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ODOT in hot seat as debate over 82nd Avenue safety upgrades continues

Posted by on April 20th, 2018 at 2:34 pm

(Photo: J. Maus)

The politics around 82nd Avenue have changed. And ODOT hasn’t.

That fact has put the state transportation agency in hot water with local and regional elected officials.

Late last month Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and nine other politicians — including his council colleagues, Multnomah County commissioners and state legislators — skewered ODOT for their, “lack of stewardship and prioritization of state highways.”

At issue is 82nd Avenue, one of the state’s “orphaned highways” that gets managed like a freeway; but also happens to be a neighborhood street that people want to use on foot, by bike, and with transit safely and efficiently. Wheeler and a growing coalition of agencies, advocacy groups and electeds, are demanding that ODOT insert a major 82nd Avenue improvement project into the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). That move is considered a critical step in the process of transferring jurisdiction of 82nd from ODOT to the City of Portland. (It’s a widely accepted view that orphaned highways like 82nd should be owned and managed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, not by ODOT, because of the former’s expertise in modern multimodal road design practices and the latter’s reluctance to implement them.)

“Because ODOT applies highway design standards to 82nd Avenue, ODOT has limited ability to bring 82nd Avenue to City of Portland and community standards.”
— State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer and State Sen. Michael Dembrow

The RTP project list is being negotiated now for final adoption in the new few months. If 82nd Avenue is not included, it will be difficult to coalesce the political and public support needed to find the large chunk of funding it will take to transform the street from a car-centric arterial to a more human-scale, people-friendly street that truly serves the community around it.

ODOT Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer has issued his own letter (PDF) in response where he defends his agency and criticizes Metro’s RTP process.

Windsheimer first says ODOT also wants to eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes, “especially for vulnerable users” and then he details the projects ODOT has completed on 82nd in the past decade. Then it gets interesting. Windsheimer sticks up for ODOT’s approach to safety project implementation and then goes a step further, seeming to question Metro’s process.

Here’s an excerpt from his letter:

“It’s important not to confuse ODOT’s commitment to safety and our investments and safety with projects programmed in Metro’s RTP. The Oregon Transportation Committee allocates safety funding every STIP [Statewide Transportation Improvement Program] cycle, and the department conducted a very extensive all roads (city, county and state) safety analysis to program those safety projects where they have the highest probability for reducing fatal an injury crashes across all modes, including bike and pedestrian. ODOT does not rely on a list of projects in a 20-year plan to identify our safety projects; we use the latest available safety data to program real projects with real dollars to improve safety within that three to four year STIP cycle. Safety hotspots change from year-to-year and using the most up-to-date data to guide our investments is a more effective strategy.”

Windsheimer urges regional governments to support ODOT STIP projects that will bring 82nd up to an acceptable threshold. In essence, Windsheimer wants ODOT to maintain control of 82nd as long as necessary to make required improvements, but everyone else around the table has seen enough. There’s a prevailing sense that ODOT has had plenty of time and chances and they’re not doing the right projects — fast enough — to respond to demands for change.

At a meeting of Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation Thursday morning, the issue was once again in the spotlight. Oregon House Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (District 46) and Senator Michael Dembrow (District 23) issued new testimony. Based on a letter dated April 18th (PDF), Keny-Guyer and Dembrow have ratcheted up the pressure on ODOT even further.

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In a polite way, the legislators called out ODOT for not doing enough to solve the myriad problems with 82nd Ave. The letter referred to ODOT’s recently completed 82nd Avenue of the Roses Implementation Plan, which was supposed to “build toward community goals.” (John Mulvey, who served on an advisory committee for that project, told us, “ODOT was never serious about making 82nd Avenue safer for pedestrians and they were willing to waste 2-1/2 years of the community’s time in order to make it look like they were doing something without really doing something.”)

“While we appreciate the work that has gone into the ODOT report,” the letter states, “the result does not support our community vision. For example, the report offers “enhanced crossings,” which are simply refugee islands in areas of high traffic volumes without any crosswalks or pedestrian activated signals. The report acknowledges that sidewalks along 82nd Avenue need improvement, but stipulates they be built to ODOT standards of 6 feet wide. Community standards articulate a sidewalk width of 9 or more feet. Because ODOT applies highway design standards to 82nd Avenue, ODOT has limited ability to bring 82nd Avenue to City of Portland and community standards.”

