Protest planned in opposition to medians on SE Division

Screenshots from PDX Real on Instagram.
Center median on SE Division near 115th. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Remember back in July when a Portlander named Randy Philbrick led a “park-in” protest on Southeast Division to highlight opposition to recent changes to the street that included a bus lane, protected bike lane, center medians, and more?

Now some of the same folks who supported Philbrick’s protest are coming out for an encore, and it’s likely to be a much larger event this time around.

That’s because unlike the lone wolf advocacy of Philbrick and his tiny, almost imperceptible, online following, the latest protest is being led by Angela Todd of PDX Real. Todd is an interior decorator by day and is active in Portland political circles. In 2021 she was one of the first people to spread the false report that former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty was guilty of a hit-and-run — an accusation made and spread by the Portland Police Bureau, which resulted in an apology letter to Hardesty issued last month from Mayor Ted Wheeler as part of a lawsuit settlement. Todd and her husband Jeff Church (who runs the PDX Real X/Twitter account), have built a legion of over 100,000 followers across TikTok and Instagram. While most of Todd’s focus has been on politics (her first posts were about encouraging people to vote out Hardesty and she was a major supporter of Commissioner Rene Gonzalez who replaced her) and social issues like crime and homelessness, Todd has now turned her attention to the Portland Bureau of Transportation and their work on SE Division.

Todd says she’s met with PBOT Director Millicent Williams and Commissioner Mingus Mapps. And for weeks now, Todd has been posting opinions about the Division project — especially about how she feels the center medians (installed by PBOT as a safety measure) make it hard to drive and limit auto access to businesses. In a recent post, Todd posted a video from someone who did a u-turn on Division (below). “I turned as hard as I could and I still have to go over the barrier,” she told her followers. As for business access, Todd likes to repeat a claim from sources who say they’ve lost 30% of their customers since the medians were installed.

Video of someone making a u-turn on SE Division posted to PDX Real Instagram August 31st, 2023.

Now Todd will take things up a notch with a protest planned for Thursday, September 21st — almost exactly one year since PBOT completed the Division project.

According to PBOT’s project website, they added a center raised median on Division from SE 80th to 174th (border with Gresham), “to reduce left turn crashes and improve safety for pedestrians.” Medians are a standard tool PBOT uses for what they call “access management” — a.k.a. limiting the amount of turning possibilities to make a street more calm and predictable.

In a post on Instagram today, Todd likened PBOT’s actions on the Division Project to the government of Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

“I had a meeting with an immigrant of Slavic descent that has a business on Division who’s been impacted by a decrease in business after the $175 million dollar remodel of Division that includes almost a continuous median for 40 blocks or so,” Todd shared in the video. “They talked about their experience during the Soviet Union’s fall in the 90s and how many similarities there are to what is happening right now in Portland… They talked about the land grab going on on Division and also downtown. How the middle working class are losing more and more and the governing is more and more powerful and how essential services aren’t being provided. And they said they experienced that already.”

In an August 22nd post on X (formerly Twitter), PDX Real posted a mock PBOT graphic that says, “Remove the Medians PBOT: Bad for Business, Bad for Commuters, Bad for First Responders.” Accompanying the graphic was another reference to eastern Europe: “Tear down the walls! Tear down the walls! Tear down the walls!”

Then, in what started as a call for volunteers to hang flyers on doors to promote the protest, Todd called on her followers to “push against these things that don’t serve us,” and added, “what the hell are we here for if we can’t fight for that? None of us get out of here alive anyway, so let’s fight.”

It’s important to understand that for Todd and her followers, what PBOT did on Division transcends just a transportation project. They see it as emblematic of Big Government taking over their lives and forcing them to do things they don’t want to do.

(Graphic: PDX Real)

“We need to push against these things that don’t serve us. What the hell are we here for if we can’t fight for that? None of us get out of here alive anyway, so let’s fight.”

– Angela Todd, PDX Real

After asking her followers, “What’s your life for?” Todd continued: “What’s going on in Portland, the trajectory is not good…  I promise you that this is getting worse, and it’s coming for you. And so my question is, what are you made out of? Do you care about your neighbors?… Will you do it? And just assuming that the dollar is gonna’ crash and we’re gonna continue to allow the destruction of our city, we’re going to politically prosecute people that disagree with the narrative. You’re going to be eating bugs, living in a 15-minute city. Don’t you think it would be good for you to come out of your home and start meeting people in the community that might be able to assist you during said apocalypse?”

Notably, the protest event will be based at the Roman Russian Food Store on Division and SE 109th. That store is owned by Fatima Magomadova, a noted critic of the medians who’s spent at least the last year sharing her opinions during Portland City Council testimony and to the media. You might also recall that I spoke to Magomadova when she showed up and parked in the bus lane to support Philbrick’s protest in July.

“They are frustrating drivers, there is congestion and traffic, and there’s a huge chance that your car cannot make it,” Magomadova told me back then. “I have videos where trucks actually get on top of the medians, and cars flipping over medians.”

Ironically, a few minutes after that conversation, as I biked home from the protest, I saw one of Magomadova’s cars parked illegally in the bike lane outside her market.

Regardless of what you might think of Magomadova or Todd, they are very respected individuals in the community and wield influence on the current city council (they’re one big reason why Commissioner Dan Ryan has felt emboldened to complain about the medians and the Division project in general. In March of this year he described the changes as “scary” and asked PBOT if it would be possible to “re-assess” the project.)

Suffice it to say, it will be interesting to see if the protest on September 21st leads to any momentum for changes. Todd says they’ll have food, music, and “an impromptu parade that will be very fun.”

“We are asking our people to come out and support these business owners,” Todd said about the protest in her post today. Then she added a warning: “These projects like what happened on Division are planned throughout the city: 82nd 122nd are two that are right within purview right now. So come out, be supportive.”


CORRECTION, 5:01 pm: The initial version of this story said Angela Todd was the person who made the u-turn in the video. That was incorrect. The video was sent to her by a follower and posted to the PDX Real account. I regret the mistake.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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PS
PS
9 months ago

Angela Todd may be “respected” in the community, but I can tell you that respect comes exclusively from people that suck.

She is a very loud Andy Ngo apologist and was connected to the leak of false information about JoAnn Hardesty.

Just another far right grifter.

https://x.com/johnnthelefty/status/1367647220753833985?s=46&t=g50UYbvrQ83OA9W_qVwZDw

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  PS

You sound like a classic Portland intolerant “Trumper of the left”. Todd is actually pretty centrist. Do you have any evidence to support your accusation that she was connected to the Hardesty issue you mentioned?

Matt
Matt
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that she’s centrist?

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt

She seems concerned about record crime, getting the homeless into safe shelter with transitioning to permanent housing, efficient use of our tax dollars, having a functional 911 system and an adequate police force to provide for safe communities. Sounds pretty centrist to me.

SD
SD
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Referring to someone as a centrist in positive terms often means that you identify and agree with that person. Normalizing Todd is more revealing of your perspective than hers.

Ted Whitney
Ted Whitney
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

She called the rainbow (LGBTQ) flag and Black Lives Matter flags “marxist symbols”. She “liked” the Fox News Tucker Carlson show on Facebook and, when I pointed out to her that Carlson had made antisemitic statements, she blocked me. She has regularly identified herself as a “christian nationalist”. Without any evidence and contradicting what law enforcement was saying at the time, she blamed the 2020 Oregon wildfires on antifa. I can list many more examples of her extreme views. She is most definitely NOT a centrist.

Pauline Terryon
Pauline Terryon
9 months ago
Reply to  Ted Whitney

Seems like you are stalking Angela Todd based on your comments and inferred monitoring of her social media. She is well respected in the Montavilla Neighborhood. She has got a bad rap from a minority of noisy young far left activist types who ignore the crime and drug problems plaguing Montavilla. *** Moderator: deleted last two sentences. ***

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Nothing says “centrist” like spouting QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theories such as a literal apocalypse involving “eating bugs”:

https://www.independent.co.uk/indy-eats/edible-insects-conspiracy-bugs-b2216024.html

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

I guess You’re an other climate change denier? There is a coming apocalypse and it’s not right or left wing talking points, it’s going to happen and the only question is when we’re going to hit the point where the floor drops out from the “civilized “ world and you’ll be lucky to have bugs to eat.

https://www.heart.org/en/news/2021/10/22/eating-the-right-insects-can-provide-nutrition-and-might-be-good-for-the-planet

https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2023/01/14/eat-bugs-its-whats-for-dinner/?sh=5ed5c46e72ac

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/why-we-need-to-give-insects-the-role-they-deserve-in-our-food-systems/

As far as 15 minute cities goes, that’s real too……
https://www.nlc.org/article/2023/06/13/exploring-the-15-minute-city-concept-and-its-potential-for-communities-of-all-sizes/

https://bikeportland.org/2022/09/26/the-monday-roundup-15-minute-cities-housing-media-muzzled-and-more-364151/amp

If you constantly resort to discounting another persons ideas by labeling them false or conspiracy theories to avoid debating them you can’t be taken seriously.
Clearly, eating bugs and 15 minute cities are real concepts, how they are implemented is the debate you should be having.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I nominate this for “Comment of the Week”!

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Sometimes ideas *are* false and used for fearmongering instead of “debate”. Shocking, I know. Case in point: claiming the gubmint is gonna make us all eat bugs, which is what Todd is actually saying.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

Which of the articles that I posted do you claim are false? I don’t understand your anger.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I didn’t say they were false. I’m saying they’re irrelevant to the topic.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

This video is now gone. Can you say a bit about what information she spread about Hardesty that she knew was false?

