PBOT will reconfigure Hawthorne Blvd without adding bike lanes

Posted by on February 9th, 2021 at 10:33 am

The new configuration aims to calm the street and make it easier to cross.
(Source: PBOT)

“I know many passionate advocates wanted to see bike lanes on Hawthorne. But this area is already well served with nearby greenways on Salmon and Lincoln.”
— Jo Ann Hardesty, Transportation Commissioner

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has released their final striping plan for Hawthorne Boulevard. As you can see in the image above, they’ve chosen to maintain five lanes for driving and parking. They had the option to create space for cycling, but have opted against it.

With a blank slate due to a paving project between 24th and 50th avenues, PBOT’s plan is to change the lane configuration west of Calle Cesar Chavez (24th to Chavez/39th) to two general purpose lanes and a center turn lane — a cross-section that would match the configuration east of Cesar Chavez. This design aims to tame auto traffic speeds, improve crossings with the installation of concrete medians, and it will give car and bus drivers a second lane to utilize for turns.

Today’s news will come as a major blow to thousands of Portlanders who supported a striping option that would have created bike lanes on the popular commercial street.

The chosen alternative.

An impressive, grassroots campaign from the all-volunteer Healthier Hawthorne group included a petition for bike lanes that had over 2,300 signatures as of Tuesday morning.

In making their decision, PBOT said in a statement they heard community feedback citing, “Improved safety for people walking or using a mobility device as one of their top priorities for the project.” As part of the project, PBOT will install median islands at several intersections and improve street lighting.

Advertisement


Results of PBOT survey show significant support of bike lane options — but more for no bike lanes.

PBOT also surveyed people who live adjacent to Hawthorne and who travel through it via TriMet bus line 14. Results showed a strong preference for Alternative 2, the center-turn lane option.

PBOT had already recommended a three-lane cross-section back in September, but agreed to do more evaluations after community feedback pointed out a faulty analysis of traffic impacts led to their conclusions about transit delays. PBOT acknowledged the feedback and has spent five months taking a closer look at the project.

In the meantime, support for bike lanes grew considerably.

PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty acknowledged this support. “I know many passionate advocates wanted to see bike lanes on Hawthorne,” she said in a statement. “But this area is already well served with nearby greenways on Salmon and Lincoln.”

Drawing of Hawthorne with bike lanes. Created by Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now The Street Trust) in 1996.

Today’s decision from PBOT is very similar to their decision in 1997. As we shared this morning, the Hawthorne Transportation Plan included options that would have added bike lanes to the street. The city chose instead to do the option that had the smallest impact on existing motorized traffic flow.

In another nod to people who wanted space to bike on Hawthorne, PBOT said they will build better connection to the street in the future. “PBOT has set aside initial funding to develop additional north-south bikeway connections to Hawthorne from parallel neighborhood greenways on SE Salmon, Taylor, Lincoln, and Harrison streets.” PBOT says they’ll be in touch about those plans later this year and could begin construction on potential projects in 2022.

Construction for the new pavement and striping is set to begin this summer.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

137
Leave a Reply

avatar
26 Comment threads
111 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
48 Comment authors
sorenAl BergDoug Heckermark smithRay Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
bjorn
Guest
bjorn

I guess that once the striping is done we will all have to take the lane and ride slowly up and down hawthorne to demonstrate the need for bike lanes.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

Or continue to ride on combination of Salmon and Lincoln like we’ve already been doing and somehow surviving.

Yeah, bike lanes would have been nice, and I think it is a particularly a missed opportunity in the 39th to 50th zone (where traffic is much calmer already).

But I’ll take this new config as an improvement on the super tight four line config.

Daniel Amoni
Subscriber

Silky, your comment ignores the fact that the way we’ve been building streets and giving cars free rein has meant that too many people have not survived walking and biking in Portland. I see making car culture slightly more palatable as hardly an improvement. It’s time to reconfigure our streets to make all modes of transportation safe and on par with each other.

citylover
Guest
citylover

I have been around since the 2000 decision not to go big on Haewthorne. The difference is that at the time there were virtually no greenways in Portland (there were old bike routes but not really optimized for bikes). I see silky’s comment as coming from an incrementalist vs a completist. I worked in bike/ped advocacy and kinda agree that top priority on Hawthorne has to go to improving pedestrian safety. It is so dangerous for peds particularly as cars speed up going westbound down the hill. I have been biking around Portland for over 20 years and would never consider biking up the busy part of Hawthorne or Alberta. I would love to have seen bike lanes evolve the street design, but most important to me is pedestrian safety on busy streets and continued investment in Greenways for biking connections.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

And yours ignores the work done on streets like Lincoln which are bike freeways. I think you’d also agree that crossing Hawthorne will be more safer with less lanes to dodge oncoming vehicles and buses on.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

What work has been done on Lincoln to make it a “bike freeway”? I haven’t ridden it in a couple years but google maps confirms my memories that there isn’t any bike infrastructure outside of sharrows and a few strips of plastic wands. Most of it car cut through space to avoid the congestion on Hawthorne.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

I can only recommend that you take a ride down it and see what’s up. Plenty has changed since you road it last. 🙂

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

It seems like it would be easiest for you just to say. I don’t have any reason to go down there during a pandemic and none of these wonderful changes are apparently captured on the google maps from June of 2019.

