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Lincoln-Harrison project supporters find “X” spray-painted outside homes

Posted by on March 20th, 2018 at 1:42 pm

X marks the spot where people are supportive of changes to SE Lincoln that would make the street safer for all users.
(Photos: Anonymous)

The inter-neighborhood hostilities over the city’s Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement Project seem to have reached a new level.

A reader who lives in the area — and who requested anonymity — reported to us this morning that the sidewalk outside at least a dozen homes have been spray-painted by vandals with a large “X”. The one thing all the homes have in common? A “We Support Safe Lincoln St” sign.

The signs were created and handed out by grassroots activists last month as part of an effort to show support for the embattled project.

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Plans from the Portland Bureau of Transportation to install diversion, speed bumps, and other methods to slow down speeds and decrease the amount of drivers who use the streets, have been met with outrage from some people. The Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association voted against planned diverters 45-5 back in November and a city-hosted meeting back in December was taken over by a coordinated group of area residents who oppose the changes.

The project also has a lot of support — not only from those who live in the neighborhood but from the many people who cycle through it.

Now those people are facing a backlash. Our tipster said he saw eight houses on SE Lincoln between 52nd and 54th and several between 32nd and 34th that had been vandalized. We’ve confirmed that at least one resident has called the police. Police reportedly paid a visit to the neighborhood but won’t move forward on the case unless a video or other proof of the culprits’ actions surface.

We asked PBOT if the X’s were part of a sidewalk repair project. They said their crews did not paint them.

If you know anything about this act of vandalism and potential harassment, please report it to Portland Police non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333. I’ll update this post with more information as it comes in.

UPDATE, 6:15 pm: We have heard back from one of the people targeted by the vandalism. Laura Belson says she believes the X’s are part of a coordinated campaign. “Only houses in our area that have these signs received an X,” she shared with me, in response to emailed questions. “I am imagining someone is upset that we are showing our support and therefore decided to display their disapproval of our actions in this way.” Belson said in addition to the signs, she has been vocal in her support for the project. “I have gone to neighborhood meetings voicing my support, handed out flyers a couple of times, called and written emails to decision makers,” she says. “I wouldn’t call that super vocal, just a regularly interested neighbor.” Belson also says that, “Not everyone who has received an X has done as much as I have.”

UPDATE, 1:00 pm on 3/21: The X’s have been removed by City of Portland crews.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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159 Comments
  • SafeStreetsPlease March 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    At what point does PBOT stop continuing to submit itself to people as radical as this who have zero understanding of our climate and public safety goals? Everything I heard about the meeting in December was that the folks against the project forcefully took over the meeting and physically intimidated supporters.

    Recommended Thumb up 34

    • soren March 20, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      please stop using the word radical as an insult. the idea that radicals wish other people ill is establishment propaganda.

      Recommended Thumb up 24

      • Mayor W March 20, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        I found the radical.

        Recommended Thumb up 21

      • Middle of the Road Guy March 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm

        Are ANTIFA radicals?

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Manville March 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

          ANTIFA is a terrorist organization that trashed our city several times.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 9:27 am

            HAHAHA

            Recommended Thumb up 27

  • Rider March 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    It seems completely insane to me how much people are freaking out over these diverters. Is it really that hard to drive a slightly different route?

    Recommended Thumb up 59

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      Maybe it’s people on neighboring streets nervous about how many more cars will be on their streets.

      Rather than deal with (likely magnified) fears of what might be, why not install the diverters temporarily for 6 months, then remove them, then have the conversation when everyone can see for themselves what the effects (and effectiveness) will be, and we can have a facts-based conversation about mitigation (or, hopefully, not).

      Recommended Thumb up 25

      • Matt March 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        Wait, so you’re saying you should test changes, and then compare the before and after!?!

        That’s crazy talk /s

        Recommended Thumb up 11

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 5:55 pm

          I’m a bit nuts, it’s true. If there is an ironclad promise that the temporary diverter will be removed after 6 months, there will likely be a lot less resistance to installing it in the first place. And if after it’s been installed a while, the world doesn’t come crashing down, there will likely be less resistance to installing a permanent one. And if it doesn’t work as expected, it’s easy to adjust. And if the side-effects are more than anticipated, remediation of those can be included in the permanent build. Seems like a win for everyone.

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        • soren March 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm

          it’s definitely crazy talk — as in doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results.

          pbot has installed test diverters and conducted before-after traffic counts multiple times. the results have always shown little change in traffic patterns on adjacent streets. in fact, traffic counts even decreased on some adjacent streets in follow up studies.

          how much money do we need to waste doing outreach and testing over and over again to coddle irrational nimbys?

          Recommended Thumb up 27

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 6:09 pm

            Less than they’re wasting not doing it my way.

