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Lane blockage on SW Stark presents a different kind of bike commute ‘challenge’

Posted by on September 1st, 2015 at 11:18 am

Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-5.jpg

All too common view on one of downtown’s “best” bikeways.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’m not one to get upset and complain at every little biking injustice I come across everyday; but when things reach a point of absurdity and highlight a larger problem, I think it’s reasonable to make a fuss.

On my ride into work this morning I encountered three large trucks and one van completely blocking the bicycle-only travel lane on SW Stark Street. What really made me stop and do a story about it is that these four vehicles blocked the lane in a span of just four blocks. I came up on the first one and was like, “Sheesh, come on.” Then I saw the second one and I was like, “No way!” Then I saw the third and then fourth ones and I was like, “Seriously!?”

And they weren’t stopped just “momentarily” as Oregon law allows. They were stopped for several minutes at least while doing some pretty major unloading and construction work.

Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-3.jpg

Sysco Corporation responded to my Tweet of this photo and asked me to send them details. I haven’t heard anything back from them but hopefully they can send the driver a memo.
Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-4.jpg

SW Stark just east of Broadway.


Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-6.jpg

SW Stark just west of 5th.
Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-7.jpg

SW Stark east of 4th.
Traffic lane blockage on SW Stark-8.jpg

This situation is not new, nor is restricted to this area of the city. When I shared a photo of it on Twitter this morning I hear from people who say this is a very common problem in the Pearl District.

Don Arambula, a principal at architecture and urban planning firm Crandall-Arambula, said my photo is, “Exhibit A of why buffered bike lanes are a complete bust.”

I imagine these guys park like this for a variety of reasons: a general lack of awareness about the law or that it’s a bicycle-only lane, perhaps there’s a dash of disrespect for cycling, and maybe they’re just simply trying to do their job and have nowhere else to park. Maybe if we created larger loading/construction zones (even temporary ones if it’s an active work site), instead of always preserving as much on-street auto parking as possible, this problem wouldn’t be so acute.

Regardless of its causes, as we embark on the downtown bikeway project in the coming months you can bet this will become an issue of wider debate.

What do you think?

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170 thoughts on “Lane blockage on SW Stark presents a different kind of bike commute ‘challenge’”

  1. Avatar tedder says:

    Note that other cities tend to use Bott Dotts and larger cones to at least discourage occupying the bike lane. This is a problem even with “protected bike lanes”.

  2. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

    This is pretty common, sadly. The worst is the bike lane along Broadway. Used as a taxi rank, a hotel loading zone, a turn lane, and just about every other creative use for the space. It’s even used, occasionally, by cyclists.

    As a through lane, it’s a total disaster.

    1. Avatar Emily says:

      There were cones being set up this morning with minimal to no signs in advance warning that you would be taking the lane right in front of Nordstrom. Classic.
      SW Broadway is the most stressfull part of my 6-mile commute.

      1. Avatar wsbob says:

        “…SW Broadway is the most stressfull part of my 6-mile commute.” Emily

        One way street SW Broadway being uphill from Burnside, will tend to be a bit of a test for some people’s level of conditioning or preparedness to work more than a little hard. Just curious, if you happen to have a speedometer, what your cruising speed up Broadway tends to be.

        Bike traffic traveling less than 10 mph in the main lanes of traffic on this section of the street probably wouldn’t go over well with people driving, though 10 may work. 15 mph likely wouldn’t be a big problem, given the traffic light spacing and how the light cycles are rigged.

        15 mph and faster is what I’d shoot for, but for people for whom that speed is too much (and on the SW Broadway bike commute, I don’t know how many people that would be…the city should know if it doesn’t already.), the bike lane really needs to be maintained functional, which with all the hotel and other business and retail service activity going on back and forth across the bike lane often during the day…it’s not .

    2. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

      These are why I follow the way Oregon law calls out riding on the left lane on one way streets south of Burnside on Broadway. Cars and trucks can see me in their windshield as I wear bright clothing not black. I have never been hit doing that. Other things yes.

      1. Avatar Psyfalcon says:

        But can I ride in the left side lane as allowed if there is also a right side bike lane? Calling the whole bike lane a hazard hasn’t worked out in court yet.

        1. Avatar wsbob says:

          “But can I ride in the left side lane as allowed if there is also a right side bike lane? …” Psyfalcon

          Of course. Outside of a specific situation, generally regarding the entire bike lane to be a hazard, is a stretch, so better to not try that. Properly transitioning out of the bike lane to the main lane and back, to avoid vehicles blocking the lane, and other hazards, often can work out just fine.

          1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

            But we’re talking about riding in the [far]-left lane on a one-way street, with a bike lane on the right. This is illegal. ORS 814.430 expressly allows it, in the absence of a bike lane; ORS 814.420 prohibits it, unless a rider is under exception (3)(c), “preparing to execute a left turn…”

            Your interpretation of 814.420 always sounds like you are confusing it with 814.430. Read both of those laws carefully and tell me why we need 814.420 again?

  3. Avatar John Stephens says:

    The real issue for cyclists is not that this is a distraction or inconvenience, but that it forces us to ride out in traffic and adds even more risk to our daily commute. Can’t Parking Enforcement hit these guys with tickets?

    1. Avatar Spiffy says:

      they don’t care about tickets as it’s just the cost of doing business… UPS trucks get hundreds of tickets with no consequence…

      we need to boot illegally parked vehicles and tow them to impound… that’s the only way to get the message across that their action won’t be tolerated…

      1. Avatar Mao says:

        I give the UPS/Fedex guys a pass since most of them need to make tons of short term stops. Downtown areas don’t always have proper temp parking for that kind of work. More so if they have huge/heavy packages to drop off.

        But all day/week long work? Just slap down no parking signs like what City of Portland did for nearly three months in my neighborhood.

  4. Avatar Bjorn says:

    Nothing a fine equivalent to parking in a handicapped zone ($500) and some agressive enforcement couldn’t fix. It is a constant problem in Vancouver as well, Landscaping trucks park in the bike lanes near my work 1-2 times a week for hours at a time.

    1. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

      Bjorn, in case you have not already tried, there are a few actions you can try (other than notifying the supervisor/ risk manager of the company):
      – Call Parking Hotline: (360) 487-8653 (Mike Merrill, Parking Manger);
      – Send a photo to Chris Christofferson, City Traffic Engineer at chris.chrisofferson@cityofvancouver.wa; and
      – 911 (if outside of business hours).

      Perhaps this problem zone may need additional signing/ stencilling or refreshing of the bike stencil? These help reinforce VPDs ability to enforce once a complaint comes in.

      This location is likely outside the parking office’s regular city center enforcement zone so calls / emails with photos help build a record of awareness regarding this citywide traffic safety problem.

      1. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

        Sorry I goofed the city email address (they have changed it since I left).


      2. Avatar Spiffy says:

        911 is not for parking enforcement…

        1. Actually, in Clark County, they are generally more than happy to take parking enforcement complaints via 911, especially outside of business hours. They take them seriously and do actually send out police to look at them.

