The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

PBOT opts for zig-zag to connect new SE Foster bike lanes to 52nd

Posted by on March 26th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

PBOT graphic of recommended bicycle connection between SE Foster and 52nd.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation will complete a new bikeway on SE 52nd Avenue later this year. They’ve also already green-lighted a redesign of SE Foster that will include new bike lanes in both directions. Unfortunately, at least in the short-term, there won’t likely be any bikeway available where these two major streets connect with one another.

Instead of removing on-street auto parking, PBOT will route the bikeway through a residential area.

For people bicycling westbound on Foster, PBOT will direct them to head north on SE 54th, then left on SE Rhone. That zig-zag will add about 250 feet of additional travel distance over a continuous bike lane on Foster. Here’s more from the draft Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan (PDF) released today (emphasis mine):

“In order to provide motorists adequate space to merge, the transition from four general travel lanes to three requires a minimum of 550 feet. In the eastbound direction this will take place between SE 52nd and 56th Avenues. Maintaining bike lanes in this stretch would therefore require the removal of on-street parking. Due to a lack of off-street parking for businesses in this area, relatively high parking usage in this segment, and concerns about parking spillover into adjacent residential areas, the recommendation is to not continue bike lanes directly to SE 52nd Avenue.”

When we first reported on this issue back in December, we shared that a 57% of respondents to a PBOT survey (both online and at public meetings) wanted the bike lanes on Foster to connect to 52nd. Foster-Powell resident Brett Holycross, who has followed this project closely, told us that he was disappointed in the design. “There is going to be a great new bike facility on Foster for 2 miles,” he shared, “but because the city is afraid to take away some on-street parking, they can’t make it the final 600 feet to what will be the main N-S bike connection in the area.”

Today, Holycross told us that the PBOT recommendation is, “A shame for an otherwise great project.”

PBOT did include a “future suboption” in the plan that would continue the bike lanes on Foster directly to 52nd. But they pointed out that — in order to do so and retain all the on-street auto parking — they’d be required to chop two feet off one of Foster’s sidewalks to make room for the bike lane. To make room for a bike lane on both sides of Foster between 54th and 52nd, they’d need to chop off two feet on both sidewalks. If the politics of that project could even ever get off the ground, PBOT estimates it would cost $250,000 – $750,000.

PBOT’s draft plan also explained how they could have made a direct connection for folks headed down 52nd and then east on Foster; but they’ve decided to compromise in that situation as well.

From the draft plan:

“A direct connection at SE 52nd Avenue would ideally include a left turn bike box at SE 52nd Avenue and Foster Road. Without a left turn box, cyclists would be required to merge across traffic between Powell Boulevard and Foster Road in order to use the left turn signal at SE 52nd Avenue and Foster Road. However, a box at this location would require relocating the curb and a utility pole, and would likely require right-of-way acquisition to maintain adequate pedestrian space.”

So instead, PBOT will recommend that people biking south on 52nd who want to head east on Foster, first cross Foster and then use SE Center Street one block south.

Read the full draft and learn more about the Foster Streetscape Plan here.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Brett Holycross was a member of the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee. That’s incorrect. He’s merely a nearby resident who has followed the project closely. We regret the error.

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

  • peejay March 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    PBOT again prioritizes the convenient storage of personal property on public space over the safety of the citizens of this city.

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    • paikikala March 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Someone should challenge the statement “the transition from four general travel lanes to three requires a minimum of 550 feet.” The equation for dropping a lane is width of transition times speed squared, that quantity divided by 60. To transition ten feet (one lane drop) the distance is 204 ft at the posted 35 mph. For 12 feet its only 245 feet. What street are they designing for? I’m missing something.

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      • El Biciclero March 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm

        According to your formula, they are designing for a street that is losing a 27-ft lane, or losing a 14-ft lane where people actually drive 48 mph…

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    • Oregon Mamacita March 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      The area between 52nd & 54th is mostly strip club/brothels. I see old guys coming out sheepishly from the businesses, and they are clearly to broken down to walk far or bike. Funny, the city is quick to screw small business in some areas, but I guess the sex industry in Portland is special.

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      • jd March 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

        I love a lot of the businesses from 52nd to 54th on the north side of Foster. There’s one sleazeball strip club (and another across the street — gross), but An Xuyen, Foster Burger, and even Devil’s Point are awesome.

