Gravel - Cycle Oregon

PBOT requests $350,000 for ‘Seasonal Naito’ (aka Better Naito)

Posted by on September 21st, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Naito Parkway traffic observations -11.jpg

Naito during the Better Naito pilot project in July.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Better Naito” just became “Seasonal Naito”. That’s the new name the City of Portland’s transportation bureau has given the project in a budget request document that was first reported on by The Oregonian today.

“When dollars are scarce, it’s always good to have a low-cost option that can provide improvements and we felt like this was a good option to move forward.”
— Dylan Rivera, PBOT

The city is going through its fall budget readjustment process where actual revenues are reconciled with estimated revenues. Since Portland’s economy is chugging along, there’s about $8 million up for grabs from the city’s General Fund (which comes from business and property taxes). And with half that money set-aside for citywide critical maintenance and infrastructure projects (not just transportation-related), it’s a major battle to win these funds.

It’s in that context that PBOT has put in a request to fund the “Seasonal Naito” project. Before we share the plans, here’s a bit of background.

For the past two summers, the City of Portland worked closely with nonprofit Better Block PDX to reconfigure Naito between the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges. Impetus for the project came out of a need to better manage north-south traffic in the Waterfront Park/Naito corridor — especially during the busy festival season when private vendors fence off the grassy portion of the park and the Waterfront Path gets packed with people. The existing, five-foot bike lane on Naito is inadequate and unsafe by today’s design standards.

Because Better Naito was such a success, Mayor Charlie Hales and the partners and advocates who made it happen, wanted to make it permanent. Hales proposed a $1.5 million project to do that back in May; but it was a last-minute effort and he (quite unfortunately) failed to whip up any support for it on council.

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Then in July Hales hinted that he wouldn’t give up on the idea — and that he needed citizens to step up and make their voices heard. When it came to public feedback, the City heard vast amounts of praise and very few complaints from people who use Naito.

Data based on City data on feedback about the project. More analysis here.
(Graphic: BikePortland)

Despite what seemed like a slam dunk to make it permanent, PBOT has opted to put forward another temporary proposal.

Their request includes $200,000 in capital investment and $150,000 in materials and staffing to, “provide a high-quality seasonal delineated shared bicycle and pedestrian path on the west east side of Naito Parkway.”

The project would use removable plastic bollards that would be installed at the start of the summer and then taken down when all the big festivals are over. The $350,000 would allow PBOT to do this for five years and they would take full ownership of a project that has been essentially owned and operated by a scrappy nonprofit.

This $350,000 is a much lower amount of investment than the $1.5 million Hales proposed back in May. Also in this budget request, PBOT made a less emphatic pitch for a $3.7 Better Naito project. That project would be permanent and would be a physically separated path complete with connections to other facilities. Unfortunately it’s on a list of very competitive “major maintenance and infrastructure” projects (like replacing old bridges and repaving major streets) and it’s unlikely to see the light of day.

Over on The Oregonian, they say a big reason PBOT has lost their enthusiasm on Naito is pushback from people concerned about increased driving times. They hired an outside firm who found driving times went up as much as two minutes during the PM peak.

That amount of delay for the sake of a more safe and humane environment on our waterfront is just unacceptable to some people — including Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. At a Council meeting in late July, Fish shared his concerns that Portland’s “livable streets strategy” was making it harder for him drive.

“When I am in a car and trying to get from point a to point b,” he said, “There are huge consequences when we take a lane out of Naito or we close a street. And effectively what it means is that you just can’t get from here to there.”

PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera said the agency is just hedging bets and trying to get something positive for Naito out of the fall budget process. “Dollars are scarce and we’re at the point where we’re competing for citywide General Fund dollars,” he told us in an interview today. “In that environment, when dollars are scarce, it’s always good to have a low-cost option that can provide improvements and we felt like this was a good option to move forward.”

From here the City Council will have work sessions on the bureau budgets and City Budget Office will also weigh in before final decisions are made.

UPDATE: PBOT sent us over the new “City Post” flexible bollards they play to use in the Seasonal Naito project:

Stay tuned for a separate post on other requests PBOT is making as part of this budget process, including a major project for SE Hawthorne and Vision Zero-related projects in east Portland.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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85 Comments
  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    sigh. I’m not even up to discussing the inanity of this. Lizbon is right.

