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Outside the bike box: Four ways Portland’s bike believers can connect the city

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Williams project meeting-11-10

Portlanders discuss the Williams Avenue bikeway in 2011.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A community conversation about Portland's bike future

Welcome to the first of a new series of guest posts: America’s Next Bicycle Capital.

Two weeks ago, we invited Portlanders of every stripe to share ideas on how Portland can regain its sense of direction and keep using biking to improve our city. This first post is by Jason Miner and Craig Beebe, the director and communications director of 1000 Friends of Oregon.

The first transportation revolution in Portland has been so dramatic and successful in part because bicycling has more than a token seat at the table. Bicycling infrastructure, safety and access has become a central part of the conversation about the city’s mobility and economic development. That was evident when the City Club overwhelmingly adopted a report last year endorsing the integral role of bicycles in the city’s transportation system, but it’s been the case for a lot longer.

“Spurring the next revolution will require broadening our own table as advocates. Portland knows how to connect neighborhoods with infrastructure. Now it has to connect people to each other.”

Spurring the next revolution will require broadening our own table as advocates. Portland knows how to connect neighborhoods with infrastructure. Now it has to connect people to each other.

Those who advocate for better bicycling must think in a far more comprehensive way about bicycling’s role in the city’s future. If we can tie in to the larger transition Portland is experiencing — becoming a more inclusive city, where the benefits of livability can be shared by everyone — we have a huge role to play.

We humbly present four new connections we’d like to see make their way into the bicycle conversation more fluidly and meaningfully in the months and years to come. People are already working on some of these points, but we have to bring them together if we expect to create the system we want and need.

Amsterdam riding and city scenes-66

The street isn’t the only thing in this photo that lets the Dutch ride.

If you would be an advocate for better bicycling today, be an advocate for better land use.

“Bikeable” distance varies for many people, but here’s a simple principle: The closer people live to their daily destinations and the more connected their neighborhood, the more likely cycling can be a viable option for some or all trips. Look at the pictures of riders in Amsterdam — yes, you see great separated infrastructure, but you also see boulevards lined with mixed-use buildings rich with destinations and services. This doesn’t happen by accident. Support good density in the right places, like near transit and bikeways, and stand up for more affordability everywhere. Support better growth management and planning that doesn’t throw more houses and jobs where people have to drive all the time.

If you would be an advocate for better bicycling, be an advocate for safer places to walk and better access to transit.

Every time someone safely gets to their destination without driving — even one trip — is a victory for our whole region, and a victory for bicycling. Help more people get out of driving for every trip — particularly those for whom driving is not an option at all. One-third of Oregonians do not or cannot access a car. Realize that a city that’s safer for people walking and better for transit is also better for people on bikes.

If you would be an advocate for better bicycling, be an advocate for equity and inclusion.

Don’t point fingers. Reach out, formally and informally, to as many people as you can — of diverse backgrounds, races, ages, abilities, neighborhoods, politics. Talk with neighborhood activists, small business owners, and your own neighbors. Listen to their concerns, invite them to share their vision for transportation and development. Go for a walk together, or maybe a ride. Understand that a bikeway may not be the first thing that comes to many people’s minds about their community’s needs. Be adept at envisioning and explaining better bicycling as part of a greater vision of mobility, health, and safety for everyone, even those who never get on a bike.

Hawthorne Bridge bike counter-1

Bike counters like the Hawthorne Bridge’s care about people the Census ignores.

If you would be an advocate for better bicycling, be an advocate for better data.

Don’t fixate on the commuter statistic. Yes, it is a benchmark and an easy way to observe trends and make comparisons. But it’s an almost laughably limited picture. It only asks how respondents got to work last week. It doesn’t count students, the retired or unemployed. It doesn’t count errands or riding for fun. It undercounts minorities, immigrants, the young and the poor. And our next breakthrough might just be with people missed entirely by that commuting statistic. A fixation on the commuter statistic will under-serve these riders and provide an argument to those who argue that biking doesn’t deserve more funding.

There is more we could add to this list, as many contributors here on BikePortland and many advocates already have, including issues like funding, parking, and education. We’ve just listed a few priorities. And we believe the more broadly these priorities are shared, the more people we will see enjoying riding, across the city.