Rep. Keny-Guyer and Senator Dembrow make it crystal clear they do not trust ODOT with 82nd. “We seek an expedited transfer of ownership of 82nd Avenue from the State of Oregon to the City of Portland,” they write. “It is critical that this process get underway as soon as possible, BEFORE ODOT spends funds to make improvements that are not aligned with our vision.” They want a “shared funding” plan between the State of Oregon and the City of Portland that will, “allow the City to design and transform 82nd Avenue with community input.”

They even lay down minimum expectations for the future of 82nd. They call for, “full modernization, including significant upgrades to pedestrian infrastructure and traffic calming; bicycle path on a street parallel to 82nd Avenue; accommodation for increasing density; and a commitment to affordable housing and anti-displacements strategies.”

“Something is broken if elected leaders have to petition an administrative arm of the state government to take action.”
— Gerik Kransky, The Street Trust

The Street Trust Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky is following all this closely. He too thinks 82nd Avenue should be prioritized in Metro’s RTP. Kransky notes it has taken years of advocacy, countless injuries and fatalities, adoption of Vision Zero policies, and more public awareness of traffic safety issues in general, to finally put ODOT on the spot. “Now there’s just more accountability,” he shared in a recent interview. “And something is broken if elected leaders have to petition an administrative arm of the state government to take action.”

Kransky says even if ODOT refuses to put 82nd in the RTP, he wants to know what their plan is to bring it up to modern design standards. “What’s the investment strategy to get us there?” he wonders. “Who’s going to put money toward it and when can we expect it to be completed. We need action.”

What Portland and many regional electeds and advocates want are more transformative changes to 82nd. And so far, ODOT is simply doing business-as-usual — a curb ramp here, a flashing beacon there. And until ODOT hands over management authority, few people think anything will change.

“I feel like we’re an an impasse,” Kransky says. He also thinks this moment in time is “a wide open door that transportation activists should walk through.” “It will be that community outcry that helps us focus people’s attention.” Asked if The Street Trust has immediate action plans, Kransky said not yet, but they’re working on something.

In the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers pledged $110 million to another orphaned highway, Powell Blvd. If can happen there, surely it can happen here.

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

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61 Comments
  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty April 20, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I absolutely support a transfer, but I don’t expect a transformation of the street if it occurs. The only way to make the sidewalks wider, for example, would be eliminating a travel lane or buying a boatload of property. I don’t see either of those things happening. And better crossings? Maybe. We can look to MLK/Grand to see how much easier it will be to cross (a little, eventually).

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  • David April 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    From the last paragraph of Windsheimer’s letter “Outer Powell and the Rose Quarter – two transformative investments totaling more than half a billion dollars – are currently moving toward construction because collaboration between PBOT and ODOT earned the Legislature’s confidence. Approaching 82nd Avenue in the same spirit of partnership will provide the greatest chance of success.”

    It’s clear from this that he just doesn’t understand that his definition of success is not aligned with ours. Maybe the letter, and this response, are happening because we don’t want the same kind of result (Rose Quarter at least) here. An 82nd Avenue that serves more than cars, and the people that drive them, would have a larger impact than any highway project in changing how people move around that part of town.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Bingo! ODOT thinks they’re doing fine — based on their definition of success. But they fail to realize that people — and as a result politicians – now want more.

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      • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

        But why are you singling-out ODOT? From what I understand, the I-5 Rose Quarter boondoggle has just as much support with your governor, the Portland City Council, and PBOT as from ODOT, while ODOT has repeatedly offered both Powell and 82nd “as-is” to PBOT & Portland. It’s your city who keeps insisting that the street be “rebuilt” before they’ll take it over, but never specifying where that money is to come from. If you (and your city and state legislators) have a beef about 82nd, why doesn’t the city simply take it over?