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            • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:21 am

              HK,
              your comment about doing a test first implies you are completely unaware that PBOT is doing a temporary installation first, collecting data to confirm predictions, before moving toward the final installation.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 22, 2018 at 10:30 am

                I’m aware what you’re doing. The critical piece in my proposal is that the temporary diverter be removed after the trial period, before the public process begins. That guaranteed removal is what I think will make people less resistant.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Middle of the Road Guy March 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm

            It’s funny how everyone else is always the “irrational namby-pamby”.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

            • Middle of the Road Guy March 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

              oops – NIMBY.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 12:15 am

                NIMBY-PIMBY?

                Recommended Thumb up 4

            • SaferStreetsPlease March 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm

              In the face of demonstrable evidence (hard data) disproving their claims, yes, they are literally the irrational nimby in this scenario.

              Recommended Thumb up 8

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 12:17 am

                Where is the “hard data” that this project will not cause untoward side-effects?

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 8:38 am

                People are far less rational than they believe. You see it daily on this site, also.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Craig Giffen March 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm

        Diverters on Clinton went in…traffic on Brooklyn went way up. One morning while dogsitting for a friend in that area, I saw a resident standing out on Brooklyn screaming at the cars to slow the hell down.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • soren March 21, 2018 at 11:36 am

          “traffic on Brooklyn went way up”

          show me your data. (this should be interesting.)

          Recommended Thumb up 8

          • jeff March 21, 2018 at 12:31 pm

            my friends on 37th and Brooklyln say the same thing.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

            My recollection is that traffic did indeed go up (at least on Woodward at 31st). But it was just a whisker above the threshold PBOT had set for taking the diverters out.
            https://bikeportland.org/2016/11/30/city-will-make-clinton-traffic-diverter-permanent-after-data-shows-its-working-196228#comment-6737759

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Doug March 21, 2018 at 6:41 pm

              No, it was a whisker above the threshold for doing something to slow and/or discourage traffic from taking that cut-through. It was not anything that would have triggered taking out the Clinton diverters. PBOT acknowledges there may be some shifting of traffic to other streets. If another street rises above 1000 cars a day, they’ll add speed bumps, or even diverters. Woodward, IIRC, had 1008 cars per day.

              Recommended Thumb up 5

              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm

                Hm. That isn’t how I understood Rich Newlands in that meeting, but I don’t doubt that you are right.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • soren March 21, 2018 at 10:54 pm

                and the number decreased in subsequent traffic counts…

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • 9watts March 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

                Ah, interesting. That is good to know.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Tony Jordan (Contributor) March 21, 2018 at 1:20 pm

          Diverters are one component in a slew of strategies meant to make our streets safer and to grow our city sustainably.

          I don’t doubt that some traffic will “divert” to neighboring streets.

          I would prefer we take more radical measures to reduce traffic on all neighborhood streets, but that’s even less politically likely than this.

          So we start somewhere, we support multiple strategies, and we slowly creep towards our goals.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

            I disagree — I think larger measures will be less contentious. More winners, and the losers are not neighbors, but drivers cutting through the neighborhood coming from somewhere, going somewhere else. These people will get little sympathy.

            Pitting neighbor against neighbor in the way these small projects do is what drives the conflict.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

        • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:23 am

          Craig,
          One count went above the permitted ceiling near 31st.
          The average between 26th and chavez before the project was 600 cars per day, after the diverter it went to 840 and after the traffic calming it averaged 630 cars per day.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • soren March 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

            600 ==> 630!!?!!!!!!

            THE HORROR!!!

            Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike March 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Very scary! Some days this world is just too much.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • mh March 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Will PBOT, seeing this, continue to pay attention to the wishes of the haters? Probably, because haters probably vote.

    PBOT, do what’s right, and do it quickly.

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • soren March 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      please vote for joann hardesty and julia degraw.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

      • Lester Burnham March 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

        No. How about providing evidence these candidates won’t just pay it lip service like everybody else has?

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • soren March 21, 2018 at 11:41 am

          joann hardesty has a very long track-record of speaking truth to power and standing up for every portlander:

          https://joannforportland.com/meet-jo-ann/

          julia degraw is a successful environmental organizer (who helped kick nestle’s water bottling camp out of the gorge) and would, imo, be the strongest advocate for active transportation this city has ever seen:

          http://www.julia4pdx.com/about/

          **both candidates, also, live in outer east portland so they most do not support city council business as usual.**

          Recommended Thumb up 13

      • Gregg March 21, 2018 at 1:03 pm

        100% this. They have my vote and I strongly encourage others to look them up. This is a very important race.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • Gregg March 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm

          Oops. For those on mobile devices or those who don’t want to scroll up, my 100% comment refers to me also being excited to vote for JoAnn Hardesty. Let’s get this done.

