A cover story in this month’s NW Examiner is stoking an old but unfortunately familiar meme: the “war on cars.”
In Driving out Cars, Allan Classen, the publisher and editor of the free neighborhood newspaper, focuses on how new buffered bike lanes have impacted people who use NW Everett Street. As we reported back in August, the Bureau of Transportation re-designed Everett between 24th and I-405 in order to improve bicycle access.
For the main face of the story, Classen chose an auto repair shop owner named Frank Warrens, who refers to the project as an example of PBOT’s ongoing “war on cars”:
The recent conversion of one vehicle lane into a bike lane along Northwest Everett Street between 19th and 23rd avenues blew his gasket.
“The brain-dead idiots who came up with the idea of making a bike lane on Everett are really out of line,” Warrens told the Examiner. “It’s clearly an attempt to get rid of all vehicular traffic in the downtown Portland area.
“A war on cars is a very appropriate term for what they’re doing,” he said.
Warrens, not a bicyclist, thinks bike lanes should be kept on side streets.
Although the city promised that the Everett Street modifications would reduce travel times only slightly, he has experienced quite the opposite, reporting that what used to be a two or three minute trip from 23rd to his shop can now take 10 minutes.
Classen includes some comments from PBOT Transportation Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager Art Pearce, but he frames them in a way that serves the larger “war on cars” narrative the he wants to get across. Later in the article Classen himself writes that, “The Everett Street reconfiguration is a minor maneuver in the campaign against “auto orientation.” He then goes on to list what he feels are the other parts of this nefarious campaign: bike corrals, street seats, apartment buildings with no auto parking, bike lanes, and metered auto parking.
This is not the first time Classen has shared his opinions about bicycling and the people who do it. In 2010 he penned an editorial about “bicycle zealots” that included this passage:
“If you’ve ever been flipped off, sworn at or physically attacked by a bicyclist who didn’t like the way you drive or walk on the sidewalk, keep in mind that these are not ordinary people. They live on another plane. They believe that danger, disdain and ridicule may follow them all their days on the earth, but one day they will sit in glory at the right handlebar of God.”
Then in 2013 he published a misleading article on his front page about what he considered to be “illegal cycling” in Forest Park. (As an aside, one of Classen’s contributors at the NW Examiner is Michael Zusman, the Multnomah County Judge who once ruled that a woman right-hooked in an intersection while bicycling was not protected by Oregon’s bike lane law because the lane striping paint didn’t continue through the intersection. That “disappearing bike lane” was criticized by legal experts and eventually settled out of court.)
It will be interesting to monitor local media reactions to what are sure to be more projects like NW Everett in the future. I don’t agree with this article’s framing, but Classen’s is tapping into concerns and fears shared by many Portlanders. Re-configuring lanes and changing what types of vehicle are allowed to use them is a big deal and it has real consequences. These projects are also happening in a larger context of neighborhoods experiencing rapid changes in housing and a population trends that will only add to street demands.
If we want our transition away from an “auto-orientation” to be as smooth as possible, we need to let people like Classen and Warrens air out their feelings. We also need to be aware of them and understand how they might influence other people, our elected leaders, and policymakers.
This isn’t the last time we’ll read a story like this. I won’t be surprised at all to read similar articles and hear similar perspectives shared when the striping on N Williams Avenue is completed.
— Read the article and check out the comments at NWExaminer.com.
Old white conservatives pointing fingers and whining about how unfair things are for them don’t get a lot of sympathy from me. Especially those who can only think about things in terms of “war”.
We just have to wait a few more years, and they won’t be around anymore. These folks are a lost cause, and aren’t worth our efforts. They are a product of a specific era in the US, of sprawl and cheap energy. We have to focus on the next generation; those that will vote on transportation policy ten years from now.
Plenty of so called bike advocates talk almost exactly like Frank Warrens, only they’re opposition is directed to accommodations made for motor vehicle use, rather than bike use. Maybe you also consider that kind of bike advocate be a lost cause.
People that bike to meet practical needs don’t represent a very large percentage of road users. On a good day, maybe twenty percent. That means its a good guess that by far, the greater majority of road users and residents of the NW neighborhood, are likely to identify more closely with Warren’s view on transportation infrastructure in the neighborhood, than yours.
People looking for improvements to be made to biking infrastructure, need the support of people like Warrens and the many people having concerns similar to his, about area traffic congestion, in order to get the work done.
I wish I could “like” this twice.
Instead of being grumpy and complaining about ‘how things are changing…’ a savvy business person would look for a way to embrace the change and roll with it. Sadly, this guy doesn’t do that.
There’s a lot to be annoyed with here, but as a bike-rider with gray hair, approaching 60, can I just head off any tempting ageist remarks (based on that unbelievably stereotypical photograph) with a quick #NotAllOldFolks?
Maybe #NotAllOldFolks are like this (or at least they think?) but #YesAllYoungFolks have to deal with the fallout.
And there are plenty of young folks that are like this too.
Everybody has to deal with the fallout.
You do know what #NotAllMen means, right?
