Footwear and apparel company Adidas America Inc is poised to spend $1 million for the construction of a cycle-track on the street outside their headquarters in the Overlook neighborhood of north Portland.
City Council is expected to adopt an ordinance (PDF) on Wednesday that will authorize an agreement between Adidas and the City of Portland to give the company a $1 million System Development Charge credit. Adidas in in the midst of a major expansion that will build three new buildings and nearly double the number of employees at the location.
According to the council ordinance, “The City will provide an SDC credit not exceeding $1 million in
value in exchange for Adidas America, lnc.’s construction of the cycle track. This credit will reduce the amount of SDCs Adidas America, Inc. will owe the City under a building permit to develop the properties.”
This project is part of the the Killingsworth/Interstate Connected Centers project, which has already been approved by council via the Transportation SDC project list (PDF).
The southern end of this new cycle track (we’re still waiting to learn more about specific design details) will connect to PBOT’s North Greeley Multi-use Path project that’s slated to begin construction this month.
To the north, the cycle track will eventually connect to city’s North Willamette Blvd Active Transportation Corridor project. PBOT has requested $4.45 million in federal grant funds for that project.
In the application for the Willamette Blvd project, PBOT wrote,
“The project, combined with an upcoming project on Greeley Ave, would also provide direct low-stress access to the Adidas North American Headquarters, which currently employs 1700 people and is expanding to 2800 employees in the coming years. PBOT has been working with Adidas to improve their Transportation Demand Management policies, but we also need to provide safe and comfortable active transportation access for these efforts to be successful in staving off major growth in single-occupant vehicle trips to their campus.”
This stretch of Greeley already has a bike lane that’s protected from other lanes by paint striping and plastic wands. We’ve requested details about the design of the new cycle track and will share more information once we receive it.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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Can you explain the SDC waiver? Is Adidas essentially coming out as net even? I’m confused if they’re spending 1mil and get an up to 1 mil waiver, how It pencils out.
Short version is I don’t understand tax accounting
I don’t understand this SDC waiver also. Why not just collect the $1 million SDC fee from Adidas and use it to build the cycle track. That is what SDc’s are for. The entire theory of SDC’s is that when development or construction occur the party doing the work ( or owning the property) contribute a certain amount to pay for the increases in public infrastructure needed to support the project. These are normally, sewers and treatment capacity, roads, water service etc. In this case some of it is wisely going to improve cycling infrastructure given that Adidas is located in something of an auto-transportation bottleneck. Is the normal procedure being changed just to give Adidas a PR win.
agreed! there are already buffered bike lanes. Collect eh money and use it to infill the sidewalk gap on the east side of Greeley south of Adidas. Or install a traffic signal at the freeway entrance that could be used to limit driving speeds and allow the bike lane to continue on the west side of Greeley.
I suspect this is a way for PBOT to collect the fees now rather than wait until the project is nearly complete, which could be years down the road. It also allows PBOT to spend this $1 million on Greeley rather than say on outer Stark, which is a much more distressed community of color with a far higher crash rate – this decision attempts to bypasses council and political influence (and I would expect a backlash from them in the next few weeks as a consequence.)
This is going in front on City Council on Wednesday….
I don’t understand this either. The city presumably can’t afford to build out the proposed cycle track (given the many delays), but it can afford a $1M SDC credit…? It seems like some creative bookkeeping is at work. Perhaps this is sort of thing is a root cause for why we have such a haphazard collection of disconnected bits of cycling infrastructure in the city.
That, and pbot is more concerned with not upsetting drivers or neighbors.
I work for an affordable housing developer and our projects are typically exempt so I cant speak about how much the city usually charges for SDC’s or how the fees are calculated, but here is my understanding of the fees – construction projects that impact city services are charged a fee on their building permit.
One of parks city services may assess a fee depending on your projects impact: 1. sanitary sewer 2. stormwater 3. transportation 4. water 5. parks
Presumably, Adidas will get a waiver for the transportation SDC since their investment will be paying towards the transportation impact of their project, but will still be assessed a fee for the other 4 impacts.
If I’m reading it correctly, the development agreement says the estimated construction cost is $1.26 mil and the SDC credit is $1 mil. That means if Adidas actually spends $1.26 building the cycletrack then their out-of-pocket is $260k. The $1 mil SDC is a fee they would have had to pay anyway. This incentivizes Adidas to spend a little more to build a project that directly benefits their employees instead of paying into a giant SDC pool that may end up being spent somewhere else in the city.
