104 businesses sign letter asking for protected bike lanes on Hawthorne Blvd

Posted by on May 11th, 2021 at 3:53 pm

PBOT plans to restripe this section of Hawthorne with a center turn lane and three general purpose lanes instead of four.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A project poised to repave and restripe a popular section of Southeast Hawthorne Blvd without bike lanes is set to begin next month and an activist who’s spent over a year pushing for them hasn’t given up hope.

Last week we received an email from Ben Manker-Seale, the owner of Focus Group Vintage on Hawthorne and 34th. It included a letter in support of protected bike lanes on Hawthorne Blvd signed by over 100 other Hawthorne Blvd businesses (see full list below). The legwork behind the list was Zach Katz, founder of Healthier Hawthorne, a grassroots group that has pushed the Portland Bureau of Transportation to install bike lanes on the street since April 2020. Katz has raised nearly $13,000 via GoFundMe to pay for a possible lawsuit against PBOT for their decision to not stripe bike lanes as part of the Hawthorne Pave & Paint project.

Reached for comment on the letter, Manker-Seale said, “First and foremost I care about this city and about the vibe of this street.” “It’s not just about cyclists. What I really want for the street is that good community feeling,” Manker-Seale added, “like how everyone wants to move to Europe. We could do that here but we have people in government that care more about parking.”

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Back in February, with a clean slate to work with, PBOT opted to stripe Hawthorne between 24th and 50th with three general purpose lanes and auto parking lanes on both sides (known as Alternative 2, above left). One of the design alternatives — Alternative 3b (above right) — would have restriped the street with two general purpose lanes, a parking lane on one side, and protected bike lanes adjacent to each curb.

The letter signed by 104 business owners (or managers) urges PBOT to reconsider that decision. Here’s a snip from the letter:

“… Design Alternative 2 does not serve the needs of the business community. It does little to improve safety does nothing to bring more people to businesses and does nothing to address our city’s goals for improving equity and addressing climate change. This design also led to the death of 15-year-old Fallon Smart in 2016 [Smart’s father has also urged PBOT to reconsider their decision], and we cannot support a design on our street, which is proven to be deadly.

The business community strongly supports Alternative 3b. Protected bike lanes will significantly improve safety for people walking, biking, and driving, bring many more people to businesses and dramatically advance our city’s goals for improving equity and addressing climate change. It will also get people on bikes, e-scooters and skateboards off of the sidewalk, which is an increasingly dangerous problem, and will only continue to get worse unless something is done.

We understand Alternative 3b will necessitate some parking removal at intersections in order to improve safety for people walking, biking and driving. We believe this is a more than acceptable trade-off for making the street a safer, more vibrant place to be, which is likely to increase sales, especially as the city increasingly encourages travel by eco-friendly modes of transportation…

For the sake of Hawthorne’s safety and our business’s future prosperity, please consider reversing your decision and choosing Alternative 3b before the repaving begins in June.”

Here are the business who’ve signed onto that statement:

