The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association is trying to stop Portland from widening the four-foot door-zone bike lanes along four blocks of Woodstock Boulevard.
The four blocks would be a key link in the planned 20s Bikeway, the first continuous all-ages bike route to stretch all the way from Portland’s northern to southern border. But Kurt Krause, chair of the neighborhood association’s bike committee, said the benefits of a continuously comfortable route aren’t worth the costs of removing curbside parking in front of seven large houses that overlook the Reed College campus across the street.
All seven houses have private driveways and garages on their lots.
“The biggest problem, I guess, is just for deliveries, for repairmen, for things like that,” Krause said.
Tradeoffs for roadway space
The city’s current plans call for creating a five-foot curbside bike lane on each side of Woodstock with a two-foot striped buffer.
But there’d be no room for that on the current street without removing the one lane of parking.
“When they have their Thanksgiving dinner, they will not be able to have their family get to their house very easily — that was the example given by one family.”
— Robert McCullough, president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association
A visit to the site last week showed that there were indeed a handful of cars, not obviously associated with the homes’ residents, parked along the south side of Woodstock Boulevard. (There is already no curbside parking along the north side, next to Reed’s campus.)
Two nearby residents described themselves as pro-bike in general but said they’d prefer to keep the street parking.
“If I clear out my garage, I’ve got two, three, four, six, eight cars here,” conceded Tyler Stevenson, who was washing a car in the driveway of one of the houses, where he lives as a tenant. Still, Stevenson said, “having the parking for the public is important.”
Stevenson said that cable or gas company drivers are sometimes forbidden from parking in private driveways. He added that campus events often lead to people using the curbside parking on Woodstock, which leads many guests of people in the homes to park on Moreland Lane, the narrow street behind the homes.
Cindy Simpson, whose home faces Moreland Lane, confirmed this.
Simpson’s driveway was one of the few on the block that was full when I stopped by on a Monday afternoon. It holds four cars:
Simpson said that’s because her daughter’s family shares the house with her and her husband. She said they never park cars in their garage.
“We have storage, you know,” she said.
“I’m all for bikes — I like sharing the road with them,” she added. “I think the bike lane is huge already. And I think it’s a waste of money when they could be paving the roads.”
(In our conversation, I told Simpson that I thought the bike lane was actually the minimum width, but I was wrong; it’s actually narrower. The current national minimum standard is four feet for a curbside bike lane and five feet for a door-zone lane. Both of Woodstock’s bike lanes are four feet wide.
According to a 2014 study, 94 percent of people bike in the door zone of a four-foot door-zone bike lane. With a five-foot door-zone bike lane, this falls to 91 percent.)
“I’m able to live with it however they do it,” Simpson said in conclusion.
City shouldn’t remove parking without studies to justify it, neighborhood official says
Robert McCullough, president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, called his own opposition to improved bike lanes “mainly a public involvement question.”
He said it was based on objections from nearby residents about the lost street parking.
“When they have their Thanksgiving dinner, they will not be able to have their family get to their house very easily — that was the example given by one family,” McCullough said.
In the face of conflicts like this, McCullough said, the city should be consulting “best practices” before any such changes.
“There’s a whole set of traffic rules and regulations and studies,” he said. “We don’t do much of that in Portland.”
McCullough said he isn’t familiar enough with transportation policy to offer examples of what would or wouldn’t constitute a “best practice” on parking conversion.
McCullough also serves as president of the Southeast Uplift coalition of neighborhood associations, an organization that he’s helped rally to action against unregulated Airbnb rentals and the city’s calculations for a new “street fee.”
McCullough has also been one of the more vocal critics of many aspects of the 20s Bikeway since its planning process began. Under his leadership, the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association has persuaded the city to reroute the bikeway away from Southeast 28th Avenue south of Woodstock, where parking removal would have been required, to its current route onto Woodstock and 32nd instead. EPN also persuaded the city not to add speed bumps to 32nd Avenue south of Woodstock. That street is expected to become part of a new neighborhood greenway connection to the Springwater Corridor at the south end of the 20s bikeway.
“The reality is that this is exactly what we envisioned for neighborhood associations to do in 1975 when we set it up,” McCullough said. “The right answer always is to involve everyone.”
Street could be worse, two local bike users say
Krause, McCullough’s counterpart on the neighborhood bike committee, said people who say the city can’t increase the use of bicycles without upgrading door-zone bike lanes like Woodstocks “certainly have a point.”
“I’m a bike rider myself, and I know those substandard lanes do cause problems and it’s difficult,” Krause said. “But you can make it on the 4-foot lane. It’s not impossible. I’d like to see them not do it. But then it seems as though we’ve sent letters and spoken out at meetings and had face-to-face with [Project Manager] Rich [Newlands] and other things, and nothing seems to really move them from their stance.”
Though Krause said he “would like to see wider bike lanes,” “I just don’t see it as having enough payoff to ban parking on the one side.”
Colin Stacey, a nearby resident pedaling home from work in Woodstock’s bike lane last week, said he’s all for biking improvements, up to and including removing the parking.
“I tolerate some pretty bad conditions,” he said, smiling ruefully. “I just came from Northwest through the Pearl. It’s terrible.”
I don’t believe Mr. McCullough’s complaints about “process” are particularly genuine. I think it is merely a convenient disguise to wear to conceal his belief that the street by his home are his when they are convenient for him and not his when he is being asked to contribute to them. Consider, for example, his complaining to the Willamette Week about being asked to pay for leaf removal in 2011:
“Eastmoreland resident Robert McCullough owns one house on Reed College Place divided by a median strip with city-owned trees, and a second house with no street trees. ‘I had to pay twice,’ he says, ‘once for leaves that weren’t there and once for leaves that weren’t mine.'”
“all-ages bike route”
I have an alternative pathway.
take the 4 ft bike lane on the south/east side and add it to the west side bike lane. Then build a parking protected raised northbound/eastbound (uphill) bike lane in that super wider than usual planting strip between the curb and sidewalk. Maybe parking is more important than the trees.
Safety doesn’t seem more important than parking.
IMO, trees and safety are more important than parking- save the trees!
NIMBYism striking out at bike commuters. It is funny how people just don’t want things in their neighborhood to change, regardless if it is good for the city/world or not. Hopefully this can get more commuters into supporting MTB access where this type of attitude is prevalent and has stopped Portland from having any access to any single-track within bicycle’s reach from the city center.
It’s funny because as a homeowner myself, I would salivate at the idea of no onstreet parking on my street. It just makes homes more accessible overall. Pictures, Real Estate value (ask any realtor if houses without cars parked out front help a house sell better.)
I guess ultimately: why are we leaving the ultimate decision of public throughways up to the people that live in the area? Aren’t there broader issues of importance here that benefit the city as a whole?
And come on, park around the block for when uncle Bill brings over Tofurkey. Not a big deal.
This Proves McCullough is out of his mind. Any homeowner with a driveway would normally jump at the opportunity to prevent the general public from parking in front of their house.
This is true if you live in a popular neighborhood with limited street parking. Not so much if you live outside of the inner neighborhoods, where street parking is quite plentiful and the chances of having your driveway blocked are close to zero.
it’s all perspective.
Mr. M is the same one with the drone to look for violations in the neighborhood.
Personally, I think residents should have quite a bit of say in how their neighborhoods are managed. I understand it can create conflicts with higher level goals, but I think devolving power downwards is usually a net positive.
The problem with this thinking is that housing and job markets, transportation systems, and social and ecological processes operate at a regional scale. Neighborhoods and even cities are regionally interdependent and are thus unable to shape their future unless they act together at a regional scale. For example when one neighborhood zones out certain housing type it over-burdens other neighborhoods or forces cost-burdened households into longer, more car-dependent commutes, which in turn hurts regional air and water quality. Devolution of decision making is needed, but not on the regional level… on the state and federal level. My hunch is that metropolitan region’s are more interdependent than state and nations, and thus are the optimal scale for self-governance.
Generally, that is true, but not when you are trying to build a transportation network. The interstate highway system that everyone loves so much would not exist if every neighborhood had the final say. Devolving power now would only hurt transportation alternatives, as the car network is already fully built out, but options are limited when it comes to transit and safe bikeways.
Only the will to act is limited. Even funding would follow if the will was there.
While I support light rail, consider if the region’s portion/match for light rail was instead spent on a world class bikeway system.