Whenever I see the “war-on-cars’ claim trumpeted, I feel obligated to point out that (comparing cars to war massively understates the carnage wrought by cars, at least here in the US. In the last 25 years alone, more Americans have died in car crashes than in all of our wars combined.
reminds me of the Jon Stewart segment I heard the other week…
I’m often bike down Everett St. and happen to agree that the dedicated bike lane is a mistake.
It clogs a single lane with too many cars with too many distracted, irritated drivers.
It’s impossible for cars traveling north on feeder streets to see past stalled traffic to relatively fast moving bike traffic.
It has created a ‘left hook’ hazard for traffic seeking to turn left off of Everett.
If you are going to bicycle in Portland you have to be somewhat comfortable in close quarters with traffic. Dedicated bike lanes are useful for going UPHILL. Downhill, in a 20-25 MPH zone, one can maintain speed.
What’s the solution for Everett St. in particular? Both lanes should be available to auto traffic but the left lane should be designated as a shared bike lane with autos as are portions of 19th Ave. The bike sharrows reduce auto traffic in the lane.
Re: Frank Warren’s assertion that there is a “war on cars” I would ask him to walk to the other end of 20th Place, to Burnside and take a look at the situation between four and six each commute day. I think he would understand that there is indeed a war between cars and all other forms of transport and that the cars won that war a long time ago.
I agree. I bike Everett daily, and though nice for biking, it imposes a serious delay on autos. I don’t think the added safety is worth the political cost in this case. It really does make the cyclists seem like some sort of privileged class, which obviously we are not. I mean, there are probably 10 vehicles per one cyclist, yet cyclists have half the space.
On this one road…on others not so much.
Build it and they will come. I’d argue that once the NW Glisan is paved and restriped to provide an uphill lane, you will see more people using Everett in the opposite direction as well.
“If you are going to bicycle in Portland you have to be somewhat comfortable in close quarters with traffic.”
I’m comfortable weaving and splitting through traffic at 25 mph. Actually comfort is not the right word — I love the evil river of traffic.
Bike lanes are not for adrenaline junkies like me. Nor are they for people “who are comfortable in close quarters”. Bike lanes are intended to help and encourage the majority who are intimidated by close proximity with 2000-7000 lb vehicles whipping by at 25-40 mph.
what are actual auto speeds on everett?
it’s posted at 25 mph.
So, 30 to 35 mph, then?
Yes, in my experience.
oddly, PortlandMaps.com doesn’t have any speed counts for NW Everett…
In my experience, its rarely possible to get above 20 mph. On the downhill, it is easy to pace car traffic on a bike, even before re-striping. A person who drove 35, if possible, would stand out as being really aggressive. On average there are signals every 2 blocks. The persons at most risk on NW Everett are probably pedestrians trying to cross at an unsignalled crosswalk.
you can look up available data:
it looks like PBOT only collected volume data, which is likely because it’s more difficult to collect speed on a 2-lane street, but not impossible.
Sorry. Some of the bike lanes in Portland are too close to cars whose drivers veer dangerously close to the line separating me and my vehicle from them. I should “comfortable” with this?
That’s the problem with bike lanes on many streets. If a cyclist is able to fairly easily keep up with traffic, they should feel relatively comfortable in fore/aft close quarters (i.e., taking a place in the lane like every other vehicle) with motor traffic. This is much safer then trying to sneak around in a bike lane next to parked cars and inattentive right-turning or “drifting” motorists. I’m much more comfortable in longitudinal close quarters than lateral close quarters.
Depends how closely the car behind is following. They sometimes forget that you don’t have brake lights.
i’ve never had a car veer close to me while riding in a door zone-free buffered bike lane. moreover, i think mode share numbers in german cities suggest that type of infrastructure can help end cycling stagnation in portland. (and we simply don’t have funds for physical separation here any time soon).
I think the biggest loss to the neighborhood, was under the Mayor-ship of Sam Adams, NW Flanders almost had the opportunity to install a bridge over I-205 for cyclists and pedestrians, which would have closed that gap, and allowed cyclists to stay off Everett and Glisan, by biking on the NW Flanders bikeway continuously.
That bridge was the old Sauvie Island bridge. A deal almost went through to relocate it to NW Flanders, then seemed to fall through at the very last minute.
To grumpy car drivers – what you need to understand is, oftentimes, bicyclists are biking on main streets, because there is no alternative.
Flanders – the street you would rather we ride on – deadends at I-205. Our only option is to detour to Everett or Glisan.
Motorists – you can’t have it both ways. You can’t consistently vote down bike-funded projects, and then turn around and complain because bicyclists are clogging up “your” roadways.
The reason they are clogging up your roadways, is because you constantly vote down viable alternatives to provide low-traffic alternatives for them to use.
“I’m often bike down Everett St. and happen to agree that the dedicated bike lane is a mistake.
It clogs a single lane with too many cars with too many distracted, irritated drivers. …” Charles Ross
Recalling something from Craig Collins comment from yesterday:
“…Currently, an auto that wants to turn left has to wait out all the cyclists of varying speeds to make the left turn safely. If cycle traffic is heavy, perhaps one left turning auto gets through the intersection per green. …” http://bikeportland.org/2014/10/15/nw-examiner-everett-bike-lanes-part-campaign-auto-orientation-112233#comment-5613932
From the Examiner article, I noticed the following, reportedly made to Examiner interviewee, photographer Steve Bloch:
“…(A city staffer advised him it’s permissible to use the “wrong” lane when the other is impassable.) …” http://nwexaminer.com/driving-out-cars
Question raised, I think, is whether Oregon law, or Portland ordinance, actually does allow on a main lane dedicated for the most part to bike use, people driving to transition into the dedicated lane in advance of left turns they intend to make.
