City now offers bike parking subsidy for northwest Portland building owners

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Northwest Portland is on a roll when it comes to becoming more bike-friendly. The district has projects under construction, a major new plan for more of them headed to city council next week, and now there’s a new funding source for bike parking.

Late last month the Portland Bureau of Transportation launched the Northwest Bike Parking Fund. This new initiative uses money raised from the Northwest/Zone M Parking District (established in 2016) to subsidize the cost of new bike parking facilities. The program is for residential, commercial, or mixed-use building owners who want to create or improve long-term parking such as secure bike rooms.

Once building owners fill out an interest form and meet on-site with PBOT staff, PBOT makes a recommendation and will provide up to $5,000 to purchase the parking equipment. PBOT buys the equipment, then building owners install it and retain ownership once it’s in the ground.

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Bike theft from long-term parking areas has skyrocketed over the past year. Hopefully PBOT requires ample security measures for any plans they endorse.

The program comes as Portland City Council is set to adopt the Northwest In Motion plan next Thursday (October 8th). That plan establishes a list of high-priority projects that aim to double cycling rates in the district.

Another major project PBOT is working on in Northwest is the Flanders Crossing Bridge over I-405 which broke ground back in July.

For more information about the new NW Bike Parking Fund, check out PBOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Todd/Boulanger
1 year ago

Go NW GO! Looking forward to seeing this programme in action.

Joseph E
1 year ago

the Flanders Crossing Bridge over I-405 … broke ground back in July?!
Great! Will it be done by the end of the year?

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph E

Which year?

D2
D2
1 year ago

Honestly I think one of the best security measures for these rooms would be not to put them behind glass facades that says bikes but an opaque wall that just says ‘Storage 2’ or something.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
1 year ago
Reply to  D2

In a building I used to work at, the bike room was actually the garbage dump and loading dock. No labels or visibility from outside to scream “bikes within” but it didn’t stop all manner of people from wandering through anyway.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
1 year ago

“Secure” bike rooms seem to be anything but, given what I hear of recent trends. Does the subsidized “parking equipment” include video cameras, reinforcing for walls and floors, access control measures, and “how to lock your bike” signage? I’m afraid $5k isn’t much relative to what it probably should cost to make a bike room somewhat secure for the purpose. (Better than $0, granted.) I’d like to hear what kinds of recommendations PBOT staff have for secure bike room design.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 year ago
bob steets
bob steets
1 year ago

I wonder if/will the building owners charge a fee to use these amenities.

soren
soren
1 year ago

“…northwest Portland building owners”
“…PBOT … will provide up to $5,000”

Because multi-millionaire speculators and Wall-Street REITS are really, really suffering in this K-shaped recession and desperately need another handout funded by wage-earning Portland fee-payers.

Evan Manvel
Evan Manvel
1 year ago
Reply to  soren

When you say “Portland fee-payers” you mean people who get 200 sq feet of car storage space year-round for less than $200? Market rate looks like $840 to park a car in Lents — wayyy out away from NW Portland. Our subsidies of driving must stop if we’re going to meet our climate goals.

soren
soren
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Manvel

I have no problem with charging wealthier Portlanders (e.g. people earning 120% MFI and higher) enormous amounts of money to own, use, or park a car. Howeover, redistributing fees or taxes from working class Portlanders to multi-millionaires and billionaires is an obscenity.

There is also no reason that BDS could not require multi-millionaire owners to provide these essential facilities for their tenants. The fact that the city punted on this reform in recent bike parking code update is just another example of how unelected city “committees/commissions” function to perpetuate the interests of the rich.

“subsidies of driving must stop if we’re going to meet our climate goals.”

I’m not surprised that a relatively well off inner Portlander wants people living in Lents (some of whom are threatened by city-funded to displacement) to pay for improvements to buildings owned by multi-millionaires. I expect that you rub shoulders with millionaires far more often than you do with low-wage workers who live in Lents.

If we genuinely want to meet our climate goals* we should 1) be redistributing money collected from people who own property in the NW to fund infrastructure in Lents** and 2) address the historic inequity that has caused people living in NW to have a plethora of non-car transportation options that are largely unavailable to low-income tenants living in Lents.

*it is my opinion that few progressive Portlanders want to implement the enormous economic sacrifices required to meet IPCC climate goals.

**or to create more dense non-market housing in exclusive neighborhoods like the NW

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
1 year ago
Reply to  soren

it is my opinion that few progressive Portlanders want to implement the enormous economic sacrifices required to meet IPCC climate goals.

I do. Or, to be more precise, I’m willing to if enough others do it as well.

As to providing Lents with the transportation options enjoyed by residents of NW Portland, I’m afraid that geography makes that challenging. I’m having a hard time seeing how to get a bus from Lents to downtown in 10 minutes, or how to make downtown be an easy walk/bike ride for residents of Lents, and I’m not convinced that has anything to do with “historic inequity”.

soren
1 year ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

“I’m willing to if enough others do it as well.”

I think unwillingness to make those sacrifices until others do (or are forced to do so) is a form of climate crisis denial.

I also think you and MoR share this “it’s pointless because no one else* is willing to do anything” nihilism. I suspect that ‘murricans will find it increasingly hard to cling to this Orwellian “bargaining with reality” in the 30s or 40s.

*or insert imperialist-xenophobic pointing of fingers at less wealthy nation here

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
1 year ago
Reply to  soren

Talk about nihilism… I’m willing to bet I’ve made more personal changes in my life than 95% of others here, perhaps more even than you. Not driving, for example, (which I rarely do) accomplishes nothing so long as everyone else does it, so collective action is essential (and I regularly contact my elected representatives to try to spur action, and let them know I vote on that basis). But you know all this, and seem to enjoy accusing allies rather than dealing with the problem at hand.

Is there anything specific you think I should be doing to avoid attracting your scorn?

Evan Manvel
Evan Manvel
1 year ago
Reply to  soren

I really can’t follow your argument. The NW Portland parking fees apply to NW. The revenues from those permits are then used to help people get around without driving – including, apparently, by subsidizing bike parking. Those monies aren’t directly coming from Lents, but from people buying parking permits in NW.

My point was the NW public parking permit costs ($195/year) is remarkably cheap – and I compared them to private parking costs in Lents. Private parking costs in NW would presumbably be much higher than Lents, so the subsidy for car ownership is even much higher than the $195 vs. $840/year comparison I made.