfortable, and efficient to travel on and that it serves the local community and its organizations and businesses effectively, and those objectives do not have to be in conflict, except that the TMA is insisting that they be in conflict by claiming that only auto parking can meet their needs for a street serving their businesses. This is probably demonstrably wrong — there is some excellent evidence collected in Vancouver that most merchants don’t know how many of their customers really arrive by car (let alone where they park!) and they drastically overestimate the number who currently do, even besides the whole issue of induced demand.

    So PBOT does not have to buy into that claim and they are perfectly capable of making a case for something better (for everyone). I’d like to see that happen, not just here but all over the city. Listening to your citizens is extremely important, but talking to them is just about as important. People don’t automatically know how transportation works, and I believe PBOT is capable of educating people and producing a clean and coherent message about their work and how the changes they want to make are beneficial, leading to a safer and more enjoyable transportation system. They ought to go out and do that instead of retreating and talking about some imaginary ‘balance’.

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  • Lance P. July 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I use to volunteer for the Lloyd TMA bike committee. After this so called “enhancement” I have lost all respect for this organization. I don’t know what has happened. When Heather McCarry was working for the TMA I always trusted and believed in the vision of the TMA. Now, all I see is greedy corporations from CA using the TMA as puppet to get what they want. The public right of way is just that. A PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY. If you don’t live in the neighborhood (or at least the city of Portland) then you should have no say in how our streets function. The people who work for PBOT need to be fired and replaced with someone willing to listen to the citizens of Portland.

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    • Lance P. July 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      “Heather McCarey”

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    • ConcordiaCyclist July 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      One of my first thoughts concerning this current version of the TMA was that I bet the vast majority of players are out of state one-percenters. I have no data to back that up, but their attitude and strategy make it clear they don’t understand or give a damn about the local community – just interested in having their anachronistic business practices enacted on the cheap. If it walks like a duck….

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  • bjorn July 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Everytime I go to the lloyd area all I see are hundreds of empty spots. Has anyone ever had difficulty parking in this area? The only possible issue I could imagine would be parking at a particular business because parking is tied to a particular business. Rather than adding even more parking the city should free all businesses that own off street parking in the area to rent it out at market rates for use by anyone. There is already far too much parking in the area, how it is being used may be creating problems, but a lack of parking is clearly not the issue.

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  • Lance P. July 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Personally I feel no change is better than this change. These “triggers” that are mentioned really mean that the buffer that you see will slowly and surely go by the way side and they you have a 5 foot bike line just as we have now.

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  • Kirk July 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Here’s a classic joke:

    “Look at all the driveway crossings in those traffic plans!”

    “Where, oh where do they lead to?”

    “………….mostly parking lots!”

    “That’s funny, because the traffic plans show added parking spaces in exchange for safety and easy understanding of the roadway by a person using a car, bike, or bus.”

    Hahahahahahaha…. get it?

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  • Champs July 12, 2012 at 5:08 am

    “Protected” bike lanes: I feel safer already.

    It’s a design where the only ways to get around slower traffic is at intersections or riding in the passenger door zone. You could get people to move over in the lane, but it’s a challenge. Shouting “on your left” confuses/annoys people, and “ring” in the dead language of Bell is understood by no one. I’m not saying it’s a race, but a block can be a long time.

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    • Dan July 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

      This separated bikeway thing has me concerned in general, but maybe it’s because I’m from the Westside where the streets aren’t cleaned very frequently. When the bike lanes are full of crud, I need to take the lane to get around it – with a separated bikeway like this that wouldn’t be an option. And it makes it a lot harder for that part of the road to get cleaned at all. Seriously, what’s the plan for cleaning the bikeway when there are plants separating it from the road? Does this city have mini street sweepers or something?

      Additionally, where do you go when the bikeway is blocked by people exiting a vehicle, dogs & joggers, roadside repair equipment, salmon, etc? Currently I can just look behind me, take the lane & go around.

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      • Chris I July 12, 2012 at 6:43 am

        You have to stop and yell at them.

