(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Portland Bureau of Transportation on Thursday backed off from its proposal to replace about 100 auto parking spaces on 28th Avenue near Burnside with a buffered bike lane.
Available auto parking is “a very, very big deal” for neighborhood commercial districts like this one, project manager Rich Newlands told the 20s Bikeway Project stakeholder advisory committee at their meeting last night.
The city completed its first multi-street count of the neighborhood’s parking demand in time for Thursday’s meeting, which had been slated as the committee’s last. The results showed that many nearby blocks in the free-parking neighborhood were near capacity.
Below is PBOT’s “Parking Demand Map” showing that both sides of 28th through the commercial district are at “100% observed parking utilization”:
Instead of further straining the area’s free parking, Newlands said, the city is recommending an “interim solution” for the commercial district that takes three steps to improve biking through the area:
“What is the right amount of parking? We can agree or disagree. But people who actually have skin in the game are businesses. They will have a very loud voice at city council.”
— Rich Newlands, PBOT
- Improve 30th Avenue into a neighborhood greenway between NE Oregon and SE Stark streets, creating a lower-stress alternative to pedaling on 28th (but forcing north/south riders to head two blocks out of their way and back)
- Preserve a “line on the map” on 28th Avenue that would theoretically be improved for riders of all ages and abilities after the city has overhauled its parking policy.
- Use several traffic calming tactics on 28th Avenue between Oregon and Stark: fire-truck-friendly speed bumps, zebra crosswalks, a posted 20 mph speed limit and possibly green-backed “super sharrows.”
Unfortunately, Newlands and two city traffic engineers said, the first two strategies are likely to limit the possibilities for the third.
Because the city is spending much of its $2.4 million budget creating new traffic signals for the new side-street greenway (which will run parallel to the “official” bikeway at various points south of Interstate 84) it has less money to spend on traffic calming measures such as textured pavement. And because the city is still trying to preserve street space for a future bike facility on 28th, it’s recommending against new pedestrian bump-outs, pillars or other physical obstructions there.
Newlands said the city’s reversal was informed by what he described as a negative response to parking removal at a series of public open houses. (He interpreted some of the comments differently than we did.)
(Click to enlarge.)
Another factor: a petition, signed by almost every business on the strip, that urged the city to scrap its buffered bike lane plan through the district in order to keep auto parking (a plan that the Bicycle Transportation Alliance called a “step in the right direction”)
“What is the right amount of parking?” Newlands asked Thursday. “We can agree or disagree. But people who actually have skin in the game are businesses. They will have a very loud voice at city council.”
Sarah Holliday of Staccato Gelato at 232 NE 28th, who said she bikes to her storefront herself, said she’d started the process thinking differently.” I was willing to maybe give up parking on 28th; it didn’t seem so onerous to me,” she said. “But the more I learned about 30th Avenue, the more I didn’t see, if that is there, why removing parking on 28th is necessary.”
“We don’t have public transportation down 28th any more, and it’s kind of a hard neighborhood to get to,” Holliday went on. “People drive.”
BTA: ‘Couplet’ had been a compromise
Carl Larson, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s representative on the committee, said the “nine-mile neighborhood greenway” that the 20s Bikeway has largely become will be “a much-needed north-south route.”
But Larson was disappointed to see the so-called “couplet” proposal fail. Even that, he said, had never actually been a great bike facility.
“We saw the couplet as a good compromise, but what’s truly best for bicyclists and 28th Avenue businesses is a direct two-way connection on 28th,” Larson said. “It’s clear that the city has a lot of work to do and more tools to develop in order to make 28th the major city bikeway that it has been slated to become since the 70s.”
Larson, who seemed visibly depressed after Thursday’s meeting, had an interesting take on the possibility of adding sharrows to 28th.
In most other cities, he noted, sharrows mark shared lanes on busy streets. Portland’s decision to use them instead to mark low-stress neighborhood greenways had been “noble,” Larson said, a reflection of the city’s belief that it could “do better” than other cities by installing European-style separated bikeways along big commercial streets.
But when it comes to major commercial streets, Larson said, Portland has actually failed to do better than other cities, except in its choice to avoid dangerous door-zone bike lanes.
“This outcome here shows that we’re actually unable to get that protected facility,” Larson said. “We need to admit that we need to use sharrows, because people need and want access to businesses.”
Some argue less parking would help business
Though none of the bike-lane supporters on the committee vocally protested Newlands’ recommendation Thursday — some seemed to accept that the writing was on the wall — several questioned the premise that parking removal would hurt businesses.
Jeff Mandel of the Kerns Neighborhood Association cited instances from New York City and Santa Barbara in which projects that removed auto parking in favor of other street uses had increased revenue in business districts.
28th Avenue’s businesses, Mandel said, will never be able to grow unless their area can continue to reduce its dependence on auto parking.
“If you think parking is saturated today and you’re depending on people to come by car – well, guess what? [Your business] is not going to grow any more than it is today,” Mandel said. “The only way it’s going to grow is if you change that. … The fact is that a car takes up a fixed amount of space. And you can’t jam any more of them onto the street here.”
Garlynn Woodsong said the underlying auto parking problem isn’t that there’s too little of it, but that it’s being given away too cheaply.
“If my business model was to brew beer and give it away for free, and I ran out of beer, my solution would be to start charging,” Woodsong said. “This shows that this giving it away for free is not working.”
PBOT hopes for parking reforms
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Newlands seemed to agree. He predicted that for PBOT, reforming the city’s auto parking system will be “the next big issue that we take on.”
“We’re asking a lot of the public right of way,” Newlands said. “The future strongly suggests that parking will be at the bottom of the totem pole. Moving people, getting people to places, is going to be more important than storing cars.”