Above all, advocates for better bicycling need to keep the message positive, urgent, and pragmatic. It’s not just about bikes anymore, if it ever was. It’s about our ability to envision, advocate, and realize a city that makes meaningful connections, in every sense of the word.

beebe miner

Craig Beebe, left, and Jason Miner.
(Photo courtesy Miner.)

Jason Miner is executive director of smart-growth advocacy group 1000 Friends of Oregon. Craig Beebe is 1KF’s communications director and chairs the Portland City Club‘s Bicycle Transportation Advocacy and Awareness Committee. Want to join this series? Send submissions to michael@bikeportland.org.

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

  • Cora Potter June 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    “Support better growth management and planning that doesn’t throw more houses and jobs where people have to drive all the time.”

    This is a slippery slope sort of statement that defends the status-quo development trajectory (which isn’t working). There are plenty of places in Portland (not the suburbs) where people have to drive because of a lack of amenities and jobs within walk/bike distance. This is also a land-use issue that needs to be solved. I’d also argue that in some of these places, adding jobs and building centers is actually easier than trying to remake well established inner city neighborhoods in the image of the Netherlands.

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    • Nick Falbo June 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      I’d like to think this statement is more about not building on greenfields in Happy Valley, rather than any discouragement about infill in outer east Portland.

      After the last 20 years of infill, east Portland has a similar density to our streetcar suburb inner neighborhoods – but what’s its missing is human-scale street networks and human-scale urban development. This is a huge hurdle however, as new streetnetworks are expensive, right sizing streets faces constant opposition, and new urban development is largely market driven.

      We need new tools to solve this problem.

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    • Chris I June 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

      The “status quo” for the past 70 years was sprawling single-family homes, often developed on narrow country roads with no sidewalks, and many without paved streets. This is what doesn’t work, and we can clearly see why.

      The current “status quo” involved adding density in these areas. Activity that will lead to more people living closer to where they work. Will this strategy work? I don’t think we can say at this point. If we build enough multi-family housing to get to the point where a majority of the housing stock is multi-family, then we can make that call. I don’t think we will be there any time soon.

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      • wsbob June 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

        “The “status quo” for the past 70 years was…” Chris I

        Not ‘was’, but ‘is’. In the metro area, building sprawling residential developments beyond walking and biking distance from employment and services, still is the pattern for development today. When the broader public, rather than only a micro group of bike enthusiasts, starts saying they really want a contained community built, the chances of that happening will increase.

        As an example, out in Washington County, the way new developments are planned and built is just pathetic. Far and away, the lion’s share of road infrastructure in and around such developments is planned and built to facilitate the use of motor vehicles in a manner that fouls the practicality or appeal of traveling by foot or bike. The public ought to take a chance, and pass the word to the movers and shakers, to for once, build a new development that has big broad pedestrian esplanades and cycle tracks from the neighborhood to the mall, and to the job.

        For a change, in addition to a ‘Street of Dreams’, it could be worthwhile to create a ‘Community of Dreams at Your Door’.

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson June 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I wonder how you would look at the street fee through looking at these points?

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    • 9watts June 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      That was exactly what I was thinking.
      Big fat zero.

      The street fee is not about vision, ideas, people, livability, but chiefly about patching up what we have, muddling through.

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  • SteveG June 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Jason and Craig raise excellent points. Land use and transportation choices are very closely linked. Portland is lively, dense and livable largely because of the state’s land use laws and 1000 Friends of Oregon.

    We’re going to have a very hard time increasing cycling rates without more density. Density makes it easier to bike, walk, and increase transit service, and if it results in better nearby services, it also decreases the need to own a car. As more households shift to a “car lite” ratio (i.e. fewer than one car per licensed driver per household), all alternative modes — walking, biking, transit and car-sharing — will thrive. And so will Portland.

    Another point that I’d add: “If you would be an advocate for better cycling, embrace parking meters along commercial corridors as well as neighborhood parking permits.” Free on-street parking is a direct financial subsidy to drivers, paid by everyone (i.e. even those who don’t have a car).

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    • Ciaran June 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      I think it’s right to focus on parking. If you want a city where people walk/transit/bike more, you’ll never win just with positive incentives, you need to make driving less convenient. Parking is the easiest way to do this. Make it expensive and make it difficult to find, and you’ll see demand for better transit/walking/biking facilities take off.

