Splendid Cycles Big Sale

After 28th Ave businesses hear from customers, a few backpedal from bike-lane opposition

Posted by on May 5th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

NE 28th Avenue and Davis commercial district

Some 28th Avenue businesses and
customers see things differently.
(Photo by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Different businesses react differently to hearing from upset customers.

A week after we posted a petition, circulated by opponents of a buffered bike lane on 28th Avenue near Burnside and signed by 60 nearby businesses, many readers have contacted those businesses to let them know they disagree with the decision.

Some of those businesses have responded by saying that a planned neighborhood greenway, two blocks away from the commercial strip on 30th, is a good compromise that would preserve about 100 auto parking spaces in the neighborhood while obliging north-south bikers to zigzag only a few blocks out of the way. Others have said they didn’t intend to sign the petition, and others have asked to be removed from it.

“We would love to have a bike lane on 28th,” wrote the owner of food cart Wolf & Bear’s, at 113 SE 28th. “Why on earth would we be against that?”

Here are the written responses we’ve seen so far:

From Coalition Brewing, a brewpub at 2724 SE Ankeny St.:

As you know, Coalition is situated on the main Ankeny bike route, and we have always worked to make the neighborhood more bike and pedestrian friendly. With those goals in mind, what we have suggested is lower speed limits for cars, more cross walks for pedestrians, and a bike only lane on 30th, not 28th. While we have a strong neighborhood and bike commuting base, we also depend on people being able to come from all over the city, and beyond, to enjoy our beer. Losing all those parking spots could cause a serious financial loss, as many non-bike commuters are not willing to go somewhere they are unable to park. We feel that offering a bike only lane a mere two streets over is a great compromise for everyone. We hope you feel the same way, and thanks again!

From PaaDee, a Thai restaurant at 6 SE 28th Ave.:

It’s Earl from PaaDee here. We have nothing against bike lane, and did inquire the city to put bike racks in front of the building when we first moved in. I have been approached by Laurelhurst theater’s owner on my busy time, they informed that 30th would be a better and safer street to add bike lane than 28th which i did agree and then signed the paper without having time to read any details about it.

I do apologize that my mistaken had upset the community and bikers. I will write a letter/call the city again to take us off this list.

Sincerely,
Earl
PaaDee

From the Captured Beer Bus, which used to be owned by Captured by Porches and was incorrectly labeled as such on the petition, to reader Bjorn W.:

Brian here from the Captured Beer Bus on 28th and Ankeny. I bike down 28th everyday for work. The petition somehow labeled my signature as “Captured by Porches” but I am my own entity. (I am a former Brewer/ Employee and love the beer, so I carry it).

I’m removing my name from the petition. I fully support improvements for biking on 28th. In support of my biking customers, I will be making improvements at the food cart pod for bike parking and offer “happy hour” for bikers from 4-6pm on Wednesdays.

From Migration Brewing at 2828 NE Glisan Street, first in a Facebook post and then in a conversation with a local man, Tony Jordan, on Facebook:

I fully support Portland’s bike community. The petition we signed was presented to us from some local businesses we support. They said they would like to make sure all options were explored before jumping to using 28th as the bikeway option. I also as a member of our overall community wanted to hear what the residents had to say about the pathway. In going to neighborhood association meetings I know one of the biggest qualms of the residents of our neighborhood have is the amount of parking on their streets that come from the local businesses. So with that being said I want to know their position on loosing 140 spots on 28th Ave.

I hope the cycling community will look at the whole picture rather than chastising us for this decision. We simply wanted to make sure all options were explored and all voices were heard before a decision was made.

Tony Jordan: “With all due respect, you are aware that there is an entire process and stakeholder advisory committee which has been looking at all options and attempting to make all voices heard on this issue. If your intent is as you say, then should you have signed on to a petition which asks for the option of removing parking to be taken off the table?”

Migration Brewing: “Yes Tony I do feel that was ok. What would the cycling communities response be if business owners worked to make bikes or bike parking no longer available on 28th? Is an all or nothing answer really the best answer for our cycling/driving community?”

Tony Jordan: “So ‘all options’ does not include the option of removing some parking? I don’t find your analogy very compelling. Proposals were made to remove parking from one side of the street only. The petition is simply ‘opposed to parking removal,’ which seems to be an ‘or nothing’ answer.”

Migration Brewing:

I did not create the verbiage of the petition and I am not here to argue on FB. We chose to sign the petition so more conversation could be had on the issue and that is exactly what it has achieved is providing the opportunity for all voices heard.

Here is a great response from one of the business owners who I believe did have a hand in creating the petition.

‘Thank you for your letter and addressing your concerns. I believe that there is some misinformation being circulated that says businesses are not supportive of the bike community. This is simply not true.

‘As a Portland native and having a business on 28th for the last 15 years, we are truly excited to have a proposal from the city that will create a safe bike route for bicyclist. And we are also excited that our concerns for a safer corridor along 28th are being addressed.

‘One of the original proposals was to remove parking on the west side of the street and put a one way bikelane going southbound. While this had some merits, it would not solve the situation for bikes going Northbound. It also creates a difficult traffic crossing for bikes on 28th and Burnside.

‘We are happy and we support the city’s proposal of an enhanced bikeway on 28th this includes lower speed limits, speed bumps, and bike sharrows for cyclist who want to access 28th. And the proposal of putting in a greenway on 30th for bicyclist who want a quieter means of travel through the neighborhood. This bicycle greenway will include bike activated lights at Glisan, Burnside and Stark.

‘We appreciate your past support, we truly believe that the best way forward is to work together to accomplish making this a safe accessible neighborhood for all.’

