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NE 7th Avenue bike lane design in flux due to one business owner

Posted by on March 10th, 2021 at 9:48 am

PBOT draft recommendation with space for two business parking spots.

BAC members and PBOT staff at the meeting Tuesday night.

A new bridge for bicycling and walking will soon link 7th Avenue between the central eastside, the Lloyd and northeast neighborhoods. In advance of its opening the Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to make the bikeways on 7th as good as possible to keep the expected influx of riders safe and encourage as many of them as possible.

With a $2 million budget ($522,000 from Fixing Our Streets program and $1.48 million from system development charges), PBOT is creating a mix of better bikeways on NE 7th and 9th as part of their Lloyd to Woodlawn Greenway project.

At last night’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, PBOT’s top bicycle planner shared the latest plans for bike lanes on 7th between Weidler and Tillamook and sparked a debate about how — or if — the desires of one business owner should impact this important bikeway.

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Before we get into that discussion, let’s take a look at PBOT’s latest plans to connect the 7th Avenue bikeway to the existing neighborhood greenway on Tillamook.

Initial designs would have dropped the bike lanes (in both directions) near the off-set Tillamook intersection where the curb-to-curb width of the roadway narrows to just 22 feet. This would have forced riders to make the turns onto Tillamook in a shared environment with drivers and offered no clear guidance around the little traffic roundabout that currently exists at the northern spur.

PBOT bike planner Roger Geller said the new plan (above) would extend the northbound bike lane all the way to Tillamook by ramping them up onto curb extensions. The traffic roundabout would be removed and PBOT would stripe new crossbike and crosswalk markings to facilitate connections to the greenway. The southbound bike lane would still be dropped between Tillamook and NE San Rafael. “Because the street is very narrow here, we decided that we’d rather have the bike lane in the northbound direction and we could live without it for this relatively short distance in the southbound direction,” Geller explained. (Note: The southbound direction here is also on a downhill so biking speeds are a little higher than usual, which makes sharing the lane less stressful for some riders.)

Those changes were widely supported by BAC members last night. It was a much different story for bike lane plans just north of Broadway.

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The plans for the 7th Avenue bike lane between NE Weidler and Broadway are not in dispute. PBOT will remove the existing parking lane and create 8-foot wide buffered bike lanes in both directions for that block.

“We should be prioritizing the bicycles and the people on the bicycles here, instead of one single business.”
— Nicholas Swanson, BAC member

North of Broadway however, is still very much in flux.

After some back-and-forth with city traffic engineers about lane widths, PBOT has decided that to remove all the on-street auto parking between Weidler and Tillamook. This is an exciting development that will lead to wider bike lanes in this busy section of the route. But there’s one spot where the quality of this bike lane is in question because the owner of Cotton Cloud Futon is concerned their business might be impacted by the design.

The business currently has a curbside truck loading zone on 7th that directly conflicts with the bikeway. PBOT has been in contact with the business owner and has created a few different design options for how to accommodate two parking spots (one for truck loading and the other for customers in cars). Geller shared these options with BAC members last night to get feedback and guidance on how to proceed. (Note that he did so knowing full well they might be objectionable to some people, but did so anyways in the spirit of transparency and a genuine interest in making the best choice.)

As you see the options below keep in mind that the business owner has told PBOT the truck loading zone is usually used for “a few large deliveries per week” and the customer parking spot is used about 2-5 times per day.

Here are the four options shared last night:

A wrap-around loading zone: In this option the bike lane would go around the truck and customer parking spot. This option breaks the continuity of the northbound bike lane and leads to a narrow southbound bike lane.


Relocate the loading zone onto Broadway: In this option the bike lanes would not be impacted. Geller said the business owner objects to this option because, “Having to go about 120 feet [with loads from the truck] instead of a few feet would be a big burden to their business.”


Allow the loading zone/parking spot to use the bike lane: With this option, bike lane users would have full use of the lane unless a truck or car was actively using the spots. Geller said PBOT could set a time limit for the spots to minimize blockage.