    2. Avatar Spiffy says:

      VPD: 360-487-7400
      After-hours dispatch: 360-696-4461

  5. Avatar soren says:

    “Exhibit A of why buffered bike lanes are a complete bust.”

    This is also a huge common on the car-protected bike lane on SW Broadway.

    1. Avatar TonyJ says:

      And that can be worse because when a truck is parked in the “protected” lane, you might not even be able to go around it.

      1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

        I wish I could +150 this. The only thing worse than a blocked bike lane is a blocked “protected” bike lane, with no way around.

    2. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

      Because there’s no curb or bollards separating the parking lane from the bike lane. Just paint.

      1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

        Well, curbs obviously don’t stop this from happening. Mid-block “protection” is as much a curse as a blessing. I wonder whether there is a way to combine painted bike lanes with “protected’ intersections? After all, intersections are where bicyclists need the most protection.

  6. Avatar patrickz says:

    I understand the lack of space. What I don’t like is how “disposable” the green lane seems to become, as if it’s there in case the grownups need room…

    1. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

      Because the city allows businesses to push them around and relegates people who ride bikes to second-class citizens.

    2. Avatar JRB says:

      and if there is no bike lane, than the right hand traffic lane becomes disposable for somebody who needs to make a delivery but can’t get a legal space, equally inconveniencing motor vehicles as well as bicycles. I can’t understand why folks see this behavior as somehow demeaning to cyclists in particular.

      1. Avatar Psyfalcon says:

        Well, we have a mandatory sidepath law saying we need to ride in it. Now, since we can’t, we need to merge into faster traffic without the benefit of burning dinosaurs to accelerate.

    3. Avatar El Biciclero says:

      “…in case the grownups need room…”

      THAT is a large part of the problem: cyclists = children; drivers = adults. Especially truck drivers.

      An interesting anecdote is that when Christmas tree recycle time comes around, the Boy Scouts set up a semi-trailer collection station just down my street. People using their oversized, diesel pickups to drop off trees see fit to double-park (even though they could pull completely over to the curb—if they did it several yards behind the collection truck) for as long as it takes to wrestle their tree out of the bed and haul it to the side, and chat with the troop leader, and whatever else they feel like doing while blocking over half the street. I’m projecting, but it just smacks of somebody with the attitude that “I’m workin’ heah!” and everybody else can just suck it until I’m done, ‘cuz I’ve got “real man” stuff to do—can’t you see how big my pickup is?

  7. Avatar Jacob Shwartz says:

    I used to deliver food in Boston, it was common practice for us to double park the truck (like the Sysco truck) because it’s pretty much impossible to park such large vehicles any other way when you’re unloading (thus, I doubt animosity towards bikers). Saying that, I used to commute every day on bike down this very street – I usually just biked down the street with traffic because of all the trucks and vans blocking the biking lane. Unless there is physical separation preventing double parking I don’t see the existing or new biking lanes in downtown being a success.

    1. Avatar Chris I says:

      It sounds like the business owners make a conscious decision to drive larger vehicles which would need to be refilled less often at the distribution point, but get to instead externalize their costs on the rest of the driving and riding public. Big fines are the only answer.

  8. Avatar 9watts says:

    “maybe they’re just simply trying to do their job and have nowhere else to park.”

    This 100%.

    “Maybe if we created larger loading/construction zones (even temporary ones if it’s an active work site), instead of always preserving as much on-street auto parking as possible, this problem wouldn’t be so acute.”

    Yes. Problem solved?
    Who makes decisions about this sort of thing? Oh, right, PBOT.

    1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

      Let’s just have a “Parked trucks may use full lane” sign. If you need to unload on a block, just stop at the beginning of the block and unload. If people had somewhere to be, they would ride a bike. Otherwise, they can wait or go around. Granted, this might need to be done with a proper street closure or signs, but it’s not complicated if we just focus priority on bike mobility and safety.

      1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

        They’ll go around by driving in the bike lane. This happens all the time on Stark (where the photos in the article were taken).

    2. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

      Agreed that there needs to be loading zones, but doing something illegal and unsafe because they were “just doing their job” is still unacceptable.

    3. Avatar Spiffy says:

      “maybe they’re just simply trying to do their job and have nowhere else to park.”

      I read it this way “maybe they’re just simply trying to do their job and are too lazy to park legally.”…

      they don’t get to park illegally just because their vehicle is too huge and they failed to get the proper permits to close some parking spaces for their needs…

      if they break the law while driving how many other ways do they break the law in the course of business? never do business with a company that lets their drivers get away with that…

      1. Avatar Middle of the Road guy says:

        if YOU break the law while cycling how many other ways do YOU break the law in your daily life?

    4. That is exactly the case. I did some work on that site over the last couple months (installing a sky bridge and some of the more delicate demo work). The site specific problem is that even though there are is no bus stop on that half of the block on SW 5th (which would be an ideal unloading zone for that site), Trimet and/or the city won’t allow 5th to be used for unloading the trucks there.

      That said – the times that I was there at that site, we typically unloaded at about 5 am on SW 5th, the driver would pull up, we’d pick what we could (1000’s of lbs of steel) cart it into the building and call the driver back and do it all over again until it was unloaded.

      As a side note it’s one really cool building. It’s unfortunate that to make the building habitable again they gave up the historic registry status for it.

      A few pics are scattered on my instagram. If you like old architecture they’re worth looking at, no one builds like this anymore.

      That bank vault door is 26,000 lbs (that’s right 13 tons), and even though it’s 100 (completed 1917) years old, you can still open and close it easily with one arm – unbelieveable oak/acorn themed embellishments all over it. (Not sure if it was joke or not, but the PM did say something about making that vault bike parking for the facility)

      The light fixtures were also created by one of the PNW’s most famous smiths/artisans ever Fred Baker, and again the work on them is beyond compare.

      Though my skybridge doesn’t really fit (in my opinion), I’m pretty proud of being a part of this building.

      1. Avatar Anne Hawley says:

        Thanks for the insider view — about the unloading issue and the building itself. If non-slavish-devotion to history preserves key architectural elements, I certainly prefer that approach to complete demolition.

    5. Avatar paikiala says:

      Removal of parking is something the contractor has to pay for at construction site. Street Systems inspectors can be called for contractors, parking enforcement for delivery vehicles.

      1. The site I worked on (5th and Stark – there is also a site at 6th) has removed/reserved the parking as well.

      2. Avatar Chris I says:

        If the city gets enough complaints about violations like this at a construction site, can they threaten to issue a stop work order unless the primary contractor pays for the necessary parking?

  9. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

    This is what happens when you install painted lanes instead of protected bike lanes. This problem won’t go away until we fully separate our bike infrastructure.

    1. Avatar 9watts says:

      “This problem won’t go away until we fully separate our bike infrastructure.”

      Let’s not lose sight of some realistic short term goals here. Fully separated… how does that work at intersections? Before you know it we’re talking tens of millions, or even hundreds. Before we’ve built 1% of that the price of oil and climate woes will have taken care of this problem for us.

      1. Avatar was carless says:

        “How do you make it segregated at intersections?”