        There will be teething problems as we get more infrastructure like this.

        I’ve ridden in both Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and the only people that obstruct the separated bike lanes there are tourists.

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        • spare_wheel July 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

          a major problem with separated infrastructure is that it is hard to expand and expensive to maintain. bike lanes do not have this problem. given the inability of pbot to maintain current infrastructure perhaps we should build a world class network of bike lanes first.

          and while the thousand or so yards of cycle track on moody, cully, and broadwat are simply glorious i am still waiting for bike lanes on division, hawthorne, se/ne 20th etc. i wonder how many more decades i will have to wait.

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      This a million times. I believe there is an assumption on the part of designers of “protected” bike lanes that nobody on a bike has any desire or ability to go above 10mph. Plus the comments above/below regarding cleaning and ability to avoid other obstacles or loitering pedestrians. I don’t think I would feel safe going much faster than 10mph in a gauntlet like this. I’d much rather go 20 in a street-side bike lane and have the ability to pass slower cyclists and avoid hazards by using gaps in moving traffic. The end result of the proliferation of this kind of infrastructure will be CARS 35/BIKES 10. That would just put me back in my car for any trip over a couple of miles.

      For those that have used separated facilities in other countries, what is the typical speed on those facilities? Is there room for passing within their confines?

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      • Alex Reed July 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

        I like biking 10 mph, and I suspect so do a lot of the “interested but concerned.” You are completely correct that there will probably be both winners and losers if the City puts in separated bike infrastructure. However, given that there are many times as many “interested concerned” people as current regular riders, I think there will be many more winners than losers. Plus, the reduction in risk might make it worthwhile for many of y’all current fast riders! And, hopefully in the future, the City will put in 10′ wide separated infrastructure, allowing for fast riders to pass.

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        • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

          I like biking 10mph too, when I’m in a park and have nowhere to go. Currently my average speed to work and back is roughly 17mph over 8-‘n’-some miles one way (excluding time stopped). Assuming the same amount of time stopped, slowing to 10 turns my 35-minute commute into a 55-minute one–40 extra minutes to take the same round trip I do now. But at least I wouldn’t have to pedal. In the “winners” and “losers” scenario, I think we have to put drivers in the winners column along with the “interested but concerned”, but then put some of the “interested but concerned” back into the losers column when they get run over due to dangerous transitions between infrastructure types, or just plain old dangerous infrastructure. The biggest losers, though, are the cyclists who currently know what they are doing.

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          • Alex Reed July 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

            I think separated infrastructure would be less dangerous, not more dangerous. How does the Netherlands manage their super-low bicycle fatality rate? As I understand it, they have lots of transitions between different types of infrastructure – they just manage the transitions well.

            I would support repealing the mandatory sidepath law so that fast bikers can take the motor vehicle lane rather than tootling along with the slow masses in the separated infrastructure.

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            • are July 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

              this is something else i mentioned to burchfield the other night. the design calls for curbside bike lanes buffered by stripes and the occasional planter box. i told him i generally take 13th to multnomah to 16th heading north [rather than the absurd under the bridge bike lane on lloyd, downhill and then up, with sewer grates], but this design will make it somewhat more difficult for me to make the merge left — not just physically, because of the barriers, but politically, because motorists will imagine i belong “over there” (which frankly is already a problem in this stretch, due in part to the existing striped bike lane). he acknowledged this, and literally said the design does not accommodate vehicular cyclists.

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              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 13, 2012 at 11:24 am


                i agree the protected bikeway vs. VC riding style is an interesting topic here. I think it’s safe to say that a repeal or major change/amendment of the mandatory sidepath law will happen. Would that alleviate your concerns?

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              • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

                “I think it’s safe to say that a repeal or major change/amendment of the mandatory sidepath law will happen.”

                Why would you think that’s “safe” to say? Have you heard something?

                “Would that alleviate your concerns?”