Direct bike users up onto the sidewalk: PBOT would create ramps up the curb so bicycle users wouldn’t have to swerve into the general lane when the spots were occupied. This option wasn’t taken very seriously.

When it came time for BAC members to share feedback, there was no appetite for lowering the quality of this bike lane to cater to the whims of one business owner.

“I hate to see such a roadblock set up by a single business who’s really acting in bad faith simply to keep things from changing,” said BAC member Clint Culpepper. “I don’t think we should be working very hard to solve their problem, to be totally honest.”

(Culpepper’s “bad faith” charge was made in part due to the owner of Cotton Cloud Futon being an outspoken opponent of the Central City in Motion plan. When that plan was debated at city council in 2018, they testified that, “If these things go through… we’d probably go out of business.”)

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BAC member Nicholas Swanson concurred: “It’s problematic, from an all-ages-and abilities perspective [to compromise the bike lane] and I don’t like the idea of sanctioning a loading zone in a bike lane… We should be prioritizing the bicycles and the people on the bicycles here, instead of one single business.”

Another BAC member asked why we were having this debate and not just referring to existing city policy to settle the issue. “City policy supports loading zones for businesses and it supports bike lanes for transportation. It’s not clear cut,” Geller explained. “It’s not unusual that we have conflicts between policies.”

BAC Chair David Stein suggested that PBOT could solve the conflict by making this one-block section of 7th Avenue one-way for driving. His idea received a lot of support. Geller said the project team had talked about that option and that they’d be willing to talk about it more.

Another comment from Stein summed up much of the sentiment at the meeting: “If we’re building this great new bike bridge over I-84, we should not mess up the connection to it.”

Stay tuned for updates. If you’d like to share feedback, contact Lloyd to Woodlawn project manager Nicole Pierce at Nicole.Peirce@portlandoregon.gov.

(Note: The bike lanes in this project are not expected to have any physical protection. When someone asked about that at the meeting, Geller said protected bike lanes weren’t currently in the plans because initial cost estimates were already over-budget.)

UPDATE, 4:42 pm: A reader emailed Cotton Cloud Futon and received this response:

“Thank you for your concerns regarding the 7th avenue greenway. However your concerns are unfounded as the city is going to proceed with their plans regardless of our objections. Please know that we do not object to a bike lane, the cleansing of our planet from toxic fumes is of utmost importance to us. We are concerned for the safety and well being of the men, women and children who will be using the path.

We have regular daily deliveries of large furniture items and mattresses, these arrive by box truck, transit van and even 18 wheel semi-trucks. In addition, up to 5 times a day we have customers arriving to pick up their orders of said large furniture items and mattresses. This all happens on 7th ave. Having no other place to park, the drivers and customers will be forced to occupy the bike lane for 10-30 mins at a time, forcing cyclists to go around them and out onto a very busy lane of traffic.

During our decade long occupancy here we have been witness to multiple accidents involving a cyclist being struck by a vehicle. This is a very dangerous intersection for cyclists normally.

We understand that a few blocks north of us the bike path will be redirected up to NE 9th ave. We would like the bike lane to jog over to 9th before reaching the dangerous intersection of 7th and Broadway.

We hope you will reconsider your stance and let the city planners know that a bike path down NE 7th will put cyclists in unnecessary danger.

Thank you.”

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

I find it interesting that an option no one considers would be to allow the motor vehicle lane to be shared as a loading zone lane. If going around isn’t a big deal then why can’t motor vehicle users share one of the thru lanes during the periods when deliveries are being made thus blocking one of two wide lanes for vehicles? Physical barriers might be needed to prevent motor vehicle users from inadvertently encroaching on the bike lane space but overall having to share a single travel lane might add some traffic calming to the street.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Yep, or make the street a one-way for cars going south, which would also act to divert car traffic on 7th. It is as if PBoT becomes paralyzed by a single person who laments one parking spot, yet is unaffected by hundreds of people who use the street.

foobike
Guest
foobike

Wasn’t clear which direction the proposal for the one-block one-way was for but southbound probably makes the most sense, else it would have the effect of diverting southbound cars to Tillamook which is suboptimal. Of course, given the business is on the eastside of 7th, the truck will need to do some funky maneuvering to park in the loading zone/parking zone the way it does now – either facing north or south would have to cross northbound bike traffic to park.