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    • Craig Beebe June 3, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Great point. We debated adding something on parking as a fifth point, actually. Both of us believe it’s crucial that we find realistic strategies for car parking.

      Jason has written on this issue before, in an Oregonian op-ed back in September 2012.


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  • barney June 2, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Many people tend to frame the bicycle friendly rankings of states as a liberal vs. conservative thing. Everybody knows that conservatives hate bikes right!. Arguably the nations most conservative state Utah, is moving up the rankings while Oregon is slipping down. For 2014 Utah is up to #8 while Oregon has dropped to #5. Better watch out Oregon, conservative Utah may soon be more forward thinking than Portlandia. Oh my heck!

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    • Todd Boulanger June 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

      The bicycle should be a NW libertarians’ most favored modern transportation mode. What happened?! Why is it not? Is it a failure in the doctrine or it leadership?

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  • Dick Schouten June 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    With respect to bike friendly Dutch land use and transportation examples we can use in the Metro area, look far beyond an unique place like Amsterdam – look at suburban-like largely post-WW II built Dutch towns like Assen. Biking is a significant transport mode across the entire length and breath of Netherlands, this means many medium and smaller sized Dutch cities and semi-rural areas are possible templates for us to use in our Metro area.

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    • Craig Beebe June 3, 2014 at 5:58 am

      Thank you for the additional inspiration, Commissioner Schouten!

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  • Peter Koonce June 2, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Powerful, thoughtful post. Thanks 1KF! Yet, after reading it, I felt like the use of the term “advocate” is comparable to Jonathan’s thoughts on the term “cyclist”. So with that as a thesis, may I suggest we define what being an “advocate” means?

    Perhaps some of the readers even thought: I am not an advocate…. That’s staff at the BTA or someone that is paid to do that… And yes, the BTA & 1000 Friends are very important advocacy groups, whose employees are advocates, but their voice and presence alone is not going to allow us to reach the aspirational future talked about here. If you’re still reading, let me suggest to you, that you are an advocate! Being informed is an important first step, but reading BP alone is not moving the needle (sorry Jonathan) at the pace discussed. So, what’s next? Let me suggest that before one can be an effective advocate, we have to be a neighbor.

    Having been active in the City of Milwaukie as a neighborhood Chair and on the city’s Budget Committee nearly 10 years ago now, I learned a bit about who City Council their considered trusted advocates. One of my many lessons was that my credibility at the neighborhood level was not high even if I was the “expert” on transportation (in my day job). Experts are not always effective advocates of course but that’s another story. In my experience, I found my voice carried further over time, built mostly by being a neighbor who was first a partner on activities like community clean ups, crime watch discussions, etc and it was through the process of service to the community that I gained credibility. With a some credibility, I was able to start having conversations about the future we wanted and how transit played a role in defining what the community needed in order for the residents to get on board and want it to happen. There is a big difference between having a singularly focused conversation on bicycle or (it was transit in my Milwaukie experience) public transportation with strangers that happen to live nearby than people that know what your dog’s name is and how many kids you have.

    My 2 cents: go to your local neighborhood meeting, so when there is an opportunity to advocate, you’ll be a neighbor first and an advocate second. If you’re really passionate about change, get more involved. I learned a ton about how a City functioned and tried my best to positively model the change I “advocated” for as a leader in that community.

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    • 9watts June 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Excellent points about working at the neighborhood level, sticking with it. I have had similar experiences.
      But I wouldn’t be so quick to (implicitly) let the BTAs and The 1000 Friends and the City gov’t off the hook. These are ideas and strategies they could champion and run with, too.

      Caving to business demand for continued free on-street car parking on 28th Ave. isn’t what we need if we’re going to move forward.

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    • Craig Beebe June 3, 2014 at 5:57 am

      Excellent point and addition, Peter. I think we did intend this for the self describes “advocates” (professional and volunteer) but your observations are right on the mark.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 3, 2014 at 9:38 am

      I couldn’t agree more with you Peter about getting involved on the neighborhood level – and have written about it here on the front page more than once in the past:

      – 2010: What can you do for biking? Get involved with your neighborhood association.

      – 2007: Act locally, thoughts on north Portland.