Oregon law prohibits travel in bike lanes with motor vehicles, in preparation for turns. People driving are supposed to stay in the main lane until arriving at the point of their intended turn, then cross over the bike lane in completing their turn.
A full width main lane, which is sized to accommodate motor vehicle widths, dedicated for bike use, by virtue of its width, is different than the typical five or six foot width of bike lanes.
If for transition to intended turns off the lane, motor vehicles are legally allowed to travel in the dedicated, full width bike lane, this could help ease some of the traffic congestion the dedicated bike lanes may be contributing to.
I’m afraid the situation on the “improvements” on Williams will be similar. I’m not sure if it is due to construction or the reduction to one lane of car traffic, but it was pretty backed up this week. And the new left-side bike lane looks narrower than the current one.
Street seats have zero to do with bikes and everything to do with urban spaces being livable and streets as part of the commons, which they absolutely are … a concept lost on the cars only mentality he holds.
I know, it baffles the mind. Not content with hating on bikes, he’s also hating on BUSINESS-DRIVEN initiatives?
Street seats are not imposed by the City on ANY business. Any business that wants them approaches the City THEMSELVES.
Any business that has street seating, has it, because they themselves wanted it, and wanted it enough to go through the laborious process of applying to get it.
Does anyone actually read this thing?
With the already present traffic and major parking hassles in NW I would think locals would welcome anything that is trying to get more people to give up their cars?
I read it occasionally. I live in NW and it gets delivered to me, and everyone in my building, in the mail. The majority of them, I suspect, go straight into the recycling bin.
Yep. It gets delivered to us as well.
They consistently attack Trimet, Parking meters, biking in Forest Park, and now bringing back this old trope of “war on cars.”
Maybe we can ask to not be delivered to anymore.
You need to file USPS Form 1500 at your local Post Office. While the form mentions “sexually oriented advertisements,” legal precedent (Rowan v. U.S. Post Office) supports your right to determine what you consider obscene. Form 1500 is widely used to stop delivery of all sorts of “junk” mail.
missing link: http://about.usps.com/forms/ps1500.pdf – USPS Form 1500
Frank Warrens: crank, or the misunderstood bicyclist’s ally?
If we take out some street parking—easily replaced by spaces from the new construction he favors—there’s plenty of room for two standard lanes *and* a bike lane on Everett.
If we move bikes off Everett—not that the presence of bicycles is what drives him into a blind rage—surely he can be an advocate for the Flanders Greenway…
The NW Examiner is such a rag. The opinions expressed in it are often unhinged at best.
It is worth every penny you paid for it!
Like a lot of the opinions expressed here too? Please note sarcasm, and try looking at it from a different viewpoint.
“side streets” You know, the ones that I don’t use.
And the ones that don’t cross 405
Not yet, John. Not yet.
The judge is Michael Zusman. Mark Zusman is the Willamette Week guy.
— Thanks Lester. I made the correction. -Jonathan
Let’s ask ourselves What Would Copenhagen Do (WWCHPD). CHP would have eliminated parking on the right hand side and installed a cycle track with separately timed bicycle and automotive signals and soft left turn bike boxes at each perpendicular intersection with another bike lane. Given that parking has been deemed a sacred cow (it shouldn’t be), a partial solution is still the timed lights.
Currently, an auto that wants to turn left has to wait out all the cyclists of varying speeds to make the left turn safely. If cycle traffic is heavy, perhaps one left turning auto gets through the intersection per green. Given separate lights, I’m sure there is a traffic engineer in this city that could dial in the timing to get things flowing more smoothly for the auto traffic. Sure, it might mean more time at a red light for cyclists, but I think we need to accept that safer > faster when it comes to urban cycling.
Shocking. Cranky old man hates bikes. I think the real scoop here would be “Frank Warrens Loves ________”
NW Examiner? Never heard of it.
You must not live in NW Portland. People who live in this quadrant get it delivered every month, whether they want it or not.
For those who don’t know what the Examiner is, it’s basically a free monthly newspaper that all residents in NW receive in the mail. I used to read each one for years and still occasionally do, but mostly for neighborhood news, openings, etc.. it’s a fairly decent thing.
That said, the editor Allan Classen is such a curmudgeon when it comes to bikes. In fact, in each issue, RIGHT as you open the first page, he has his column called something like “Editor’s Turn” where he’s soapboxing about something. It’s almost like the rest of the newspaper is just the biproduct of his monthly rant against something going on in the neighborhood. So yeah, don’t take the guy too seriously.