I fully agree with you. I would have a problem if people came into my neighborhood who do not live there but pass through, and tell me how it should be. You don’t live there, I do. If you think it is unsafe, go somewhere else where you feel it is safe. I bike to work almost everyday and that is how I deal with feeling of being unsafe regardless if they are justifiable or not.
It’s funny that many advocates had to argue this when the Foster streetscape plan was happening. Many at PBOT were worried about the flow of traffic from Clackamas county. While most of the local people were worried about the other 20 hours of the day and their local livability.
It’s interesting that this situation is kind of the opposite (both the role for bike access and the “livability perception from the neighbors).
A propos of nothing: does anybody know of a street near Reed College where I could park my bus on the street for a while? http://www.pxleyes.com/images/contests/graffiti/fullsize/graffiti_4bb17e95c1908_hires.jpg
“It’s funny because as a homeowner myself, I would salivate at the idea of no onstreet parking on my street. It just makes homes more accessible overall. Pictures, Real Estate value (ask any realtor if houses without cars parked out front help a house sell better.) …” Indy
Cars not parked at the curb, sometimes it seems, forever, days and days, can definitely be a beautification livability enhancement. I believe I’ve read somewhere, that some upscale residential developments have regulations prohibiting anything other than brief parking at the curb for deliveries and such.
Neighborhood residents’ loss of overflow parking at the curb, for friends and guests during holiday gatherings may be an issue. Some years back, when neighbors along a comparatively far more humble neighborhood along Lombard out in Beaverton were distressed about the loss of parking to create a bike lane on that street, the city offered to allow affected residents to use more of their lots frontage for additional parking.
Another example of easily creating space for parking on a residential lot: a short distance from where I live, residents regularly park a couple of their cars right on the front lawn, more or less year round, rain or shine. Lawn seems to hold up, looks good, nice and green, no tracks. Don’t know what they’ve done to achieve that. Maybe it’s astroturf.
Are you kidding me?! That’s all we ever seem to do in Portland! Projects here take years of planning and doing studies before construction ever starts. What he means to day is that “the studies the city does don’t come out in my favor”.
Mr. M makes his living as a private financial consultant on big-ticket items, very in-depth analysis. His perception of detail is more intense than most persons, so it would be fair to imply that more mundane decisions that require lower standards might fly under his radar.
A bi-directional cycletrack along the west side of 27th/Crystal Springs would be so lovely and useful. It wouldn’t require speed bumps (it’s an emergency route!) and, although it would technically require parking removal, nobody parks on that side of the street anyway.
Houses begin again east of 30th on Crystal Springs and the road narrows east of 36th.
West of 36th the road is 36 feet wide. In Portland that would mean only 8 feet on the west/south side for a bike facility.
OMG will someone please help these folks with their messaging. These arguments are beautiful examples of what I like to call “anti-arguments.”
“Some of my best friends are bikes but there must be limits. Too many bikes might muss up my spats and monacles! And where will I stable my chaise-and-four?”
I can muster zero sympathy for someone with “three, four, six, eight” cars in their garage. If you can afford a house in Eastmoreland AND an eight car garage(!) you don’t need me to cover additional parking for your Thanksgiving feast.
I imagined him in a powdered wig and dressed as someone on Louis XIV in a high squeaky voice “we’ll have nowhere for our guests to park when we have our fancy balls! Let them (the people on bikes) eat car doors.”
Me too! That’s why I call this an anti-argument. I had little-to-no-opinion on the quality of bikelanes on Woodstock — and I ride this way! with my kids! — until I read the arguments against them. Then suddenly it was like, now I am super-duper pro-ultra-wide bike lanes. And maybe we should widen the street an extra 10′ to the south just to be safe.
ps. We find the local drivers on e.g. on Tolman or Clayborne very friendly and courteous.
Agreed. Local drivers on Tolman and Clayborne are friendly. Cut-through drivers are not. Pick any of the all-way stop signs in the neighborhood and watch cut-through drivers blow through them.
A lot of people don’t use their garages to store their cars, they use them to store all the other stuff they can’t fit in their houses. They use their driveways to park their cars on, and their overflow cars park in the street.
My problem with this is, these people are expecting the city to provide storage for their private cars in a public resource (on-street parking), when the people already have private storage space specifically designed for their private cars.
I think that if you have too much stuff in your life to park your cars in your garage, then you need to get rid of some of your overflow and not expect the city to give you unlimited space in the public right-of-way for storage of your vehicles.
If you don’t have enough room in your garage or just can’t bear to get rid of that most precious thing that’s been stored in a box in your garage for years and you never use anyway, build a car barn out in your back yard and store your cars and stuff there– on your own property.
“I think the bike lane is huge already. And I think it’s a waste of money when they could be paving the roads.”
That statement – particularly the second sentence – looks like it’s straight out of the Oregonian’s opinion mills.
Ya, I think someone is an active Lars Larson listener.
So who wants to show up for the next Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association meeting?
Robert McCullough makes no secret of his loathing for bicyclists. His minority report from City Club’s 2013 cycling report called for mandatory licensing of cyclists. He’s the sort of person who thinks downtown Portland is dying because it’s too hard to park there (some logic!). He’s also the guy who wanted to buy a spy drone for the neighborhood association.
That bike lane is dangerous, especially given how heavily it’s used. It’s too narrow, and motorists regularly drive in it around those corners. The parking is underused most of the time, and all the houses have driveways.
While I think bike lanes should be widened (and driver’s in Portland go through mandatory bike safety!) I don’t actually see a reason why cyclists not have to be licensed. I am a very considerate driver (my family and I all ride bikes) but I find myself having to be extra alert in my neighborhood (Woodlawn) because riders fly through red lights (sometimes at night too) and stop signs and I feel like cyclists need to be just as careful as drivers or face repercussions too. Also, I pay a lot to drive my car in order to support wider bike lanes and more, and I think cyclists should do the same, with the caveat that low income cyclists would not pay any fees.
Stick around and learn. There are a lot of studies indicating we are on the right path.
“I pay a lot to drive my car in order to support wider bike lanes and more, and I think cyclists should do the same”
Well, something like 89% of us “cyclists” are in the same boat as you. You are talking to drivers here. What separates cyclists from the rest of society is not a lack of driving perspective, but perspective in both driving and cycling. I suppose we could capture that remaining 11% with a licensing program, but something tells me the majority of that 11% are car-less because they can’t afford it and would qualify for your exemption due to their low-income status. I’m not sure implementing more administrative costs for such diminishing returns will be worth it.
“Also, I pay a lot to drive my car in order to support wider bike lanes and more, and I think cyclists should do the same,…”
No, Any. You do not pay a lot to drive your car. All motorists in this country pay a pittance to drive their cars in comparison to what drivers pay in most countries. Besides that only a tiny fraction that you pay through gas tax and vehicle registration fees goes to support bicycling infrastructure.
Others have or will comment on the fact that much of the cost for maintain the bicycle infrastructure is borne by those who pay property tax.
In addition to that, it is worth point out that there is even more automobile infrastructure that is paid by those who don’t make use of autos. The most obvious examples are the subsidized parking garages that are supported by property tax revenues and the required auto parking (as required by city code) that must be provided by a developer and which is passed on to all customers (drivers and non-drivers) through rents and higher prices for products and services.
When we are motorists, none of us is paying anything close to our fair share.
If I’m reading it right, we rank 46th out of 50 states in covering road spending with user fees and gas taxes. Which would make us 5th out of 50 states in paying for roads with money from general taxes.
Mandatory licensing of drivers doesn’t stop a minority of people acting like complete idiots behind the wheel, so there’s no reason to expect mandatory licensing of cyclists would have any better effect on curbing bad behavior. I support adding cycling-related questions to the knowledge exam (and requiring all drivers to pass the exam when they renew their licenses), because knowing when bicycles should yield, etc., benefits all road users. Requiring licenses for cycling would only deter people from trying it as a means of transportation.
“Robert McCullough makes no secret of his loathing for bicyclists. His minority report from City Club’s 2013 cycling report”
thanks for that reminder. I had somehow missed that, or did not associate the name back then with the fellow we have before us.
Here’s a link for those curious:
And a guest opinion by Mr. McCullough in the O here:
I was unable to find an online copy of the minority report itself.
Edit: I found the text of the minority report, starting at p. 58:
Wait, Joe Rose is a “bicycling expert”??
We can’t have the help using the driveway though. It doesn’t look clean.
We had a block party on our block last year. It was really convenient to have the street blocked off all day so that the residents of our street could comfortably hang out in the middle of the street. If it’s really the case that local resident opinion trumps public interest, I’m going to request that my block just be closed to motor vehicle traffic permanently.
