Neighborhood transportation advocates in southeast Portland are sounding the alarm about TriMet’s Gideon Overcrossing project. They say opposition from an adjacent business owner could shelve the project.
“It’s unfair to me. What it’s doing to my business would require me to move.”
— Michael Koerner, Koerner Camera
Michael Koerner, owner of Koerner Camera Systems on SE 14th and Taggart, hired a lawyer who sent a letter (PDF) to the regional head of the Federal Transit Administration on December 14th. The letter includes sharp criticisms of TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, questions the need of a bridge, and asks the FTA to require a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement before moving forward.
As we reported last June, this project would build a new crossing of the Orange Line MAX light rail and Union Pacific Railroad tracks near the busy Clinton Street transit station. It would be a much-needed replacement to the crossing at SE 16th and Brooklyn Street TriMet demolished during Orange Line construction in 2013.
The new bridge would go from SE 13th on the south side of the tracks to SE 14th on the north. In March 2018, TriMet said that location was “an attractive option for commuters” due to its proximity to the existing light rail station at Clinton St (which would be about 300 feet west of the new overcrossing). The location was also chosen to, “best link to the Powell pedestrian crossing serving the Brooklyn neighborhood to Hosford-Abernethy.”
TriMet began the design process this past spring and the new, $14 million bridge was supposed to start construction in the next few months.
But Michael Koerner doesn’t want the bridge on 14th Avenue. His camera rental business that supplies high-end equipment to the film and TV industry is directly adjacent to the tracks. As designed, the bridge needs to use existing public right-of-way currently used to access Koerner’s parking lot and loading zone. Koerner said his concerns about safety and business impacts have fallen on deaf ears at TriMet so he hired a land-use attorney to fight the project.
In a phone call this morning Koerner told me he doesn’t oppose the bridge project, he just doesn’t want it on 14th Avenue. In addition to his concerns that mixing trucks and forklifts with bicycle riders and walkers would be a safety hazard, Koerner said, “It’s unfair to me. What it’s doing to my business would require me to move.” Koerner isn’t the only business owner opposed to the project. Several others share his concerns and are actively engaged against it.
Koerner’s attorney Jennifer Bragar from the law firm of Tomasi Salyer Martin, wrote a letter on December 14th to the regional head of the FTA. In the letter she requests a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and poke holes in the plan and the integrity of TriMet and the City of Portland.
“I am respectfully asking that you consider moving the bridge to a different location either up further on 16th St. or even consider 8th or 9th instead.”
— Rob Nosse, Oregon House Representative
Koerner also has support from Oregon House Representative Rob Nosse. In a letter dated December 10th and addressed to PBOT Director Chris Warner and TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey, Nosse wrote that after talking with Koerner and other business owners on 14th Street, “I am respectfully asking that you consider moving the bridge to a different location either up further on 16th St. or even consider 8th or 9th instead.”
“I don’t think your planning is so far along that you could not consider an alternative,” Rep. Nosse continued, “And I think this would be an appropriate compromise.” According to Rep. Nosse, the planned alignment would make it difficult for these businesses to operate forklifts and access loading zones with large trucks. The alignment would also, “Potentially harm these very commuters your agencies are attempting to serve,” Rep. Nosse wrote.
“TriMet and the City of Portland have determined that the project cannot be built on another street.”
— Roberta Altstadt, TriMet
In her letter, Koerner’s lawyer Jennifer Bragar says an SEIS done in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review process is required because TriMet and PBOT want to locate the new bridge at a different location than the old one. “The FEIS did not suggest that the bridge would be replaced in a location that differed from its original siting at SE 16th and Gideon,” Bragar wrote, “nor that it would accommodate bicyclists as well as pedestrians.” She adds that while biking and walking projects are typically excluded from the EIS process, one is still needed because, “The proposed bridge will significantly affect the quality of the human environment by altering the physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment.”
Bragar also claims her client hasn’t been given adequate time to comment on the proposal. Furthermore, Bragar questions the necessity of the bridge altogether. Even if one is needed, she says her client wants it to go somewhere else. Here’s an excerpt from Bragar’s letter:
“… both Tri-Met and PBOT have failed to provide evidence that the proposal is actually necessary for pedestrians or bicyclists. Neither agency has provided evidence of accidents or injury to either pedestrians or bicyclists at this railroad crossing nor have they provided evidence that the proposed bridge will be useful to bicyclists or pedestrians. If Tri-Met and PBOT believe a pedestrian and bicycle bridge is necessary, the Gideon Overcrossing should be placed in a location that will result in greatest utility for pedestrians and bicyclists – specifically in the location of the previous access bridge at SE 16th and Gideon which supports connectivity between neighborhoods, or other alternative locations that have yet to be examined in an EIS.”
While Rep. Nosse and Michael Koerner want the bridge moved to a different location (and Koerner said he’s also got support from Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and several other business owners in the area), TriMet Communications Manager Roberta Altstadt told us this morning that’s just not possible. “TriMet and the City of Portland have determined that the project cannot be built on another street,” she wrote in an email. “However, the city and TriMet continue to look for ways to minimized or mitigate the impact on local businesses.”
Altstadt said the bridge can’t be built at any other location because the FTA funding is tied directly to safety issues at SE 11th and 12th, where long UPRR delays cause some people to cross unsafely and even to walk across stopped train cars. According to Altstadt, FTA guidelines stipulate that a bike/walk bridge must be located close enough to the original location of the safety hazard to “provide a convenient alternative.”Placing the bridge at 16th would not address the safety issue that is the basis for the FTA funding. The bridge at 16th would simply be too far away and require too much out of direction travel – particularly for pedestrians — to be a viable alternative,” Altstadt explained.
Altstadt says TriMet and the City of Portland analyzed several other locations and for various reasons, none of them could accommodate a bridge because there was either not enough room for the structure or the project would require condemnation of entire businesses.
While TriMet sounds resolute, neighborhood advocates are worried Koerner’s opposition could put the entire project in jeopardy.
Brooklyn resident John Karabaic posted his concerns on a local email list as a “call to action” to “save the bridge”. “There is a vocal business owner on the north side of the bridge who stands to lose about 11 feet of driveway space that’s currently in the public right-of-way,” Karabaic wrote, “While that may be inconvenient for them, I believe the benefits of this location far outweigh the slight inconvenience this business owner would incur.”
Karabaic said putting the bridge further east at 16th would make it about one-quarter mile from the 11th/12th crossing. “This is a long distance for someone who has trouble walking or is in a wheelchair,” he wrote. “It could make the difference in missing a bus or train.” Karabaic feels the proposed alignment is ideal because it lines up with an existing crossing of SE Powell Blvd used by a lot of people on bikes and on foot.
As for safety concerns, Karabaic says that claim is unfounded. He cites the nearby Rhine-Lafayette overpass and streets in the Central Eastside Industrial District — both of which interface with industrial businesses while posing no major safety hazards (at least statistically and in terms of popularity) to vulnerable road users.
Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District (HAND) Chair Christopher Eykamp says he agrees with some of Koerner’s safety concerns. In an email this morning, Eykamp told us he’s drafting a letter from HAND to TriMet asking for help to mitigate potential hazards. “The truth is that no one really knows how much of a [safety] factor this will be in practice, and it is possible that if the danger is real, businesses will have to change their practices accordingly.”
Eykamp feels the well-documented safety costs of not building the bridge should be weighed against the potential costs to businesses: “And I really don’t see much of a contest.”
For his part, Koerner said he’s already invested about $30,000 fighting the project. His anger with TriMet over how the process has unfolded is palpable. He feels the agency is “ramming this down our throats.” “We’re screaming from the trees and they’re not listening,” he shared on the phone this morning. “They’ve deceived us on more than one occasion and I find this all ridiculous and self-serving. They had no intention of ever working with us.”
Eykamp acknowledges TriMet’s public process and other missteps around the Orange Line project have caused frustration among many in the neighborhood, but given the choices available, he feels the bridge should be built as planned. “I strongly support moving forward with the project, and I believe a majority of the HAND board does as well.”
UPDATE, 12/21: Don’t miss the latest post on this story with response from TriMet and PBOT.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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I guess he should have stayed in his old location between Williams and Vancouver in North Portland, instead of moving in to a new place at one end of a much needed pedestrian/bike overpass. This dude should have done his homework, boo hoo.
Yeah, let’s stick it to a small business owner!
Why wasn’t the Orange Line built as an elevated line in the first place? Seems like that could have solved the need for an overcrossing at this location and would have simplified the intersections as it would eliminate the need for at-grade crossings for the MAX train.
I responded down below as well, but the crossing is needed more for the UPRR line rather than the MAX line.
You would have had to trench both the UPRR mainline and the new MAX line. This would have required coordination with UPRR (notoriously difficult to work with) and an extra $200-$300million.
Not the max line — those interruptions are brief. But the time to do the trenching was before the Orange Line was built because you’d first have to relocate the UPRR line, and there’s nowhere else to put it.
Okay let’s. His whole argument boils down to “This is bad for me, so screw you.” So my counter-argument is “It’s good for me, so screw YOU.” Why not? Hey guy, relax, it’s just business, buddy! Should I not be self-interested? Do we suddenly care about individuals?
And is there something sacred about small business? We’ll I’m an even smaller business – with a single employee and a single client!
Here’s a brain twister – If we care about using public resources to protect and help a class of people, but that class of people is “business,” are we conservatives or liberals? BOOM my brain exploded. Insert Eric Wareheim GIF here.
Clearly the question is simplified by laying it bare as what it is: The only question in government is “Who receives?” Well my take is, I receive. I receive a totally sweet bridge in a convenient spot.
Sounds like he did by getting out of the wild wild NoPo. I bet you probably enjoyed when he took his big trucks to SE. Sounds like he can’t win.
Its not the 1960’s, most modern digital cameras for movies and television can be easily carried on a small cargo bike, no giant trucks necessary.