As we reported last fall, PBOT has received a state grant to examine the city’s auto parking policy. That project, now managed by city staffer Grant Morehead, is preparing to select its lead consultant, and the possibilities are already being discussed.
There are many other details about the 20s Bikeway beyond the 36-foot-wide central commercial section that has been subject to so much debate. The advisory committee decided Thursday that it’ll meet one last time to hammer them out. Look for a follow-up post here once we have digital copies of the current proposal.
The fate of the central section, however, seems to be determined until at least the end of summer 2015. At that point, Newlands said, the city will reasess.
Even then, of course, the fundamental challenge with the street will be the same.
“Goddamn it, why our forefathers didn’t give us 38 feet [of street width]?” Newlands joked, to frustrated laughter. “We can blame it on them.”
Correction 4/28: An earlier version of this post misstated the California city cited by Mandel as a case of successful parking removal.
— Jonathan proposed a different way to approach NE/SE 28th yesterday. Find that and all our coverage of the 20s Bikeway Project here.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.
Weak PBOT. No surprising, but weak.
I’m so tired of the “skin in the game” argument. We all have skin in the game, we choose to live here and make this our home.
“The future strongly suggests that parking will be at the bottom of the totem pole. Moving people, getting people to places, is going to be more important than storing cars.”
Ha! At this point seems very doubtful.
people traveling by bike LITERALLY have skin, actual skin and bones, in the game!
Same old story. Too bad that the LAB will apparently never, ever consider downgrading our “Platinum” status, no matter how far we slide on our laurels.
a. Make NE 28 safe for bikes by riding bikes through it, taking the lane, and;
2. not parking, because parking is for cars. There’s nothing on NE 28th that I can’t find somewhere else!
From the City’s own study there is excess demand for parking in the area, but did they make any proposals to increase available on-street parking? Any street that is 36 ft wide can be repurposed to parallel parking+one way travel lane+angle parking. Angle parking on one side, depending on the driveways, could add 20%-30% more spaces on the side streets. ten parallel spaces needs about 200 ft of curb. Ten angle spaces, 60 degrees, needs about 140 ft.
The layout you have proposed can “fit”…everything is at or close to US minimums depending on what the City’s minimum ‘adopted’ oneway lane width policy is/would be…the remaining prime question is what has PBoT negotiated with the Fire Dept on this type of scenario? Minimum thru lane width of 14 ft? vs. the traditional “western region” 20 ft minimum?
Newlands can justifiably blame the street width on our forefathers, but the blame for lack of any truly bike-friendly commercial streets in Portland decades after we started installing bike infrastructure is squarely on current politicians, PBOT staff, and us as citizens for not demanding it strongly enough.
Emails to contact with your concerns about this plan:
Rich Newlands, project manager –
Leah Treat, PBOT director –
Steve Novick, commissioner in charge of PBOT – email@example.com
pbot is just doing what hales wants: vision zero pot holes.
Text of letter I sent to Treat and Newlands:
I am extremely dissappointed by PBOT’s decision to delay any “potential” active transport improvements to the 28th commercial corridor. This is a cookie-cutter repeat of the failed policy that created the mess that the Hawthorne district is today. Moreover, unlike NIMBY businesses I have non-metaphorical skin (and bones) in the game when I walk or ride 28th to visit local businesses. I view the current plan to be a complete failure and an abdication of PBOT’s responsibility to lower risk for pedestrians and cyclists.
My letter to Novick will be much more strongly worded. If this plan goes through as currently proposed I will not vote for Novick and will donate to the most credible candidate willing to primary him.
Seriously Novick. Don’t think we aren’t getting impatient as the days come and go and nothing is being accomplished.
The message I want these guys to know (and which I expressed in my emails) is:
This undermines any confidence I have that money raised from a street fee will be used for the public good. If we can’t use what limited funds we have now in the most responsible way, how in the world are they going to spend a bigger pot of money?
I’m happy to ride on 30th…right on past the 28th business district to places I know want my money.
Actually…it would depend on the arterial…there were some with dedicated bike path/ tracks back in the golden age (BikePortland has covered this)…and then there were the streets with a central dedicated lane for streetcars. This space has since been “reallocated” for other vehicles in most cases and trees in others.
Abandoning any pretense at Bronze Level cycling status Portland reaches farther down the list and grasps “Tawdry Auto Lover” status. Well done I say PDX gov, well done.
Actually I have coined the level as “Plastic”..when talking about some other cities recent efforts and that LAB should have demoted them from from Bronze to Plastic (or Die Cast).
Plastic is good, thanks Todd. However plastic is pretty useful stuff for some purposes, we’re gonna miss it when all the sweet light crude has gone into gas tanks. It’s archaic but in the country they used to call something that was cheaply made ‘pot metal’. I like that one too.
This street needs parking meters yesterday. That will help businesses with turn around customers. End free auto parking subsidies now.
I wish I felt safe riding with my kids north/ south on this route. I’d love to support the local businesses. I wonder if those business owners signing their petition passed around one of the many studies showing that business goes up when folks can safely ride bicycles to their shops?
They were certainly made aware of them by the city. For her part, Holliday (who I should say was very courteous and genuinely concerned about safety on 28th) said that in a “farther out” district such as this one, it was hard to see such studies as applicable. She was particularly concerned about the lack of public transit up and down 28th. There are frequent and near-frequent bus lines on Burnside, Glisan and Sandy, but it’s quite a way to the nearest north/south bus on Chavez.