That said, the bike lane on Everett was such a bad idea. Like holy hell who on earth approved that thing, and why?! I pretty much never see bicyclists on it, yet I pretty much always see jam-packed cars just sitting there nonstop. What a total failure.. they should just hurry and remove the bike lane and go back to how it was. That entire lane for bikes is such horrible PR for cyclists.. I’d feel embarrassed to ride in it.
for what it is worth, I have driven and biked on this, and I find it to be a tremendous improvement in both modes. If PBOT had extended the treatment down Everett across Naito to the river it would have much more utility. I understand that cars pile up at rush hour and that will frustrate many (and make some cyclists uncomfortable), but this congestion is unavoidable and even desirable in a city center. Portland has a very high rate of SOV commuting, and it is ok to carve out space for bikes, sidewalks, transit at the expense of cars. Our downtown continues to get more people and more jobs, but the area is not growing. Congestion will continue to increase. PBOT made these changes to increase safety, not convenience.
I agree. I used to have the newspaper delivered when I lived in NW Portland for three years. Classen is *VERY* crotchety, and *VERY* opinionated.
It isn’t really a community newspaper. It is more “The Allen Classen Postal Blog”. Except instead of choosing to go to a website to view it of my own accord, I have to have it shoved down my throat (aka mailbox) each month, whether I like it or not.
Why are we giving thought-challenged fools air/screen time anyway? There is nothing rational about his rants.
“If we want our transition away from an ‘auto-orientation’ to be as smooth as possible, we need to let people like Classen and Warrens air out their feelings. We also need to be aware of them and understand how they might influence other people, our elected leaders, and policymakers.”
‘People like Classen and Warrens,’ I’m going to venture, only know the car, have relied on cars and the thousand-and-one perks that have accumulated around owning and using a car. They don’t get around much at all by other means, save perhaps occasionally their feet. To them any erosion of the privileges that have accrued to their mode choice is perceived as a threat, a slight, something that comes to stand for all that is wrong with the world-as-they-see-it. This makes for some lively debating, but it is mostly sad. Rather than appreciate the possibilities all those other modes might have to offer, acknowledge the impossibility of continuing the Cold War cars-trump-everything, see the writing on the wall, they heckle.
As for these eruptions potentially influencing our elected leaders and policymakers, I’m already so disappointed in how a choice few of them are going about our transportation business, I’m not sure it matters much.
“People like Classen and Warrens,”
and probably 70% of Americans.
Look at some of the comments so far, to this bikeportland story: Those of Charles Ross, Peter Micahelson, pixelgate.
They don’t do so with the bluster displayed in Warrens’ remarks excerpted in this bikeportland story, but they do essentially say the Everett St reconfiguration to create a full lane bike lane, rather than something more moderate, appears so far to be a foul up.
There are plenty of people, whether they bike or drive, that recognize they have to look at traffic needs realistically. A persuasive case has to be made to them, that a change, despite given compromises, can be good overall.
Warrens main concern seems to be additional area traffic congestion it appears to him the reconfiguration is causing. Less traffic congestion arising from motor vehicle use, is what hopefully could be expected from the installation of a prominent bike lane.
I believe one of the people whose name I mentioned above, have observed the number of bikes in the full lane bike lane, is very low relative to the number of motor vehicles in the main lane. We shall see in time perhaps, if as Reza suggests, many more people begin the ride the Everette bike lane, now that it’s been created.
Which oddly enough echoes the obesity rate of this country..
“The taboo on wheelbarrows in America before Cortes is no more puzzling than the taboo on bicycles in modern traffic.” –Illich
Lame how you can post a comment and it takes hours (or longer) before its approved.
what’s even worse are unproductive comments that detract from the discussion… Which is why we have our moderation policy in place. We work hard to make sure to push comments through as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience and participation.
What was unproductive about my initial post? And as posts piled in after mine it’s clear mine was singled out for some reason. Why? Because I used the word ‘hell’? Moderated comments are so 2005.
“Moderated comments are so 2005.”
I don’t know, pixelgate. As someone whose comments end up in moderation fairly frequently and (fortunately only rarely) disappear altogether, I’ll say that as frustrating as that can be sometimes, just about anywhere else on the web where folks are encouraged to comment, moderation seems completely absent & the results evoke a sewer. I wouldn’t trade what we’ve got here for anything.
I agree but just as user feedback, I’d appreciate a more even and predictable moderation, and I know I’m not the only one. Posts that simply disappear for no fathomable reason are a big detraction to posting.
Yeah, that one’s a mystery. Maybe it will remain one.
I got one tossed (semi-fairly) last week. Now about half my posts aren’t getting through moderation, even the squeaky clean ones.
It is a problem when a good post sits in line for a 24 hours or never shows up again. Sometimes its fair, but sometimes you just don’t know what you did, and then it seems pretty arbitrary.
thanks for all the comment feedback.
It is an imperfect system and will likely remain that way. Managing all of your comments is one of the most important parts of my daily job and I take it very seriously. Keeping our comment section conversations going smoothly is extremely important to me.
That being said, there are real reasons — not mysteries — that account for your concerns. A huge one is that for some reason WordPress always puts some comments into the queue when they should not be there. 9watts is one of them. Ted Buehler too, and several others. I don’t know why because those folks are not on our blacklist. (I will ask our resident WP expert for help on this issue.)