It literally goes through his parking lot. You know, the place where most people on this forum want cars to besides at the recycling plant. Heck, even goes through his disabled parking spot? I’m sure disability rights Oregon might have to chime in as well. I like it when you toss
In “easily.” Beyond popular belief, not every wants to or is able (timeliness/size of the delivery) hop on a cargo bike and make deliveries. I’m sure they have business outside of Portland.
These seem small. http://www.koernercamera.com/digital-cinema-cameras/
It literally does not touch his parking lot.
You must not be looking at the same place I am. Try looking at it from google earth. I see at least 4 parking spots. Please be informed before adding those award winning comments 🙂
Pretty sure the article states that the bridge needs to use public right of way, and that ROW is used to access his parking lot. Not that the bridge needs to actually use his parking lot space.
There may be four parking spots there. That doesn’t make it his parking lot. It is possible this is public right-of-way which has been striped for private parking.
Interesting, Google Earth on my computer doesn’t show the crossing built yet, so not sure how I could get “informed” from that as to what the crossing encroaches on… 😉
The structure is being built entirely on public land.
Just because this business owner converted public right of way into a private parking lot doesn’t mean it’s now a private parking lot. That space is meant to serve the public. And there is far more utility with a safe crossing of the tracks than a couple parking spots for a private business.
The drawing clearly cuts off what was the entry into a parking lot that doesn’t have any room for maneuvering, and turns it instead into one long passage to get to the loading dock. Notice too, from the Google Streetview picture last year that they obviously redid their entire lot, probably adding the ADA parking when they did it (which is required by building code when you make changes like this, a certain portion of the cost must go to improving accessibility).
From the drawing it looks like they’d no longer have valid ADA parking, and in order to do more remodeling (like say, to extend the loading dock as is required in the drawing) they would legally be required to improve accessibility as per the ADA, only the proposed drawing would definitely reduce it. They’re not just losing ease of use for their parking lot, they’re definitely losing most of the lot itself.
Wow, someone who clearly sees what is going here rather than just reading about this or that. I knew it didn’t take much effort to see what is actually going on vs a street trust witch hunt after a business owner who doesn’t sound like a NIMBY.
I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I see a 2D plan view that shows a very large truck maneuvering into a loading dock at the end of south end of the property either through or under the bridge structure. I’m guessing TriMet wouldn’t have provided that unless there was clearly room to maneuver under the bridge structure. I think a car can probably maneuver under that structure as well. Koerner’s arguments seem like all hype and no reality.
One of the biggest ( and most expensive) cameras on the website you linked to is the Phantom 4k flex which only weighs 14 pounds. Gotta have a big truck for that.
That Phantom 4k Flex is just the sensor body itself, all those attachment points are for, you know, the REST of the camera. Lens (which can be heavier than the body) goes on the front, base attaches to a tripod (definitely heavier than the body), all those SDI connectors on the side are for going to video recorders (usually rackmount in a big production), monitors, multicam switchers, etc. Depending on the style of the production, you might need to rent 3 or 4 full camera systems like that, with multiple lenses for each, backup video recorders, even just the SDI cabling to connect it all could be more than 50 pounds.
I can guarantee you that, with the selection of items they’re making available for rent, they’re not targeting folks who want to make guerilla documentaries with a DSLR and a Zoom recorder. If someone is renting an ARRI or RED they’re not just slapping a kit lens on it and calling it a day, they’re renting an entire video studio that’s only “portable” in the sense that it can be transported in a truck and set up with a crew (who also probably rides in the truck).
What sucks about the internet is the amount of ignorance that gets spewed around like a hippo swinging its tail in circles. The average camera package for even a small commercial is dozens of cases weighing many hundreds of pounds. The TV show I’m currently doing – which is contributing much more to the Portland economy than any of you on this thread – took a package out of Koerner of roughly 500 separate items in nearly 100 separate cases and weighing several tons.
Yes, tons. That’s why we have a 10-ton truck that’s 38 feet long. That’s why people like Michael Koerner – who’s actually a great guy with a great family and who takes great care of all of us who pump movie dollars into PDX (so people like you have the tax base to build ped and bike paths in the first place) – needs the parking lot he paid for when he moved into the property.
That building is a kind of home to Michael and a whole host of other people. How would you feel if the city blocked your front door with a huge concrete structure and ignored you when you told them “I need to be able to bring stuff to and from my home”?
Finally a voice of reason.
You are, I assume, referring to my posts?
Regardless of what trucks are needed where, you sound so self important and condescending that I hope this joker goes out of business because of this.
Wow Q, it’s wild how you are diminishing the authentic respresentation of someone who actively knows what they are talking about and then you attack there character and wish ill on other people. Feel free to tell us where you work so I can avoid supporting this sad message.
Matt’s hippo comment & question made me think; Matt asked, “How would you feel if the city blocked your front door with a huge concrete structure and ignored you…?”
A widened freeway, or widened street with no added protection for riding bicycles right at my front door came instantly to mind. NO, I do not like that! More noise, more truck exhaust & pollution, less safety, less peace in front of my dwelling? No thanks!
I wish all Portland businesses would put their contributions to environment & climate concerns up there with how much they feel they’re contributing to the economy. That’s because those *are* economic issues. The economy’s being affected by costs of climate change, & that will continue if we don’t help more people walk, walk to transit, & ride bicycles.
He didn’t pay for the dead-end street in front of his parking lot, where this project will be built. That belongs to all of us, and we elect people to spend our tax dollars on projects like this, that improve our quality of life.
Through minor modifications, the business is still easily accessible with even the largest of trucks. I don’t see the issue here.
As a fellow member of camera department in the film industry, I would like to say that Matt’s description of the size of motion picture camera packages is entirely accurate — but the condescending language he used was unkind and inappropriate. We all contribute to the tax base and we all all benefit from bike/ped improvements in this city. What’s at issue here is whether this proposed crossing is fair to the adjacent small business it is about to severely impact.
So it sounds like you sort of built this city then huh? Good job. We should be more grateful for all those movie dollars. Wait was I supposed to get movie dollars? Has anyone seen my movie dollars?
Oh you mean your taxes? Yeah I pay those too. They make me. But you obviously do it voluntarily, because you care so much about adding value and not at all about extracting it. See cuz I actually see film-and-TV people as self-important parasites interested only in packaging up whatever Portland (or anywhere) has to offer and selling it, and ruining it in the process. Like they did with LA. But I guess we shiftless layabouts should be more grateful as we play around frivolously all day in the bike lanes, that some of the paint was paid for by making you grudgingly pay 3 cents while keeping 97 cents from selling out Portland. You did it all for the community.
“What sucks about the internet” is that it puts bloated, corrupt, self-important industrial-scale film-and-TV companies out of business because all people want to do is watch lo-fi videos that other people make practically for free on their smartphones. Sure the quality suffers, but it’s relatively free of all the douchebaggy big-money influence that rules places like the one from which I’m guessing you moved about 5 minutes ago.
I don’t think it’s been established there will be any impact at all. I’m not saying there will be no impact, I’m saying it’s an open question which can be tested empirically, as I’ve suggested elsewhere on this page.
Oh come on, I can carry that on my steel track frame with my Chrome messenger bag.
It’s common for a camera package to be comprised of a dozen heavy cases or more, plus large tripods, carts, and expendables. On a big show camera trucks are typically 20ft box trucks and FULL.
Most of the large heavy stuff like tripods, carts, camera dollies, lighting etc. come from the Grip Houses not from the Camera Rental Places.
A camera system with all the components included, plus flight case (since I sincerely doubt anybody is renting a $100,000+ camera like a Phantom without a flight case) is very much “heavy stuff”. Again, nobody is going to be able to roll up to this place on a cargo bike and pedal away with a “light” 14 pound camera body only; I doubt they could even get a quote from an insurance company if their model was to deliver cameras like that via cargo bike.
What an ***word deleted – no insults please*** statement. Good luck fitting all the cameras, tripod systems, dollies, light boxes, lenses, wireless transmitters, and myriad other items you need to do a major video production shoot onto a small cargo bike. Not to mention you’re suggesting that the customers (who would be the ones renting the gear and transporting it to their site) should all be doing this via cargo bike. And I guess they should only rent to people who’d like to shoot within cargo bike range.
My term was directed at the statement and not the speaker, but I’m not going to cry over it if it’s removed.
That is simply not true. A single camera body, yes, but the totality of gear required for even a relatively modest commercial shoot is significant in size & requires trucking.
I carry A LOT of stuff on my bike but there is no way I could carry a camera package I rent from Koerner. Imagine a small package weighing in at about 300lbs in 5 or 6 cases. Or, a normal package weighing in close to 1000lbs of cases filled with lenses, camera body, monitors and a bunch of little parts and pieces. Not practical.
If you’re making little undependant films like I do, you don’t need a big truck. But I have seen big trucks loading up gear at Koerner’s. They are loaded up with all sorts of camera gear needed to make huge productions. Some of those people listed in the long credits at the end of movies and tv shows are working hard moving camera equipment around to create the flicks. Koerner supplies camera equipment to many of the productions being shot in this area. Have you seen something shot in this area? Good chance Koerner supplied the gear. He has all sorts of cameras needed. And boxes of lenses. And a lot of other equipment needed. I understand his concern for trucks backing up right to where people are crossing a bridge. Michael Koerner is not the enemy. If you had been lied to by tri-met numerous times, you would be frustrated as well. I am looking forward to some sort of resolution to this. I make films, I ride bikes, I’ve made films about people riding bikes, I co-made the Zoobomb Pyle bike rack downtown. I am pro-bikes, pro-films, pro-safety, pro-Koerner and pro a good solution to this. Happy Solstice everyone, may light shine down upon this situation.