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    • Justin September 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

      Thanks for the link. I’m equally exasperated to the point of exhaustion – and not just when it comes to cycling and ped advocacy, either.

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  • peejay September 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    There is no way a temporary project won’t end up costing more than doing it right once, both in cost to PBOT, and cost to the drivers and riders who have to get used to changing patterns every spring and fall. It is an incredibly dumb idea to have to retrain everyone twice a year how to navigate Naito. Unless there’s a secret plan about getting the temporary project in the budget and then converting it secretly to a permanent one, I’m not impressed. It shows lack of courage all around.

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    • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 10:38 am

      retrain once or twice a year? every time you go down a street is a new experience… if you’re on autopilot then you’re doing it wrong…

      that’s why signs like “traffic change ahead” and “prepare to stop” are a waste of money… you should always be ready for those things when driving…

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  • Ben September 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    So long as they don’t describe it as a cycling project, that’s fine. It’s great for pedestrians.

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    • Eric Leifsdad September 21, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Yes, it really is just a temporary realignment of the park’s sidewalk with the slightest of nods to having closed what had been a fair-to-middling bike lane.

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  • Work Account September 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I’m disheartened that the efforts of our city government all focus on “Stuff the problem in its own lane out of the way of real traffic” projects. How about driver education? Speed limits? Strict enforcement for reckless motor vehicle operators.

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    • Chris Anderson September 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      That only works on people who have lived here for a while. At our rate of newcomers that is an uphill battle.

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      • Work Account September 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        Oh, transplants are ruining Portland?

        You don’t say, everyone.

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        • mran1984 September 21, 2016 at 11:42 pm

          Yeah! I say it daily. BTW, it’s not better Naito at all. TRANSPLANTS are removing every reason that brought them here. The food has always been good. You bring nothing…

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          • Brian September 22, 2016 at 8:45 am

            I moved here 18 years ago and like to think that I brought some things with me. I may even be doing more positive things than those who have lived here all along.

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  • Eric Leifsdad September 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    How much would it cost just to increase driving times at the PM peak? Even $1M for that sounds like a worthwhile investment.

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  • Evan Reeves September 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    This would be great news if I were a seasonal cyclist! But as a tax-paying cyclist who rides year round I can’t help but feeling disappointed and insulted by this tentative decision.

    Should other modes of transportation be seasonal and optional too? Maybe close down US-26 when it rains too much?

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    • Paul Atkinson September 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Eastbound roadways should be closed in the morning, because the sun getting in drivers’ eyes kills people. Likewise, westbound roadways must be closed to cars in the evenings. Uber and Lyft drivers have lobbied for and received an exemption to this rule.

      Buses will run on days that have a prime factor in common with their route number and streetcars will cease service for a fortnight each time there’s a new moon.

      MAX may run year-round, but not during rush hour because it could get in the way of cars.

      Pedestrians do not yet have a day assigned, but a “Saturday Parkways” event is being planned to allow them to come outside at least one day a month during the sunny season.

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  • J_R September 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    We shouldn’t jump into a seasonal solution like this without a public outreach effort, a new logo, a task force, and some expensive trips to exotic places to see how they do it. You can’t possibly do all that for a mere $350,000. Better budget at least $2 million. And then there’s the re-evaluation that needs to occur after the first and second annual trials. That’s the Portland way.

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  • bikeninja September 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Its interesting the restoring just a small strip of the earth to the way it was for 1000’s of years before the automobile ( safe for humans not in speeding metal boxes) costs 100’s of thousands of dollars, and those costs are attributed to the peds and bikes and not to the automobile that made in dangerous and inhospitable in the first place. We must change the narrative to take away the motorcars defacto dominion over most of the urban environment. The world will only be right again when places for humans to walk, run and pedal are the natural order of things and carving out a place for smelly dangerous machines to rip around takes an act of congress.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. September 21, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Seasonal? How ridiculous is this? Do cities like Copenhagen remove bike infrastructure for nine months out of the year, just so people can “drive from A to B” more easily?

