PBOT plans to remove new bike lanes on NE 33rd

New bike lanes striped on NE 33rd at NE Holman. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

New buffered bike lanes on Northeast 33rd Avenue that have only been installed for about one month are slated for removal by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. That’s according to a source who works at the bureau and who shared the information with BikePortland anonymously because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

In addition to the source I’ve had direct contact with, the news has spread into the community from other sources and is widely known internally at PBOT. I’ve asked PBOT to confirm or deny the tip, but they have not yet responded.

Here’s the backstory and what I know right now…

PBOT repaved NE 33rd Avenue between NE Knott and Columbia Blvd this summer. As part of that project, they restriped the road and added bike lanes in several sections. We’ve reported on the new bikeway on 33rd between Skidmore and Mason*, but I hadn’t been able to get to the new bike lanes between NE Holman and Dekum (just south of Columbia Blvd overpass) until this morning. (*Keep in mind, this story is only about the northern section of new bike lanes between Holman and Dekum, not the new crossing at Mason-Skidmore. That went through a robust neighborhood process and appears to be safe.)

I was motivated to finally go see the new lanes because a source at PBOT said they plan to be removed sometime this week.

The reason? Apparently it stems from bureau leadership saying that proper neighborhood notifications had not been sent out.

My source at PBOT says crews could come out and remove the new bike lanes as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/1).

I saw “No Parking” notifications on the blocks in question during my visit today. The signs say crews will be on hand November 1 through November 3rd.

These new bike lanes were celebrated by some when they were installed in late September. Holman is a major, east-west neighborhood greenway route, and 33rd is a vital gateway to the Marine Drive bike path. The bike lane gap between Holman and the bike lanes on the Lombard/Columbia overpass (and Marine Dr) was always a stressful spot. The new bike lanes closed that gap and created a safer street. This section of 33rd is also classified as a “City Bikeway” in the Portland Transportation System Plan (adopted in 2020).

Detail from Columbia/Lombard Mobility Plan showing recommendation of these bike lanes.

Bike lanes on this section of NE 33rd were also recommended in PBOT’s Columbia/Lombard Mobility Corridor Plan adopted by City Council in 2021. Bike lanes between Holman and the bridge were called out as a “high readiness” recommendation (see graphic at right).

Parking doesn’t seem to be in particularly high demand on these few blocks (although I’ve noticed at least one person who’s parked in the new bike lane every time I’ve been by). It’s zoned single-family and nearly all the houses have driveways. There are two businesses on the northeast corner of Holman and 33rd; a quickie-mart and a restaurant, but both are served by a relatively large parking lot. I’m not aware of any simmering neighborhood revolt or pushback to the project. That being said, these bike lanes did go in relatively quietly and I don’t recall any specific messaging or notice from PBOT about them.

Even if proper public notice wasn’t given, it’s unclear why PBOT would resort to taking the bike lanes out. If this story is confirmed, it would be another cause for concern given that it comes just about five weeks after PBOT Director Millicent Williams was forced to apologize after a plan hatched by Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps to roll back the design of the Broadway bike lanes was met with outcry by the community.

I’ve asked PBOT to clarify what’s going on and will update this story when I hear back. I decided to publish this story before hearing back because I have reason to believe the removal of the bike lane could begin as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/1). Stay tuned.


UPDATE, 5:11 pm: PBOT has confirmed the removal and Communications Director Hannah Schafer just shared this statement:

“This segment of bike lane was installed by mistake and will be removed. A change of this magnitude would only come after significant public outreach, which did not happen as part of this maintenance project. PBOT is investigating and reevaluating its work process to make sure this costly mistake does not occur again.”

UPDATE, 11/1: BikeLoud PDX has sent out an action alert. They will meet for a ride to inspect the bike lane and then have a strategy meeting this morning on how to respond. Read the action alert here.

UPDATE, 11/1: Just posted this video of the bike lane to give you a better sense of what is at stake:

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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Phillip Barron
Phillip Barron
8 months ago

PBOT: Not enough money to do it right, but enough to do it over. 