Another concern is removal of the traffic circle at Tillamook and 7th if I read that correctly. That dogleg has always been surprisingly tricky mostly in the eastbound direction – on account of speeds of southbound traffic (mostly cars but sometimes fast-moving bikes on that downhill) and poor sightlines due to parked cars, which will still be there north of Tillamook from the sounds of it. That circle helped slow down traffic a little, I wonder if that will be an issue once removed.

I’ve noticed that there’s a tendency to cut the left turn to continue eastbound on Tillamook a little more sharply there (I know I’ve done this), in order to hop off 7th as quickly as possible in anticipation of the southbound traffic that may be rapidly coming up on them or to beat the approaching northbound traffic. I’ve had some near head-on collisions with bikes when I’m approaching Tillamook and 7th westbound. So just curious how the proposed changes for 7th at this spot will impact things.

Concerns aside, this Lloyd to Woodlawn greenway project is pretty exciting.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Accommodating a single business with an extra car parking spot is really setting a bad precedent. Expect “you did it for them, why not me?” with every single proposal to make our streets better. And Clint Culpepper is absolutely right. I remember they were among the most vocal, arguing in bad faith about the Better Broadway pilot a few years ago. I bought a futon there years ago (never again) and loaded it into my car…in their parking lot that they still appear to have.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

It appears the parking lot is private property owned by a separate entity.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

That parking lot looks like it belongs to Les Schwab. Now, if Cotton Cloud could make an agreement with Les Schwab for shared use, that could eliminate the car loading spot on-street.

August
Guest
August

I like the suggestion of making that block one-way to get better and safer lanes. I think that having designated loading zones is actually really important for bike safety- if there’s no loading zone, cars and trucks double park or park in the bike lane. Cotton Cloud may not care about bike infrastructure, sure, but I get that carrying furniture further does suck more. Seems like an obviously worse idea to allow trucks to park in the bike lane…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Bingo. That block of 7 northbound is a loading zone. This will also have the effect of reducing some cut-through traffic on Tillamook. Schuyler and Hancock would likely see an uptick in traffic.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Isn’t the elephant in the room here that someone at PBOT (Chris Warner?) is giving orders for his staff to compromise safety for short-sighted reasons like mantaining parking?

Until the actual person calling the shots is addressed, this kind of thing will keep happening. Fighting that fight might not be what BAC members signed up for, but it also might be the only thing that will actually nip this systemic problem in the bud.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

During the last BAC meeting a member mentioned that Director Warner had not met with the BAC for 3 years.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Exactly! I was thinking the headline should have been “…due to one traffic engineer”

Anon
Guest
Anon

I live pretty close by and used to go into that business now and then (I have a thing for home furnishings). Recently, I needed some new furniture and briefly considered them as a nearby option but bought elsewhere instead.

From a business point of view, they’d likely be much better served by making it easier to browse and order online (including easy delivery) rather than insisting on these two spots. Part of this would be making the site secure by enabling HTTPS, which is practically free these days.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

The City of Bend did a parking study in the late teens and their consultant concluded that a parking spot for customers in front of your store is worth about an extra $17k in revenue for your business. The question we should be asking is why Portland would be justified in giving this subsidy to any one business over others similarly situated.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

The evidence on revenue from parking spaces versus separated bike lanes is pretty solid. Drivers often spend more per visit, but people on bikes tend to spend more frequently. Most often business districts and media resist removal of parking until they see an increased benefit of both visibility (marketing), and steady increase of frequency of visits. The situation in Vancouver B.C. is pretty telling.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Indeed! The bicycling infrastructure here is outstanding. Definitely the best I’ve seen outside of Europe. The Stanley Park Seawall is a ride everyone who loves bicycling should have the chance to enjoy.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Luckily you Canucks were smart enough to keep the border closed. Otherwise, I would have likely been on the BC trail last Summer.