***TheDude, if you’d like to comment here, you’ll need to treat other people with more respect. thanks. –Jonathan ***
***john, if you’d like to comment here, you’ll need to treat other people with more respect. thanks. –Jonathan ***
I’m fairly certain you have no idea what you’re talking about. A single 3 day commercial can use up to a 5 ton truck worth of gear supplied by this shop. A network television show can use double that. Even smaller independent films often needs to transport up to 30 cases of gear from this shop and this happens on a weekly if not daily basis during the summer time. Is it because he’s a business owner that there is this much vitriol about him trying to protect his business (which supports some 1500 middle class jobs and an annual revenue of 93 million for the state)? If he was a home owner protecting his space and parking and access to his property would people feel different? Also, no one has really mentioned NW Sustainable wood which also needs the space to offload large shipments for their business.
I’m just curious if anyone’s who has commented for the bridge here who owns a business would feel the same if the city designed something that would make it impossible for them and businesses around you to operate.
I’m 100% for shared rightaways. As long as they are safe, and it sounds like the city putting pedestrian and bike traffic routes onto streets with heavy semi truck traffic isn’t safe…
Are you sure this bridge will make it impossible for Koerner Camera to operate?
A grade crossing would save $13m and make everyone happy.
Good luck getting the railroad to approve an at grade crossing. They won’t.
There is an at-grade crossing, at 12th. And it is frequently blocked by trains. That’s why we need this project in the first place.
Patience is a virtue. Isn’t that why we ride bikes in the first place?
***portion of comment deleted.. Please don’t call anyone else a troll. Thank you.***
Are you stating that everyone who rides a bike only does so because they don’t care about getting to a specific destination in a timely manner?
Sorry Jonathan, using it as a verb made it not sound as bad in my head. 🙂 Won’t happen again
People act as if there is only one way to make it through town when that simply isn’t the case. Thanks for the well wishes.
It just seems strange to me that our culture finds it more okay to delay/inconvenience the people that have to use their own energy for travel (ped’s/cyclists) rather than those that can travel more quickly with hardly any energy output while sitting in their climate-controlled boxes. It just seems to coincide with the attitude that if you’re doing anything to actually contribute to society you MUST drive, otherwise you’re just messing around.
And to be clear, I didn’t actually say you were the thing that Jonathan deleted, I said that you seem to like to come on here to do that deleted thing. I can very much accept that IRL you and I would probably get along quite well and may be closer in our ideas than it seems on these forums :-). I think that applies to most internet interactions, though, and if more people realized that maybe the world wouldn’t seem so messed up.
= Car Head
9, I do wish I could drive more. But I don’t. I ride daily to work and to many other places. That should put a Christmas smile on your false assumptions 😉
I was responding to Ryan’s comment/rhetorical question:
“It just seems strange to me that our culture finds it more okay to delay/inconvenience the people that have to use their own energy for travel (ped’s/cyclists) rather than those that can travel more quickly with hardly any energy output while sitting in their climate-controlled boxes.”
Having run out of nesting levels it may have looked like I was responding to you, but I wasn’t.
I don’t mind at all. I’ve been called worse. Hopefully, you’ll understand when I have a funny in the future too 😉
Can’t be surprised with how this is unfolding… this isn’t the first time or the last. Let’s all demonize the business owner next so that we can get our way. Let’s not forget that he probably has to contend with diverters, road diets, and one ways that weren’t there when he started and now they’re asking to take away his parking and loading zone. Sounds pitty, especially knowing how many people it took to come to this “project.”
Part of what you say is true. It’s not surprising to see a business owner lambasted for how they react to change. I understand that business does best in a predictable environment, but sometimes things need to change, for a variety of reasons. It’s common for people (and businesses) to 100% object to any change in what they do on a daily basis. This may be an extreme version of that in the way this well-positioned business owner has pinged his powerful and numerous friends and business partners to join the crusade to oppose a public improvement. Regular readers on this site are not surprised. Given your comments on road diets, diverters, and other common safety measures, I give even less weight to your anti-bike crusade. As a seasonal bike rider, I know all too well how important those features are to regular bike commuters and this city’s goals for sustainable transportation. The short-sightedness of this business owner and his puppets are not surprising at all. So again, I agree that I’m not surprised with how this is all unfolding.
I’m a seasonal rider as well, I ride every season. 🙂 I may not worship the bike like most i do in fact ride 10-14 miles daily on Portland’s messed up streets. My crusade would actually be against the heavy hand of PBOT and the lack of common sense they display on a daily basis.
Hey, a lot of us are doing the opposite of demonizing this business owner, Doug. I lean heavily toward bikes as the preferred mode of transit pretty much anywhere, but this situation really does suck for the guy who’s not on a bike here.
It will not “totally suck”. Nothing will change. This is about power, not dollars.
I bike daily bro. I also could use the current crossing but wouldn’t waste my time with it because of the uncertainty of it. Plus, it’s been too PBOTted for me to want to ride it. The only thing that’s missing besides a bridge in a better location would be Dylan Rivera giving me a massage as I rode that stretch.
Rob Nosse: Pro-CRC, anti-bike bridge, represents inner-southeast in the legislature. Something doesn’t seem to match here.
The NIMBY tears….
Rather than shutting down the conversation with a dismissive insult like “NIMBY”, why not address the issues central to the conversation?
I do feel like “NIMBY” is thrown out a bit too often but, to be fair, the business owner did use the common NIMBY phrase: “I’m not against the project, I just don’t want it built here”
Now, his arguments about why he doesn’t want it built there are more nuanced (to an extent), but it’s not much of a reach in this specific case to get to the feeling of “NIMBY”.
The owner feels the project will negatively impact is business, and that it will introduce safety issues on his street. What about that, specifically, is “NIMBY”? Wouldn’t it be better, instead, to be talking about the merits of building the proposed bridge, evaluating the owner’s safety concerns against other options, and looking at how much his business would in fact be affected? Or is better to just lob insults designed to obscure the issues?
In this case, the merits of the project seem clear; it would be far better for everyone to focus on those rather than lobbing insults over the wall.
I agree with you, just saying that it’s easy to get that vibe from this situation.
I can understand him not wanting something that could negatively impact his business. It just feels like his concerns may be overblown (as seems to often be the case in these instances). I don’t know how many trucks he gets in there every day, but working myself in a very large office where we get numerous delivery vehicles of all sizes many times a day in a delivery zone that’s mixed with a parking and walking areas and things work out alright… but again, I can’t say for certain what it could be like here. That area already appears to have little margin for error for large trucks (it looks like trucks already would block the disabled parking spot as it is). But that also makes it seem like it wouldn’t be made much worse with the crossing there. If he’s stating that ped’s/cyclists would get in the way of the trucks, the sidewalk on the west side would be an easy way around any trucks coming in/out.
I’ll also remind you that NIMBYs kept the Mt Hood Freeway from being built. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
His large trucks are the only things creating safety issues. If he is so concerned about safety, has he ensured that all of them are non-articulating, cab-over-axle models with side and rear under ride protection? As a responsible business owner who is concerned about safety, I would expect no less.
One could argue that he was being safety conscious by locating his business in a deadend. It’s hard for the heavy trucks to present danger to bike/ped traffic that isn’t there.
But then if trimet adds the new bridge, the trucks now have to accommodate traffic the owner was trying to avoid in the first place.
He’s not putting his business in a thorofare, trimet is trying to build a thorofare through his business.
Making the biz owner out to be the bad guy here is kinda like sprinting into someone and yelling at them for hitting you.
If the trucks never left the confines of this block, then you would be correct. I’m just guessing here, but I think they probably drive all over town, including on streets with significant pedestrian/cyclist traffic.
I agree that this project changes the nature of this dead-end street. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t investigate this before locating his business here just a few years ago. The information was all publicly available.
I’m on Hello Kitty’s side for once. Rachel, do you have anything constructive to add? Or was this a drive-by comment?
I am always aware of being the naysayer that continually leads with “We don’t need this, we need that!”…
But in this case, there are so many better ways to spend however millions of dollars. The bridge a bit further south at Lafayette totally makes sense, since there are so few other rail crossing options (really nothing between the very poor options at Powell and Holgate). And I use that one almost every single day while commuting (errr, besides when it being repaired…).
But why here? Unless I am totally missing something, people are getting by quite fine via using SE 12th. I really don’t see the use case for this one.
When the crossing is blocked for an hour by a UPRR train, as happens daily, the use case becomes quite apparent.
I guess my point is: the Lafayette bridge is useful 100% of the time, and this bridge would be useful 10% of the time. You are right though, during that 10% of the time when it is blocked, this could be essential.
But in the world of “if I had to pick where to put a bridge in SE” – I’d vote for one at SE Reedway (right smack between Holgate and Bybee) that goes over 99 and all the rails.
That Reedway Overcrossing is going to get built, although it could be as long as 10 years away.
Oh wow, I had no idea that was in the works at all (well, I suppose this barely counts, but still!).
Jonathan, you refer to the previous Gideon bridge as an “old wooden footbridge” and Jennifer Bragar suggests it was pedestrian-only. In fact, it was a modern concrete multi-use bridge complete with dual bike trenches. See my photo https://photos.app.goo.gl/X61eizomHwB7dxxn9 and google street view: https://goo.gl/maps/U61qfMR2PkE2
It was the old bridge at Lafayette that was a disaster. The Gideon bridge was useful.
Ah. Definitely a mistake on my part. Thanks. I will edit ASAP.
I always hated having to get past that caped lady who guarded Lafayette…
It also had that community built skate park underneath. That being demolished without replacement was the worst case of TriMet plowing over local neighborhood culture.
Visit the site now — there’s a small sliver of land with a fence on all sides, to keep prospective skaters out, I suppose. What was a quirky gem is now a fenced wasteland. Thanks to everyone who helped make that happen!
This guy sounds like the office furniture guy who didn’t want Wheeler made one way ( to prevent the frequent left hooks at Broadway and Wheeler) because if his trucks had to drive around the block to get back to the warehouse it would put him out of business, ( or so he said).