Julie
Julie
8 months ago
Reply to  Phillip Barron

ha! That is perfect! (sad but perfect)

dw
dw
8 months ago

You’ve gotta be kidding me. No money to fix shitty pavement on greenways. No money to sweep brand new bike lanes on Division. No money to daylight intersections. No money to stripe crosswalks in front of the school I work at.

Infinite money to rip out brand new infrastructure.

Jim Knox
Jim Knox
8 months ago
Reply to  dw

Yeah this is bad. But get used to the no money thing. We voted for too many unhelpful and wasteful taxes instead of focusing on the basics a municipality needs to provide to its residents.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

“We voted for too many unhelpful and wasteful taxes…”
Name one.
How did you vote (Did you vote?)
Why?

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Instead of 4 City council members, we’ll have 12 plus staff and a stuffed suit “manager” instead of a mayor. More taxes to pay salaries and business junkets. Portland Business Alliance & Portland Prosperity (for the already prosperous) Development Commission run City Hall and mainstream media. Why voters believe our worst mayor’s ideas won’t produce worse conditions for living standards is a sure sign they’re getting corrupt corporate control message.

Surly Ogre
Surly Ogre
8 months ago

This is such nonsense. how about signal timing changes? How about the new traffic signal at NE Ankeny and MLK ? How about switching STOP signs to face a new direction? How about mowing grass and leaf blowing? how about leaf removal or snow plowing? this untoward bias against bicycling is unbecoming of the Director. It is time for the Mayor to take over PBOT and fire the Director.

Surly Ogre
Surly Ogre
8 months ago
Reply to  Surly Ogre

You cannot store a washing machine on public property. 
You cannot store a boat on public property. 
You cannot store a motor home on public property.
There should be no expectation that anything, especially a car, can be stored on public property.

“It’s not my duty as Mayor to make sure you have a parking spot. It’s the same as if you bought a cow, or fridge, and then ask me where you’re going to put them.” ~Miguel Anxo, Mayor of #Pontevedra, Spain

“Over the past two decades, cars have been responsible for less than a dozen fatalities in the northwestern Spanish city of 85,000 inhabitants; the last recorded death took place in 2011, when an 81-year-old man was run over by a delivery van.
The explanation for Pontevedra’s track record is simple: It banned cars from most of the city in 1999.
“We decided to redesign the city for people instead of cars and we’ve been reaping the rewards ever since,” said Pontevedra’s mayor Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores, who came into office with plans for a car-free city more than 20 years ago.”

Jim Knox
Jim Knox
8 months ago
Reply to  Surly Ogre

Huh? RV’s and boats are “stored” all over public property in Portland. The city does nothing.

IMG_2275.jpeg
Goals
Goals
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

U aren’t suppose to park within 20 feet of crosswalk but Portland allows it even though it makes it impossible to see if any cars are coming

cct
cct
8 months ago

They told you who they were the first time.

John V
John V
8 months ago

These absolute scum bags.

I just rode on that Saturday. I thought something seemed different. This isn’t on any normal route of mine, but it seems the most reasonable way to go coming from Marine Drive which is what I was doing. You have no other option but riding on the sidewalk, which is what I assume I did the last time I was there.

As dw said, it makes no sense that they have the money to scrape off the markings for bike lanes when they’re talking about literally not having the money to clean up land slides. Heads need to roll for stuff like this. Even if they go through with it, they’re not just wasting the money to scrape off the lane markings etc, but all the money spent installing it in the first place!

Adam Pieniazek
8 months ago

The city that works (to dismantle what it worked on).

Wren (Max S)
Wren (Max S)
8 months ago
Reply to  Adam Pieniazek

((and then redo the work when it turns out it was a good idea after all))

John V
John V
8 months ago

Sorry to double post, but it just occurred to me that it seems like the lesson learned from the Broadway debacle is they need to act faster. We’re getting this leak a day before they’re supposed to start work (assuming it turns out to be true).