      Actually, your post has me feeling really guilty because I have fallen out of the n’hood meeting routine of late. I need to get back involved! Thanks for the nudge.

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  • Doug Klotz June 2, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    As Jason and Craig point out, promoting less driving goes hand-in-hand with promoting more well-arranged density: More residential units along transit streets, within biking radius of major job centers, and along neighborhood commercial corridors and centers that residents can walk and bike to.

    As it happens, there is an opportunity to speak up for allowing more density in Portland’s neighborhood commercial areas, coming up this Wednesday (June 4) and next Wednesday (June 11). There is city advisory committee, advising staff on looking at rewriting the Mixed Use Zones (the Commercial zones). These zones are where a large number of apartment buildings are going up, which is controversial in many neighborhoods. Staff is leading walks in various neighborhoods to find out how neighbors and the general public feel about the development on certain streets, and if different zones are needed in the city’s “toolbox”, or if zones should be rewritten. If folks who understand how increased density can improve walkability, bikeability and transit use, attend these walks and add their thoughts, city staff will hear from a broader cross-section than often speaks on these issues.

    June 4, 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Division Street walk (sure to be a crowded one)
    Meet at Piccolo Park, on SE 28th, half a block south of Division, and walk along Division from 28th toward 38th. You can join the walk any time.

    June 11, 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Multnomah Village walk
    Meet at SW Community Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy.

    For more info on the MUZ committee and the walks, contact Barry Manning at 503-823-7965, barry.manning@portlandoregon.gov, or visit the project website at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mixeduse

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  • TJ June 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Parking: Do we really have such a huge probably with it? Or are we only trying to persuade drivers not to drive, which is not the same as persuading them to bike or use public transit.

    Is the thought if we meter parking we can move remove spaces and create a bike lane? I do not see how this would work.

    Last I checked every on-street metered space in the city goes free after 7pm.

    How do we meter the neighborhoods? Folks park 4 blocks deep into Kerns for a movie.

    My point: We need off-street parking. And charge for it 24/7.

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    • Chris I June 3, 2014 at 9:13 am

      You should buy an empty lot and build a parking garage, then. But it will be a terrible investment, because the city is giving away thousands of spots in the surrounding area for free. What sucker is going to pay to park their car in a garage when they can park it on the street for free?

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      • TJ June 3, 2014 at 9:26 am

        Hi Chris-
        I failed to make my point. After building a parking garage remove on-street parking from areas like 28th and permit the neighborhoods. Too, don’t build new residential without parking –no assumptions or exceptions.

        As for the suckers: Convenience.

        I mean what sucker is going to pay to drive their car three miles in traffic when they can bike to work for free? (and that is what we’re up against)

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        • Doug Klotz June 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

          So you’re okay with residents of new apartments who don’t have cars, being forced to pay increased rent to pay of the construction of a parking space they don’t use? Requiring spaces incentives these residents to own a car, and further, to drive it. Because, they will always have a convenient spot, and won’t have to hunt for one on the street. Of course, this ultimately drives up the price of housing, as well as limiting the amount of it, as you can only fit so many apartments on a given site, and providing parking reduces the amount you can fit. And by the way, it reduces the number of people who can live within walking distance of a commercial street, for instance.

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  • Ethan Seltzer June 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

    After being passed perilously close by a speeding biker in a bike lane, and having experienced a slaloming rider on the way home a few days ago, seems to me that the first place to start is with people who bike. Why is it so unreasonable to expect some courtesy, biker to biker? If we’re known as a crass bunch of wahoos, why would anyone want to join us? Reminds me way too much of dog owners that don’t pick up after their dogs.

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    • Julie June 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

      This is a critical point. Bike advocates need car-based allies, if you will, to successfully advocate for any of these changes, and allies will be hard to find if car drivers feel like bicyclists aren’t trustworthy partners on the road.

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      • spare_wheel June 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

        we need pedestrian and public transport allies, not motorist-centric allies. no nation with high cycling mode share has a history of sucking up to motorists.

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        • Dave Thomson June 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm

          If you want to be successful in changing the world you really need to learn how to count votes…

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    • Chris I June 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

      You’re welcome to call them out on their behavior. Personally, I’m more concerned with the motor vehicles that drive dangerously around me. They represent a much greater danger.