    The city will laud this as a compromise. But is it? Imagine if we asked this of drivers. What if I-5 was removed for nine months out of the year? Drivers are never asked to compromise like this, so why does the city ask this of cyclists?

    This is utter BS.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. September 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Let me reiterate that I think Better Block did a fantastic job on the Better Naito project, and that my grievances fall 100% onto our city leadership for failing to make the work by Better Block permanent year-round.

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    • lop September 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      > Imagine if we asked this of drivers.

      You mean by taking a lane from motorists on Naito when the waterfront MUP is narrowed and has access points removed during festival season so people walking and biking have somewhere else to go?

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    • mran1984 September 21, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Since Chicago was so tough maybe Copenhagen is right for you.

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  • Kyle Banerjee September 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I’m not a fan of Seasonal Naito. I find it slower and less safe than regular Naito. The configuration seems to encourage a huge percentage of cyclists to ignore stoplights which threatens peds and other cyclists alike and too many people ride all over the path. It’s too much like riding along the riverfront and I was happy when they pulled it down.

    I’m unconvinced of the cycling benefits of Seasonal Naito, but I also don’t buy that a delay that corresponds with a single light cycle is causing drivers hardship — especially since everything that Naito isn’t moving either

    Seasonal Naito simply puts markers around current reality. If they did not mark out that lane when the park is full, people would spill out into Naito anyway since they don’t seem to be able to figure out that if festival fences don’t leave any space for people to move, they’ll go out in the street.

    Frankly, I’d much rather focus on improving areas that are actually dangerous.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. September 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      I actually loved Better Naito. I was able to ride slower, and therefore felt much safer. There were less people walking about than the waterfront path, so that increased the feeling of safety for me. I never ride in the current bike lanes of Naito, as I find them far too narrow and too close to moving motor traffic, and am unable to maintain a speed that makes me feel safe riding so close to cars.

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      • Eric Leifsdad September 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        I want a Naito that works for both Adam H. and Kyle B.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm

          Me too.

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        • Stephen Keller September 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm

          I want a northbound route across the city (say Goose Hollow to the Broadway Bridge) that does not require riding all the way down to the river.

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        • Eric Leifsdad September 21, 2016 at 10:26 pm

          I take that back, I want a complete network that works for both Adam H. and Kyle B. That $3.7M could protect 30+ miles of bike lanes with sand-filled barriers for 6 out of every 15ft. But we’ll spend almost that much on paving 3 lane-miles of SW Vermont, mostly without sidewalks or bike lanes, houses 30ft away on both sides and posted 35mph with a nice yellow centerline to keep drivers safe at highway speeds. (Incidentally, that’s about 1/2 mile north of where Andrzej Kurkowski was killed earlier this year in an unprotected bike lane by a drunk driving recklessly.) Everything’s fine, let’s keep worrying about how long it takes our leaders to drive their cars to work at the same time as everyone else and whether they’ll have plenty of parking.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 22, 2016 at 11:13 am

            I WANT A PONY!!

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      • Dave September 22, 2016 at 8:41 am

        Not picking on you, Adam, but on the city–what if Waterfront Park was narrowed, 10 feet taken out of the festival-used part of it in combination with 2 feet apiece out of each traffic lane. That’s an 8 foot bike lane and 6 feet of sidewalk width. Let the drivers have their lanes but make them narrower.

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        • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 10:47 am

          what if we stopped letting for-profit companies take over the best waterfront area all summer long and made them get private venues instead? plenty of places host concerts and food events that aren’t in a public park…

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    • dwk September 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      I completely agree. The “better” Naito was more dangerous for peds because of cyclists. It just became another MUP, Bad for everyone. This city has so many dangerous places to ride a bike, Naito is not one of them and if you do not feel safe there is a year round MUP 100 feet away. This is a ridiculous waste of money.

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      • Chris I September 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

        How many pedestrians were injured this last summer, due to better Naito.

        Just curious.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

          If injury rates are a measure of suitability, then riding along Powell is incredibly safe.

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          • Chris I September 22, 2016 at 2:22 pm

            But we know that Better Naito was very popular with both cyclists and pedestrians, so I don’t think the comparison is fair.