The transit service “grid” completely breaks down in this area, as there is a huge gap in TriMet north-south bus service in the inner Eastside between 12th and 39th. A 27-block stretch without any service is L-U-D-I-C-R-O-U-S. I hope the upcoming North/Central Service Enhancement Plan will include plans to bring service to 20th and/or 28th.
The only north/south street that really goes most of the way through between 12th and Chavez (née 39th) is 20th/21st, but unlike those other two streets, it is only one lane in each direction, and rather narrow with not a lot of room to pull to the side and let traffic pass in many places.
Somehow the 15 on NW 23rd and 72 on Alberta manage just fine with one lane in each direction and no place to pull out at bus stops.. This applies to the 4 on inner Division too.
Perhaps the parking revenue from market rate pricing should be plowed into better and more frequent transit service that directly benefits the areas from which the parking revenue is generated.
LOLOL, do you think that these same businesses will be ok with market rate pricing? They will fight that harder than they fought reducing parking and claim it will kill their businesses.
NE 28th Avenue Critical Mass…
We are required by law not to ride in the door zone nor swerve in and out of parked vehicles.
Obviously the only option is to ride proudly in the middle of the road preventing that automotive traffic from being able to get to the retail locations quickly and efficiently.
I know when I’m driving to a store that unless I have to go to that specific store I’ll avoid areas this screwed up like the plague. A place this unsafe for bikes & peds is inherently unsafe for auto drivers because marginalized users perform seemingly unpredictable maneuvers to remain alive.
As long as this business community drags its heels on accepting bicycle and pedestrian traffic as valid their customer base can never expand beyond people that have a connection to the area.
They’ve chosen to keep the road hostile to everyone; this is a choice that they should be prepared to live with the consequences of.
I would be highly appreciative of a list of pro-auto businesses so that I can stop going there and show them how much skin we bikers put into their game. 28th is one of my favorite parts of the city…i discovered it after biking through there.
Apparently ALL of them on 28th. Makes it pretty easy.
The business owners that “have skin in the game” don’t understand what’s best for their own businesses. To restate Haggerty if businesses want more business they need more people on the street. Encouraging more bikes will add more people. Car parking is saturated and you only get about 1 person per car.
I received an email response from Jessica Holliday of Staccato Gelato that explained her opposition. Because emails can be protected by copyright law I can only post a summary to the best of my understanding:
Ms. Holliday stated that she bike commutes to work every day and feels that the safest bikeways “through the neighborhood” are 24th and 32nd. Ms. Holliday advocates for safe bikeways and does not use bikeways on “major traffic thoroughfares”. Ms. Holliday then mentions that semis cannot be redirected and that car traffic will not go away but will be redirected to neighborhood streets.
Ms. Holliday concludes by stating that her business supports bicycling and safety and that because they disagree on the methods does not make them the enemy.
I hope others join me in boycotting Staccto Gelato for their opposition to 28th commercial zone bike and ped improvements.
“semis cannot be redirected and that car traffic will not go away but will be redirected to neighborhood streets.”
But people biking can…. hahahaha
Is the petition signed by the business owners available? It’s not much, but I’d like to vote with my dollars and not patronize those businesses (and on the flip side, if there are ozone that didn’t, I will make a point to patronize those).
i think it’s pretty clear that there was little support for a bike lane from local businesses.
Newlands said “about 50” businesses signed the petition. One that I am pretty sure did not is Crank, the nearby bike shop. The owner and I had a long conversation a couple months ago about his belief that a bikeway directly on 28th would be good for the district.
i personally view a neutral position on this issue (e.g. tabla and staccato) to be the political equivalent of a “no”.
Staccato used to sponsor a cycling team. Pffft.
Crank already gets my business, but I’ll be sure to thank them next time I’m in there.
Go Bike Portland – time to file a public records request
If it was submitted to the city it is now a public document and should be available for review. You may have to submit a FOIA to get it, though.
I’m submitting a request. If others are interested, let me know.
Definitely interested. Would like to send a strongly worded email.
Definitely interested. I live in the area and would like to vote with my dollars.
oops–got the right email address on this one.
I’m interested in the list too. Hopefully it will be published here.
I have a photo of the full list and petition. I’m considering what to do with it. I asked PBOT for a digital copy but haven’t heard back.
Please post the list, Jonathan. We citizens who support bike and ped improvements have a right to know which “stakeholders” lobbied elected officials.
so we get nothing. absolutely nothing on 28th.
this is my neighborhood and i am very pissed.
this weekend i am going to inform multiple businesses that they are no longer going to get my business.
some flyers are also going to be posted around local businesses.
i am absolutely up for a critical mass ride.
I was thinking of a more ironic kind of twist on critical mass: pack as many people and bikes in a vehicle as you can. Drive to NE 28th. Find a parking spot in front of a business. Everyone piles out, gets on a bike to ride to another bike-friendly neighborhood. Leave the car there, taking up a free parking spot for the full time allowed.
Wonder how long it would take the business owners to scream for metered parking.
Just be sure to leave crank out of the boycott …I talked to the owner a few months ago and he was in full support of the route going through 28th I feel pretty strongly that any business that felt that way should be rewarded despite the outcome
But aside from that exception I can think of a lot of business I’d rather go to then any that would would take a pro parking stance
It is irresponsible to present 30th as an option or an alternative. It doesn’t safe cross any major streets or cross the interstate. PBOT has done a disservice to safe travel by including 30th in this discussion
and 28th is a destination. i ride on 28th 95% of the time because i am visiting a local business.
If parking so valuable, put the parking meters in today! Free parking is horseshi^
Try this idea?
Who’s got skin in the game when a car hits a cyclist or pedestrian on 28th?
“But people who actually have skin in the game are businesses.”