1. Focus Group Vintage
2. House of Vintage
3. Eastside Guitar Repair
4. Neza Taqueria
5. MudBay
6. Wildish Botanicals
7. Coava Coffee
8. Starflower
9. Tender Loving Empire
10. Salon 29
11. Rice Cafe
12. Matt’s BBQ
13. Backstory Books + Yarn
14. Safeway Starbucks
15. SeaSweets Poke
16. La Morenita PDX
17. COIT
18. Tibet Spirit
19. Martian Arts Tattoos
20. David Hastings Studios
21. Tattoo 34
22. Seven Virtues Coffee
23. Cha Cha Cha Taqueria
24. Khao Moo Dang
25. Tōv Coffee
26. Top Ten Nails
27. ORO
28. Whole Family Health Clinic
29. Gold Dust Meridian
30. The UPS Store
31. Sylvia’s Psychic Insight
32. Hawthorne Market
33. Next Level Burger
34. White & Green Thai
35. Pepino’s
36. Short Round
37. Mellow Mood
38. Mio Sushi
39. Farmhouse Kitchen
40. SFNY Pizza
41. Bar of the Gods
42. iPhone Repair
43. No Name Pho
44. Books
45. Buffalo Exchange
46. The Fresh Pot
47. Bishop’s
48. Moberi
49. Mt. Tabor Fine Wines
50. Fat Straw
51. Roosevelt’s Terrariums
52. Float On
53. The Reclaimory
54. Space Room
55. Danse Macabre
56. The Sapphire Hotel
57. Dar Salaam
58. Baka Umai
59. ¿Por Que No?
60. Hawthorne Auto Clinic
61. Ringcraft
62. Adorn Body Art
63. Dairy Hill Ice Cream
64. Hawthorne Game Exchange
65. Nick’s Coney Island
66. Frog + Snail
67. ***Business removed by owner request***
68. Kids At Heart
69. Super Natural Eco Boutique
70. Qué Bacano!
71. Baby Blue Pizza
72. Sparkyz Tattoo
73. George’s Shoe Repair
74. Farma
75. Kaya Shack
76. Hawthorne Nails Care
77. YoYo Market
78. Kabob
79. OK Omens
80. 7/11
81. Hello India
82. Ancestry Brewing
83. The Whole Bowl
84. The Hazel Room
85. Talerico’s Produce
86. Away Days
87. Straightaway Cocktails
88. Eastbank
89. Potato Champion
90. Riyadh’s Lebanese Restaurant
91. Thai Touch Cuisine
92. TeaScape Massage & Teahouse
93. Hometown Hair Lounge
94. Auto Battery & Electric
95. Portland Bhakti Center
96. Gol Soccer Bar
97. Move Better Chiropractic
98. ***Business removed by owner request***
99. 5 Star Cleaners
100. Fit Body Boot Camp
101. Tabor Bread
102. Tomorrow Records
103. iChihuahua Repair
104. Maruti Indian Restaurant
105. Clever Cycles
106. Farina Bakery

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Manker-Seale added that he worries most about tourists who don’t know about side-streets like Lincoln where many bike riders prefer to ride. “I see people ride their Biketown bikes up and down the street… It doesn’t make sense to not put bike lanes on Hawthorne when they’re pushing Biketown, and no one wants to go all the way down to Lincoln then come all the way back up to Hawthorne.”

“PBOT makes protecting pedestrians its number one priority and this is reflected in the Hawthorne Pave and Paint project.”
— Jo Ann Hardesty, PBOT Commissioner

In a statement shared by KATU-TV last week in defense of PBOT’s decision, Commissioner-in-charge of PBOT Jo Ann Hardesty said pedestrian safety was one of the main goals. “Area residents told us crossing busy Hawthorne was one of the most dangerous part of using the street,” Hardesty wrote in response to a letter from Fallon Smart’s father Seth Smart.

Hardesty further explained that it will be safer to walk around and across Hawthorne due to the new center turn lane and planned median islands, improved street lighting and crosswalks that are coming as part of the project. Hardesty also highlighted the lane reduction (from four to three general purpose lanes) which she said would improve crossing safety and reduce driving speeds. Without adding the bike lanes, Hardesty also said PBOT’s design will allow for wider sidewalks and curb extensions in the future.

Katz disagreed strongly with Hardesty statement and published a point-by-point rebuttal on the Healthier Hawthorne website on Tuesday.

Hardesty is scheduled to address the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee Tuesday night (5/11). It’s unknown if she’ll talk about the Hawthorne Pave & Paint project, but it’s worth noting that some members of the committee have said PBOT’s striping decision was, “profoundly disappointing”.

CORRECTION 6/11: This post initially referred to signers as “business owners,” but not all the names on the list were owners of the businesses. some were just employees/staff. I regret the error. – Jonathan

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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I'll Show Up
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I'll Show Up

This is pretty amazing! With all of these Hawthorne businesses supporting the project, are they advocating that the Hawthorne Business Association change their position to support protected bike lanes?

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

The letter doesn’t formally take that stance, but *many* business owners I spoke with are upset with the HBBA’s position (and the HBBA in general). It’s definitely time for a new, more progressive business association on Hawthorne.

I'll Show Up
Guest
I'll Show Up

I hope that the HBBA sees the letter and is asked to change their position because of it. Would some of these businesses show up at one of their meetings to ask? It would be even better if that came as a separate letter or email with a lot of businesses signing it.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Perhaps, but tbh, I don’t personally want to do any more business outreach on Hawthorne. I’ve bothered all of the business owners enough over the last year…and besides, I don’t think Roger and Bill at the HBBA give a shit what the businesses think. They’ve had a “no net loss of parking” policy [1] since PBOT proposed bike lanes on Hawthorne in 1997 and have given zero indication that they’re open to changing their minds about that.