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  • Buzz September 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve got some news for Nick Fish and everyone else complaining about loss of lanes for motor vehicles: There is only so much space to go around in our rights of way and the vast majority of that space has been given over to motor vehicles for far too long; any attempt to increase the safety and utility of right of way space for users other than motorists is going to require rebalancing the allocation of right of way, and the motorists will inevitably end up with less, there simply is no other way to do this.

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    • Dave September 23, 2016 at 9:13 am

      The core of Portland–let’s say from the bottom of the west hills to Mt. Tabor–is a pre-car city. There are residential streets where two small cars can barely pass. We’re seeing the center of the city exceed it’s capacity for private cars; Naito’s crowding and the perception of Better Naito slowing car commuters being symptoms of it. I hope that the city’s government will turn more towards stiff-arming the concerns of drivers and telling them that wishes and eliminating bike lanes will not let 20 ounces of water fit into a 16 ounce cup. Drivers have to be told that it’s time to suck it up and shut up.

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  • rh September 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    This just shows Portland is still a lightweight when it comes to infrastructure projects.

    We need bold ideas and leadership now…before this once great town crumbles under the weight of all the newcomers and problems.

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  • mh September 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I think each of us should try to take up two minutes of Nick Fish’s time (or at least some of his assistants’ time). Once a week should be plenty, if enough of us do it. Let him know why you’re doing it, if you’re willing to never be listened to again.

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    • Chris Anderson September 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Also figure out what kind of attacks would resonate with his supporters and start loosening his seat during the political dead air after the election etc is settled.

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    • brian September 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Excuse me Mr. Fish I have some serious safety concerns transporting about in our fair city, can I have about two minutes of your time?

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    • Dan A September 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Does he respond to emails, or does he do the Fritz auto-reply?

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  • Brian September 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    That would be awesome. I’ve been dying to hit that descent into the tunnel at full speed.

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  • bikeninja September 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    In the words of the Eagles, ” There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.” As buzz said,there is no more space to be gobbled up by Karz. If we are to fit in more people, more activity and improve our quality of life, the only new frontier is the land given over to motor vehicles. When one starts thinking this way it becomes apparent what a ridiculous amount of our urban landscape is given over to roads, interchanges, median strips, parking, new car lots, body shops, gas stations. auto repair and drive thru fry shacks.

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  • Catie September 21, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    If the only metric we measure for active transit infrastructure is cost and impact to auto commutes we will never move forward.

    How about:
    Cyclist & pedestrian commute times
    Number of cyclists & pedestrians
    Projected road maintenance savings
    Number of modal conflicts (safety complaints, crash data, etc)

    I’d like to think we count these other metrics but they are rarely reported.

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    • Stephen Keller September 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Agreed. Right now for commute time, the car totally wins. Eventually, the bike will win, but I fear it will do so because the car will take longer rather than biking becoming shorter or easier or safer.

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      • Catie September 21, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        Anyone that drives on freeways would say that car commuting time has increased (and likely a necessary step in our evolution towards better transit) But in this particular case if a bike were to go from the hawthorne to the steel bridge via better natio or the waterfront path my bet is that Natio would win. By how much? I’d like to know!

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      • dwk September 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        I commute from NE Portland to Tigard. 13 miles and I can do it in 50 minutes in Rush Hour. Try that in a car.
        The time is now!

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        • Kate September 22, 2016 at 10:11 am

          Not to be creepy but I’d love to see a map of your ride. Super curious about your route, that’s an impressive daily commute!!

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          • dwk September 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            I take Sandy/7th to Hawthorne bridge, go south on 1st to Barbur, take Barbur to Multomah, Mutnomah to Oleson, Oleson to Hall and Hall to my office.
            50 minutes door to door.

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          • dwk September 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm

            There are times when I take the same route to South Beaverton where I take Hall to Fanno Creek trail and ride that another 3 miles.
            16 miles each way or 32 miles a day. Takes about 2 hours total. About the same time or less than driving.
            I am 63 years old.

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            • Kate September 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

              That’s extremely commendable. Well done, you!

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      • Kyle Banerjee September 22, 2016 at 5:28 am

        I commute from Lombard in NoPo to OHSU. A couple workmates happen to live nearby me. I sometimes see them on the road. I get to (and especially from) work much faster than them. Even if we have a meeting during the day at PSU, it’s typically faster to bike rather than drive up the hill once parking logistics are factored in.