Businesses are people? With skin?? Sounds like Antonin Scalia’s idea of utopia.
Oh, I get it. It’s a metaphor, wherein I suppose the ‘skin’ must be ‘revenue stream provided by the immense public subsidy known as free parking.’ Which, strangely, no longer sounds like a Scalian utopia. Now I’m just confused.
Sounds like our metaphorical people need a metaphorical dermatologist. This has all descended into farce.
Well, I’ll be taking the full lane from here on out. Period. I live in the neighborhood and 28th is the best way to cross I-84. The street is too narrow to safely allow cars and trucks to pass me. Seriously, even if they DO pass me, they don’t save any time due to frequent stoplights.
So, chill out, motorists and watch me bike in front of you in a nice wide lane on OUR street.
I hate how many people in these comments are basically saying “Oh, we didn’t get our way as cyclists? Let’s show these drivers by riding in front of them real slowly! Maybe next time you’ll learn to give us cyclists what we want, when we want it, how we want it.” Makes it easy to completely dismiss your entitled approach to “sharing” the road.
what part of the road is being shared in this scenario, pixelgate? none of it.
i have seen only a couple of comments even remotely to that effect. the fact is the only way to ride safely on 28th is and has always been to take the lane. a cyclist who is booking it will still be going less than 20 mph, which frankly ought to be the posted limit though here anyway.
I’ve never had any trouble taking the lane on 28th. It’s like downtown in that regard. These changes will make it easier for me to get to the businesses I patronize on 28th if only because it they can make crossing 84 and Sandy easy enough for kids, and I’ll just continue to follow the yellow line on that map.
Btw I almost never have problems taking the lane in Portland. I’ve learned the key is to be unambiguous. By taking all the space a car would take on the road, I feel more legible to motorists. I’m not a vehicular cyclist but I’m also happy to let cars putter along behind me at 12mph on a greenway.
What works for you doesn’t work for everyone. I am a very confident rider and I personally don’t enjoy taking the lane on a two-lane street with as much traffic as 28th, especially when the road has a 25-30 mph speed limit and there is a centerline. I’m much more likely to take the lane if there are multiple lanes going in my direction.
I agree completely about the speed. If this is a business district, how is it not a 20mph zone?
I might use the bypass when I’m headed to parts further south, but not when my destination is on 28th. Here’s hoping something like what they are about to do on Williams shows up on 28th eventually.
my guess is that it’s still 25 from when it was mostly residential… since the city now obviously considers it a business district they should lower it to the “basic speed law” business district speed of 20 mph…
lowering the speed limit to 20 on 28th is fine but the cross street is still posted at 35 mph.
On the positive side, sounds like traffic signals will be installed on 30th at major crossings? Is that correct?
For me personally, what is or isn’t done on this stretch of 28th makes no difference. I ride there frequently, with no problems and no concerns.
For others, 30th with traffic lights will be a quiet route to ride (or walk) from north to south.
The limited calming/slowing measures on 28th should have at least some positive effect there.
And we can move on with the whole project and not remain hung up on this 10-15 block stretch.
Only signal is a hybrid beacon (also known as a HAWK signal) at Burnside. Stark gets a RRFB.
and we know how well drivers obey HAWK signals on Burnside…
Improving bike access to commercial districts is important.
“For me personally, what is or isn’t done on this stretch of 28th makes no difference. I ride there frequently, with no problems and no concerns. ”
Except that now the car-bound–or some of them–are going to heckle us to get the hell off 28th and over to 30th where their gas tax money has built us infrastructure that we’re supposed to use!
Can’t we at least get some sharrows as an interim solution?
I completely fail to see why PBOT is opposed to this.
They could be out on the street tomorrow, and should have been there 5 years ago.
Talk to Geller or Newlands about sharrows and you will understand.
so maybe it needs to be done guerrilla style, by the people. A sharrows stencil wouldn’t be hard to make.
i’m up for this. the question is where can we discuss this online. would shift2bikes work?
The city IS planning sharrows on 28th, along with 20 mph speed limit, fire-friendly speed humps and more. It could be a good example of a shared street (as good as is possible given the high car traffic counts).
I guess you missed this:
Unfortunately, Newlands and two city traffic engineers said, the first two strategies are likely to limit the possibilities for the third.
Use several traffic calming tactics on 28th Avenue between Oregon and Stark: fire-truck-friendly speed bumps, zebra crosswalks, a posted 20 mph speed limit and possibly green-backed “super sharrows.”
bike swarm? that’s the route I’d go for user-supplied traffic device installation…
We’ll definitely reach “Vision Zero” by just doing the same things that result in us not having “Vision Zero”. Did my sarcasm come through enough?
I was hoping we could move all those carnivals from waterfront park to 28th this summer. Get me some bamboo sushi, funnel cake, maybe a little ride on the ferris wheel ….
Wow. So many things running through my head in reaction to this.
Thanks Portland, I’ll be driving my car over there then. That’s what you want, right? Cool. Maybe you can tear down some houses over there or something for a parking garage?
If PBOT is too timid to remove parking for protected bike lanes, what is their justification for not using sharrows on this street?
wasn’t it just ONE protected bike lane?
I forget…is Portland a progressive city being proactive about transit, or is Portland a city full of entitled libertarians who demand unlimited free parking everywhere they go (while claiming they are progressive)? I can’t wait until people vote to put the Water Bureau into corporate hands!
We are a city of normal people, many who drive cars. One group pretends to speak for everyone. Watch the street fee and bike share go down in flames when the whole city gets to opine. Only a small percentage of Portlanders buy into Treat’s utopian approach. Her days are numbered, IMHO.