Steve Cheseborough (Contributor)
Chezz
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

Right. And I’m sure they also worked harder to forbid staff to talk. Those are the only lessons they learned. Mapps has got to go.

Sally
Sally
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

We’re getting this leak a day before they’re supposed to start work

Sounds like PBOT wasn’t planning on announcing the removal.

What’s next?

Heidi
Heidi
8 months ago

Love to have our biggest bureau run by someone whose #1 priority is sucking up to PBA members with public money. Wheeler needs to take it away from him. I would put odds on him denying any knowledge of this now that it has been reported (and thank you Jonathan and PBOT whistleblowers for bringing this to light). Amazing that Mapps, whose actions in office have primarily been attempting to reverse policies that he once was in favor of, thinks that this is a record to run for mayor on. No wonder he is trying to get those PBA bucks.

qqq
qqq
8 months ago

Even if lack of proper notice (whatever that is) was true, why would the response be to remove them–without public notice at that? Why wouldn’t it be to issue whatever notice was supposed to happen, then get comments back.

There certainly wasn’t any notice they’ll be removed, and for all anyone knows the result of giving notice could be getting feedback from people that they like what was done.

I’d like to see what PBOT says is the legal requirement for notice, including who gets notified–adjacent property owners? street users? I’ve never heard there were legal requirements for bike lane projects on public property, unlike say for land use actions.

It sounds like some people complained, and PBOT caved, exactly like the Broadway debacle.

blumdrew
blumdrew
8 months ago

The reason? Apparently it stems from bureau leadership saying that proper neighborhood notifications had not been sent out.

This is the worst reasoning I’ve ever seen, and I followed the Broadway stuff with a zealous fervor. Surely they didn’t send out the proper neighborhood notifications to remove this either! What are they even doing at this point? Trying to piss everyone off?

Pizzahead
Pizzahead
8 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

The worst decision making I’ve ever seen

Goals
Goals
8 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

That would have to be all the speed and red cameras we voted for lol

ITOTS
ITOTS
8 months ago

An apology to the folks fronting the street for lack of sufficient notification is certainly in order. And scrubbing any penalties for parked cars that were in the way should happen. But if none of the feedback from folks on the street was going to change the project outcome (on the eve of construction, that rarely happens), removing the lanes because of a process fumble makes no sense, especially if they need to go back in at some point. Here we are spending scare money to degrade infrastructure again.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  ITOTS

if none of the feedback from folks on the street was going to change the project outcome (on the eve of construction, that rarely happens),

If none of the feedback was going to change anything, it would be wasteful and deceitful to even collect it.

Goals
Goals
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

They should do it then there all about spending

J_R
J_R
8 months ago

Portland: Where involvement is more important than action.

Ben G
Ben G
8 months ago

So disappointing. I used the lane once after the paving project and it seriously reduced stress of not getting buzzed from fast drivers coming off Columbia into the neighborhood. Cannot believe PBOT right now.

Pizzahead
Pizzahead
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben G

Leadership is failing them

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago

There are 2 large potholes that were caused by work the city did in the road in front of my house, they are hard to see and dangerous. I reported them months ago, the city came and marked them so I thought they would be fixed, at this point the paint is wearing off, but we have money to remove bike lanes? Unbelievable.

Middle o the Road Guy
Middle o the Road Guy
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

Spray paint a comic penis around them like they do in the UK.

Goals
Goals
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

Don’t forget a bridge 3 blocks away from Grand

Steve Cheseborough (Contributor)
Chezz
8 months ago

So what happens if after they rip them out and do the proper notifications, the neighbors approve? They put the lanes back in again?
They’re not going to do that. Someone complained and they’re ripping them out for good. This is not about public input. It’s just the opposite.
Mapps has got to go.

Allan
8 months ago

Just call it a pilot and see how it works for a little while before ripping it out.