Oh, and I don’t want to pay for any costs associated with closing the street. The city should pay for that..without collecting any additional taxes.
I cycle on that street almost daily. Woodstock does have a generous bike path, but it is also a through route for Clakamites commuting through the neighborhood, and some drive like haters. They speed between the stop signs and pick lines through the curves that cut through the pike lane. More buffering on Woodstock would be welcome. Also Reed College has daily classes and occasional events which use nearby streets as overflow parking. Woodstock is the closest on-street parking to the college. That said, the NIMBY flag is carried by only a few of the Eastmoreland residents.
bike lane, not pike lane.
It’s going to reveal a lot by what the city chooses to do here.
you mean like how they chose to remove parking on 28th? they’ve already revealed as much as we need to know..
In case it wasn’t clear from the last section of the post, the city isn’t currently showing signs of folding on this one. Newlands told me that the fallback option would be to send the route down 28th along the golf course – an option that ENA also objected to, which would require more parking removal, and which is narrow at the pinchpoints that it’s hard to see how it could be made comfortable throughout.
Give me an effin’ break! How about, as an alternative proposal, the city suggests an off-street path through their front yards instead. So tired of people who are anti-everything everywhere.
BANANA: build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.
This is extremely frustrating.
One holiday a year is worth sacrificing a safer, more comfortable bike route 365 days a year for hundreds of people? If we’re talking about tradeoffs, this is an overwhelmingly easy one to make.
> “I just don’t see it as having enough payoff to ban parking on the one side.”
It is _ridiculous_ that someone would be the chair of a bike committee for a neighborhood but not be willing to go to bat for better bike infrastructure, sorry. And this kind of language is exactly why we aren’t making any progress as a city. Maybe it is comfortable enough for you, that’s great! Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands of people would be riding their bike more if we stopped making these “compromises” that are absolutely ludicrous.
How does one get involved here? Are there people I can write to? Meetings I can attend?
Gah, sorry that this comment rendered strangely. The > sentence is me attempting to quote the article.
How much you want to bet that he’ll just tell his guests to park in the bike lane anyway and he’ll just pay their fines if they get them?
“McCullough also serves as president of the Southeast Uplift coalition of neighborhood associations, an organization that he’s helped rally to action against unregulated Airbnb rentals and the city’s calculations for a new “street fee.”
Come on Michael. More read meat inflammatory statements. It should also be pointed out that SEUL has plenty of very pro bike folks on its committees including myself, Terry D-M, and others.
The world isn’t so black and white. These are all quite complex issues.
I would expect this kind of thing from the Oregonian, but this site should be better than this.
Personally i don’t have a problem with these bikeways at all as is (I know I’m only one rider). But my family rides on them without incident. It’s a slow street (note the 25mph sign), and cars are pretty cautious in general. I’m also not a fan of on street parking. But given that there is already an “okay” facility there, I don’t see this as a huge pressing matter one way or the other.
I do think that parking should be removed from this stretch. The occasional inconvenience of a few households should not create a safety bottleneck in an 8-80 bikeway. I’ll let him know the reasons why I think this next time I see him.
“But given that there is already an “okay” facility there, I don’t see this as a huge pressing matter one way or the other.”
How on earth is a 4 foot entirely in the door zone bike lane an OK facility?
Because a vast majority of street users in Portland ride cars instead of bikes.
Because a lot of the parking in this section isn’t always used. No cars =/= no dooring conflict. AND I don’t think that being doored (while certainly a problem and not an enjoyable experience) is not quite as endemic as some on this site would like to think. I can’t think of the last time I’ve heard about a rider on this site getting doored (please feel free to share you anecdotes). Most riders can mitigate a lot of the risks of dooming by paying attention (looking for lights, looking for people in the cars) and riding defensively.
I can’t see a good reason to not remove parking if it makes biking near a college better.
But I agree we have an obsession with dooring that probably outweighs the actual risk. The actual opening of a door is rare, especially one where you haven’t just seen the car park. Its the equivalent of the fear of being rear ended while driving. Always keep your car in gear and be ready to gun it 😉
granted a college where over 2/3rds of students live on campus, and many of the other 500 live on the other side.
in my limited experience this route is used much more often by non-students, but i would be glad to be corrected.
Thanks for your perspective on the adequacy of the current infrastructure. Here’s mine. I’m a confident rider (happy to ride downhill on Hawthorne and Division, for example), but I don’t ride in those uphill bike lanes, because the cars + the doors make me nervous. I’ll only go downhill there if I’m in a hurry (otherwise I toodle through Eastmoreland). Once we have kids, I would not let them ride either way on Woodstock, and certainly not at rush hour. Do you see many kids biking there (other than your own, I’m assuming)? I think kids riding their own bikes are sort of an indicator species for whether a facility is good enough to get mainstream ridership, as well as an important thing for childhood freedom and health in its own right.
Here’s a door-zone link –
“In Chicago,… dooring made up 19.7% of all reported bike crashes.” That sounds like a lot to me, albeit in a bigger city. The only other evidence I have is anecdotal – I only know a few Portlanders who have had bike crashes, and two of them were doored.
The one time I was car-doored was in a lane just like this one on NE Glisan, sent me to OHSU. The ambulance driver called in “Another dooring”…he did not even have to use the word “bicycle” for dispatch to understand.
I appreciate your perspective Alex. But I do have to question whether you really are a “confident” rider if these bike lanes make you that nervous (didn’t you say before that you are also nervous on SE 52nd?).
Frankly I don’t know that bike facilities on arterials are appropriate for the 8-80 crowd. I don’t know that routing the 20s bikeway on this street makes sense if they truly want to make facilities for that crowd. We have neighborhood greenways with different requirements that I don’t think this street would meet at all.
This city is going to need facilities that are more than good enough for current more-confident cyclists if we are going to reverse our declining bike mode share. And if we really want the benefits that active transport brings in terms of decreased congestion, livability, and sustainability we need much better than just “good enough” for davemess or me.
And there’s the rub. “We” is a pretty big group in this city with a variety of beliefs, opinions, values, and priorities.
I agree that 8-80 facilities and high-volume/high-speed motor vehicle roads are best separated.
Unfortunately, the geography of this area means that the bikeway needs to go along either Woodstock or 28th – both of which are arterials – unless it’s going to go through Reed College, which opens up a whole can of worms and project risk with its private ownership.
“Most riders can mitigate a lot of the risks of dooming by paying attention (looking for lights, looking for people in the cars) and riding defensively.”
I mitigate dooring risk by riding 5 feet away from parked cars (except in “parking-protected” facilities, where that safety measure is impossible to use). I’ve got video of at least three doorings I’ve avoided (at least in part) by doing so. If I were to ride down a street with a four-foot bike lane next to parked cars, I would not use the bike lane; so for me such a bike lane would be unusable unless there were no cars parked next to it.
Also, “dooming” is one of the best typos I’ve ever seen…
If 3 feet of a 4 foot bike lane is in the door zone, may as well make the bike lane 1 foot wide. How wide is a door zone, anyway?
According to this Streetsblog Chicago article, it’s four feet wide. Staying out of the door zone means not only avoiding getting hit by doors, but eliminating the need to swerve into traffic to avoid doors. So if The Zone is four feet wide, and I need at least a foot of clearance from my right hand to an open door to feel like I wouldn’t need to swerve to avoid said door, then I’m probably going to put my tires six feet away from parked cars, if I figure half my handlebar width is one foot.
and that assuming that all car parking spots are used at all times, which in much of the city is clearly not the case.
I have been doored.
You are a breath of fresh air on this site.
Interesting that you chose that analogy, given the topic of this article.
What’s inaccurate or inappropriate there, Dave? McCullough’s opinions, and arguably ENA’s, wouldn’t be news if McCullough weren’t in a position of significant influence and if ENA and SEUL hadn’t bloodied the city’s nose on like half the big things it’s been up to over the last year. That’s why the context is necessary.
Your characterization of SEUL, that you have solely summed up in two heated links to things that you know would fire up your base on this website.
Most people on this site don’t know what SEUL is, and now their only knowledge of the organization is what you have provided: SEUL and E Moreland hates bikes, SEUL hates funding transportation, SEUL hates AirBnB.
the 85th percentile speed on Woodstock west of 32nd is 27-30 mph. 15% of drivers are going faster (Jan 2012 count). 8900 vehicles per day.