        Tonight, I’m having dinner with coworkers in SE. To prevent anyone from having to wait for each other, I’ll probably leave work 20 minutes after the others.

        As far as Hawthorne to Steel, cars are marginally faster than me on “regular” Naito but I’m significantly faster on Better Naito. To be honest, I was surprised it’s only two minutes longer by car since it looks like they’re standing still. Even on regular Naito, I often blow by cars once I get near Burnside, and Steel Bridge is usually faster on a bike than a car if there are no peds on top.

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        • Stephen Keller September 22, 2016 at 9:31 am

          Admittedly, my commute from St. Johns to the east edge of Hillsboro is somewhat atypical at around 20 miles (+/- two miles by bike depending on the route). The 1000 foot or so climb or the inclusion of a MAX ride to cut through the hills puts it at about 90-100 minutes. I can almost always drive it faster than that, provided I want to eat the associated stress pill. Biking days are ever so much gentler on my psyche.

          Stph

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          • Kyle Banerjee September 22, 2016 at 10:56 am

            I was wondering if MAX actually makes the ride easier, or faster as well on a door to door basis? MAX may move really fast through the hills out to the airport, but is not that far so if you have to wait or alter your route much, the gains can easily be erased.

            I’m guessing you go the back way via Germantown Rd when you drive? 26 is such a disaster I find it difficult to believe you could drive faster than cycling during rush hour.

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            • Stephen Keller September 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

              I cycle twice a week and drive two or three times a week. St. Johns via Germantown or Cornelius pass takes 35 minutes in the morning and 45 to 60 minutes in the afternoon. On the bike, I’m not fast. In the summer I cycle over Saltzman to Skyline and Springville (16 miles), which usually takes about 90 minutes. In the winter I cycle downtown to MAX and then ride out to Sunset TC or Beaverton TC before getting on the bike again (about 16 miles of cycling), which usually about 90-100 minutes, depending on train schedules. I manage better speed because I eliminate the hill climb. Occasionally, I cycle over the hill via Washington Park and the Zoo (20-22 miles depending on the route), which usually takes 110-120 minutes.

              Basically, MAX keeps my route via downtown in the 1.5 hour range similar to the Salztman route.

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  • MaxD September 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    IMO, the root of the issue is the constant programming of the waterfront park with over-large, private, commercial fairs. These festivals occupy one of Portland’s greatest outdoor spaces during the best time of the year. AS the City densifies, we increasingly need our public openspaces to remain public and open! Maybe these festivals could be relocated to a more suitable space for a festival (Terminal 1? Centennial Mills?) and our waterfront can remain a park.

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    • q September 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Great point.

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    • Robert Burchett September 21, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      This seems right, the summer festivals are the concern for the city here, not bike travel. And $350,000 probably just doesn’t seem like that much money. If there’s an unfortunate collision on that congested sidewalk during the summer that 350 would barely cover the legal fees.

      This incremental business is annoying but maybe somebody will officially notice that if a lane disappears from major street the world does not end. People adjust. If they keep fiddling with Naito perhaps the design will evolve into something tolerable. I don’t hear much about how awful Williams is these days, left-side bike lane and all.

      After the scaffolding was taken down on the Broadway Bridge recently, it seems to me that the motor vehicle numbers came back really slowly, and in fact I wonder if they have even yet. Where did those cars go?

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    • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

      we should be charging ever dollar of the project to those using the waterfront path as a traffic management fee… and keep increasing the cost until they no longer hold their private festivals in our public park…

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  • Mike Sanders September 21, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Two minutes? Sounds like the argument Tri-Met gave for not building the SE Harold St. Station on the MAX Orange Line. They claimed that the one minute delay that would have been created if it had been built would scare potential passengers away, an argument Tri-Met still clings to a year after the opening. Not enought development there to warrant it, they said (and still do). To claim that a 2 minute traffic delay for cars that would be created by a permanent Better Naito project – and therefore, only a temporary seasonal arrangement will do – sounds dumb at best and ignorant at worst. It’s a cop out, plain and simple.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

      It is possible that 2 minutes means something different in a transit context than in a driving context. That said, watching their bust “rapid” transit plans unravel has made me very skeptical of anything Tri-Met says.