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

The answer is that that amenity (storefront parking) was present when the person chose to open their business there, and was presumably priced into the cost of the building and/or rent. (That is to say, an equivalent location without the parking/loading out front would probably be cheaper). That doesn’t mean that the city of Portland owes a business owner those parking spots. But it does mean that they are actively reducing the valuable amenties of a business, amenities that that business owner planned around and probably paid (and still pays) for indirectly. Again, I don’t think that ties the city’s hands, but it’s also a serious thing to do to a business, which is, after all, someone’s livelihood. I think that as advocates of a better city, we should be on the side of small businesses (which doesn’t mean acceding to all of their wants or requests, but does require having empathy for their perspective).

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

PBOT regularly shifts driving lanes as per VZ. It’s their feeble attempt to get people to pay attention while driving. This looks more normal than not. I’d also be supportive of it being a one way.

Hotrodder
Guest
Hotrodder

Relocating the loading zone to Broadway gets my vote.

HJ
Guest
HJ

They clearly appear to have a parking lot from the images provided. I find it baffling that we should consider changes to bicycle routing when they already have that available. If they can’t make things work between the parking lot and extra designated spots on Broadway then they probably have some fundamental flaws to how they operate their business. I fully agree with Matt, if we change things to accommodate this single business it’s setting a horrible precedent that will throw monkey-wrenches in almost every future project. Not worth the risk. Let them have the spots on Broadway as a gesture of good faith on our part but make it clear that the lane will be there in the design that is best for drivers and cyclists alike.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

You can see in Google St View that there are Les Schwab Parking signs in the parking lot.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

signs in the lot indicate it belongs to Les Schwab, who also has the building next to the lot.

JP
Guest
JP

That parking lot belongs to Les Schwab, which is housed in the building on the other side of the lot, and the building across the street attached to the parking lot there. Funny how since they need parking for their business, they make sure it’s present in the property they use, rather than expecting that they will be able to use public roadways for their private business activities.

was carless
Guest
was carless

That parking lot is for Les Schwab. Cloud’s building has no parking and has many tenants, it’s an old 2 story structure.

There are no easy ways to address freight and cycling together in the central city, but it must be addressed somehow.

Eli
Guest
Eli

This reminds me of when I lived in the Bay Area. There’s a spot in Oakland where BART trains slow down to around 20-25 mph.

As I recall from a SPUR event, that’s because it had be re-routed around one business who raised a big ruckus and demand it be rerouted.

That business is long gone. But BART passengers are inconvenienced every day by the attempt at placating a business, committed into concrete and steel.

Barry J Cochran
Guest
Barry J Cochran

I thought of this, too. I don’t know what the opposite end of a grandfather clause is called, but if they do make an exception for this guy (not my preference, but if they do) it should expire when either he or his business does.

squareman
Subscriber

Agreed, one business should not dictate the infrastructure needs of the many – it can have a nasty, lasting effect. I worked at a Simon Hardware store through my high school and university days in the east bay suburbs in the late 80s. My uncle (who grew up in Oakland) would always tell me that they were the ones responsible for that kink in the BART tracks where they had to slow down lest they derail. I haven’t been able to find any archive online to corroborate that, but Simon did originate in Oakland and was there when the BART tracks were going in. https://localwiki.org/oakland/Simon_Hardware

squareman
Subscriber

Tragically, people’s dangerous driving habits in personal vehicles also hinder BART’s efficacy, forcing a high-speed train to have to slow down because freeway accidents often strew debris into the BART ROW. I found this while trying to look up details about that old kink in the BART line: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Safety-Wins-Out-BART-Slows-Down-Trains-trim-30-2740149.php

Christopher of Portland
Guest
Christopher of Portland

Northwest Fitness moved to Airport Way. Universal Cycles moved to Beaverton. Charles H Day moved to Milwaukie. How long until Cotton Cloud moves to a bigger space with more parking and leaves us with a compromised bike lane design?