A person struck by a car at 30 mph has a greater than 75% risk of fatality.
Your statistics on Woodstock west of 32nd pretty well matches my less sophisticated observations. I would bet that between Caesar Chavez and Reed College Place the 85th percentile speed of westbound is in excess of 35 mph because of the downgrade. Some friends who used to live on that block reported that PPB once put the photo radar unit there and the constant flash from the camera was annoying because of how frequent it was. That’s further proof of how fast the traffic is in that location.
I was biking down Woodstock from Chavez. My cyclometer read 36, and a car cross the double-yellow to pass me. I would estimate they were going at least 20 mph faster than I was.
Last available speed counts are from 1997.
“Two nearby residents described themselves as pro-bike in general but said they’d prefer to keep the street parking.”
This describes most people in this town.
Yes in our hood we WANT to remove parking and we can not get the city to respond with a timeline or even an affirmative GREAT, we’ll get on that. We’ve only endorsed Burnside safety and bikelanes over parking two years and a row. I’m patient, but I just hope it doesn’t take a dozen more years like Foster.
Keep up the good work! I would like to see a diet east of 39th, and then continuing onto Thorburn all the way to 76th. The rampant speeding, and unexpected left turns in the “passing lane” create a hazard for everyone. My trips to Mr. Plywood would be much safer. 🙂
You’d think PBOT would have responded to Burnside issues with the Burnside/Gilham accident about a month ago (driver lost control going through the intersection, totaled their car and totaled three parked cars). My neighbors watched it happen and couldn’t figure out how the driver lived through it…
As may be the case with this NA, I hope you’ll agree that the ‘we’ of a NA does not always represent the people that live in the neighborhood.
You are correct, but connected buffered bike lanes 41st to Montavilla was passed by a general membership meeting on Feb 2014, then re-passed with a more aggressive stance “Where bike and pedestrian connectivity and safety take precedence over automobile capacity or parking” again on Feb 2015. No, it is not ALL the neighborhood…but it is also NOT a secret either. I surveyed my block at 61st. (9 out of 10 residents preferred bike lanes and a center turn lane, standard road diet) over the current situation. The one that said no, well…he always will until the planet burns. The only OTHER vocal Resistance to me wanting to put Burnside on a diet was a traffic police officer who is offended by the “Foster Strangulation.” Boy, he was NOT nice to me.
We are though a board made up of me, has an average age of 37 and is one third renters. All three variables in this city generally make the group more liberal and bike supportive. I am sure some people would organize coming out of the woodwork, but for some real I can not fathom PBOT does not seem to relive us. Just like when we asked fro HIGHER density on the comp plan for four specific blocks…..it has been passed TWICE by the general membership and the city still is unsure what to do with us.
And why using those silly “I support cycling” surveys as proof of anything is very fallacious.
Hey now, some of my best friends ride bicycles. I’ve even got one of those “Share the Road” plates on my car!
This is the same argument against amazing facilities on N Willamette. Look how that project never got off the ground either! City- please have backbone and make amazing facilities. Don’t listen to neighbors’ concerns about parking if they already have off-street parking.
Lack of backbone is absolutely the issue here. Even when plans are popularly supported by thousands of city residents, if one particularly loud neighbour or business owner (see 28th Ave) complains then half the project is scrapped.
Sad. Free parking has a high cost.
From now on I’m just going to call that part of Portland East Nimby.
McCullough’s definition of a good public process is when he gets his way.
I regularly ride on Woodstock (multiple times per week) and it is obvious that most of the parking is by Reed College students, not residents.
It is also obvious as Granpa pointed out that the majority of motorist DRIVE IN the bike lane where Woodstock is curved. The PPB could do an enforcement action there on any day of the week and write 100 citations for driving in the bike lane. If ever there was a place where a buffered bike lane is appropriate it’s Woodstock in the section between 28th and 36th.
And, of course, there’s the hill that become steeper east of 36th. That causes westbound motorists to exceed the statutory 25 mph speed zone by at least 10 mph. That’s so they can get to the all-way stop at 32nd more quickly.
Do they drive in the bike lane when bikes are present? I agree I like cars to stay out of the bike lane, but my experience has been that almost no one will do this when there are actually bikes using the lane.
I have been aggressively crowded by drivers while biking in the bike lane more than a few times.
I’ve had motorists stay in their lane to pass me while I’m in the bike lane and then “drift” into the bike lane 50 or 100 feet ahead of me where the curve of the road goes toward the right. So, does that count as “while bikes are present?” I’ve never had a “really close call” in this section, but it’s definitely a worry. The amount of bike traffic does help keep motorists alert to the possibility of bikes.
If cars are not parked, I ride to the right of the bike lane – in the parking lane. I’ve not resorted to riding on the sidewalk as illustrated in one photo in the article.
The stripping was renewed just last week. You’ll need to wait a few weeks to observe how quickly the pavement markings are worn away by all the drivers drifting into the bike lane.
I had a driver swerve way into the bike lane in front of me, albeit having safely passed me. It was pretty egregious, and I ended up subconsciously throwing my hand up in disgust (with palm open, no single-finger salute 😉 and the driver behind her saw it. We stopped next to each other shortly after at a light, and the guy said “What’s your problem?”. I asked, “Did you see that lady swerve about a foot and a half out of her lane in front of me?”. He said, “Yeah, so what?”. I asked, “Can you honestly say that if she was passing you in the left lane and swerved into your lane in front of you that closely, that you wouldn’t at least honk at her? Really? Yes or no?”. He said, “Yeah, I guess so.”
It amazed me that I had to explain that.
The least they could do is write some tickets while the paint is still wet.
i have lived in eastmoreland for 34 years. I run a bike based business and have two cars most of the year…. not that this validates anything but this is 5 blocks from my house. I think that biking uphill is pretty safe because drivers typically are horrible and slow down on the uphill, or keep speed on the hill- but they speed up on the downhill, and while they cut the white line both ways because they are not competent drivers the downhill is way more scary. the bike lane on the downhill is way more treacherous because both cars and bikes go faster. if the white line is extended away from the curb drivers will still cut through it. i think speedbumps are the first step. the city should install many of them between 39th and reedway. reedcollage can buy more parking and people with houses can just buy other houses with bigger garages. im always afraid cars will kill me biking downhill and i would ask the eastmoreland residents if they can go 25 down this hill and stay in their lane- they dont for sure. coming down the hill widening the bike lane simply will not help because cars will always cut the corner.
Woodstock is a Major Emergency Response route an ineligible for speed bumps.
oh- i didnt know- but that totally makes sense now that you say it thinking about connecting streets- thank you
jonathan or michael could you let me know how eastmoreland residents have organized against the bike lane- that part is a little unclear and i havent heard in my eastmoreland newsletter yet.
Excellent question Joel
I was at a neighborhood meeting on the subject a couple months ago and there was a majority in favor.
Can you clarify? You were at an Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association meeting and the majority were in favor of improving the bike lane? If so do you recall what month this was?
It was a 20s bikeway meeting, not a neighborhood association meeting, held in Reed Colleges Vollum Hall. Like I said, a couple of months ago. There is a lot to like about the plan and the 8 houses that will lose parking will not suffer greatly, in fact they may find a better, quieter street frontage with the bike lane enhanced.
Still, although I think the head of the neighborhood association is something of a crank, with unorthodox methods, he has some very valid points and he is a passionate advocate. The drone incident, for which he was rebuked, was to determine if a developer was demolishing a house without taking precautions for asbestos. I don’t think even BP “eat the rich” posters want airborne asbestos floating about. Developers do not have the neighborhood’s best interests at heart, they care only about money. His disapproval of new homes in the neighborhood is echo’d throughout Portland’s established neighborhoods, but in this hood, it is not about increased density, it is about massive houses with no architectural character being built to replace historic houses. the big houses contain no more people, the only house bigger conspicuity.
Big houses… like maybe these ones fighting over their parking spaces?
Houses don’t have opinions one way or the other
According to Krause, McCullough and Newlands, the neighborhood association has voted to oppose any parking removal on Woodstock for the sake of improving the bike lanes there.
I believe they also opposed the traffic calming on 32nd Avenue.
Every time I read something about Mr. McCullough, it’s about neighborhood associations being insufficiently consulted about this or that and about NA’s being the only and ultimate representative of the wider choice of all neighborhood residents.