The only reason I can think of that you wouldn’t point at these excellent infrastructure is that they don’t actually exist.

Justin
Guest
Justin

She’s likely referring to the traffic flow changes at 26th, 30th, 50th and at other points along the Harrison/Lincoln route. People in cars still use 26th through 30th as a through route, but forcing autos to turn off of Harrison has made for less access to the route and undoubtedly less traffic using it as a through route between Hawthorne and Division. And the same with autos not being able to turn on Lincoln at 50th. I say this as a cyclist that drives 100+ miles mostly in the city each work day. Salmon doesn’t have these improvements and is still easily accessible to automobile traffic, myself included today, for a customer. These changes were made only a couple years ago or even more recently.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

I think from my previous and inumberable posts that I don’t blow too much smoke when the facts are what they are. I find it lazy on your end to think otherwise. 30th now has a diverter, 20th has a more beefed one that trucks are no longer able to driver over like a speed bump, more speed bumps to 50th with a diverter at 50th. Anywho, I’ll look forward to spelling everything out to you in the future if I feel the need to interact. Thanks.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75123

https://www.google.com/amp/s/bikeportland.org/2018/02/09/new-friends-of-safer-lincoln-group-hits-the-street-to-defend-a-greenway-267353/amp

Vincent Colavin
Guest
Vincent Colavin
 
Guest
 

Yep, slowing down the car traffic there intentionally and for no reason would be a speedy and surefire way to lose any public support for cycling and the corresponding infrastructure.

Geo
Guest
Geo

This is so disappointing. This could have been a real opportunity for PBOT to showcase how a protected bike lane could work on a major street. An evolution of what they did with Williams/Vancouver (equity issues aside with that project).

After seeing Better Naito become permanent, and seeing all the great progress with CCIM, I expected PBOT to be a little more bold and show a little more courage in roadway design.

To any PBOT people who read this: thanks for the lip service of additional parallel bike greenway, but an additional parallel route doesn’t come close to why we wanted bike lanes on Hawthorne properly. It’s a shame you believe that performing a study on an additional parallel greenway even comes close to making up for this lack of ambition.

Ray
Guest
Ray

If anything, Vancouver and Williams are more dangerous and confusing for cars visiting the streets than before.

There are many secondary streets that run parallel to Hawthorne and other busy streets. There are times when cars and bikes can coexist, but this isn’t it. Hawthorne is a destination that sees a lot of traffic, and congestion isn’t good for cars, bikes, or pedestrians.

Jake
Guest
Jake

If this is the direction PBOT is going, the push should be for enhanced greenways. Diverters every quarter mile at the minimum and a shared street design. Only having sharrows and speed bumps dont create a low stress environment for everyone.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

I would urge people to reconsider the Mecca of greenways as primary/functional commuter routes. The direction PBoT-and the city-is going, is nowhere if we are unable to prioritize a network of functional PBLs over car capacity.

Daniel Amoni
Subscriber

Eawriste, I love the greenways and they serve our family very well for only getting around by bike in Portland. I agree with Jake, though, that they do not sufficiently create a low-stress environment to appeal to enough people that are not already part of the Bike Church.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Agreed, they’re fine as auxiliary means for indirect recreational travel, but have little functional use (eg connection to business, direct travel etc).

Daniel Amoni
Subscriber

My point was that we use them as a primary mode of transportation, i.e., direct travel to businesses, schools, parks, events–everywhere we go.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Yeah, I regularly use them too, often going miles out of my way because it’s all we have: paint marks on residential streets. That is what is considered by PBoT as bike infrastructure.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I use greenways to travel to work, travel to shopping, travel to restaurants. I disagree they have little “functional use”.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Do you ever notice when driving that you see all the businesses you forgot you might have stoped at when biking? That is why PBLs work: They provide direct, safe, functional access to businesses you might otherwise pass up. There are a lot of places I avoid because it’s a hassle to get to them. There are a lot of sidewalks I ride because it’s the only safe place when I want to get somewhere.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t have this experience; it has been years since I have driven to a district like Hawthorne or NW 21st. If I am going for a specific thing (e.g. hardware store) I don’t really want to stop elsewhere, and if I’m going to “shop”, I’ll park my bike and walk.