                I can’t speak for ‘are’, but it would only alleviate part of my concerns, since, as ‘are’ mentions, in the presence of separated infrastructure drivers have a place to point and say “get over there!” Quoting any future ORS that repeals 814.420 will not tend to convince Mr. Driver of my right to ride outside of the luxurious “bike path” that he is convinced his hard-earned gas tax dollars have paid for. What more could I possibly want, after all?

                If drivers are currently eating the steak of roadway accommodation, I’d love a hot dog with the works. Instead, we get proposals for dry bagels and are told they’re gonna be totally delicious–you just have to take small bites and chew really slowly. Most times I’d rather have the scraps from the steak.

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              • are July 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

                biciclero has captured my concern here. the reason i and others insisted that PBoT put sharrows on the deck on the 12th avenue overcrossing if they were going to identify the west sidewalk as an MUP was specifically because motorists imagine if the sidepath is there you are “supposed to” use it. similarly the mess they have created on northease broadway approaching the I-5 exit. i am two lanes over, and motorists do not “get” it.

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              • are July 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm

                i also do not see any movement toward repeal of the mandatory sidepath law in the near term

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              • spare_wheel July 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

                i see absolutely no movement towards a repeal of the mandatory sidepath law. if anything there seems to be increasing resistance to the idea of “sharing the road” from cycling advocates and pbot.

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              • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

                Ok. Just wanted to be clear. “Pedestrian Cyclists” it is, then. “PC”.

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              • spare_wheel July 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

                “he acknowledged this, and literally said the design does not accommodate vehicular cyclists.”

                not only does pbot not accomodate vehicular cyclists, pbot actively impedes the right of way of faster and more skilled cyclists. pbot has made it clear that they do not want us taking the lane on hawthorne or alberta…they want cyclists to get out of the way and ride on poorly maintained/unsignaled greenways. and when pbot’s meager budget actually manages to fund and implement separated infrastructure, it often contains an unnecessary maze of curves, crossovers, lamp-posts, and blinded intersections that intentionally inconvenience and endanger more confident (or faster) cyclists.

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              • are July 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

                apart from those green sandwich boards on alberta, which i think can be overinterpreted, i do not feel that PBoT has “impeded” me from taking the lane either there or on hawthorne. regardless, i do take the lane on both those streets and rarely have any difficulties with motorists thinking i do not belong there.

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            • BURR July 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

              The Netherlands manages their super low cyclist fatality rate through much better driver training than we currently have in the US, and certainly not solely through separated infrastructure

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            • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

              “…they have lots of transitions between different types of infrastructure – they just manage the transitions well.”

              That’s the Dutch. Remember that we live in the U.S. Show me a single “well-managed” transition in drawings or actual implementation and I’ll show you several that are killers. Well, OK–I guess unless we all go 5-10mph and yield to everything. Separated cycleways, as proposed here and generally implemented anywhere in the U.S. do not create parity with auto users, they put cyclists into a gauntlet (sorry to keep using that word, it’s the best description of what I see proposed here) from which it is difficult to escape and difficult to travel with any purpose. They serve to equate cyclists with pedestrians rather than treat them as vehicle operators.

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              • Alex Reed July 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

                I guess I’m a dreamer. I dream that the US can do separated infrastructure and infrastructure transitions right, just like the Netherlands does. I agree that pretty much nowhere in the US has done it right to date. I agree that the proposed facility has issues – especially for fast cycles, and for all cyclists between 7th and 9th. I agree that there are more factors leading to safe and pleasant bicycling than just separated infrastructure (driver education being one of the other factors.) Nonetheless, because the only rich countries in the world that have high bicycle mode share are those with plenty of separated infrastructure, I support separated infrastructure here. Because the proposed Multnomah plan has a large chunk of in my opinion perfectly useable, parking-protected bicycle infrastructure, I support it in its current form.