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        • soren April 21, 2018 at 2:39 pm

          Political gullibility has been a perennial problem with Portland’s bike advocacy and nonprofit-industrial-complex scene. Establishment “donor-class” politicians are given a pass to (or even supported) due to their soft cooing noises about multimodal transportation and then everyone is shocked when they proceed to govern in business-as-usual car-centric manner.

          Until we elect genuine anti-establishment voices on our city council, Portland will continue to move in a car-centric direction (as it is currently doing).

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm

            We have one such voice on Council now. I haven’t heard a lot of new thinking around transportation. I think it more complex than just voting in “anti-establishment” candidates. Sam Adams was pretty good on bikes, and he was pretty establishment.

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            • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm

              Adams was good, Bud Clark was even better. But it still takes three people on Council to implement any real change.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm

                Sometimes it only takes one with vision if others are willing to go along. Also, the issue was whether being “anti-establishment” is synonymous with supporting human powered transportation. So far, we have only counter-examples.

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            • soren April 22, 2018 at 8:34 am

              Adams was attacked mercilessly by the media and there was little defense from active transportation advocates. It was a shameful surrender to regressive messaging and the resulting bikelash-associated retreat from “politics” persists to this day.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 22, 2018 at 11:36 am

                I agree. As I prepare to vote, I’m going to consider who will support my causes best (including, prominently, active transportation). I don’t care whether they are “establishment” or “anti-establishment”… I want people working towards the ends I think are important.

                I’m not sure anyone on city council is doing that currently, and few of the candidates seem likely to do so.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 22, 2018 at 11:52 am

                Actually, thinking about this more, Adams was largely attacked over issues that were unrelated to active transportation, and were not the kind of thing that many in our community would have felt comfortable defending.

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          • Joe April 23, 2018 at 12:30 pm

            I have had enough of “anti-establishment” candidates. I want elected leaders who know the system well enough to create meaningful change without the unintended consequences. After a while, candidates claiming to be “anti-establishment” fail to perform because they don’t know what they’re doing and spend too long bumping heads before they realize their term is over. “Anti-establishment” candidates do make good obstructionists though since saying “no” everytime doesn’t take much thought.

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        • Bankerman April 21, 2018 at 6:59 pm

          Exactly. This all comes down to money. Portland wants 82nd Avenue transferred to it’s jurisdiction, but wants ODOT to first pay for all the desired improvements.

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        • Kate April 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

          Yes, I think this is something that most regular Portlanders don’t know (and why would they). The facility has to be entirely brought up to standards and state of good repair before a jurisdictional transfer can happen and PBOT will accept it. That costs huge sums that ODOT doesn’t have- that’s why the Oregon Legislative earmark was necessary to make the Powell Blvs transfer happen -that’s what is funding the repair/upgrades needed for PBOT to take it over. Unless 82nd finds the same champion that Powell did, a legislator willing to go to the mat in the legislature to find the $$, it’s going to be a while for a transfer can happen because the funds needed to make the repairs.

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          • Dan A April 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

            “That costs huge sums that ODOT doesn’t have…”

            Source?

            ODOT regularly spends vast sums of money for car infrastructure improvements (Woodburn interchange improvements = $70 million, Hwy 20 improvements = $365 million, Newberg bypass = $252 million, Rose Quarter expansion = $450 million (yeah right), etc).

            I’m curious why they wouldn’t have any funds available for 82nd.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 23, 2018 at 10:54 am

              Probably because improving the non-vehicular environment by reducing vehicle throughput is not in their DNA, and runs counter to their mission. Look at their performance measures… where does reducing lanes and making 82nd into a true multimodal street, triggering a wave of redevelopment, fit?

              http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/PerformMang/Pages/index.aspx

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            • Kate April 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm

              Well a bunch of those (like the Rose Quarter) are legislative earmarks, so coming from state funding sources that are different, outside of, or supplemental to ODOT maintenance funds. But you’re correct that priorities can steer money, so theoretically they could funnel a huge amount of their maintenance money into the one corridor to allow for transfer. But that could be a tough sell for a statewide agency. A legislative earmark a la Powell, or other creative financing like happened with the MLK transfer would probably be necessary.