Oh, honey, bikeninja – did you mean Weidler instead of Wheeler? One is an actual street, and the other is an actual mayor (but maybe not a good one).
Thanks for pointing out that typo!!! It totally invalidates whatever point the author was trying to make. There was a typo!!!
Wheeler is a street too (by the Rose Garden)
Seems like once a week UP parks a train over 12th around rush hour. Every time I see multiple people carry their bikes over the parked train. Stupid behavior, yes, but I’ve yet to wait long enough to see the train to move again so I can sort of understand. Those of use that aren’t willing to risk jumping the train end up going a mile out of our way to take the nearest ped bridge just to connect back to Clinton a few blocks up from where the train is stopped. This also obviously affects people in cars at this intersection as well. I’m guessing the bulk of the concern is the liability for what could happen when jumping the train is common behavior and that the bridge further down is too far away to be an efficient alternative route for a pedestrian.
There is a pedestrian underpass on Powell. It is not that bad of a detour from Clinton.
Save for the omnipresent homeless camp and garbage strewn about. I generally avoid the underpass because of this.
I often use the underpass when I go for a run during lunch, and the camp was cleared out somewhat recently. Granted, there’s still remnants like latex gloves and broken pieces of syringes, and the urine smell hasn’t gone away completely, but compared to some areas around here it’s not bad! 😀
It doesn’t take much to look at the drawings and compare them with what is actually there. 😉
I’m a longtime reader and fan of this blog, and a customer of Koerner Camera. I think Michael is right.
It appears this project in it’s current design would block access to his loading dock, which absolutely would make his small business unworkable. Camera trucks need to back up to the dock since professional camera gear is very heavy and cumbersome. The trucks then go off and shoot movies, TV shows, and commercials (employing lots of Portlanders, myself included) then they come back to unload.
If Koerner Camera were forced to move it would be an injustice since they just invested a fortune building out that space — building not just a great rental house but a camera museum and community space for industry meet ups, too.
I also live in the area and would benefit from this crossing (those freight trains suck) but there has got to be a better solution that doesn’t screw people over.
Appreciate the insight, but it looks like all the work has been done to prove that this project doesn’t negatively impact Mr. Koerner. Thoughts?
I’m not sure all the work has been done if the business, customers and community behind it are saying it will negatively impact the business.
Hi guys. You’re right that access to the loading dock would be maintained, technically, however it probably would become unsafe and difficult to use. Instead of backing a truck in straight, you would have to back in diagonally over a great distance, with 2ft of clearance on either side, cutting in front of Koerner’s entrance and blocking access to the handicap parking spot. I think many people would be challenged to maneuver a box truck that way. I’m hoping there is a better alternative.
How, exactly, do big trucks get to the site now without backing in? Bridge or no, there’s not nearly enough room to turn around in the space available.
They only need to fit a box truck? The owner’s lawyer shows that a huge semi can back in.
And it doesn’t look like a wheelchair uses could access that ramp with the dock in use.
And what law guarantees you large motor vehicle access to your property?
Figure 2B above clearly shows that access the the loading dock is maintained. I get that everyone here might not be an engineer/planner, but the evidence is pretty clear.
We need an overpass here. Why not put it directly over the top of the Max Station? City/Tri-met needs to eminent domain the Mason’s Supply Building already (Both of them on both sides of 12th) and use that land to build this bridge and create a truly Platinum level street plaza that improves mobility for all users – bikes, peds, vehicles. Might even help out the Super-Bus they are going to be running down Division.
It is going to be stuck in the same traffic every other vehicle is. Blocked by the same UPRR trains. Superbus indeed.
Seconded. If we’re serious about making it easier for pedestrians and bikers to get over stopped trains and a smoother ride in general, this seems like an honest question to ask.
Further, after reading this morning about the bike highways in Europe, I am ready to start advocating for SE Division to become a dedicated bike highway all the way from Gresham to the river.
I’m rather skeptical of Mr. Koerner’s concerns. The gist of those concerns seem to be difficulty in large trucks accessing his loading ramp, and safety concerns in doing so.
He rents digital cinema-quality video cameras. As to access: Does he seriously use a semi-truck to haul those? That seems unfathomable. As to safety: How may trucks a day does he have? That’s a rather niche market.
A typical camera truck is a box truck, up to 24ft long.
You should call and confirm a few of those assumptions.
Aweee, that’s too bad. I’ll get my “jump to conclusions” pad out instead. That’s always a fun game to play. 😉
That’s cute. You watched Office Space – fun movie of course. I recommend looking at the facts. TriMet showed how trucks can access this site using standard engineering diagrams. With all the creatives in the movie industry, why can’t they envision something so simple as moving a truck?
Plenty of facts have been given if you just read the comments of people who do business with Michael or live in the neighborhood. Reading is the key element my friend. Good luck.
My son is a videographer/director, and a frequent Koerner’s client. I can tell you that video equipment of this caliber is not your pocket Canon SureShot. And in case you haven’t had a movie or tv shoot on your street, I can also tell you that there will be numerous box trucks involved. Whatever the merits of this case are or aren’t, let’s have a facts-based discussion.
It’s 2018 and I can have an entire camera in my pocket! Surely these TV producers can just use iPhones, right? Who needs good image and sound quality anyway, Instagram stories are the way of the future!
I mean, even if you don’t believe all the people in the article and replying to you that video production equipment requires large vehicles, you can gather evidence just from the pictures – nobody installs a loading dock for box trucks on their commercial building for the fun of it.
I don’t see what you’re trying to say. TriMet shows how you can move the largest truck possible in this area to the site. It doesn’t matter how large the equipment is. If it doesn’t fit on the largest truck, then Koerner’s obviously in the wrong location.
“He rents digital cinema-quality video cameras. As to access: Does he seriously use a semi-truck to haul those? That seems unfathomable. As to safety: How may trucks a day does he have? That’s a rather niche market.”
This is what I replied to. My point was that it was reasonable that he’d “seriously use a semi-truck” to haul cameras, and that there are likely multiple trucks per day if the business is doing well, despite it being a niche market.
Yes multiple large trucks can be backing down that road on any given day. On busy days at Koerner I have personally had to wait in line to back my truck into his loading area.
That tells me in his industry, which is growing rapidly, has already outgrown his space. This is a really constrained neighborhood. He will need to move eventually anyway if the film industry continues to take off, which I think it will. Fight for relocation costs to a better more centralized space with unconstrained access. It will help the entire region’s economy, his business, and the local neighborhood as the next tenant will be adapted to the overpass.
Nosse’s intervention is regrettable and seems uninformed. I don’t think it’s that easy to place a bridge/elevator at 8th or 9th. Hopefully he does his homework better when he’s legislating. I wonder if he even talked to anybody at the city or at trimet. My guess: he didn’t. Care to weigh in Representative Nosse?
I hope Michael Koerner gets Trimet to stop this project. It is a terrible design for people commuting by bike. I would say over half of cyclists that could use the Lafayette Street Bridge choose not to. This project is a waste of money. I would propose making the underpass on Powell better or building a ramp somewhere.
There is federal funding available for this project because it’s considered part of Clinton Station. The same is not true of 16th, the underpass, or any of the other alternatives that are float.
And the Powell underpass was improved (hard to imagine if you didn’t know the way it was), so I’m not sure how much “better” it could get.
Yeah, the two elevator design is flawed. I never use those overpasses because they take too long and the elevator is broken half the time. Aside from elevating the MAX and UPRR tracks, s long flyover makes the most sense here. Use the space where the bioswales currently are along Gideon for the ramp. If there’s room for a useless 30 foot wide swath of dirt and shrubs, surely we could fit a ramp in that space instead.
But imagine how much better it could work with just a little more thought on behalf of designers. What if when you went up in one elevator, the call button were automatically pressed on the other so that, in periods of low use, it was waiting there for you, almost as if by magic.
Maybe.. but also imagen the elevator at rush hour, there would be a line of people waiting to get in. Correct me if I’m wrong but the number one user would be people on bikes. A ramped overpass is the best option for people commuting by bike.
I like a bike fly-over ramp that crosses SE Powell, the Orange line, and the UPRR tracks, all in one single, smooth, straight, elevated bridge: from about 18th and SE Franklin to the end point of SE Gideon. IF not from Franklin from the south side sidewalk of Powell at 18th up and over to Gideon. It’s a long enough run to have a nice grade, and they can get across all 3 of the obstacles in one go.
Why wasn’t the Orange Line built as an elevated line in the first place? Seems like that could have solved the need for an overcrossing at this location and would have simplified the intersections as it would eliminate the need for at-grade crossings for the MAX train.
The MAX line isn’t the problem (level crossings only delay you a minute or two). It’s the Union Pacific line that causes the big delays here.
Yes, but if the MAX was elevated here, you could just go up to the platform, then back down the other side.
Cost. After the failure of the 1998 light rail bond TriMet has picked the most affordable option available without a voter approved bond.
The price of building the Orange Line would have been triple or quadruple what it was. The price tag on this short ped bridge is 14 million. Miles of elevated track would have made the project to expensive to build.
A city without a backbone. Amazing to see non “industrial” businesses oppose a safety project like this.
Safety is why the business is opposing it.
Do you really believe that?
LOL! After reading several of his posts on FB, BP, and elsewhere I started doing this in my head every time his name pops up. Had to block him on FB since it seemed like I couldn’t read a single post from the City or about cycling where he wasn’t dragging the conversation into the mud.
Thanks for the regards 🙂 but it’s easy to surround yourself with like minded, agreeable people so best of luck to you.
Agreeable is what I shoot for, generally.
I don’t even know who you are to know whether you are agreeable or not. I can think of who you probably are and it involves a decades old European study on why bike helmets are actually less safe. That being said, I won’t jump on bandwagon or write up stuff without finding out what is really going on which is better than writing some cliche statement about NIMBY’s or people who provide jobs for the community.