          I’m also pro diverters here, and on other greenways (Including the upcoming 7th St. Greenway)

          Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Brian March 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I don’t live on Lincoln but use it frequently. How do I get a sign for my house?

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • Andrea Brown March 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Brian, we have a few left but have been holding them in case of theft or vandalism, having already replaced one stolen one. We have been prioritizing them for those who live right on the project or within a block or so, otherwise I’d be over at your house with one within the hour. We so appreciate your support and hope you will contact PBOT and tell them you want this project to happen.

      Recommended Thumb up 28

      • dan March 21, 2018 at 11:21 am

        Andrea, is it possible to contribute to printing some more signs? Please let me know if there’s a way to get in touch.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Andrea Brown March 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

          Please email me at malvazebrina@gmail.com if you would like a sign. If there is enough interest to warrant another printing then we have to consider fundraising again. Contrary to speculation the sign campaign was not funded by the infamous Big Diverter Lobby™ but by private citizens one Andrew Jackson at a time.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Allan Rudwick March 20, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Portland Police – please take things like this seriously. You don’t need to wait for the next phase of intimidation.

    Recommended Thumb up 36

    • BikeRound March 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      As much as I support a safer Lincoln Street, police resources in the meantime would be much better spent on cracking down on speeding. Spray painting X’s on sidewalks is at most some petty vandalism while speeding kills people on a regular basis.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Andrea Brown March 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm

        Is there not a connection between harassment of those who are publicly supporting bicycle infrastructure and their subsequent willingness to continue supporting said infrastructure? We already know that there are few resources available at present to crack down on speeders so engineering is going to have to do the job. Marking houses worked well in Herod and Hitler’s time and it is sending a chilling signal today. I’m surprised to see you dismiss this as petty vandalism.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm

          As much as I hate this sort of intimidation, this is hardly Herod/Hitler level stuff.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • Andrea Brown March 20, 2018 at 6:19 pm

            I can tell you that one person who this happened to said she was thoroughly intimidated and stated that to her it was like Jews wearing yellow stars during WW2. This may seem histrionic to fearless people but for her it was remarkably frightening. If she decides to take her sign down then I guess the X did its job.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 12:14 am

              No, not histrionic. I can understand how the markings could cause fear. It’s just that this does not rise to the level of Hitler.

              Recommended Thumb up 6

              • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 8:39 am

                Not like Obama did, on a daily basis 🙂

                Recommended Thumb up 3

      • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm

        It is less than Hitler but greater than vandalism. There is definitely an implied threat in marking the homes of people with a particular viewpoint.

        Let’s also remember targeting people with violence for their membership in a group is precisely the definition of terrorism. No violence has yet occurred, but if any does this is part of the terrorism.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm

          Doesn’t ANTIFA target people in a group for violence? They seem to show up and get in fights with one group in particular.

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          • X March 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm

            I’m not a huge fan of ANTIFA because of some local history that isn’t any more relevant than your comment. But, see “premature anti-fascist”

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

            I wasn’t talking about Antifa.

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  • abbi9mm March 20, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    lol. I know nothing about this and could care less. But i am curious about why Oregon decided to slow the horrible drivers down even more on side streets. Has there been an increase in deaths or accidents? Why spend the money if you don’t need to? Honestly, it should be up to the people who live on the street, not any biker or anyone else. But whatever, everyone has to have a say in everyone else’s issues right? Like me, but i try to just call it as i see it.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • el timito March 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      From my experience, I’ve had little success convincing folks to try biking by quoting the fact that few people have died or been seriously injured on this street.

      I’ve had good success with encouraging people to bike by taking them on a ride down a comfortable street (i.e., slow car speeds, fewer motor vehicles).

      Safety is critical, but comfort is what gets more folks riding. More folks riding leads to more safety.

      Recommended Thumb up 37

    • jeff March 20, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      “Oregon” didn’t decide to do anything….

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    • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      People who could care less don’t spend time posting contra-opinions to advocacy blogs.

      Recommended Thumb up 40

    • Chris March 20, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      I just calls em as I sees em!

      Genius.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Spiffy March 20, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      because more people in Portland are killed by cars than by guns… and not usually on purpose… how stupid is that statistic for something deadly that’s not supposed to be a weapon? and how horrible are we as people that this doesn’t bother us enough to stop it quickly?

      and out of the over 37,000 people in the U.S. killed last year on the roads exactly zero of us want it to be somebody we love…

      Recommended Thumb up 14

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 12:27 am

        37,000 deaths is a huge toll, which needs to be weighed against the benefits of automotivity. Though I rarely drive, I enjoy the benefits nonetheless in the form of freedom from a life of drudgery. Absolutely, weigh the costs against the benefits, but don’t just lament the costs in isolation, thinking us horrible for being willing to pay.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 7:01 am

          “Which needs to be weighed against the benefits of automotivity.”