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              • El Biciclero July 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

                I would likely support well-done (heh, like steak…) infrastructure. My definition of well-done is infrastructure that increases safety while maintaining parity with auto users. I shouldn’t have to stop when parallel-routed drivers don’t (except for separate-phase signals). I shouldn’t have to make two pedestrian crossings when drivers get to just turn left. I shouldn’t have to deal with loitering pedestrians, car doors, garbage cans, debris, or anything else that blocks my way on a path that gives no escape route (e.g., ability to go around) except in very rare cases. I shouldn’t have to go miles out of my way to find “safe” infrastructure to travel on. AND I shouldn’t lose my right to use the street just because some purpose-built facility has been constructed nearby.

                My fear is that we will implement something that a few folks think “works fine” (but really doesn’t meet the full spectrum of needs) and stop there. Or worse, implement something that really is more dangerous due to poor design, and end up either mitigating by putting further burdens on its users to stop and yield, adding signage clutter, or just removing it, claiming “it doesn’t work”. The latter move would just give the “bikes are silly” crowd even more “look how much we wasted on you!” ammo to use against any future, perhaps better projects.

                Admittedly, that’s my fear. I applaud your optimism and truly hope you are right about the future. I tend to be more of a pessimist in this realm, and will likely remain so until I see something truly safe and usable implemented here.

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      • Alan 1.0 July 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

        El Biciclero
        For those that have used separated facilities in other countries, what is the typical speed on those facilities? Is there room for passing within their confines?

        I have (a little) and the only general answer is “it depends,” there’s everything from crowded city lanes with continuous bike-bells to lazy canal-side paths to commuters heading for the edge of town on cycle tracks to cycle roads between towns where everyone from kids to racers seem to get along, partly because it’s not too crowded but also it’s enculturated.

        But that raises a good question: What’s the purpose or expectation of NE Multnomah Street as a bikeway? Is it a destination for bikes, with bikes a part of street life as a retail, commercial and residential mix? Or is it a through route for bikes coming in from further east to get into downtown, inner east, Pearl, etc? Is there a need for both? (I think so.) Matt Arnold’s observation that “We don’t have too many opportunities to look at this type of area, with a big bike connection that gets you from neighborhoods, to a bridge and then into downtown…” is in the same vein. BAC should be lobbying for Multnomah *and* Holladay, in separate roles.

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        • El Biciclero July 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          Aha! See, this is more or less what I am talking about when I refer to “parity with auto drivers”. As a driver, I sort of mostly have a choice between freeways, arterials, collectors, and downtown/residential streets. I would lobby for these same options for cyclists. If my destination is someplace on Multnomah, then I can much more easily tolerate crowded slowness, since I’m almost there. But if I am coming from farther East and heading into downtown (or the reverse) then Multnomah becomes a bottleneck along the way. Drivers bypassing this area have I-84 (or even Broadway, Weidler, or Burnside); I’d love to see an equivalent for cyclists. The notion of a “bike freeway” is what I dream about. Although the US 26 bike path (MUP), which I have used, and Springwater trail (MUP), in my imagination, come close to this idea except that they are MUPs. MUPs again equate cyclists with pedestrians–but we would never expect pedestrians to wander down the middle of a “car” street. If we want to “separate”, let’s go all the way and separate peds from cyclists as well!

          Some will raise the point that if cyclists don’t want to have to mix with pedestrians, why should drivers be expected to mix with cyclists? I still say the speed differential between cars and bikes is (percentage-wise) much less than that between bikes and peds. If we take a typical 30-mph street and put a bike in the middle of the lane going 20–no, let’s say 15–it is a 50% reduction in speed for whatever time/distance the driver must follow. Do the same thing on a sidewalk (or MUP) and make a 15-mph cyclist slow to 3mph, and it is an 80% reduction in speed. Plus, laws are already in place to strongly suggest that cyclists make themselves “passable” at all times (except for rare occasions), so it is unlikely that a motorist would be “stuck” behind a bike for very long anyway. Keep in mind I’m not talking safety here, as the absolute differential (in my example) of 15mph, between a bike and a car is likely to be much more “dangerous” than a 12mph differential between a bike and a pedestrian. All of this rambling is to say that if separation makes sense, then complete separation makes sense; if we must mix, then mixing cars and bikes makes more sense than mixing bikes and pedestrians. Why else do we have a sidewalk exclusion zone for bicyclists? I guess I mean that if we want to go on a separation crusade, I’d rather separate peds from bikes first. But I know that doesn’t help the “interested-but-concerned”.