From Tapalaya, a cajun/creole small-plates restaurant at 28 NE 28th Ave:

Hi Bjorn, first let me mention to you that I am a cyclist too. I use my bike to commute to the restaurant and run as many errands as possible on my cargo bike. I have promoted cycling to my business by advocating for on street bike corral parking and by offering a bike only happy hour every Wednesday for the last five years. I support increased bike safety but I also care about the safety and needs of all members of our community. I don’t believe that taking out parking on 28th street is a viable option for our neighborhood (for many of the reasons listed in the letter). Yes, I did sign it. I also went to the meetings, listened to the presentations, talked to our neighbors, customers and other small business owners. I am in favor of making the street safer and more accessible for everyone and am excited at the prospect of having a dedicated bike street just two blocks away. Cheers, Chantal

From Wolf & Bear’s, a vegetarian food cart at 113 SE 28th Ave:

Hey guys,
You published a list of businesses that signed an anti bike lane petition on 28th.
Our name was on the list.
WE NEVER SIGNED ANY PETITION.
Where did you get this list from?
Why are we on it?

Id appreciate to hear back from your guys asap and to have a correction published. (Editor’s note: We did so. It seems that a Wolf & Bear’s employee had signed it without the owners’ permission.)

BTW, we would love to have a bike lane on 28th. Why on earth would we be against that?

-Jeremy
Wolf and Bear’s

We assure you that we are not. Nobody signed the petition. It is a mistake and we are deeply frustrated by it.

From the Laurelhurst Theater, at 2735 E Burnside St:

Hi Esther,

Thank you for your letter and addressing your concerns. I believe that there is some misinformation being circulated that says businesses are not supportive of the bike community. This is simply not true.

As a Portland native and having a business on 28th for the last 15 years, we are truly excited to have a proposal from the city that will create a safe bike route for bicyclist. And we are also excited that our concerns for a safer corridor along 28th are being addressed.

One of the original proposals was to remove parking on the west side of the street and put a one way bikelane going southbound. While this had some merits, it would not solve the situation for bikes going Northbound. It also creates a difficult traffic crossing for bikes on 28th and Burnside.

We are happy and we support the cities proposal of an enhanced bikeway on 28th this includes lower speed limits, speed bumps, and bike sharrows for cyclist who want to access 28th. And the proposal of putting in a greenway on 30th for bicyclist who want a quieter means of travel through the neighborhood. This bicycle greenway will include bike activated lights at Glisan, Burnside and Stark.

We appreciate your past support, we truly believe that the best way forward is to work together to accomplish making this a safe accessible neighborhood for all.

Sincerely
Prescott Allen

From Crema Coffee and Bakery, at 2728 SE Ankeny:

Thank you Jim,

I appreciate you taking the time to write, and your thoughtful comments. I am 100% supportive of making 28th Avenue a safer road for bicycles and
pedestrians. I signed a letter that was in support of the greenway running up 30th Avenue, with enhancements to 28th. The 28th Avenue proposal was
very attractive, and I would be perfectly happy if that were to come to pass. I only felt like the 30th avenue route made a bit more sense, and still made major improvements to 28th avenue cycling including reduced speed limits, more crosswalks, speed bumps and bike sharrows. Also, providing only a southbound greenway for bicycles seemed a bit lacking, where the 30th plan was a 2-way route, and included cyclist activated lights at the major street crossings like Burnside and Glisan. It sounded really cool, and I thought people would be into it.

My decision to sign the letter was NOT about parking spaces. I realize that some businesses might be motivated by that, but losing 1 or 2 parking spaces around my business is not a real concern. The only parking related issue I have concern with is the impact on the residential streets bordering 28th avenue. Parking is often a challenge for residents, especially during business and dining hours. Forcing 100 more cars into those streets might not be favorable for our nearby neighbors.

I’m not anti-bike, far from it. I checked out the PBOT website and their 3 different route proposals. I felt like I was putting my name on the one
that seemed to make the most sense to me. I honestly don’t feel strongly enough about one route or another to feel like I need to be part of the
decision. Next time something like this comes up, I’ll hold my pen and let my neighbors (with stronger opinions on the subject) hash it out. I’m drafting a general letter to post in the forums where I’ve been getting the most backlash on the subject. I’ll attach it for you, it has more info on my decision, and what I’ve learned since this argument began.

thank you for your time and comments.

Collin Jones
Owner + Operator
Crema Coffee + Bakery

As we wrote last week in a post that focused specifically on the views of Staccato Gelato owner and stakeholder advisory committee member Sarah Holliday, 20s Bikeway Project Manager Rich Newlands said the committee’s discussion of the central section “is not over.”

However, Newlands said two weeks ago that the city had settled on its recommendation — no bike lanes on 28th — even before receiving the petition from businesses.

“A promising new idea or a change in our understanding of public sentiment on the core issues would certainly warrant continuing it,” Newlands wrote in an email last week. “New information aside, it did not appear at the last meeting that the most of the members of the SAC felt that it needed to be discussed further.”

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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9watts
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9watts

“first let me mention to you that I am a cyclist too”

some of my best friends are black.

scott
Guest
scott

It grinds me like no other.

dan
Guest
dan

Wait, wait, I have one too: “I love bikes, I hit the Parkways with my kid every year!”

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

No one says that as often as Joe Rose…

JV
Guest
JV

Almost as good as the other subtext running from many of these brewery businesses :
Some of our best customers drink (at our establishment) and drive

How is that any sort of commitment to community safety?!

Carl Alviani
Guest
Carl Alviani

Next time I get run off the road by an aggressive driver jockeying for space, doored by an inattentive employee rushing to work or right-hooked by a texting teenager, I’ll be able to take comfort in the knowledge that, despite opposing the infrastructure that could’ve prevented this collision, the business owners of 28th Ave offer their full support to the bike community. That’s what I’ll dwell on as I’m loaded into the ambulance.

James Sherbondy
Guest
James Sherbondy

All of the things you’ve mentioned are because of lack of enforcement on the part of PPB and an overly lax licensing system. Blaming the business owners on 28th for that is pretty silly. Also, you don’t get doored if you ride where a door can’t hit you.