          Hm. Maybe this is sarcasm?
          Convenience vs death and dismemberment? Maybe you are thinking about *your* convenience, vs *someone else’s* dismemberment?

          Recommended Thumb up 12

          • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 8:44 am

            I think it is a fairly common thought process to put one’s needs first over a hypothetical dismemberment. Now, if one could say “this one act by you will result in 0.000001% dismemberment of another person” then they’d have a more valid actuarial statement.

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            • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

              You and Hello, Kitty both invoke this hypothetical, average, selfish, not-very-reflective person a lot. But I have to ask – why not honor and insodoing encourage those who try a little harder to live down their selfish, myopic, blinkered instincts? Why have blogs or education or books if we are so willing to throw in the towel? Do you really believe that we are all incapable of rising above ourselves?

              Recommended Thumb up 21

              • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm

                Ah, the appeal to a higher moral approach…

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

                What is your appeal?

                Recommended Thumb up 10

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 9:23 am

            Automobiliy is about a lot more than a convenience we could easily do without.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • X March 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm

              To put convenience in perspective, we live on a convenient planet. The next-most-accessible planet with air we can breath and water we can drink is further away than most people can conceive of, and unreachable by technology within our grasp. For everyone reading this the next planet is at infinity minus two percent. So, keep driving down to the corner for beer.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Alex Reedin March 21, 2018 at 7:16 am

          How about we weigh the benefit of eliminating 2/3s of the 37,000 deaths vs. the cost of slightly decreasing the US’s level of automobility to the (still extremely high) level seen in Western Europe and Japan, which have many fewer deaths per mile traveled via automobile?

          Recommended Thumb up 17

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 9:51 am

            I’d be on board. All we need is a big pot of money and a change of culture.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 10:34 am

              Why so glib? So defeatist?

              Recommended Thumb up 14

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

                Why not acknowledge the magnitude of the task?

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 11:31 am

                I’m all for that. But what I hear you espousing in these comments is that the task is, well, impossible. You don’t approach the task from where we are but ask for the sky.

                Recommended Thumb up 12

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

                I believe making what would be transformational changes to our country’s transportation infrastructure is impossible unless the political climate makes a sharp swing. It may well do that as the next generation comes of age, but until it does, I see no signs that it is possible.

                That, and our whole understanding of transportation and landuse may change significantly as AV technology gets adopted. Exactly what will change, or how much, is impossible to say. But I think now is not the time to put all our energy into reforming a system that is on its way out when there are so many other critical issues to contend with.

                If you want to spend your energy on this issue, then go for it. I am on board, but this is just not a battle I think is worth fighting at this time.

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              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 1:54 pm

                Why not walk before we run?
                Or, put another way, if we don’t trust ourselves to walk, how are we ever going to run much less win the race.
                I’m slightly relieved to see that I at least didn’t mischaracterize your stance.

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      • Bay Area rider March 21, 2018 at 6:18 am

        While the final numbers aren’t in for 2017 the estimated traffic death total I’ve seen is 40,100 a 1% drop from last year. Traffic deaths spiked up in 2015 and 2016.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Andrew Kreps March 21, 2018 at 10:25 am

        The NSC estimates 40,100 people were killed in, or in the vicinity of, motor vehicles last year.

        Reference: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sc-auto-tips-0222-traffic-fatalities-decline-20180220-story.html

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    • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Ok, I’ll bite.
      “I know nothing about this and could care less.”

      Then why are you commenting? Clearly you have some opinion.

      “But i am curious about why Oregon decided to slow the horrible drivers down even more on side streets.”

      Because slowing down drivers by 5mph making short trips on side streets does not significantly impact their mobility, and it does significantly make side streets safer to walk and bike on.

      “Has there been an increase in deaths or accidents? ”

      No. There’s growing awareness that cars kill more people than guns, and current levels of vehicular violence is no longer acceptable.

      “Honestly, it should be up to the people who live on the street, not any biker or anyone else”

      The streets are public rights of way, and part of a larger transportation system, not private driveways. It is not just up to residents to decide the laws on them. All stakeholders – residents, frequent users and the public at large – get to have a say.

      “But whatever, everyone has to have a say in everyone else’s issues right?”

      Many of the people commenting here use Lincoln every day. It’s not just someone else’s issue.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

    • pengo March 22, 2018 at 10:23 am

      lol I don’t know or care about this [82 more words for some reason]

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Badge of honor.

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    • mh March 20, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      I assume you mean the “X”s.