TonyT
8 months ago

PBOT is a sad joke at this point and I trust them 0%. Any excuse to not do or undo any bike infrastructure is good enough for them. “Oops, the wind is blowing the wrong way, can’t do it!”

Why is neighborhood involvement even needed? Is it needed when sewers are upgraded or electrical equipment is modernized? This is safety infrastructure and our lives should not depend on the inclinations of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods do not own the roads. This is how piecemeal, substandard infrastructuer happens.

John Castle
John Castle
8 months ago
Reply to  TonyT

We did have neighborhood involvement, it was called the Columbia Lombard Mobility Corridor citizen advisory project/team. I applied for and I sat on meetings for a year for it while we focused in on listening to the city’s plan for “quick wins” to improve non-car modes in our neighborhood. The only opposing voices there were the usual suspects, Port of Portland and freight-traffic white knight Corky Collier.

I wasn’t aware that we needed to knock on every door on in N/NE Portland and ask for their permission to make improvements.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  TonyT

Is it needed when sewers are upgraded or electrical equipment is modernized? 

I can’t speak to “modernizing electrical equipment” (whatever that means), but BES is very communicative about sewer projects (with both neighborhood associations and individual residents) that will have a temporary or lasting effect on a neighborhood. So they obviously think working with the community is important.

I can’t speak to this particular situation, but generally, as the most directly impacted people, residents should be informed and involved when the streets in their neighborhoods are changed.

I imagine you’d feel differently if this were a project focused on adding car capacity.

I would not.

TonyT
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I guess this depends on what we PBOT means by “public outreach.” Certainly they should communicate THAT something is going to happen, like is done with other infrastructure projects. But I do not imagine that the City waits to get neighborhood buy-in before they replace sewers.

It doesn’t sound like PBOT really has their story straight on what the outreach was supposed to be. Did PBOT simply fail to send out notices that it was going to happen? If that’s the case, then an apology is in order but tearing out thousands of dollars or work is totally inappropriate.

If they failed to get neighborhood buy-in, which is what it sounds like to me, then I go back to my original point: Neighborhoods shouldn’t be given this power. Public streets should be made safer for all users. Sometimes this means losing street parking. Neighborhoods do not own the streets running through them.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  TonyT

Neighborhoods shouldn’t be given this power. 

Neighborhoods never have this power. However, they, along with individual residents, should have the power to voice an opinion, which means being informed about the project and having a reasonable amount of time to express support and/or raise concerns, which should be addressed to the extent possible.

You have asserted a value preference (streets should be safer) without reference to the cost. The tradeoff between competing values is inherently political, and so those most affected (which definitely includes people who ride bikes on the street) should be given a voice.

I realize you may disagree with that, but to me, it is an axiomatic part of good democratic governance. Projects aligning with your values (and mine) shouldn’t get a pass just because we’re on the side of righteousness.

In this case, I think we agree that there isn’t yet enough information available yet to really understand what exactly went wrong.

TonyT
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

They have that power. You can reword it as “expressing concerns” if you want, but neighborhoods definitely get projects cancelled and watered down.

https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/20/city-relents-to-neighborhood-concerns-and-will-stripe-unprotected-bike-lanes-on-n-denver-293449

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  TonyT

neighborhoods definitely get projects cancelled and watered down

If PBOT never listened to anything the public said, what would be the point of getting their input?

This idea that neighborhoods have some sort of special veto power over anything is laughable to anyone who has ever participated in the system.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

BES is very communicative about sewer projects

Yeah, they’ll let you know when they’re doing it so it doesn’t disrupt things, but they’re not asking permission. You don’t get to decide if that infrastructure gets installed.

This is a piece of infrastructure that was already planned and discussed at length, including public outreach. This was not some off the cuff idea someone with a line striping truck decided to do with some spare time. Details are directly quoted here:
https://mailchi.mp/b6767315f29f/action-alert-stop-the-33rd-avenue-bike-lane-removal?e=153d85a688

I imagine you’d feel differently if this were a project focused on adding car capacity.