You’re pretty far off the mark; It’s highly unlikely you’d have any idea who I am.
I suspect we’d probably enjoy each other’s company in real life, Doug.
Fair enough. I work downtown and always open for a beer to talk transportation.
If I’m being completely honest, I’d be more excited to hear about your outdoor adventures than talking shop about transportation. I tried one transportation advocacy thing and while it was a learning experience I’m not so sure I’d ever do that again. People be crazy.
Sounds good. I’m always down to share about the forest. I’d rather be there instead of being in town but that chance hasn’t happened yet.
You mean, confirmation bias.
Whatever floats yer boat.
If they build it at current proposed location, this business owner can do what the business owners at the corner of 18th and SE Haig (which is the western ride-up to the Rhine / Lafayette st bridge of the same design/purpose) does, which is to occupy this dead-end street for their own purposes, including parking all kinds of cars here which sometimes block the street to cyclists.
Hopefully, if they do put this bridge in, the city puts up some good “no parking” signs to keep the area clear for safe passage of bikers. 18th and Haig street could seriously use some help, including better lighting.
I pushed SE Uplift Board of Directors executive committee to endorse the 14th location yesterday. The official letter will go out by Monday. There is no other viable spot for it unless we buy out Mason building supply.
Everyone says “I’m not opposed, just not near me.” We are growing very fast as a city, everyone including businesses need to adapt. The safety needs of everyone using that corridor vastly outweigh the individual impacts.
Terry Dublinski-Milton SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
So the safety needs of pedestrians navigating forklifts and semis doesn’t concern you? Obviously, you do not use 14th during a week day or you would know exactly why the businesses are concerned. Children darting in front or more importly behind, because if you actually used this street you would know that the semis BACK down the street, is an accident waiting to happen.
Is it legal to load trucks in the street?
Yes it is. We are on a dead end street with only businesses that are in the same zoning.
For that one block it is industrial. This is still public ROW that used to be a continuous street before the MAX line and rail construction years back. No matter how much you want it to be used for private purposes alone, which you are used to, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Public needs now require using that public ROW.
Jesus Terry, it’s definitely not a continuous street now. It hasn’t been one for a while, that’s why there’s discussion about building a bridge. Don’t pretend this is a Star Trek scenario and you’re Spock.
That was done already Terry, when they built the max line 😉 how much more should the businesses bend over and have to bow to prehistoric ROW’s? I can see it now, “we’ll, my horse used to freely graze where your concrete pad is!” I need it back! Lol
That doesn’t make it legal. The city requires a temporary street use permit if someone needs to block the street for extended periods. Sounds like your group of businesses grew accustomed to taking over the public street. Time to share the road and learn to do it in a safe manner.
That does not make it legal. It seems like you think you are entitled to occupy the public space in front of your business as you see fit. That is not the law.
I’m more concerned with the trains and someone getting killed at 11/12th. I ride the route all the time, and I see what is going on there. I have been riding Clinton for 20 years. The decision was not made in a vacuum. We discussed this business in particular, though until this article came out we did not know which one. We assumed because of the nature of the business and the valuable equipment that it was it.
We weighed the needs of our whole 160,000 region wide population versus the impacts on one business. I’m sure there will need to be training, and to be more careful with deliveries, better lighting, signage.
We will add 200,000 residents citywide over the next 20 years, everyone needs to adapt.
I also see a row of, free to the public, parking on those block between the future bridge and clinton. I suggest we eliminate it. The 15 or do cars will adapt and park somewhere else– Room for protected space with minimal disruption.
Obviously you have some agenda that is goes far deeper than this bridge. The “free” parking you so casually through out getting rid of is paid permitted parking that was voted on by the neighborhood. You seem to be rather free with other peoples businesses and interests. We don’t own the building we are in and will move on. But we actually care about our community and are not in this for any money. We all know about the not so secret plans for upscale development that is planned. All of this is not about pedestrians or bicycles its about who is paying the highest dollar to have that ROW.
Speaking of agendas, Tamara, would you support this project if it were possible for Koerner to continue to operate more or less as they do now?
I apologise that I did not remember the parking permits. I have not paid close enough attention to parking Management as the system, which is decades behind other cities, slowly expands. I pay attention to transportation and land use issues citywide, but mostly the 20 neighborhoods of SE.
That does not negate my point that the parking is space devoted to parked cars, where this conversation is about People safety. My only agenda is to modernize our street system safely for all users, and to make sure everyone has a quality place to live.
If that row of parking was removed there is room for separated space if that is what the safety needs require. If you do not own the building, and this project will impact you to the point of not being able to function, then have Trimet pay for relocation costs but this bridge is absolutely needed.
Threatening to block the project risks the federal funds. Then after someone gets killed, as it will take us a decade to fund a new bridge ourselves, the $15 million will be paid for locally. That is money taken from sidewalks, high crash corridors and safe routes to schools.
That threatens the lives of everyone in the neediest neighborhoods in Portland. That is my agenda.
The city isn’t interested in fixing sidewalks much less creating them where they don’t exist. But also, they don’t want to do anything to fix the third world “not improved streetways” that cover much of SE and a bit of NE. So that extra money wouldn’t go there anyways.
I didn’t realize it was a non-profit.
Pretty sure that I crossed the old bridge with my bike a number of times. It has been awhile and I think i might have had to carry it but it worked fine so I dont feel like it is reasonable to demand an environmental study because the new bridge also allows bikes to cross.
Also this seems like an example of why we should not allow the old could thing to be removed until the new better thing is built because the City is starting to have a bit of a track record on broken promises when it comes to getting the new thing built.
Like a bike highway down Williams and a terrible bike blvd on Rodney… Where does the city want us to ride?
Michael Koerner is by no means the only business that is frustrated with the way this project is being handled and have serious concerns about the safety of the people who will be using this bridge. I represent one of the businesses on 14th and we have semi-trucks that come and go throughout the day as do the rest of the businesses on the street. At any given time, there could be four or five trucks and forklifts coming and going on 14th. I learned about the bridge from the other businesses and neighbors, not by the agencies involved.
I attended a meeting where we, neighbors and businesses, voiced our concerns and what we were repeatedly told was that people were jumping the freight trains and it was unsafe. The freight trains have not changed due to the MAX Orange Line. The only thing that has changed is the bridge was taken down that allowed pedestrians and bikes to cross over the trains on to 16th. Why has it become inconceivable to put back the bridge that was working before? Why put the public in harm’s way? This bridge has no effect on our business financially, it maybe even good for our business, but for concern for the safety of the public it is simply a foolish idea to make decisions without the input of those who actually know how the street is used on a day to day basis. I asked for the traffic studies that were done on 14th and found out that in fact none were done. Since then, a counter strip was placed outside of our driveway for one day, one day the week before Christmas, that is not an accurate study of traffic that comes and goes from our business.
The bottom line is the agencies involved pushed ahead without regard for public safety and without input from those it will most impact.
Always pleasant to hear from someone in the tranches then many from the sidelines. Thanks Tamra!
Since when does a traffic study need to be done for a ped/bike connection? This is a public asset that connects public streets. Bikes and pedestrians aren’t traffic – they are the solution to traffic. A bike/ped bridge doesn’t generate traffic like a land use. Bike/peds already go through this area and this bridge gives them a safer option with less delay. This may be a city of process, but that’s one process unnecessary to this project.
I do wonder about all the concern expressed for people riding bikes and walking on streets that have semis. I’ve never ridden in a city where I didn’t have to ride with semis present, and I’ve never driven semis in any city that didn’t have cyclists present. In fact, I live on a residential street with a large warehouse at one end that has twenty or thirty semis per day come and go and it hasn’t caused much in the way of hazards. (Occasionally, a truck driver foolishly continues up to the dead-end, invariably on a stormy night, but they always manage to find a way to back out.) Has our skillset, both drivers and people in bikes, gotten so low that we cannot be on the same low-speed roads?
Not to mention we already deal with the semis that take up the whole street outside the wood place on lower Clinton anyway. Those drivers make no pretense about the fact that they are not going to look for you, and they’re not going to stop even if they did. I can’t see how navigating around semis on this road would be any different that what we’re doing right now just around the corner.
I’ve called PBOT a number of times on this issue and they “might” be willing to put up some signage. I doubt that will stop the big rigs turning off of division but it may make the city feel better. Same for SE Ankeney. Hence as to why the diverse at 14th? Is curved, for big rigs making deliveries.
It’s frustrating, but I also understand this is a challenging area for a truck to have to deliver to. It’s not so much that they’re blocking the street, as I can just take the sidewalk, but that it sometimes seems like they’re going out of their way to pull out in front of cyclists and cars at the last minute. Either way, I’ve learned that if there’s a truck there I go to the sidewalk and creep along trying to guess at the drivers intentions the whole way.
16th is simply too far away from 12th. The outreach about the bridge has gone on for years. Trimet should have done a better job contacting the companies, but we have known since the beginning of the Orange line design that the trains would be an issue.
In the beginning, Trimet should have bought out Mason Building supply. Hindsight is just that, but to mitigate the safety problems at the intersection, which is on one of the busiest bike corridors in the city, an overpass is the only way…..unless you want to remodel the Brooklyn Railyard. That is the real solution, but the railroad has a 19th century dictatorial power legacy and will not spend a dime on the issue.
I disagree, for a cyclist 16th is not to far away and would not be a big detour. If this over pass is mostly for cyclists I needs to be a ramp. If the overpass only has elevators and stairs I am sure the people jumping trains would still jump them instead of using the overpass.
It’s primarily for pedestrians.
To clarify, that’s why the feds are paying for it.
To further clarify, they will not pay for a bridge at 16th, so unless you want to pay for it, 16th is not an option.
That means pushing for the bridge at 16th is no different than advocating for no bridge. It just isn’t an option.