9watts
Guest
9watts

except that the letter the businesses signed included trumpeting safety for the community at every turn….

Carl
Guest
Carl

It’s really not silly at all, James. The entire purpose of removing parking on one side of the street is to allow for a separate lane that allows people to ride without jockeying with aggressive drivers, and without the threat of doors (one of which seriously injured a friend of mine on this very stretch of road last year).

You’re right that a lack of enforcement is part of the problem, but unless we have the ability to post police at every corner to ensure 100% compliance with the law, infrastructure improvements are by far the best way of improving the safety of people who walk and ride bikes.

James Sherbondy
Guest
James Sherbondy

In the very text of the letter sent to Newland, they ( business owners) stated they’d be in favor of lowering the speed limit on 28th and putting in traffic calming features. And enforcement need not be 100% of the time to be effective. If 28th gets a reputation as a speed/enforcement trap, drivers will keep it civil, with the exception of the truly looney ones. Just as if it gets the reputation, through infrastructure not stuffed into the curb, that cars are guests, drivers will behave themselves. As it sits now, it’s a straight through “drag strip” and drivers treat it as such.

It WILL be interesting though in a years time to see how the business owners feel about free street parking when all those apartments are filled and the residents leave them stored( effectively “removing” them) there for a while. I predict meters VERY soon.

lyle w.
Guest
lyle w.

Man, you don’t ride much, do you? There is literally no route to ride North To South/South To North where you don’t have to pick between riding in the door zone, or impeding/taking the lane most of (if not all) the way. You just cannot do it, period, end of story.

And driving infractions are usually technically the fault of poor car-handling/inattentiveness, etc, but it sure doesn’t help when bike infrastructure is inadequate and not implemented in a thoughtful and rational manner.

What you’re doing is just black and white thinking– it’s more complex than that.

James Sherbondy
Guest
James Sherbondy

Question? Do you know me in real life? My screen name is my real name, and I’m pretty sure I don’t know any lyle w. I’m not going to tell you how much I ride because I’d be wasting my breath, you’ve already determined, somehow, that it’s “not much”.

And I agree, infrastructure plays a big role in safety, and what was proposed ( My OPINION to follow) was crap. Only one way gets a bike lane? What good is that going to do for the so called “interested but concerned” ? They’re STILL going to have to mix it up with cars. (Again, more opinion) No, you get the “interested but concerned” to use something when all users of the road are treated as equals. When one mode doesn’t have an “advantage” (in this case speed) over another. And that’s done with enforcement, calming, bump-outs, narrower roads, and education, not shoving people on bikes off to the side and “out of the way” of people using cars. When drivers aren’t expecting 28th to be a quick speedy hop from SE over to Fred Meyer or to get to the freeway, they’ll stop treating it as such.

Is black and white thinking something like “since some business owners didn’t want car parking removed, they must be totally anti-bike”?

davemess
Guest
davemess

James, I think many here are voicing their frustration, at necessarily this particular failed proposal, but at the general inability of our city to pull the trigger on removing parking to add bike facilities. This was just the latest blow (see other such as SE Foster, etc.). So while, yes this was not the absolute optimal facility, it is still MUCH better than the current configuration.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Sorry, “NOT necessarily at this particular failed proposal”.

James Sherbondy
Guest
James Sherbondy

Copy that. I agree, it is very frustrating to watch PBOT say how pro-bike they are and then watch the reality of how they conduct business. All the low hanging fruit’s been picked and for the city to ever reach the levels of ridership they would like to see, some tough and unpopular decisions are going to have to be made. But in this case, I feel PBOT did the right thing by falling back and punting. There’s a very limited amount of resources available for them to use, and while this little experiment would’ve been interesting, people without sidewalks are dying East of 82nd ave. Going by memory alone, I can’t recall anyone ever dying on a bike on 28th ave. Can you?

takeaspin22
Guest
takeaspin22

It is possible that this person rides bikes AND owns a business. Their self-identity may be more complex than those of us around here that strongly identify with a bike-oriented lifestyle. Casting them as someone who doesn’t “get it” or has some kind of bias against cycling is not a way to convince them of the need for better infrastructure. We need to be using persuasive arguments to skeptical people outside of our little subculture if we want them to support efforts to make the city a better place to bike.

James Sherbondy
Guest
James Sherbondy

Thank you!

9watts
Guest
9watts

“We need to be using persuasive arguments to skeptical people outside of our little subculture if we want them to support efforts to make the city a better place to bike.”

I’m listening.

John
Guest
John

That’s a cheap shot, taking his statement out of context. Whatever.

Movie Goer
Guest
Movie Goer

I am making an assumption here that this petition was written by Laurelhurst Theater.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Wouldn’t be surprised – they probably generate the most amount of traffic of any business along 28th.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

They were definately leaning on other businesses to sign it even if they didn’t write it.

John R.
Guest
John R.

I’m curious (and uninformed)- has the BTA been activating a campaign to fight against this “compromise”?

spare_wheel
Guest

*crickets*

John R
Guest
John R

Indeed. What has happened to the BTA that used to bring the fight to things like this?

9watts
Guest
9watts

“What would the cycling communities response be if business owners worked to make bikes or bike parking no longer available on 28th?”

Funny.
I don’t see that as so far from what the petition amounted to. Not technically, but in spirit.

Paul Souders
Guest

My thought too. The “compromise” logic here reminds me of my parents’ dinner “menu” when I was a kid:

1. Take it
2. Leave it

So of course I had a choice! I could choose to go hungry…

I have sympathy for the businesses along 28th. I can buy that they are trying to do the right thing. But the way they went about it pretty much shut out serious alternatives.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Its kind of a veiled threat, hinting that we should be thankful that cycling in the neighborhood is legal at all – don’t push your luck, kids!