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

That story doesn’t mention Todd at all. Was she part of the Oregonian or one of the right wing groups (how I can’t wait to put simplistic labels behind us and focus on issues) mentioned in the article that published the police report?
I really like your article on the planned protest, your attempt to propagandize about Todd comes across as a bit wrong somehow.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

I will do my best.
First, I agree that Division is better now and safer for all its users. As most here think, more could have been done to make it even safer.
Are business’s along that route suffering? They say they are and why would I doubt that? Are they suffering from the changes to Division or some other combination of events? I don’t know and I doubt anyone here knows either?
Did PBOT screw everyone over by doing a half ass safety improvement and a half ass protection of the right of way of established business owners? Apparently.
Seems like once again an incompetent government is laughing at the citizenry as we fight among ourselves instead of banding together and directing our ire at the cause of the problem. The cycling world could seize this time to discuss with the business owners how to make change at PBOT so they actually do good things. But instead we’re busy slinging snarky mud.

About the Hardesty story. It’s pretty clear in your past writing that you are a Hardesty fan. By linking Todd (where she spread information, along with other people that later was proven wrong )to an anti-Hardesty event that happened awhile ago makes it seem as if you are taking personal sides rather than discussing the issues. That you are striking out against a political enemy rather than focusing on the issue in front of us. If that’s what you want to do, it’s of course your prerogative, it just doesn’t seem typical of your writing style.

Also, will reiterate that I hope you run for council! You’ve actually done things in the transportation world which are real instead of the performative theater I’ve seen of the other candidates so far. You would be an incredible voice for positive change that could actually push for that change.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

If anything, this article is propagandizing *for* Todd by quoting her so extensively about Soviets, 15-minute cities, land grabs and so forth without putting those claims in their proper context. Todd’s rhetoric is specifically aimed at people who will uncritically accept such claims based on fear, without checking to see whether any of it makes factual sense. For starters, the fact that privatization on behalf of “business owners” is what led to the economic collapse of the former USSR, starving the government of the ability to provide services while transferring massive amounts of wealth and power to a handful of superrich oligarchs, not the other way around:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization_in_Russia

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

Why did you reply to me if you aren’t going to discuss anything I wrote? It seems you’re more responding to Jonathan’s post than anything I said.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

When that story first came out, everyone believed it to be true. If Todd spread it on the basis of it being true, then that’s no worse than you “spreading” a story based on information that later turns out to be wrong (such as that armed bike theft that turned out to be something altogether different).

So did she spread false information, or did she spread information that everyone believed was true at the time? There is a big difference, and it feels like maybe you are trying to blur the lines between the two.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Watts

The two aren’t comparable at all Watts. I reported that the Knight Cancer Institute issued a Clery warning. That was factually correct. It was a breaking story which we covered as more information became available, including publishing comments from Royal and another witness. Within the week Jonathan wrote a followup with fuller information.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

I am trying to differentiate between knowingly spreading false information, and spreading information you believe to be true, but is later proven false.

I don’t know which of those two very different things Jonathan is claiming Todd did.

Serenity
Serenity
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

No, that is patently untrue. Not everyone believed it.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  Serenity

🙂 I’ll bet Hardesty didn’t believe it!

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

Sorry I didn’t make myself clear; I didn’t intend to equate your journalism with Todd’s Twitter account (which I’ve never seen and probably never will). See my comment above to Lisa.

You’ve accused Todd of something, and I’m just trying to understand what it is.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I am not sure he realized he accused her of something. I too am not sure what it is, but I am curious as well.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts
Watts
Watts
9 months ago

Seems rather inconvenient to your argument:

I’m not making an argument, I’m asking about the timing.

If Todd was spreading a story she had reason to believe was false, that’s bad. If she was spreading it while it was still being reported in the Oregonian and elsewhere as true, then I don’t see the problem.

I’m trying to understand which of these things she did, and your links don’t really make that clear.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

You said “everyone believed” the allegations to be true. Hard to square that with the fact that multiple published news stories came out within hours debunking the rumor.

Todd got on Facebook live to spread the rumor hours before the initial Oregonian story was even published. Oops!

https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2021/03/10/someone-in-law-enforcement-leaked-false-information-about-commissioner-jo-ann-hardesty-to-her-adversaries/

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If everyone believed the information to be false, it wouldn’t be a very good lie and propaganda, would it? It was a rumor, and she spread it knowing that there was no evidence. This isn’t a hard question, it’s pretty cut and dried.

Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Did you read the article? There’s a link to the evidence you’re asking for. She has also posted video of her young son saying “If it’s not a crime to hate, there can’t be any such thing as a hate crime,” and applauded him for it. She’s Portland’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and every bit as despicable.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  PS

Andy Ngo?? Isn’t he was the man of Asian descent that the mask wearing all white antifa people love beating up for filming antifa behavior? What’s the point of dragging him into this?
Are you trying to character smear Todd instead of debating her ideas? Why? Her ideas can be refuted logically without too much trouble. Why make yourself look petty and ignorant by going after her rather than the transportation ideas she’s putting forth?

Matt S
Matt S
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The left are only “tolerant” as long you do what they tell you to do.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt S

You guys are the ones who necessitate–by the constraints of your ideology–that people like me (gay) die. You wouldn’t tolerate my continuing existence if you could get away with it; I don’t care what you do unless you’re hurting other people. Our positions are not symmetrical.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

I thought Andy was gay as well and yet he’s constantly physically attacked by antifa. Which “side” is the demonstrated intolerant one?

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I don’t know what Andy’s sexual orientation is, but its okay to hate someone who happens to be gay if they do a whole bunch of awful shit

Andy is hated because he’s a lying right-wing grifter who collaborated with white supremacists and insurrectionists including doxxing people and putting their lives in danger.

Andy has never been attacked by anyone save having a milkshake thrown at him.

In case thats too complicated:

Hating people for being gay = bad

Hating people who do bad things but happen to be gay = Okay

PS
PS
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The venn diagram of people who pearl-clutch about Andy Ngo being “targeted by Antifa” for his sexual/racial identity and the people who login to their anonymous twitter accounts to post racist memes of JoAnn Hardesty under every local news story about crime or homelessness is a circle.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  PS

I’ve been commenting today on people disregarding debate in favor of personal attacks and this is a great example. I’m impressed on the many baseless attacks you squeezed into one sentence .

BB
BB
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

You did not answer my question about whether you belong to Patriot Prayer?
Andy Ngo’s career is about hating people. He had been kicked off about a dozen platforms because of it.
I have feeling you know EXACTLY who he is.
You have the “aggrieved” downtrodden Trump shtick down to a science in your posts here.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  BB

More personal attacks in lieu of any discussion about Division or any of the side topics that develop. I see you’re trying to define my views to “other me” so you can discount my perspective without having to come up with a coherent argument. I have never met or communicated with Ngo nor do I waste my time on all the various platforms online that you allude to.
I have never understand why Portland has such an intolerant undertow to it throughout its existence, African American exclusion, the KKK, skinheads and antifa. I really don’t know what drives it, but it’s clear with the constant comments of literal “good to hate” on this site that the lineage of hate is still strong. It’s exhausting listening to it, don’t you get tired of hating people (trumpists and all the other ideologically impure) all….the….time?

Matt S
Matt S
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

“You guys”…wow already off to a great start.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt S

Hey, you’re the one bending over backwards in service of an ideology that ultimately requires extinguishing any individual differences in order to give strength to an ideology that values power and control over all else. That jest about most antifa mostly wanting to be able to go home and get high while playing videogames is revelatory: they are nominally only “anti-” something. You’re the one working for a “pro-“, or an “anti-anti-” as our eloquent former leader once said….

donel a courtney
donel a courtney
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

wow, drama much? im gay, i dont worry about dying of anything other than heart failure and lonliness. If i lived in Iran it might be different. Nobody cares about your continuing existence either way–thats the sad part, not supposed anti-gay threats to your safety in Portland, of all places..

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago

Don’t be mistaken; it’s what any fascist ideology wants: no individuals–with their troublesome differences–at all. Just blind, unwitting self-abnegation. We don’t live in Iran, but there are also parts of our country, controlled by our 2nd-most powerful political party, where people are being prevented from traveling out-of-state for potentially life-saving care. These are the same people who claim that trying to make cities safe and navigable without a car is “communist”.

Taking for granted the freedom, safety, and comfort we have is both ungrateful and myopic. Ensuring that anyone–whatever their gender, sexuality, race, religion, wealth, or (more pertinently to the original discussion) access to car ownership–can be free, safe, and comfortable is something everyone should feel responsible for.

Adam Leyrer
Adam Leyrer
9 months ago

Without parsing the contextual argument, on the topic of lgbt safety in Portland of all places: in a 16 year span, for the crime of holding hands in public, I’ve had guns flashed at me twice, been threatened with a shooting once, had a knife flashed at me once, been followed by a truck twice, been shoved from behind into traffic once, been threatened to be followed home and have it burned down once, been threatened on the train twice. Thats a little more than one incident every two years, which isn’t apocalyptic, but three of them happened in the last two years, and I think it fits the citywide pattern of a retreat of civic life and the emboldening of neo-Nazis.
Let’s not dismiss all fears as melodrama without first acknowledging that we all spend variable amounts of time outside and in a variety of neighborhoods.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Adam Leyrer

I’m sorry this was held up, our filter automatically sent it to trash — it’s not very smart and trashes any phrase that might cause a stir out in internet world. I only check trash about once a day.