Yes you are right I forgot about what the article stated. Something is better than nothing I guess.. Hopefully TriMet will add a couple of bicycle round abouts, like the one at Milwaukie and Mitchell, front of the elevators. That would be great 🙂
I fought for a ramp, really…really…I did.
The ROW required just is not available…..unlike at Reedway where are next crossing needs to be. I originally thought 16th was better as well, then I did a site visit and watched bike movements. I also looked at the visual distance while biking. When there is a train stopped, it is a third of a mile from 12th/Clinton to 16th/Overpass. Hence you will get cyclists trying to beat the train.
I disagree with your statement that nothing has changed here. What has changed is the frequency and duration that the UPRR trains block the intersection at 11/12th Ave have increased, due to the significant increase in usage of the Brooklyn rail yard by UPRR to load containers onto trains. This increase in rail usage is only going to grow, with the frequency of these trains blocking the intersection to all other users increasing. Let’s focus on bringing the UPRR to provide additional funding for better bridges, better access, perhaps buying out the Masons supply building, or bring them to block the intersection less.
$30k on a land use attorney that can’t even get the facts straight?
“The FEIS did not suggest that the bridge would be replaced in a location that differed from its original siting at SE 16th and Gideon,” Bragar wrote.
Yet, just by doing a search on a PDF at TriMet’s website (http://trimet.org/pdfs/pm/FEIS/FEIS_Vol1_Chapters.pdf ), I was able to find that’s completely false. The FEIS (page 2-12 to 2-13) states:
“In addition, a pedestrian overcrossing of the UPRR tracks currently located west of SE 16th Avenue and SE Brooklyn Street would be removed. A new pedestrian overcrossing that would
include ramps meeting ADA requirements would be constructed from SE 14th Avenue over the UPRR to the Clinton Station.”
This is an absolutely glaring factual error in Koerner’s argument. Given the bridge has been cited since 2010 in the FEIS his argument is effectively that it will be harder, but possible, to park a truck here. When did Koerner’s business move in? If it was after 2010 I have very little sympathy.
Looks like the location was on N Williams in 2015…
Hopefully the suit gets tossed because of this.
Film producer here who uses Koerner Camera on a daily basis.
Let me start by saying the cameras are not little things that you just carry out into a car. A camera package for filming is quite large and heavy, and you are not considering all of the accessories needed which all come in large heavy cases to protect the delicate equipment. we use large 28′ trucks to haul just our camera equipment around. Koerner serves our entire industry. He is the only major camera house in Portland. I can tell you this will disrupt and entire industry in the city which pumps a lot of dollars into the economy.
As for safety, large trucks are needed to haul all of the equipment. There is barely enough room now as is. Can you imagine a busy bike and pedestrian path though a tiny lot where large trucks are moving in and out of all day? That is asking for accidents. Don’t we want to be safe and fair and improve our communities in a meaningful way for all?
I am familiar with this business. The proposed plan would make koerner camera’s needed operations patently impossible to sustain. And my view of the pedestrian & bike traffic paths meeting substantial truck traffic appears perilous to say the least.
He’d still be able to get his trucks in, according to TriMet.
You don’t have to be familiar with this particular business to see how a truck maneuvers. TriMet shows that a truck could safely maneuver onto the site. Period.
TriMet should hire a truck driver to back a truck into Koerner’s lot as if the structure were in place and show that it is possible.
Sure, a truck could maneuver into a reconstructed loading dock. It would block the only ADA-accessible parking spot while doing so.
You’ve convinced me. Moving an ADA parking space is just too much to ask.
Just heated up the popcorn and ready to read your rants about Trimet, this is good stuff. On a side note, they’ve ran over too many people for me to trust their abilities to back up a big rig.
We’re in luck, then, because TriMet drivers are not generally in the big-rig backing up business. They drive buses. Forwards.
Any word on who pays for the proposed loading dock extension (shown in the final rendering in the article)? Is that covered by project funds?
Bikes, pedestrians and industrial usage can coexist, but thoughtful execution is super necessary. Who knows better about the ebb and flow of it all then businesses right there? Advocacy is key. I believe that everyone has to come to the table to talk about it and plan. Neither side wants to have a decision made for them. Safe routes for bikes and pedestrians are critical, but we have to do it in a way that honors and respects the small businesses that keep Portland alive.
“Who knows better about the ebb and flow of it all then businesses right there? ”
I’ll take traffic engineers for $500, Alex.
I agree with Koerner, sounds like a hazard with heavy equipment and pedestrians in same area: an accident waiting to happen. Would be wise for the City to change bridge location.
***Hi Joe. Just because people who don’t usually read BikePortland suddenly join the discussion, that doesn’t automatically make them “trolls”. Please don’t call people that. I really don’t like that word when it’s used as an insult in this context. And if Mr. Koerner encouraged people to comment here, I think that’s great. This place is for robust discussions and I welcome their perspectives. Thanks — Jonathan.***
Matt M. You have made several inappropriate comments and have crossed far over the line into normalizing violence. Sheesh. I’ve put you on the blacklist and no more of your comments will appear.
I disagree strongly with your “hatchet job” characterization. Can you be more specific why you think the article is bad? Is there some inaccurate about it? Thanks.
Headline “Business Owner Uses Attorney and Electeds…” as if there’s something wrong with that.
“Neighborhood transportation advocates are sounding the alarm…” you quote one guy – Karabaic – who describes Koerner as a “vocal business owner” and then publish the rest of his grossly inaccurate statement verbatim. This is not “inconvenient” for Koerner. It’s a serious problem for his business and those of us who try to load tons of equipment in and out of his business.
Two paragraphs before the end, we learn that the chair of the HA Neighborhood District actually agrees with Koerner on the safety issue but he wants to make it the problem of those who own businesses on that block.
Did you think to interview anyone else who does business in that area to get a balanced sense of what the actual impact of making that part of the street inaccessible would be? No. We had to show up en masse in your comments thread, only to get verbally assaulted by your militant cadre of commenters, some of whom are gleefully wishing Koerner’s business goes under.
Like I said elsewhere, I really had no opinion about the PDX bicycle community. Now I’m convinced the whole lot of you just plain suck. And I’m an environmentalist Hollywood liberal who rides my bike all the time.
So, yeah…hatchet job. Congrats.
It would indeed be a serious problem for Koerner if he were to lose truck access to his site. My understanding is that this is not the case. I understand there is some dispute on the matter, so I propose testing the question with a real truck and real driver, an analysis conducted by a disinterested party, or an AutoTURN simulation that is publicly released (in descending order of preference).
Would you support testing Koerner’s claims against actual evidence?
Actually, a group of us, including reps from PBOT and other governmental agencies, were at Mr. Koerner’s site. The drawings are completely misleading. He has a drawing on the pavement of the extended loading dock that is proposed and PBOT has drawn lines for the elevator. There isn’t anyway a real truck can make the turn and get to the proposed loading dock. It would be sitting in the middle of the elevator.
I’m proposing a disinterested expert address the question. You would support objective evidence to help answer the question, right?
Thanks for the feedback Matt M.
I didn’t say there was anything wrong with someone hiring an attorney and building support for their issue. You are reading too much into that headline because of your very strong bias against the story and this site.
More than one person advocating closely around this project contacted me about it. That’s plural.
As the reporter/editor/publisher, I didn’t choose to interview anyone else beyond Koerner. I think that’s a reasonable decision and I stand by it.
Funny how you say some of the people commenting here (they’re not “mine”, they are just people in the community) are “militant,” yet you are the one who laughed at the idea of people being killed. Hmmm.
Sorry if you can’t understand that the people commenting here are just people who read BikePortland. They aren’t any more the “PDX bicycle community” than you are.
“Hatchet job”… I disagree. I think the phrase you’re looking for is, “I am angry about this issue so I’ll lash out at a website and its commenters.”
I appreciate this reporting and the way in which this article has opened up discussion for the public.
I am a Portland based Producer and have been a customer of Koerner Camera for years. Koerner Camera is the only place I can go to get the equipment I need in order to do my job. Without Koerner, I don’t film in Portland. It is that important of a place, and what they are able to supply us brings massive amounts of revenue into Portland. It is not a selfish or greedy operation but rather a place that pours back into the community. There is no debating the fact that this bridge would force Koerner out of this building- which is also the home to OMPA- a non profit that supports the Portland production industry and where Michael Koerner sits on the board.
Within Koerner’s walls lives decades worth of history and also a bright future ahead for an industry that is growing rapidly in this city. Koerner is literally our lifeline.
I have never voted “no” on a bond measure. I am 110% all in for paying tax dollars to support expanding infrastructure projects like this and am in no way defaming the intent here. However, it is clear that the location for this bridge does not work. It is as simple as that. I don’t think it is anyone’s fault – how could anyone have known the impact this would have had without having investigated the business activities that this bridge would funnel people into? But now it’s been clearly communicated that this would be a seriously dangerous location to dump pedestrians and bicyclists with the constant flow of large trucks flowing in and out of Koerner.
I am hopeful that the people who see the importance of this project, and have worked so hard up until this point to bring it to life, will also see the importance of adjusting it so that it does not have such a massive negative impact on our community (and doesn’t put people into harm’s way). I am a firm believer that an artist never makes mistakes and that there is a way for there to be an engineered solution that will be a win for everyone in this – let’s fight for a plan that doesn’t drastically impact businesses and doesn’t put people into a dangerous situation! There must be a solution that, using the momentum that’s behind this project, is better for everyone involved.
What is this solution?
The solution is to build the bridge, and let Koerner continue to rent cameras.
Would you really “fight” for a better crossing? Or are you just fighting against this particular plan? All of this sudden concern for the safety of pedestrians and bicycles around trucks by people who rent cameras seems overblown and disingenuous.
The truck access could be physically separated from bikes and peds.
Fight for a ramp that begins on Gideon and comes down near 14th and Taggart or Clinton.
There is no other place that works without buying private ROW. It is either here, or buy out Mason Building supply.
The equation is more simple than is usual for infrastructure projects.