Incredibly short sighted. 28th could become more of a destination and less of a thoroughfare, instead businesses on 28th will struggle while other streets with better bike accomodations will thrive. And, an important route for kids to bike to school (Da Vinci and Central Catholic) will not be made safer. I would be happy to stop going to the businesses that held onto parking. Where is the list of businesses that opposed it?
Horrible. Just horrible. Anything else I say, based on what I’m feeling right now, will just get this comment deleted.
Bring on the meters. Too valuable to remove, too valuable to give away.
Lets see if everyone parking there is also working there.
As someone who occasionally drives to 28th, I’m glad to see that the city has finally seen that the parking utilization is so high. Since auto parking is clearly a priority, I expect them to immediately install meters so I can drive to the businesses that I want to visit. I haven’t really thought of 28th as being a parking district in the past, since every time I tried to drive there, all of the street parking was taken by employees of said businesses. Thanks PBOT, I look forward to driving to 28th and parking in front of my favorite local business in the near future!
How long will you have to wait before this reality? 10-15 years? Northwest still doesn’t have its meters installed yet!
OK, let’s just say it: the owner of any business that serves alcohol and who also opposes this project because of the loss of parking needs to think very carefully about the implication of their choice.
I commend the City for undertaking the parking study. This type of data is very important. And it shows that there is a parking problem as this parking as a resource is “undervalued” and poorly managed in this district. Where is our TDM superhero Rick Williams?
The City Leadership / PBoT should know all about Parking Management 101…the 85% utilization rule: if there is are no free parking spaces in a commercial district then customers cannot find parking in order to shop or they are circling the block causing congestion and waiting time, air pollution etc.
The solutions are well known: raise price, increase off street supply (cost born by X + add on street bike corrals), and or change management policy (enforcement, time stay, parking benefit district, etc.)
When a neighbourhood commercial district parking reaches 100%…one has to ask if all the parking is used by employees and business owners?
…Though it is curious as to why the City/ PBOT project manager waited to do it/releasing the results after announcing the project.
That is ‘backwards’ from good project planning…unless the parking study’s purpose was to only design a mitigation AFTER the bike lane implementation and NOT to influence its implementation. But it would then seem that the study ‘hijacked’ the project…perhaps as a part of the City’s new shift in thinking about parking post 2013 apartment construction fracas. It is also tough to talk most drivers/ business owners into supporting a bike project with loss of parking when there is a planned parallel route, even if it is of lower quality.
This (and the recent other last stage ‘fails’) may show that Portland’s citizens may be more similar to other regional citizens when it comes to the level of “pain” they are willing to trade for the “pleasure” of more and safer multimodal streets. [I hope not, as it may come down to a recent loss of leadership vision to ride out the short term lumps and bumps for the long term benefits.]
Either way…perhaps it is time for Portland to reboot its bike planning efforts and reopen if it is going to reach its 2030 citywide goals for bike mode split…or even 1/2 the goal. ;-(
Except did you actually look at the methods for their “study”. It was taken during a one hour segment (7-8 PM) on a single Saturday in April. n=1 does not usually make a strong case, and using the busiest restaurant night of the week (and a prime dining time) definitely biased the results.
Todd – I’m not sure that it shows a problem. It looks like there’s very little chance for a lot of circling; everywhere on the map shows available parking within two blocks of it.
While the article says
>PBOT’s “Parking Demand Map” showing that both sides of 28th through the commercial district are at “100% observed parking utilization”
The map actually shows many parts of 28th are at 75-99% utilization. Am I misunderstanding the data?
Simply put, there’s lots of car parking available – even if it requires walking a block or two.
And again, we’re talking about ONE single hour snapshot of the parking situation at likely the busiest hour of the week.
gee…it almost seems like there might be some bias against this facility at pbot…
Devil is in the details.
Email addresses of businesses I frequent on 28th:
My email text:
I am very disappointed by the petition that opposed pedestrian and cycling improvements in the 28th commerical area. I am now reluctant to visit a business on 28th until I see evidence that they support(ed) pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements.
I could not find an email address for ken’s artisan pizza, whole foods, or vino but i will contact these places in person.
Thank you, I’m giving them an email blast as well. This is ridiculous.
I share in the disappointment being expressed about this section of 28th. At a minimum, I hope sharrows will be placed on both North and South lanes between Stark and Sandy along with a slower posted speed limit. In the meantime, I will continue to take the lane along this stretch of pavement with a desire of getting through it as quickly and safely as possible. What I won’t be doing is stopping to partake in any of the business offerings. And that seems like a loss for all parties involved.
Wow. VERY disappointing news. Short-sighted. Completely at odds with the spirit of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030. And a real lost opportunity to finally put the “multimodal is best for business” model to the test.
That said, I can’t do without Bamboo Sushi in my life, so I will continue to drive my unsustainable car there, circle for parking forever while polluting the air, eat my fill of sustainable fish with their sustainably-harvested teak wood chopsticks, and then unsustainably drive away.
Or take 30th and make a 2 block detour.
Because the way to build support for more bicycle infrastructure is to deliberately p*ss people off.
Speed limit should be dropped to 15 or 20 at most. All parking should be paid and for less than one hour. I will be taking the lane for safety, but not shopping.
i would have been up for removing parking on one side of 28th if we could have gotten bike lanes in both directions. but only a southbound bike lane and parking removal is not a great outcome in my opinion. i personally like the idea of a greenway on 30th, i prefer biking on low traffic streets, that’s just the way i roll. hopefully the traffic calming measures will make the cyclist that will continue bike on 28th a little safer (as well as safer for the pedestrians) and all of us traffic shy cyclists will have 30th to meander down. what we really need to do is charge $10/gallon for gas and make it extra attractive to bike/walk/bus. but i know i’m just dreaming.