If I could do one thing for bike accessibility on Hawthorne, it would be to make the sidewalks were wider so I could walk comfortably with my bike. I rarely have the need or desire to ride along the street for any great distance. I also find greenways feel much safer than most of the PBLs we have in Portland. I don’t like getting hooked, and I don’t like feeling trapped. I can’t imagine a (realistic) scenario where Hawthorne would feel safer to ride with a child than a greenway would.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

And neither can PBoT.

citylover
Guest
citylover

If I’m biking to a business district, I bike, park and walk. I want to be a pedestrian in those situations. And I do most of the shopping in my life. I just don’t lead a improvisational life I guess.

citylover
Guest
citylover

My kids, husband and I use greenways for all of our biking. School, shopping, visiting friends, etc. Where they intersect with bike lanes I use those too. This confident cyclist and mom to two more careful ones, I find them extremely functional!

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

So citylover I appreciate your input, particularly because you have a fam riding along, and that should be the most important focus for PBoT. I understand greenways work for you. I think you are perfectly describing the difference between 5% of people in a city biking and 30%. Portland has leaned heavily on its residential streets and grid network to maintain an indirect network primarily with signs and paint. With that plan we get 8% of people on bikes a decade ago and 5% today.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

HK +1, the greenway functionality hasn’t been much of an issue for myself. Greenways are well marked and like other streets, they go in all directions so if I forget something, I turn around or go to an alternative store and do my shopping. I also use them to go to work with much issue.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

And I suppose you have a good, constantly updated mental map of what businesses are in what places by some magical means? (Don’t tell me Google does that because it doesn’t – there is no level of zoom in Google Maps that will show me every last business on Hawthorne.)

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

It’ll be interesting to see which businesses will remain when the pandemic is over. That being said, the stores that I used to frequent on Hawthorne I knew where they were and what streets I would use to get to them, mostly by bike. While I don’t use google while riding because, even with protected lanes, I still need to pay attention to what is going on in front of me. I have pulled over plenty of time and used street view or even just the physical address of where I want to go and arrive shortly after. And for the most part, it’s usually pretty easy to spot greenways as they normally for in between the major streets. This is why I won’t complain about this configuration and will probably continue to avoid that area. Why? because even in pre-covid days their were too many people and especially tourists there for my preference.

SERider
Guest
SERider

Yes, spent a lot of time just guessing that I was taking the right cross street to get to the specific business I was going to on Hawthorne.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

There’s aways an outlier.

Nina
Guest
Nina

I think I agree with what you’re saying. Nowadays I’m riding with a kid and partner, and I find greenways are a nicer because they are quiet, beautiful, and fast! (From a design perspective, it also makes sense to use these otherwise empty streets instead of cramming everything on the same street.)

But I think what you’re getting at is they don’t yet live up to their potential – they should be better if that’s our bike main network! Personally I’d like to see gaps filled for a truly a complete network (the gaps are pretty clear; try pouring some water into this network: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/554110), better diversion and crossings in certain spots, and better signage and PR so people know they exist. (It’s crazy to me that Google maps doesn’t recognize the greenway system for example.)

If the greenway network was fully embraced, we would have a fast, low stress transportation network with minimal interaction with cars. Win win win!

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Except, with few exceptions that network would bypass most commercial zones, rendering it fairly useless for practical point to point travel. That is why we have sidewalks on commercial streets: because people actually need to get there. Bikes should be looked at no differently. Greenways are an auxiliary, not primary network, and that is why you see people being injured and killed in record numbers, riding on the sidewalks, and advocates pleading for space from cars.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

It depends on how it does. People don’t get on I5 because it’s right next to where they want to go, they get on I5 because they can rapidly move in the general direction of where they want to go.

If Portland built real greenways where every intersection gave right-of-way to greenway traffic and had traffic diverters to keep motorist off of it, it’d be worth going a couple blocks out of the way to take them because it would provide both safety and speed. As it is, greenways are rarely better than other streets around them.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

I don’t have any problem at all using greenways to access businesses in commercial zones. It’s really no harder than navigating in a car.

zuckerdog
Guest
zuckerdog

Seems like a twice weekly critical mass along Hawthorne will be order when the new striping is complete.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

I will be there, @ 12.5 mph all the way.

Christopher of Portland
Guest
Christopher of Portland

This area is already well served with nearby carways on Belmont/Stark and Division.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Love it Chris.

citylover
Guest
citylover

Touche!

SERider
Guest
SERider

I’d throw Powell in there too!

maccoinnich
Subscriber

It’s harder to imagine a wider gulf between the aspirations of PBOT in their long range planning documents and their ability to actually implement these.

Andrew N
Guest
Andrew N

This x1000. Somehow citizens pushing their local government to follow through on its own stated objectives have been reduced to being “passionate advocates”. Charming but unrealistic. Ouch.