          End of slightly off-topic rambling.

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  • peejay July 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Portland- City of Bikes…um, I mean City That Likes to Talk About Being the City of Bikes Because it’s Good For Publicity But Wink-Wink We Really Know Cars Are For Adults So Let’s Make Some More Parking Spaces in the Most Parking Dense District in the City (TM).

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  • peejay July 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I think it’s time for Jonathan to whip out that map someone made up of all the off-street parking in Lloyd. Now, it’s true: drivers want options. They don’t want to be forced into using any one of a number of fairly empty parking garages for all their parking needs; sometimes they feel like parking on the street. Somedays, they really want to park on the sidewalk. Or in the front lobby of a building. Who are we to say they can’t?

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  • Alan 1.0 July 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Those street sections in ‘Possible Future Evolution’ PDF:

    – the labels “travel” for car versus “bike”…PBOT doesn’t consider bikes to be vehicles of travel?

    – 37 feet for cars, 12 feet for bikes and 9 feet of buffer. How about 20 feet for cars, 20 feet for bikes, and the rest goes to the sidewalks for all the stuff that goes on there like bike racks, cafe tables, kiosks, buskers, vendors, walkers, shoppers…?

    – no indication of sidewalk widths!

    – no indication of building edge (facade); what sort of set-backs are they considering? suburban lawns? objects in a field? or an urban street facade?

    So it looks to me, at this stage, like it’s nearly all just a paint-brush project with marginal bike “infrastructure” (I hesitate to call painted lines “structure”). There’s nothing about future development except vague “maybe” language. The plan doesn’t show anything about a vibrant urban area for people…could just be more blank corporate faces, inward-facing malls, etc. What’s to lose by turning down this offer? That wouldn’t make Multnomah worse for bikes, would it? Could the same funds (minus TMA’s money) be used to improve other bike routes? (e.g. Broadway & Wheeler) TMA’s $100K offer sounds like a low-ball (see Todd B’s parking unit cost, above). Wonder how much they really have to spend on greasing the wheels at city hall? Considering how TMA pulled out the rug on the Holladay talks, BAC wouldn’t be doing anything unprecedented by looking for a better offer.

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  • Andyc July 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    It’s really obvious to me that they don’t care about my business.
    If it’s a problem for me to get to your shopping area, why then would I care to go there?
    You will have my business if you give me safe access. What kind of backwards capitalists are you? My money no good or something?

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    • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Your money’s fine–they just don’t think you have enough of it…

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  • Bill Stites July 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I’m kind of dumbstruck – almost at a loss for words – is this really the best treatment that PBOT can come up with? Time to grow some NYC-cohones.

    My frustration isn’t about serving my needs as a cyclist, it’s about the big picture that Portland keeps saying they’re doing; but you must judge by actions and not words.

    There are just so many reasons this is wrong – haven’t recent studies shown that patrons on bikes spend as much as auto patrons? Thus business owners ought be educated to these trends. There is already so much auto parking in the district. And this PUBLIC space is going to be turned over to more car storage? Really?
    Sorry, lots of questions … not many answers. Here’s yet another opportunity to create a truly vital streetscape, deter auto use, and promote walking, cycling and transit; and PBOT isn’t even neutral – they’re PROMOTING auto use with the addition of parking.

    Seems like there should be some way to take serious action relative to the disconnect between stated policy and actual projects – perhaps a creative law suit?! It may come down to this if this shit keeps up.

    Ah, found a word – Horrible.