The short answer is “Yes. Adidas is coming out even.”
SDC fees are levied to offset the need for infrastructure due to new development. SDC funds can be used only for new or expanded public facilities. They may not be used to correct existing deficiencies and may not be used for maintenance. See ORS 223.302
For transportation projects, SDC fees are typically levied on the number of trips generated either during the day or the peak hour. (Different agencies have their own specific standards.)
Typically, a developer is required to pay a share of some project, like a sewer line extension or a traffic signal, but since both will benefit those developers who come along later, the original developer pays the entire cost and gets credit on his SDC fees.
In my math, adidas is coming out ahead by about $760,000 they didn’t have to pay for the SDC the city would otherwise collect from this project. Seems to me like the credit ought to be for $260,000 so that city isn’t subsidizing this already profitable large corporation, and adidas has the bonus of doing their own build out. I just don’t understand how giveaways on this scale are justifiable.
Your math is in error. The estimated project cost is 1.26M, per the ordinance. Adidas will build the project, in exchange for a waiver of 1M in SDC owed. So, if the project cost exactly as estimated, Adidas spends 260k more than they otherwise would have owed. Now, on the flip side, their SDCs could have been spent anywhere, so they are receiving a benefit in the form of keeping their SDCs in their neighborhood.
N Greeley is the best bike lane in town, as it is the most like a freeway. You even get to cross an on-ramp! Please don’t change this portion. Please don’t put me on a two lane bike path, careening towards other cyclists as they pedal up hill. It’s fine as it is!
Yes, much better to get hit by a truck going 60mph, rather than a 200lb cyclist going up hill at 5mph.
Classic response from a self-serving vehicular cyclist. Doesn’t care about attracting new riders, the new, the young, the old, the uncertain, the differently abled, and essentially anyone other than the dudes who think biking to work is fair game for training for a race. Nobody cares that you want Greeley to remain the the exclusive domain of MAMELs, and that not even for the sake of diverting the increase in car traffic due to Adidas growth do you want to “share your toys”.
I read the OP’s comment as sarcasm, but I suppose I could be wrong.
Tell us how you really feel about Middle Aged Men and how inclusive you are.
Can they pay for frequency upgrades to the 35 too?!?! Maybe some queue jump lanes at Killingsworth, Ainsworth and Rosa Parks?
SDC fees are only for capital improvements and expansion of infrastructure. They may not be used for maintenance or operations. ORS 223.302
Seems like transit lanes and intersection jumps would qualify for capital expenditures– requires new signals and sometimes widened intersections if you dont want to repurpose a lane, and bus stop islands. Also the red paint isn’t free, ha. Adidas could do more if they were pushed to by employees.
I’d love for Nike to push back. Washington County Roads is an irresponsible manager of our public roads. 158th was widened but they didn’t put crosswalks at SW Greystone Ct. People sprint across the 5 lane (+2 7 ft bike lane) highway. I’ve biked on 158th and although a buffered bike lane is fine, it isn’t somewhere I’d voluntarily go.
WashCo Roads planners, engineers, and leadership are outright hostile. However, they are in firm agreement with Nike’s parking/driving worldview.
At a minimum, Murray which runs parallel to highway 217, should have a bus lane for N-S service. It’s disappointing how little Nike has done for active transportation given that they’re an activities brand.
I don’t think WashCo Roads, or Nike will change unless we get a state bill requiring every road project include complete streets (especially for ODOT and county roads), and require companies with > $X in sales or > X number of employees to employ a Transportation Demand Management program and publish results. The publication/transparency is an important aspect otherwise they’ll just slide by without improvement.
Meanwhile Nike is building new garages to store SOVs and clog WaCo roads. Time for a new Bikeshare sponser?! Addidastown!?
BikePortland readers…tune in during 2020 to see if Biketown becomes AdidasTown…when the bike share RFP renewal is awarded…
The RFP explicitly says that Nike will remain the sponsor under the new contract:
Too bad there is not a way to improve this access point too from the west…could be a nice at grade grave route or a concrete overcrossing 😉
This looks like the Webster St. rail crossing below the bluff in the Swan Island area. Perhaps switch backs from Willamette (around the edge of the Dog Bowl) down to the crossing would give cyclists an alternate route to/from the industrial area. I wonder who owns the vacant lot across the rail from there just south of the Dog Bowl.