It’s time to acknowledge the reality that plenty of people don’t, can’t or won’t participate in NA’s for a wide variety of reasons. NAs are just one vehicle of public involvement. Frankly, from the way Mr. McCullough expresses himself, it sounds like he has a very good grasp on this vehicle of public involvement, and he wishes this vehicle to have a stranglehold on all public involvement.
In Portland, NA’s are private non-profit bodies, whose membership is open but whose officials are elected at regular meetings and not as part of the government election process (unlike in some other cities). They can’t and shouldn’t claim full legitimacy to speak for a neighborhood’s residents.
The City explicitly gives NA’s important place to speak in neighborhood issues, and while it may occasionally fail at this, it clearly has followed through in this case (changing the originally-proposed route, and then providing multiple meetings to discuss the new alternative).
If the NA can’t come up with anything better than “leave an unsafe and sub-standard facility as is”, they don’t deserve to prevail in this argument, and the City shouldn’t have to budge from a position they have worked hard to argument and justify.
You have a bike committee, for Christ’s sake! Use it to come up with a plan!
The Arnold Creek neighborhood has tried to block the SW Coronado Trail from being built the way it needs to be built for pedestrians.
” They can’t and shouldn’t claim full legitimacy to speak for a neighborhood’s residents.”
Who should then? We can’t take every little matter in this city to a popular vote. As you stated this is a voluntary and open process; everyone is encouraged to participate. I agree that some NA’s can be domineered by a few strong personalities, but some can be pretty representative of the neighborhoods. If people are too burdened to get involved, sometimes they will lose their voice. That is how our democracy is set up.
I know some NAs have been accused of various sins, but at the meetings I have attended over the years (mostly Creston Kennilworth, Richmond, HAND, Buckman, and Brooklyn) members have been very interested in hearing from residents, and welcoming to newcomers. I think NAs can be quite good vehicles for getting input from residents.
Are you a home owner? In my experience, neighborhood associations are typically dominated by homeowners. I have personally observed and experienced prejudice against renters at neighborhood associations.
You know the city will fold on this and we continue to wish we actually had ongoing platinum status bike installations in Portland
If that parking is so valuable, why aren’t there meters?
I find it fascinating that the “leadership” in this city has to get input on every single thing like this. Why? The public owns, and is entitled to do whatever needs to be done with that street, notwithstanding what the person fronting the street says. Same with 28th. Determine what makes the street(s) safer then just do it.
“I find it fascinating that the “leadership” in this city has to get input on every single thing like this. Why? ”
So as not to repeat the River View debacle?
Robert mentioned this in his weekly news update. He does have some…let us say, out of date opinions…..but he does say that he can work with me. I have been making it a point to send North Tabor communications to him As our NA’s have very differnt outlooks. We have a healthy professional relationship.
Robert told me that he might not always agree with me, but he wants SEUL to become more actvist oriented. Stayed tuned to SEUL as changes may come…… Soon.
It appears from the photo with the parked cars that there is no bike lane on the Reed side of Woodstock. Do bicyclists only travel one direction on that street?
Case in point. Yes, there is are “bike lanes” on both sides of the street, but since people drive in the bike lanes so much the paint gets worn off. If you look really closely at the photo, you can see the faint white paint really near the curb.
There is a bike lane on each side. Hard to tell from the picture.
There is a continuous, marked bike lane on the south side (eastbound) of Woodstock between 28th and 41st. On the north (westbound) side, there is a marked lane from just east of 36th to 28th. The lanes are about 4 feet wide.
On-street parking is allowed on both sides from just east of 36th to Caesar Chavez (39th). From about 36th to 28th parking is allowed on the south side, but prohibited on the north side.
I live up the hill from there and have been riding on Woodstock for a few decades now. Speeding is a big problem on Woodstock because there are no North/South through streets between 28th and 39th (for the same reason, speeding is also a problem on SE Steele, the street bordering Reed’s north side). High speeds plus curves mean that drivers routinely drive in the bike lane. On the south side of the street, that bike lane is in the door zone. On the north side of the tree-lined street, the narrow, curb-tight bike lane often has sticks, leaves, and other debris in it. Trying to cross this stretch of Woodstock on foot is also really sketchy, as the drivers all act like it’s an expressway instead of a 25 mph residential street. Comfort aside, safety is a real issue here, and those bike lanes are nowhere near being “huge already.” (Has Simpson ever actually ridden a bike on Woodstock during rush hour?) They’re pretty darned uncomfortably narrow and in desperate need of an upgrade. That, and there needs to be more active enforcement of the speed limit on Woodstock.
“High speeds plus curves mean that drivers routinely drive in the bike lane”
I’m always amazed at how many drivers fail to remain within their lane lines anywhere there’s curves (and on straight sections sometimes). It’s in the same category as using turn signals – are they really *that* lazy?
Humans hate lateral g load. People will crash on highway off ramps rather than turn the wheel more.
Interstate Ave between the Rose Quarter and Greeley is a great example or people driving cars being unwilling to stay in their lane!
I asked Simpson if she had ridden a bike on the street, and she said she had, though I got the idea it had only been once or twice – she noted correctly that the hill is no fun to climb – so not, I assume, during rush hour.
Someone needs to remind the wealthy clowns that it’s our street, not their parking space.
It’s a public right of way. No single person owns it. You aren’t guaranteed street parking in front of your house every day forever because you own the house. The word “entitled” gets thrown around a lot, but no one is more entitled than wealthy homeowners. Have a sob, park in your driveway, get over it.
People aren’t going to sacrifice a tangible benefit (like convenient, free, unlimited car parking in front of their house) just to potentially improve the safety for thousands of VRUs they don’t even know without a fight. I’d even wager that they’ll fabricate neighborhood meeting decisions and ask for studies just to shift the focus.
Fortunately, in this case, they don’t own that parking and it’s not their decision to make.
I hope PBOT does the right thing here.
As an interesting side note, about ten years ago some residents of 36th Avenue in the block immediately south of Woodstock designed and installed their own NO PARKING signs. If I remember correctly, they said “No Reed College Parking in This Block.” The city, in a effort to be fair, gave the residents 30 days to remove these illegal signs.
The residents who installed those signs may have moved on and been replaced by new residents. What I find interesting is that those in favor of retaining on-street parking are essentially favoring the retention of Reed College commuter parking, which is exactly what the illegal signs were meant to prohibit.
Reed claims to have space to house 950 students, and in 2013 only had 1411 students. That means over 2/3rds are living on campus?
I am around this area all the time, and I rarely see many students on that side of woo stock. Most live north of the school in the apartments off of steele.
You see the same cars parked day after day on Woodstock and the perpendicular streets. Not there in the evening, but parked from 8 to 5. Some have out-of-state plates. My guess is Reed students living somewhat further away. Some could be faculty/staff, too. There are some Reed students living in shared housing in Eastmoreland, too.
One of my coworkers said he would drive 5 blocks to college every day. People do ridiculous things with cars, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners of the cars in question live within walking distance.
Both sides of the street here have extra wide beauty/green strips between the sidewalks and road — why not cut into those areas to create more room all around, and allow for a cycle track-esque on these 4 blocks, or completely protected bike lane. Yes I realize this means cutting into nature/green space or concerns for some of the trees in the beauty strips, but I believe there is ample space to do so.
Or… Leave the parking, leave the curbs, take the yellow stripes, paint the bike lanes 8ft wide and write tickets for all drivers over 25mph. Too simple?
So much cheaper to paint new lines. Should we really spend a million dollars so that that dude with 8 cars can park some on the street???
It’s really simple:
If property owners want PRIVATE control over PUBLIC property such as a road they need to BUY said property at market value and be taxed for it accordingly while the jurisdiction abrogates their obligation to maintain that part of a former public road.
If, on the other hand, the property owners want the part under their parked vehicles to remain a paved, publicly maintained road they need to STFU and relized that it does not belong to them, it belongs to us.
You don’t ‘buy back’ public property. I is usually something that was given to the city as a condition of development, so reverting public right of way to former private owners is called street vacation. There a legal cost to be accounted for in the transfer, but not to be paid for the value of the land.
My suggestion was meant to be farcical and utterly impractical in today’s bureaucracy.
Obviously the private property owners lack a real understanding of the definition of “public property”.
Perhaps it would be useful to acquaint them with a functional definition of Tradition as it pertains to this situation:
Tradition: something that people do because it seemed OK in the past and no one wants to think about it anymore. Often used to justify decisions that people in the past considered ‘writ in stone’ for yet insist that said decisions must still be valid in totally different circumstances when the stone has crumbled to dust.”
“Becuz” is not a valid reason.