        Good question – through the use of lane markings and clear signage that actually continue through the intersection, curb separations along the entire bike lane, and curbs that prevent cars from entering the lane at every intersection interface. Downtown Vancouver, BC has already done this – its only a 6 hour drive to the north.

        some pics:

        1. Avatar was carless says:

          I should add that these are really simple design issues that the city seems to be totally incapable or unwilling to address, in an effort to either make cycling not really that successful or because they have institutionalized incompetence. I’m not sure which it is, but after living in the city for 12 years they continue to blow me away at their inability to roll out decent bike infrastructure like other cities are doing these days.

        2. Avatar Chris I says:

          That seems really simple. Why haven’t we done this yet? Charlie? Charlie?

        3. Avatar El Biciclero says:

          “through the use of lane markings and clear signage”

          By “lane markings”, do you mean “paint”? Also, your images seem to be of two-way cycle tracks, which are no longer considered “best practice”.

    2. Avatar meh says:

      The more separate bike infrastructure the more I have to hear “get in a bike lane” from drivers. This just makes it easier for drivers to marginalize cyclists even more. I don’t want to be relegated to where I can ride, I don’t want see “protected” bike lanes as my only option.

      1. Avatar MaxD says:

        I agree! I was out on a ride coming off ROcky Butte when I got the text that I had to get home asap. I usually take Going, but pokes around through the 70’s and 60’s and is downright useless west of 7th…so I took Prescott. It was AMAZING! I got to ride on a straight road with minimal stoplights/stop signs. No cars nosed halfway into the street before stopping (or pulling out in front of me anyway). The road went directly to where I was going with no jogs. Traffic signals (instead of relying on the good will of drivers) got me across busy intersections. However, at around 7th a woman in a car yelled at me that there is a bike route a couple blocks over. Compared to Prescott, Going is a pile of garbage, and I would hate to be forced to use it if I didn’t have time to literally waste.

      2. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

        If there was a fully-protected bike lane with protected intersections, I would be more than happy to “get in a bike lane” and stay in the lane. Let’s not let the views of a few Vehicular Cyclists ruin the potential for safe bike infrastructure for everyone else.

      3. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

        If there was a fully-protected bike lane with protected intersections, I would be more than happy to “get in a bike lane” and stay in the lane. Let’s not let the views of a few Vehicular Cyclists ruin the potential for safe bike infrastructure for everyone else.

      4. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

        Ugh, not sure what the issue with the commenting system is that keeps chopping of my comment.

        Let’s not let the views of a few Vehicular Cyclists ruin the potential for safe bike infrastructure for everyone else.

        1. Avatar Adam Herstein says:

          Let’s not let the views of a few Vehicular Cyclists ruin the potential for safe bicycling infrastructure for everyone else.

          1. Avatar meh says:

            Wow, my opinion doesn’t count, so I should be ignored, at least in your view.

            Infrastructure isn’t the only answer to safe cycling. It’s probably one of the last things to focus on. Throwing big $$ projects at the problem isn’t going to solve it and really only provides “Safe bicycling” over a very small area.

            Focus on education, and adherence to the law which can be applied broadly.

            1. Avatar Paul says:

              Everyone knows what speed limits are, yet everyone breaks them. Build first, then educate & enforce.

              1. Avatar meh says:

                What do you plan to build first to fix the speed limit issue?
                How much will you spend retrofitting all the roads to enforce a speed limit?

                Education and enforcement is cheaper and easier. Neither of which we are doing now.

              2. Avatar Dan says:

                Everyone knows what speed limits are, yet the police allow (and encourage) everyone to break them.

              3. Avatar Martin says:

                This! My younger brother got pulled over for going the speed limit in the left lane on the interstate. Conversation went like this:

                State Trooper: You were going too slow to be in that lane.

                Brother: I was going the posted speed limit.

                State Trooper: I said, you were going too slow to be in that lane.

                Brother: Just to be clear here, you pulled me over for NOT speeding?

                State Trooper: Do you want to go to jail, son?

                I wish I was making this up.

            2. Avatar Adam H. says:

              You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’d rather base city plans on actual evidence.

              1. Avatar paikiala says:

                And you can provide a source as evidence that protected bike lanes are safer?

              2. Avatar meh says:

                The report you point to focuses on 6 questions

                • Do the facilities attract more cyclists?

                • How well do the design features of the facilities work? In particular, do both the users of the protected bicycle facility and adjacent travel lanes understand the design intents of the facility, especially unique or experimental treatments at intersections?

                • Do the protected lanes improve users’ perceptions of safety?

                • What are the perceptions of nearby residents?

                • How attractive are the protected lanes to different groups of people?

                • Is the installation of the lanes associated with measurable increases in economic activity?

                The only question with regards to safety has to do with “perceived” safety, so no empirical data on actual safety. Most of the study deals with how people “feel” about the infrastructure.

                Really a feel good study for proponents of cycle tracks.

              3. Riding a bicycle is already a very safe thing to do, but does not feel safe because of 1.5 to 4 ton murder machines being used as transportation alongside bicycles. Putting the murder machines on a different part of the road, or a different road altogether, makes people feel as safe as cycling already is, and has a slight positive effect on actual safety.

              4. And that is how bike lanes influence the “safety in numbers” The lanes are invitations to ride bicycles, not a guarantee of a safe ride. Comprehensive (those that include doorings and intersections) studies on the actual incident rates typically show around a 5% difference of incidents on either side of 0.

                But again, safety in numbers is not well understood by many people. The hope with infrastructure is to increase ridership numbers in greater proportion than incidents. So even if a bike path increases incident rates by 2% over all, it’s considered “safer” once ridership has increased by 3% or greater.

                Remember, Portland according to PDOT over the last decade has only 22 reported injury incidents involving cars and 2 fatal incidents each year on average (and though it’s hard to find hard numbers for Copenhagen, our annual number likely isn’t far off theirs – might even be better- been trying to find hard numbers for Copenhagen and they aren’t very easy to find – wonder why?).

                As it stands now, riding a bicycle is really freaking safe in this town – despite what your comfort level is. the Hawthorne bridge (for now) hosts over 3000 trips a day which is more bicycle trips than their will be injuries or fatalities in this town for the next 100 years. Bike share is starting to give us number too of 40 million trips and no fatalities in NYC (no helmets lots of “non bike people”).

                The myth that riding a bicycle is unsafe is crumbling all around us.

          2. Avatar El Biciclero says:

            Let’s not let a few, poorly-executed “protected” bike lanes erode the rights (or perceived rights) of bicyclists to use whatever street they need to get where they are going. Make no mistake: protected bike lanes aren’t for “everybody”.

      5. Avatar Steve Scarich says:

        Agree…I am at my most vulnerable when I am in a dedicated bike lane. In fact, I was hit this year while riding in a bike lane. It would not happen if ‘I took the lane’, because a car is not going to intentionally hit me. They can much more easily disregard me when I am in a ‘separate’ lane. I find that, if I signal my intention, then take the lane, nobody seems to mind, as long as I am going somewhat close to the speed of traffic.