      We were planning to power wash them off. Maybe we should display them proudly – they might last longer than our vandalized signs.

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      • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 4:11 pm

        “I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.” – Henry James

        Recommended Thumb up 10

      • David Hampsten March 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

        Too bad you couldn’t add a car stencil to the X, or maybe the word “Hate”…

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Evan Manvel March 21, 2018 at 8:57 am

          Maybe stencil “People killed and injured in traffic” so the Xs mark that out.

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      • Alan Love March 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

        Make it a fun activity. Start a game of Tic Tac Toe with the vandals.

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  • Shoupian March 20, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    If PBOT had the political courage to go ahead with their plan instead of hiding behind transportation advocates, these people wouldn’t have been harassed. But that’s exactly the point of these public open houses and online petitions – PBOT wants advocates to take the blame/heat for them and appear to be a neutral agency that is only doing what advocates want. I have always thought of Portland’s active advocacy culture as a reflection of the inactive and complacent attitude of its city agencies. Sit back and leave it to advocates. They will fight the political battles for us.

    PBOT needs to stop punting technical and design decisions to neighbors and activists and own up their projects, but that decision has to come from the top leaders of the agency.

    Recommended Thumb up 38

    • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Odd POV. Political courage? Did you miss the part where the project is being built as designed?
      If you asked, a lot of the people that live along the street would say PBOT had already made up it’s mind about what needed to happen and the informational open houses were nothing more than window dressing for a done deal that PBOT had already decided. If you doubt it, just look at the last few BP stories about the project.
      A better question is, why would anyone continue to work on making Portland better to live in when, no matter what you do, each decision and process is held up for ridicule by one group or another?
      City policies are pretty clear and city staff work daily to implement those policies. Or perhaps you’d prefer a dictatorship?

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      • 9watts March 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm

        “why would anyone continue to work on making Portland better to live in when, no matter what you do, each decision and process is held up for ridicule by one group or another?”

        Odd POV.

        I’ve suggested this here more than once, and also to PBOT staff: Deputize someone from PBOT to talk with us *here,* answer questions oh, once a month, from those of us who take no pleasure in treating PBOT as a pinata, but we’re sometimes left few alternatives since they do such a miserable job of communicating what their thinking is, how they make decisions. I’m willing to give PBOT the benefit of the doubt but this only works if we can have a conversation, peer behind the bad PR.

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      • Bald One March 21, 2018 at 11:05 am

        City policies are pretty clear??? I guess you’re not talking about PBOT.

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    • Michael Andersen March 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Gotta say I’m with Paikiala on this one. This particular public process has apparently been a disaster but in general, I don’t think PBOT staff hide behind advocates. I think the main problem is that we lack advocates on the council.

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      • David Hampsten March 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm

        Portland has plenty of advocates, some of the best and most tenacious on any side of any argument. What you really lack is a council that responds to any advocacy that doesn’t provide campaign funding and a transportation bureaucracy that has any spine or wherewithal to actually implement any of its own projects, just redesign them to the nth degree.

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      • Matt March 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm

        The public process in at the Richmond Neighborhood Association meeting was pretty solid.

        By having the neighbors talk to one another and see that real humans have real concerns; Richmond was able to tone down the rhetoric, focus on the issues, and get solid answers from PBOT.

        PBOT took the time to give a full response to all of the neighborhood questions here:
        https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/676161

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        • 9watts March 20, 2018 at 5:53 pm

          I attended one of those meetings, and agree with you. Spine-In-Action. But it costs orders of magnitude more of our tax dollars to pay overtime to five senior staff and make the charts and graphs than to deputize a smart employee to answer bikeportland reader questions for an hour a month (online).

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          • Matt March 20, 2018 at 9:36 pm

            Agreed.

            But sometimes you gotta do the best you can with the systems you have. It definitely was better than the yelling fest at Mt. Tabor NA. Or the awkward Open House thing where people were sizing you up to try to see if you biked or not to get you to sign ranty petitions.

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          • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:28 am

            9,
            I think only one of them got OT. Most are non-rep.

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            • 9watts March 23, 2018 at 6:37 am

              Can you say that in English?

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              • turnips March 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm

                I believe “OT” is overtime and “non-rep” means they aren’t in a union and so do not receive overtime pay. did I get that right?

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              • 9watts March 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm

                Thanks

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        • John March 21, 2018 at 8:21 am

          It’s amazing how different the attitude is in Richmond vs. Mt Tabor. 50th seems to be the divide…

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

            Different neighborhoods, different accessibility to downtown, different street networks, different concerns.