Another issue is the fact that I am human and have limited time/capacity to manage these conversations at the level of attention I would prefer. This is not a part of my job I am willing to pass off to someone else at this time because of how important it is to me. Not only that but I feel that understanding and hearing reader comments on a daily basis is crucial to my ongoing education on the issues and to maintaining my connection to the pulse of the community.
The best way to always see your comments as quickly as possible is to 1) avoid personal insults and/or mean, overly snarky, or judgmental words and 2) please email me directly – maus.jonathan at gmail – if you are not seeing your post appear.
I look at the moderation queue on an almost constant basis during the work day and I check it at least every few hours after hours and at least once/twice a day on the weekends.
I openly admit that my way of dealing with comments could be better. But I also will proudly say that we have one of the best comment sections on the internet.
I appreciate your patience, understanding, and your participation.
If you ever want to contact me or know more about my approach to comments, feel free to email me at maus.jonathan AT Gmail
Managing the comment section is certainly not an easy or simple job. Because of the conscious effort to be fair in editing, the robust comment section on BikePortland is definitely one of the most compelling aspects of the site!
Thanks for your dedication to this part of your website and business! I know it’s tough work but it obviously pays off with amazing discussion content. I also think you’re too modest when you don’t mention that in past few months you’ve gone through huge software and hardware changes, and doubled BP’s headcount. I’m pretty sure those factors have had direct impacts on comment moderation, and that they are simply growing pains which will pass. Thanks for having your WP expert help tune these things, too.
Besides the general wishes I mentioned, I have a couple more specific thoughts:
I’m guessing, but it seems that not posting for a week takes one off the “OK” list. Maybe that time value could be extended, maybe to a month? There’s lots of reasons why a regular poster would be quiet for a week.
Put up an inside page, maybe linked off “contacts,” about your comment policies; just simple, descriptive terms, not legalese. I really liked the analogy you’ve used a few times about “neighbors having a civil discussion in my family’s living room” (or some such). It could also include some obvious gotchas like posting too many URLs, all-caps, ad hominems, your points 1) and 2) above, the existence of an evolving list of keywords, etc.
BTW, good call on eliding the entire ugly thread in this column.
Interesting. I’ve more or less given up on commenting as a result of the frustrating likelihood of my comments vanishing.
It really feels unfair and sort of spoils the experience.
This kind of nonsense makes me sympathetic towards PBOT…
In case you didn’t scroll down to read the comments, check out what the esteemed Judge Zusman had to remark about bicycles here:
Over the full range of his comments in the Examiner story, Warrens comes across quite a bit more moderate, balanced and smart than reporting about him in this bikeportland story would have him seem. He cites some cut through maneuvers he expects some people driving may take to using to avoid traffic back ups arising from reduction of Everett’s two main lanes to just one over part of the street’s length, in order to create the bike lane. Seems to be giving thought to other consequences of the streets’ reconfiguration in terms of overall traffic flow functionality for the area.
I suppose Warrens phrases some of his remarks with some very strong rhetoric because he figures has a receptive audience for that sort of thing in the Examiner. Warrens railing about accommodations made for biking, sound very similar to the tone of some people’s comments to bikeportland stories about accommodation made for motor vehicle use.
Reza, thanks for mentioning Michael Zusman’s comment posted to the Examiner story. I read it. It doesn’t display an effort to offer sound, objective reasoning I think people should be able to expect from a judge of the court. His comments to that story have him sounding like an overly emotional, reactionary hot head. Are we sure this Zussman is also the judge that heard the case that required determining whether bike lanes, though not marked there, were effectively present through intersections?
Yes…the very same guy.
Bad business move Mr. Warren. I guess he doesn’t know that most cyclists also drive. And even more people who drive support cycling improvements. The best he can hope for is to alienate about half of his potential client base. I would hate to think what he has to say about skateboards!
I’m hoping you have carefully read the Examiner article and Warrens’ comments in it. How much of what he says about the Everette St full width dedicated bike lane is expressed out of concern for the welfare of his auto repair business?
I don’t think the bike lane, or his comments about it, will affect his business much at all. If anything, his remarks may improve his business, because his customer base is people that have motor vehicles they rely on to get where they need to go, and that must be maintained.
Warrens observes the bike lane, so far, producing additional, rather than less traffic congestion in the area. That’s congestion that’s bad for the neighborhood, rather than his business alone.
Warrens is upset about the congestion on Everett, but has figured out a way or two to at least partially get around it. As he suspects other people driving, including his customers, will do as well, even as he seems to recognize that adaptation may not be good for the neighborhood either.
Welcome to Little Beirut
Love the sourpuss look on his face.
From the article:
As a result, he’s been taking Flanders Street to 16th, where he turns to reach I-405. “If I can figure this out, others will too,” he said of a tactic that puts cars onto neighborhood streets against all official intentions.
This is the problem I have with with focusing on sticks instead of carrots. I am a fair weather bike commuter who puts safety as my top priority when commuting. I find it disingenuous to state that part of what is going on here is not an anti-car movement. It most certainly is. The problem is that these changes will not lead to the desired results. Instead, you will piss off the masses who will simply find alternative cut through methods for getting where they want to go.
Personally, I would like more emphasis on making side streets dedicated to bikers safer and better by using diverters, fewer stop signs, lower speed limits, and speed bumps. If you cut down all the traffic lanes on main roads for cars, drivers will simply start using more quiet streets as cut-throughs. It is isn’t going to get them out of their cars.