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    • matt picio April 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      It’s overblown. This really isn’t a big deal at all, and a perfectly reasonable compromise. Provided it’s well-signed, it won’t be a problem to navigate, and experienced, confident riders can take the lane for the couple blocks if they want the direct route. Speaking as someone who rode through this intersection on a daily basis for 2 years when I lived in Brentwood/Darlington, while this isn’t the PERFECT solution, it’s definitely acceptable, workable, and competent. Respectfully, complaining heavily on this minor portion of the project is picking nits.

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      • 9watts April 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

        I think, practically, for you and me and others who are used to riding on Foster this is, as you say, no big deal. But we weren’t the target audience of the upgrade, I don’t think. Or at least I hope not.

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      • spare_wheel April 2, 2014 at 9:52 am

        can you provide a single example of motorvehicles being funneled into a “zig-zag” to save a few government-subsidized motorvehicle storage spaces?

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

        I disagree Matt.

        “acceptable” and “reasonable compromise” — happening over and over and over again — is what’s keeping us from being a truly world-class cycling city. Giving up when it’s hard is not how you move the needle and get ridership beyond the current group of hardcore riders that’s out on the streets right now. We are so close to getting over the hump in this town, but decisions like this make it much more difficult. Connectivity is so important, not just from a convenience and efficiency standpoint — but from a psychological/cultural standpoint. This type of compromise just tells people that auto use is more important to our city than bicycling — which is the exact opposite message we are supposed to be sending.

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  • Harald March 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Same old, same old…

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  • peejay March 26, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    This really sucks, considering the proximity of this project to the location of a great many auto-caused deaths in Portland. This is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

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    • random_rider March 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Yup, definitely more “Zero Vision”

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  • peejay March 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    So glad the needs of Devil’s Point patrons are being met by PBOT. Wouldn’t want them to have to walk around the block now, would we, PBOT?

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    • John Lascurettes March 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Aren’t most parking around the block anyway?

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      • Alex March 26, 2014 at 10:59 pm

        Yes, I live on Francis St behind the Decorette shop, and quite a few folks park back here to go to pussycats. Even though parking may be open on Foster, folks going to the Decorette shop park back on Francis cause it’s easier to get out to their cars without traffic flying by.

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  • peejay March 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    And Foster Burger, until you come out and say you did not request the preservation of auto storage in the street in front of your establishment, I’m gonna find other burgers to eat from now on.

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    • citysp3ctator March 26, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      A little radical, are we? Come on, boycotting a business because you suspect they may want to preserve a parking spot in front of their business?

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    • Alex March 26, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      They don’t even really have parking in front of their business, it’s a few places mainly in front of Seductions and Devils Point. The bakery has the rest tied up.

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  • peejay March 26, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Then there’s the concern of that for-lease building that had an auto upholstery shop in it. We can’t take their FREE parking away, can we?

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  • Jen March 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I think they should start calling it Zero Vision instead.

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  • eli bishop March 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    No. This makes me feel ill. A “future sub option” that requires people to choose between bikes and pedestrians even if they had a ton of extra money to spend on it is a false option. I can’t believe they decided the best option to head east on Foster is to cross Foster TWICE. This is not right.

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    • davemess March 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      It would only be crossing Foster once (at 52nd), but I hear you. And I plan on using the left turn lane on 52nd to head that direction every day.

      I’m not surprised at all that this is the option they ended up with. The didn’t seem very interested from the beginning of continuing the bike lanes to 52nd. I agree with Brett. It’s just so silly to have 2+ miles of new bike route only to have a weird detour 2 blocks from connecting to another bike facility.

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      • eli bishop March 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        dave, you’re right: i was obviously too blinded with rage to read the map clearly. still, it looks to me like the crossing with the least conflict heading east involves crossing foster to get to center, then getting onto the foster bike lane at the center/foster pedestrian crossing. which is ridiculous, but turning left onto foster otherwise is -completely- ridiculous.