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          • DSJK April 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm

            Devil’s advocate here: Even if it’s not “fair,” why shouldn’t Portland simply take over jurisdiction of 82nd & inner Powell, and start paying for the needed makeover incrementally, or through (increased) local gas or other taxes? It just seems that we’re in an untenable position–yes, it’s maddening to deal with these troglodyte ODOT bureaucrats, but they hold the power here. If we wait for another state transportation bill to fund this, we’ll be waiting a decade. If Wheeler and PBOT and Bike Portland want to take over these orphan roads now, I’d like to see the city just go ahead and take them without the repairs.

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  • Jim Lee April 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    The character of 82nd has not changed in 70 years. Only now there are more cars and strip malls.

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  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike April 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I would love to see the Street Trust launch a major campaign around this. I think something like that would do a lot to build back support for their organization, heck I might even renew my long lapsed membership. I was happy to be able to testify yesterday at the JPACT meeting as well as present my letter about 82nd with 150 signatures. This is the perfect project for the Street Trust. I hope they put some effective advocacy towards it.

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    • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      I’m very impressed that you testified and took the trouble to gather petition signatures, something that a group like the Street Trust should be doing. But I can also understand their dilemma – so many projects, too little staff, not enough time, more grants to go chasing after, constantly shifting mission-creep.

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  • galavantista April 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    If ODOT does NOT “rely on a list of projects in a 20-year plan to identify our safety projects”, then why do they feel compelled to include the I-5 Rose Quarter project — which they have been attempting to dress up as a safety project — in Metro’s RTP?

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    • Dan A April 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

      The funny thing is, I’ve seen Oregonian FB comments complaining about how ODOT wants to blow $450 million on bike/pedestrian improvements when referring to the RQ expansion. It’s definitely not that.

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  • Buzz April 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Both 82nd Avenue and ODOT are lost causes.

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    • John Mulvey April 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Treat the places where people of color live as a lost cause? Not a good look, Portland.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

        Well, in all fairness, until someone is willing to reduce the number of lanes on 82nd, it is a lost cause as far as active transportation and less auto-centric development goes.

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        • John Mulvey April 23, 2018 at 9:12 am

          So it’s a dangerous street until it gets the help it needs to not be dangerous, which is a true statement that could be said about any dangerous street.

          Declaring my dangerous street to be a “lost cause” isn’t helpful.

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  • Doug Hecker April 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    David
    From the last paragraph of Windsheimer’s letter “Outer Powell and the Rose Quarter – two transformative investments totaling more than half a billion dollars – are currently moving toward construction because collaboration between PBOT and ODOT earned the Legislature’s confidence. Approaching 82nd Avenue in the same spirit of partnership will provide the greatest chance of success.”It’s clear from this that he just doesn’t understand that his definition of success is not aligned with ours. Maybe the letter, and this response, are happening because we don’t want the same kind of result (Rose Quarter at least) here. An 82nd Avenue that serves more than cars, and the people that drive them, would have a larger impact than any highway project in changing how people move around that part of town.Recommended 6

    It’s hard to say what “ours” is. I actually live and use 82nd more than 5x a week. Besides actually riding a bicycle on 82nd, there’s plenty of crossing for greenways use. Newer and upgraded crosswalks, amd plenty of sidewalk that gets used less frequently then what “we” all imagine. I do wonder if the city thinks they can “revitalize” the businesses that are located on 82nd (car lots, gas stations, fast food joints, and things we shall not speak of :x). “We” have plenty of altenative with greenways like 72nd/ 205 path, and 102nd/ the many east/ west streets that have lights at 82nd. All I would like to see is a fresh layer of asphalt and a few more cops.

    So if we gain a bus only lane with some sort of odd bike lane intergrated with it, I’m not sure there is enough business that many people need to frequent, besides Burgerville and maybe Taco Bell, that would make it all that “worth” changing. It’s nice to have a few, MLK, 39th, 82nd, 122nd, 182nd to actually use for car traveling. “We” act like there isn’t any way for us to go but in reality we have many.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 20, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Well, if you want good Asian food in Portland, you’re likely going to 82nd. Between the Asian restaurants and shops, there are so many parking lots and other lower-value uses of land on 82nd. A tremendous amount of housing and commercial development could be done there. It could be “Division’ed” or “Williams’ed”. New developments could be required to dedicate land to widen sidewalks. Perhaps new developments could even be required to dedicate land to widen the roadway (not sure)?