As an example, I regularly use NE Tillamook to commute downtown from NE Portland. Taking away a lane on NE Broadway (as recently announce) does nothing for me. I would rather see diverters, speed bumps, and no stops signs on Tillamook. This can be done at a fraction of the price of the NE Broadway changes. But those changers aren’t just about being pro-bicycle. They are also about being “anti-car” under the mistaken belief that it will get people out of their cars instead of what will actually happen: drivers will simply move over to quiet streets like Tillamook. Ugh.
The guy is already illegally going straight on Flanders eastbound at 21st when only right turns are legal. If you are saying that there should be more concrete diverters preventing cut-through traffic on Flanders, Johnson, etc. then I thoroughly agree with you.
But why should we be so accommodating to motorists like these who already show no respect for the law?
I’ve never understood why there are signs saying it’s right-turn only at NW 21st & Flanders. Not a SINGLE vehicle obeys the signs.
A diverter is needed here. It is a bike boulevard.
the only way cycling is going to be competitive with driving is to give cyclists space on direct and efficient routes like ne broadway.
enhanced and protected bike lanes led to a decrease in motorvehicle congestion in NYC:
And this ladies and gentlemen, sums up rather nicely the very large (and expensive) gamble that PBOT is about to undertake in this city. In my view, the cheaper and better alternative is to make existing quiet streets better for bikers. It will be faster, cheaper, healthier, safer, and an overall more pleasant experience than dealing with 2 ton vehicles only feet from you, lots of traffic lights, and exhaust in my face during most of the ride. No thank you. I will be sticking with Tillamook. And when it doesn’t work out the way they wanted? Ooops. Sorry about all those millions we spent.
I agree completely. I would much rather enjoy my ride on a much quieter street, feel and be much safer, not breathe fumes, and not feel I am in conflict or competition.
Imagine if the bike side streets had a 15mph limit or cars are not allowed to pass bikes, or there were diverters to discourage autos. Imagine how many more people would be biking – my wife, for example.
Yes, it might be a tad slower, but the quality of that time would be 500% higher.
Maybe we could offer Frank Warren et al elimination of the bike lanes in exchange for really great bike boulevards instead of the sometimes good imitation we have now.
i’m glad you find it pleasant to travel at slow speeds on quiet nerighborhood streets but restricting my trips to 15 mph would cost me hours of transportation time each week.
i’m not sure why you believe that support for infrastructure on major streets means someone is opposed to diverters and reduced speed limits on bike boulevards. for the record, i strongly support spending money on bike boulevards and bike facilities on major streets.
PBOT has a minuscule active transport budget and very little of it is spent on actual bike lanes. as a tax-paying and car-owning portlander and oregonian i would love to see walking and biking get their fair share of infrastructure dollars.
You are clearly not paying attention. Of the proposed street tax (and yes, it is most certainly a tax now that it will be tied to income and PERS beneficiaries will be exempt), only 42% will go to street maintenance. Where do you think the money for the NE Broadway project is going to come from???? Millions of dollars will be spent on projects like this. You can count on it. The issue I have is that projects like this will do nothing for the Sunday Parkways crowd. It won’t move the needle at all on increasing bike commuters but will make for a more pleasant experience for the “fearless” commuter crowd. A tiny minority of people will benefit from large expense project that are unnecessary when better alternative exist 2 blocks away (Tillamook) at a fraction of the price.
so let me get this straight…you are arguing that physically separated cycle paths/lane are for the “fearless” and will do nothing for the “sunday parkways crowd”.
I completely disagree with this. Most of the energy Portland has expended in recent years has been in building out the neighborhood greenway system, and it has had no effect at all on bike commute to work rates. While I totally support the idea of neighborhood greenways, they can’t be the only tool in our toolbox. I ride on Tillamook regularly, and while it’s a nice route, it’s a poor substitute for people whose destinations are on Broadway. Tillamook doesn’t take people to the Hollywood Theater, to New Seasons or Fred Meyer, to the Newport Seafood Grill, to Frank’s Noodle House, to Swift Lounge or to the Rose & Thistle. Presumably at least some of the “Sunday Parkways crowd” would like a safe and comfortable route to these businesses.
“I am a…commuter who puts safety as my top priority when commuting.”
This is an argument to bike more and drive less.
Now I know WHERE NOT to take my car to get repaired……
Allen Classen is just a cranky old crank. I used to live in NW Portland and get the NW Examiner delivered.
It’s an odd publication. I believe Classen publishes it himself. And edits it. And writes practically every article in it. It rather reminds me of what a newspaper might look like, under, say, Communism.
I know I should feel more rage at this, but I find it hard to take people like him seriously. I used to see him shuffling around NW Thurman Street with his dog.
And the only question on my mind was, given how anti-bike he was, what the hell he was even doing living in one of the densest, most European-style, bike-friendly neighborhoods in Portland??
The only thing I can think is, surely he would be better off relocating to somewhere like Beaverton. No bikes there!!
Also: he is going to burst a blood vessel when all the new Conway development (condos / apartments /New Seasons / new bikeways ) goes in in his hood. All the new bicyclists it will attract. The horror!!