Ahh, the old canard “you would feel differently if a bad thing was done instead of a good thing”. This just doesn’t convince a single person.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

PBOT doesn’t ask permission either. At least not where I live.

I can say from experience that BES listens to and addresses concerns, whether expressed formally or informally.

If, as you say, PBOT did do their public outreach, then I don’t understand why PBOT says they didn’t.

Amit Zinman
8 months ago

Is it a feature or a bug that decision making is so poorly done right at PBOT? I’m also worried that this is what the new local government system is going to be like, with PBOT just doing stuff with zero oversight. Just one day there will be a notice saying things are changing the following day.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Amit Zinman

The city administrator is a very powerful position that is both un-elected and of indefinite tenure. If the city administrator decides to keep Dir. Williams at PBOT there is little opportunity for accountability in the new system.
,
Given how inherently corrupt our electoral system is, there is little accountability in the current system but at least there was a commissioner to which one could direct complaints (with the hope that the commissioner would see voter’s ire as a political risk).

cc_rider
cc_rider
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

We’re literally watching a Commissioner sell PBOT for votes/support. It can’t get any less accountable.

IDK pierre, maybe you live in one of the neighborhoods the city council cares about, but I’m unsure when the last time my neighborhood was represented on the city council. In the new system we’re at least getting three that live somewhat close.

Can anyone who has lived here longer chime in? When’s the last time a Commissioner lived in St. Johns, Portsmouth, or Kenton?

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

We’re literally watching a Commissioner sell PBOT for votes/support. 

Who is Mapps literally selling PBOT to in this instance?

Jim
Jim
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Sam Adams lived in Kenton. I think there have been zero other commissioners from those neighborhoods.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  cc_rider

CC_Rider, here’s an article the Oregonian did years ago showing where commissioners have lived, historically. Starts with map of donations, click on top tab for year-by-year of where commissioners have lived.

https://projects.oregonlive.com/maps/eastpdx/power/

cc_rider
cc_rider
8 months ago

Oh wow, awesome tool! That map just sums up the problem with our current form of government. St. Johns has never had anyone elected.

So glad that we can’t end up with that again, especially because District 1 will make it impossible to have all of the city government live in the same neighborhood. We’ve been dominated far too long by central city politicians who don’t know or care about our neighborhoods.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  cc_rider

It was eye-opener for me too, and it shows how much drift there can be between what everyone “knows” to be true, and what objective truth actually is.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I don’t view our electoral system as consistent with basic democratic standards so from my point of view it’s not particularly accountable at all.

Hippodamus
Hippodamus
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

Actually there is accountability. The city administrator will be fired if they don’t perform. The council is their boss. My experience in municipal government is that this makes for pretty cautious city administrators, because they don’t want to piss everyone off. On the other hand, if Dir. Williams is pissing everyone off, then the administrator is going to deal with that swiftly.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Hippodamus

this makes for pretty cautious city administrators

I agree, and cautious administrators tend to focus on the least offensive projects.

Which is not good for those who support road diets, expanded bike lanes, and other projects that attract loud criticism and don’t generally have broad public support.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Hippodamus

The council is their boss

Not true at all. The mayor decides whether to recommend the city administrator for termination and only at this point does a fractious city council get to vote. It’s absurd that city council does not have the power to terminate on its own.

makes for pretty cautious city administrators

So status quo oriented and not supportive of transportation system transformation, right????

Will
Will
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

I think you’re misreading the Charter:
Article 4, Section 2-401 (f) (Duties of the Mayor)

Appoint the City Administrator, subject to Council confirmation, and give direction to the Administrator. The Mayor may remove the Administrator and must advise the Council before removal. The Council may remove the Administrator for cause by the affirmative vote of at least nine (9) Councilors. If the office of the Administrator is vacant, the Mayor must fulfill the duties of the Administrator until the office is filled.

