Advocates support protected bike lanes at ‘Bike Broadway Day’

(Video from this morning’s event. Browse photos below.)

This morning on the corner of Southwest Broadway and Harvey Milk, Portlanders gathered in support of protected bike lanes.

The event, hosted by all-volunteer nonprofit advocacy group BikeLoud PDX, comes just weeks after Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Millicent Williams planned to roll back the design of the protected bike lane on Broadway to a previous version that PBOT staff warned would be less safe.

With the fight to save the Broadway bike lane largely over, BikeLoud wants to raise awareness of the importance of protected bike lanes — for keeping people safe and for revitalizing downtown. BikeLoud volunteers held signs and passed out free coffee, donuts, and other snacks to passersby.

“We’re here to show people that are on this bike lane today that we support them,” BikeLoud Chair Nic Cota said in an address to the crowd. “And I know all city councilors say their number one issue is public safety. This is public safety, right? This is keeping the public safe.”

Downtown worker Ean Howe was thrilled to see the event. He was biking into work and stopped to fill up his coffee mug when I heard him say Broadway is his favorite bike lane. “This is one of the important bike lanes on my daily commute,” Howe said. “Whenever I make a turn into the beginning of a bike lane, I have a little rush of, ‘This is the place for me!'” There’s a bike lane right here for me to turn into. “

“I take this one to work every day… when I heard they were going to possibly close this bike lane, I just had a cussin’ fit and got on Reddit asking where I could voice my displeasure. I feel great about knowing that they’re not going to take away my favorite bike lane.”

Kristin Sweeney rode to the event from north Portland early this morning to show her support. “I ride this lane every Saturday with my kids on our cargo bike. It used to be really dangerous when the bike lane was right next to the traffic and now it feels a lot safer.”

Commissioner Mapps and Director Williams said the design change was necessary mostly because local business interests and hotel managers have voiced concerns about it. While we now know that at least one major hotel on Broadway strongly supports the current bike lane, it’s clear other influential business interests have had an influence on City Hall.

But BikeLoud’s leader Nic Cota, doesn’t see it as an either/or proposition. He believes quality, protected bike lanes are just what downtown Portland needs to create the type of environment that will help revitalize downtown. “It’s a win to have these in here for everybody. For the hotels, for the businesses… biking means business. I know a lot of people who come to downtown Portland knowing that this protected bike lane is hear and they may have not made that decision if it wasn’t… [Bike lanes like the one on Broadway] are the future of Portland, so let’s let’s get behind it. Let’s support it and let’s let’s show people what it means to use them and support people that rely on them.”

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
7 months ago

Now do outer Division

Paul H
7 months ago
Reply to  dw

I’d wager a lot of money that BikeLoud would love to get enthusiastic volunteers such as yourself the agency and resources needed to follow passions such as this.

hamiramani
7 months ago

Bravo!!!! #BikeLove

BikeSoft
BikeSoft
7 months ago

Very nice! Really great to see the advocacy and engagement.

The signage needs a URL or QR code and perhaps a Call To Action such as “add your voice to the petition” or “help protect all the bike lanes” or such.

Sure, anyone could google “Bike Loud” and figure it out, but the easier you make it the better and you want to plant the seed of “join us, here’s how…”.

“You should to!” is a bit punitive, a bit too much us vs you. Don’t tell me what I should do. “Help us ….” is a bit better. Show me the opportunity to have a better city.

ABC

Always Be Collecting emails for the list, or something like that 🙂

Jan V
Jan V
7 months ago

Thanks for the video and article and the awareness-raising event, Jonathan and Nic! My favorite photo is Nic offering the fireman a donut and getting a thumbs up! I got a good chuckle out of Ean Howe’s “cussin’ fit”. Me too, Ean!

Your sentence, Jonathan, noting the influence of businesses on City Hall is scary-true. If City Hall believes that myth – namely cyclists and the bike lanes that protect us are bad for business – they should rip them out everywhere, not just in front of the Benson.

That is nonsense, of course, but what could at least help traffic flow there is far better signage, paint, etc. The sign on the sidewalk at 28 seconds into the video needs to go. It’s a Pay-to-Park sign with arrows in both directions and since it’s on the sidewalk, it seems to indicate parking right there (in the bike lane) is allowed.

The valet drop-off lanes also confused drivers who thought they were travel lanes when we biked there last week. Three drivers moved to the curb to park in the bike lane, and I’m sure at least one of them that I spoke to was simply confused.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
7 months ago

The energy is great but how about some protected bike lanes now on Hawthorne. MLK. Interstate. Cesar Chavez. Sandy.

Paul H
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

I think you misunderstand the role of BikeLoud. They don’t actually build bike lanes (protected or otherwise). They advocate for them. If you want to advocate for those things, you should contact their leadership and offer to volunteer. If you want to build those things, I suspect you need to apply for a job at PBOT.