    The conundrum is always, how do you fit bi-directional cars, bus rapid transit, and bikes on a roadway only five standard lanes wide? Moving bikes to a parallel street would be less than ideal. If you prohibited left turns and got rid of the center turn lane, you could have bike lanes at the cost of a lot of drivers turning right then zooming down residential streets trying to make the left turn. If enough new developments at intersections allowed the roadway to be widened (see above), maybe you could give drivers an opportunity to turn left at key points, but not everywhere.

    It will be difficult but there is the potential of a vibrant, livable, walkable 82nd.

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    • Doug Hecker April 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      While I did exclude the excellent option in terms of the Asian food selections. I would love to see 82nd turn into Division in 50 years. Is Division considered walkable at this point? It’s an excellent example of a fustercluck and something that I list as a PBOT failure.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 20, 2018 at 8:45 pm

        Yes, Division is quite walkable. It’s one of our more civilized arterials, despite (or because of) the extreme gentrification. I list it as a success.

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        • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 9:56 am

          Division west of 60th is quite nice. It’s also a relatively low-volume collector, especially compared to it’s much busier namesake east of 82nd, which is a 48,000 vehicles-per-day 7-lane failure that still has sidewalk gaps between 96th and 148th. Walkable? You gotta be kidding! Even with reduced speed limits, people are still getting killed and injured, as bad as 122nd, outer Stark, outer Glisan, outer Halsey, and other PBOT failures. Compared to PBOT, ODOT almost has a good reputation in East Portland.

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      • matchupancakes April 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm

        Yes, the Richmond section of Division is very walkable and should be considered as such. I do not enjoy biking on it nor driving on it but walking is all the more possible with the widened sidewalks and frequent, marked crosswalks.

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  • Mike Quigley April 21, 2018 at 5:38 am

    People complain about gentrification. But in the have/have not society that America is rapidly evolving into, gentrification is the only way to make areas liveable.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 21, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Gentrification almost always involves making a place nicer to live. The only way I know of to prevent it is to make sure a place stays crappy.

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      • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 10:00 am

        Another good way to prevent gentrification is to focus community development equally city-wide instead of one or two districts close in to downtown, for example protected bike lanes and bikeshare in all districts, not just where rich people congregate. And if you plan on doing focused neglect and disinvestment, as cities are prone to do, then do it evenly in every district.

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      • John Mulvey April 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

        We simply cannot allow our only choices to be (1) liveable, walkable neighborhoods that are too expensive for working class people to afford, and (2) dangerous shitholes. We have to demand a third option.

        Note that in the Apr18 letter from Rep. Keny-Guyer and Sen. Dembrow, they insist that the strategy for 82nd must include “a commitment to affordable housing and anti-displacements strategies. Progress must not leave our vulnerable communities behind.”

        There’s good antidisplacement work happening right now on the SW Corridor project. Mayor Wheeler expressed strong support for a similar goal during discussions on the Division Transit Project –then voted to move it forward without including anything meaningful.

        Transportation advocates have to embrace this as an element of future infrastructure investments. We need to fight for this.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

          I agree with you, but this has been an active issue for over 50 years, at least, and there is a shortage of effective third ways. Anti-displacement strategies sound great in the abstract, but what do they look like on the ground? And what are the unintended consequences?

          And, to ask the question so many pro-development people like to ask: why should we favor existing residents over newcomers?

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  • Charley April 21, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Hello, Kitty
    Gentrification almost always involves making a place nicer to live. The only way I know of to prevent it is to make sure a place stays crappy.Recommended 0

    Right. People forget that gentrification is just the opposite side of ghetto-ization. It’s the reversal of the creation of a ghetto. So, would it be better to have the ghetto?