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  • rick September 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Half-baked

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  • Fourknees September 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    First, step in the right direction. 2 minutes. Big deal, does tha factor in how many people will change diving patters? Even if it doesn’t congestion saves lives.

    How locked in stone are the proposed use of budget dollars? I’m not sure, but assuming flexibility and thinking big, here is an alternative way to look at it.
    1. Hales original proposal cost $1.5M
    2. $350k was just budgeted for 5 years = $1.75M
    3. So is this thing at least partially funded??? Why not start building good permanent infrastructure 1-2 blocks per year supplementing the remaining section of road with cones and better naito naito’ she’ll which adds little to no hard cost.
    4. Yes, probably more expensive piece by piece and this $1.75 probably won’t cover the entire project with this method, but budgets change and worst case, in 5 years from now they can allocate more dollars.

    Or there will be public pressure from all road users seeing how ridiculous it is to build only a few sections per year!

    And who knows, at that point long-term when drivers avoid the area and it is now quicker to drive through, no “180 second delay” maybe the original protected lane becomes pedestrian only, the remaining car lane northbound becomes cyclist only, and the south bound lanes become two way for cars, parking spots are filled in as new plaza space as restaurants start opening along naito promoting park views and customers demand patio seating. Maybe even covered seating so it came be used year round?!

    There is already one restaurant by waterfront cycles and isn’t there a proposed market by the end of the Morrison bridge?

    One can dream.

    Oh and I’d be willing to bet all traffic modes wait much, much longer than two minutes for bridge lifts and the train crossing by the steel bridge, yet no one says that affects their livability here. It’s all about perspective.

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    • RH September 21, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      $350k for five years, not $350k each year.

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    • Robert Burchett September 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      It’s easier to find $350,000 in one budget, five times, than to find $1.5 million. Short-term thinking, yes, especially when interest rates are so low.

      Just last year the budget got tight and the city told each department to come back with a list of cuts to make. They should put a giant gong in the council chambers to bang on any time somebody says “Buckman Pool” or “Police Horses”. Stale.

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  • Fourknees September 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Sorry for the grammatical errors.

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  • Velolief September 21, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Keep Portland Mediocre!

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  • kittens September 22, 2016 at 1:08 am

    But thank God they did the ped plaza and buffered bike lane at 3rd and Burnside, or SW Stark, because people were simply clamoring for that. Natio on the other hand sees little bike or ped traffic.

    I think the city needs to figure out where to prioritize spending on these active transportation projects. They seem to have a very sloppy and opaque rubric, like the $6M I-405 MUP bridge @ Flanders. Sorry, not worth it for the cost. We cant have everything and this is not worth the sacrifice made in other areas. I wish it were not so, but it is.

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  • Fourknees September 22, 2016 at 8:09 am

    RH
    $350k for five years, not $350k each year.
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    Oops, sorry, recovering from surgery and on pan meds! As Robert below mentions, maybe we can find $350 per year though. Easier than $1M+!

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  • igor stravinsky September 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I wish the plan for better Nato included a curb cut for bikers going South on Nato who want to go up the ramp to go East on Hawthorne.

    I’ve grown tied of the daily maneuverability test involving going around the corner, and then through the bollards at the bottom of the old onramp.

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    • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

      yes! I hate that little u-turn you have to do to get up there, although it’s a good agility test… I’d hate to try it with a long-tail or trailer…

      although now I just filter through town instead of taking Naito… I hate when I have to sit idle for the train to pass…

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

      It’s great for building your parkour skills!

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    • Brent September 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Don’t worry. That maneuver will go away once they start work on the new courthouse and they block that all off for construction.

      Then you can walk your bike up the stairs. Much nicer.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

        That’s better for me… I’ve always preferred cycle-cross to parkour.

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  • Mike Gilliland
    Mike Gilliland September 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Are they planning on temporarily turning the stoplights around for temporary southbound users so you’ll know when you’re temporarily running red lights?

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

      At least one of the lights got a “reversed” stoplight so the southbounders can see it. I was surprised.