      6. Avatar was carless says:

        Question: do you like getting stuck behind cars in traffic? Because without separated facilities, when our traffic gets bad, you can’t even get around on a bike. Last year it could take me 30 minutes just to get to the Hawthorne Bridge from PSU – as there are no bike facilities (and its illegal to bike on the sidewalk). So you get to suck tailpipe.

        1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

          It’s legal to pass on the right or the left, but you’ll probably get a ticket if a traffic cop sees you because they don’t know this.

        2. Avatar Dan says:

          I don’t understand. There are not a lot of places where you would get stuck behind cars and not be able to filter forward on the right.

          1. Avatar soren says:

            on my commute on sw 3rd there is either no space on the right or door zone space on the right. since i was ticketed for passing a traffic jam on the left, the only legal and safe option is often to suck tail pipe. most days, i still choose the illegal option.

            1. Avatar Dan says:

              It sounds like a problem, but very minor. Would you feel unsafe filtering forward on the right at 10mph?

              1. Avatar soren says:

                i feel safer lane-splitting at 10 mph.

      7. Avatar wsbob says:

        “The more separate bike infrastructure the more I have to hear “get in a bike lane” from drivers. …” meh

        Why does their saying that bother you? It’s your problem, not theirs. Make sure you’re watching your p’s and q’s, but otherwise, just go about your business of using the road legally, and give them a thumbs up.

        In any of our lifetimes, Portland likely will never have a complete, or even an extensive separated bike lane system. The city’s already built out in most places, and so for the most part, there’s simply no room to build that type of infrastructure everywhere there’s a need for a bike lane.

        1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

          The space constraints you fear only apply if we prioritize moving and parking cars over livability.

  10. Avatar Brian K Smith says:

    My google search for titanium bike ram turned up nothing relevant. Making holes in the back of the truck until it got moved sounds like a fun game. Who’s responsible if a person on a bike rear-ends a vehicle parked there? I guess probably the person in motion.

    Anyway, bike manufacturing industry of Portland, take note, there are not currently any bike rams available for purchase.

    (I also really want to walk on top of the cars that park on sidewalks/marked crosswalks/etc. I wouldn’t even stomp super hard, just walk normally!)

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      I have one of these on the front of my bike, and it works reasonably well.

    2. Avatar Spiffy says:

      you could do the staged crash like that one video of the guy running into the back of vehicles parked in bike lanes…

      I walk over illegally parked cars…

      grab your bike and haul it up and over the vehicle with you so that you stay in the bike lane…

  11. Avatar MaxD says:

    The situation that irks me the most in on East Burnside between MLK and 11th. Large trucks (frequently beer trucks) needing to unload will pull into the bike lane to unload. I accept them as a part of life in the Central Eastside, but what what is so irksome is that they are way too big for the meager bike lane so they end up blocking the whole bike lane and half the adjacent travel lane, rendering it unusable for cars/trucks. IMO, it would be safer to simply block the travel lane completely and leave the bike lane open. It would then be incumbent on cyclists to yield to the unloading (which may be asking too much!)

    1. Avatar Alan 1.0 says:

      This summer I saw a beer truck use the center turn lane on Glisan for delivery. Worked just fine in that location with three car lanes, much better than hard right (bike lane).

      1. This is done on 82nd and in Gresham for unloading car transports. Seems to work.

      2. Avatar Spiffy says:

        well yes, while biking I’d much rather have them breaking a law related to cars (parking in center lane) than breaking a law related to bikes (parking in bike lane)…

        but my preference is to have them park legally…

    2. Avatar LC says:

      For some reason I tend to give beer trucks a pass when I’d grumble about anyone else.

  12. Avatar SD says:

    How many tickets have been issued for parking in the bike lane?

    Is parking enforcement looking the other way on this one?

    From my experience, the parking ticket distributors are very proficient in handing out tickets.

    1. Avatar Craig Harlow says:

      In my experience, calling the Portland Parking Enforcement Hotline 503-823-5195 has never generated a response, even for chronic bike-lane blocking in the same spots by the same perpetrators along NE Multnomah Street.

      I would be surprised to learn that the city is looking the other way, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the city is overburdened in this area.

      Jonathan, I’d be interested to learn the city’s stats on the number of hotline calls that (1) generate a response on the street, and (2) result in citations. I’d also be curious to learn whether there are frequently cited offenders.

      1. Avatar Dan says:

        If it’s like Washington County’s speeding enforcement hotline, they’ll probably tell you that you’re ‘imagining it’.

  13. Avatar Thom Batty says:

    No better in the ‘burbs. Try riding Hwy 99/McLoughlin Blvd between Oregon City and Portland. Biggest culprit there is the auto transport trucks unloading at the car lots. Pretty nice bike lane otherwise, other than disappearing for every right turn lane. Nuisance, but not the end of the world.

  14. Avatar Adam says:

    Another reason to shoot for the bike lane or cycle track separated by a row of parked cars!!!!! No semi truck is going to be able to block it then!

  15. Avatar Alex Reed says:

    Ha! I just posted a photo on Twitter about the very-frequent blockage of the SE 52nd bike lane (also sent an email to 503-823-SAFE).

    1. Avatar Adam H. says:

      What time of day is this usually a problem? I live off 52nd and don’t see a ton of people parking in the bike lane in the evenings at least. Maybe construction crews for Franklin HS are parking illegally and PPS should be notified? I have occasionally had problems with delivery people parking their trucks in the bike lane.

      1. Avatar Alex Reed says:

        I pass by in the morning between 7 and 9. I don’t usually see it in the evening.

      2. Avatar Ben says:

        Garbage trucks frequently block the lane during the morning commute, but I figure they don’t have much choice. Other vehicles are usually large vans, for whatever reason, parked in the northbound lane south of Holgate.

  16. Avatar Steven Howland says:

    I’ve been having this exact problem on NE Multnomah for well over a year particularly across the street from Hassalo on Eighth. Spent several email sessions back and forth from February-June with UPS from repeated violations before they finally addressed the problem. The truck was easily parked in the cycle track for an hour each time. Calling parking enforcement rarely did anything since most enforcers are focused downtown. Had an Iron Mountain shredder truck parked in the lane last week. They responded to my tweet saying they would notify their local office and make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

    I had enough and PBOT directed me toward their Traffic Safety division ( They have responded, informing me they would increase their enforcement in that area during the times I was running into the issues.

    Probably even more crazy than those freight trucks was my commute home on Multnomah the day after I sent the email to Traffic Safety. I was going by the Double Tree where planters are pretty closely spaced together and a Double Tree employee was unloading equipment from a pickup truck parked in the cycle track. A pretty clear violation and an unnecessary one considering Double Tree has a loading zone. While I was sitting in front of his truck trying to get through to the non-emergency police line (after hours), the guy came out and called ME an unprofessional name for calling him in before squeezing through the planter barriers and sped off. Since Portland PD wouldn’t do anything at that point, I called Double Tree to report his behavior.

    My recommendations for this problem:
    Contact the companies involved whether through their customer service lines or through Twitter (most are pretty responsive through Twitter).

    -Report to the company the vehicle ID number (usually it’s at the top corner of the back of the truck), the location, and when possible snap a photo.