Hopefully they will use Everett to get downtown.
The NW examiner is a business for Classen. Like all small businessmen of similar ilk who rely on exposure (Larson, Limbaugh, etc) to generate income I’m not sure Maus’ assertion that we need to let people like Classen air out their feelings is valid. Why would you special case them just because they come to us over some media? Mr Classen’s sample pool is consistently pretty darn small on issues he tends to harp on.
Essentially, this boils down to:
* I want to drive and won’t consider anything else
* I demand that public infrastructure be optimized for MY mode choice.
* I’ve got lots of friends.
* All else is tyranny.
Gee, another auto-body shop owner who opposes bike lanes, as well as the increase in non-automotive transportation they represent. Where have we heard this before?
This story is fascnating for several reasons:
1. It shows the very stark divide between the car-dependent and theose who can get around other ways. Classen is from the generation before mine and represents an age grou for whom walking, biking and transit my not be as practical or even as doable.
2. It shows what car-dependency looks like in a community where policy clearly favors creating more human-poweered access to streets and roads. I am about to wrap up a music residency in Overland Park, KS, a town where everyone drives not only because they have to — there is NO public transit here to speak of, I have ridden on exactly three bike lanes, and city blocks are very long — but because they WANT to. Overland Park residents do not WANT their children to become too independent (i.e., get around by walking or biking or taking buses) before they grow up and move out. When the overwhelming consensus of a community values safety and security and even a certain degree of suburban insularity above freedom of movement, what you get is a landlocked suburb.
3. While it would be nice to ask, “what would Copenhagen do?” I think the reality is that, here in America, we can’t be enough like Copenhagen for it to make a serious difference in the short term and in enough places. There is too much history of independence and “lone wolf” syndrome (however accurate or inaccurate, you decide) in our collective American psyche, and our country is geographically too large, for us to seriously and completely alter the national transportation landscape. That said, The fact that we can make it happen anywhere and that this progression of transportation change arousa the ire of someone so publicly is, oddly enough, a good sign that we are heading in a direction that will benefit many more people than will the car-centric landscape I am about to leave.
I love the people i’ve befriended in OPK but it will be so nice to come home and be able to ride my bicycle and take buses everywhere again.
Let’s be clear. NW Everett is a neighborhood street. There are hundreds of people living in and around this corridor. Many of them are elderly. It’s one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city.
So the idea that cars are moving more slowly along Everett is GREAT! And for 23 hours a day, there is absolutely no auto congestion issue. At all. The only time of day there’s congestion is during the morning peak. And most of that traffic is cut-through; not people that actually live or even work in the area. Suburbanites get off US 26 at Jefferson, cut over on 20th/21st and use Everett as their conduit into the city. I see it every working day, as they’re speeding through residential Goose Hollow and NW Portland neighborhoods.
If you want to live in the ‘burbs and drive to work, great. But don’t expect me to compromise my neighborhood livability just so you can save a minute or two on your daily commute.
I would estimate Everett’s congestion at annoying levels to be more like 8 hours per day, plus weekends.
Even if you were correct, why is that really a problem? Everett’s a street in the heart of a large city. Great cities are places that are meant mainly for people first, not cars first. Cars are still getting through on Everett. But it’s now a safer place for people wanting to travel on bikes and foot, too.
If only there was a parallel four lane street near by……..
Good point. Maybe it should start with the letter ‘B’.
Heh. I don’t know why drivers insist on trying to drive on Everett, when there’s a perfectly good car boulevard (neighborhood smogway) just a block or two over on Burnside. Why would anyone choose to drive so close to a downhill bike lane where bike traffic is whizzing by and you have to pay so much attention? Just drive on Burnside! What is with these entitled drivers who think they can drive anywhere they want, any way they want? They don’t follow traffic laws, they are always speeding and never yielding to pedestrians or cyclists in bike lanes—and the almighty car lobby continues to scream and cry for more, more, MORE! Drivers throw a hissy fit if it is even suggested they drive somewhere else that would make it safer for everyone—NO! They want to drive right down the middle of neighborhoods, two, or even three abreast, creating traffic jams and making it impossible for pedestrians to cross. Is there no END to the insatiable demands of these people?
And the attitude! If you’ve ever been tailgated, honked at, buzzed, or physically run into by a driver in a car who didn’t like you riding in the street or walking on the sidewalk, keep in mind that motorists are not ordinary people. They live in an insulated bubble. Their entitlement is so deep-seated that they don’t even believe they feel entitled. They believe that they will face hassles from operators and users of other modes of transport while on this earth, but that ultimately, they control when those pedestrians and cyclists who get in their way will see the Pearly Gates.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a car, too, but I like to drive it on the freeway where cars were meant to be. I see no point to charging around like an entitled bull in a china shop like the rest of the motoring community; frankly, it’s a little embarrassing and I would never call myself a “motorist”, because I would hate to be thought of as one of THEM. It’s time we do something about the “Motor Menace” and reclaim at least a precious few of OUR streets where pedestrians and bicyclists can operate without the constant fear of being killed—or worse!
Sadly this is much more accurate than the rant you parody.