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    • Tj June 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Crass wahoos? And comparing to dog owners? While I don’t disagree everyone needs manors, creating division by way of relative speed (or was passing the bother?) doesn’t help the cause. The sentiments fall close to the guest articles defining anything lycra or shirtless as basically evil. Here, in the stereotypes, egos and fears collide, indifferent to carbon or hi-ten and oft from the same saddle.

      Expecting courtesy is where frustration begins. Delivering courtesy is where corporation starts.

      Just a different spin 😉

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      • Tj June 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

        Obviously, I meant cooperation… Buddha buzzkill.

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    • spare_wheel June 4, 2014 at 9:59 am

      well a close pass is never a good thing but i am trying hard to understand why a “slaloming rider” upset you.

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  • gutterbunnybikes June 3, 2014 at 9:21 am

    On a whole I can’t find an issue with any of these points. Excellent post all the way around.

    Though might I be so bold as to amend the “If you would be an advocate for better bicycling, be an advocate for equity and inclusion.”

    And that should include other bike riders as well, regardless of gender, race and social or economic background, be it they ride $5000 carbon hand built or $100 Roadmasters fresh (or even not so fresh) off the rack from the nearest big box store.

    There is way too much “us and them” on two wheels. Too many people who distance themselves from other riders based because they don’t fit their personal “image” of cyclist.

    But that attitude needs to be put aside because a person riding a bike is a person riding a bike, and each one counts. It shouldn’t matter at all if the riders is a professional training for a Triathlon or collecting cans from curbside recycling bins. We all have a right for safe, comfortable and effective routes.

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    • El Biciclero June 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      If you would be an advocate for better bicycling, advocate for the repeal of ORS 814.420. I know, that one’s too hard. The only reason I bring it up is that I believe at least some of the “Us vs. Them” problem is caused by Oregon’s attempt to corral bicycling persons of widely varying ability levels into the same, very narrow ribbon of roadway know as “The Far Right” or “The Bicycle Lane or Path”. They have, intentionally or unintentionally, created a Harrison Bergeron scenario where we are all reduced to the lowest common denominator and are all in each other’s way.

      Imagine if freeways were all one-laners in each direction; motorists would have the same attitude toward each other–it would be the Grannies vs. the Speed Demons, the Dump Truckers vs. the Corvettes. Imagine if sidewalks were only wide enough to allow one-way travel and one person had to step into the street to pass another. You’d have Window Shoppers vs. Bus Catchers.

      Car-driving persons, whose cars vastly reduce the variation in “ability”, still usually have plenty of lanes to use for passing where passing is likely, and persons afoot (where sidewalks exist) usually have plenty of sidewalk width to walk at their own pace without fear of being injured by running into (or being run into by) other persons afoot. For the most part, it is only bicycling persons that we expect to be content riding at the pace of the slowest dawdler present.

      Give cyclis–er, bicycling persons–enough room to operate at different rates and see how much better everyone gets along.

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      • wsbob June 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

        “…advocate for the repeal of ORS 814.420. …” El Biciclero

        Only if the objective is to waste a lot of time, energy, and make enemies out of potential allies.

        There are much better ways to improve road conditions for biking than to expend energy in vain efforts to try eliminate a law that actually clarifies and supports the right of people traveling by bike to their use of the road.

        First and foremost, better community design and planning with corresponding active transportation infrastructure, could go along way to create better conditions for biking.

        Other things: more extensive and consistent maintenance of bike lanes and road shoulders to have them be acceptably usable for biking.

        Citywide, even Metro or region wide, appealing and inviting efforts to build up the bike in traffic skill set of people that are vulnerable road users as they travel by bike.

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        • 9watts June 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

          “a law that actually clarifies and supports the right of people traveling by bike to their use of the road.”

          George Orwell lives in Beaverton?

          Say, wsbob, where’s the equivalent law that clarifies and supports pedestrian’s use of the sidewalk?