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        • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:33 am

          You do have to cross 52nd though to get to center. And I was really annoyed at the meetings when I would bring up the fact that at peak hours this is not always easy to do, and the city folks would act like I was crazy. It just seemed so much more straightforward to continue the bike lanes to 52nd and then make the left turn lane onto Foster more bike accessible. It’s actually not that bad now, as the lights for Powell and Foster are timed that there is ALWAYS a red at Foster, so traffic is either stopped or very slow, allowing bikes to merge into the left turn lane.

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          • Bald One March 27, 2014 at 11:49 am

            When I have gone to the city’s community outreach and planning events for similar projects, I am always left with the following take home message: the city has already made up their mind prior to the event; the city’s traffic engineers and designers base their ideas on maps from their desk – they don’t spend significant time actually in these areas at the correct time of day – riding through them, watching, observing; they speculate about what businesses would want (have they actually canvassed all the business owners and spoken directly with them, or just assumed their responses?). It always seems like a lot of hollow lip service to alternative options to hide the fact they have already decided on a plan.

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            • Nick Falbo March 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

              As a neighborhood resident, let me tell you that the 3-lane Foster and new bike lanes almost didn’t happen. (The situation is still delicate.) I went into the process fully prepared for PBOT to tell us that there was too much traffic, and a 3-lane wouldn’t work. Instead, they told us that there was too much traffic, but if we were willing to accept some real trade offs, we could have it.

              As simple as conventional as regular bike lanes are, getting them of Foster is a big deal, and points to a real shift in the approach PBOT is taking for traffic management.

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      • 9watts March 26, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        let us pause for 30 seconds and consider how this would play out if PBOT proposed (or concluded their lengthy process) with this kind of a design FOR THOSE IN CARS.

        You’re coming off I-5 Northbound, and instead of merging smoothly onto Naito Parkway, you are first taken through a bunch of mandatory zigs and zags.

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        • Reza March 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm

          Ironically, that’s what drivers have to do now to get between I-5 SB and the Ross Island Bridge EB. Ask the South Portland neighborhood how much they like that cut-through traffic…

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          • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:33 am

            Or 26 to Ross Island (which is supposed to still be 26).

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  • Andrew N March 26, 2014 at 4:28 pm


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    • Buzz Aldrin March 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm


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    • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

      As much as I dislike this decision, let’s still not lose sight of the fact that we are getting a land reduction, new bike lanes and ped crossings on two miles of one of the most dangerous streets in the city. Yes, this final piece didn’t fall into place, but this project is still a huge step in the right direction, and not likely to occur in most other US cities.

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      • davemess March 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

        Sorry. “LANE” reduction. Defintely don’t need a land reduction.

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  • Allan March 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I’m glad folks are complaining about this just because if they weren’t even more compromises would be made.

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  • MaxD March 26, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I love the red herring about how the pedestrian space would be diminished and how much money it would cost to add bike lanes….if we start with the assumption that we can not lose a single on-street parking place.

    This is the worst, lamest compromise! All over town we have these great facilities that are are 80-90% but remain unconnected and instead create a convoluted, sub-standard bike route. Usually these lousy routes are in place to preserve parking.

    I will admit that Tri-met and City are partially to blame- service cuts, infrequent service, and limited hours of operation for mass transit provide a good argument for people who rely on their car to get around.

    I love Jen’s comment above: “Zero Vision”

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  • gutterbunny March 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Ahhh no one wanted to stop by food carts there anyway. Of course they wouldn’t see any benefit of hungry and thirsty people riding right by them in droves…..

    But at least the Liquor Store is pretty much a straight shot.

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  • Peejay March 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I want to keep supporting the new PBOT leadership, and Leah Treat always seems to say the right things, but then this disaster happens.

    Does anyone at PBOT understand the principle of the weakest link? If you have two pretty good routes connected by a substandard route, it’s as if the entire network is substandard. Frankly, it’s a huge waste of money NOT to have a high quality connection between Foster and 52nd.

    The time has long gone when it was acceptable to put in facilities only where there is no political resistance. Bending to the will of the car-storage fanatics only strengthens them.

    And yes, they ARE fanatics.

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    • matt picio April 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Hyperbolic much? This isn’t a “disaster”, it’s only one piece of a multi-mile corridor, and not a particularly hazardous one even today. It’s far more difficult dealing with areas north of Powell, especially climbing the hill southbound on 52nd while dealing with Trimet buses and other traffic.