____________________________________

Council confirmation is required to appoint the Administrator, but the Mayor may remove them without Council approval so long as they inform the Council beforehand. The Council may remove the Administrator by a 3/4’s majority vote whether the Mayor has requested it or not.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Will

The Council may remove the Administrator for cause 

“For cause” is not just “we don’t like your priorities.” It’s stuff like embezzlement, drinking on the job, violating the employment contract, etc.

And 3/4 of the council is a very high bar.

Mark
Mark
8 months ago

Have just started following the discussion beginning with the Broadway debacle. Have to say, Jonathan Mas, I appreciate your reporting so much. Well written and to the point. Thank You!

qqq
qqq
8 months ago

PBOT says:

“This segment of bike lane was installed by mistake and will be removed. A change of this magnitude would only come after significant public outreach, which did not happen as part of this maintenance project. PBOT is investigating and reevaluating its work process to make sure this costly mistake does not occur again.”

But the lanes are already in! So taking them out is a change of equal magnitude to putting them in. But PBOT just said “a change of this magnitude would only come after significant public input”. And then PBOT decides to remove them with NO public input!

Then PBOT says “PBOT is investigating and reevaluating its work process to make sure this costly mistake does not occur again” at the same time it IS making exactly the same mistake again! Which, by the way, is adding even more cost to the “costly mistake”.

SD
SD
8 months ago

Mapps and Williams are looking for any excuse they can find to rip out bike lanes. It wouldn’t be a big deal to leave them in, given that they largely ignore fixing dangerous road conditions all the time.

Asher Atkinson
Asher Atkinson
8 months ago

I take this route often coming and going to Marine Drive and cars are parked on this section all the time, so I’m sure it upset a few residents Yes, it’s a setback for cyclists, but relative to the problems this ‘vital corridor’ faces to the north starting at Dekum, losing a few blocks of lane striping is the least of my concerns.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Asher Atkinson

The mad Max situation north of here is definitely a bigger issue. Honestly, I think you’d have to be crazy to street park anywhere on 33rd. Your car will just get sideswiped by some tweaker.

Jim
Jim
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

I disagree. I feel more unsafe around cars than around homeless camps. I have been injured more by the former than by the latter. I feel better on the 205 path than “taking the lane” on a moderately busy street.

Wren (Max S)
Wren (Max S)
8 months ago

PBOT is investigating and reevaluating its work process to make sure this costly mistake does not occur again.

Well here’s a wild idea to save on unnecessary work: just do the outreach properly before spending spending the money to remove them. What happens if your outreach comes back and you determine that the bike lanes are necessary? Will you only remember you have a budget crisis then?

By all means, if it’s really true that PBOT didn’t follow internal procedures correctly, make whatever internal changes are needed. But this a ludicrous way to respond to it.

Todd/ Boulanger
Todd/ Boulanger
8 months ago

This type of scenario is a frustration for ALL involved. As a trained transportation planner…the history of US public process is to protect the public from projects that are implemented without being in any publicly adopted plan. [This project met that requirement.] But this requirement at process always seems to fall heaviest on bike and pedestrian projects versus motorized vehicle centric projects.

SO this removal raises the key question:
If a capital protect is a “traffic safety” project in a city that has publicly adopted Safe Systems Approach (Complete Streets + Vision Zero policies) AND the project is in an adopted plan AND designed per adopted standard design details / best practices (vs a pilot treatment or holding a FHWA experimentation approval waiver)…then why is it removed?

Yes, hold a meeting to discuss [and make an honest apologies for the lack of ‘door knocking’ and look for a limited mitigation for those few with great – not self imposed – distress.]. BUT unless public street parking is a requirement (per code or a develop review requirement or covered by 16.20.500 General Parking Permit) then on street parking should NOT trump traffic safety…unless CoP has a city council adopted / public approved policy to that effect [and has terminated its 2016 Vision Zero Action Plan, etc.]

Fred
Fred
8 months ago

All great points, but it seems pretty clear at this point that Vision Zero is purely performative in Portland. It’s clear from the ACTIONS that PBOT is taking, which are quite apart from the WORDS they are using.