Adam Leyrer
Adam Leyrer
9 months ago

A series of small understandable steps has the conversation wandering in the nearly barren outlands of the original topic and my post contains multiple verbs that require more context than an affordable AI can provide; no complaint from me. Thanks for working for us on Labor Day.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Adam Leyrer

Or something like that, I’m not sure the filter has attained AI status yet, probably just a list of phrases with a counter… above three and you’re out!

BB
BB
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Interesting that you seem to know a lot about Andy Ngo…. Are you a former Patriot Prayer member?
Andy Ngo was assaulted while hanging around the Patriot prayer and Proud Boys when the so called assault occurred.
The Proud Boys members that just got hefty prison sentences for attempting to overthrow the government.
That’s who he hangs with.
Defending him is really bizarre on this website. Very strange.

Eden
Eden
9 months ago
Reply to  BB

He’s a f***ing journalist, that’s his job if done well and honestly that is…

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  BB

I’m not into hate, so I don’t mind defending someone and giving them the benefit of the doubt especially when they’re being persecuted by a hateful mob.
There’s been a lot of vitriol on this post today.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Her ideas are bad, and Ngo’s ideas are bad, and they work together to spread bad ideas. Hope that clears things up.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago

Todd’s primary complaint is, superficially, entirely accurate; the medians on Division have made it more difficult to make a left turn to visit a business you want to patronize. And I’m totally, 100%, fine with that. A primary reason for the Division makeover was to reduce the number of people slaughtered by drivers. It is NOT factual to claim that drivers can’t make left turns for 40 blocks. At most they may have to drive 1-3 blocks to find a left turn signal or gap in the median. And obviously based on the accounts of median-mounting U-turns by oversized SUV’s, that’s an outrage worthy of forming an army.

What we still haven’t reckoned with (well, I have, but it needs to be more publicly discussed) is what the future should be for the drive-thrus and car-dependent businesses that line Portland’s deadliest stroads. Portland lacks any leader with the vision and backbone to openly deal with the fact that car-dependent businesses are part of the problem, and we need to plan for a future that promotes less parking and less driving and more alternative, safer transportation choices. The “Battle For Division” is a preview of what’s coming on 82nd. And Powell.

Legitimizing Todd’s outrage and buckling on Division would be a huge setback for reducing crashes in Portland.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Comment of the week!

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Seconded.

SD
SD
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

One of the worst things about driving a car is that it creates an extreme scarcity mindset. The driver constantly feels like they are losing or missing out on something. This phenomena is on full display here and creates a fertile environment for a champion of chronically outraged people looking for oversimplified villains. Next, they can go to W Burnside and lose their minds about the scarcity of left turns. Driving is so hard.

Iconyms
Iconyms
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Aren’t all these SUVs driving over the median curbs just showing that they can in fact still make left turns despite the raise median? Kind of self defeating their own argument aren’t that?

Adam Leyrer
Adam Leyrer
9 months ago

Imagine going to PDX and finding they’d installed people movers in front of all the restaurants and shops in order to help people reach their flight gate faster, but left out all the handrails so that people could jump off whenever they saw a cup of coffee or a magazine they wanted. Then after frequent emergency room trips PDX decides to install the handrails after all, but does not relocate the shops. The subsequent customer inconvenience and shop business loss is blamed, not on the competing purposes and lack of thorough planning, but on the handrails, and all momentum for further change is harnessed into removing the handrails again so people can go back to buying coffee or face-planting on the new carpet.

Turning a traffic destination into a traffic passage will cause the local residents and businesses to suffer.

The traditional way to mitigate that suffering has been to leave traffic unguided and unpoliced so that people can treat the area as both a destination and a passage; this solution kills lots of people.

An alternative way to mitigate that suffering is to decide whether we are building a route to bring people to a location or building a route to pass people through a location, then clearly communicate and thoroughly execute the decision.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

We all want to uplift voices from East Portland, until we realize they sometimes say things we don’t like.

It will be interesting to see if these folks gets a better turnout or more traction than Randy Philbrick or the group below did, and if so, how it will shape electoral politics when the early candidates seem to be focused on transportation issues.

comment image

bbcc
bbcc
9 months ago

The pdx.real people have absolute brain worms. Comparing the construction of a few medians to life under the soviet union is beyond parody.

Meanwhile, I’ve never felt safer walking across Division or biking on the 130s greenway. Cars actually yield to me sometimes, which never used to happen! These business owners are just afraid of change.

dw
dw
9 months ago

I was really trying to consider their arguments seriously until they got to the 15-minute city conspiracy theory stuff.

Sigh.

Maybe the reason why the Roman-Russian market lost business is because they plastered their building with “I hate Hardesty” signs. Or maybe because everything has doubled in price and folks just have less discretionary income? If they really think that having to make a u turn is keeping people from shopping there, they are delusional. I use Division every day – bike, bus, and car – to get where I need to go, and I am broadly in support of the overhaul. I personally stopped going to the Roman Russian market because I saw the signs decrying the very project that was speeding up my, and many others’, bus commute.

Where were these people in 2016 when this whole process started? There were so many opportunities for them to share their discontent before a single foot of concrete was poured.

The protest will be happening during my commute home. I am debating whether or not I should try to (respectfully, of course) engage.

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago

If Dan Ryan is scared of that traffic pattern that’s a really good sign Dan Ryan shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel of car.

It’s wild that actual Portlanders impacted by our dangerous streets have a hard time getting access to PBOT leadership but some conservative Q nut interior designer with lots of followers/bots on TikTok has gets to meet with head of the organization. Pathetic.

It really goes to show that with conseratives, its never just one thing. They are going to check all the boxes of the “god awful opinions” checklist.

I can’t wait till we get a new system. A decade plus of conservative leadership and failure has really harmed us.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

It’s that leadership access that feels so intolerable, to me. Why on Earth are these people wasting a moment of their professional lives lending an ear to these conspiracy-chasing wackjobs? Meanwhile, other government agencies are impeding such innocuous things as sidewalks where they can. And WE are the ones trying to control everything.

Ugh.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

Is there any agency not controlled by democrats/leftists of some kind in the city, county or state? Who are the ones controlling things if not the left? Actually pretty curious to hear who you think is in charge of the “gubmint”.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Just because someone has a “D” after their job title, does not mean they are leftist. Tell me that you think Hilary Clinton was a leftist…or Mingus Mapps, for that matter.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

Fair enough on the D/leftist, much the same way an “R” doesn’t have to mean totalitarian /fascist/bad person. So you’re saying most of the D’s in city government are really conservatives?

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Insofar as they fail to see the socioeconomic inequalities caused by structuring our cities around car ownership because they’re used to it, yes, they are. There are, of course, other issues to worry about, but not seeing this as one of them is a great way to give yourself a blindspot that ends up with many injuries and deaths that are essentially purposeless.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

“Insofar as they fail to see the socioeconomic inequalities caused by structuring our cities around car ownership because they’re used to it, yes, they are“

Totally agree with you on this! Economic disparity overwhelm a lot of the other differences we all struggle through.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The Democrats on Portland City Council voted to criminalize homelessness, essentially identically to a plan put forward by Donald trump. You do the math.

https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meetthepressblog/trump-says-ban-homeless-camping-create-tent-cities-rcna80480

Max S (Wren)
Max S (Wren)
9 months ago

You’re going to be eating bugs, living in a 15-minute city.

Well she certainly seems well-grounded in reality.

Hippodamus
Hippodamus
9 months ago
Reply to  Max S (Wren)

IDK, I could be whack, but this future sounds great. I hope we can speed up the process. I currently can’t afford to live in an area that would be described as a 15-minute city. If I could eat bugs to do it, I would.

Ken
Ken
9 months ago

If she’s worried about the Soviets, maybe she should join (Better) Naito.

maxD
maxD
9 months ago

It seems worth noting that the Division changes were necessary because people kept getting killed on Division by the way people drove. We CANNOT go back to way things were, it would be hugely immoral. The safety improvements have slowed traffic and restricted turns by design- to improve safety. The people complaining should be ashamed of putting their convenience over the lives of people who do not have a car and rely on transit or cycling.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago

It reminds me of the “protests” we got on Holgate when the stroad got a badly-needed road diet in 2011, when locals were complaining that the city was no longer allowing them to drive 85 in a 35 zone. The same old s**t.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago

It’s time to start listening to the people. I smell a revolution coming (although it will be slow going in Portland due to the entrenched nonprofits and the power they wield).

Fred
Fred
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Over a MEDIAN?! C’mon, Arturo – time to get a grip.

Max S (Wren)
Max S (Wren)
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

First they came for my ability to drive 40 MPH in a 25 zone, and I did not speak up, for I had been killed by an SUV driver on his cell phone…

Dave
Dave
9 months ago
Reply to  Max S (Wren)

Post of the week!

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Remember the Tea Party in Boston a few years back. Maybe this will be Portland’s version (although I wish it was about lack of traffic enforcement rather than annoying medians)?

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Why do you want more dead pedestrians on Division? To save a few seconds every day?

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Oh please. I’m personally fine with the medians but then I don’t have a business on Division or use that street much. The lack of support for police traffic enforcement by the Portland transportation “safety”‘ advocates and local nonprofit cabal has caused a lot more harm than opposition to some medians.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Do you deny that the medians improve overall safety–INCLUDING for drivers–because if so, there’s no discussion we can have.

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

I’m not sure her suburban followers are allowed to vote in Portland.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Nah, there’s a lot of Portlanders fed up with the failed city of Portland (like me).

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Sure, I’m fed with the CoP too. The conservative city council has driven us into the ground.

That doesn’t mean that Todd has much real support in the city of Portland. Disliking Ted Wheeler doesn’t mean people are going to like some of extremely low character like Todd.