      It doesn’t always work out – there are frequently other considerations and we (cyclists) are not always going to get every single thing we want – nor should we. Frankly, I’d rather see that area go towards PEDESTRIAN improvements rather than bike lanes – that intersection is far more hazardous if you’re switching from the #14 bus to the #71 or vice-versa, or merely trying to walk to Franklin High from the south side of Foster.

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  • Eric March 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I plan on avoiding any zig zags and taking the lane. Zero vision.

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    • dwainedibbly March 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Same here. And I might have to reduce my speed, since it is clearly a dangerous area (because there are no bike facilities). Plus, I might want to look into the windows of the businesses along that stretch of the road.

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    • Justin March 31, 2014 at 10:01 am

      That’s what’s so depressing about this. People who are confident enough to take the lane on a busy road are not the ones we should be designing facilities for. You’ll be fine, but will this help anyone get onto a bike who wasn’t before?

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  • spare_wheel March 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    maybe this would be a good place for portland’s first guerilla bike facility. i’ll help pay for the paint.

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    • Peejay March 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      I’ll sign up for that!

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    • Alex March 26, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      I am totally game for that! Been debating paint a cycle track on the sidewalk to prove we have room in this stretch, it’s so funking wide! I ride it frequently, need to clear a few branches and it would be money. All with room for walkers of course.

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  • Pliny March 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Just out of curiosity, anybody have any idea how much it would cost in signage and advertising to make riders aware of the zig-zag to the point that the majority actually use it versus, you know, actually building it properly?

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  • eli bishop March 26, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    That will become a high-conflict spot where people are going to get hurt. When someone -dies-, they might consider the “future sub-option.” BUT THEY SHOULD JUST BUILD IT RIGHT TO BEGIN WITH.

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  • Brett Holycross March 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Clarification: I am not a member of the SAC. I am a resident of Foster-Powell.

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  • Jen March 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Why is the city willing to get rid of on street parking spaces for the streetcar but not for a bike lane?

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  • citysp3ctator March 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Perhaps I’m stepping into the lion’s den with a comment like this, but…the people living along Foster are attempting multiple things with this streetscape plan. One of which is to add bike lanes and get more people biking. This plan accomplishes that.

    Another goal is to make Foster safer for pedestrians and get people walking more. This plan accomplishes that.

    Another goal, I like to think, is to improve the ability of the commercial district to thrive. Bike lanes and safer crossings for peds goes a long way in working toward that goal. However, we need people in cars to bring business to the district, too. Hawthorne needs its parking lanes. Alberta and Mississippi need their parking lanes. So, too, should Foster. Especially if it’s being preserved while ALSO adding bike lanes (just not for a very small stretch).

    Yes, it’s a shame for the Foster bike lanes not to connect directly to the N/S 50s route. And maybe it’s shortsighted of PBOT to not find a way. But it’s not the end of the world to bike a few hundred extra feet so businesses can have parking spots.

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    • 9watts March 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      “But it’s not the end of the world…”
      you’re right. It isn’t the end of the world. But it is so damned depressing to always get the middle finger from PBOT, when it comes down to the end.

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      • citysp3ctator March 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        Middle finger? 30 blocks of bike lanes are being constructed. This plan is not just about bikes. It’s about increasing safety and adding some vitality to a long-neglected commercial corridor.

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        • Peejay March 27, 2014 at 5:45 am

          It’s about increasing safety EXCEPT WHEN IT’S INCONVENIENT TO ANYBODY IN A CAR. That’s worse than the middle finger.

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          • citysp3ctator March 27, 2014 at 9:03 am

            Again, 30 blocks of bike lanes are being constructed. Trust me, there was a lot of push-back from some select few vocal car advocates in Lents. The whole plan has been a compromise and creates some inconvenience at various levels throughout the corridor…not just the three blocks that you’re unwilling to stray from.
            I’m a bike advocate, and am bummed this doesn’t directly connect to the N/S route, but as a Foster area resident, I’m pretty stoked on what this plan brings. I’d say it’s a win-win for all.

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            • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

              again, those are 30 blocks of bike lanes where on street car parking is still going to be maintained!