[1] https://www.southeastexaminer.com/2020/03/hawthorne-pave-and-paint-project-2/

I'll Show Up
Guest
I'll Show Up

Thanks for all of your hard work, Zach!

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Thank you!

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

What an astonishingly different direction this is taking than the 28th Avenue debacle years ago. I seem to recall that also in the earlier instance, someone canvassed all the business owners and asked for signatures. Guess Zach got there first. Way to go!

soren
Guest
soren

It’s unfortunate how Zach’s second rebuttal continues to claim that center-lanes with median islands are “deadly” infrastructure despite the fact that BikeLoudPDX members and multiple engaged Healthier Hawthorne supporters previously demanded that a median be installed at the intersection where Fallon Smart was killed.

Is this 5′-wide meandering partially conventional bike lane so important that it’s necessarily to dismiss proven pedestrian safety infrastructure? How is pitting people who prioritize pedestrian infrastructure against those who prioritize bike infrastructure in any way beneficial to Portland’s active transportation politics?

I also empathically agree with Comm. Hardesty’s response to the “Healthier Hawthorne” rebuttal letter and want to emphasize two of her points that have not been discussed here:

1. Bike lanes in areas with very heavy pedestrian traffic feel unsafe to people walking. Comm. Hardesty is exactly on target when she points out that pedestrians would have to cross two extra lanes if bike lanes are built. IMO, pedestrian centers like Hawthorne should treat both bikes and SUVs/trucks as guests*. (While drivers are, of course, more of dangerous to people walking, attempting to cross Williams during bike rush hour is a very crappy experience for people walking.)

2. Installing bike lanes would make it very difficult to improve Hawthorne’s sub par sidewalks and curb extensions. Pedestrians deserve even safer and more spacious pedestrian facilities in the future and, IMO, this should not come at the expense of a narrow meandering bike lane that does not connect to existing bike infrastructure.

*If Hawthorne were not a bus transit priority route the best use, IMO, would be to convert it into a pedestrian zone. In fact, this would likely be the default treatment for the Hawthorne area in a Dutch city.

drs
Guest
drs

“Installing bike lanes would make it very difficult to improve Hawthorne’s sub par sidewalks and curb extensions.”

How about installing concrete pedestrian refuge islands at the ends of vehicle parking lanes at key pedestrian crossings instead of in the middle of a center turn lane? That would also reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians, and I don’t see how that would be functionally inferior to bulbed out curb extensions and center islands. There could be raised pedestrian access to the refuge islands in the style of the new bus stops on NW Front St or NW Broadway.

“…bike lane that does not connect to existing bike infrastructure.”

This is not correct. The eastbound bike lane that is envisioned in Healthier Hawthorne would connect to existing eastbound bike lane on SE Hawthorne that carries a large percentage of the bicycle traffic that crosses the Hawthorne bridge, and which currently disappears at SE 12th Ave, forcing bicyclists to either flee from SE Hawthorne onto a complex web of side streets and roundabouts, or to suddenly mix with high speed motor vehicle traffic without any sort of warning or mixing zone.

The westbound bike lane would connect to the bike lane on SE Madison by way of SE 12th Ave, thereby providing access to the Hawthorne bridge for westbound traffic.

There is no existing bike infrastructure at the east end of the proposed bike lane. But there are easy connections to low stress neighborhood streets, and/or greenways from that area for people who wish to continue to the east, or for people who are approaching Hawthorne from the east. And the fact that no bike lane currently exists on SE 50th does not include the installation of one at some future date.

soren
Guest
soren

With all due respect, you are misinformed.

The tiny and inexpensive (~$600,000) Hawthorne pave and paint project ends at 24th and there are absolutely no plans to connect it to the bike lane that ends at 12th.

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/planning/hawthorne-pave-paint

“Repaving project from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) along SE Hawthorne Boulevard between 24th and 50th avenues.”

drs
Guest
drs

I was relying on the Healthier Hawthorne page, which describes continuous bike lanes that would connect the protected bike lanes that stop at SE 12th through to SE 50th. But I guess they don’t explain how they would expand the scope of the existing pave and paint project to fill that gap.

soren
Guest
soren

That’s a private person’s blog post and is in no way consistent with the actual project.