Constrained environment+not using eminent domain+federal money and strings=only this location
I know it will change these two blocks dramatically and if we had lots in funding to play with and could be ramp-creative I would be all for it. We do not.
This road is constantly full of large vehicles ranging from forklifts to semi trucks. Putting a pedestrian bridge on this road is not only destructive of the local businesses, it is dangerous. I personally drive a large truck to Koerner Camera as that is what is required to move camera packages to and from jobs. A pedestrian bridge in this location will damage successful businesses and endanger pedestrians.
I am not just coming at this situation from emotion or someone who has anything to gain one way or another. I am coming from this as someone with a MA in CRP. The freight trains have been crossing there for decades. The Brooklyn train yard has been there since the 1860s. This issue is not about trains, nothing has changed with the addition of the MAX line except the removal of the old bridge. The rezoning of the site opposite of the proposed bridge plays a large role in all of this that is not being brought to the table.
The Max station dramatically increases demand for pedestrians to cross the RR tracks.
That’s a little disingenuous… There is a LRT station there that was never there before, and UPRR is increasing the number of trains passing through.
Oh come on Tamra. Do you think things are different from the 1860s you referenced? Perhaps just a bit? It’s clear you have a personal or professional connection to this business, which is fine, but to argue otherwise is disingenuous. This issue is about the public needs to cross UPRR train tracks that can be blocked for an hour at a time. Was this blockage happening in 1860s? I doubt it. Does the zoning south of UPRR factor into this project? Why would it when folks are trying to South Waterfront/downtown across the UPRR tracks? It’s no use trying to create a conspiracy theory when it’s obvious that you have some sort of personal or business connection to this issue.
I was not referring the 1860s by my comment. I was referencing prior to the Orange Line going in. I didn’t say there was a conspiracy, that is totally different than zoning being used to benifit a particular group or business. The area across from the proposed bridge was rezoned this last May. There are interesting connections there.
As for my connection with a business on the street, I stated that I represented one of the businesses in my first comment. I am not an owner and as I have already said we don’t own the building and may move by the time the bridge is built. That being said, I know far more about what is going on and how this is impacting all of the business on the street than any of you. Most of our employees only commute on bikes. This all has been handled really poorly.
I have been directed by my SE Uplift executive committee to rail at Trimet about how poorly they have handeled this outreach. On that we can agree.
What has changed about this crossing at 12th is that we now consider street deaths culturally unacceptable, in the last century it was just an accepted part of car culture. Remove the row of parking and separate modes and it will be fine. Europeons has been sharing roadways like since trucking became “A Thing.”
No doubt this overpass will affect the community. In the future, this community may look different, different businesses, different people and different needs. I suspect after technology evolves self driving trucks, even lighter and smaller equipment, the safety issues will be not be as relevant as they are today. However, the same is true if the trains cease stopping for long periods of time in that area. It’s hard to imagine the future. But let’s get there together.
Seems like with some creativity and a few more $, it could even be done at 12th, where it more naturally wants to be.
What is the actual $ limitation? I’m sure it’s complex, but if it’s preventing something reasonable from being done, it’s time to look real hard at that.
This project has been planned for at least 10 years at this location. It’s time for Michael Koerner to look real hard at that.
The feds will pay for a bridge close to the station, but not for one at 16th. If you are pushing that option, it would be nice if you explained where the money would come from.
It looks like the best option would be for Trimet to negotiate a purchase of the southern triangular tip of K&F’s parking lot (where the container is). It looks like the whole bridge landing and elevator would fit in that triangle, leaving access to the K&F driveway where it is. This would leave the street end the same as it is now, except for an entrance to the bridge/elevator, adjoining the existing west sidewalk (which might have to be extended 15′ south or so along it’s path). I’m surprised this hasn’t been mentioned. This plan would leave Koerner’s access the same as it is now, and wouldn’t effect K&F’s operations, except for the loss of that parked container.
Why should the average taxpayer be burdened with the cost of purchasing ROW when it could be built on existing public land? If that is what the land owners, not Koerner the tenant, then they need to bring options for funding to the table. This has been planned since 2010 and truck access is being maintained.
As an aside… elevator based bike infra sucks.
If there was more of it, the better !
In this case, I am happy to have anything that gets people over the trains. But I can’t help thinking that the original design following the Tilikum bridge should have included a bridge over the tracks that doesn’t rely on an elevator. Actually, a ped-cycling bridge over the whole SE mess would have been world class.
Yep. I think a Bus-Bike only overpass at 7th and Division to the MLK-Grand Viaduct. The traffic light can then lead the buses to the streetcar bridge and the Tlikum station, bikes can get ramped elsewhere. About $75 million I would guess. I talked about this at a Division High Capacity Bus upgrade meeting. TriMet was not amused, ODOT would be horrified.
doug klotz makes a good point. if k&f was willing to sell that small triangle of gravel, the tower could land there – and allow the existing access to all businesses.
seems like a logical next step.
this is already a busy street. if the north tower is placed as planned, it would likely cause a ripple effect of vehicles double and triple parking up se taggart and past se clinton. in my opinion, thats when things get most dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.
the biggest fail is pbot, trimet, and the city forcing this through with little input from the people and businesses that support them.
Thanks, jpm. I’m not sure the entirety of the tower/stair could fit in that triangle, but a lot of that structure could, and would leave much more room for maneuvering into Koerner’s loading dock.
I am part of a car-free family in the Brooklyn neighborhood and can attest to the need for this bridge when trains come through and sometimes stop. I think it’s unlikely that it will be used regularly otherwise.
As someone who regularly goes through 12th, listening and watching for trains has become a part of my life. If I even hear a distant train whistle I turn around and head to another (inconvient) crossing. That is on my bike. If I’m on foot, I may start running, often pushing a stroller, hoping to beat the train. That is because I’ve been stopped far too many times, for far too long. And the current alternates (namely the Powell underpass) are too far to walk.
I’m familiar with how to find other ways to cross, but not everyone is. I often see tons of cyclists and pedestrians waiting for the train to pass. It can be 20 minutes to an hour. Worse I often see people crossing unsafely between stopped cars, as was mentioned in the article. Having a nearby and visible bridge is essential for people to use it (also the funding thing).
Having this crossing will also really help connect the Brooklyn neighborhood. It is largely cut off from other neighborhoods by the train tracks and river. 13th is frequnently used by bikes and pedestrians to cross Powell so this spot connects well.
As for the owner’s concerns, I certainly feel for small business owners, but am having a hard time understanding how one business can lay claim to a Public Right of Way and stop a project that will benefit so many more people and the community. As for safety concerns they seem
overblown. Bikes and large trucks and forklifts coexist at many locations already. Especially thoughout east side industrial areas. And most of the commenters were talking about heavy traffic during business hours. I’m guessing most bike/ped traffic will be during commuting hours and on weekends. And only on the occasion that there is a train. So not regularly. I ride with a three year old and am very safety conscious but am not concerned about this. Trucks on a dead end, neighborhood street should not be moving fast.
That blue truck in the attorney sketch looks like the largest permissible US truck, WB-67. The backing maneuver shown is typically not allowed in the public rights of way. I also doubt a truck that size could get into the position it is shown, considering the current width of the streets and current on-street parking.
From the discussion, it sounds like the trucks used are more like SU30s.
Completely taking out one business owner’s perfectly legal truck access, that’s been there for decades, just because the new guy across the street wants to use the right of way as they please? That’s just wrong.
Knowing first-hand how crazy it can get down there with multiple businesses utilizing massive box trucks, including Koerner – plus multiple fork lifts all between Clinton and the train tracks – it seems like this will be a safety issue. Maneuvering and parking at Koerner (or anywhere on that street) can already be difficult as it is – adding pedestrians and cyclists to that equation is asking for a disaster to happen. The street simply will not be safe for those it’s supposed to serve – nor will it be safe for the businesses and the people who have to frequent those businesses everyday. Plus, we’re not talking about 1 vehicle a day being here. That parking lot gets filled as it is, as does the street parking surrounding.
Koerner may be the face of the opposition, as this article doesn’t mention the other businesses opposed and being directly affected – but so many people seem to imply that only Koerner himself will be affected within Portland’s Film Industry. This is far from the truth. I’ve worked as a Commercial Camera Assistant for the past 8 years in Portland. This will not only affect Koerner, this will affect his employees, Cinematographers, Camera Operators, Camera Assistants, Producers, Students and so many others who utilize Koerner every day, both local and out-of-towners (who tend to hire local crew, adding more to our economy). This will directly affect my job. I’m a freelancer, this is the economy we live in and Koerner has been nothing but a beacon of support for the industry as a whole. There are a lot of reasons why Netflix, Hulu, the CW, IFC, ABC and more are coming here to shoot their shows and films. A big part of it has to do with Koerner and the equipment he supplies. Koerner is on-par with LA houses, and in my experience, better than any NYC rental house I’ve used on travel jobs. Simply put, he helps put Portland on the Film Map – and we’re getting busier and busier.
Those stating digital cameras are small and we don’t need vehicles for the equipment clearly don’t understand what a camera rental order looks like. Also, we DO get tripods and carts from Koerner, not Gearhead or PG&L, as someone so wrongly stated. I tend to leave with smaller packages than most, and even then, I can barely fit them in my vehicle sometimes (a Compact SUV). There is no chance a Cargo Bike is hauling an Alexa LF body case with Ronford Standard Sticks, Baby Sticks, O’Connor Head (because these cameras can push 20-30+ lbs – fully built Alexa LF is around 35 with Signature Primes), Multiple lens cases, batteries, 17″ monitors or bigger, plus a Camera Cart. This still doesn’t even include my tools. Not a chance in hell, and this is for a small commercial. You also would not just toss them in unprotected. This is over $100,000 worth of gear. Even if you downsize the camera to an Alexa Mini, probably the smallest and most frequently rented camera coming out of there, you still wouldn’t be able to do all of this on a cargo bike. It’s just not feasible.