“Because we’ve always done it that way” is not a valid reason.
Unless there is something written in law saying that private owners are explicitly given priority user rights over a section of public property they have no standing to make any demands over public property.
Hopefully City of Portland will recoup any costs wasted rebuffing such a misguided and selfish quest in our legal system.
1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.
Traditions can be good or bad (uplifting or degrading).
That stretch of road needs sharrows, to encourage people on bikes to stay out of the door zone and take the lane. Can the City make this a bike boulevard? The bike lane as it exists is substandard and dangerous.
“No” to the sharrows. I’m an experienced and confident cyclist, but there’s no way I’d mix with the commuter traffic in the lanes on Woodstock in this section.
Going uphill eastbound, I manage only about 8 mph on the flatter section and about 5 mph east of 36th. On the downhill, I can do the speed limit but cars are moving really fast. As a motorist while driving the speed limit westbound, I was once illegally passed by another motorist doing an estimated 50 mph. There’s no way I’m going to serve as a moving speed control device on my bike. In my car, absolutely.
WAY too high of street volumes for that.
8900 vehicles per day in Jan of 2012.
Woodstock used to be a sleepy street, not that long ago. In the year I lived in the neighborhood, I watched it go from a steady trickle of traffic to a major cut-through.
I’m not with McCullough on this bike lane expansion issue–I’m generally for doing away with cars as much as possible, and it’s no fun to ride Woodstock at present. But I chafe at hearing him slammed. He’s actually done a lot for the little guy around here. He kept UPRR at bay (no small feat) for several years and diligently fought for Sellwood, Eastmoreland and Hosford-Abernethy neighborhoods. UPRR is a pushy, arrogant concern and usually able (and well aware of it) to act with impunity. So I’m grateful for anyone keeping an eye on them, slippery them.
Re: the street tax, I’m also grateful that he uncovered the pertinent and overlooked bit of important information that certain powerful and well-connected big road users were mysteriously left off the hook for the fee. He was the only person I read who looked into that. Why on earth were UPRR, UPS etc. excluded in the first place? And their $$ burden shifted onto the backs of citizens? Again–grateful for his exposing that tidbit.
And this is from WW: “McCullough was one of the first to figure out Enron Corp. was behind the power shortages and blackouts that darkened California in 2000 and 2001. In congressional testimony in 2002, McCullough revealed exactly how the Texas energy giant crippled the economies of Western states by manipulating electricity markets. His work led to billion-dollar settlements and criminal convictions.”
I don’t know the man but there’s a lot of bad-mouthing of him going on here when–in the main–he’s always struck me as one of the good guys, at base. Maybe not re: bikes, though. 🙂 We all have our faults.
I agree, rachel b.
The issue here, as many have noted, is less McCullough than the entitled, reflexive attitudes that lead people to object to something on principle that not only makes sense for the public, but won’t materially inconvenience them as private individuals in the least. The fact that they make such ridiculously weak, transparently selfish arguments gives the game away. The sunshine of public scrutiny, which McCullough has let in on so many important issues in the past, is also the best disinfectant in this case. Thank you Michael for this piece.
Thanks, 9watts. “The sunshine of public scrutiny, which McCullough has let in on so many important issues in the past, is also the best disinfectant in this case.” Wonderful sentence. 🙂
As someone who’s lived here all her life, I want to note something else. You really can’t underestimate the reflexive defensiveness and territoriality a lot of long-time residents here naturally feel, at this point. Change has happened so abruptly, and often with little to no discussion with existing residents. A lot of us had been quite welcoming and warm and accommodating for years, but then (as happens in all places where an existing population is supplanted and outnumbered by a new one), resentment and a feeling of being marginalized creeps in. I think a lot of people who’ve lived here all their lives have felt increasingly pushed aside in the process of Portland’s rapid growth. The City sometimes seems to be having a love affair with its own reflection. I think, for some long-time residents, it’s less about selfish entitlement and more about just wanting to put on the brakes and retain at least a little sense of control. Retaining parking spaces, though, I can’t endorse. 🙂 And–note to all–please withhold your ‘get over it!’ and ‘you can’t stop progress!’ and ‘down with the greedy land barons!’ potential resopnses: I’m merely pointing something out, here.
“I think, for some long-time residents, it’s less about selfish entitlement and more about just wanting to put on the brakes and retain at least a little sense of control.”
That is a really interesting point, rachel b. I know that for me this rings true when I think about the current process by which businesses that have been here forever: retail, processing, manufacturing are being priced/pushed out of the inner SE. To the extent that this is no accident, that our elected officials are encouraging this, I share the misgivings you describe. Which is another reason we need more, vigorous public discussion of these and all issues. Thank you bikeportland!!
Hear, hear (thanks, bikeportland)! 🙂
I think people see McCullough as a symbol of the wealthy elite here that seem to have so much more (generally NIMBY) political influence than the rest of us. The drone story was just so humorous that I think McCullough got into a lot of people’s heads as the epitome of all that. You probably make a good argument that he’s actually a good guy, just has a lot of money and time and puts that to use in his neighborhood.
Examples of Portland’s elite using City policy to stop changes in their neighborhoods:
*Wealthy Eastmoreland succeeded in getting downzoning (less density) put in the 2015 comprehensive plan draft for pretty much their entire neighborhood. This despite the brand-new (extremely expensive) light-rail station right next door.
*Wealthy southwest Portland kept largely density increases out of their area of the city in the 1990s. Poorer East Portland didn’t. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/12/east_portlands_housing_explosi.html
*Wealthy residents of Willamette Blvd. succeeded in getting plans for truly comfortable bike lanes shelved back in 2011 to protect parking (guess what – almost all of those residents had off-street parking, too!). The slightly wider lanes we’re getting now are nothing compared to what was on the table then. http://bikeportland.org/2011/06/14/pbot-back-to-drawing-board-on-willamette-project-due-to-parking-concerns-54796
I’m not aware of any such walk-backs by the City in poorer areas.
I happen to think all of those changes would have been good. But even if you don’t, the fact that the rich seem to have so much more political influence here than the rest of us is still not a good or healthy thing.
Can we please stop with “wealthy elite?” It doesn’t help the conversation at all, and it’s more than a little misleading. A lot of old timers live in these neighborhoods which were, believe it or not–even Eastmoreland!–built for the proletariat. Even now much of Eastmoreland is populated by Reed profs and their familes. I can’t really find it in me to rail against them for benefitting from the insane and ridiculously rabid pursuit of Portland by a bajillion demanding newcomers, or to rail against someone like McCullough who, it would seem, works his a** for his income and is serving his community and city, big time. Save your scorn for inherited wealth, trust funders and hedge fund managers, maybe. And people who are moving in in droves and creating a “wealthy elite.”
All that said–we absolutely agree that any attempt to preserve street parking spaces is ultimately a futile endeavor. 🙂
Seriously. You should meet the guy. He’s a decent guy. He’s a little over the top at points, but he’s not the devil incarnate that many on here might think.
A) I don’t see “elite” as a scornful word (or “wealthy” for that matter). I think in this case, it’s just a descriptor. I have a relative who’s part of his city’s elite. He has a lot more money and a lot more political power than most other people. I love him and think he’s a good person who worked really hard for his wealth (although he was lucky too). But, I still I think the inequality of power and influence is not fair and should be changed.
B) I absolutely agree that there is heterogeneity in those neighborhoods. But the fact is that Eastmoreland, and all the other areas mentioned, have their income distribution skewed MUCH higher than the rest of the city. Average household income in Portland: $53,000. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/41/4159000.html
Average household income in Eastmoreland: $99,000.
That’s a large enough difference that, when combined with the things I’ve learned about the city’s social circles over the years (one small example – Mayor Hales formed the handshake deal with Uber in an Eastmoreland dining room – I think of that political consultant that all the winning politicians seem to hire?), I’m willing to call Eastmoreland an “elite” area. That is maybe a judgment call. “Wealthy?” Not a judgment call in my opinion. Sure, no descriptor of an area’s population is accurate for everyone in that area. But “wealthy” is as accurate as descriptors come for the Eastmoreland population.
Hi Alex–“Wealthy elite” is a charged phrase, no matter in which spirit you use it, unfortunately. And, to a long-time resident such as myself, it’s irksome to see it being it thrown around so much here (on this site) as it glosses neatly over the fact that Portland was always a blue collar city—until this latest spate of newcomers flooded in in the past 15 years or so. It seems to me the very thing you and others are complaining about (this relatively new “wealthy elite”) is the monster you and everyone else who moved here in such a fever created. No one in Oregon was saying “Hey, world! Move here so we can become land barons!” I promise you.