And to be blunt, I think this kind of wishful thinking is partly to blame for the lack of bike infrastructure in the Hawthorne Pave and Paint project. I suspect something like the bike-friendly 28th proposal (bus/emergency-vehicle friendly traffic calming, BMUFL signs, and super sharrows) could have been possible if advocates had not fixated on a multi-million dollar bike lane in the context of a small ~$600,000 re-striping project. It’s also really disappointing that there hasn’t been a call for improvements on Salmon and 34th (e.g. diverters).

drs
Guest
drs

I’d like to see diverters all along the Salmon/Taylor Greenway. 34th is a key location, but Salmon and 30th is also important.

And regarding the importance of 34th as a bike street, it seems that PBOT has been funneling all their North/South Greenway efforts into the big numbered routes – 20s, 30s, etc… But 34th is actually a much better bike route than the parallel routes, as it offers more direct connections to the hearts of popular business districts, it requires less out of direction travel (at least between Laurelhurst and SE Woodward) and it actually has an easy and reasonable grade along its entire length, unlike the other North/South bike routes, all of which jog repeatedly, and frequently encounter steep grades that would be extremely challenging for anyone that isn’t strong and fit or on an ebike.

There is way more bike traffic on the relatively short stretch of 34th between Laurelhurst and Woodward than there is on any other North/South bike route in the Southeast. If this is going to serve as the primary connection between the parallel greenways and the business districts on Hawthorne, Belmont and Division, which seems to be what PBOT is signaling by not pushing for bike lanes on those streets, it should be enhanced and treated as such. Diverters at Salmon should just be the start. There should be diversion at Belmont, Division, Hawthorne, Lincoln, Salmon, and maybe a few other locations in between.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

If protected bike lanes are built from 24th to 50th as part of this project, then it’ll be the obvious choice to fill the gap when 12th to 24th gets attention.

If protected bike lanes are not built from 24th to 50th, then the opposite is true for 12th to 24th.

soren
Guest
soren

Zach, The work you have done to organize support from local businesses is amazing. I hope that when the opportunity presents itself on Burnside, SE 11/12th, and Sandy that you and other Healthier Hawthorne organizers are will be similarly successful.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Soren, did your account get hacked??? Thank you!

soren
Guest
soren

I’ve always been a huge fan of PBLs, Zach. We just happen to disagree about this one project.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It seems that the section between 12th 24th could be re-striped with door zone bike lanes and a 1+1+1 vehicle cross section, if the city wanted to make it a priority.

soren
Guest
soren

Hi Chris, I’d support this even though I’m fairly meh on DZBL. I think that DZBL between 24th and 50th could have been a more feasible option (e.g. reduce median island width while also increasing curb-extension size with bike-negotiable barriers).
comment image

Fred
Guest
Fred

You make a good point, soren, that cycling in a bike lane with lots of peds around makes the experience a lot different: *EVERYONE* needs to slow down and look around and make sure that a mom with a stroller or a kid with a ball isn’t meandering into the bike lane. But that’s par for the course anywhere you have a lot of peds: you have to SLOW DOWN, whether you are driving a car or riding a bike.

The larger point for me is that bike lanes will improve safety for everyone on Hawthorne, including peds who would have a buffer between them and motor-vehicle traffic.

soren
Guest
soren

“that bike lanes will improve safety for everyone on Hawthorne”

There is strong data indicating that a 4 lane to 2 lane reconfiguration markedly decreases pedestrian risk. There is also strong data that median-refuge islands significantly decrease pedestrian risk.

As far as I can tell, there really isn’t much data supporting the idea that bike lanes per se decrease pedestrian risk. Moreover, the framing of bike lanes as critical safety tools (in the absence of SUV lane removal) is not supported by the data. Cycling is about as safe as driving according to PBOT crash data. It is people walking who are disproportionately impacted by traffic violence and these people tend to live in marginalized communities that lack sidewalks, median refuge islands, marked crosswalks, signaled crosswalks, and even the most basic bike infrastructure.

drs
Guest
drs

I think cycling is a lot less safe that driving, if you look at crashes/injuries/death per VMT. Not arguing with your overall point, although I have posed the idea of a different layout that I think would be equally safe for pedestrians above.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Cycling is definitely more dangerous. A good chunk of the motor vehicle operator deaths are due to racing and drunk driving (or both). And yes, some cyclists are killed by drunk, but I’m not aware of any street racing cyclist deaths. The cyclists killed in Portland aren’t looking for trouble, and in most cases, are killed due to no fault of their own.