…Despite the fact that cycling is legal on literally every street and road in the state of Oregon, due to STATE LAW (except for freeways in Portland city limits).

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Tricky crossing at 28th and Burnside? Had a look at 30th and Sandy (and Holliday) ?

was carless
Guest
was carless

Its worse trying to cross I-84 @30th. Requires either:

1) fly
2) zipline

Josh Berezin
Guest
Josh Berezin

I think diverting traffic to parallel streets is a big loss for businesses. A number of studies have shown that dedicated bike lanes increase business revenue on those streets.

My own experience reflects this. I ride once a week from downtown to east Tabor, but I take Ladd’s to Lincoln, of course. Since I avoid busy and uncomfortable Hawthorne, I have no earthly idea what businesses are located there. I never ever stop for a bite to eat or do some shopping.

Small business owners: I know the status quo is a powerful thing. But please consider for a moment that the prospect of thousands of new customers streaming by your business daily might just benefit you! It’s not that big a stretch.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Its worse – every case of potentially adding a bikeway to a neighborhood business street runs into the same problem: GEOMETRY.

You can’t fight it! There are only so many feet to allocate to sidewalks, bike facilities, parking, and general travel lanes.

Most of the widths are already spelled out in city, state and federal laws. Therefore, on narrow streets you are basically pitting parking vs. bike facilities. You really don’t have any other options, unless you want to turn the street into a couplet (remove a general purpose lane), or ban cycling.

Therefore, all of these stories are essentially about political and neighborhood support. Theres no getting around physics and math – and I feel that there is a lot of dishonest rhetoric by people who simply cannot be honest with these designs.

28th and Williams are case studies as to why cities should be designed by professional planners (and technocrats) and not self-interested committees. Gotta break eggs to make an omelette!

was carless
Guest
was carless

I should probably also mention another option. Back in the day, streets used to be widened to accommodate greater amounts of traffic. See East Burnside from Grand to 12th. However, that requires bulldozing all of the businesses along the street. Hardly an attractive option these days, but it used to be done.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

I can think of several businesses on 28th that I wouldn’t mind seeing bulldozed….

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

Those businesses weren’t bulldozed. Their facades were moved back from the street. And some of the buildings had sidewalks widened into their storefront, creating the arcades that are there now with the sidewalk on the first level and the business above it on the second.

SD
Guest
SD

Is there an accessible map that shows the 100 parking spaces that are in peril?
Sounds like there is a lot of support for both north and south bike lanes that was among the initial proposals.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Has the City even looked at repurposing some of the side streets for more parking? Any 36-ft wide street could be made one-way, keep parallel parking on one side, and convert the other side to angle parking, forward angle or reverse angle, and usually gain parking spaces (24%-30%). Driveways are the biggest issue in an otherwise well connected grid.

AMA
Guest
AMA

In the rush to advocate on behalf of parking removal on 28th, let’s not lose site of the fact that the actual parking removal plan in question kinda sucks. I’d hate to be part of a kneejerk push for bike access that actually ends up with a worse bike/ped environment than before.

Let’s recap.

1) We ARE NOT talking about removing parking from both sides and installing a fully separated cycletrack (which I would support)

2) Instead, we are talking about doing essentially nothing to one side of the street, while removing parking on the other. This actually DEGRADES the pedestrian environment by removing a very effective barrier between cars/walkers. Parked cars help calm traffic and physically separate it from pedestrians.

3) The one-side removal plan still means north bound cycle traffic is in the door zone and shoves bikes and cars right up against an already narrow sidewalk on the other side of the street.

In conclusion: we either need to go all in with a full on “cars as guests” shared zone a la Jonathan’s Rotterdam example, remove all parking and go with a fully separated cycle track, or leave it as it is. The one-side removal proposal is actually worse than the status quo.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

The one-side removal plan still means north bound cycle traffic is in the door zone and shoves bikes and cars right up against an already narrow sidewalk on the other side of the street.

you won’t be in the door zone while you’re taking the motor vehicle lane…

you won’t be in the door zone in the buffered bike lane…

cars are already shoved (parked) against one side of the street, and they won’t be anywhere near the other side due to the buffered bike lane…

AMA
Guest
AMA

People will still ride in the door zone on the east side of the street because many people don’t know how to take the lane or don’t feel comfortable doing so.

As for the west side, the removal of parking removes the door zone issue, but it puts moving cars and bikes right up against the sidewalk and removes the buffer that parking creates. Cars/bike lanes right next to the sidewalk degrade the pedestrian environment quite a bit.

spare_wheel
Guest

nonsense. sharrowed streets work well when properly implemented. SF has multiple examples opf sharrowed routes that encouraged large boosts in ridership. moreover, the plan was to super sharrow, traffic calm, and speed reduce. while not quite the “cars are guests” facility that jonathan (and i) would like to see, this is a huge step up from the usual sharrow or two every block.

AMA
Guest
AMA

And I would support a plan that properly implements sharrows. Not a plan that sharrows only one side without implementing things like signage, pavement changes, curbouts, etc. Slapping down some paint and removing parking from one side makes things worse, not better.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I’d just like to point out that bikeportland has done an amazing and thorough service to the community by focusing on and contributing to this back and forth. I always learn a ton here, but this has been expecially instructive. I think PBOT and hasty signers of the petition, and everyone else could learn a thing or two about how to avoid some of the missteps from this conversation here. Thanks, Michael & Jonathan!

was carless
Guest
was carless

With all due respect, the few interactions I have had with the owner of Migration have been pretty bad. I have found him extremely rude, demanding, and not nice to deal with. I’ve been boycotting his place since before it opened.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I find that I haven’t been going back to Migration because the beer is underwhelming. I can’t think of anything I’ve had there that is worth going back for.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“I believe that there is some misinformation being circulated that says businesses are not supportive of the bike community. This is simply not true.”