I’m with you on equal representation being important. Moneyed individuals in general hold a terrifying amount of sway in the world. In Portland, we do still have some moneyed locals who are implausibly looking beyond their own bottom line—McCullough among them, esp. as a representative for SEUL. I don’t find it particularly useful to just slap the same coat of paint on everyone and damn them because of the neighborhood in which they live. Esp. if they moved to that neighborhood when it was not so fancy. And they’re not J.L. Gotrocks. 🙂
Agreed, Alex. And I think your point is even stronger than the ‘average’ income figures you cite suggest. It isn’t about averages in any neighborhood; it is about the few there, or anywhere, who wield disproportionate influence. Sometimes that influence derives from money; sometimes from connections, or both.
Did you look at the comp plan map alex?
There is downzoning (for various reasons) all over the place, including right next door to East Moreland in Brentwood Darlington and Mt. Scott-Arleta (both relatively “poor” areas of SE). There are a number of areas in East Portland (poorer) also in the plan to downzone.
I agree there is strong inequity in this city, but I don’t think this is the issue you want to get up in arms about.
Good counter-examples Dave. I did see those in the Comp Plan proposal but glossed over them above. Should have known a sharp BikePortlander would call me on that 🙂
I think they are somewhat different because the reason for the downzoning is different. In Eastmoreland, it’s to avoid change and preserve property values/historical homes and development patterns, even though the neighborhood has the infrastructure and proximity to transit (especially) and commerce (to some extent) to support more density. In Brentwood-Darlington and East Portland, the reasoning is because the infrastructure is not there (pavement, sidewalks), the transit service is worse, and the parcels downzoned are far from commercial center areas.
Not completely true though. The large segment on the south side of B-D was mainly to preserve the large “more rural-like” historical lots on the ridge. The lack of infrastructure was just icing on the cake there.
East Portland also had a lot of issues with overcrowding in schools, and unsafe lots due to risk of landslides.
Where are these landslides in East Portland? It’s pretty much flat except for the buttes, and there’s very little housing immediately up against those.
If I recall correctly it was in areas around Powell Butte.
I’ve always wondered why the bike route doesn’t go through Eastmoreland, rather than continue on Woodstock. When my family rides from Sellwood to the Woodstock Farmer’s Market, we take Bybee or Tolman through the neighborhood. It’s a bit easier to get up the hill on either of those streets, there is significantly less traffic, so we don’t have to deal with the scary bike lanes.
One huge reason why I love the improvements to SE 17th is that now my daughter can ride to/from Cleveland High School and not have to ride on Woodstock….
The short jog on Woodstock is to get to 32nd from 26th and head south to Crystal Springs, through the neighborhood.
I’m wondering why if they’re going to shift the whole thing over a few blocks, why choose 32nd? Put the bikes on Reed College Place instead.
Nice one way car traffic each direction Boulevard with existing traffic control devices on Woodstock already. Added bonus is that it connects to the elementary school down that way too.
I mean if you’re going to go off course, might as well do it right.
The traffic control at Reed College Place and Woodstock consists of STOP signs for Reed College Place and the Reed College driveway. It can be a challenge to cross Woodstock at that location. The all-way STOP on Woodstock is a block west at the T-intersection with 32nd Ave.
Yeah I remembered the stop signs are at 32nd that after I posted that, still it’s than less a true Portland block away (if memory serves me right). Living to the NE of East Moreland I tend to either ride down 37th (or is it 38th – the kinda road broken up by paths nearly all unimproved the new community garden it skirts is looking good this year) from Bybee to the Springwater, or I cut through the Reed Campus and take Reed College Place down aways and head west. Both routes are much more pleasant and fun to ride than Woodstock will ever be – even if you banned the cars from it.
But I tend to wander and get distracted when I’m riding, I always gotta make time for “shiny objects” or “flower smelling” when I’m riding. I’d love a GPS tracker app that didn’t give me a map, but just an arrow pointing in the general direction of my end destination.
Not a bad concept. Reed College Place is on the 2030 bike plan as a route. The speeds are about the same, 24 mph, and traffic volumes on RCPl are about 670 a day to 32nd’s 530.
School traffic may be an issue.
A roundabout at Woodstock/Reed College would keep things calm, and better organized.
And yet roundabouts scare the utter feces out of bicycle riders that aren’t “fearless”. Heck, in the 3 years I’ve been driving a truck all over some if the silliest driver behavior at intersections I’ve ever seen has been at roundabouts. The sort of clueless timidity that would occur if one walked in to Starbucks and all the employees talked only in Klingon.
I’m a big roundabout proponent but it is blatantly obvious that a lot of people have ZERO clue what to do at them. Statistically speaking a college is going to have a higher proportion of young, unskilled, inexperienced drivers with no prior exposure to roundabouts.
A single lane, small inner circle diameter with tight turn angles and chicaned inlet lanes would make the roundabout so slow that people could feel safe walking it.
Just make sure to mark the streets leading up to it as not CMV accessible: ain’t nothing as fun as backing 75′ of truck out of a hole it wasn’t supposed to drive in to begin with.
One of Portland’s two modern roundabouts is right next to Lewis and Clark Law school, and many students walk between the two parts of campus through the roundabout intersection.
Correctly designed modern roundabouts operate at 20 mph or less and are designed for trucks. Modern roundabouts are designed for trucks, large vehicles, and trailer towing vehicles by including the center flat area around the circle. It’s not a sidewalk, it’s called a truck apron, and it’s for trucks to begin a sharp right or end a left or U-turn on.
Roundabout Trucks Videos:
WA DOT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCoI7lERGE
Mini-roundabouts are less common in the US, but frequently used in the UK. They are all truck apron. Some examples:
White Center, WA: http://tinyurl.com/white-center-mini
Dimondale, MI: http://tinyurl.com/dimondale-mi-mini
Missoula, MT: Toole and Scott: http://tinyurl.com/mnwnrml
San Buenaventura, CA: http://tinyurl.com/sbv-ca-mini
Anacortes, WA: http://tinyurl.com/AnacortesMini
No free public parking.
I don’t see how his comment to Willamette Weekly at all suggests that his comments about process are not genuine.
I’m not sure why you felt compelled to attribute to sinister motivation to the guy, though. This is a disturbing theme throughout all of the comments.
Right, homeowners that actually in that area should have no say at all, right? No opinion at all, right? ~rolleyes~
Why are you so quick to dismiss anyone you disagree with and attempt to push them to the side of civil discourse?
Besides, how is the “ultimate decision” being left up to local homeowners, anyway?
Disgusting attitude and opinion. Seriously…everyone you disagree with or doesn’t hold your opinion is “out of [their] mind”??
Right, property rights no longer matter because the technocrats among us just know what’s good for us…sheesh, what could wrong there asks inner city housing projects, federal enterprise zones, etc. LOL.
I mean, your argument is nothing more than a thinly veiled disgust for property rights. You’d apparently be more comfortable in China where whole villages are leveled for government-sponsored economic development because there are no property rights.
Why oh why do so many Americans move so quickly to abrogate the rights of their neighbors to impose their own preferences? Why the disgust and disdain for rights?
Don’t confuse property rights with public spaces. Nobody is asking these people to create a bike path across their front lawns, or even cut back their hedges. I have a city-owned tree in my front yard and I’m obliged to maintain it; I knew that when I bought the house. Lots of strangers park on the street in front of my house and sometimes the city closes it for construction – I have no right to prevent that because it is not my property.
You did see at least one poster who demanded their front lawns be turned into bike lanes?
Wow, the envy is strong with this one. Why attack this person’s choices for having multiple cars?
Again, so quick to take away (one could read it almost as punishing) from those they envy. I hope this blog’s commenters are not indicative of the attitudes of most Portlanders.
Just look at how quickly most commenters here move toward using the government to take away rights, to punish others for not thinking the right way, to ostracize those who make different choices.
Ironically, I bet most of these commenters are liberals or progressives who pat themselves on the back of among the tolerant.
Of course not, but don’t let your imagination get in the way of valid considerations.
Your preference for better bike infrastructure is not always the “right” choice. Yet, here you are attempting to impose that preference via force, i.e., you’re basically demanding that someone do something to make you happy. We all have different values, principles, criteria upon which we evaluate proposed public policy. But you and others here are so narrow-minded, that you’re unable to tolerate dissent from your opinion(s).