Ted
Guest
Ted

That center turn lane is exactly the configuration that resulted in Fallon Smart’s death at 43rd Ave. With Hawthorne’s traffic now limited to a single lane and potentially stopped at every bus stop, I hope they’re putting in a median at every bus stop.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

Agreed. My first thought was this extends west the configuration seen on upper Hawthorne where Smart was killed. Hopefully there will be more pedestrian islands at unsignaled intersection or mid-block ped crossing, which would discourage passing in the turn lane at crossings.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Excellent point about cars passing in the center turn lane. I see it happen all the time on similarly configured streets in SW Portland and Beaverton, where I mostly drive and ride. I was once driving just below the speed limit and some @&*%! in a truck pulled around me in the center lane and broke my windshield when his tires tossed a rock onto it. I mean – c’mon now: If a driver *can* go faster, the driver *should* go faster.

soren
Guest
soren

The center turn lane includes multiple center and intersection median islands so it is actually an example of PBOT learning from its traffic infrastructure mistakes. As I posted earlier, center median islands are associated with proven and dramatic reductions in pedestrian injury collisions.

Michael Andersen
Subscriber

agreed that the median islands are a good part of this proposal.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

There are only four locations indicated as a high priority for refuge islands and a further four as medium priority, “when funding is available”. At most intersections pedestrians will be crossing three lanes of traffic, similar to the existing configuration in the 40s.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Exactly, thanks maccoinich. For those advocates who praise PBoT in their decision, historically, this is not a step forward. This is a return to a previous design circa 1950s, undoing the damage done after the streetcar was taken out in 1948 and the street widened in 1951. This is our current design standard.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Meanwhile our population has about doubled since 1950. I’d say that is a big win. Thanks for the comparison.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Here is the growth in population for Vancouver from 1950 to today (500k to 2.6 million). In the last decade the bike modal share of Portland has dropped from 8 to 5%. In that same time Vancouver’s modal share doubled to 10%. This is because Vancouver decided to focus on building a network of separated bike lanes on streets not unlike Hawthorne. That is why this project represents an inherent flaw in our city’s street design process, prioritizing car capacity over all else.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

While I can appreciate and understand your point, limiting car space and opportunities is still a win for every other modal. Yeah, having a bike lane would be the cherry on top but at the same time if you spent just as much time arguing your point for neighborhoods further out then you may get a different response because they don’t have “a well served” anything. Wont that be nice to use to JoAnna in the future for projects? I’d say so .

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Coming from East Portland I find the lack of PBLs quite difficult to navigate. Now that Weidler/Halsey has infinitely better infrastructure than anything near inner southeast, I might differ. But here’s the problem: How do I get into town safely other than the Springwater or zig zag on greenways with cars? That is why a network of PBLs is important and why Hawthorne was such a lynchpin in this. I now will likely vote against Hardesty as a result of this decision.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Ever try Burnside? Powell was “upgraded.” Foster has lanes.. You typically teleport Tabor? Most greenways have zigs and zags but also lack of stop signs. It seems like giving and taking is the biggest issue. We probably agree that Hawthorne doesn’t need the parking but I think there are more businesses that appreciate it being available then what we would find on BP. Much like what we saw in the Boise neighborhood, where the carfree street lasted a week or so before businesses asked to have it removed.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

For whatever reason my personal experience with those PBLs on Weilder/Halsey haven’t been too positive. A number of times I’ve had to jump in and out of the bike lane, weaving though parked cars, to avoid glass and debris that never gets cleaned.

And I constantly see people doing this on Weidler: https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5341833,-122.5553119,3a,75y,299.68h,79.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVAe7A7Cl_ybZGTel8Zuhug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

There are so many curb cuts and driveways that cross the PBL that it’s a major hazard to have cars nose out into the bike lane to see around parked cars.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Is it? The sight lines are pretty clear. You can see that ambulance a long ways away and slow to yield. That’s why PBLs are safe. They improve sight lines and slow turns.

When I lived in DC it was expected for people in cars to completely impede the sidewalk, even stopping a ways into the intersection. I moved to NYC and that behavior was a no no. Anytime someone did that they’d get a whack on the hood by a lot of surly pedestrians. People who drive have a pattern of behavior and that sometimes takes time to adjust to new street designs. People in cars only rarely impede PBLs in NY now. I ride tubeless, so glass is just gravel to me. But I can understand that being an issue.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

They’ve adjusted all right, they inch out across the bike lane without fear of being destroyed by a car and because they feel they need to get a good look at traffic. People do this relatively suddenly, while I’m riding towards an intersection. They think the limit line is beyond the bike lane. You can pretend is isn’t and issue, but I’m telling you it’s an issue for me.

Obviously the ambulance is pretty clear in this shot but it’s illustrative of how common this behavior is, that it could be documented in the google street view. And when it happens 50ft in front of you while your riding 15-20mph it’s not safe.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Steve C, you have hit the nail on the head here, about what’s wrong with this design. I see the same problem on the new wanded bike lanes on SW Capitol Hwy, where cars entering Capitol pull all the way across the PBL so they can see the main car lane. It’s worst coming down the hill from PCC at speed. I asked the city to look at it but never heard back so I guess they think it’s fine.