I live in the neighborhood (one block from Staccato) and I am a daily bicycle commuter. Personally, I never see any problems with cyclists taking the lane on 28th (which is what I do.) It’s a slow enough street that drivers seem to have no problem with driving behind cyclists. When I saw this proposal, I thought it was probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen and most of my neighbors agreed. Taking parking off one side of 28th will only push parking to the residential streets and you can dream all you want about people not driving but the fact is people do drive and they do park and they will take any spot they can. We have enough problems with off-street parking as it is and it will probably only get worse.
P.S. Sarah – we love Staccato and with the warm weather coming up you’re sure to do great business, regardless of anything being said here!
capitol hill-pike/pine in seattle is a vibrant commericial area even though parking scarcity is far worse than in any portland neighborhood.
you guys did notice they offered an alternative up 30th right? its not that big of a deal, 2 blocks over. the real dilemma is the sandy intersection, not the north south route. the highway, sandy’s werid alignment and laurelhurst all kind of converge in that triangular cluster#$%^. taking out the street parking would akin to removing the street parking on 23rd, probably not going to happen. im suprised they tried to float that option in the first place. the trick to riding down 28th or any road with alot of traffic and no bike lane is to let the car line up at the signal and let them run interference for you. no big deal. dont ride next to a vehicle, stay behind its right rear bumper and you cant keep up with traffic and break in time if he decides to cut your off and go right. id be more concerned with how they deal with sandy, not 28th…..
There are destinations on 28th that would be nice to bike to. Not on 30th. Wouldn’t it make more sense for cars to PARK on 30th, and for us to have the bike lane?
pbot’s next “bike advocacy” campaign on 28th:
^^so you can’t ride west two blocks?
Perhaps you mean East?
Anyway, I don’t think the two blocks is the point.
As many have pointed out, 28th is the through street, the one that crosses I-84, has lights, etc., as well as having all the commercial activity that–although the business owners there apparently don’t get this–we who bike also frequent (or I should say frequented). And besides, why should we (once again) get shunted out of the way? Take the long route? Foster and 52nd anyone?
Until there are signals to get across the busiest streets and a bridge over 84 and a row of businesses on 30th, then no, I cannot
^^ so cars can’t drive two blocks over?
it’s easier for them to drive out of their way… so really the entire street should be given over to bikes, and then cars can be made to go two blocks over…
If the parking is in that much demand, it needs to be metered. Use the money for biking infrastructure somewhere else, perhaps on 30th. And if you’re riding on 28th, take the lane. They can’t expect you to ride in the door zone, can they?
I am going to hold off any boycott until I get a confirmed list, but any business that currently is in the “Chinook Book,” is supposed to be by definition sustainable. I know of a few few in that area that are…..if they signed the petition I am done with them as I do not do business with hypocrites. I will also write them, and the editors of that coupon book to tell them why as I spend much of my free cash in those establishments. It is one thing if you as a business stay apolitical, but if you pride yourself on sustainability and yet you prefer auto parking over a bikeway then you obviously do not understand sustainability and do not deserve my money.
I am STILL boycotting McMenemen’s due to their part in killing the SW 12th full-lane Bike lane and tell everyone when that place comes up as to why.
Tell me more about this McMenamin’s thing. I want to boycott too!
Back in the Adam’s administration PBOT wanted to green stripe a lane on SW 12 connecting PSU with Stark. McMenemin’s, with multiple other local land owners mostly out of state megacorps signed a petition stating that they felt the lane needed to be kept for autos in case of “future needed capacity for new developement”….so the city dropped it. NOT SUSTAINABLE. So, not that it has been difficult, but I have not been in one since. Id probably bend it if a good movie was at the bagdad though….
And their beer sucks and their bartenders couldn’t pour a proper old fashioned if their lives depended on it.
So you can’t ride on 27th or 29th?
So you can’t drive on 27th or 29th?
I think “park on 27th or 29th” is the more pertinent issue.
Boy didn’t see this one coming at all (sarcasm).
The longer this all goes on (PDOTs designing solutions) the less it works.I mean come on all their idea have always been half-assed.
Really green ways on residential streets? Who’s great idea was that…little painted “stickmen in peril” painted on the roads and cute script topped street signs….awesome I feel safer already.
What is the possible improvement of a greenway? Aren’t all neighborhood streets greenways already, really? Greenways are artificial, the don’t count for squat, but you know some planner/engineer get to put it on the resume.
The reality is that bicycling is safe, by far and away the safest form of personal transportation. Hiding behind “infrastructure” does no good. Doesn’t improve the safety of the roads, doesn’t make you a better cyclist, doesn’t improve pedestrian safety either. Riding in traffic is statistically what makes street safer. That is the “secret sauce” for Denmark and other cities with rates of ridership.
The real thing holding things down in this city and country for that matter aren’t issues of better design, but are issues of better laws and enforcements of those laws.
Everything else for the most part –is just fixing problems that don’t exist.
and before anyone says anything I know Denmark is a country and not a city. Haven’t finished my morning coffee yet.
“…The reality is that bicycling is safe, by far and away the safest form of personal transportation. …” gutterbunny
Amongst motor vehicles, bicycling is not safe, despite incident, injury and death stats people hoping to promote the notion you have, like to cite.
It’s because bicycling is not safe amongst motor vehicles, that many people, and cities in turn, are willing to put much time, effort and money into creating infrastructure that reduces the danger motor vehicle presence poses to people riding.