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

I used to live right around the block from this futon company – there are SO many parking spots nearby to use that are usually free during business hours. Loading is one thing, but that could also be something that is limited and maybe they can use the parking spaces behind them and work with Les Schwab to find a shared-use for the space for temporary loading. 7th is a main artery for cyclists and will only become more so. I love the idea of doing anything possible to slow traffic speeds on this street and limiting car traffic on it. The idea of making it one-way in this section could go a long way in helping with that effort – keep ideating in that space!

Michelle Loffler
Guest
Michelle Loffler

Jonathan, have you reached out to this business owner to get her side of this issue *currently*? I’m really surprised to see these responses; it doesn’t sound like the person I know there, who is a longtime active community member for decades.

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

Forward into the past!

Lone Heckler
Guest
Lone Heckler

I fully support removing the parking spots and not accommodating a single business, but as a point of clarification I believe that parking lot is only for the Les Schwab store across the street. To my knowledge, Cotton Cloud does not have a dedicated lot here.

Roberta
Guest
Roberta

Every single intersection is a drama. These same businesses who threatened to close, and then did not. Well then their economic advise is not grounded in reality. Therefore you can ignore them. They had their chance. They are still here and they will still be there whatever the configuration. Can we please prioritize the biking connection to the biking bridge. This is Transport Planning 101: Don’t duck up the new bridge with bad access. WARNER and his lovely Senator wife will be directly responsible for the ensuing calamity if he doesn’t get this right. Geller is an angel, THANK YOU!!!!

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

Every single intersection is a drama because these businesses are peoples’ lives and livelihoods. That is worth all of our respect, and in many cases it is precisely the sense that planners and advocates don’t care about the business owners that cause people go get angry and go to war over proposed changes. (I studied NIMBYism and did some focus group research related to the topic in grad school, there is research to back this up). We need to couple commitment to lasting change with respect for the people that change impacts.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Except there is a significant body of evidence that separated bike lanes provide more frequent and increasing income than parking. That the city council, the mayor and PBoT prioritizes a single parking spot over business profit, safety and climate goals is particularly telling of their priorities. Here’s a bikeportland article on the same.

“Adding bicycle infrastructure boosts a neighborhood’s economic vitality.”

Please provide links to your research.

nic.cota
Subscriber

One thing Roger (PBOT) brought up was that if this section of roadway was to become one-way, they’d need a coupling one-way street the opposite direction.

Does anybody know where this standard comes from? To use it as the only prong against a solution that gives both bikers and business owners an effective design seems like a miss. Couldnt 6th be made southbound only between Broadway and Schuyler if this rule is so absolute?

Zac
Guest
Zac

Glad to see this project picking up momentum. This section of 7th was part of my daily commute between the Eliot neighborhood and Lloyd district.

Converting this section of 7th between Broadway and Schuyler as a one-way SB street would fix a major issues impacting the bikeway already by limiting cut through traffic avoiding MLK. Not to mention removing a common problem of NB drivers running the stop sign on Schuyler-albeit a surprising stop immediately following the light on Broadway.

I’m sure Les Schawb and Cotton cloud will oppose losing immediate access off Broadway, but any large delivery vehicles have better right turn turning-movements a block W on 6th due to no parking lane at the Gerber Glass driveway.

Excited to see how this plays out, and the 7th Ave bikeway receive these improvements!

Janos
Guest
Janos

Any particular reason why a loading zone protected option is not explored? This option could be a variation of the wrap around option. I am not certain anything beyond the one loading zone is truly needed, as the loading zone could also serve for parking when not in use.
The bike lanes could remain full width with protective barriers of some sort and the driving lanes be substandard in width without a centerline stripe. This would make motorists slow down and negotiate with each other. Compromise the auto space with this auto oriented need, and not the bike space or the people space.