I’m sure the usual suspects will drive down for Battle Ground, but again, they can’t vote here.

Jaene Peterstone
Jaene Peterstone
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

The reality that Bikeportland commenters love to ignore / deny is all of their lives are reliant on automobile and truck traffic. They can ride their $8k bespoke e-cargo bikes to Trader Joes but if the shelves are empty they’re going to starve.

It’s a weird myopia around here and it just keeps getting worse. Not surprisingly the hardline activist perspectives are laughably out of touch with how actual working class Portlanders feel, and that includes those of us who primarily bike to get around, commute, shop, etc.

These voices seem eager to keep people like me out.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago

There’s just no reason to think that we can’t have good quality of life, regardless of our incomes, without cars/trucks. It makes absolutely no sense–at all–to pen our hopes for a more equitable society on an infrastructure paradigm that is more materially-expensive than one that is less so.

The simple truth is you could move more people and goods on a rail/bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure paradigm (especially now that e-cargo-bikes are becoming more widespread) for the same resource cost than you could on a cars/trucks paradigm. That American society is alone, in the entire world, in having gone so far in that latter direction (as evidenced in our VMT/capita) that to reverse course seems impossible to so many, is really just sad.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

There’s just no reason to think that we can’t have good quality of life without cars/trucks. 

This is (probably) true in theory, at least at the personal level. Unfortunately the path from where we are today to that world is very unclear, and, if it exists at all, would be a very long time in the future.

I’d prefer to talk about things we can do, rather than fantasize about things we can’t.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Fixing this can happen one block at a time. No reason not to make it SOP to have every road repaving include 6″ of concrete barrier between car lane and “bike lane” (shoulder with a bicycle and an arrow on it), give every traffic light reprogramming a leading pedestrian interval, etc. I agree that a systemic, “tear it all up and rebuild” scenario–although arguably necessary–is very unrealistic; the realistic alternative is to not let a single individual opportunity go to waste.

The big stuff could come now, but won’t come later without some momentum behind it.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

I agree about the LPI, and doing other things to improve safety in our system, but none of that is going to lead to the carless Utopia you described. I don’t think those things would even lead to a slight reduction in driving.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The Netherlands, Japan and quite a few other countries went from the car-centric US-led model of development, zoning, and road design in the 60-70s to a vastly different model just a couple decades later.

In predicting the future, always bet on the status quo and you’ll likely be right (particularly if you are comfortable with the status quo). Except, hope for a better quality of life (which is declining in the US and inherently tied to how we move around), and a recognition of how quickly other cultures have changed with respect to street safety, makes it clear what we actually can do. Dozens of cities around the world have respectively built hundreds of miles of low-stress, separated biking infrastructure in just the last decade. That is not a fantasy.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

The fantasy is building a world without cars and trucks. Of course there are plenty of things that are within reach, though that thought is tempered a bit by seeing what the last four PBOT commissioners (three of whom were quite progressive) managed to do.

By way of comparison, the Dutch demanded change en masse on the streets, and the Japanese have, let’s say, a different cultural attitude towards authority.

We, on the other hand, seem to be relatively satisfied with what we’ve got. That’s not a recipe for massive change.

aquaticko
aquaticko
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Except that “what we’ve got” is ourselves beholden to various industries who do not have our interests at heart but, conversely, want to squeeze as much profit as they can out of us whatever the externalities that kind of behavior may involve.

From things as devastating and global as climate change and labor rights abuses in developing countries to more national issues like pedestrian safety and de-socialization of young people who can’t get anywhere and have nowhere to go without a car, to the more individual ones like the financial strain of needing to have private access to a car–when car companies have zero incentive to make that access cheap–there is very little reason to think whatever satisfaction we now have will last.

This is also all still outside the fact that urban land and housing prices (and the big picture of history) show that people do not want to live in suburban sprawl. We need easy and affordable access to work, entertainment, and community. Auto-centric urban planning is a paradigm completely at odds with human social wants and needs, in addition to being financially non-viable in the long-run.

You’re certainly right that it’s not seen as the problem that it is by most Americans, but there is that idiom about a frog in a pot, isn’t there?

PS
PS
9 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

I might be entirely biased, but I am not sure there are a lot of people with $500k+ suburban homes with good schools, quality parks, pools that can operate without lifeguards, no homeless problems, no drug addicts screaming into the void, no graffiti everywhere, etc. who secretly want to own a 3 bedroom condo and pay $800 a month in HOA dues for the privilege of hearing their neighbors come and go, and deal with the antithesis of everything above.

I guess if I was wrong, condo prices in Portland would be going up, which they aren’t…

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Speak for yourself there, buddy. Recall the recent survey showing 60% of Portland residents would ride transit more if it felt safer, and 45% would bike more if they felt safe doing so. That doesn’t exactly scream satisfied with the status quo:

https://bikeportland.org/2023/08/02/nearly-half-of-portlanders-would-bike-more-if-it-was-safer-and-cheaper-citywide-survey-says-377709

idlebytes
idlebytes
9 months ago

They can ride their $8k bespoke e-cargo bikes to Trader Joes but if the shelves are empty they’re going to starve.

Our current infrastructure is more than sufficient for mass transit and commercial uses. In fact we could give several large roads massive road diets if people stopped driving alone in their cars everywhere. Also as others have noted there’s plenty of other countries around the world that drive significantly less and still manage to stock their shelves. The idea our city would come grinding to a halt if we stopped allowing everyone to drive alone in an oversized vehicle everywhere is ludicrous.

John
John
9 months ago

Most of the vehicles on the road are not, in fact, grocery delivery vehicles.

Will
Will
9 months ago
Reply to  John

One might argue most of the vehicles on the road are in the way of grocery vehicles and commercial vehicles in general.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago

Now that Portland has decisively switched to electoral districts, you’ll be seeing more of these “protests” from fringe groups trying to drum up support for possible candidates for both the far left and (in this case) the far right. East Portland and parts of North Portland have always had conservative elements and now they have another outlet for extreme politics – after all, they don’t have to get the most votes to get a seat on city council, they just need to come in second or third.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Oh please, Angela Todd is NOT far right David. You’re from North Carolina so I would have thought you actually know people that are far right and would realize that Todd is anything but.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

She talks about 15-minute cities and “eating bugs”. Those are far-right talking points and you know it.

https://www.npr.org/2023/07/18/1188237695/this-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-about-eating-bugs-is-about-as-racist-as-you-th

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

I LOVE the idea of a 15 minute city!! We should ask Angela Todd as I bet she supports it as well, just not city actions that purport to get us there but then steamroll valid concerns of residents.
For me the biggest decline in the 15 minute city was when my nearby Walmart packed up and left. For me and my nearby neighbors Portland has now become more of a 30 minute city. 🙁

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

In a productive mixed-use neighborhood, there are many places to do shopping, not just one big-box store with a huge parking lot taking up valuable land while contributing little in tax revenue (or actively avoiding paying taxes).

https://www.finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/walmart-dodged-us-tax-2-120039434.html

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago

Guessing you didn’t live conveniently close to a Walmart? Lots of Portlanders without a lot of disposable income shopped there. But the Whole Foods and New Seasons crowd treats us with disdain. They’re morally superior of course because they have the privilege to choose….

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Yes, and Walmart themselves have erased the “privilege to choose” of millions of small-town residents. They’re no friend of the working class either.

https://www.money.com/walmart-stores-closing-small-towns/

pot calling kettle
pot calling kettle
9 months ago

Yuppies who shop at Krogers or Amazon love to sneer at working class people who shop at Walmart.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago

Yes, and Walmart’s CEO is sneering at both of you. Fight the real enemy.

dw
dw
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

That Walmart that closed was like, four blocks from WinCo.

Mary Vasquez
Mary Vasquez
9 months ago
Reply to  dw

Can you buy birdseed a TV, and get your medications filled at Winco? Not the same. Please just stop.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Vasquez

You don’t need to get everything from one place! Get a grip. Nobody else who doesn’t live next to a Walmart (i.e. most of the city) is lacking in the ability to get any of those things. And day to day, you don’t need a new TV. I have at least two locations I can walk to in yes, 15 minutes, to get prescriptions filled. One of them is a grocery store.

You do not need Walmart.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Vasquez

WinCo has quite a large selection of birdseed, actually. How often do you need a new TV anyway lol

IMG_2023-09-13-20-41-23-023.jpg
Jaene Peterstone
Jaene Peterstone
9 months ago

Yeah, look at the Goat Blocks. $10 cartons of orange juice at Market of Choice, perfect for enjoying in your $3k / mo 1bdrm luxury apartment

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago

If they’re able to charge prices like that, surely it means those kinds of places are in high demand and we should allow more of them to be built so they become more affordable, don’t you think?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago

surely it means [luxury apartment those kinds of places are in high demand and we should allow more of them to be built so they become more affordable

Building more apartments/condos for the rich so that prices might decrease a tiny bit for the rich (but not at all for flow income people) is the essence of YUCRPIMBY housing “abundance”.

* Yes to Upper Class and Rich People In My BackYard

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Only in Portland would so many people living in market-rate housing say we don’t need any more market-rate housing. It’s the essence of “I got mine”. Who exactly do you think all those funky bungalows were built for when they were new?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago

Pfffft.

I am a renter who would like to see the ultra-low density housing YIMBYs and NIMBYs pine after banned entirely in urban area.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

The idea that so-called “luxury” apartments and condos do nothing for housing affordability (or worse, actually cause rents to increase) is a false and unfounded narrative.