EP
Guest
EP

That street view is amazing. Bike lane full of leaves and who knows what else, with an ambulance blocking it, just waiting for a rider to crash in the leaves and slide into the meat wagon. Amazing.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

I think maybe one of the reasons why I am surprised by criticisms of PBLs like this is I think of the dichotomy of rennrad and fietsrad, the former being a +20mph roadbike MAMIL ride, the latter being someone just commuting. As our infrastructure improves we will see more people commuting with just normal fietsrad at a 10mph speed. PBLs were designed to target those people, which happen to be the vast majority of people who would bike. Normal people just moving around.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

Ah ok, well it seems unacceptable to me that new bike infrastructure is designed to be unsafe at normal riding speed. An effective 10mph safe speed is a joke, especially so since the car traffic is designed to move at 20mph on this section. There should be at a minimum parity between designed car and bike speed to promote the primacy of bikes as a mode of efficient and effective transportation.

We are in a race to get as many people out of CO2 producing cars as fast as possible. Slowing bikes down to meet some twee conception of Dutch culture in America is not going to do that. I’d love to see some wider bike lanes, that could move more people from the outset. At least a car lane in width. But I don’t think I’m going to see that kind of vision or boldness from designers or advocates anytime soon.

Anyway, I still ride the PBLs and they’re fine. But more and more people will be riding in the future (on ebikes no less) and it’s going to be sad when we realize we’ve ensconced a design standard that has a safe speed limit of 10mph.

And cut it out with the MAMIL stuff, I’m riding 15mph getting to work in normal cloths on an old mtb. But if I’m going to ride more than 10 miles I’m gonna wear bike shorts, saddle sores suck.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

This is what I see.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Truth is, PBOT installs the latest and greatest Copenhagen designs without educating, dare I say, the majority and then the few bike riders that use it and think it is great get mad when most people don’t know how to interact with it. Why is VZ a failure? this would be one reason. Why won’t I ride in PBL’s? Because who builds infrastructure that they are both unable and unwilling to clean or maintain? Do gooders in square offices downtown do so they can personally feel good and pat their backs. Meanwhile, the general few that actually ride them have to deal with trash, glass, and some whacko tossing nails around. I do recall riding through the latest and greatest “protected intersection” in NW and have to avoid getting ran over. How does that work? because a limited few know how to interact with it while the majority in the death machines don’t, sound safe? nope.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I wish they would just drop a 6ft wide jersey barrier every 2 blocks, mid-block. Paint them yellow and add reflectors. The point is to communicate that these are absolutely not through lanes. I’ve seen so much abuse of these lanes in east Portland. Incredibly scary and dangerous behavior is common.

soren
Guest
soren

so double the number that exist from 39th to 50th with credible plans for four more. for pbot, this is progress indeed.

rick
Guest
rick

Disappointed. Has Abdulrahman Noorah (killed Fallon) been caught or the person who smashed the Angelo’s restaurant on Hawthorne with their car in late 2020?

soren
Guest
soren

I repeatedly lobbied for rose lanes but this was deemed too expensive (would have required removal of infra) and too risk (parking is pdx’s third rail).

Of the alternatives presented, option 2 maintained transit access to marginalized communities at current levels and created a much safer environment for pedestrians. Instead of focusing on bike lanes at all costs I had hoped that there would also have been more calls for improvements to the Salmon Neighborhood Greenway (which will now likely experience more cut through traffic).

Michael Andersen
Subscriber

If we’re simply unwilling to remove free public car storage from Hawthorne, I agree that the case for the selected alternative is pretty strong. If!

Asking for diverters on Salmon seems good, yeah.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

PBOT is clearly unwilling to do something that would look like dealing a mortal blow to one of the city’s most vibrant business districts that is suffering under covid. Want to remove parking? Get the key businesses on board!

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Businesses will never get on board with the removal of subsidized parking. It adds value for them (although it can be hard to quantify). This is exactly why input from businesses is just one of the factors in the decision. We also need to consider the safety of road users, access, etc.

That said, I hope that they add more loading zones after this repave. Long-term car storage on Hawthorne occupies a lot of valuable road space.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Businesses would get on board of they believed the alternative would improve their business, as M. Katz et al claim. The local businesses have the largest stake in the street, and they make it what it is. I have no problem with giving them a louder voice than someone from N Portland who may visit one or two times per year.

Fred
Guest
Fred

As Kitty and Calvin Coolidge like to say: The business of America is business.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

That has not been the pattern in almost every study on businesses and PBLs. Most PBLs have gone in with mixed support and only afterward they have proven an increase in frequency and consistent business, only then become heavily supported.

“Replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time.”

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

If the business is a good one, people will find a way. If they aren’t, they won’t. Business people seem to forget that.

Steve B
Guest
Steve B

What if we priced that parking? It’s highly utilized as it is, getting rid of it entirely seems less than ideal from a retail business perspective.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

That’s the standard myth. From a business perspective PBLs often provide much more frequent and consistent income as supported by decades of research.