    We need to work in the bike community and team up with freight companies to come up with solutions to loading zones.

    We will forever do more to change behavior on this front by putting jobs in jeopardy and working with companies and planners to better the situation than we will by violence or destructive behavior no matter how angry it makes us. I know the last thing I want anyway is to create such violent rapport with freight drivers that they start buzzing me when I’m riding my bike.

    1. Avatar Spiffy says:

      I hate Iron Mountain Shredding drivers! they’re always parked illegally and I report them frequently…

  17. Avatar invisiblebikes says:

    I have been reporting to parking enforcement 503.823.5195 and on PDX reporter about the trucks parked in the bike lanes in front of Franz Bakery on NE 12th between NE Flanders St and NE Couch St and have had very good success.

    The last time I rode through there all the trucks were parked in the center turn lane. And the truckers are aware that it’s cyclist calling them on it because one trucker thanked me as I rode by… he told me I’m number 1!

    1. Avatar Alan Love says:

      With his driving finger, yes?

    2. Avatar Spiffy says:

      now you need to report them for illegally parking in the center lane…

  18. Avatar q`Tzal says:

    Unfortunately, as a truck driver who has been ordered to deliver to locations tighter than this or I can find another job, THERE ARE NO SAFE OPTIONS other than blocking a lane…
    …in the current lane configuration.

    In most of these areas the land plots, sight lines, truck length assumptions and dock length allowances were based on trucks from over a century ago.
    Consequently old businesses seem to think that they should be allowed the same unfettered access for deliveries that existed when their bustling metropolis was a one-horse whistle stop in the old west.

    The problem is that, despite their new commercial wealth being dependent upon all these paying customers-in their way, they don’t want anyone else to use their road and their wealth gives them the political leverage to get their way.

    Blaming the truck driver only solves 1 incident: unless the behavior is EXPRESSLY forbidden in PLAIN SIGNAGE and enforced then it will be ignored. Get one driver fired and there will be another and another and another. You have to get the entire road segment made prohibited; only then can drivers like me tell me boss to go _____ himself this isn’t legal.

    1. Avatar Spiffy says:

      “Unfortunately, as a truck driver who has been ordered to deliver to locations tighter than this or I can find another job”

      if you get fired for refusing to break the law you’ve got an easy lawsuit on your hands…

      1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

        There is a full half more of this explanation that the BikePortland comment server will not let me post will no explanation other than “ERROR”.
        No profanity, as far as I can tell I haven’t used any of George Carlin’s 7 words, no links after the first segment.

        I’d love to post through, accurate and factual comments but there seems to be some blockage.
        This is JM’s site but if he wants valuable community involvement then he is going to have to allow in depth lengthy replies from people more knowledgeable than I. And maybe even me.

        He will also need need need need need need to give a better error message for why user comments are being bounced other than “error”. It discourages user interaction and encourages humorous and insulting one line comment threads that add nothing to the story.

        I might just as well read the stories from an aggregator and never actually visit this website.

      2. Avatar q`Tzal says:

        The problem is ORS 811.560

        This article When Can A Motor Vehicle Stop Or Park In The Bicycle Lane? By Charley Gee details the issue succinctly.
        In particular the passage:

        linked article
        “The biggest bike lane blocking culprits, however, are parked delivery trucks and cars double parked temporarily. Despite the hazard they create and the inefficiencies they cause, they may not be breaking Oregon state law.

        A vehicle is allowed to stop, stand, or park in the bicycle lane if:

        If the vehicle is momentarily stopped to pick up or discharge a passenger; or
        If the vehicle is momentarily stopped for the purpose of, and while actually engaged in, the loading or unloading of property;
        So, the trucks stopped on the bicycle lane to deliver kegs of beer or UPS trucks stopped outside office buildings are not violating state law, so long as they are engaged in the loading or unloading of goods. Same with the taxi cabs outside of the hotels, so long as they are actively picking up or discharging a passenger.”
        So maybe the important question is “how is a buffered bike lane any different than a old fashioned bike lane when it comes to ORS 811.560 exemptions?”

        1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

          Derp… Accidentally deleted

          close blockquote.

    2. Avatar caesar says:

      In most of these areas the land plots, sight lines, truck length assumptions and dock length allowances were based on trucks from over a century ago. Consequently old businesses seem to think that they should be allowed the same unfettered access for deliveries that existed when their bustling metropolis was a one-horse whistle stop in the old west.

      Makes one wonder how cities like Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, et al ever get any deliveries made at all within thier urban areas, eh? C’mon, only in the big fat U-S-of-A would we assume that it’s essential for huge trucks to move through city centers in order to deliver stuff to businesses. Fact is, trucking/delivery companies could invest in fleets of smaller, more mobile delivery vans. But they choose not to. Because profits and consumer convenience trump everything.

      1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

        I agree wholeheartedly that big trucks don’t belong there.
        City planners agree big trucks don’t belong there.
        The average citizen with no skin in the game agrees it is ridiculously unsafe for big trucks to be there.

        It. Is. Legal.
        Fine, upstanding, campaign contributing business owners have a business survivability motive to maintain freight access to the cheapest freight delivery mode possible.

        While delivering on a furniture account in southern Oregon often large segments, or the whole trailer load, would go to a local delivery service that has much smaller trucks and delivery workers.
        Large purchasers could save money by taking the delivery directly and avoiding the extra step.

        Obviously the extra step is a matter of public safety in a dense ciry.
        I’ve been ruminating about human-public-transit being only half the equation; we need a freight-transit-system for dense urban areas.
        It could be as simple as PBOT defraying the extra costs associated with using a local delivery service.
        If it is truly a matter of safety then PBOT could just eat that increased cost as part of their fellow overall Vision Zero safety push.

  19. Avatar Jeff says:

    The city is giving contractors something close to “carte blanche” to do whatever they please. They can pull construction closure permits and just ride them for months or years without review. Time for the city to take action.

    1. Avatar paikiala says:

      Your opinion is not based in fact.

      1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

        It may be the law on the books but it is the law of zero enforcement that rules our streets.

        Just saying “it ain’t so” doesn’t stop construction contractors from blocking bike lanes & sidewalks, leaving debris in the same and leaving horribly rough seams and transitions on bike lanes and ADA ramps.

        This has been happening every day for years and complaining has had zero effect.

  20. Avatar Fred #17 says:

    This town needs more Sprinters and Transit Connects…

    1. Avatar meh says:

      And how does having 6 transit connects on the street doing the job of a semi improve traffic flow? How does it compare in fossil fuel usage? And where exactly does the long haul truck make the transfer of goods from a 40 foot trailer to those 6 vehicles? Where exactly does the money come from to hire the drivers of those vehicles? What is the cost of maintaining 6 vehicles vs 1 vehicle? It all sound so easy when you don’t have to run a company and pay the bills. Except we all end up paying the bills for the increased cost of goods due to excessive transportation costs

      1. Avatar Psyfalcon says:

        You can see out of a sprinter van, and they can make the turn without driving over the bike lane or the sidewalk.

      2. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

        If your vehicle is too big to drive/park in the city, don’t drive/park it in the city.