“Researchers have long known that building new market-rate housing helps stabilize housing prices at the metro area level…researchers in the past two years have released six working papers on the impact of new market-rate development on neighborhood rents. Five find that market-rate housing makes nearby housing more affordable across the income distribution of rental units, and one finds mixed results.”

https://www.lewis.ucla.edu/research/market-rate-development-impacts/

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago

“working papers”

I guess the blog post (“report”) you cited failed to address the classic economics text on market segmentation (e.g. how housing segments can be uncorrelated with price/supply changes in other segments).

https://www.academia.edu/72722639/The_maze_of_urban_housing_markets_Theory_evidence_and_policy

And, of course, the authors also failed to address the substantial peer-reviewed literature suggesting that increased market rate supply fails to reduce lower-income housing prices*:

We find that reforms that loosen restrictions are associated with a statistically significant 0.8% increase in housing supply within three to nine years of reform passage, accounting for new and existing stock. This increase occurs predominantly for units at the higher end of the rent price distribution; we find no statistically significant evidence that additional lower-cost units became available or moderated in cost in the years following reforms.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00420980231159500

Blanket changes in zoning are unlikely to increase domestic migration or to improve affordability for lower-income households in prosperous areas.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0042098019859458

And they were dismissive of Damiano et al despite the fact that much of their counterfactual citations similarly relied on “reports” that were not peer-reviewed.

While we find no effect in the single market model, our submarket approach suggests that lower-priced rental housing close to new construction had 6.6 percent higher rents compared to the comparison group. New construction had the opposite effect on higher-priced housing; rents were 3.2 percent lower close to new construction.

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Build-Baby-Build%3A-Housing-Submarkets-and-the-of-New-Damiano-Frenier/58459f6c9bb7f93fb6955dee81ee05f255576f2f

* Note that some of the “reports” your blog piece cites either excluded very low-income housing or defined low-income housing in a manner that included middle-income housing which is problematic (given that we have a low-income housing crisis, not a middle class housing crisis).

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

“Our submarket approach suggests that lower-priced rental housing close to new construction had 6.6 percent higher rents…” So are price changes in one segment correlated with other segments or not? It can’t be both.

Your “substantial peer-reviewed literature” consists of a whopping two papers, and the first one doesn’t even support your argument. “no statistically significant evidence” is not the same as no evidence, let alone evidence for a contrary claim. The authors even say “at the metropolitan scale and in the longer run, we expect that more construction reduces costs”: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/2023-03/Land-Use%20Reforms%20and%20Housing%20Costs.pdf

The UCLA report analyzed how Damiano & Frenier arrived at their conclusion, finding “two big differences between this paper and the others, one that suggests the paper may be correct and one suggesting that further investigation may be warranted”. How very dismissive of them! Basically. Damiano & Frenier failed to adjust for inflation. Correcting that error, the UCLA report found that rents in the lower segment grew by 0.2% (essentially no change), the middle segment fell by 5.3%, and the upper segment fell by 12.2%, amounting to an overall 7% decline. Puzzling over why “average rents are falling in the sample even though they were rising in the city”, the UCLA report suggests that Damiano & Frenier’s data might be outliers & not representative of broader trends: https://www.lewis.ucla.edu/research/market-rate-development-impacts/

The first paper cited in the UCLA report specifically studied low-income neighborhoods across multiple metro areas (including Portland) and found that new buildings “decrease nearby rents by 5 to 7 percent relative to locations slightly farther away or developed later” and that “Contrary to common concerns, new buildings slow local rent increases rather than initiate or accelerate them.” They define low-income neighborhoods as “census tracts with median household incomes below the metropolitan area median, which is a common definition of ‘gentrifiable’ used in the gentrification literature”. Not seeing anything about excluding very low-income housing: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3507532

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago

A “report” and an unpublished and non-peer-reviewed SSRN manuscript from the notoriously libertarian upjohn institute.
.
#deep sigh#

“no statistically significant evidence” is not the same as no evidence

You just flunked basic high-school statistics (e.g. why we test the null hypothesis).

And for the record, I noted that Damiano et al and your blog/think-tank reports were not peer-reviewed which is why I specifically cited two peer-reviewed manuscript. Given that you struggled to understand basic data analysis it’s pointless to engage further.

Note: This cult-like motivated thinking is in my experience the norm among many (but not all) YIMBYs and is one of the reasons that I’m so caustic in my criticism. Coddling those who spread disinformation does not work.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

You claimed new market-rate construction doesn’t lower rents for low-income housing. Your second link doesn’t say this; it says there was *no statistical evidence* that it did. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence

Here’s what the peer-reviewed literature has to say about your third link re: housing affordability:

“Many people continue to be very skeptical of the potential for housing production to stabilize prices (Rodríguez-Pose & Storper 2020), but the empirical evidence very strongly supports the necessity of supply (Been et al. 2019, Manville et al. 2020).” https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-soc-030420-122027

“[Rodríguez-Pose & Storper] never explain why removing existing restrictions on housebuilding in those places would not help absorb [high-income] people, and alleviate the pressure they put on prices. … We think their summary of the literature contains numerous omissions and misstatements, that their empirics are poorly explained and poorly executed, and that their theoretical argument remains underdeveloped.” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0042098020910330

You did note that Damiano’s paper wasn’t peer-reviewed, but that didn’t stop you quoting him when you thought it would bolster your argument. Motivated thinking, indeed.

PS
PS
9 months ago

Ah for sure, so smart, given record wages and very expensive materials, a city that can’t process a request for development timely and already degrading fundamentals for demand, I’d love to throw a few million bucks to the wind in an effort to reduce rents on a new apartment project.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  PS

If record rents don’t indicate high demand, I don’t know what does. The entire state needs 140,000 additional housing units to satisfy existing demand, let alone future demand:

https://www.opb.org/article/2023/07/26/oregon-cost-of-living-housing-construction-building-land-use-high-rent/

The other costs you mention are real, but they are only compounded by limiting where new multifamily housing can be built. The very modest zoning reform passed in 2020 saw an increase in new permits for “missing middle” housing despite those obstacles:

https://www.opb.org/article/2022/05/25/how-oregon-is-bringing-missing-middle-housing-to-the-state/

Serenity
Serenity
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Go ahead and ask her what she thinks a 15 minute city means. I’m sure you’ll get an earful.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

We are all middle-of-the-stroad “moderates” out here in North Clackalak, Arturo P, aside from a bike shop owner or two! Why, even our Governor is a Democrat, just like yours!

Y’all take care now! See y’all at the next pig pickin’ and oyster roast!

BB
BB
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

If you ever get on her Twitter feed she is about as far Right as it gets.
It’s telling she has defenders here.
She does nothing but attack people.
Her tweet today referred to J Maus as a d-bag.
It’s also telling that there are Andy Ngo supporters here. Falling for and parroting his Grift is a right wing passage…
The courts don’t fall for it….

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  BB

I’m pretty sure your life (and anyone’s life) would be better and more positive without twitter.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

You mean X, right?

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

I think you’re right. This is the only social media I spend anytime with so I’m not up on the online goings on.

Allan
Allan
9 months ago

This same adding a median treatment was done on NE MLK in the 1980s. It hurt businesses at the time as well, allegedly killing off some marginal ones (I don’t have data to back this up, only have heard stories). this treatment can lead to increases speeds and reduced “friction” by reducing left turn capabilities.

In Strong towns language, this is taking a ‘stroad’ more in the direction of a road by limiting access. That is at odds with having thriving businesses along a street.

I don’t live out in this area but I think the concerns are very likely valid based on the experiences I’ve heard of in inner NE PDX a while ago

Fred
Fred
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

Nonsense, Allan. MLK has other problems – like being an alternate to I-5, and four lanes that speed up traffic to really dangerous levels. But no business has ever died b/c a median was added.

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

You’re totally wrong about the MLK median not killing businesses.

The obvious impact of medians on businesses is that they eliminate left turns, so make access in difficult. But they also eliminate left turns out, forcing people into convoluted routes around blocks, etc. to turn around.

They also take up space that then means less space for on-street parking, wider sidewalks, bike lanes, or other uses, all of which can harm businesses if there’s no room for them.

They also encourage faster driving, making the street less safe for people driving, walking and biking. They also eliminate options for crossing the street–by drivers and by pedestrians (depending on design).

In the MLK median removal project, I attended dozens of meetings and heard from dozens of people who owned and patronized businesses on MLK, and others who lived near MLK. All felt that the median did kill businesses that otherwise would have survived, and harmed but didn’t kill many others.

Ironically, making MLK a viable alternative to I-5 (by increasing capacity and travel speeds)–which you list as “other problems” resulted BECAUSE of the median, and in fact were the impetus behind building the median in the first place. They’re not “other problems”–they’re RESULTS of the median.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Please share evidence to support your claims. Thanks.

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

What type of evidence? Most of what I claimed is pretty obvious–medians block left turns, medians block crossings, medians take up space that could be used for other things, medians block drivers from turning left out of businesses, so they have to drive further to turn around…

Medians speeding up traffic is a bit less obvious, but given they’re used to speed up traffic (one reason they were put on MLK) and that seems pretty obvious also. I don’t think even median advocates will disagree.

I claimed that speeding up vehicle traffic makes streets less safe for people walking, biking and driving. That seems like something that people believe is generally true without citing evidence.

Or are you wanting evidence about MLK and businesses? Do you want meeting minutes from the MLK meeting from the 1990s? Tax returns from businesses? Proof I attended the meetings? I tried to be fair in my description. I said I was at those meetings, and people who spoke at them said they felt the medians harmed and killed businesses. I think those are pretty conservative statements–saying I heard people say something they felt to be true.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

You are supporting your opinions with more opinions and calling your conclusions “pretty obvious.”