maxD
Guest
maxD

Isn’t it already legal to park the driving lane for temporary loading and unloading? Allowing the delivery vehicles to just pop on their hazards and make deliveries from 9-11 am or somethings makes a lot more sense to me than allowing them to use the bike lane. The new sullivans crossing bridge is going to be funneling people on bikes, foot, etc from all over N/NE and SE, and this is a direct extension of that. 7th is very minor street fro driving, but a hugely significant street for people on bikes.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Unfortunately, it is technically legal for delivery vehicles to park in the bike lane during delivery. I believe, technically the city cannot do anything even if this business wants to load/unload mattresses in the bike lane. Yet another law that clearly reflects driver convenience over basic safety.

maxD
Guest
maxD

maybe they could plastic wands to let people carry stuff across the bike lane, by leave the truck blocking the driving lane of 7th instead of the bike lane?

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Ideally, in any situation where there might be a small chance of people using the bike lane for parking, curbs, bollards and planters can do magic. 7th is too narrow to fit 2 travel lanes, loading and PBLs. The clear choice, if safety were a priority, is to remove a travel lane. Director Warner allowing that decision would be a surprise.

Nick Fox
Guest
Nick Fox

I use this stretch (from the in-development bridgehead to Tillamook) pretty often. Already 7th between Multnomah & Tillamook feels like weird obstacle course of constantly shifting lane types, lane widths. Most versions of those 7th & broadway alternatives (including the 7th/Tillamook intersection) seem like they will add to that sensation. This kind of landscape sucks with kids (or at least mine) because those shifts always need guidance / navigation. Can we please keep it relatively simple and consistent?

Similar issue with kids, but… I’m also a little concerned about the new drawing for westbound on Tillamook across 7th. In this drawing it looks like you will turn R 90* on 7th, start moving uphill, and have to stop or slow to check your blindspot before making another 90* degree left turn to cross 7th and continue. I know that’s a dogleg and it is what it is, but especially tough with kids where any uphill slows you way down. As it currently is, the roundabout actually makes me feel SAFER going this way–because it basically means no car can zoom up and try to pass me on the left as I prepare to turn onto Tillamook.

maxD
Guest
maxD

Is there an update for how they plan to get around Irving Park? (please go around it!)

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

I believe PBoT plans to go through it. Due to the change in grade, my hope is that some special day PBoT will consider a MUP bridge across Fremont at 9th. I would rather have a traffic lane moved off 7th and a two way cycletrack.

Jim Labbe
Subscriber
Jim Labbe

So I hate to contribute to negative comments here at Bike Portland but now more than ever I regret ever purchasing anything from Cotton Cloud Futon. They screwed up my orders both times I purchased a futon and mattress there. Now they are commandeering the public right-of-way and gumming up needed bike infrastructure with inflexible demands.

joan
Subscriber

There’s a bus stop on Broadway right in front of the futon shop, but from Google Maps street view it looks to me like there’s room there for a loading zone and a bus stop on Broadway without changing the current bike lane there. Could this be as simple as adding a loading zone to Broadway? That part of Broadway isn’t usually fully parked up. I’m wondering if there’s some reason this wasn’t seen as a solution here.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I rather like the wrap-around loading zone configuration. It creates a natural traffic-calming chicane to slow those 85 mph drivers who will pass through (and you know they will.) It would be nice to see it on alternating sides of the street in an irregular pattern, much like what I saw in a residential area in Tuscaloosa Alabama. It would definitely be distinct, unlike the usual boring straight-line configurations that PBOT tends to put in that encourages speeding car and truck drivers. And since PBOT isn’t going to put in speed humps, tables, or pillows in this section, a chicane is the next best substitute.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

Something that wasn’t addressed last night: what’s happening between the Blumenauer Bridge and NE Weidler? That section has existing bike lanes, but they’re narrow compared to the ones that will be installed between Weidler and Tillamook (issues above notwithstanding). PBOT had a concept to make a two-way bicycle route on the east side of the street which has even been shown on renderings for proposed new buildings. Is this still happening? If it is, how does this affect the design of NE 7th between Tillamook and Weidler? It seems weird to be talking about this two stretches of the same street in isolation.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Great question. What of the planned developments on 7th and Holladay? There are parking garages along 7th, but a one-way s-bound would still allow access. A 2-way cycletrack would likely require its own signal separation on some streets, so I would be very surprised to see PBoT admin take that route.