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    • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

      and maybe they won’t put up the confusing “stop for peds” sign that acts as an overriding traffic control device… if those signs are missing I’ll actually be stuck obeying the preexisting light…

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  • JeffS September 22, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Surprise surprise: Another Portland temporary experiment.

    I wouldn’t be in favor of this if it were free.

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  • Tom Hardy September 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

    This last couple of weeks I have been through Naito, both in car and bike. Interestingly enough, the traffic patterns have stayed in the Better Naito configuration. Northbound motor traffic was only in the left lane and the left turn lanes. Only 1 in 20 cars or trucks were in the right lane. These only went into the right lane until they were able to merge into the left lane or turned right to the Steel bridge.
    On the bike I just took the lane as peds were in the bike lane.

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  • Kyle Banerjee September 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

    In all fairness, even regular Naito has never been that fast. It would be easy to run the distance faster than cars can drive during Better Naito. I can totally understand why people waiting in that mess would be frustrated and not want to wait longer — frankly, I don’t know how they stand it. But as we all know, there are alternatives 🙂

    I find it interesting that they’ve started calling it “Seasonal Naito” rather than “Better Naito.” More descriptive and accurate in my view….

    That no one seems happy is an indication that it is probably either a reasonable compromise or a bad idea.

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  • wsbob September 22, 2016 at 10:22 am

    “…Over on The Oregonian, they say a big reason PBOT has lost their enthusiasm on Naito is pushback from people concerned about increased driving times. They hired an outside firm who found driving times went up as much as two minutes during the PM peak.

    That amount of delay for the sake of a more safe and humane environment on our waterfront is just unacceptable to some people — including Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. At a Council meeting in late July, Fish shared his concerns that Portland’s “livable streets strategy” was making it harder for him drive.

    “When I am in a car and trying to get from point a to point b,” he said, “There are huge consequences when we take a lane out of Naito or we close a street. And effectively what it means is that you just can’t get from here to there.” …” bikeportland

    Can’t get from here to there on Naito, when one of the thoroughfare’s lanes are closed to motor vehicle use? That’s a stretch in expectation of credulity if there ever was one. Commissioner Fish: a couple minutes added to your commute time over Naito, will not curtail your ability to get from ‘here to there’. Might take a couple minutes longer.

    What price are people willing to pay for street road traffic that is compatible with and supportive with the level of livability they want from their city? That’s what this dithering about calming down the character of traffic on Naito is all about. Naito traffic isn’t near as bad as that on actual freeways bordering Downtown, like I-5 or I-405 do…but to say Naito’s traffic is a bit much for its central Downtown location, is not an overstatement, I don’t think.

    People driving during commute hours would be most dramatically impacted by a lane number reduction on Naito, but the impact would possibly be somewhat moderate…so they’d have to work a bit more at relaxing until the traffic proceeds through the reduced section. It can be amazing, just how much deterioration in area livability, people are willing to reconcile themselves to in order to have their personal commute time reduced by a couple minutes.

    The bigger picture of time and energy expended…how much time overall, for all people using the road, the lane reduction may result in…and the fuel consumption, pollutant production, is something to ponder though. There’s no ‘fun’ quite like being stuck at a standstill on a bicycle, in the midst of dozens of motor vehicles with their engines idling away.

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  • Spiffy September 22, 2016 at 10:57 am

    how loudly do I have to complain about train delays on Naito before they reroute the road or the tracks? I’ve been stuck there for a long time, sometimes for two trains one after another… even if I’m only stuck there once a month it’s like Better Naito every day…

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  • q September 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

    It seems like there should be a group created to advocate for permanent improvements. It could be called Naito Allies.

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  • Brent September 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

    While I understand the frustrations of a plan that doesn’t go all the way permanently, I am excited that Better Naito will continue. I loved Better Naito and miss it every day. I would love to make it permanent, but maybe we need 3 or 4 years where drivers learn to live with one lane for a couple months so they don’t freak out when it is taken away permanently.

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  • Mike Sanders September 24, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Well, it’ll be in place on a temporary basis every year for the next five years. By then, an argument could – and should be made for a permanent setup. Remember, we get a new mayor in January – and maybe some changes on the City Council after the upcoming election. An effort should be made to make Better Naito permanent after the first of the year, hoping we don’t have to wait five years for a permanent setup.

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