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

Maybe someone can point me to scientific papers or studies that analyze whether medians block left turns or take up space.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I got ChatGPT to write me a pretty good report on that.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Ha! It’s fantastic at writing poetry too.

Jaene Peterstone
Jaene Peterstone
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

Just look at how MLK has stagnated while other nearby arterials without medians have flourished (aka Williams / Vancouver).

And of course New Seasons gets a pass despite it clearly being an an automobile-focused business… jusy one that projects the “correct” virtues to let the superficially progressive look the other way as 95% of their customers own two Subarus.

Max S (Wren)
Max S (Wren)
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

I wonder why they went that direction instead of making it more like a street. Too vital to commuters?

Foot Patrol
Foot Patrol
9 months ago
Reply to  Max S (Wren)

Making Division Street safer and more predictable involves reducing left turns and creating consistent pedestrian crossings. That said, unexpected challenges arose during the project. For example, the water main in the middle of the street prevented all proposed trees from being planted due to BES policy. Another more removed example is the Powell-Division rapid transit project advisory group recommended keeping left turn access to businesses, but this suggestion was disregarded by PBOT in the Outer Division Safety Project.

While the focus is on achieving safety and creating pedestrian crossings that reduce fatalities, there are unintended consequences. Traffic speeds have gone up in five years and after completion of the safety project. The point about the median contributing is correlated and a contributing factor. Your guess on it being too important to commuters and vital to the transportation system is worth having PBOT be honest about.

SE DIVISION ST W OF 109TH AVE W 6/7/2023WED, 6/9/2023FRI
PctOverPosted 84.80
PctOverPosted10 12.10

SE DIVISION ST W of 109TH AVE W 4/23/2018MON, 4/26/2018THU
PctOverPosted 81.00
PctOverPosted10 11.80

EP
EP
9 months ago
Reply to  Foot Patrol

I don’t think you can extrapolate much of a conclusion from just those two dates. The 2023 data is from June, when it’s warmer and roads are generally drier and cleaner and people are driving faster. The 2018 data is from April when it’s usually cold and rainy and people drive (slightly less) faster.

maxD
maxD
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

That is really interesting perspective, Allan. Division had become so deadly, that PBOT was basically forced to do safety improvements. They could have approached this as creating a “street” with frequent signals, sidewalks, street trees, pedestrian scaled lights, pedestrian amenities. This has been proven to work in many places, including Division between 12th and Cesar Chavez. PBOT had a competing goal, though: Bus Rapid Transit- I believe the project had some funds that supported this. This project element encourages the “road” style of development: fewer signal and impediments, consistent flow, etc. Along the way, they worried a lot about slowing down cars too much and they compromised the bus design so much that they stopped referring to it as BRT, and instead it was bus priority. The bike and pedestrian improvements were crammed in around the bus lanes and driving lanes, resulting in what we have today: a safer “stroad” that prioritizes transit. I am not in favor of removing the improvements, but I love the image Allan conjured up for me: What if PBOT had re-made Division into a Main Street? Wide sidewalks and street tree planters, on-street parking, one-lane of traffic in each direction, probably buffered bike lanes, and signal every 2 or 3 blocks, timed to 18-22 mph. There would be a lot of street left in a situation like this: maybe the bike lanes could be rose lanes, or maybe there is room for both. I have not tried to design it, but I can see that trying to run a fast/efficient bus line down the street kept some of the worst characteristics of Division.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  maxD

The project treated E Portland a bit like “drive-through country”.

I suspect a main street treatment would have met resistance, but at least folks would have something nice at the end of the day that was better than a somewhat safer highway with a slightly faster bus, and that might have helped.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

PBOT has a long history of treating East Portland east of 82nd as “drive through country”, particularly on Division, Halsey, Glisan, Stark, and Foster (and 122nd), ever since the area was annexed between 1986 and 1991. In contrast, ODOT has done a better (if not always perfect) job on making Sandy and Powell east of 82nd “main streets” that support businesses along them. Among East Portland residents, ODOT has a much better reputation than PBOT, in sharp contrast with the rest of the city.

Prior to annexation in the 1980s and early 90s, the county banned parking on all their arterial stroads and required developers (commercial, apartments, houses, and churches) to provide off-street parking, so stroads like outer Division and 122nd had 3 traffic lanes in each direction plus painted gutter bike lanes; the city introduced on-street parking after annexation. Powell and Sandy were state stroads and always had some on-street parking.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Thanks for the context David.

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

That’s an interesting comparison. The MLK median went in along with parking being removed on MLK in order to make MLK function better as a highway to move more vehicles more quickly through NE Portland. The median made access to businesses much tougher by removing left turns. It also eliminated the ability of vehicles and pedestrians to cross MLK. That, along with removing parking creating more, faster traffic did kill off existing businesses and discouraged new ones, and it also made MLK a barrier blocking movement of people and vehicles between the neighborhoods east and west of it.

The median removal project in the 90s removed much of the median, reestablished crossings, and returned on-street parking. It also required wider sidewalks as properties were redeveloped. The Albina Community Plan rezoned much of MLK and created design requirements for active ground floors, etc. to work with the street changes.

All of it was aimed at moving MLK back towards being a main street serving the community as opposed to being purely a commuter and freight through-route.

So it’s a great comparison. The median on MLK went in, and parking came out, to speed up traffic at the expense of the businesses on the street and people living in the area. The median came out and parking was returned to improve things for the businesses and people living nearby. Given that history, it certainly raises questions about Division’s adding medians and removing parking. It doesn’t mean that opposite approach was wrong, but it certainly justifies asking why those choices were made, especially when supporting businesses that serve the area was a priority for MLK and (I assume) Division.

It does seem that the focus on Division was safety, and while business revitalization was the focus on the MLK median removal, MLK’s safety was also improved (I believe) by the removal. Then again, it was only removal of portions.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

There are quite a few historic design differences between outer Division and MLK. MLK was a state highway for many decades, for a time US E99 then later state road E99, part of the Grand/Union couplet of the late 1800s for the old City of East Portland. Division is about as old as MLK (it’s a survey boundary line for several square mile “sections” of land, hence the name), but it was never either a state or federal highway. It was re-built by Multnomah County several times, the current width from the 1970s, and annexed by the city before 1992. MLK is in a gridded part of the city with cross streets every block or so; outer Division has regular cross streets every quarter mile and random ones in between, part of a best-design practices of the 1950s suburban super-blocks the county followed.

The median was put in partly and specifically to protect the “water main” which is actually a Bull Run aqueduct, one of 3 for the city (the other 2 are under Caruthers, a series of local street segments, and Powell, a federal/state highway also being reconstructed.)

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

Comment of the Week.

The reason is that the Division project (and the comments) is generally polarized between people who dislike the median (mostly for being anti-business) and those who support it (mostly for safety).

In comes Allan, who from past comments strongly supports biking and walking, and understands transportation issues. He describes something that’s obvious–once he points it out–that the Division project adds a median similar to what was added to MLK around 1980, yet large sections of the MLK median were removed because it was seen as anti-business. He points out that that makes it more likely the concerns are valid that the Division median is anti-business.

His comment shows a possible way to move the discussion into something more productive than each side digging in.

He’s not saying (as I read it) that the median is certainly bad, he’s saying that the MLK median experience calls it into question. People who oppose the median deserve thoughtful answers of why the median makes sense on Division.

My view after reading his comment is that PBOT missed an opportunity to support Division businesses. But the reason isn’t that it catered too much to biking and walking advocates. It’s that (like Max S said) PBOT focused on making it work for commuters and through traffic at the expense of enhancing it as a community main street. PBOT might have had reasons for that, but (like Foot Patrol said) PBOT needs to be honest about that. That could diffuse the businesses-versus-bikes standoff that’s arisen, and maybe reduce future standoffs.

Finally, Allen knew about the MLK median history by doing tons of historical research (that he’s written about as I recall) to inform his understanding, which I really appreciate.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Allan

What’s frustrating is businesses come and go all the time, all over the place. Any business that happens to go after a median is put in will be blamed on the median, as if no business would ever shut down if not for a new median.

Fred
Fred
9 months ago

I hope none of the protesters are hit and injured (or killed) by cars speeding down Division.

dw
dw
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Thankfully the median will protect them from wayward drivers making risky left turns.

EP
EP
9 months ago

I am optimistic that 82nd can get Division-style improvements, AND MORE! These huge streets need to be tamed, and it isn’t always going to be popular with everyone, but it’s damn necessary. This type of change is positive in the long term. But, everyone complaining about it right now casts a shadow on the overall successes of projects like this.

The last thing we need is to pander to the vocal minority, but somehow they figure out how to make themselves the loudest.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  EP

The last thing we need is to pander to the vocal minority

Funny, that’s what they say about us. And we (i.e. cyclists) actually are a vocal minority, whereas these folks might well have tapped into a deeper vein.

Angela Todd
Angela Todd
9 months ago

Hello. Here are some inaccuracies in your article you might want to correct:

I don’t have any affiliation or connection to Mr. Philbrook. Apparently most people feel the same considering he had a protest of one. I also don’t have personal concerns about the bike lanes.

The legal u-turn you featured is not my personal video. It is from one of my followers. I have no way of knowing if the follower’s phone was hands-free or not.

The Slavic business owner shared his personal traumatic experience and concerns. Some in our community have similar concerns. That doesn’t mean I am personally correlating PBOT and the fall of the Soviet Union. His fear of the government devaluing land and hurting his communities livelihood is real.