I’d like to think that more people riding would begin to feel confident about going ahead and taking the lane at speeds as slow as 10mph through the 10 block section of 28th that’s been discussed, but maybe people deciding to do that is something that just really can’t be expected to happen. You’ve given no ideas about what “better laws” you have in mind.
Then how do you explain that most bicycle injuries that end up in the ER don’t involve motor vehicles? Most of them are solo falls and crashes, yes fatalities are usually involve a motor vehicle. But injuries no.
I have multiple times on this forum said how to accomplish such things.
1) Drop all current speed limits by 20% rounded down to the nearest 5 mph.
2) Full road use for bicycles and cars on streets which have speed limits of 25 MPH or less. This would open up all but the busiest streets for bikes and cars in town)
3) Triple the cost traffic fines for all users – bikes, skateboards, rollerskates, whatever included. Additional funds over the cost of issue and prosecution of the tickets goes towards more enforcement (more traffic cops, camera, what not) and pedestrian street improvements (protecting the most vulnerable protects us all).
4) Courts can longer issue driving on suspended licenses for “work”. You’re suspended no exemptions.
5) Full enforcement, no more “9 you’re fine, 10 your mine” police attitude from the cops. Likewise blocking intersections (even at rush hour where you get caught in them), texting, and running orange lights no more.
6) All personal injury hit and run incidents (regardless of victims vehicle) prosecuted as a Class A offence.
7) Eliminate right on reds as well as lefts onto one way streets against a red as well. This is the biggest cause of auto related injury accidents by far.
With all this in play, traffic enforcement is payed for (and not currently a loss of funds as they are now), some funding for maintenance is provided, drivers calm down, bikes get access, pedestrians are safer, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements can be focused on the busier streets where it is needed the most.
You want vision zero, it’s stuff like this that is going to get it as close as possible short of banning auto use. Not bollards or Jersey walls.
“Then how do you explain that most bicycle injuries that end up in the ER don’t involve motor vehicles? Most of them are solo falls and crashes, yes fatalities are usually involve a motor vehicle. But injuries no. …” gutterbunny
I don’t explain that because I shouldn’t need to explain that people with anxieties associated with riding amongst motor vehicles, anxieties keeping them from riding, likely don’t care a whit about ER stats some people routinely trot out in efforts to establish proof that biking amongst motor vehicles is safe.
The arrangement of road use involving motor vehicles traveling directly alongside vulnerable road users riding bikes, irrefutably puts the vulnerable road user in potentially direct peril from the motor vehicles, which the average person understands well enough with no coaching whatsoever, that biking amongst motor vehicles is not safe…it’s dangerous; bike road use roulette.
Nevertheless, some so called ‘bike advocates’ seem to believe that if the cockeyed mantra “…bicycling is safe…” is persistently repeated in reference to riding amongst motor vehicles, perhaps somebody will be duped into believing it.
Meanwhile, as a result in part, little serious, dramatic changes to truly much safer bike infrastructure than exists now in the U.S. is envisioned, let alone actually planned, funded and built. Why would leaders be motivated to persuade their constituents to make efforts to do any of that, if leaders are repeatedly told that “…bicycling is safe…” ?.
The answer for the 10 block stretch of 28th, is likely not a dramatic, expensive, reconfiguration of the street, but instead, simply more people riding it regularly, taking the lane at 10-15 mph or more, consistently displaying compliance with all traffic regulations, supporting and encouraging people that are less certain about riding this street in that manner.
I’ve got a response coming, but being the weekend, could be awhile before it appears, since it’s in moderation. Too many long sentences I expect.
“…bicycling is not safe amongst motor vehicles”
I think it is worth distinguishing between unsafe (you’re likely to get creamed, run over, killed) and the feeling of being unsafe. Bicycling is not unsafe, statistically speaking. But to many people it is unnerving to be close to cars and trucks going (much) faster.
Yes. Unless you define “safe” you can say and argue it anyway you like. It remains a meaningless word because it’s a “conclusion” and not a descriptor.
You say you need a definition of ‘safe’, relative to biking amongst motor vehicles. In a metaphorical sense, I suppose walking around in a lightning storm bears some comparison, motor vehicles on the street representing the lightning. Even when people walk out in storms, strikes on people don’t statistically happen often, but when they do, it’s not good.
You can argue all you want, that ‘bicycling is safe’, leaving out the critical element as it applies, of the presence of motor vehicles and the potential of a collision between them and vulnerable road users, but the simple fact is, bicycling…amongst motor vehicles…is not safe as long as people riding are subject to very serious consequences on those occasions when collision with motor vehicles has not been avoided.
People confident and determined to ride, are going to defy the odds and take their chances. People less willing to take the bicycling in traffic associated risks, are simply going to take a ‘No Thanks’ stance. Which would be fine, but for any real forward momentum in wide public use of biking for travel amongst motor vehicles, enlisting support and participation of the less willing to bike, is essential.
Thank you for describing the parameters which define safety for you.
“Thank you for describing the parameters which define safety for you.” Mij
Your response reflects a deficiency in comprehension. What I offered, was an explanation of why many people likely do not find that riding a bike amongst motor vehicles is a safe thing to do.
It’s you that for some reason, maintained there was need for a description of ‘safety’ relative to that activity. I tried to offer you one. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.
I think you are confusing statistics with metaphors. To say that biking is unsafe is to make a comparative statement. This is something we, commonly, fall back on statistics to help us understand. The incidence of lightning strikes or of being run over by a car is not a metaphorical but a statistical occurrence.
How people feel about the probability of those risks is not in the least trivial, but it is, I think, a separate matter than saying something is or is not safe, or, by implicaiton, biking is less safe than ____.