This is a disturbing trend here.
What safety bottleneck?
National standards for a new bike lane are minimum five feet. NACTO Urban Design standards, which city council adopted in 2012, require a MINIMUM of six feet, like they are doing on Foster, but for an all ages bikeway, like this one is SUPPOSED to be, EIGHT feet is preferable. The goal is to SAFELY have two 12 year old girls riding side by side. That current bike lane is substandard by modern safety standards so the remaining underutilized parking strip needs to go.
Professional studies have shown, over and over again, that in a bikeway even one major danger point will cause parents to say “No, sorry, you can not ride that.”
This is no different than when a major remodel occurs and the city says to a commercial establishment “Well, since you are redoing your entire bathroom you now have to make it ADA compliant.” We now have to follow modern safety standards, which in this case require parking removal on EITHER Woodstock or 28th. Since Eastmoreland negated the 28th Option, then this is the choice.
The needs of the many outweigh the convenience of eight households. The public ROW is just that, PUBLIC. The best option actually, would be to come from 28th and Powell, run through the residential neighborhood THROUGH Reed college to get to 32nd. This would by-pass 28th and Woodstock completely, but it also means working with a private college to run a bikeway through their poverty which blends the public and private sectors.
I’m pretty sure that precedent would be even more scary to Eastmoreland residents than removing four blocks of parking, but I could be wrong.
I find the overall nature of the comments here and the general atmosphere of this blog site to be quite intolerant, narrow-minded, and creepy. It’s apparent that too many of you are too quick to:
a) shame others for not agreeing with you, i.e., attributing false motivation to “them”, attacking their mental faculty, etc.;
b) ignore the rights of others to speak freely, assemble, and petition their government, in other words, you want to deprive local folks of any opinion or participation in a public process because you disagree with them;
c) disrespect property rights when it suits your preferences to the point of demanding that someone else’s property (notice none of you are volunteering up your own property) be taken to make way for social progress, regional economic activity, etc.
This is just creepy. The tone and tenor of the comments here are markedly anti-democratic and intolerant.
What property are they having taken away.
The city can come and remove on street parking in front of my house because it is not my property.
I suspect he’s referring to past references here on bikeportland re: (and I paraphrase) ‘selfish bungalow owners’ and ‘rich land barons’ hogging up all the inner city, selfishly wanting their existing neighborhoods with single-family housing preserved, and not willingly offering up their homes to be razed for apartments and condos for newcomers. It’s been suggested occasionally that that decision be taken out of the hands of the homeowners. But really only by a small handful of posters here.
Resistance is futile! 😉
Hey, I have MULTIPLE times volunteered to remove parking in front of my house. So has my neighborhood association…twice. We deal with suburban commuters constantly……about 17,000 of them a day just on this one High Crash Corridor. I would love to charge them to run through MY neighborhood, but I can not (until Salem approves speed radar cameras).
The reason you feel that this site is disrespectful of the perceived needs of these homeowners is that most of us live in neighborhoods where there are REAL problems. Eastmoreland, the richest neighborhood on the east side with the oldest average age sounds like a bunch of whiny old timers…”I don’t want those kids on our street, it will ruin Christmas!”
Cities change and grow and we all have to adapt to each other. Eastmoreland is in the way of progress and needs to bend on this one, it is JUST four block of underutilized parking. This NA already has gotten their way on the alignment, and lack of speed bumps, do you think it is fair that the public has NO say on the PUBLIC streets? They ARE owned by the WHOLE city…..Just saying NO, NO, NO just makes you look…well, like upper class snobs who do not care about other’s safety.
Design a local bikeway alternative that follows modern NACTO safety design standards, is direct and negotiate instead of “Just Say No!”
To be fair, they only said it will ruin Thanksgiving, not Christmas. And the help have to find somewhere else to park on other days.
I would welcome the county taking away the street parking around my house. It creates a safety issue for my kids.
I’m pestering the county now to get a no parking zone installed next to the main crosswalk to the school, since currently they allow cars to park right up to it, which is ridiculous and contrary to Oregon law.
I agree with you 100%. Well put.
That was meant for Jon M.
Another creepy poster. Notice that this poster must disparage someone he disagrees with as a “clown”…merely because he disagrees with someone else. Notice to the attribution of motivation, i.e., entitlement in this instance, to a group that he knows nothing about.
“Notice to the attribution of motivation, i.e., entitlement in this instance, to a group that he knows nothing about.
Really? I think we have come to know quite enough about the objecting people in this particular instance, which is what we’re discussing, right? What facts do you feel we have insufficient information about here? As several people have already noted here in response to your ‘property rights’ talk, this is the public-right-of-way-that-has-for-far-too-long-been-treated-as-private-storage-for-automobiles-above-all-other-possible-uses we’re talking about here, not their bedrooms or driveways.
I think entitlement is the perfect description here but welcome your argument for why in this instance it is inaccurate.
No, uou have come to conclusions about what motivates these people and that is all. We know very little about absent their opinions expressed in public. But dont let that stop you from pretending to know who they are so you can shame then.
“We know very little about absent their opinions expressed in public.”
None of this happens in a vacuum, Jon M. These folks expressed an opinion in public. Hue and cry ensued. We have debated the merits of the positions, the politics, the power struggles, etc. on bikeportland. I happen to believe that when you throw your weight around like this—make demands that PBOT undo a decision, a process—you better have your ducks in a row, have a tight argument at the ready for why this is worth fighting. As far as we know, none of this seems to have occurred. So we’re stuck with ‘their opinions expressed in public.’ Given the context, that is sufficient for me to feel that this is an example of (perhaps unselfconscious) entitlement. I’ve asked here many times for more argument, a defense of this position, but so far that hasn’t happened.
I don’t think it is my responsibility to withhold any judgment, and discussion, until such time as this party deigns to produce more than the vociferous opinion which started this fracas.
Except in this situation these people aren’t representative of a group. They’re just people who were put on the spot by Michael. They’re allowed to have their opinions, but they are just their opinions and not everyone’s.
I was referring more generally to the rumblings coming from some Eastmoreland residents about this particular matter.
This forum seems to have particular disdain for homeowners, regardless of economic status.
I am a homeowner, as are many of us. Some of us have disdain for homeowners who think their ownership stretches to the center yellow line of the roadway in front of their house.
These are two VERY separate issues.
Interesting that no one in the article or in these comments habe expressed such an expansive view of home ownership.
A cheap shot. Terry’s correct. Some people who own a house act like people; others act like homeowners; like they own everything; like property values are the only measure of value; like the NA is theirs; etc.
And many renters act like homeowners are all terrible and the world is owed to them. We all have our biases and stereotypes. That’s why these types of forums and message boards and comment sections are really so dangerous. Get all these people in a room face to face, and we come to find out that we’re not all so clueless and evil as the other person might think. We just have different ideas.
“And many renters act like homeowners are all terrible and the world is owed to them.”
Really? This is so far from my experience I’d love to have you explain that a little. What form does this take? In what situations does this come up? What are the demands being made?
“We all have our biases and stereotypes.”
Sure, and it is good to have them called out. But the fact remains that in this country today (some of) those with money and connections have and sometimes exert a dispoportionate influence, or do you not agree with that? I am having a hard time seeing the inverse of this; the situation in which renters, so called, lord it over another group.
Oh geez. I see… So it is civil to pretend to know something about someone else and then accuse that person of what you pretend they are? Because that works, right?
Are there always exactly two sides? Do you assume that both are always equally valid?
I own a home. My property ends at the sidewalk. From sidewalk to sidewalk is not my property. I understand that because I’m not an misinformed baby who thinks everything near my property is also mine. You’d think more people would understand the intricacies of what they drop several hundred thousands of dollars on, but maybe I’m being too generous.
It’s amazing how you manage to criticize people for making generalizations and casting judgement when that is exactly what you yourself are doing.
Pot calling the kettle black.
It’s not their property. They can complain all they want, but it is the public’s property and PBOT has jurisdiction over it. They are bellyaching because their precious parking spaces are being taken away even though it is an indisputable fact that those are not their parking spaces to begin with, Nothing is being taken from them. They perceive it that way because they’re entitled clowns. My insults followed a line of logic. That doesn’t make me creepy, it makes me belligerent.
I was referring to multiple commenters who proposed that something should be taken away from these homeowners.
Reply button. Not quote.
Now I have to go read the whole comments again because I have no idea who suggested anything besides removing free parking.