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        • El Biciclero June 4, 2014 at 9:39 am

          I and The League of American Bicyclists disagree with you on the benefit of this law for cyclists. You have still not stated how life is better for cyclists with this law than without. You continually refer to statements you have supposedly made in the past that illuminate your reasoning as to the benefits this law provides, but have not yet actually stated them, except to say that the law “clarifies” how bicyclists may use the roadway when a bike lane is present. Clarifies, indeed–especially when police can’t decide what constitutes illegal non-use of the bike lane. You seem to have reached the conclusion that since hardly anyone ever gets cited for this offense (lack of enforcement, possibly due to ambiguity in the law), it must not be a “bad” law. As a backup argument, you also claim that any attempt to alter or repeal this law would be futile and cause a backlash, so why waste the time and energy?

          Suppose there were a law that “clarified” where people of a certain income level could and could not walk downtown. Let’s say it “clarified” that homeless folks had to walk in the gutter unless there was a car parked “so close to the curb as to allow inadequate passage by a homeless person”, and then made an exception so that homeless folks could step up onto the sidewalk to go around parked cars. Let’s even say the police hardly ever enforced that law; would it be a “good” law simply because it “clarified” something? Would this hypothetical law benefit homeless people because it “clarified” where they could walk? Providing “clarity” (which, as demonstrated by the widely varying legal responses to incidents in which it has been deemed to apply, ORS 814.420 doesn’t actually seem to do), is not an intrinsic benefit to those to whom the law is applied.

          You have also made the argument that the exceptions in the law allow for every conceivable reason a cyclist may want to exit a bike lane, and is therefore not a restriction in the least. If that is true, then what possible purpose could the law serve that would not be provided by the absence of the law? I and others–including certain lawmakers–have concluded that there is at least one case that is not covered in the many exceptions. There was an attempt in recent years to get that specific case included by changing the wording of one of the existing exceptions from allowing a cyclist to leave the bike lane to continue straight through an intersection where the bike lane is to the right of a lane “from which a motor vehicle must may turn right.” If the current law “clarified” that this exception was already allowed, why was there an attempt to change the wording of the law? Somebody who is in the business of making laws saw this flaw and attempted to fix it. There are many other exception cases which are not covered, or are ambiguous enough as to not be effectively covered (e.g., distance required to “prepare for a left turn”, avoiding the door zone, moving left for visibility at side streets, taking the lane when first in line at a stop light to avoid right hooks [where there is no bike box], what actually constitutes a “hazard”, as demonstrated in the recent case of Dallas Smith in Ashland, etc.)

          A law that cannot be consistently enforced, has recognized deficiencies in its wording, and does not allow for safe operation of a bicycle in all cases is NOT a good law.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

    As for land use planning…two major barriers are the expectation by most single family property owners is that the land use density and overlay zones will always be the same as the day they bought their home. Plus the public street space in front of their property is only for storing their car (vs using their garage…that is used for storage or converted into living space).

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  • don arambula June 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Jason Miner’s statement that “the closer people live to their daily destinations and the more connected their neighborhood, the more likely cycling can be a viable option for some or all trips” is a fundamental consideration that cannot be over-emphasized.

    Portland’s Planning Bureau has talked in terms of a ’20 minute neighborhood’ as a means to link land use and transportation planning. This idea is admirable yet unworkable considering that a average family makes 10 trips per day which translates into 200 minutes of combined family member traveling if you were to live in a so-called ’20 minute neighborhood’.

    A better scale is that which is the model that is the basis of transit-oriented development (TOD) planning: a 5 minute neighborhood ( a quarter mile in distance walking) focused around hubs of daily destination uses (retail, jobs, education, etc.) The land use area catchment area can be expanded to 1 mile (5 minute bike ride) with the inclusion of protected bike lanes.

    This 5 minute Mobility Oriented District (MOD) has been the basis of my firm’s successful downtown, neighborhood center, transit and bicycle planning for the last 5 years for cities across North America.


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  • Craig Harlow June 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    In my view of myself as an advocate/booster/evangelist for biking, I’m less and less focused than I have been in the past on the cause of bicycling itself, and instead more interested in…

    promoting complete streets;
    seeing the most vulnerable served–specifically those 8-80;
    sharing the spirit behind Vision Zero; and
    emphasizing the fiscal, psychological and medical benefits of planning toward those values

    …rather than representing the bicycle as the messiah to us all.

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  • Manville June 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    How about some mountain biking within a 45 min drive? Until that happens I will be firing up my car at least once a week.

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