        1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

          That Sprinter van will still be parked in the bike lane, or even better the sidewalk, when unloading.

          1. Avatar Psyfalcon says:

            Its hard. but you can parallel park one. That opens a ton of possible spaces that a box truck or semi can never use even if they’re car free.

  21. Avatar JRB says:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with a disrespect for cycling. It’s standard double parking procedure. When have to double park, whether its a commercial delivery, or dropping off your old couch at your friend’s place, you always park as far to the right as possible for safety reasons.

    Unfortunately, as far to the right means the bike lane if the street has one. If no bike lane, they are still going to take up the right most lane. Maybe I have more tolerance for this having lived in large east coast cities with much narrower streets and even fewer space for people to legally park and make deliveries. Double parking is just a fact of life. Everybody knows that and usually has double parked themselves a time or two to drop off that aforementioned couch and people take it as a matter of course. Whether I’m in a car or on my bike and somebody has double parked, I assume they have a good reason for doing so and just go around, just like you do for a Tri-Met bus making a stop.

    1. Avatar jeff says:

      whining on BikePortland is easier than accepting a temporary, common necessity in a tight, urban environment.

    2. Avatar Spiffy says:

      “I don’t think this has anything to do with a disrespect for cycling.”

      no, just a general disrespect for the entire community that doesn’t stop at double-parking in bike lanes…

      1. Avatar JRB says:

        Whatever. It’s a crowded world and I don’t feel the need to get outraged over a minimal inconvenience when it saves someone else a major inconvenience. You’re free to spend your emotional energy how you wish.

  22. Avatar David says:

    I think this really shows that bike lanes between the driving lane and parking lane just doesn’t work. People will behave in the way that is the most intuitive and convenient. The only way to solve this is by redesigning the bike lanes to make them inaccessible to motor vehicles or by actually enforcing trucks parking in the same spot each day.

    I have stopped to city workers giving parking tickets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, numerous times because they completely stop in the bike lane to give out tickets. Reported every time, and as far as I could tell, no action was taken whatsoever to change future behavior.

    1. Avatar Spiffy says:

      parking enforcement here also parks their little Cushman in the bike lane when issuing citations…

  23. Avatar JRB says:

    And while we are on the subject, my wife has a booth at Saturday market where the arrangement is to close the right lanes on Naito for vendors to load and unload. The bike lane is to be kept open for the movement of the carts that are used to haul stuff back and forth. Every Saturday and Sunday I see cyclists trying to push their way through the bike lane during the loading/unloading period. One of these days somebody is going to get seriously hurt in a collision between a cyclist and a vendor/and or cart. If your route takes you on Naito on Saturday/Sunday during the loading/unloading periods, please take the lane. The broken bone you save may be your own.

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      If the bike lane is closed for unloading, then there needs to be some other space marked off for cyclists to get by, perhaps outside the loading area. No one thinks twice about directing autos around a lane closure; we should demand the same for cyclists.

      1. Avatar JRB says:

        There are cones/bollards all along the lane closure as well as signs at the beginning of the closure. I don’t know why some cyclists disregard these as well as what their own eyes should be telling them, but they do quite frequently.

      2. Avatar JRB says:

        There is a space for cyclists, its called the open left lane, which you may have to share with cars for a few blocks until you get past the loading zone.

  24. Avatar Chris Cowell says:

    I’m sympathetic to the plight of truck drivers who have no other option. But sometimes the parking is so egregiously bad that it should be reported. Does anyone know if the PDX Reporter phone app is the best way to do that?

    1. Avatar invisiblebikes says:

      no the best way is to call 503.823-5195 PBOT info gave me this number for direct parking enforcement.
      PDX reporter doesn’t do much

  25. Avatar Daniel Costantino says:

    Geometry is a tough mistress. SW Stark is a relatively narrow street with fully built-up lots and many of its intersections are with streets that come with their own significant constraints in terms of parking and delivery(transit mall on 5th/6th, streetcar on 10th/11th, super narrow 8th/9th, etc.).

    In this type of constrained environment, the hard truth is that all solutions come from inconveniencing some group of users. You can have the sidewalk fencing/double parking free-for-all we have now, which inconveniences people on bicycles and sidewalks. Or you can put restrictions on how and when deliveries can take place and vehicles can stop, which inconveniences those delivering and those receiving deliveries. Or you can just eliminate regular parking in favor of all loading zones, which inconveniences anyone else who wants to park on the street.

    It all comes down to who you think is more important. I know who I think is more important and which options I’d consider first (guess!), but the only argument likely to lead to any change in how the City does business is a coherent communication on the costs and benefits of each option.

  26. Avatar RH says:

    I see this so frequently now that I have become numb to it. For a while I would get angry every time I saw this that it made me not enjoy riding my bike. Now I just ignore it and appreciate the fact that I am getting exercise on the coolest invention ever made.

    1. Avatar Alex Reed says:

      What makes me mad is that, because of myriad issues like this one, 90+% of Portlanders don’t/can’t/won’t join us in getting exercise and having fun while getting around.

      1. Avatar JRB says:

        If people having to leave the bike lane for a few seconds to go around a double parked vehicle is one of the reasons they don’t cycle, than I doubt they are serious about trying bicycling. With all the other challenges we face as people who use bicycles to get around, this is a non-issue for me so long as the double parker is actively loading/unloading.

        1. Avatar Alex Reed says:

          Having to share space with motor vehicles (not even being afraid of being hit, just having to share space) is the #1 reason people who don’t cycle regularly don’t do so. So, yes, having to leave a nice wide bike lane and mix it up in a car lane is a significant obstacle for some people.

          But just one obstacle of many – widely accepted speeding and aggressive driving, the disconnectedness of our low-stress bike network, how slow and circuitous our low-stress bike network is, the relatively low cost of driving due to car owners not having to pay for negative externalities (e.g. noise, local and global air pollution, death and maiming) and the low density of our metro area are certainly more important obstacles for most.

          1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

            I’ll bet not having to pay full price for gasoline (around $16/gal) is the real reason. Free car parking is probably #2.

          2. Avatar JRB says:

            To get anywhere in this town on a bike, you have to mix it up with cars. That’s the current state of our infrastructure. If people will only ride in bike lanes, then having to leave the lane for a car or truck length is not a significant impediment to their riding.

            1. Avatar Alex Reed says:

              Yes, but I’m thinking long-term here. If we want a future city where 25%+ of people ride regularly, we need to change at least a bunch of those things I listed (if not all, to some extent). Changing any one thing on its own looks like a small/useless step because of how many factors intersect to influence travel choices, but the political reality is that (at least in our current political climate) advocacy needs to work on individual items to have success. A journey is composed of many small steps….

  27. Avatar Alan 1.0 says:

    Portland, meet the big cities:



    Solutions: smaller trucks, better enforcement, adjustments & flexibility by both drivers and riders.

    1. Avatar jeff says:

      this. we’re not a big city yet, but we’re getting larger.

      1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

        I rode up Oak tonight and had to go around a truck and a salmon fatbiker simultaneously. I thought I hit a wormhole to Manhattan.