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  • Dan V July 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Considering the proximity of both the MAX and the EastSide StreetCar lines, why is the City not planning on those to get the customers into the area? Isn’t that why we built the StreetCar loop (Or is it just to get people from the Pearl to Lloyd Center without having to move their Lexus from one secure garage to another?)? Given the manner in which PBOT kneels for the TMA, I’d say we were “done” quite some time ago…

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson July 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    For me the most horrible thing about the Lloyd District is all those acres of parking…a waste of valuable urban land. The Lloyd TMA has been huge in reducing SOV commutes to the District and helping area employees to use transit, bike and/walk. Rightly the TMA, its members and the City should be working to put together the necessary pieces to get housing, offices and retail built on those lots. This requires private investment, right? Streetcar is coming and has attracted that in the past; on street parking is part of the formula for successful retail; good access for transit riders, bike riders, pedestrians and folks in cars are all necessary. Luckily Multnomah has room for all. Let’s give it a try.
    That said, as I rode down Interstate Ave. this AM from Rosa Parks, dodging in and out of traffic, I painfully recalled my role in agreeing to remove the required bike lane there in 2002 to accommodate retail parking at the Rosa Parks and Killingsworth MAX Stations. Retail has been very slow in coming and New Seasons put in a big parking lot. Never again.

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  • Jim Lee July 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Take a look over at Portland Transport for a critique of the botched planning we got for $150 million on the eastside streetcar.

    And we are doing bike “improvements” for how much? In the Lloyd district? In the ENTIRE city?

    I have no animus for Rob Birchfield, but considerable for Tom Miller for letting this farrago continue.

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  • dwainedibbly July 13, 2012 at 4:20 am

    A couple of questions:
    1. Is this on-street parking going to be metered? If it’s so valuable that the Lloyd people are demanding it so much, the City ought to recapture some of that value.
    2. What is the speed limit going to be once this project is complete?
    3. (ok, more than ‘a couple’, and this isn’t entirely related to the Lloyd district) What happened to the new State law that allows cities to lower speed limits to 20mph in some areas? Is PBOT going to implement that anywhere? If we’re going to get crappy infrastructure, can we at least lower the speed limit here?

    New development in Portland, without good cycling infrastructure, will not do as well as it might in other areas of the country. Clearly, these developers don’t understand that.

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  • Lloyd bike July 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Historically, the Lloyd TMA has had an agreement with the city to receive 51% of the parking meter revenue for Lloyd district project.

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    • Jeff TB July 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

      ah, so that’s what “activation at the street level” means….

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

      bingo! thanks for that Lloyd bike. Very interesting.

      I have also learned that the amount of on-street parking in front of a building is used as a selling point for big commercial real estate transactions and has a direct correlation to what a seller can get. Are Lloyd TMA/developers really concerned about “retail space activation” or are they just looking to make some extra cash? hmmm

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    • are July 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      weirdly, and again burchfield acknowledged this tuesday night, motorists will actually choose to pay a meter on the street rather than get involved with the garage, even though the garage is free.

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  • Tonya July 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Honestly, I think what’s there now is better than the proposal. More parking is bad for bikes. Is there anyway to just say no-do nothing and spend your dollars in some other part of the city?

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    • 9watts July 14, 2012 at 6:36 am

      “Is there anyway to just say no-do nothing and spend your dollars in some other part of the city?”
      I hope so. I think that is called ‘calling Burchfield’s bluff.’ If we want a better deal–not just here but anywhere–we have to push back. How do we think Lloyd TMA got themselves into a spot where they have all that veto power? Money’s part of it, but savvy and knowing how to throw your weight around is surely also part of the mix.

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    • dwainedibbly July 14, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Agreed. I smell greenwashing. I’m think that the Lloyd developers just want to be able to say that whatever they build there is “bike friendly” and “developed in cooperation with the PBOT and Portland’s cycling community”. We shouldn’t give them the ability to say that.

      Walk away.

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      • Alan 1.0 July 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

        “Walk away” probably isn’t the best option, either, because it ends further chance of change, input, etc. (cf. BTA & CRC); might even be outside BAC charter, donno. Next step could be suggested changes (substantial!), a counter-proposal or issuance of a statement that this plan does not meet BAC approval (if that’s true).

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