X
Guest
X

Motor ‘vehicle miles traveled’ are padded by highway miles, often on controlled access roads. Maybe a comparison with crashes that happen within 25 miles would be more valid?

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

VMT isn’t the relevant metric. Risk per minute or per trip are much more relevant in terms of the exposure a given person will face in making different transportation choices.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Yes Fred, that is correct. PBLs are often safer for all users, including drivers and people walking.

“[Researchers] found that safer cities aren’t due to the increase in cyclists, but the infrastructure built for them — specifically, separated and protected bike lanes.” Here is the abstract.

soren
Guest
soren

eawriste,

Thanks for the citation. From a data analysis standpoint, I enjoyed seeing the authors develop their rationale for selecting a GLM with a negative binomial statistic.

The authors did not actually measure whether PBLs are associated with ped crash risk reduction; rather, they measured overall crash data.

I found their discussion of how the safety improvements could be explained by high-income area selection to be very interesting. Perhaps safety improvements that derive from bike infrastructure have more to do with economic disparities than a particular form of infrastructure.

Abstract:

The variables representing gentrification also accounted for much of our explainable variation in safety outcomes.

Discussion section:

Then again, our study finds protected/separated bike facilities significantly associated with better safety for all road users, so such infrastructure may have a traffic calming effect and facilitate safer speeds. Given our results, we also cannot ignore the possibility that the lower road safety risks of the people that tend to inhabit high-bicycling-mode-share cities also plays a role, as our variables representing gentrifying neighborhoods were also significant. This outcome may be indicative of inequity issues in need of additional research.

PS: The full manuscript is available on scihub.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Lumping bikes in with SUVs. This is so far off base, I feel compelled to question everything you have written here.

soren
Guest
soren

You are free to excommunicate me from the cycling advocacy church for calling for SUVs (at a minimum) to be treated as guests in pedestrian centers while also acknowledging that essentially all of the danger to pedestrians comes from SUVs.

Jason
Guest
Jason

That’s not what I said.

You said that cyclists and SUVs should be equally considered dangerous to pedestrians. I don’t know any cyclist that would find that equivalency flattering, accurate or credulous.

soren
Guest
soren

“You said that cyclists and SUVs should be equally considered dangerous”

I was concerned that someone would accuse me of being an SUV-rights-activist despite my long track record of unapologetic SUV hate so I spelled out the fact that SUVs are enormously more dangerous. I also led with “feel” to emphasize the fact that peds often feel uncomfortable despite the fact that the risk of a collision with bike is enormously lower than the risk of being hit by a 4-8 ton metal cage.

I accept your apology in advance.

Here is the link:
https://bikeportland.org/2021/05/11/104-businesses-sign-letter-asking-for-protected-bike-lanes-on-hawthorne-blvd-330992#comment-7412023

And here is the quote:

While drivers are, of course, more dangerous [of] to people walking, attempting to cross Williams during bike rush hour is a very crappy experience for people walking.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

But why don’t you have 107 signatures from local businesses saying so?

Car-free
Guest
Car-free

Very nice.

Andrew N
Guest
Andrew N

7/11 signed but Jackpot Records didn’t??

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Yep, the Jackpot Records owner was very much anti-bike lane. There were some other suprising ones; like the Hawthorne Auto Shop enthusiastically signed, whereas Harlow (one of my favorite restaurants!) basically told me to fuck off.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Did you get a chance to check in with RecumbentPDX?

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Yes—they initially supported the project when I talked to them last spring, but they were not supportive this time for some reason. They squarely fell into the “but there are Greenways five blocks away, Hawthorne is a car street” camp.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It’s almost like the propensity to support this effort has more to do with the biases of the shop owner, rather than any actual analysis of the business impacts.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Great point Chris I. This is a clear indicator of the failure of PBoT to disseminate what research suggests on the effect that PBLs have on business. PBoT often has a survey geared toward a specific outcome, and rarely has info on the business benefits of PBLs, which are pretty robust.

PTB
Guest
PTB

Talking record stores; Zach, did you ask Exiled?