        1. Avatar Chris I says:

          I think you are referring to the daily Jetblue flight to JFK. I have never seen so many hipsters on an airplane.

  28. Avatar Spiffy says:

    ah yes, the plain commercial van… any business that has vehicles without their name on them is not taking driver responsibility seriously and I won’t do business with them…

    1. Avatar canuck says:

      And how do you know who the business is with a plain white van if they don’t have their name on it?

  29. Avatar Tim says:

    Ever notice how the bike lane stripe is completely worn off from all of the cars crossing over into the bike lane? Ever heard of one ticket for this? I have pointed this out to those who should be enforcing the laws that are intended to protect vulnerable road users, but no response.

  30. Avatar Aaron says:

    Trucks do this all the time in auto lanes too; they really are just people trying to do their jobs. And most of the time they’re too low on the totem pole to change procedures- as we know, it’s policy at UPS and Fedex to just rack up the tickets.

    Hardscape separation is the only way I see to truly solve this for larger streets.

    1. Avatar Spiffy says:

      ” they really are just people trying to do their jobs.”

      I don’t break the law when I do my job.

  31. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    In case Carl (BTA) has not chimed in yet…if these illegal/ unsafe lane blockages are adjoining construction zones then there should be a TCP for the private work zones with loading and parking called out.

    So are they following “their” submitted plan? Is the City inspector monitoring it? Etc. This is one of the many reasons we are working to reform the work zone practices in the NW…we all have fought hard for these facilities, spent a lot of public money building them and cities now depend on them for mobility…all too important to squander away for a 5 minute convenience that could end up killing a pedestrian or bicyclist or motorist. Vision Zero remember?!

    The current pend up construction demand will create a lot more of these situation and the City must get a head of it now before its too late.

  32. Avatar chris says:

    I view it as a bike lane that doesn’t serve much purpose, namely because there is almost always at least one vehicle parked in it, not to mention the number of vehicles that turn across it. I’d rather just have two east/west running streets and one north/south running street downtown, where only bikes, emergency vehicles and delivery vehicles are permitted.

    We just seem to suck at creating separated bike lanes, with Moody being the only exception. The Dutch have worked out an industry standard that works, and rather than just copying it, we try to be original — but not in a way that works very well. Furthermore, there is no consistency to bike infrastructure design within Portland . The fact that Portland tends to build a different kind of bike infrastructure everywhere creates a lack of consistency, such that people unfamiliar with the area don’t even know how to deal with it.

    1. For the most part, despite all the hype – The Dutch ride in the street with cars.

      1. Avatar USbike says:

        But many of these are on quiet residential streets with 30 kph speed limits and no through-traffic access for cars. Hardly comparable to many of the “quieter” neighborhood streets in the US that actually have lots of traffic due to rat-running. I don’t think anyone is arguing for separated bike facilities on these neighborhood streets, which make up a huge portion of the total road network.

      2. Avatar eddiearni says:

        The Dutch infrastructure has been designed and evolved to include cycles as dominant mode of transit for over a century. Whole cities and villages and the spaces between them are designed, and always have been, to mitigate traffic conflicts between cycles and automobiles.

        1. Avatar Alan 1.0 says:

          This might change your view of Dutch biking history:

          Hans Monderman’s street designs with mode separation at intersections and shared space areas came along in the 1980s.

  33. So, I confess I haven’t figured out Twitter, but isn’t there an opportunity here?

    BTA must have a hashtag #BikeCommuteChallengePDX or something, right?

    How about posting this type of Bike Commute Challenge pics to it? All month long.

    Kinda like Will Vanlue’s #4thBestBikeCity hashtag?

    Calling attention to the frequency and safety issues with illegal parking is the first step in getting better enforcement.

    Ted Buehler

  34. As a general rule, most worksites do have a phone number on display at the work site. You’re likely to get more of a reaction from the general contractor’s than you will the city. As I pointed out above, one of the sites in question I worked at and Trimet and/or the city wouldn’t accept any alternative for deliveries on 5th despite the fact it would have no to minimal impact on bus service which in the case of delivery of construction materials. Such a stance forces temporary lane closures for unloading.

    Though they should have cones and signs, which I know a month or so ago were available.

  35. Avatar Carrie says:

    I have had great success when I tweet directly to PBOTActive and to the responsible party (usually TriMet) when their subcontractors are parked and completely blocking the bike lane on SE 17th. (Was happening regularly this summer).

    1. Avatar Andy K says:

      Yes – another good way to get a fast response to contractor activities is to file a complaint with PBOTs public works inspector, bruce gonser. 503-823-7146

  36. Avatar caesar says:

    Although I have little to no idea what you mean, it sounds good – and so I modded it “thumbs up.”

  37. I got to wonder, I know that the presence of a bike lane means a bicycle has to legally ride there with the exception of avoiding unsafe objects in the lane – but is there actually any law that says cars can’t drive in a bike lane?

    1. Avatar Alan 1.0 says:

      Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail
      (1) A person commits the offense of operation of a motor vehicle on a bicycle trail if the person operates a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane or a bicycle path.
      (2) Exemptions to this section are provided under ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane).
      (3) This section is not applicable to mopeds. ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) control the operation and use of mopeds on bicycle lanes and paths.

      1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

        Is there a difference between the Oregon ORS “bicycle path” as used in ORS 811.550, 811.555 & 811.560 AND “bicycle trail” as used in ORS 811.435?

        ORS 811.550: Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited
        ORS 811.555: Illegal stopping, standing or parking
        ORS 811.560: Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking
        ORS 811.435: Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail
        ORS 811.440: When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane
        Of note in 811.440 in particular is the vague wording of:
        (2)A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:
        … (c)Required in the course of official duty.

        Which seems to be in direct contradiction with:
        ORS 811.560:
        (3)When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers.

        1. Avatar q`Tzal says:

          Law is vague and messy. I prefer something solid and certain like quantum physics.

    2. Avatar wsbob says:

      “I got to wonder, I know that the presence of a bike lane means a bicycle has to legally ride there with the exception of avoiding unsafe objects in the lane …” gutterbunnybikes

      There are more exceptions specified in addition to the one you’ve mentioned:

      Basically, the exceptions are for turning, passing, and for avoiding hazardous conditions in the bike lane. People traveling the road by bike, basically are at liberty to use the entire area of the road as needed.

      As people here already have noted, citing various Oregon laws describing the circumstances, there are circumstances in which motor vehicles can occupy bike lanes. Does not mean people can use bike lanes for travel/driving. With the exception of “official duty” specified in 811.440, and also, for “an implement of husbandry” (kind of a quaint old term these days, but means farm equipment.) someone operating a tractor, combine, etc, can move into the bike lane to allow faster traffic, to pass.

  38. Avatar Tom says:

    (1) Ban truck deliveries on problem streets during morning and evening rush hours, to minimize impact. They can deliver during the day, or at night, when there is less bike traffic. I think some European cities only allow deliveries on certain streets at night.