Laura
Guest
Laura

I chuckle a bit at the official option to “ Allow the loading zone/parking spot to use the bike lane.” On my daily commute that seems to be the norm in every bike lane. Drivers will double park in the bike lane even if there is a parking spot they could pull into. When we share these areas we run the risk of distracted or unaware drivers pulling out on top of us.

X
Guest
X

It appears that Lyft & Uber drivers are trained to stop in a traffic lane of some sort because I’ve never seen one of them pull into a legal parking space. If we’re going to continue this experiment in traffic disruption maybe we need mandatory hired-car pickup points paid for through the franchise charge for every operator.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Just put the bike lane down the sidewalk. Why? The futon business will eventually be gone. Or, they might just figure out how to use their parking lot. By the way, It doesn’t matter if you put a loading zone there or not. anyone with a truck will just park right in front of the store and drop their load. I drive a 70 foot truck and frankly don’t stress about loading zones or no loading zones. I use the lane or the curb side. Even if you paint the loading zone around the corner, unless it’s heavily policed, loading guy is going to drop out front. That’s how it is. Cars deal with this so can people on bikes.

Bikes go around. Such is life in a city. It’s the box vans that care about loading zones (think UPS/fedex/DHL). Portland isn’t NYC despite this owners desire to make it so. Look both ways before you go in the lane. It isn’t hard.

But whatever you do, don’t waste time painting special lines for these folks..or every other business will want the same treatment.

Matt S.
Guest
Matt S.

I’m honestly surprised they said anything. The company could literally park in the bike lane day after day— probably for years—and people will report and complain, but nothing will be done because the city has “too many other things” and short staffed, and insert any other excuse. When it comes to cars in this city, you can do whatever you want.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

I’ll shock some people by suggesting taking 2 feet out of the sidewalk on the east side of 7th right at the loading door, to add to bike lane/or buffer width. Maybe do the same thing on the west side. In Amsterdam, I saw workarounds at odd spots (which an older city has lots of). Of course, moving the curb may be more expensive. But you would not need catch basins, just slope the new part of the street up toward the curb so the drainage path remains the same) I think this would be less traumatic that the one-way version and all the modifications that would entail.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Imagine the cost, effort and endless time required to redesign each section of sidewalk in front of every business owner that wishes–or might wish–to have any visitor store their private property in the street.

qqq
Guest
qqq

I think it’s important to understand what rights the business currently has before deciding what rights it will end up with, especially when most options involve compromising the bike lane.

Here’s the business’s loading door, with a curb cut in front of it, a standard parking space to the south, and a truck loading space to the north:
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5353141,-122.6585924,3a,75y,64.42h,86.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPMrnGghBuz-jB4gQm1XmeQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

As I understand, it isn’t legal for anyone–delivery truck, customer picking up, etc.–to park at the curb cut–a vehicle can only park in a parking or loading space. If that’s right, the business has no right currently to load or unload at that curb cut.

The parking space to the south is a standard parking space, so it can be used for customers to park and load (probably for trucks to deliver also) but because it’s a parking space anyone can park there, and the business has no special claim to it.

The truck loading space to the north can be used for trucks to deliver, but as I understand can’t be used legally for customers to make pickups, unless they drive a commercial vehicle, which few would.

This is all relevant because I get the impression the business and PBOT view the business as currently having rights for truck deliveries and customer pickups that are much greater than what they really legally have now. If PBOT enforced the rules–no parking at the curb cut, and no customer pickups in the truck loading zone–the “rights” the business currently enjoys would plummet. That means some of the options that the business and PBOT feel are major compromises for the business really may not be that bad.

qqq
Guest
qqq

One more thing that’s clear from the photo–the business has a curb cut and garage door. That means it has the ability to create a loading space inside the store, so customers and delivery trucks can drive in and out to pick up and drop off. I’m sure the business doesn’t want to lose showroom space for that (when it gets the loading space for free outside) and the maneuvering across the bike lane and sidewalk wouldn’t be great, but it’s a standard loading solution that hundreds of businesses have on streets with no on-street loading, so should at least be in the discussion–especially when some really bad options are being considered.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. Delivery vehicles can indeed park in bike lanes under current Oregon law. It really sucks and is embarrassing that this is still the case.