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              • citysp3ctator March 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

                Yes, davemess, you’re right…parking will be maintained on those 30 blocks. But my point was that something has been sacrificed at the various nodes. In the 30 blocks where bike lanes are being added, vehicular lanes were sacrificed. On the three blocks where PBOT intends to preserve parking, bike lanes are being sacrificed. There’s an alternate route, though…and that’s something. Remember, this plan has many, many goals attached to it. It isn’t a bike plan…though, it does go a long, long way in bringing bike infrastructure to the neighborhood.

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              • 9watts March 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

                “vehicular lanes were sacrificed. …bike lanes are being sacrificed.”

                Not quite. We never had the bike lane in the first place.

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            • paikikala March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

              Vision Zero/Safe Systems does not put mobilith ahead of safety.

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            • Cora Potter March 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm

              The representatives from Lents aren’t/weren’t “car advocates”. In fact, we traded our on street parking in the stretch from 82nd to 87th for sidewalks. But, we also know that the on street parking there doesn’t get used and there is adequate parking area on the side streets that doesn’t intrude on residential properties very much.

              Did we bring up the needs of the many residents in our area that drive (because they don’t have the luxury of not driving) – yes. We’d be horrible community representatives if we didn’t. That doesn’t make us “car advocates”. Me personally, I’m car free and I get everywhere by foot, bike or transit and very infrequently by car share.

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              • 9watts March 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

                (because they don’t have the luxury of not driving)


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              • citysp3ctator March 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

                “The luxury of not driving…”

                Hmmm? That’s a first. I’ve heard of people advocating for folks that don’t have the luxury of having a car (instead relying on public transit, walking, biking), but not for folks who are so unfortunate to have a car and drive.

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              • Nick Falbo March 29, 2014 at 11:53 am

                Welcome to the future of car-dependent poverty. As people are priced out of the inner city, this issue will only get worse.

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              • matt picio April 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

                Then respectfully, you’re not considering all the users of that intersection. Foster/Powell/52nd carries a lot of surburban traffic from Lents and outer east Portland. Some of those areas are not well-served by Trimet, and have substandard if any bike and pedestrian improvements. (I’m talking east of I-205 here) Those people in many cases aren’t able to bike or walk/transit to get to work or don’t feel safe doing so – and they won’t until the city completes the inner bike network and starts giving more love to outer east Portland. It’s a Catch-22, because the city has no funding to build in the areas with fewer cyclists already in place, while also struggling for funding because many citizens believe there’s no need to fund infrastructure when “no one is using it”. (Division buffered bike lanes, anyone?)

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        • 9watts March 27, 2014 at 7:02 am

          “This plan is not just about bikes.”
          I understand that. But I stand by my assessment that when it comes down to the wire, to finishing the job, to seeing it through, to sending a clear signal about where we as a city are going, must go, want to go (human powered transport/Vision Zero/livability) PBOT loses its nerve and does the Cold War, Cars Über Alles thing.

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          • citysp3ctator March 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

            The city definitely falls short of living up to its reputation. That much I can agree with. The Foster plan is still pretty bold in many ways…not necessarily in design, but where it’s being implemented. Hopefully it lays the groundwork for future improvements.

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        • Todd Hudson March 27, 2014 at 8:14 am

          You see, if it’s not at par with Copenhagen standards, we bellyache endlessly. This is how we roll…give us everything that we want, all others be damned.

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          • peejay March 27, 2014 at 8:45 am

            No, I’m not holding this up to Copenhagen standards. I’m holding this up to the standards people would accept for, say, a car facility. Say there’s a nice paved road to drive on, and it approaches another nice paved road, but there’s a hundred yards of rough gravel to connect them. Or, you have to cut through a parking lot, or cross a railyard. This is what the complaints are about. A facility is built to a standard–and on-street unprotected bike lanes in the door zone are not the greatest standard to begin with–but then there’s a part right in the middle of this facility that is built to a far lesser standard.

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      • El Biciclero March 31, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Not so much a middle finger, more like hoping for double cheeseburger and getting a PBJ, minus the J.

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        • 9watts April 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

          Hoping for?
          I think ordering might be closer. Those who don’t own cars, as we’ve learned here, typically are already subsidizing those who do. Having ordered the double cheeseburger, the PBJ minus the J is, I submit, just about equivalent to the middle finger.

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          • El Biciclero April 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

            Well, OK. French Fry/Freedom Fry.