    (2) By using WiFi enabled parking meters, delivery and construction companies could pre-reserve street parking spots in places where they are going to be there for a while. They could do this on-line or using an app, without requiring any complicated coordinate with the city. They would get a permit to do this, be allowed a certain max parking-space-hours per month, and show a placard indicting they were allowed to park at the meters flashing ‘no parking’.

    (3) City can hire more parking enforcement officers. Those guys pay for themselves many times over. The city can hire as many as they want, and it just makes more and more money for the city. There is no reason to under-enforce parking. Leave the UPS guys alone though, and focus on the guys who are sitting there for the whole rush hour. Funnel this money specifically into bike infrastructure as mitigation for all the blocked bike lanes.

    1. Point 2 – construction sites do and will continue to reserve or shut down parking around their sites currently. Those trucks parked next to the work zone are the contractor’s trucks. Some of us actually have to have our truck near by to work. In my case the electrical system of the building isn’t outfitted with plug of high enough voltage to use a plug in welding machine so I use a gas powered welding machine from the back of my truck to do the tasks at hand.

      Those trucks pictured in the parking spaces are in reserved parking spots.

      Point 3) The meter folks are all over those reserved parking spots. If I showed up in my personal car with the city issued permit to park there on display, the fact that it doesn’t have a company logo on it or the fact that it isn’t a work vehicle (ie truck or van)it would get it ticketed and towed – even if I’m on site working at the time.

  39. Avatar Scott Kocher says:

    “I’m not one to get upset and complain at every little biking injustice I come across everyday; but…”
    Fair enough, but to be clear: response to problems (think safety hazards–having to go into traffic to get around illegally-parked vehicles counts) is almost entirely “complaint”-driven. That means a polite report to safe{at} or on the PDX Reporter app, or 823-1700 dispatch for fastest response, is necessary and appropriate. If ROW users don’t report hazards, the problems remain for everyone to encounter for months or years, or until a person gets hurt.

  40. Avatar estherc says:

    My beef is with that huge Sysco semi truck. There is no need for it to be on our surface streets downtown. There is nothing that they are delivering that couldn’t be offloaded into a smaller truck.

    It is outrageous that we allow those behemoths on our small inner city streets. If they are carrying something large that cannot be brought in on a smaller truck or van they should be restricted to certain off hours, between 4 and 7 in the morning or something.

    1. Avatar canuck says:

      You do understand the impact you have on regular working folks by restricting deliveries to 4-7am?

      How many people have their lives disrupted??

      Wouldn’t it be easier for you to ride to work between 4-7am?

      1. Avatar Dan says:

        Indeed. I arrive by 6:30am and avoid most of the morning traffic. Many of the complaints I read about here regarding crowded bike lanes don’t apply to my commute at all.

    2. That simply isn’t always true, the skybridge that I installed in that building is roughly 60′ long it was fabricated in four sections each of which were roughly 30′ long each section weighed about 3000 lbs. Then of course there was other misc beams and tube steel that needed to be installed to actually support the floor which though not very long would likely add another 1000 lbs to the load. It came on a big truck, what kind of smaller truck do you recommend for delivering 5 tons of long steel structure?

      This is -and all the jobs downtown, is big commercial construction this ain’t just a a couple 2x4s,a boxes of screws, and a sheet or two of drywall from the Home Depot kind of load.

    3. Avatar q`Tzal says:

      I can’t speak for Sysco specifically but it is very likely that this 53′ trailer has 3-6 stops downtown and empties out in 2-3 stops on average. Restaurants move around A LOT of high weight product at high volume.

      As for your other points:
      (Hours of Operation) very few businesss, especially restaurants, in downtown urban core areas are open or staffed before 6am. When I used to commute through downtown Portland 5:30am seemed to be the first big spike in activity. Before 5:30am there was a reasonable amount of safety in maneuvering or parking a big vehicle in ways that seem completely alien to 4-wheelers (derogatory trucker term for “y`all”) because the streets were effectively abandoned; empty enough anyone could hear danger long before seeing it. Afterwards there was enough traffic be uncertain at all times especially in the late morning darkness of winter. 0100-0500 is a good target delivery time for weekdays.

      (Smaller Trucks) Definitely. Very few businesses in downtown could even afford the taxable square footage required to store a full truck load. Of course this will mean more trucks on the road. This means more collisions at a rate exceeding the increase in truck traffic. As a driver with a Class A license my burden of knowledge and skill is much higher than the Class C the average American driver can get away with. Furthermore any tickets reflect not only on my record but my employer as well, this encourages trucking companies to not try to force their drivers to do unsafe or illegal things. A delivery company that employs only Class C drivers suffers no official consequences for hiring unsafe drivers. From the standpoint of Class C licensing standards I could learn to drive in a Geo Metro, test out in the same vehicle, get my first driver’s license and immediately go to work driving anything under 26,000 lbs GVW which includes the biggest u-haul rental truck. No extra training or testing is required.
      The consequence of all this is that there WILL be more heavy vehicle drivers being more unsafe projecting more hazard on to our roads.

      Assuming that a given maximum load from 1 trailer can be split up amongst 2-3 smaller trucks and cost no more in fuel/energy & maintenance costs than a single larger vehicle there is the matter of America’s anti-employment labor laws that make it more profitable to split 120 hours of work per week in to 2 – 60 hour shifts rather than 3 – 40s. Companies are financially incentivized to work one person as hard as they can.

      It is cheaper and it is still quite legal.

      The labor law thing might be an effective attack vector on this. Every time a new road safety has been passed a loophole or variance has been included allowing pre-existing hazards to remain legal. Attacking this from a “delivery trucks off our streets!” angle has been and will continue to be fruitless.

      1. Avatar Psyfalcon says:

        It looks like plenty of under 26k companies are requiring CDLs. They don’t have to, but their insurance companies might require it.

        We would need transfer stations between the 53ft trailers and the under 26k trucks. This will take room. Then again, there is a lack of overnight truck parking in a lot of places. Maybe we can get smaller trucks and rested OTR drivers with the same construction.

        Ideally, I think any commercial driving should require some additional testing in the size of the truck you’re driving. Even the Econolines and Sprinters. No one takes their drivers test in them for a reason. Commercial use means the driver has a much higher cumulative risk than the person who uses a giant moving truck once a decade.

  41. Avatar Jessie says:

    * When CARS are inconvenienced on Stark Street, they have to drive around in air-conditioned comfort, looking for somewhere else to park.

    * When TRUCKS are inconvenienced on Stark Street, they find it difficult to conduct their business.

    * When BIKES are inconvenienced on Stark Street, we run the risk of getting killed!

    Where are the police when they must be aware of all those trucks in the bike lane!? They must have seen the photos! When is Portland going to make Stark Street a truly protected lane!!!?? (that cars/trucks can’t get into no matter how much they want to)

  42. Can I just say that this is a good problem to have? We just got another .5 miles of bike lanes here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, to go with the 1.5 miles we already had. And they intersect almost.

  43. Avatar Kevin Wagoner says:

    Thanks for covering this. Not a day goes by where I don’t see some parked in a bike lane or a UPS/Fedex truck parked on a side walk. I’ve called a lot of em to PDXSafe…no luck though. Can’t even get a response on a busy road next to two schools and a daycare.

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