A 30% loss of business for is documented on the city council’s public record from business owners on Division. I am just repeating it.

I am advocating for using our tax dollars to uplift everyone. Policies shouldn’t take away the value of individual property, or decrease business without the local government making the business whole.

Fred
Fred
9 months ago

I was initially disappointed that you gave so much airtime to Ms. Todd, but maybe sunlight is truly the best disenfectant.

Cyclekrieg
9 months ago
Reply to  Angela Todd

Hello Ms. Todd,

May I ask you a few questions?

What do you believe a “15-minute city” is? Or more accurately, how do you believe a “15-minute city” would differ from other cities?

If you were made grand poobah of road design in Portland, how would you lay out a road? I’m not suggesting you should know sizes, widths, or similar. But who should go where, how much space should they get and what should street look like?

(Just an FYI, I do civil engineering, specifically roadway engineering.)

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  Angela Todd

You know they were illegally filming while driving. Stop playing dumb.

https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-15-minute-city-conspiracy-162fd388f0c435a8289cc9ea213f92ee

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago
Reply to  Angela Todd

A 30% loss of business for is documented on the city council’s public record from business owners on Division. I am just repeating it.

As in the business owner showed receipts indicating a 30% drop, or they just made up a number?

Policies shouldn’t take away the value of individual property, or decrease business without the local government making the business whole.

LMAO of course far-right folks like yourself think the government should subsidize poorly thought out businesses. More corporate welfare.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Angela Todd

Of course you’re not “personally correlating” PBOT and the USSR, Angela. You’re just very deliberately airing the concerns of an unnamed “immigrant of Slavic descent”. Whaddaya gonna do, *not* uncritically repeat “how many similarities there are [in the fall of the Soviet Union] to what is happening right now in Portland” according to this definitely real and very credible source?

joey Campbell
joey Campbell
9 months ago

For people looking for ways to support safety projects in PDX consider sending a note to pdx in support of this year old project. Squeaky wheels need to say positive things too!!

SD
SD
9 months ago

To state the obvious, Angela Todd is a grifter who desperately jumps from fabricated conflict to conflict to hold on to her reactionary following. She has made a number of racist and dehumanizing comments in her tirades. Her barely coherent call to action for her followers shows she is trying to hit the buzzwords of the day to rally the worst and stupidest impulses in people. It’s sad and pathetic.

Andy
Andy
9 months ago

lol, that’s what happens when you drive a RAV4 though. They have a terrible turning circle! Try that u turn in my Leaf, or ANY recent Subaru and you’d make it no sweat. Also, clearing a turn in a rav isn’t hard if you plan ahead/swing a little wide.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy

The one thing I notice to be common with angry drivers is that they also tend to be the worst drivers.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago

Just a friendly reminder that anyone who talks about the “15 minute cities” conspiracy is probably deep down the Q’Anon affiliated conspiracy nut rabbit hole.
https://www.wired.com/story/15-minute-cities-conspiracy-climate-denier/

Also great to see people filming criminal activity. Not that our police would ever do anything about it, though.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago

So in order to get a personal meeting with city councillors, all someone have to do is pander to right-wing conspiracy theorists on social media? Sounds pretty progressive!

Doug Klotz
Doug Klotz
9 months ago

I find that, in a full-sized pickup truck, you can make the u-turns. But you have to drive forward a bit (10′?) before doing it. this allows you to use the cross-street space for your turn. The driver in the video attempted to turn immediately, which doesn’t work as well.

dw
dw
9 months ago
Reply to  Doug Klotz

You gotta do a bit of a hook and go right about 2-3’ then make your turn using the space in the intersection. The U turn spots on Division have dedicated left-turn signals so you aren’t blocking any traffic by swinging out a bit.

Rick Jasperson
Rick Jasperson
9 months ago

Where were these people when the plans were openly viewable years ago, and PBOT was sending out monthly flyers to addresses on Division about it? While I live on Division, and am not a fan of the divider, it’s obvious that this has become some sort of looney focal point of right wing Portlanders attempting to enter politics. Angela Todd is a huge follower of local fake news creator Andy Ngo, who has claimed so many falsehoods it would take days to enumerate them here. And maybe look at that Roman Russian market’s health department history. Nobody in their right mind would eat fresh food from that market. Not really the 2 people I’d follow into anything, even when I agree with the cause.

Jenn Mal
Jenn Mal
9 months ago

Is this article about the medians or about Todd? For my eyes it’s an opinion piece disagreeing with pdx real’s pov, not about the medians and maybe vaguely the protests. I don’t have to agree with everything pdx real posts to be able to listen to a different opinion than pbot about the medians. Most of us who have lived in Portland Metro for a long time (personally since 1992 minus 6 years for a stint in Seattle) are good with bike lanes. We watch out for bikers. We enjoy our city’s reputation as a bike friendly haven. But, these medians are terrible. Traffic accidents are up, pedestrians are not safer, emergency vehicles have much more limited access, and business is suffering. The bike lanes are fine, the medians are terrible.

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago
Reply to  Jenn Mal

. Traffic accidents are up, pedestrians are not safer, emergency vehicles have much more limited access, and business is suffering.

Can any of this be substantiated?

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Jenn Mal

Traffic accidents are up. But not because of medians. If medians contribute at all to accidents, it’s because some drivers lack the patience to drive another block or two to make their left turn. That’s not the fault of the median. And they definitely make pedestrians safer, contrary to your claim.

Focus on your experience. What do you, personally, find “terrible” about the medians when you are behind the wheel of your vehicle? Sincere question.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

That’s not the fault of the median.

It’s not the infrastructure, it’s the people using it. Unless it’s a road design you don’t like, in which case it’s the infrastructure.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

There is a difference between defying the design of a street (jumping curbs, plowing through plastic bollards and over medians) and complying with the design (driving quickly on wide streets with few obstacles).

Dan Packard
Dan Packard
9 months ago

We need active participation in removing the other dangerous median in Portland. That of Interstate Avenue. Those Max trains go far too fast and I want the ability to make a hard left turn in my Ram diesel power wagon anywhere I please.

Eden
Eden
9 months ago

To all the political name calling, since when does an idea MAKE you a party? You all have a lot to say about a woman you don’t know-or seem to care for- and any singular thought she has that isn’t particularly cheering the stage of leftist ideology warrants her a right wing nut? Y’all need to chill and expand yourselves. We can share thoughts and ideas with people all over the spectrum(s) and still be an individual human being choosing what we believe in or find radical importance of to better OUR society. Like Angela is trying to do. Nothing about this article should demonize her, nor being apart of a Patriots UNITED group. If you guys want to make real honest lasting change you’re gonna have to go to your arch nemesis’s house with respect and reverence and fucking talk to them and bridge the gap. Stop with all the academic gibberish, look around, really look around you, maybe step out of yourself for a moment and grasp what is going on as it is. These ideas that have built our city to shit covered in gold flake are not perfect at all and some of us are actually willing to WORK with you.
The only important thing to take from this median protest is that fellow community members feel walked over and unconsidered and are trying to mitigate a way that bikes and pedestrians can be safe AND cars and businesses can have adequately functioning traffic infrastructure and appropriate movement of people in their daily to day travels and errands. This city’s design is atrocious and it is going to continue seeing an influx of vehicles and less of bikes(sorry, it is unfortunate)… however idiots are putting rules and millions of dollars towards the minority amount of biking which disproportionally harms the other. A statement I have heard a million times as not okay in different contexts, what makes this so unworthy of fairness?!

I want to finish with inserting the idea of POSSIBILITY into the conversation. Imagine if two differing people could come together and make change for BOTH and talk like civilized, loving, human beings? Imagine the possibility of your evening turning out nicely, imagine the possibility of a city actually oporating for ALL, imagine the possibilities of our world in the future.
We need to relax, put our identification with our beliefs and ideas aside and find how they bridge together by thinking creatively while pocketing all the judgments, get the sticks out of our asses, and just fucking taking a breathe. We worry and fight over all these issues when it’s our societies lack of emotional maturity and mental resiliency and interpersonal skills that demeans us and divides us. Are you fucking sick of it yet? Or is it true that we’re all addicted to misery to some degree?

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Eden

“fellow community members feel walked over and unconsidered and are trying to mitigate a way that bikes and pedestrians can be safe AND cars and businesses can have adequately functioning traffic infrastructure and appropriate movement of people in their daily to day travels and errands. “

I would argue that the treatment on Division accomplishes all of this. But Ms.Todd and her audience don’t like it because it inconveniences their ability to drive where and when and how they want. If they really cared about pedestrian and cyclists safety as much as they care about their Starbucks left turn, they would back off on the apocalyptic, Let’s Go To War rhetoric.
I’m all for conversation, but vulnerable road users have been getting killed on Division – this is absolutely a life and death matter – and the disconnect on the part of Ms. Todd and her minions as to why they’re dying speaks volumes.

Angela Todd
Angela Todd
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

There have been 2 pedestrian deaths since the medians this year alone – one in January and the other in March. It will take time to know for sure if PBOT’s goal of less fatalities is met with the medians, but so far it appears the goal has not been met despite all of the cost and work on Division.

But I am not here to argue that, as more data would be needed. My concern is the medians. Another closure announced this week…. Rite Aid is closing, they have said it is two fold. Loss of business from the medians and theft. I am confident the medians aren’t the larger issue, but it was the cherry on top.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Eden

Ah yes, campaigners for the rights of minorities should just go to their “arch nemesis’s house”, i.e. the people who want them dead, deported, and confined to the kitchen, the jailhouse, or the closet. What truly made MLK successful was showing “respect and reverence” for segregationists and the KKK lol

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

Right. People who don’t like the median on Division are basically the KKK. Not quite Godwin’s Law, but getting closer.