I can’t imagine anyone came away from that letter/petition, or from Ms. Holliday’s piece, with that impression. But what about these vague and unhelpful phrases?

bike community?
not supportive of?

Mr. Allen,
if the perception that these businesses want those of us biking to take our transportation and our dollars over two blocks is incorrect, then please explain why your letter/campaign/roadblock characterized those who bike as readily shunted away from the business district, while those who park their horseless carriages for free in the public right of way cannot be engaged in any way? Their ‘need’ to park trumps our ability to safely get where we want to go/never mind pass by the businesses on 28th? How exactly does this hierarchy, this unmistakeable prioritization reflect your ‘support’ of ‘our community’?

spare_wheel
Guest

“We are happy and we support the cities proposal of an enhanced bikeway on 28th this includes lower speed limits, speed bumps, and bike sharrows for cyclist who want to access 28th.”

spare_wheel
Guest

“We are happy and we support the cities proposal of an enhanced bikeway …”

Presscott, I think you mean the city’s new proposal to do nothing as a result of your petition.

JJJ
Guest

I find it interesting how little business owners sometimes seem to know about good business.

Supporting a proposal that routes customers AWAY from your store?

Signing a petition before understanding how your customers might feel about the position expressed?

It’s business 101 folks, and some of these stores might need a refresher course.

(along with any business that doesnt have their hours online).

davemess
Guest
davemess

I’m still a bit baffled by the inference in some of these responses that leaving parking in will enhance the safety of the area. It’s clearly not safer for cyclist and not safer for pedestrians, and I would argue it’s actually not safer for cars either.

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

Cars tend to go slower when the street is narrow. That is the underlying theory of curb extensions and traffic circles/roundabouts, to make the street seem constricted so that drivers proceed more slowly. When the street seems wider (as it would without parking and with bike lanes) drivers would feel like there is less hazard and going a little faster is probably OK.

JL
Guest
JL

I keep seeing that parked cars also protect pedestrians. I must need a better diagram to imagine that.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

cars protect pedestrians from cars just like guns protect you from armed robbers… if neither person had one there wouldn’t be any danger at all…

AMA
Guest
AMA

It’s not hard all that hard to understand. Parked cars create a buffer along the sidewalk that physically separates moving traffic from the sidewalk. It’s much nicer to walk on a sidewalk with parked cars separating you from speeding traffic, than it is to walk right next to traffic. This is especially true if you use curbouts, raised crosswalks, or other pedestrian improvements to help make it easier to cross the street and slow traffic down.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Are you talking about reducing noise? Or are you worried that cars will careen from the road onto the sidewalk and hit you?

AMA
Guest
AMA

All of these things. Not to mention, protruding mirrors, exhaust, and the general discomfort of having several tons of metal just feet away from your elbow. Also, the sidewalk on the west side is already pretty narrow, and there are large stretches where the block face is right up against sidewalk with no lawn or city strip. It all makes for a very uncomfortable walking environment if there is no parking as a buffer. Imagine walking next to the laurelhurst on a 5 foot wide strip of concrete with a concrete wall on one side and cars driving on the other. It would be miserable.

This is pretty widely accepted principle of urban design, by the way. Parked cars help serve as a buffer and make the pedestrian realm more comfortable. Not as comfortable as removing cars all together, of course. But if you’re gonna have traffic, you need to have a buffer – preferably a physical separation like parked cars or some sort of landscaping or hard barrier.

davemess
Guest
davemess

You have not spent much time walking on Foster or SE 82nd I take it.

AMA
Guest
AMA

I have spent quite a bit of time walking on Foster and SE 82nd. It isn’t pleasant at all. Are you saying that removing parking and putting the traffic next to the sidewalk would make those streets BETTER for pedestrians?

davemess
Guest
davemess

yes, if it also involved dropping the speed limit (or normal speed) to 20-25 like we see on 28th.
(it was a bad comparison (apples to Foster), my apologies)

davemess
Guest
davemess

Have you seen any studies that show an increase in pedestrian safety with parking lanes? If so, i would love to read them.

AMA
Guest
AMA

I have not. Again, I said it makes the pedestrian environment more comfortable. I don’t know that curb parking makes the pedestrian environment safer unless it is coupled with curbouts, reduced speeds, and intersection/crosswalk treatments.

davemess
Guest
davemess

but aren’t curbouts pretty much direct proof that the parking lane is dangerous?

spare_wheel
Guest

as a pedestrian i want to be able to cross a road without having to deal with vehicles aggressively pulling in and out of parking spots or blocking traffic sight lines. for example, i’d very much prefer two buffered lanes/cycletracks on hawthorne over the current clusterf*ck of chaotic parking and annoyed car traffic.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Agreed. Which is why you would need curbouts, intersection treatments, etc.

Removing parking for a true cycletrack on hawthorne would be fantastic. Especially if you could do that while including a left turn lane. Cycletracks are wide enough to create a legit buffer.

spare_wheel
Guest

i think buffered bike lanes can function the same way if there are dividers/diverters at intersections.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Ah. Possibly. But the buffer would need to be pretty wide.

davemess
Guest
davemess

But you can’t argue that parking lanes completely obscure the sidewalk and make it much more dangerous for pedestrians (thus the need of curb extensions). I get what you’re saying, but I think better overall visibility on the road would offer more safety than slower speeds by keeping the lane narrower (if that would in fact happen on this street).

spare_wheel
Guest

you know what also constricts the ability of motorists to harm human beings?

big fat buffered bike lanes and lot’s of cyclists who are empowered to take their right of way via traffic calming, signage, and speed limit reduction.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Thank you, Oh Job Creators, for bestowing upon us the benefits of your Wisdom

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Well good to see you’ll be tarred and feathered if you are not lock step in line with the BikePortland cycling community.

kittens
Guest
kittens

So tired of hearing stupid arguments couched in the merits of “starting a conversation”

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

like introducing a house bill to ban children as passengers on bicycles just so you can start a debate?

yeah, I wish they’d quit that…

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

The businesses do make a good point that they don’t want parking for their restaurants to impact the nearby residential areas. If you had 140 cars looking for parking on your street for a business several blocks over, I’m guessing you would not be particularly pleased.