Is this an extension of the 2-way cycletrack? Will there be cylcetacks on each side of the street? It would be great if we could get protected bikelanes from Willamette to Interstate, but the 2-way “MUP” is woefully under-designed. I wish the City would commit to adding sidewalk on the east side of Greeley between Going and Adidas, that is probably more valuable than the upgrades to the bike lanes. The biggest problem with Greeley is that the traffic speeds are in excess of 55 MPH in each direction, and PBOT is actually widening lanes and making easier to speed or drive faster. Without PBOT providing some responsible design, I do not think cycletracks are going to very useful for the 8-80 crowd. PBOT has also stubbornly refused to design 1/3 of their “proposed” MUP. They are touting this as a great bike project and showing a 12-foot cross-section, but that only extends for about 2/3’s the distance. The remaining 1/3 is less than 10′ wide at the best points, and narrowing to +/- 5′ at pole locations. It also connects to Interstate with a single ramp (for 2-way bike traffic) that involves a series of 90-degree turns. There is space to design and implement a functional path and intersection, but PBOT has not/will not look at it. PBOT is explicitly designing to move freight quickly and get bikes and pedestrians out of the way. They are not providing bike or ped facilities that even meet minimum standards. With the southern end of the bike route being dangerously compromised by PBOT and traffic speeds likely to be increasing, it is hard to get excited about anyone spending more money on this route.
Give this man a cigar.
They should have punched through the wall at the south terminus of the current bike lane and ran it (on a bridge if need be) around the on ramp.
correct me if i’m wrong, this looks like adidas is adding to the cycletrack that the city is currently working on along n greeley. the city’s project runs south from n going along east side of greeley. adidas’ proposed cycletrack is north of going along west side of n greeley. this is exciting to me! however, i also don’t love the two-way cycletrack along one side of greeley. seems if i’m biking very slowly north (which, typically i am), folks biking south will be heading at me going 20+ mph…pretty scary in a different way. is it better than what we currently have on greeley? probably. at least it’s some separation. as for sdc’s – i don’t really understand how that works either…but seems like adidas is getting a big old deal from the city if it’s in a form of a credit rather than them paying in $$. thanks for sharing news, jonathan!
This is a pretty interesting proposal that could probably use some more clarity and scrutiny.
It seems like Adidas is offering to convert about 6 blocks of currently existing protected bike lanes on N Greeley (between Going and Willamette) to a “cycle track” along this very same stretch. I expect this will be done with some paint and some glue (for the bollards). $1M for this work?
I also expect that Adidas has some interest to free up some of the road for other purposes (removing the existing protected bike lanes) by shifting the flow of cyclists from one side of the street to the other (currently, protected bike lanes are one-way, in each direction, on the correct side of the road – flowing with the rest of the traffic and not creating unexpected locations for cyclists crossing driveways and side streets). Does Adidas want to make it easier for cars to move in and out of their parking lots without having to worry about cyclists? Does Adidas want to create a roadway which is easier for their delivery drivers, livery drivers, contractors, or work trucks to occupy on N Greeley, or to otherwise co-opt for their own use?
If Adidas “pays” for this cycletrack, will they own it? Will they be more likely to block it off temporarily or otherwise occupy it for some other reason?
They won’t own in. It will be a privately constructed project that goes through the Public Works Permitting project, in the same way that every new sidewalk built as part of a development project does.
Since it’s easier to guess than to research, I’d guess (as some others have mentioned also) that Adidas would rather do the construction itself rather than pay into the SDC pot and have the City build it. That could make sense for the City as well. My main concern would be whether the result is better than if Adidas just paid the fee–could the City have done the work cheaper? would it have been better to have the money go towards some other facility somewhere else that needs it more? etc.
Or maybe there’s always been an exemption that allows certain companies to opt out of paying SDCs. In this case, it would be known as the “Three stripes and you’re out” rule.
The development agreement states that the estimated construction cost is $1.26 mil. In this case, Adidas will be paying $1.26 mil to build this project instead of paying $1 mil in SDC. By spending a little more, they get to apply it to a project right at their doorstep to benefit their employees (and the public). Money paid into the SDC pool could be spent anywhere in the city.
Generally the private sector can do construction work cheaper than the public sector because they are not bound by the BOLI prevailing wage rule.