Michael Andersen
Subscriber

E tu Bozzone?

That’d be better than continuing to give it away for free, but a main reason to price the parking district-wide is that it’d get people on the side streets to clear out their garages, finally ditch their cars and so forth. This reduction in parking demand would offset a lot of the reduced curbside space. And there is IMO no plausible path to greatly reducing the demand for parking that doesn’t involve reducing the number of curbside spaces. As this example proves, you can’t meet the climate goals without repurposing that road space for higher-productivity uses.

Hello Kitty makes a good point about the pandemic optics. But post-pandemic, this district is probably poised to boom like crazy as telecommuters spend their lunch money near home instead of downtown.

But if Steve frickin B is now of the opinion that front-door-adjacent parking for ~15% of customers is more important to the future of the inner Hawthorne business district than either continuous, comfortable, intuitive bike facilities or dedicated bus queue jumps, I guess the politics are not looking great.

Douglas Kelso
Guest
Douglas Kelso

nearby greenways on Salmon and Lincoln

I wouldn’t exactly call six blocks to the south “nearby” if you’re planning to bike between multiple destinations on Hawthorne.

Personally, I’m willing to use the traffic lane to get from Mulligan’s to Powell’s if that’s what PBOT wants. Not sure how thrilled the motorists behind me will be about that, but they can deal with a few seconds of delay.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

Not sure how thrilled the motorists behind me will be about that, but they can deal with a few seconds of delay.

Unfortunately they’ll probably “deal” with this by using the center lane to pass like they do all the time between 39th and 50th.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Anyone doing that will be in for a rude awakening when they collide with a median island.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

Except they won’t. There’s isn’t a median island every block. Only 4 will go in to start and maybe more if they have some extra money they want to spend on pedestrians or more likely someone gets hit. People use the middle lane to go around me all the time between 39th and 50th usually just to end up stopped behind a line of cars at the next light.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Having lived on Hawthorne, I observed this behavior regularly, not on occasion.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Looks like we have another 24 years to work on this.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I liked your original comment!

Michael Andersen
Subscriber

One of the most disappointing things about this terrible decision is that it won’t even improve transit much — the projected decrease in bus travel time is 0 to 2 minutes, according to the earlier document.

By refusing to fully repurpose one or both parking lanes, PBOT naturally pitted busing against biking against walking, leading naturally to this conclusion. I don’t understand why repurposing the parking was kept off the table.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

I believe they were following the de facto city design hierarchy 1) parking 2) car capacity 3) sidewalks 4) bus lanes 5) bike lanes

soren
Guest
soren

PBOT’s fixation on parking also has to do with the fact that it’s a major and growing source of revenue for the department. (The “free market” reforms proposed by followers of Donald Shoup strengthen this interdependency.)

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

Really, Soren? I don’t see any meters on Hawthorne nor do I know a SINGLE person who I have worked with on parking reform who would hesitate for a second to advocate for removing car parking in favor of any other mode or use, and I have worked with quite a few people on parking reforms.

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

I’ll add that Soren is correct that PBOT is hooked on car parking revenue. It’s not really a growing source, especially after last year. As a “follower of Donald Shoup” I participated on the city’s focus groups for a net meter revenue policy and I was probably the most strident voice arguing that the city needed to wean itself off of this dependency.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Robot cars will not need parking. In a decade or two, this issue is going to solve itself.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I always wonder about this claim that self-driving cars won’t need parking. Where will they go when they’re not being used? Will they orbit the earth??

eawriste
Guest
eawriste
CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

They will occupy the driving lanes always

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

I believe the economics will strongly support fleet vehicles, so in most cases they’ll be off picking someone else up.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

I mean, you’d have to have your head in the sand to think PBOT doesn’t like parking. They are big on creating local meter taxing districts to squeeze even more out of Portlands working poor who have to drive in to the central city as the result of the areas garbage public transit

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

Completely disagree. The city almost has to be dragged into creating a meter district, that’s why we have so few of them. Where we do have meters, they’re generally underpriced in areas with highest demand. Much of the “working poor” in central city already takes the transit you speak of, so yeah, letting wealthier people congest the roads and park for free isn’t the great populist act you might think it is.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

PBOT has an entire program for getting the meter program going in affluent close-in neighborhoods.

Parking should be cheap and be reserved for nonresidents of a neighborhood. Portland subsidizes parking mainly for the benefit of the affluent class that can afford to live in the central city.

Most of the working poor drives, friend. You ought to leave the central city and head to working class neighborhoods. Owning a car is a must and pretty much everyone who can afford to, does. Very few people rely on transit because it’s so bad out in working class neighborhoods.

soren
Guest
soren

“Parking should be cheap and be reserved for nonresidents of a neighborhood.”

exactly.

pepperidge farm remembers when tony proposed targeting parking permit fees to renters (whose apartments tend to be located on arterials/collectors due to “centers and corridors” zoning).