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Yeah, they were total jerks. Didn’t want bike lanes.

buildwithjoe
Member

.
I noticed the Ranger Station is not on that list.
I noticed Hawthorne Vision Center is not on the list

The vision center building was hit by a driver a few weeks after Fallon Smart was killed by a deadly designed street.

https://katu.com/news/local/driver-crashes-into-bus-stop-optometry-office-on-se-hawthorne

This is late stage capitalism. I’m going to wait for the Hardesty Remodel to be done on Hawthorne, then have someone killed or injured. Only then will PBOT take corrective action and use spin marketing that this was not preventable.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

I didn’t get the chance to visit the Hawthorne Vision Center, but The Ranger Station owner definitely did NOT want to sign.

Alan Love
Guest
Alan Love

Hey Zach, I’m one of the docs at Hawthorne Vision, you can shoot me an email at alove42 at yahoo. I don’t own the business, but could give you some info.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Sent!

Toadslick
Subscriber

I can’t remember the last time I felt this optimistic about the future of biking in Portland. Thank you for all of the hard work, Zach.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Hey Toadslick. So even with unprecedented evidence of support by local businesses, Seth Smart, and BAC effort, it is still extremely unlikely that Hardesty and PBoT admin will prioritize safety and all modes on Hawthorne. I would encourage you to temper your faith in any specific leader and support the only viable means for meaningful change, which appears to be via legislation (eg mandating PBLs), or lawsuit.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Yikes – seems a bit uncharitable, eawriste. Let’s give Zach & Co a chance. Legislation and lawsuits seem like a long shot to me (how could you mandate PBLs in places where there is no room to build them – like 70% of Portland??).

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

I actually agree with eawriste, which is why I’m raising money for a lawsuit (see link below) just in case it came to this—judging from the BAC meeting, Hardesty clearly doesn’t give a damn about biking. Legislation and lawsuits are very much a viable option. The Bike Bill mandates PBLs on any street that is reconstructed—and there’s space on every street with parking (pretty much all of them).

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-make-hawthorne-boulevard-safer-for-all

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Hey Fred, I may have been unclear. The entire push to get a safe and separated network of bike lanes in Portland is via a lawsuit. Hawthorne is just the example Zach is using to show how broken the process of decision-making and design is. Not sure if you saw the BAC meeting yesterday. Between the parallel universe VZ presentation by PBoT and Hardesty’s clear statement on the 2030 plan, “That’s not going to happen,” I am hoping safety advocates are finally losing the fallacies they’ve held so long, eg VZ will inform design, a great leader will come etc.

Please define “no room” when car capacity and parking are not the priority. Think about Broadway/Weidler, SE 11th/12th, Williams/Vancouver.

Hellomo
Guest
Hellomo

Is it Starbucks official position or just whoever was there when the petition showed up? Signatures like that make me curious as to how much effort was put in to verify the signer actually officially speaks for the company.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

For Starbucks (and other bigger companies like Buffalo Exchange, 7/11, MudBay, and UPS), it was the manager of the store who signed.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Thanks to Mr Katz for definitely exposing the total inadequacy and unwillingness of Portland’s so-called progressive leaders to carry out the will of the people.

Fred
Guest
Fred

This is brilliant work! I kept hearing before, “The city won’t create bike lanes b/c the businesses on Hawthorne don’t want bike lanes.” A list of 106 businesses who *WANT* bike lanes pretty much puts the lie to that assertion.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Exactly Fred. It’s crazy unprecedented. Typically the narrative goes: someone gets killed by a driver, advocates want change, city propose PBLs, businesses cry foul in news, PBLs go in, businesses notice increased frequency of patrons/marketing and support bike lanes, positive news. I’ve seen very few examples where businesses ASK for PBLs. It’s amazing, and really lays bare the disconnect between PBoT admin and what people actually want.

aaaaaa
Guest
aaaaaa

Thanks Zach for your hard work. I’m wondering if you talked to Presents of Mind and if they were anti bike?

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Thanks! When I first reached out to them last spring, they replied that they would not be supportive of bike lanes, so I didn’t go back while doing this round of outreach.

Brighton West
Guest
Brighton West

Zach – you know I always ask the same question: were the business owners who signed told that protected bike lanes could result in a 50% reduction in parking before signing this time?

If so, that’s amazing.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

As you can see above, the letter acknowledges that “some” parking will be removed. I didn’t print the 50% figure because I don’t believe that it’s necessarily accurate (PBOT lied about racial equity and climate change to make bike lanes look bad, so they’re clearly not above lying about parking). No one who signed seemed to care much about parking though, and I told the ones who did ask about it that several spaces would be removed at intersections to provide safer sightlines for all modes, which is 100% true.