The issue is here
Here are the advertisers, until I got tired of typing. If you are a regular client of one of these businesses, voicing your views is an option. Obviously none of them would known what story was going to run in the issue, but they are nonetheless funding its publication.
Windermere Real Estate
CZ Becker Wood Floors
First Immanuel Lutheran Church
Kurilo General Contracting
Tom Leach Roofing
Zion Lutheran Church
Linton Feed & Seed
Pro Photo Supply
Spectacle Vision Care
Builders Appliance Supply
Kaer Property Group
Amico Real Estate Group
Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital
Old Republic Title
Gay And Grey
Uptown Eye Care
PettyGrove Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab
Pearl District Properties
Cooper Design Builders
Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy
Selco Community Credit Union
Albina Communitt Bank
Scuola Italiana di Portland
Rainier Pacific Construction
Thimble Custom Soft Goods
Providence Health Plan
World Cup Coffee & Tea
Food Front Coop Grocery
Le Happy Restaurant
McMenamins Mission Theatre
The Abbey Bar
Beau Thai Restaurant
Industrial Café & Salon
Northlake Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Hunter Douglas Gallery
Dr Sonny Randhawa (Vet)
Pratt Larson Tile & Stone
American Family Insurance
Women’s Health Care
Downtown Self Storage
Hope Valentine, DVM (Vet)
Steen Smucker (Attorney)
In the May 2014 issue the Allan Classen generously published a longer than letter retort I wrote to an article that seemed to support requiring auto parking in new buildings. He basically gave me as much space as I wanted. While the NW Examiner does often present certain things with a bias, it also is open to civilized discussion of the issues.
That is one of the reasons the Examiner has been a fundamental part of my neighborhood for decades. It provides an important service, involving the public in many issuesn they would otherwise not even know about.
I’m a bit put off by some of the comments here – Frank Warren, Allan Classen are as much citizens as any cyclist. I know that Allan’s values are not so far removed from cyclists, young people, etc. as some here assume. We all have the right to speak and participate.
Take side streets?!?! Yeah bikes would take Flanders if not for the massive widespread destruction to create disasters like I-405.
Whoa, who would have thought an old geezer in the auto industry would be against a small thing that barely challenges total car domination?!?!
Yeah ‘war on the car’ alright, nevermind that the automobile completely annihilated every other mode in the 20th century and the entire world has been reconstructed to accommodate motorist convenience (like say, that I-405 or turning Everett into a high speed one-way automobile thoroughfare). But people who are a complete slave to their car are so brainwashed by 100 years of endless auto industry propaganda that spending one’s life entirely inside a car and devoting every square inch of earth to automobile rapid movement and storage just seems normal. (Guess which industry spends $3.5 billion/year on advertising, try watching the local nightly news and see what % of ads are for cars).
I swear many people think the world is only a little over century old when the Almighty St. Henry Ford created the automobile and life began on earth. Its totally inconceivable to them that humans actually existed before automobiles… How did they get food without a car?!? How did they have kids without a car?!?
#1 cause of death among children and adolescents in the USA: automobile crashes.
#1 cause of death among adults in the USA, diseases stemming from inactive/sedentary lifestyles, a problem that only emerged with the age of the auto.
I can relate to those who feel there’s sound reason–or even critical urgency–for a ‘campaign against auto-orientation’.
Angry, old, wealthy (or aspiring to be wealthy), “Job Creator” is upset about some change, and is crying about government or society intrusion into his privilege. Media scramble to write a story about said atrocity.
Even as a non-liberal (for my age anyway), I am extremely tired of the “Greatest Generation” and the “Boomer Generation” constantly complaining about government and society intrusion while they are living in the middle of a large city, and enriching themselves off of the infrastructure.
The “gentleman” in this article (if he owns the land) will most likely benefit heavily from the increase in property value that is directly tied to the desire of affluent people to live in a bikeable/walkable neighborhood . . . and he’ll likely complain all the way to the bank.
“…Even as a non-liberal (for my age anyway), I am extremely tired of the “Greatest Generation” and the “Boomer Generation” constantly complaining about government and society intrusion while they are living in the middle of a large city, and enriching themselves off of the infrastructure. …” J4son
Nice that you’re ‘not complaining’. Being a “…non-liberal…” whatever that is, maybe it’s part of your political credo to ‘not complain’, but what you’ve written sure does sound like an almost completely unsubstantiated bit of complaining. Does Warrens live in the middle of Portland? Is he wealthy, or even aspiring to be wealthy? I don’t recall reading to that effect in the Examiner article, or here.
The dude has an auto repair business. That’s working class. In a close in largely residential neighborhood. Not Downtown upper class upper income business. A much wider spectrum of U.S. citizens are likely to identify with his views and observations about the city, than they will with those of people unwilling to make even the effort to offer a viewpoint having much substance at all.
By the way, do you have any thoughts at all about the new Everett St full width dedicated bike lane, that you might find the time to share with readers of this bikeportland story?
Do y0u make the trek from Beaverton over to Everett very often?
Now I am confused.
When we talk about bicycle cranks are we talking about these ( http://therocketsciencealliance.blogspot.com/2010/07/ird-bicycle-defiant-track-crank-arm-set.html ) or this ( http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/examinerlead.jpg )?