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  • Mount Tabor Neighbor March 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    This diverter that PBOT is proposing without the neighborhoods consent is ridiculous. Nobody wants it and nobody asked for it. This will literally add seconds to my commute that I don’t have time for. Why all these bikers are proposing such a terrible design is beyond me, I ride all the time and Lincoln is fine so why are they trying to “fix” somthing that isn’t broken??? Portland isn’t Amsterdam and no everyone can ride a bike! If bikers are so worried about safety, they should wear helmets instead of making everyones commute worse.

    NO DIVERTER!!!

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    • 9watts March 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      “This will literally add seconds to my commute that I don’t have time for.”

      OK

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    • unheardmusic March 20, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      you sound insane. seconds to your commute? god forbid!

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      • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Imagine the commute slowdowns if everyone stopped at stop signs, too! Horror!

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    • John March 20, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      If you think that nobody wants it, you aren’t talking to your neighbors. I live in the neighborhood. Many of my neighbors also support the diverter (yes, I also recognize that some do not).

      Traffic (volume and speed) on Lincoln is and has been increasing steadily and is out of hand (I guess many people want to shave seconds off their commute). This is fact and is clearly supported by PBOT data.

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      • Doug Hecker March 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

        You should ask the PBA what they think about PBOT data. It’s obviously going to reflect their beliefs that more people are driving. You diet lanes and people will naturally find other ways to go. Sounds like a PBOT problem that PBOT CREATED and now wants to create more problems. I’d like to see the accident reports on Lincoln that reflect the need for a diverter. I think they are rather low. We also know that a temporary diverter becomes a fixed one pretty quickly. I am counting down the days for the majority of folks to speak up against PBOT’s continuous heavy hand. As a realistic bike commuter, I’m excited for the day.

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        • 9watts March 20, 2018 at 9:15 pm

          It is not a zero sum. You can run induced demand in reverse too.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 12:30 am

            Within limits.

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            • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 7:14 am

              Do you know more? I don’t think we’ve explored this very carefully. Or I should say I am not aware of any explorations that would help us understand the limits you’re suspecting.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

                Are you aware of any explorations to support “reduced demand”?

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              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 8:58 am

                Not sure if you are asking about efforts to reduce demand (congestion pricing, HOV lanes, license plate even/odd day driving permits, not expanding freeways), or about efforts to study how well these strategies work. In my post above I noted that I wasn’t aware of examples of these latter efforts, but assume they exist.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

                I guess I have to rescind my comment… If you remove all roads between Portland and Salem, no one will drive between the cities. But the costs of forcing demand down too vigorously incurs costs on society as a whole. Easy transportation is a societal good.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm

                So the demand would still be there, just not the supply.

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              • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm

                That is not how it works. Demand and Supply are not fixed things, that exist out there in the ether. They are a function of everything else that is going on. Price of gas, other subsidies to drivers, viability or presence of alternatives, etc. Since all of these change over time, and demand does too why would you assume that they are static?

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        • Spiffy March 20, 2018 at 11:28 pm

          “I’d like to see the accident reports on Lincoln that reflect the need for a diverter.”

          the old “cars don’t need to be tamed until they kill somebody” argument…

          also, this isn’t all about crashes, it’s also about comfort to get more people riding so there are less cars in your way on the main streets…

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    • dan March 20, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      This _is_ sarcasm, right?

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    • Bjorn March 21, 2018 at 12:07 am

      So I laughed hard when I read this obvious parody, then got confused by the comments taking it seriously. This can’t be real can it?

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      • John March 21, 2018 at 8:23 am

        I was at the open house in December. Based on that experience, unfortunately, I think this comment is very real.

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    • mh March 21, 2018 at 8:45 am

      I can only read this in this-is-what-the-irrational-are-saying quotes. Others seem to be thinkng it is straightforward.

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    • bikeninja March 21, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Is this post real or ironic?

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    • maxD March 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

      I want the diverter

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    • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Ah yes, the “I ride all the time” aggression. Sure you do.

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      • John March 21, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Seriously… every time I hear this preface in a diverter discussion, I know exactly what is coming next.

        If you ride Lincoln regularly, how could you not recognize that traffic has increased considerably and that drivers are becoming more and more aggressive?

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    • Clark in Vancouver March 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Are you serious or is this a parody?

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      • Andrea Brown March 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm

        It is a parody, and a very good one, mimicking nearly word-for-word a tiresome poster on Mt. Tabor Nextdoor.

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    • Doug March 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      This sure looks like satire to me.

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    • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:29 am

      MTN,
      Putting what you want (convenience) ahead of what others need (safety) is excessively selfish.

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  • mh March 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    PBOT hasn’t caved, but they compromise, encouraging more complaints and battle. Just put your design on the ground with movable planters, and then deal with the whining. There might be some basis for the whines, in which case, a slight modification might be in order.

    The current process stinks for all concerned.