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

When did I propose that? On Centers and Corridors (6 years ago) I advocated that, yes, apartment dwellers should be allowed to purchase neighborhood parking permits! Which was contrary to the feelings of many other committee members.

But I guess we shouldn’t sell the permits to them at all?

Michael Andersen
Subscriber

I agree with Soren that one of the big downsides of charging for parking is that the city gets hooked on the income! For what it’s worth, the Shoup prescription for this is to invest 100% of the parking revenue in nearby capital projects rather than PBOT general fund. Right now the city splits potential revenue from potential meter districts like Hawthorne’s 50/50, theoretically. I’d love to see this changed to a system like the PPB school foundations where each dollar of parking revenue invested in inner Hawthorne is matched with a dollar invested on outer Powell or whatever.

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

Sure, his critique of the city’s use of the money is correct. His axe grinding is… well, par for the course…

soren
Guest
soren

“axe grinding”

nice ad hominem, tony. just because i don’t agree with your politics does not mean i am acting in bad faith.

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

Ok, well your comment about parking reformers was just plain wrong..

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

LOL, no surprises here, including the false equivalency statement from Hardesty that Lincoln and Salmon are acceptable substitutes.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

She doesn’t ride a bike. What do you expect?

ChadwickF
Guest
ChadwickF

Can’t wait to drive over there, idle the car in a free parking spot while vaping and looking at my phone for an half-hour or so.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

The next time a person is obliterated by a car going 50 on Hawthorne I’m excited to hear what platitudes whoever the Bureau leader can give!

Fred
Guest
Fred

I know I sound like a broken record, but if Portland had actual transportation experts leading transportation, instead of an elected commissioner who can be swayed by the political breezes, we might actually get some of the improvements we want. Get rid of Portland’s dysfunctional commission-style gov’t!

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Do you really think the city engineers wanted bike lanes, but were held back by the politicians? And further, that if the director of PBOT answered to the council as a whole, rather than directly to Hardesty, council would have supported PBOT’s push for bike lanes on Hawthorne?

That is simply not plausible.

soren
Guest
soren

Hawthorne is a “major city walkway” and is not a “major city bikeway” so it makes sense to use an evidence-based approach to traffic calm this roadway to improve pedestrian safety. It seems to me that PBOT did exactly what you called for. IMO, PBOT failed to make the needed changes that would live up to Hawthorne designation as a “Major Transit Priority” roadway. Unfortunately, neglect of mass transit in Portland is business as usual.

PS: My primary transportation mode has been bike riding for 40+ years and it’s impossible to be more opposed to car-culture (Fordist Capitalism) than I am.

soren
Guest
soren

1) A human being was recently killed by a driver on SE Belmont, which has the pedestrian-unfriendly two automobile lane configuration you are pining for.

2) In aggregate, cycling in Portland is about as safe as driving so anyone who uses the “safety argument” without focusing on pedestrian/disability infrastructure is being disingenuous. And this is especially true when one is complaining about bike infrastructure in bike-infrastructure-rich inner SE Portland (which is fast gentrifying into an exclusionary playground for the rich).

Karstan
Subscriber
Karstan

“I know many passionate advocates wanted to see bike lanes on Hawthorne,” she said in a statement. “But this area is already well served with nearby greenways on Salmon and Lincoln.” Imagine if we said that about cars. “Well the road gets you two blocks away! That’s good enough.” Think of the uproar.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Why not just get it down to two car lanes and make left turns illegal. Precedent on Burnside and reduces conflict and frees up a lane that can be used for 2-way bike lanes.

Matt D
Guest
Matt D

Begone, thinking man! How dare you offer a reasonable solution!

Jason VH
Guest

What about those of us that would like to frequent local businesses and not drive a car?

If Portland hadn’t already lost its reputation as a bike-friendly city this would certainly have clinched it. Talk about a step backwards.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

You make it sound as if it is somehow hard to get around by bike. It’s not. The new design will make Hawthorne better for everyone, including cyclists. Just not as much better as the PBL designs, maybe. Accessing Hawthorne by bike is fine now and will be better after the project. I think PBOT made a reasonable decision.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Even if we don’t remove parking, wouldn’t it be better to (1) install a bike climbing lane between 12th and 30th, and (2) stripe advisory bike lanes east of there?

Seems like a good application for advisory bike lanes: cars only get one lane each direction, there is room for left turns and bikes get some space. Not ideal – maybe this is too busy a street for ABLs to work? – but better than what we have today.

