Central City Concern wrote a letter to City Hall in support of Broadway bike lane

Part of Central City Concern’s crew of e-bike riders that use downtown bike lanes. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“We urge the city to use critical resources to continue to make our streets safer, not to undo safety projects.”

– Rachel Maas, Central City Concern

Central City Concern, a nonprofit social services provider and one of the largest property owners in Old Town, wants to make sure the protected bike lane on Broadway isn’t ripped out and replaced with a door-zone bike lane.

Rachel Maas, Central City Concern’s director of climate action, sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps, and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Millicent Williams last week. The letter, dated September 20th, was written in response to plans uncovered by BikePortland that Williams and Mapps were working together to make major changes to the Broadway bike lane between NW Hoyt and SW Salmon.

“CCC supports and has greatly benefited from the current bike lane configuration that was completed just last year!” the letter reads. “Our Clean Start program with Downtown Clean & Safe, Outreach Team, as well as many of our staff, clients, and affordable housing residents travel and commute on bikes, trikes, and other mobility devices throughout Old Town and the downtown core.”

Maas goes on to explain how the previous, door-zone bike lane configuration was not safe and that the change to a parking-protected lane, “has ben a welcomed change in the neighborhood” that has, “increased safety, livability, and convenience to our staff and community members who live and work downtown.”

After we published our stories about their plans, PBOT Director Williams apologized. She now says the plans are on hold and that a public process to consider changes to the Broadway design are forthcoming. Mapps claims to have never signed-off on any changes and that he and Williams were simply responding to concerns raised by business owners along the corridor.

Maas also shared her organization plans to expand their e-bike fleet in the coming months, which will lead to more of their employees and clients using the bike lane. She encouraged Mapps, Williams, and Wheeler to not waste Portland’s global reputation as a climate-smart city.

“We urge the city to use critical resources to continue to make our streets safer, not to undo safety projects,” she wrote.

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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dw
dw
8 months ago

Good for them. I hope it moves the needle a bit with politicians as they are considering their mayoral races.

On a tangent, is there any list of bike-friendly businesses in Portland? Or business owners who are pro-bike? I know from your podcast a while ago that the guy who owns Dots is really big on making streets better for biking and walking. Love that place.

Zach Katz
Zach Katz
8 months ago
Reply to  dw

A while back I considered starting a “businesses for better streets” org. Like 80% of business owners I talked to on Hawthorne, NE 28th, and Alberta were so excited (not just supportive, but excited!) about bike lanes and car-free streets. (Also, a lot of them were pissed off that the business associations claiming to represent them were speaking out against that stuff). Someone should do that, would be easy to get literally hundreds of businesses on board and would be quite a powerful coalition

Charley
Charley
8 months ago
Reply to  Zach Katz

Great idea!

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Zach Katz

If those 80% had said to PBOT and the media what you say they said to you, the outcome of the Hawthorne project would have been much different.

Zach Katz
Zach Katz
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

They did lol, they all signed a letter that Jonathan wrote about and filled out the PBOT surveys and stuff. But they have businesses to run, you can’t expect them to be full-time activists (especially during the height of the pandemic, which this was). That’s the point of an organization that represents them

.
.
8 months ago
Reply to  dw

I think this one formed after the pushback from PBA on Better Naito to be a counterbalance: Business for a Better Portland (bbpdx.org)

Recall
Recall
8 months ago

Portland’s green reputation is taking a major hit on this scandal. CityNerd just dropped a video on it to his 200,000 subscribers. https://youtu.be/tMmPWAC_eWQ?si=zxVMchaHx7hXzLAp

Meanwhile, Mapps proven lies continue to pile up. Time for him to resign or face a recall. At a minimum, the mayor should yank transportation from him.

Arturo P
Arturo P
8 months ago
Reply to  Recall

He’s most likely gonna be the next mayor. You should probably figure out how to work WITH him, not against him.

Steve Cheseborough (Contributor)
Chezz
8 months ago
Reply to  Arturo P

It’s actually OK to oppose a candidate. Especially one who shows he is either crooked or incompetent, and does not care about our safety. Plenty of time until the election.