BB
BB
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

PDXreal compared the medians to the Soviet Union??? Funny you didn’t mention that.
You have commented about 20 times on this thread, apparently defending PDXReal takes a lot of time which you seem to have.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  BB

I don’t know PDXReal, I’ve never read their Twitter/X feed, and I have no particular opinion about them.

Don’t mistake criticism of a sloppy attack for supporting the target.

Wren
Wren
9 months ago

Anyone know what intersection this is in her video?

dw
dw
9 months ago
Reply to  Wren

Division & 117th

Max S (Wren)
Max S (Wren)
9 months ago
Reply to  dw

Thanks. I was kinda tempted to drive out there and see how hard turning actually is, but that’s a little farther than I really want to drive just out of curiosity.

Amy
Amy
9 months ago

Just going to recommend googling

angela todd montavilla initiative

and coming to your own conclusions about this person and how many of us feel about her in montavilla

Angela Todd
Angela Todd
9 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Hi Amy Reaney!

Watts
Watts
9 months ago

Just an interesting observation… when people criticized Hardesty (some using inflammatory language), it was sexism. When people criticize Todd (some using inflammatory language) it’s definitely not sexism.

socially engineered
socially engineered
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Who is saying that and in what context? Seems like over-generalizing & equating two things that are not the same. Very sloppy reasoning.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago

Here is Angela Todd’s reply to the following question:

The “echo chamber” of bike portland says you are against 15 minute cities as I guess there is a far right conspiracy theory against them and they say you buy into it. I’m thinking that’s not accurate as you seem pretty centrist to me. The 15 minute city concept is actually pretty cool if you look into it. Anyway what’s your take on that?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15-minute_city

IMG_4773.jpeg
Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Arturo P

Hi Arturo,

You’ve written 14 comments since September 1st, seems like an echo chamber of Arturo!

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago

Hi Lisa,
Just curious…do you also keep a tally on the number of comments by Pierre Delecto our frequent non voting communist contributor?
I think actually having a reply from the individual being pilloried (Angela Todd) is a worthwhile contribution. By the way what did you think of her response? Is she a far right boogeyman as stated by multiple other posters?

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Arturo P

Hi Arturo,

Within 20 minutes this morning, I received three comments from you with these phrases in them:

“Jonathan and the echo chamber” – 2023/09/03 at 7:00 am

“The ‘echo chamber’ of bike portland says – 2023/09/03 at 7:04 am

“you not infrequently promote close minded, reactive and intolerant dialogue. “ – 2023/09/03 at 6:42 am

It just cracked me up that someone who makes critical comments about BikePortland as frequently as you do then turns around and repeatedly accuses BP of being an “echo chamber.” That’s all.

Arturo P
Arturo P
9 months ago

Sure, I could see that. 🙂 Jonathan does put about 90% of my comments through but I’m definitely an outlier with my opinions in this crowd.

But back to the important question…what did you think of Angela Todds’s response to the 15 minute issue? Were you surprised by her answer?

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Arturo P

Arturo, I do most of the comment moderating, it’s my job.

Off the top of my head (meaning I’m not looking at the back-end of the database right now) I’ve held back a couple of your comments this week. You bring up police and homeless issues in threads and BP posts which do not pertain to those subjects. It strikes me as trying to manipulate every discussion toward those topics. So I don’t approve them.

Lowell
Lowell
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Her response reads to me as “I like the idea of a livable, walkable neighborhood, but any concrete action to make that a reality is Oppression.”

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

Pierre Delecto our frequent non voting communist contributor?

I’m a libertarian socialist and see Todd as an alt-right grifter who uses white nationalist rhetoric. If it quacks like a fas….

cc_rider
cc_rider
9 months ago

It’s the generic conservative response to any popular government action. Todd can’t come right and say she doesn’t care about pedestrian safety because that’s unpopular. She’s a lot like Rene, where they need to pretend to support liberal or progressive issues but then work to limit the government’s ability to deal with those issues.

The response is vapid nonsense. She essentially says she likes walkable neighborhoods but opposes any effort to make walkable neighborhoods.

Randi J
Randi J
9 months ago

Maybe ask Todd instead of speculating on what she “ seems to be saying”?

Angela Todd
Angela Todd
9 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

This is Angela. Excellent point!

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago

Exactly.
“I like cyclists and pedestrians! Some of my best friends are cyclists snd pedestrians!”

Stephen
Stephen
9 months ago

If they don’t want them on SE Division, then send them to us here on Barbur Blvd. That would transform Barbur, making it safe-ish one day to anyone other than car drivers, er, I mean anyone.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago

Here’s an interesting article from the Denver Streetsblog about how medians differ in their safety benefits depending on how they are designed. In general shorter crossings (narrow lanes), and lower speeds tend to be safer. If PBOT has crash data from this area pre and post implementation, it might help give some insight into how well they have worked.

“I have mixed feelings,” he said. “Some [medians] are good and useful — such as when they provide a curb-cut and pedestrian refuge, which is especially important for mid-block crossings. Some are bad and create mini-highways — and without a curb cut, they can make for barriers — especially for bikes.”

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

So… is Division more pedestrian friendly, or more mini-highway? I haven’t seen it myself, so I’ve got to rely on reports from others.

eawriste
eawriste
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Good question. This article didn’t have actual research, just expert opinion, which is the bottom of the barrel as far as the hierarchy of evidence is concerned. I also have not actually found good studies (e.g., meta-analysis) on medians (I’m sure they exist). Does it have curb cuts and pedestrian refuges? Yes, some. Does it have long crossings? Two lanes. Slower speeds? Not really. Wide lanes? Yes. Are cyclists separated? Sort of sometimes. Does it pass the Dad-would-ride-here test? Absolutely not.

With the constraints put on engineers (e.g., maintain capacity, speed, SOV access) it’s kind of what is expected from PBOT. Instead of gold standard designs we get this. Baby steps.

Watts
Watts
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

We can refine the design the next time we rebuild Division.

MarkM
9 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Although this discussion seems to be over, and it’s possible you won’t see my comments, I can offer an anecdotal perspective. Yesterday (9/12), I did a photowalk from SE 181st West to 75th Ave. I walked on both sides of SE Division and crossed the street many times. I crossed at intersections with traffic signals and intersections that had call beacons. Based on a similar photowalk I did many years ago, prior to the latest infrastructure improvements, I can say without hesitation that I felt much safer yesterday.

I assume BPOT took counts of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists before their treatment. Assuming they take counts after they’re done with the project, I’d be interested in knowing whether and when the mode share shifts. Meanwhile, during my three-hour walk, I only counted seven (7) bicyclists using SE Division. By comparison, although I didn’t count, I estimate I saw hundreds of motorists. That included many motorists doing U-turns at the meridians. Some were successful in their first attempt, while others had to make two or more attempts.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

My guess is PBOT has that data. But the Division treatment is still so new it would be premature to make too much of it yet.

vhuynh
vhuynh
9 months ago

Honestly, this is just sad stuff. We live in a country where people are so attached to their cars and precious ‘individualism’ that they won’t accept the smallest iota of personal sacrifice to improve life for the entire community. I think Michael Mann hit the nail on the head and I personally am buckling in for the building a better 82nd project and more of the same. Having attended one of the recent open houses I can say with certainty that it is going to be a long and unforgiving road for those of us who believe in an 82nd which does not cater to car traffic.

Many people can’t (or at least are not trying to) see more than a couple of years into the future. Yes, care needs to be taken to ease transition periods between all out stroad and more livable road but ultimately sacrifices will need to occur one way or another. The economy of a corridor can be restructured but the lives lost along streets such as Division and 82nd in past and in future cannot be reclaimed. It comes down to the simple question of: do we prefer more of the same, forever or can we picture a brighter future and do the necessary things now (and sacrifice the necessary things) to ensure that that future is built today.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
9 months ago

Given that there has been 168 comments already, I don’t expect anyone to read this one, but…

As far as I can tell, neither Todd nor PBOT are really interested in promoting local business access on outer Division through street design and speed limits.

If anyone was actually wanting to promote local businesses along Division, they would do each of the following together:

  1. Reduce traffic flow speeds during business hours (7 am to 9 pm) so that no vehicle could move faster than 20 mph no matter what the posted speed limit is – slow traffic will see your business, realize that you are there, while fast traffic will just wiz on by. That this is good for pedestrians too is not an “accident” but part of our human experience in so many places and times.
  2. Reconfigure the potential 7 traffic lanes on the Division so that only two allow for any sort of car/truck traffic, and use the rest to make Division a scenic destination in it’s own right, with pocket parks, sidewalk cafes, amusements, amenities, public art, and so on – traffic distractions in other words, to encourage drivers to your local businesses rather than away from it as the current boring design does.
  3. Encourage a much higher density of land use along Division, so that public transit runs under the street rather than on top of it, to help more people access local businesses more intensively, with high-rise apartments, shopping arcades, office towers, and a new city hall at 122nd & Division.
  4. Protected intersections at every intersection goes without saying, of course.
Xavier D. Stickler
Xavier D. Stickler
9 months ago

Respectfully, I am inclined to question the wisdom of platforming individuals enthralled in what is very clearly debilitating paranoia and far-right, baseless fear-mongering. As soon as I hear “15 minute cities are concentration camps” you cannot be taken seriously. Genuinely, this is mental illness.

These protests aren’t calls for a nuanced conversation. The nuanced conversation is happening here in the comments.

Was Division an expensive, imperfect project? Yes. But not for any of the reasons they claim.