SD
Guest
SD

It would be a good point, if it was accurate.
Migration’s letter is the first time I have seen the number jump to 140.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

no they don’t… those businesses are generally small and have fewer than 2 facing parking spots… I don’t think they’re really that worried about up to 2 of their customers per hour parking a couple blocks away…

where do they think the rest of their customers park? do they think that the same customers always get a parking spot and thus there are customers of theirs that never have to park on a side street?

I’ve never regularly been to a business with only street parking and always been able to park on their street…

they also seem to think that people won’t adapt and learn not to drive there… after several issues finding parking around NW 23rd I started taking the bus there… it’s not that difficult to take preparations for your journey…

davemess
Guest
davemess

No, but I would be pleased that I lived within walking distance of some great, desirable businesses.

gutterbunny
Guest
gutterbunny

Still not sure what all the debate is about. Despite the intent of the petition, PDOT’s plan was (at best) poor from the get go. And they have since day one lacked the will to do anything on 28th. They had alternate routes planed out before going public with any of it.

The purposed plan was a bad one. A bike lane only going one way and a Super Sharrow going the other. I’m still in the camp of just Super Sharrowing both directions, with calming measures. So people that only feel safe riding on sanctioned shoulders only get to travel one way, eh? That’s just plain stupid. Period.

The real future of urban cycling isn’t getting bike riders banished to sanctioned road shoulders, it’s in calming road traffic to a bicycle pace and allowing bikes into the lanes. And 28th is the perfect place to start. Existing congested traffic, commercial access – but not so much that it is a huge gamble (especially considering that people already don’t expect to park in front of their destinations).

You want people to feel safe on bicycles, then slow the traffic down. Pushing bike traffic to the side is not for the benefit of bike riders, it’s set up for the convenience of auto users by keeping them out of the way, but you all buy it because the idea is presented under the disguise of safety.

I mean really think about it. Riding on the shoulder (or if you insist – bike lane) is only slightly safer than riding on the sidewalk (which isn’t safe at all in most cases). Riding on the shoulder puts you into the worse spots on the road directly in the line of fire for being right hooked or doored. Bicycles being overtaken by cars are hands down the rarest bicycle automobile collision.

Both sides of this debate are all in support of cars in one way or another. Regardless of it’s in support of parking, or in support of stay out of the way. The only winner of any of the purposed plans is cars.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

some people will never ride in the same lane with motor vehicle… some not even on the same road… motor vehicles are just too dangerous…

davemess
Guest
davemess

” Riding on the shoulder (or if you insist – bike lane) is only slightly safer than riding on the sidewalk (which isn’t safe at all in most cases).”

You really believe this? Only slightly safer?

Zaphod
Guest

It’s funny how much anger is showing up here on the comments. Lots of businesses are trying to simply do what is right and makes sense. There is such a “guilty until proven innocent” mojo going on. When someone leads with “I too ride bikes” isn’t always disingenuous nor always genuine but depends upon the credibility of the source.

spare_wheel
Guest

“Lots of businesses are trying to simply do what is right and makes sense.”

I think most oregonian posters feel the same way.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“When someone leads with “I too ride bikes” isn’t always disingenuous nor always genuine but depends upon the credibility of the source.”

I agree. Except that the petition which the speaker signed lacked (in my interpretation) any sincere acknowledgement of the present accommodational imbalance along this stretch of 28th, acknowledged the fact that this piece of 28th was actually part of a larger effort stretching for miles N and S, or that by shunting bikey folks over two blocks is part of a recognizable reflexive strategy that ranks people in cars’ parking convenience higher than people on bikes’ efforts to go somewhere.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Than these businesses should just come out and be straight and say “I don’t want to lose the parking because it will hurt my business”. They don’t need to hide behind questionable goals of “safety” and “livability”. Problem is that they’re trying to have it both ways. Appease the “bike community” AND preserve their parking.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I can accept and respect a lot of the points of view being presented by the businesses, but this kind of threat veiled as a bad analogy:

“What would the cycling communities response be if business owners worked to make bikes or bike parking no longer available?”

is what can cost somebody my business.

Beth
Guest

If more people stood up to the car-centric vision that preserves parking spaces as some kind of holy grail then perhaps we could start a REAL conversation.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

free parking = business wellfare, sort of like a hidden tax on Portland residents.

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Guest
kiel johnson

I invite all people who enjoy riding a bicycle to come spend their money at the #1 bicycle neighborhood in Portland, South Waterfront.

we have the best thai and bbq cart in portland, the spaghetti factory HQ, a aerial tram, and a separated cycle track, one bike/ped only bridge over I-5 and another coming over the willamette, and a bicycle valet! yes you do not need to bring a lock or worry about anything on your bike getting stolen because there is a free bike valet.

I am a cyclist and I will always support world class bike infrastructure.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

Let’s Eat Thai Food? they’re closed on the weekends… couldn’t find the bbq cart (or any cart) in my lookup… spaghetti factory is corporate slop… the bike/ped bridge doesn’t have a ramp and I don’t want to wedge my bike with the kid’s trail-a-bike attached into an elevator that might not even be working at the time…

I do want to ride the tram some day, but I’ll likely take transit there…

Reza
Guest
Reza

South Waterfront is a ghost town at night. It’s in desperate need for some destination retail. It’d be nice to see a brewery open up shop down there.

Or, you know, a grocery store?

Jim
Guest
Jim

It seems pretty clear to me the whoever wrote the petition letter clearly meant to snooker the signers into endorsing an extreme and rigid position opposed to removing any existing parking. These type of manipulative tactics are disappointing.