“If the vehicle is momentarily stopped to pick up or discharge a passenger; or
If the vehicle is momentarily stopped for the purpose of, and while actually engaged in, the loading or unloading of property;”

http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.550

qqq
Guest
qqq

Yes, although it doesn’t change my point. But what’s great about your brining it up is it points out just how low bikes are in the laws. If there is a bike lane, it IS legal for someone to stop in it and load or unload. But if it’s a truck loading zone, it’s not legal as I understand unless you’re driving a commercial vehicle.

So interrupting dozens of people biking in a busy bike lane to pick up your futon is legal. But to do it in an empty truck loading zone is not. Crazy.

Going back to the article, doesn’t it mean that replacing what’s currently there (a parking space that non-customers can take, a driveway that nobody can stop in, and a truck loading space that customers can’t use and large trucks don’t fit in) with a bike lane (that will always be available for all sizes of delivery trucks and all customers picking up) would be a great improvement for the business?

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Yep qqq, agreed. My worry is that PBoT admin will continue to prioritize optics and make the safe political decision rather than the obvious one based on prioritizing safety. That this scenario is even a consideration by PBoT is embarrassing IMO, and highlights the inherently flawed design process at the agency, consistently prioritizing private property storage over safety. I see no reason to expect otherwise until PBoT has a change in leadership or the city council mandates a change in the design process.

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

I don’t really understand what you’re saying. The truck loading zone “to the north” IS the truck loading zone they use. Maybe delivery vehicles park in front of the curb cut in practice, I have no idea, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is a designated truck loading zone in front of the business, as well as a parking space.

EP
Guest
EP

The lead graphic for this reminds me of a 3D Excitebike course. I think PBOT should start adding bikeable doubles and triples to area streets instead of speedbumps.

DW
Guest

I see a curb cut and a large garage door that looks like it can easily accept deliveries from all sorts of trucks that could back in. It even looks like you could completely pull into the store in a vehicle and they could load inside (out of the weather). Just need to organize the floor space. With online ordering, pickup, deliveries this looks like it would work well. Just so long as the truck doesn’t block both the sidewalk and the bike lane? Shared use ped/ bike?
https://www.google.com/maps/place/NE+7th+Ave+%26+NE+Broadway,+Portland,+OR+97232/@45.5353583,-122.6585909,3a,15y,92.83h,92.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soEvu6Yrb7UAJyKV_TPLrAg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x5495a74c99473857:0xf2823844d49bca65!8m2!3d45.535065!4d-122.6585983

X
Guest
X

I’ve been inside the store (with a friend!) and the space inside the door is taken up with their inventory. It actually sort of melds with their showroom. They aren’t going to back a truck all the way in.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Dear City of Portland: If you are ever going to get Truly Serious about creating safe, high-quality cycling infrastructure, you need to quit faffling around with half-measures and do what you have always done for cars and trucks: create dedicated space for cycling.
Yours truly,
Fred the cyclist

one
Guest

Problem solvers would figure a way to place another loading access point into the building on broadway and put the loading zone there. 7th is about to become one of the busiest bike ways in Portland, or in all of Oregon. There is no way they can put a loading zone there.

J- I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Word Class Greenway coming with the Lloyd to Woodlawn Greenway. Looking forward to more updates there.

David Guettler
Guest
David Guettler

Funny- that location used to be a bike shop

EP
Guest
EP

Hey, maybe a bike shop will fill the space again, once PBOT puts in a proper bike lane, and the futon shop moves to a better spot with an actual parking lot and/or loading dock.

David A Wagoner
Guest
David A Wagoner

Perfect locationfor a new Bicycle shop…