None of this is to say the project shouldn’t happen – it just seems like 14th is the worst street they could have picked. 12th and 16th seem like much better options (especially 12th). Being able to park across the tracks on days I don’t need equipment would honestly be great. Parking over there is already hard, but this just doesn’t seem like the way to go. Any reason why the city wouldn’t fund it if it was built on 12th?
I don’t disagree, but we knew there would be some adjustments to the Orange line station areas when the design happened. You can never build a $ billion piece of infrastructure without the city changing. I know this is a important business, but this area is blocked in by tracks, bikways, a congested Division and poor Powell access. The neighborhood may have outgrown the business or the business may have outgrown the neighborhood as I have watched our film industry explode. Fight for relocation costs before the construction happens, at some point if the industry continues to grow….which I hope it does… the camera business will need a better location anyway.
That sounds like a dangerous environment, even in the current state. Perhaps these businesses should relocate to a location that is more friendly to large box trucks?
You have to appreciate the research completed surrounding this project primarily focusing on the needs for bikers and pedestrians. However, our small business owners and residents should be taken care of too. I’m sure Koerner camera isn’t the only business or resident on the other end of this overpass that has concerns. Not everyone has the means or resources to pay for legal representation to take on TriMet or the City. With the same due diligence used to provide alternatives for pedestrians and bikers, TriMet needs to research options, provide proposals and offer assistance to existing businesses and residents being affected.
I operate a winery on 14th and Clinton, and own the building, and this project has just come to my attention. My loading dock is on 14th. This street is totally inappropriate for this pedestrian bridge. 14th is nothing but loading docks and loading bays, with tons of forklift activity in the street all day. Does the city wish to gentrify this street and turn it into storefronts and condos? Or is it just a bad location for a pedestrian bridge? Seeing how lazy PBOT has gotten with it’s designs, I assume the latter.
The Orange line was built on the cheap, and the inconvenience to car, bike and pedestrian traffic at 12th and 11th is the result of not building a bridge where there should be a bridge. The inconvenience to cars is seen as a positive, but what of PBOT’s concern for bikes and pedestrians? Well, the Gideon Overcrossing doesn’t serve bikes. Why would they build a $14m bridge with an elevator and not add a simple bike ramp? Pedestrians are going to be routed into a confusing and dangerous situation with this location. The bridge is far from the transit station, far from transfer points to busses, where they will have to walk all the way back to either Division and 14th or 11th.
Koerner I think hits the nail on the head with this project. It’s leftover money in search of a need, with location being determined by a developer instead of what is most useful for the users, which would be a bridge for all forms of traffic on 11th and 12th. Or failing that, a pedestrian and bike bridge on 12th, which will directly access the Light Rail and connecting transit points.
Geographically, it is quite a good place for the bridge. And it’s not leftover money looking for a need, it’s a demonstrated and well documented need looking for a funding source, which has been found, but can only be used immediately adjacent to the station.
Matt M. You have made several inappropriate comments and have crossed far over the line into normalizing violence. Sheesh. I’ve put you on the blacklist and no more of your comments will appear.
Your prior opinions about PDX bikers may be questionable, but your ***insult deleted.. Please be nicer to new commenters SD.*** is crystal clear.
***Comment deleted because it was insulting and disrespectful. Please find a more constructive way to share your feelings Matt M. Thanks. — Jonathan***
Sorry, JM. But when someone says that they would enjoy it when a person on a bike is killed by a truck, it is a “misanthropic” sentiment. Saying this is no more of an insult than deleting their comment and saying that they are insulting and disrespectful.
I moderate by context, not just by specific words. Also, I didn’t see that person’s terrible comment when I moderated yours. I’m just playing it safe here SD, as I always do when threads get tense.
“We don’t agree so I hate you and hope you get run over by a semi so I can laugh at your dead body.”
Ah, yes. Someone is mean to you on the internet so you react by wishing harm upon everyone who also rides a bike in our city. Totally logical. Not at all sociopathic…
UPDATE, 12/21: Don’t miss the latest post on this story with response from TriMet and PBOT.
I just walked from 14th over to the Ford Building on 11th for a meeting. 12th really seems to be the location for the bridge. Has anyone looked into the location of old church on the corner of 12th and Clinton and the cost of that location? This is not an US against THEM. As I mentioned, most of our employees bike to and from work and I hate to admit that some may have even jumped the train a time or two. All of us have been caught behind those trains. We all want everyone to be free to move freely and safely around the city where we live and work.
Assuming the church is for sale, which I don’t believe it is, your proposal would make the bridge twice as long (so much more expensive), and would have to be carefully designed not to pass over any of Mason Supply’s land, which might require a support on the other side of 12th.
In other words, your proposal would be massively more expensive.
A much cheaper idea would be to remove a lane on 12th and put the bridge there. Would you support that?
Tearing down a church for a pedestrian bridge? That has great optics… I’m sure there would be no controversy.
He’s complaining because it won’t be easy to maneuver a 75′ long truck on a narrow dead end road in the inner city. That truck shouldn’t be there. This is a dense city that shouldn’t be allowing, or catering to, large cargo vehicles except for building special projects. Just because this was an industrial area 100 years ago when trucks were 30′ long doesn’t mean you get to keep doing business as usual when the city is twice as dense and the trucks are twice as long. If he needs huge delivery trucks at his business then he picked the wrong location. This project just brought to light what was already obvious.
Johnny Bye Carter, we are all residents of Portland. No one person gets to say, ‘this city is so and so’. Reasonable people differ on their views, and ultimately it get’s decided based on local government hashing things out with individual residents.
For you to suggest large trucks are inappropriate in a city of 650,000 residents is just your opinion, and a rather extreme one at that. Many thousands of businesses receive freight from semi trailers of the longest length, and if you wish to ban this or have it require a permit, then try to get it passed as a ballot initiative. In the meantime, businesses will continue to operate in a cost effective, compliant and legal manner.
I don’t really agree with Johnny’s statement, but I don’t think it’s radical to say that vehicles that can’t be driven safely on city streets shouldn’t be. In fact, arguing that dangerous vehicles should be allowed is a far more radical position.
And your view that they’re appropriate is also just your opinion. That’s what this comment system is, a soap-box for opinions.
Don’t take anything here as law unless an actual law is referenced.
Johnny Bye Carter writes “That’s what this comment system is, a soap-box for opinions.”
Quite true. And you can also take what I say as just opinion. Yet we are also 1/600,000 of a unit of action within Portland, and so the comments are also a little more then what you describe. As the foremost website representing the pro-PBOT, pro Vision Zero mindset, the opinions here are freighted with a little more meaning then the comment section at Gizmodo. In fact, one could take them to be the foremost source of public and civic support for the current state of affairs at PBOT.
Ha ha, no.
Johnny: It sounds like the trucks being used, at least by Koerners, are mostly single-unit box trucks less than 30′ long (an SU30 template). It looks like Trimet showed a semi-truck with 67′ trailer (WB67) just to show that even the largest truck could technically fit. In the other article a semi is seen nosed into the end of the street, but doesn’t appear to be visiting Koerners, or marked in a way that would indicate that use.
TriMet showed? The image from Koerner’s lawyer is actually from TriMet?
If it’s just a small box truck then there’s no issue accessing the building.
You really know very little about how businesses work do you? How do you suppose goods are delivered in the inner cities of every single city in this country? They are delivered by trucks and they often park in the road to be unloaded. This happens in Portland just as it does in NYC and everywhere in between. And for this being an “industrial area” with “30 ft trucks” a 100 years ago, that being in 1918, please brush up on your history. The street is not narrow. Cars get past the trucks just fine. This short section of street just happens to be heavily used by businesses that rely on trucks. We have not had any accidents in the 4 years that I have been here except one. The one accident that we did have, which was reported to the police, involved a bicyclist who crashed into the back of one of our employee’s car. He hit the car with such force that the he ended up in the backseat of the car.
They’re doing a poor job with the location trying to cram it onto already tight streets. There’s really no room on 14th for the base. They should buy that building if they want to put it there. And the landing on the other side is really tight as well.
For a proper crossing they need to buy a building on the north and then widen the street on the south by buying up one of those buildings. Then they’d have room for a proper corkscrew ramp, which they seem to be leaving out of all the new bridge designs, ADA be damned.
Elevators satisfy ADA.
That’s like saying that parked cars to the left of a bike lane make it protected. When those cars are gone there’s no protection.
When the elevator is out of order there is no ADA compliance.
No, it’s like reading the law and seeing what it says about elevators.
I am reposting these comments from yesterday as they “disappeared”:
Can all parties step back and rethink the design of this project…I would hope that one of the adjoining property owners would see the commercial benefit of integrating this over crossing into a multi-storey building with retail facing the raised walkway…imagine the hundreds (and in the future thousands) of potential customers walking by each day. This could also move the landing point away from the driveway area and potentially allow for a more gradual walkway ramp spread over a block…
These inner city industrial businesses don’t care about people. They get their business directly from people looking for them. They just care about moving a lot of product via motor vehicle. At one point this was a good location for that, but not any more.
Seems to me you could put all the north end infrastructure, including a long ramp, in the little used parking spots on the south side of Clinton at 12th. Go up and over the Masons Supply driveway, across the tracks, and put the other tower and ramp where the rusty rails artwork is now.
If I ran the zoo, I’d extend the bridge west and come down west of 11th. Oh, look! there’s plenty of room there too!
I posit that we now have enough experience with how people really want to move through this crazy intersection, and a combo bridge with three elevator/stairs/ramp towers is the only thing that reasonably deals with the issues.
There are so many pedestrian and biking dangers with the present lashup that something comprehensive needs to be done. Piecemeal solutions blocks away are a waste of lives and money.
I’m not only a cyclist, but a longtime customer of Koerner Camera. Both Michael and the OMPA are crucial cornerstones to