But what is really disappointing is the City seriously considering wasting our limited bike infrastructure dollars on “improving” 30th as a neighborhood greenway. 30th is already fine for few the cyclists use it so the money spent will be largely wasted…and the opportunity to really make 28th a vibrant safe corridor for bikes, pedestrians, and local businesses will be lost.

9watts
Guest
9watts

You must be a different Jim than the lowercase jim who posts here a bunch. 🙂

I only mention this because I’ve noticed quite a few regular posters here have multiple aliases with subtle spelling variations. Made me wonder if that was so they could upvote their posts, or something…

Jeff Walenta
Guest
Jeff Walenta

I went to beulahland the other day with some friends specifically because they didn’t sign that petition. The attitude of my friends is that they felt they had a right to free parking in the area which I think is a common attitude

In my opinion if nothing is done on 28th to improve things then there needs to be an effort made to solve the parking crisis in the area by installing meters and issueing residential parking permits

I expect laurelhurst will draft a new petition to get the meters installed to help alieviate the problem

Reza
Guest
Reza

Ha, don’t hold your breath on meters.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hey, has anyone raised the issue that putting a bike lane down 28th and removing parking from alcohol-serving businesses is a public service? It has the potential to make it less easy for some number of people to drive drunk. Is there a local chapter of MADD that could be enlisted to endorse the plan?

jim
Guest
jim

Ya, let’s put bike parking in front of the bars.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

and bike share stations…

Mike
Guest
Mike

Isn’t biking while drunk the same as driving while drunk in this state. I would be very, very, careful

Pez
Guest
Pez

OK so I’m a cyclist, but I’m also a transit rider. I am pretty much against putting speed bumps on any arterial street because although 28th doesn’t have transit service (now), these kind of treatments would preclude having good, comfortable bus service in the future. Just a thought.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I’m upvoting this, but I think the speed bumps with grooves cut for firetruck wheels might also be wide enough for bus wheels…

other countries have ways of slowing down cars without impacting buses…

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

True, but the grooves in speed cushions are positioned so that fire trucks drive on the centerline with the left side of the vehicle – not something recommended for transit vehicles. In the UK, speed cushions work better, and can be positioned to permit fire trucks and buses to drive over them and stay in their lane because of the significantly different sizes of large vehicles versus passenger vehicles. With gas prices what they are in Europe, there are not so many SUVs.

SD
Guest
SD

If there was a solution to offset Laurelhurst’s parking consumption it would more than compenaste for the loss of high volume parking spots on 28th.

There are business in that area that have empty parking lots with “no parking” signs enforced by towing after these businesses have closed for the day.

Many successful, busy, high foot traffic commercial areas have parking set a couple of blocks away from the main street.

Movie Goer
Guest
Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

ok, I tried biking north on NE 30th… it was incredibly annoying having to stop every other block… I made it as far as Everett and then took the lane on 28th north to Knott with the kid on his trail-a-bike and a trailer in tow…

I came back the same way taking the lane on 28th all the way south to Taylor…

the only problem was an impatient driver behind the patient driver behind me who decided to pass me and the patient driver northbound right before the I-84 bridge in a double-yellow no passing zone…

Reza
Guest
Reza

What a perfect explanation as to why the existing setup on 28th is so terrible. Dealing with unhinged drivers like that…

And I’m sure that they would turn some stop signs on 30th. The major street crossings will get improved regardless.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

In my experience, you can take the lane in the busy commercial stretch from Stark to Glisan without much driver fuss. The road there “feels” narrow and congested, and most drivers just naturally go slower anyway. There is the occasional jerkoff driver. The cyclist needs to be a little considerate too; bottling up a dozen cars while defiantly pootling along in the center of the lane at 10 mph is going to make the cyclist unpopular, just as similar behavior would be unwelcome on a bike path.

North of Glisan, the road widens and the natural driving speed seems to increase. There are fewer parked cars and more room for the slower cyclist to ease over to the right and let cars pass, so more drivers will expect you to do so, and you should do so.

I wonder how long you and the kid-bike and the trailer had been bottling this driver up behind you? It doesn’t make his maneuver any less illegal, but . . .

I’m just saying, I ride 28th very frequently, and experience at most one jerk-off driver maneuver a year, maybe because I don’t pootle and do ease over to the right to let drivers pass, when it is safe.

Some calming modifications to make this road “feel” even narrower would, I think, slow the natural driving speed even further.

eli bishop
Guest
eli bishop

some of us -have- to “pootle” and “bottle up the drivers” if we’re going to take the lane. that’s why we wanted bike lanes.

Reza
Guest
Reza

John, in most urban traffic conditions the slower moving vehicle has the right of way. if you have to weave in and out of empty parking spaces, risk riding in the door zone, or pedal hard at 20-25 mph to avoid the ire of the poor drivers behind you that are being inconvenienced, then there is a problem.

That is what 28th is like today.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Neighborhood Greenway treatment would turn stop signs at minor intersections and add speed bumps.

Reza
Guest
Reza

Sounds like a typical bicycle boulevard to me. You fail to make the distinction with a NG clear.

IanC
Guest
IanC

Relax.

Take a full lane when biking on 28th.

Problem solved (sort of).

Anyway, that’s my plan. I’ll also doodle a little bike on all card reciepts when I eat/shop there.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

How about a series of active “28th St Bikes as Business Customers” on 28th for Pedal Palooza…set up a weekly event on various low business days/ nights and bring in 10 to 20 bicyclists at several targeted businesses each event…tube stickers are always nice too…

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

The other critical message here is – the on street parking is at or near 100% … the current reactionary plan will not be adding any new parking capacity while protecting the current supply…while the best low cost option to bringing more customers into this area would be by bike, foot, bus…especially with the success of bike corrals in bringing in 5 to 10 customers/ employees for every parked car (parked car on average would have between 1 to 2 humans inside).

davemess
Guest
davemess

Again, it was at (or near) 100% capacity during one single hour period on a Saturday night in April (and that one hour was the prime dining hour (7-8PM). That data was HEAVILY padded.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Seems like it makes sense to examine parking utilization at a period of high demand – e.g. Saturday evening.