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    • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

      On the flip side of your comment, they HAVE preserved parking on almost the entire stretch of this project. This is the only section where parking potentially was coming under fire! So it’s actually the exact opposite of what you’re saying.

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    • CaptainKarma March 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      It IS the end of the world for the person killed while just trying to get home to his/her family after a day at work. But parking is so worth it!

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  • Bill Stites March 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    We’re not naive to the fact that these are challenging situations, but this outcome is embarrassing. Just look at the map – the Active Transportation mode of cycling is directed away from the logical public facility. With all the rhetoric, the car is still king … apparently for a long time to come.

    Really, I find this egregious – maybe they just had to hit bottom here, and there’s some hope with the new leadership of Ms. Treat?

    peejay, it’s time for a beer and some brainstormin’.

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    • Peejay March 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Agreed, neighbor. Hit me up.

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  • eli bishop March 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    This does not bode well for the 20s bikeway options, either.

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    • 9watts March 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Nope. Sure doesn’t. I vote for everyone on a bike ignoring this ridiculous copout and taking the logical route. I know I will. I’ve biked this 52nd-to-Foster & Foster-to-52nd for as long as I can remember.

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  • Terry D March 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Any department at PBOT squirms when you request parking removal…they do not know what to do about it. At North Tabor we are working on East Burnside, which will require parking removal between 41st-47th and 60th-68th. As transportation chair, I want to know what percentage of property owners need to agree to remove parking in front of their houses…that they are too scared to use due to its danger….before PBOT will treat us seriously.

    I have asked that question several times….they do not even know what to do with the subject. PBOT is RUNNING SCARED of auto owners. I doubt they even have an answer. Our presenter from the high crash corridor program told me “I had to get the neighborhood board to come along with me first.”

    I already have, and have support from the NA to the east in principle for the concept, just not on a specific plan. It passed unanimously…but all the presenter heard was the arguments of ONE community member who was arguing for the status quo. There are always going to be a few, but what % of property owners do we need…50% sign off? 75%? 90%? In other cities their departments remove parking for safety reasons all the time.

    No one will tell me a % goal, probably because PBOT does not know since they do not want to be responsible for removing someone’s parking space….even if it is the only car parked for blocks….I am going to have to do MY OWN parking utilization study to show them how little it is used. She could not even give me an answer if that would help.

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    • Justin March 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Terry, I just moved to North Tabor and would love to hear more about this plan, and to potentially get involved. is there any information about it you could point me towards?

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      • Terry D March 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

        Hi Justin. I have been meaning to write up another Burnside specific debriefing now that all the data that I am going to get out of PBOT is in. Here is the comprehensive plan letter we sent and was accepted by BPS with the transportation improvements being “referred to PBOT for inclusion in the TSP.”

        Embedded in this letter, amongst other transportation improvements is “Full buffered bike lanes from 71st to 41st.” We had the High Crash Corridor Program do a presentation on Burnside last Tuesday. We are having a debriefing as part of our Land Use Committee meeting this Tuesday, April 1 6:30-8:00

        Burnside is already slated for a “protected in road bikeway” in the TSP and a “Bicycle Parkway” in Metro’s ATP. So, all we are asking for is what they are planning for and SAY they want.

        It would be great if you could attend this meeting on Tuesdady. I can also e-mail my four page document on Burnside specifically and add you to the contact list for the NEW group I have been authorized to chair by North Tabor. I am going to set a date after Tuesday’s meeting.

        C.U.R.B.S. “Citizen’s United Rebuilding Burnside Safely.”

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      • Terry D March 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

        I just posted the most up to date information on Burnside that we will talk about on Tuesday here:

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    • MaxD March 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

      PBOT’s (and the City’s) public meetings have been co-opted by squeaky wheels. If a few special interest people show up and make comments, the City goes out of their way accommodate regardless of how misguided they may be. I would love to see some actual Vision and backbone from our leaders

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      • Terry D March 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        I did not mean to imply that the presenter did not do a good job, she did great and many constructive things came out of it.

        This project is out of their budgetary scope (which I figured) since the crash rates are not as high as other areas of East Portland so they have to focus their limited budget.

        They are treating us seriously however. I hope that me badgering them about what the parking removal polices are will help trigger them to MAKE a policy. This will come out of their parking demand planning grant I guess, so I may just be working a year too soon.