“…The incidence of lightning strikes or of being run over by a car is not a metaphorical but a statistical occurrence. …” 9watts
Biking amongst motor vehicles is not safe. A bunch of mealy mouth blabbing about metaphors and statistics isn’t going to otherwise persuade people unwilling to subject themselves to that unsafe activity.
This pitch about the great statistical odds of people biking, not being hit by a motor vehicle, is, coming from you, funny in a strange way, given your usual rhetoric seemingly characterizing nearly everyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle as a bad driver.
“given your usual rhetoric seemingly characterizing nearly everyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle as a bad driver.”
Not sure where you’re getting this, wsbob. Distracted driving & exceeding the speed limit notwithstanding, the majority of drivers (97%?) do not run over or into people on bikes; do not make things dangerous for us. I do focus at times here on those whose attention or skill, or knowledge of the rules or entitled attitude creates problems for us, but have tried to not lose sight of the fact that, statistically, these are outliers.
I, for one, don’t think Hwy 101 is unsafe to bike on, though we’re all aware of some spectacular mistakes by people in cars who, typically, get off with a slap on the wrist.
My ire, which perhaps you’re mistaking for a broad brush here, is directed at the system that, e.g., puts the onus on us to wear bright clothes, that gives a pass to people in cars who just drove over someone, that always prioritizes autos first throughout our transport infrastructure. But none of this should be interpreted as suggesting that nearly everyone piloting an automobile is a bad driver. We couldn’t function as a society if that were true, as most everyone who’d been biking would be maimed or dead.
“Biking amongst motor vehicles is not safe.” You just assert this, quite a few posts into this particular side conversation, without any attempt to support your statement.
To be fair, I think you should also be prepared to assert that driving amongst motor vehicles is even less safe. Some folks have actually looked at the relative safety of getting around by different modes, and you might take note.
Here’s just one example, from a post of mine here on bikeportland two years ago:
(a) divide the number of bicycle miles traveled in a year by the number of deaths caused by people riding bicycles, and compare that figure to
(b) the number of vehicle miles traveled in a year by the number of deaths caused by people driving those cars.
Using Ken Kifer’s numbers http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm
(a) 21 billion miles ridden on bikes in US in ’97/?5 deaths? = 4.2 x10e-6
(b) 2.56 trillion miles driven in US in ’97/44,000 deaths = 58.2x10e-6
I have no idea what the actual number of deaths caused by someone riding a bicycle in 1997 or in any year was, so I estimated 5 which struck me as generous.
I suspect the ratio would be higher if we looked at injuries caused by these two types of vehicles.
Please check my math.
“…”given your usual rhetoric seemingly characterizing nearly everyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle as a bad driver.” …” wsbob
“…Not sure where you’re getting this, wsbob. …” 9watts
Could be, I’ve mistakenly lumped your comments in with some of the other people’s comments to bikeportland that regularly extoll how dangerous most people driving are with their vehicles, to people biking. If so, sorry.
That, nor statistics and perceptions doesn’t change what the average person of intelligence can quite clearly recognize, that the dynamic of people on bikes riding amongst motor vehicles in operation, leaves people biking in a very vulnerable position, which to many people, is likely the equivalent of ‘Biking amongst motor vehicles is not safe’.
By that logic the folks in cars should be on Chavez or Grand. It has to be *much* easier to skip over a few blocks in a car than on a bike, right?
Fine, keep parking in 28th…..eliminate parking completely then on 20th, augment with a north-south busline and connect the new MAX stop at 17th/Powel with NE Tillamook….no parking the entire stretch,there would then be room for modern buffered bike lanes. Meter
28th To pay for it.. It is an embarassment that there is no high quality inner east north-south route in the “most bikey” neighborhood in the country.
This is a very tough area. As a rider but also DaVinci parent who drives in a car pool, this could be an opportunity for the community to look for multimodal solutions, but it’s going to require some complex compromises between cars drives, cyclists, business owners, and homeowners.
Sandy comes in at an angle. Sandy, Glisan, Burnside, and even Stark are major arterials used for commuting. There are close access points to I-84.
There are two large schools–Central Catholic at 24th and Stark and DaVinci at 24th and Everett. Some readers here may not realize that PPS does not provide transportation to magnet middle schools, so it’s pretty inevitable that a large proportion of DaVinci kids are going to be transported by car. (My kids ride the bus two days a week, but it takes over an hour to get home, and often they are bypassed by Burnside buses that are already full. Few parents are going to put a 6th grader on a bus at 7 am to get to school.)
The big park just south of Central Catholic funnels traffic going N-S on 28th, while there is a major bikeway E-W on Alder.
A large complex is going in at 25th and Burnside. And the Burnside commercial area is popping.
The point is that the whole area needs a serious look.
as Carl Larson hoped “boosting the visibility of, and number of customers traveling through, a local business district” and as such I will do the same; pass THROUGH that local business district, slowly, on 28th, on my bike, in the middle of the lane, without stopping IN the local business district…
after all, I’ll be too concerned with my safety to pay attention to what the street offers to me in terms of business amenities…
I bike down/up 28th a minimum of once a week, and I have only the most vague idea of what businesses line it. why?? because I am too busy looking out for my skin.
That’s great for you and other strong and confident cyclists but just because you feel like its safe doesn’t make it safe. People are going to ride on that stretch regardless to get to those businesses right now it doesn’t serve any road users very well the fact that nothing is going to be done to address this is pretty sad.
It sounds like parking is at a premium time to bring in the meteres and parking permits
I am just getting back from a trip to southern California, and I am bummed to read this. Here’s one business owner, who does not agree with this decision. Needless to say, I will still continue to pedal my slow-ass cargo bike and trailer down 28th to NE Glisan. Deal with it.