RIP Trimet bus 35
I’ll bet it’s going to be a mountable curb to keep you safe from 60mph trucks. Can’t put any substantial protection there in case we need to put out a fire (as you do when 60mph trucks crash.)
Meanwhile, out at Nike HQ…
I was running on the gravel path Saturday and witnessed a Nike security guard riding a 2-stroke moped to patrol their private property. He stopped to hassle a father and son who were biking at a walking pace on the gravel path, most likely because Jenkins is torn up right now and there is no bike lane or sidewalk. The fumes from his stupid moped were a lot more disruptive than the cyclists. Nike doesn’t pay taxes, and God forbid they provide a public trail so people can safely ride during construction.
Nike fights to keep its footprint part of unincorporated Washington County. That’s a vampire squid move right there. Don’t pay taxes to the local government that provides infrastructure and public schools because there’s no glory in that. Instead burnish U of O athletic facilities and boomer charities like cancer hospitals –yes cancer is a big deal, my father died of it. However our tax incentives for charitable giving let really rich people decide where resources are going and hang their name on it. Half a billion, the kind of money that Nike’s founder likes to dangle in front of decision makers, would provide basic health care for so very many people, incidentally keeping them out of emergency rooms which have to be one of the least effective places to get that kind of care.
No glory in outer SE sidewalks, no glory in health maintenance for people who still have years to live.
I hope I am wrong, but this what I suspect is happening: Adidas is building a MASSIVE parking garage (5 levels, I think) on the east side of Greeley. They saw how PBOT shunted the bikes off the road to accommodate freight (and inconvenience bikes) by pushing them on to a narrow, 2-way MUP. Adidias, taking inspriation from the City, decides that they,tooo, shold get the bikes out of the way of thier parking garage entrance so they propose to replace the buffered bike lanes on each side of Greeley with a new “cycletrack” in the form of an undersized, 2-way MUP on the WEST side of Greeley. [I hope to be proven wrong about his, it is just conjecture]
This Greeley project is a textbook case of how to NOT prioritize bikes, peds, or transit over SOV’s. This project is an abject failure in terms of increasing connectivity for bikes and creating a safer environment for all users on Greeley. WE need more connectivity and options for people walking and biking, and we need slower, safer speeds for freight and people driving. This project does the opposite, and, if I am correct about Adidas’ plans, that will further disconnect the bike network and foster high driving speeeds
Agree with you, this project makes no sense unless you look at how Adidas is trying to skew the local traffic patterns to benefit their new parking garages.
Just a reminder that Adidas is also paying up to $80,000/day to Lyft for employees to be driven to work:
It’s great to have a large employer in Portland but they are doubling the number of car trips with their use of Lyft to transport their employees, instead of having them use bikes (or bus). It adds to our air pollution problem. I’d like to see them do something more helpful right away in that regard.
This positive corporate investment in cycling reminded me of another long forgotten one in the Vancouver Portland region: when HP (Printer etc.) moved into Vancouver in the early 90s (late 80s) they built the first “modern” bike lane connecting their [old] campus to the nearest city arterial on SE34th St. in Fishers Landing. The City of Vancouver’s bikeway investment then was focused on park paths and green Bike Route signs (at best)..until the “first” City built bike lane went in at Clark College in 1999 [my memory].
I think its important to note that 20 years ago adidas repurposed a shuttered hospital for their North American HQ. Their location in inner N. Portland sits on two major bus lines, one offering frequent service, is walking distance from Interstate MAX, is on or near major bike routes, and close to lots of, at the time at least affordable, housing. All this gives them a head start on reducing drive along commutes, despite the 800 slot parking garage. A lot of employees walk to work! And their taxes support the City of Portland and Portland schools.
I’m going to assume that their proposed section of a Greeley cycle track will be a continuation of the PBOT proposal south of Going along the east side of the street. Greeley needs a different bike facility, more than paint for me…an experienced Portland rider since about 1952! to use it. As long as no one confuses the proposed cycle tracks with the Willamette Greenway Trail, I am all for it.
Note: adidas was a long time financial supporter of the Swan Island TMA which I ran for a dozen plus years.
Is the design for the “upper portion” of this cycle track the same as the “lower version” that was just built down the street on the other side of Going? i.e. does it have the same tall concrete physically separated barriers? Hopefully not just more plastic flexible wands…