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    • Ken S April 21, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Additionally, if you don’t have minimum parking requirements for new buildings, the new apartments and condos can be built under market rate, allowing developers to build more affordable housing while turning a profit to stay in business.
      Enough density makes it easier to argue for bike and bus facilities.
      Hence gentrification can be a force for good, as long as it’s properly guided.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 21, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        Sales price is not tied to development cost. If I can build for $1000 and sell for $200,000, I won’t sell for $2000 just because my costs were low. Saving money on parking means more developer profits, not more low-income housing.

        Gentrification generally helps property owners, and hurts incumbent renters, to the extent they prefer (or require) cheap rent over improved community.

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        • David A Bisers April 21, 2018 at 6:39 pm

          You just made an very concise case for public and community owned housing.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 23, 2018 at 10:58 am

            Yes. That may be one of the best ways to provide low-income housing (though the money has to come from somewhere). The key is to spread it out, so we have economically integrated communities rather than pockets of wealth and poverty.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu April 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

          There’s lots of claims that no-parking buildings lead to lower rent. I’ve seen no data showing that no-parking buildings are actually rented for significantly less $/sf, or how much lower.

          The real estate industry could provide this data if it wished. It is hard for “outsiders” to do so, since building rent and occupancy is not puclicly available.

          Look, a smartphone costs about $250 to make and is sold for $500. So if the cost to manufacture a smartphone is reduced to $225, suddenly it will be sold for $225? Development is an industry that knows how to profit maximize.

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  • Doug Klotz April 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

    All of the new private development on Division happened without any public funding or subsidies. What happened just as this boom started, was that PBOT was going to repave the Division roadway, and BES said: “We want to put swales on it because of the stormwater/sewer overflows happening in that immediate neighborhood”. Funding was allocated from the two bureaus. THEN the neighborhood associations began pushing for other improvements as part of this big infrastructure project. This is where, as David points out, funding for this planning, and for some additional curb extensions and striped crosswalks was added, at a greater rate perhaps, than would be equitable given the needs in the rest of the city.

    What’s made Division in Richmond “walkable” is not just the curb extensions, but all the new buildings, which generate more pedestrian traffic, (as well as destination restaurant foot traffic) leading to auto traffic being slowed by the constant pedestrian traffic

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    • David Hampsten April 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      It also helped to no end that the community had people like yourself with vision and patience to see that changes occurred, rather than people who keep complaining.

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  • Doug Klotz April 21, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Well, I did complain about the swales, taking up sidewalk and parking space, but yes I supported the curb extensions, crosswalks and trees! (I thought the swales should be put on side streets where there weren’t as many demands in the ROW).

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    • John Liu
      John Liu April 22, 2018 at 8:39 am

      I don’t understand the design of bioswales. The point is to funnel stormwater on the street to a catchment area where stormwater collects and soaks into the ground, right? Then why can’t the catchment area be covered so that pedestrians can walk on it? The cover would be removable for cleaning. Why does the catchment area have to be an open area where trash and broken ankles can collect?

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      • paikiala April 22, 2018 at 9:41 am

        Plant material takes up pollutants in the water.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu April 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm

          paikiala
          Plant material takes up pollutants in the water.Recommended 1

          That would matter if this runoff was headed straight to the river or to a drinking water supply. But the runoff on Division is going into the ground some miles from surface water and will be filtered through 30-60 feet of soil before reaching the first groundwater which isn’t used for drinking anyway. And the stormwater going into the bioswales on Division and similar high ped traffic streets is a negligible % of total city stormwater. So the downsides of not having vegetation in the bioswales on this stretch of street are, well, pretty much nothing.

          I’m starting to doubt the whole bioswale program as implemented. Was there an analysis of the quantity and nature of pollutant that would be removed from stormwater by the design of bioswale used (large open pit with plants) as opposed to bioswales of a design less disruptive to ped, bike, car?