For example, when we (“we” meaning commenters on this blog) talk about overcrowding of the bike lanes on Williams, we are similarly talking about utilization at the height of the afternoon commute ride. Yet no-one calls that “padded” data.

Both the 28th St parking and the Williams bike lanes surely have plenty of excess capacity at 5 am on Sunday, but is that meaningful?

Reza
Guest
Reza

Should big-box stores continue to design parking lots to meet the demand on the single biggest shopping day of the year (Saturday before Christmas)?

Should engineers continue to design roadways to meet the peak-hour demand for travel? Or even worse, the peak 15 minutes?

There is a big problem with designing facilities solely around meeting peak-of-the-peak demand. It leads to a lot of wasteful infrastructure that goes unused the vast majority of the time.

davemess
Guest
davemess

We had these same discussions during the Foster Streetscape meetings where some wanted to solely go on the traffic count during the peak hours. People live/travel on these streets 24/7.

(And for what it’s worth I’ve commented on this site before that I don’t think Williams is that bad (even at peak hours))

Even if you want to include peak hours (and again this only talking about one day/night a week), go out and collect more than one.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Thanks for the insight.

SD
Guest
SD

Agreed. If several businesses want to move into some of the empty space on 28th and increase the demand for on street parking. Will these businesses who signed the petition start a campaign to block out these new businesses out of fear that the need for parking will increase? Will they tell them to set up on a different street?

Deeebo
Guest
Deeebo

Buuuuurn the witch! Burn the witch! Someone has a slightly different opinion than me about transportation policy. I hope their business fails miserably! Burrrrn her!
PS – please lets make more comparisons to racism because making some frail (albeit likely ill-advised) attempts at common ground is JUST like being an implicit racist

davemess
Guest
davemess

So what is the problem with “voting with your dollars”?

9watts
Guest
9watts

“So what is the problem with “voting with your dollars”?”

The main problem is that those with more $ get to vote more often.

spare_wheel
Guest

could you be any more condescending?

and i don’t owe these businesses anything. it their job to attract my custom, not the other way around.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I bike on 28th every other day or so, both north and south from Ankeny (where I live). Personally, I’ve never had much of a problem with it – I take the lane every time, and I’ve never had any real problems with drivers on it. Well, unless you count drivers being obnoxiously polite and stopping at 28th and Ankeny to let me cross when I don’t have right of way.

Adding a one-way bike lane is totally pointless though, because it doesn’t really cater to anybody; people usually don’t bike one way and then drive the other, so anybody who’s not comfortable with taking a lane will still not be comfortable with using 28th for a round trip, and people like me will still be using 28th when it’s the best way to get somewhere, so the net increase in bike traffic is zero.

Now, if they put in those barricades that prevent through traffic and left turns for cars but not bikes, probably at Burnside and Glisan, 28th would be awesome for everybody to bike on AND it wouldn’t lose parking. Parked cars and door zones aren’t a problem if you can comfortably take a lane the whole way, and if traffic was calmed enough like on Ankeny then it would have bike traffic like Ankeny does, and everybody’s happy.

Frankly there’s really no good excuse to allow cars to use 28th as a way to cross all the way from the freeway down to Hawthorne, it’s terrible route to drive anyway and on the flip side, it’s really the only viable north-south route for bikes in that neighborhood. They can cross the freeway at 21st AND 33rd, both of which suck for bikes. Cars already avoid 28th at Stark, probably because they don’t like the light there, and if it wasn’t feasible to cross Burnside on 28th they’d all be pushed over to 20th and 33rd unless they actually need to get to one of the businesses on 28th.

AMA
Guest
AMA

This really seems like the cheaper, easier, AND better way to go for me. Removing a lane of parking really seemed like a half assed attempt at “doing something!” rather than thinking through what we want to accomplish. I want 28th to be our first truly bike accessible neighborhood retail district. I don’t think the parking removal/bike lane plan does that.

Jonathan’s Rotterdam example is the one that has me truly inspired. Especially if we can get signage that celebrates that it is a shared space, put in curbouts, and reduce speed limits. A mountable curb down the center line that keeps cars from trying to edge past bikes would also be really excellent.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Yes, but please – don’t try to reduce speed with speed bumps! They don’t work, all they do is make drivers accelerate hard in between them and brake hard just before, and they’re just as irritating to bike over as they are to drive over.

A better way to reduce speeds on 28th is to just make it impossible to use for car through traffic by changing the intersections. By far the best part of Ankeny for biking is the few blocks right next to 20th, despite it being close to the highest car traffic, because cars actually stay off it there unless they really need to get to something on Ankeny. All the sharrows and speed bumps do little to discourage car traffic, but you chop off flow from just a few key intersections and the ratio of cars to bikes completely flip-flops. This is a perfect street to do that on, since you’d only need to do it at one or two spots.

spare_wheel
Guest

installing barriers that prevent through traffic on 28th is/was 100% off the table.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

davemess
yes, if it also involved dropping the speed limit (or normal speed) to 20-25 like we see on 28th.
(it was a bad comparison (apples to Foster), my apologies)
Recommended 0

Problematically, if a street “looks” fast to a driver, they are much more likely to drive faster. Adding a speed limit which seems arbitrarily slow to drivers creates a dangerous variability and unpredictability for people considering crossing or pulling out in front of a car. Humans just aren’t that great at judging approaching car speeds.

I learned this from the relevant ODOT dept website. Seems plausible. I don’t think that designers get to add a “just police the heck out of it” clause to plans that would be unsafe without heavy police presence.