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    • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Run for office on that platform.

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      • mh March 22, 2018 at 10:41 am

        (That thought could never enter the mind of anyone who knows me.)

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  • Todd Boulanger March 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    I strongly doubt the “X”s where placed by PBoT (or other contractors) to identify sidewalk repairs…typically such would be a painted outline (often white) along sections/ panels to be removed…plus the heritage sidewalks in 2 of the 3 photos look pretty good for their estimated 100 years of age…

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  • Shoupian March 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Michael, I agree that the real problem is that there is no transportation advocate on council. I have said it before. But I think my comment was misunderstood. I said the leadership level at PBOT needs to act more boldly and stand up for their proposed projects. The reason they don’t do this is precisely what you said. But I never said the staff is the problem.

    But I want to ask if you have any examples for PBOT delivering a bike improvement project successfully even in the face of neighborhood opposition with support from mostly within the agency. If there are examples to show that this has happened in the recent past, then I will admit my criticism of using advocates as shields whenever there is push back is ungrounded.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 20, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    UPDATE, 6:15 pm: We have heard back from one of the people targeted by the vandalism. Laura Belson says she believes the X’s are part of a coordinated campaign. “Only houses in our area that have these signs received an X,” she shared with me, in response to emailed questions. “I am imagining someone is upset that we are showing our support and therefore decided to display their disapproval of our actions in this way.” Belson said in addition to the signs, she has been vocal in her support for the project. “I have gone to neighborhood meetings voicing my support, handed out flyers a couple of times, called and written emails to decision makers,” she says. “I wouldn’t call that super vocal, just a regularly interested neighbor.” Belson also says that, “Not everyone who has received an X has done as much as I have.”

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    • Caleb White March 21, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you Laura for speaking up. I am sorry you are dealing with this harassment for what, frankly, should be a completely conventional opinion about how to make our streets safer and our city a better place. It is amazing how often, once these improvements are in place, the fears and complaints voiced by the opposition never materialize and everyone adjusts and adapts.

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  • mark smith March 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Car disease runs deep.

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  • Katherine Wolfe March 20, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    May I ask, where are the diverter(s) planned?

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    • rick March 21, 2018 at 7:39 am

      20th? I think the past articles are here on this articles about it.

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    • Evan Manvel March 21, 2018 at 9:02 am

      The maps of the various street safety treatments are on the PBOT page Jonathan linked to in the article: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75123

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      • Katherine Wolfe March 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm

        Thank you – sorry I missed the original link. Much appreciated. 🙂

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  • shirtsoff March 21, 2018 at 12:49 am

    If I spray paint an X in front of my house would this lend support and reclaim the marker from intimidation towards radical self-reappropriation? Serious question here as I am tempted to deface the public right of way on the sidewalk in front of my place if it would lend support and turn a silly threat into a bold statement.

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    • GlenK March 21, 2018 at 2:25 am

      I would think that the solution to really mess with people’s minds is to mark X’s in front of all your neighbour’s houses as well…

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      • Chris March 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm

        I am Spartacus!

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    • SD March 21, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Maybe everyone who opposes the harassment and intimidation of their neighbors could put a side-walk-chalk X in from of their house.

      You could ask the folks without Xs where they stashed the spray paint, or just enjoy the irony of the spray-painter putting an X in front of their house to avoid suspicion.

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  • Tom March 21, 2018 at 8:52 am

    PBOT engineers are not trained PR professionals. It’s not the way their brain works. Initial public outreach should be done using guided blank slate consensus building workshops to take community input before any plans are presented. There are many advantages to this approach over PBOTs shouting match approach.

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    • paikiala March 22, 2018 at 10:34 am

      PBOT discussed with all three NAs and the BAC before the first open house, modifying the original 50th median diverter proposal to a semi-diverter like at Chavez.
      It was only the second open house that had issues, and PBOT responded to those concerns by going back to the original median diverter proposal.
      This was not a new greenway, blank slate. This is and established greenway that needs upgrades to meet current standards.

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  • John Liu March 21, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Marking greenway supporters’ houses with “X” on the sidewalk is bad. There is civil debate and discourse, and there is going too far. This is going too far. Calling out or attacking people personally because they have an opinion different from yours is going too far.

    I’ve seen various “sides” go too far in various similar debates in the city. I’ve been on the receiving end of that myself, in a different context.

    Everyone needs to cool down and discuss this rationally and civilly. Incremental steps – listen, test, assess, and adjust – can go a long way toward encouraging that.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy March 21, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Completely agree – many people cannot remain objective enough to remain civil. They get emotional, they believe their emotions and emotions justify their actions because “I’m right”, and then they go and trample on the rights of others completely unaware of the hypocrisy.