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          • maxD April 23, 2018 at 2:04 pm

            Only a portion of the stormwater is treated and infiltrated. anything larger than a 10-year storm usually ends up in the pipe. The plants and the life in the soil filter pollutants both chemical and physical. They also provide extra capacity and help slow storm surge. Stormwater planters have some way to overflow, so anything that does not infiltrate ends up in the river or in the combined systems and we pay to treat it. The planters are a great value and very beneficial to the environment. Unfortunately, BES got a bit too caught up in how much they were saving by not laying miles of new/larger pipe, and forgot to budget money for plant maintenance, so they tend to look a bit shabby.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 22, 2018 at 8:58 am

    David Hampsten
    Another good way to prevent gentrification is to focus community development equally city-wide instead of one or two districts close in to downtown, for example protected bike lanes and bikeshare in all districts, not just where rich people congregate. And if you plan on doing focused neglect and disinvestment, as cities are prone to do, then do it evenly in every district.Recommended 1

    When an appealing, convenient area (think NoPo) becomes the target of gentrifying development, rents go up and higher income people crowd out low income people.

    One way to address this is by compelling rents to stay low on some % of housing. Rent control and/or affordable housing mandates.

    Another way is to compelling the development activity to provide funds that are spent to make other areas (think EastPo) appealing and convenient. When there are more appealing and convenient areas, their scarcity will be reduced and lower income persons won’t be as crowded out and/or will be able to find other places to live. Development charges/taxes.

    It is unacceptable to simply “let the market decide”. Left to its own devices, the market will happily abandon persons not affluent enough to be of commercial interest.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Rent control works well in the short term, but not in the long. It also favors incumbents over newcomers (which might be ok, depending on your POV, but many dislike policies favoring existing residents), and limiting rent increases in only selected properties raises questions of which landlords lose their ability to raise rents.

      Improving neglected areas so there are more appealing areas will certainly lead to increasing the cost of housing in those areas, as more people want to live there.

      I think the only solutions are 1) housing vouchers and similar programs, but even those schemes have problems, and 2) encouraging creation/maintenance of housing that is inherently rent limited, either room-mate type housing (which costlessly increases density, and works best in the same houses targeted for demolition), or SRO type housing, which doesn’t work well for families.

      If there were a good answer, someone would have found it already. As far as I know, they haven’t.

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  • John Mulvey April 22, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I’ve got to chime in about Ryan Windsheimer’s disingenuous letter.

    He touts ODOT’s investments in five 82nd Ave street crossings as improving safety. They don’t. The main impetus for the changes was the need to replace the old wire-hanging signal lights that were more than 50 years old. The accompanying curb ramp upgrades were required by the ADA –a law which ODOT brazenly ignored until forced to comply by a court order.

    And once “upgraded,” the agency implemented its new flashing yellow left turn signals, which have the effect of putting pedestrians at the back of the line to cross the street relative to cars, even in situations where the ped supposedly has the right of way.

    Not a single thing they’ve done has made 82nd a safer pedestrian environment. In fact, the more they do, the less safe the street becomes.

    Finally, he talks about the “82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan,” which is the “2-1/2 years of wasted time” I mentioned in my statement to BikePortland.

    This “plan” is a joke. There’s nothing actionable in there. It describes no specific improvements and is incapable of guiding anything. I’ve thrown together better reports during a lunch hour. I hope BikePortland readers will take a look at it –it won’t take long to read, I promise.

    I love the fact that he asserts that the City “partnered” with ODOT to create it. Staff at PBOT must have cringed when reading that line.

    Windsheimer’s letter is another prime example of ODOT’s bad faith toward our community.

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  • Martin Vandepas April 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Typo: “In a polite way, the legislators called out ODOT for [not] doing enough”

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  • Lester Burnham April 23, 2018 at 6:52 am

    This is cool. People are talking about EAST Portland for a change. And guess what? There is even more east Portland beyond 82nd! Yes it’s true!

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  • Steve April 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    ODOT’s proposed projects for the RTP:
    http://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=RTP

    More than 50% of the total $$ in their financially constrained list 2018-2027 is proposed to go the Rose Quarter.

    More than 75% of the total $$ in their financially constrained list 2028-2040 is proposed for the CRC.

    The budget shows their priorities.

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  • KristenT April 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    JMaus, missing the word NOT in this sentence:

    “In a polite way, the legislators called out ODOT for doing enough to solve the myriad problems with 82nd Ave.”

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