Lidwien Rahman
Guest
Lidwien Rahman

I for one am very happy with this outcome. I’ll continue to use the perfectly comfortable greenways on Salmon/Taylor, Lincoln/Harrison, and Ankeny for bicycling, as I’ve done for years. I appreciate the proposed crossing improvements and connections to Hawthorne for pedestrians and bicycles, the retention of on-street parking, and the wider auto and bus travel lanes on Hawthorne.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

PBoT and the city council agree. And this perspective is the most effective way to make sure our bike modal share stays at 5% indefinitely.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

What is it going to take for you to understand that PBOT, the city commissioners, and the rest of the political class don’t actually represent you, and aren’t interested in doing what is actually best for the community? Seriously.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

What’s the difference between this layout and NE Glisan between 61st and 82nd? That street feels pretty unsafe to walk across. A few more pedestrian islands? Though as a plus, I actually find it only moderately dangerous to bike on as a fast cyclist. Not for the faint of heart, but more direct and quick that the greenways to the north and south.

Of note, recently someone had a little misadventure with the pedestrian island at 78th and Glisan, glad no one was actually waiting there at the time. https://montavilla.net/2021/01/29/glisan-crossing-light-repaired-at-78th/

Douglas Kelso
Guest
Douglas Kelso

I live near that segment of Glisan, and it’s both challenging to cross and scary to ride on. A couple of differences with the Hawthorne proposal jump out, though.

(1) Glisan has a 30 mph speed limit. It sounds like Hawthorne will be 20 mph all the way through.

(2) Hawthorne will have more safe crossings. Glisan has traffic lights at 60th, 67th, 74th, and 82nd, plus median islands at the 65th/66th alley and at 78th. That’s six reasonably safe crossings in one mile. It looks like Hawthorne will have far more in the way of crossing opportunities: the roughly one-mile segment from 20th to Cesar Chavez will include eight traffic lights plus eight median islands.

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

Those are both good points. A few more signals would help slow the racetrack feeling of this stretch of Glisan.

EP
Guest
EP

This redesign reminded me of the Glisan road diet, too. Keep an eye out for the upcoming 70s greenway that should be adding a Glisan crossing at 80th. The Halsey safe access to transit project should be putting Halsey on a diet with bike lanes.

But, after seeing PBOTs treatment of Hawthorne, I’m not that optimistic on these future projects.
https://bikeportland.org/2020/11/13/pbot-wants-local-knowledge-for-two-key-northeast-portland-projects-322754

Ben G
Guest
Ben G

Overall everyone is underserved by having major arterials also be commercial streets in this town. Wish business streets could be centers for pedestrians, bikes and commerce. But there is nowhere really viable to move the traffic nearby and so this would be a major political loser. So color me not surprised.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Car traffic exists because there are no alternatives. With a network of protected bike lanes, we would say the same about bike traffic.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

People drive because they prefer it to other modes. It is direct and point to point, unlike buses, and is available on demand. It is warm and dry and faster than cycling or walking.

I think you misunderstand what motivates people.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Exactly, HK. People want direct, point to point, safe transport. That is why most people in the US drive and we have very few people on bikes. We have a vast, direct network of roads for cars, and zero separated lanes for bikes. When we design roads for cars, everyone drives.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

They also want warm, sheltered, fast, easy transportation, which makes cycling unattractive.

I have no problem finding safe, enjoyable, direct bike routes to any of my destinations around Portland. It’s no harder than finding good auto routes.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste
eddie
Guest
eddie

I don’t like biking on Hawthorne at all, it is way too sketchy. Too many cars, too much conflict which bike lanes won’t really eliminate. I have to agree with those who prefer taking parallel streets such as Lincoln through that area. Why is it so important to bike on Hawthorne when there are quiet side streets that will get you where you need to go faster and with less conflict with automobiles?

EP
Guest
EP

I used to live just south of Hawthorne on 24th. It took a couple years before I could remember which side street to take up to Hawthorne such that I popped out next to my specific destination. Inevitably I was a block or two off and had to risk it pedaling along Hawthorne, or walk (or ride) down the (often crowded) sidewalk. Adding lanes would give more space for everyone, and calm things down a bit. It was always nice leaving a destination later in the evening, with light traffic, and just riding directly down Hawthorne. So, once you realize how nice it COULD be, you want to work on making it so.

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Apparently many people whom ride bikes like being second glass citizens, and pbot is only so happy to accommodate. Hawthorne shall remain a shrine to the two greatest killer of people walking and biking:cars and buses. Yes! Go Portland!

soren
Guest
soren

Cycling enthusiasts on bike portland are claiming that:

*checks notes*

1. Median islands and enhanced crosswalks are deadly infrastructure.
2. Road diets with extensive traffic calming are VRU death traps.

And now:

3. Buses are one of the “greatest killers” of people walking and biking.

These ubiquitous bad takes are one of the reasons that cycling advocacy has essentially no political power in Portland.

Al Berg
Guest
Al Berg

Hawthorne is one of the most compact streets in Portland. There’s a greenway 3 blocks away. Until the city rethinks putting bikes on the street & not integrating them into raised sidewalks (like ON the Hawthorne bridge) bikes will be limited to streets that have the room. I say get rid of the telephone poles, trees & other hinderances & make every sidewalk a combination of pedestrian/bike passageway. Milwaukie did it right when they updated the lane on Lake Rd.