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  • Alan 1.0 March 26, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    PBOT talks about >25% bike mode share by 2030 but gives all six lanes of a major new bike route plan to cars and zero to bikes. Bike mode share is presently around 6%. Quadrupling that in 15 years is going to be challenge enough without blatant pandering to the dominant auto mode. Walk (ride) your talk, PBOT.

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  • Chasing Backon March 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I will use the foster bike lane 4-6 times per week and eagerly look forward to it’s arrival. I will also take the lane for this connection and be sure to get in the way. Thanks for nothing, PBOT

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    • Sigma March 27, 2014 at 7:57 am

      “I will use the foster bike lane 4-6 times per week and eagerly look forward to it’s arrival…thanks for nothing, PBOT.”

      That is a truly impressive display of cognitive dissonance.

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  • Madison March 27, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Going South on 52nd, how is turning left onto Center supposed to be better than turning left onto Foster? To turn onto Center you still have to merge with southbound auto traffic – plus wait for a gap in the northbound traffic.

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  • Spiffy March 27, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I frequent a lot of places on Foster… none of them have on-street parking… two of them you can’t even park in front of…

    and because there’s only street parking available and the businesses are small and only have about 2 parking spaces each in front of them that means that when I do drive I rarely ever park on Foster…

    I really doubt the loss of 2 parking spaces will impact the strip club… I know it won’t effect Foster Burger… and Buyright and George Morlan have plenty of parking next to their buildings on side streets…

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    • davemess March 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

      This actually won’t even affect parking in front of George Morlan or Buyright, as they’ll still have street parking (and a bike lane), being east of 54th. At least according to the top map. That’s what’s so ridiculous, it’s literally 2 tiny blocks.

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      • Brett Holycross March 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

        Really, just 1 block (300′)… There is already no parking on the north side of Foster between Bush and 52nd due to the transit stop. People on bikes are not going to take the 54th-Rhone-52nd route to avoid 300′ of cramped space. Instead, they will take the sidewalk or veer out into the traffic lane. Neither of these will create a safe environment for road users.

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        • davemess March 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

          Good point. I can’t imagine that Carts on Foster was against having bike lanes in front of them.

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  • Spiffy March 27, 2014 at 8:18 am

    “Sorry that we couldn’t make your transportation experience safer and more pleasant but we needed to give people from other neighborhoods a convenient place to store their two tons of property while they shopped.” –PBOT

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  • Carl March 27, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Deja vu.

    Regarding the Division St. Road Diet from 60th-80th:
    “The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is very pleased to see this neighborhood’s concerns finally addressed and we applaud PBOT for their design. In fact, we like their design so much that we encourage the city to extend the bike lanes west to SE 52nd Ave, where the new 50s Bikeway will soon cross.

    The extra eight blocks of roadway improvements would provide safe access to Atkinson Elementary School, Franklin High School, and Clinton Park but would require removal of some on-street car parking.

    It is our strongly-held opinion that the City of Portland should provide safe access to its schools and parks before it provides free space for private vehicle storage in the public right of way.”

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    • spare_wheel March 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

      That incredibly forceful statement from the BTA will surely encourage PBOT to reconsider.


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    • rainbike March 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      It’s too bad they ended with the “free space for private vehicle storage in the public right of way” jab. Unless your favorite blog is BP, this is an absolute eye-roller. If you disagree, try it out on your car-commuting neighbor next time he parks the car in front of his house after a long day at the job site.

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      • Bill Walters March 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        Dear neighbor: Use your driveway. That’s what it’s for. Don’t block lines of sight on the public right-of-way.

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        • Bill Walters March 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm

          After all, it’s your own kid’s life and limb at stake as much as anyone’s.

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        • citysp3ctator March 29, 2014 at 11:47 am

          Uh, not all of us own property and have a driveway. And as your statement pertains to the streetscape plan, safety is very much being addressed. It’s just not meeting the expectation of bike enthusiasts. In reality, there are added bike lanes, slowed and reduced car traffic, and safer and more frequent ped crossings.

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          • Bill Walters March 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

            Wow, citysp3c: “bike enthusiasts,” as if straight from the 1970s. You may have tipped your hand just a little bit with that one.