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    • dan March 21, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Agreed, this is a loss of credibility for the X-markers. What’s next, spraypainting houses with “cyclist” and “supports speed limits on residential streets”?

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  • Adam March 21, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Not withstanding the obviously creepy behavior of a few, it is great to live in a city where people get this excited about a change in traffic control. Other cities/neighborhoods face far more daunting challenges and near total apathy from the citizenry.

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  • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    I guess I have to rescind my comment… If you remove all roads between Portland and Salem, no one will drive between the cities. But the costs of forcing demand down too vigorously incurs costs on society as a whole. Easy transportation is a societal good.Recommended 3

    More straw men?
    Remove all roads? Who suggested that?
    I’m also not sure about easy transportation being a societal good. Access is or should be a societal good, but that is not the same thing as transportation. Too much transportation (= what you get when it is too easy) is a pretty clear societal negative.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      No one suggested that; I was just demonstrating that you are right — there is no limit to induced-demand-in-reverse. Raise the cost to infinity, and demand will be zero.

      As for access vs. transportation, that’s a semantic difference. Transportation provides access.

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  • 9watts March 21, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    For instance:
    “The authors argue that cities, which have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly, are now faced with negative consequences like smog, sprawling suburbs, traffic congestion, and over 1.25 million traffic fatalities each year. Beyond Mobility seeks to shows how a stronger focus on accessibility and place ultimately creates better communities, environments, and economies.”

    https://ced.berkeley.edu/events-media/news/beyond-mobility-robert-cervero-authors-new-book-on-people-centered-city-pla

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  • X March 21, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Sanderson Safety Supply sells temporary marking paint, spray chalk, something like that.

    (I personally had nothing to do with this X business)

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    • Andrea Brown March 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      This has your name all over it! jk

      The X’s have all been removed by city crews today. Discussion on the “Lincoln Diverter Project” (their name for it!) is on the agenda for the Mt. Tabor Association meeting tonight if you’d like to stop in and hear their take on it. You don’t need to be a resident to attend and listen.

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      • John Liu March 23, 2018 at 10:39 am

        Curious what was the outcome of or discussion at the NA meeting?

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        • Andrea Brown March 23, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          John, I attended the MTNA meeting, mostly as an observer. Several household members that had their sidewalks marked were in attendance. Some of those folks objected to the nomenclature used by the NA to describe the project. There was some back and forth about the project, and some attitude history that had been taken in the neighborhood (flyers, the Atkinson meeting, general tone from the MTNA). It got kind of heated at moments. But I am actually going to call this a good meeting with a good outcome. For one thing, a board member brought up the topic of the red X’s very early in the meeting, passing out copies of the Mercury article and condemning it roundly and emphatically. There was a request once again for people to check their security camera footage. And an audience member submitted an excellent letter of condemnation for the NA to approve, which happened unanimously. (I do not have a copy of that, if anybody does it would be great if you could share it with us)

          KOIN reporters were there a little later but did some interviewing in the hallway.

          http://www.koin.com/news/local/multnomah-county/se-portland-neighborhood-condemns-targeted-red-xs/1067313667

          Afterward, some of us thanked the board member who spoke up at the beginning. I encourage any readers in the MTNA area to consider running for the board if they feel their views are not represented, that is how this works. I think it’s healthy for an NA board to represent diverse views, if your view isn’t heard, then they won’t represent you.

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          • Terry D-M March 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            I am very happy MTNA did the right thing in condemning the graffiti. I also would encourage readers who live inside the boundaries (E Burnside, SE 49th-50th, SE Division, SE 76 th) to run for the board. Last time I dropped in there were open seats, though I don’t know the current status.

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          • John Liu
            John Liu March 24, 2018 at 12:53 pm

            I would second your suggestion. If you live in the neighborhood, and care about this and other issues affecting the neighborhood, then run for the board, volunteer for the committees, email the board.

            We hear complaints that neighborhood associations (NAs) are not representative of the people who live in the neighborhoods. I don’t think that is generally true – maybe it depends on the neighborhood – but it is true that the best way to address that concern is for more residents to step up and get involved.

            Portland’s NA system was born from the urban redevelopment and freeway wars in the 1960s and 1970s. When Portland’s planners and city government tried to wipe out whole neighborhoods that they considered blighted or undesirable, encircle and slice up the city with dozens of urban freeways leading to suburbs, the neighborhoods led the fight. Without the activism of neighborhoods standing up to central planners, Portland would today be a mini-Los Angeles. NAs are part of the system of checks and balances that give ordinary residents a voice. So use that voice.

            Interesting history
            https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/320345

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  • David Lewis March 24, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Diverters are a white flag. And they are hardly magic beans.

    The answer is something different. Monorail!

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