Brighton West
Guest
Brighton West

Can we start calling the “parking lane” the “curb lane”?

There’s so much more possible going on in the space between the curb and the travel lanes! Let’s stop designating that space as car space.

Momo
Guest
Momo

That’s already official City policy. The Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan refer to it as the “curb zone” and make clear that on-street parking is just one of many different flexible uses for that space. Unfortunately, many media outlets, bloggers, and advocates still insist on referring to it as the “parking lane” and continuing the false framing that it’s just for parking. I can imagine a future where virtually all the parking along Hawthorne is transformed into wider sidewalks (much of Hawthorne only has 8 foot wide sidewalk), street seating, bike corrals, Biketown stations, tree wells, benches, etc. And that would be a great thing, wouldn’t it?

Brighton West
Guest
Brighton West

Awesome!

And I think the curb zone could include accessible parking and quick parking for Uber, Door Dash, etc. No need to provide long term storage for cars, but services that help people leave their cars at home should have a spot. 😉

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

YES Momo! YES! The only way I can see where the “curb zone” can be consistently used by PBoT engineers as anything other than parking is via mandate through lawsuit or legislation. If there is a choice, I think we are all very familiar with PBoT admin’s MO.

Momo
Guest
Momo

It’s actually up to the adjacent businesses and property owners, in large part. Any business can request a bike corral and will get one. Any business can request street seats and get one. Any business can request a loading zone or pickup/dropoff zone and get one. The barrier to flexible use of the curb zone is not the city, it’s only the businesses. I guess what I’m saying is that advocates should be thinking more creatively about the curb zone’s potential rather than deriding it as “just parking” and calling for it to be removed in favor of bike lanes. That’s space that could be used to narrow the roadway and enhance the pedestrian environment.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Lol @ pitting public safety against private profit when there is literally 70 feet of road space. There is no need to choose one or the other.

EP
Guest
EP

What are the costs for a bike corral, or loading/drop off zone signage? Would be great to have 106 businesses request some combination of all of them…

Jonathan Warmflash
Guest

Hi, This is Dr. Jonathan H Warmflash at Neighborhood Dentist (#98 above). My business did not sign on to this letter, and took no official stance on the issue one way or the other. A person came in to the office and asked one of my employees to sign the letter. The employee did not represent our business in endorsing this, nor did he have time to get informed on the issue. It came to my attention today that this may be how many of the businesses listed above were approached. If that is the case, this is a very underhanded way to go about your campaign.

 
Guest
 

Wow. If this is true then that’s bad, Zach. Like seriously, seriously bad form, presenting the data as if business owners all support the project rather than trying to find one cherry-picked employee from each who does.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Please see my response to Dr. Warmflash. There was no cherry-picking; this particular case was a misunderstanding. 99% of signatures were from business owners, and the remaining handful (as in less than five) were employees or managers who assured me they’d be comfortable signing on behalf of the owner/business. I probably should have been more strict about ensuring it was only owners signing to avoid this sort of misunderstanding, but again, in nearly all cases they were.

 
Guest
 

I’m glad to hear that. I strongly suggest you remove those handful from the list, however.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

Hi Dr. Warmflash,

The vast majority of signatures here are from business owners. When I came to your office, I asked to speak with you, but you were occupied with a patient. Both of your front desk employees were enthusiastic about the idea of protected bike lanes on Hawthorne and were certain you would be too, which is why they felt confident signing the letter on your behalf. I’m sorry for misrepresenting you, and I assure you this was not the case for most businesses on the list.

soren
Guest
soren

Zack Katz:

“The vast majority of signatures here are from business owners.”

When someone uses passive aggressive language like “the vast majority here are from business owners” when the best praxis would be humility, the sincerity of the concluding apology is lessened.

Dr. Warmflash:

It came to my attention today that this may be how many of the businesses listed above were approached.

Given that Zach Katz openly acknowledged that front end workers signed the petition on behalf of corporate management (e.g. the Albertson’s Companies Inc-owned Starbucks franchise) and that Dr. Warmflash stated that other businesses were approached in a similar manner, I don’t think the claim that this is a one-time error are particularly persuasive. It’s really a shame because this kind of dirty compromise with not-so-bike-friendly business interests is probably the most likely path toward approval of PBL on SUV-centric collectors/arterials/business centers.