            If so, one hopes you truly are little more than a “sp3ctator,” even though your other comments suggest you have more skin in the game than that.

            Oh, and: Yep, not everyone owns a house or has a driveway. But the example that rainbike posited included both “his” and “house,” implying (but not guaranteeing!) both ownership and the likelihood of said driveway.

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            • citysp3ctator March 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

              Tipping my hand on what? Would it have been better had I said “bike enthusiasts in this forum?”

              I’m a biker myself and am thrilled we’re getting bike lanes. I just disagree with the notion that it’s a failed plan because the city opted to preserve a few parking spots at a tricky stretch of Foster.

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              • Bill Walters March 30, 2014 at 6:13 pm

                When in a hole, sp3c, it behooves you to stop digging.

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    • matt picio April 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I can totally get behind that – that area is far more hazardous to ride through that 52nd/Foster/Powell currently is.

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  • Kate March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Implementation of the 50’s Bikeway has been delayed multiple times. A new update on the project website states construction has been pushed back to “early April.” PBOT, please note that we are paying attention, and that systematic project delays undermine your authority and any citizen trust you might hope to cultivate. Please do better or citizen discontent will make it even harder for you to do your job.

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    • Terry D March 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      I was told specifically the HAWK signal at 53rd and Burnside is scheduled for construction in June…meaning, since it has to be special ordered the bid went through and the money is being used. I actually do believe them this time that it will be built this year. PBOT’s informational outreach is awful when it comes to there projects. There should be regular updates to all NA’s whenever a project in their neighborhood reaches a critical step…like accepting a bid proposal and scheduling construction of something. I was told that this is a great idea, but would cost about $350K a year in operational labor costs and there is no budget for that overhead. I found this…a little fishy….. since an e-mail CC to a data base that is maintained by one person is all it would seem to me to need…but there are I think 78 NA’s in this city. I however do not know enough about labor costs to judge.

      Little things like whenever a project that has a code number is in progress and the page is updated an automated response to the e-mail NA contact would occur would go a long way for PBOT to publicize what they are doing and when.

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  • paikikala March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am


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  • Nick Littlejohn March 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Reducing sidewalks for bikes is never the answer. It is removing polluting auto parking.

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    • Nick Falbo March 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      I think there may be cases where a slightly narrower sidewalk, when paired with a cycle track, offers a better pedestrian experience than a wider sidewalk paired with a bike lane. The greater physical separation from car traffic and the significantly shorter crossing distance it can provide may make up for a slightly narrower sidewalk.

      If the “future sub-option” does happen, and they spend $750,000 to narrow the sidewalk, I hope we get a real cycle track out of it for those two blocks rather than a regular bike lane.

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  • AndyC of Linnton March 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    It’s infrastructure “improvements” like this that make me want to come to the comments section and use all caps and all expletives.
    Yeesh, Portland, get it together already.

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  • Unit March 28, 2014 at 10:20 am

    There is space for both on-street parking and bike lanes. Here is how it could work:
    – From 56th to Bush, include 2 eastbound car lanes, 1 westbound car lane, bike lanes, and parking on both sides. The eastbound lanes merge into one lane approaching 56th, where the center turn lane begins.
    – From Bush to 52nd (a short distance), there are no parking-less businesses on the north side. So it’s a good place to drop the parking and add the 2nd westbound lane approaching 52nd, continuing the bike lanes. Which leaves 4 car lanes, parking on the south side, and bike lanes.

    I think the issue is not the parking, it’s the amount of car lane storage being provided approaching 52nd and ultimately Powell. It’s excessive – sacrificing streetscape for storing car queues that occur 5-10 hours per week.

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  • eli bishop March 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    i would rather they just gave the $750,000 it will take to build the “future sub-option” to those businesses directly right now and say it’s payment for the parking spaces. then everyone should be happy.

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  • Brett Holycross April 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Why has BTA been so quiet about this issue and this project in general? It made it on their “Blueprint for World Class Bicycling”, but I have not heard anything of substance from them on this project. They sometimes have a representative at the SAC meetings, but not regularly. Does this project (and the proposed zig-zag) “…raise our existing network to the next level to ensure that riders of all abilities, regardless of destination, have access to a safe place to ride.” Just wondering.

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