Todd/ Boulanger
Todd/ Boulanger
8 months ago

Ideally at this point in our ‘Climate Crisis Century’, any city’s leadership (strong mayor or strong city manager) would annually stand up in public and state that ALL public works [PBoT etc] projects are Complete Street projects and the city’s transportation facilities are managed using the Safe Systems Approach – due to the council’s adopted policy – that the ONLY public process is the adopted plan (bike, pedestrian etc.), that the ONLY supplemental public process is when the street CANNOT be implemented as a fully Complete Street (etc.) versus it being the other way around all too often.

…Or place a traffic sign facing traffic entering the city limits affirming such…like Welcome to Portland…where traffic safety comes first completely…and parking comes last…etc.

Nick
Nick
8 months ago

It’s Halloween not April fools

My sincerest thanks to the PBOT staffer

EP
EP
8 months ago

This is bizarre. Lots of progress has happened here, and this seemed like the logical next step. A decade ago, PBOT put in the nice diverter at Holman, then there were old/now new bike lanes going over Lombard & Columbia from Dekum, but they’re going to disconnect the section of 33rd that was finally connected?! Why would they remove this small, missing piece of the puzzle?

Atreus
Atreus
8 months ago

Hannah Schafer has yet again lied to us. The plan was to send out simple notifications 30 days in advance, that was all, and they were mistakenly not sent out. It was never going to have “significant public outreach” because it’s a small project with little impact. A mistake to not send notifications, for sure, but PBOT should just apologize but leave the bike lanes in.

BMP82
BMP82
8 months ago

The same PBOT that is crying about how there is such a funding shortfall that they’re going to have to start laying people off, delaying projects, not plowing the roads when it snows, not clearing roads when there is a land slides, not fixing pot holes that they already don’t fix, cutting back bus routes and a whole host of other things! How do they have the money to keep screwing up their projects and then having to go back and fix them but they don’t have funding to do their f-ing job? I feel like somebody’s pockets are getting lined at the expense of the taxpayers.

Jim Knox
Jim Knox
8 months ago

As the Mapps and Williams duo continue to misfire it will certainly give Gonzalez’ potential mayoral bid a boost. I view that as a silver lining to this situation of incompetence.

Fred
Fred
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

Good point. I would vote for González at this point. No way will Mapps get my vote for anything, ever.

mh
mh
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

That would be a choice between two very evils, and I would write in someone if the choice came down to that pair.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

If there’s any silver lining in this scenario, it’s that the next mayor of Portland will be largely powerless anyway under the new charter – can’t assign departments and can’t vote with the council for anything unless there’s a 6-6 tie. Mapps has done everything he could to try to give the next mayor more power, but thankfully every move has been checked by other council members. Mapps and Gonzalez have both demonstrated they’re quintessential, power-hungry, self-serving politicians. I hope neither one is elected to anything, ever.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

If there’s any silver lining in this scenario…

You really think it will be better when no elected official is accountable for what the bureaus do?

JP
JP
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knox

I was thinking the same. I used to be excited about voting for a Mayor Mapps, but after Johnathan’s reporting on the Broadway debacle, it’s clear that Mapps is being dishonest. Furthermore, Gonzalez appears to be the only council member capable of addressing Portland’s current challenges. We need to learn more about his views on bicycle transportation issues, but for what it’s worth (not much) I did spot him riding his bike to work through Westmoreland.

1kw
1kw
8 months ago

SHEEZ-IS!!!

Peter
Peter
8 months ago

This is doubly frustrating because not only does this mean removing the bike lane markings, but it also means leaving the street with a crappier surface to ride on. Wherever I see old markings removed, the road surface is always worse off for it.

Andrew S
Andrew S
8 months ago

Installed by mistake? WTF? Were the trucks just like “oopsie we dropped some paint”? Did their cereal come out “Oops! All bike lanes!”? That response from Hannah Schafer is total BS. I’d prefer they just said what actually happened. Someone complained, and they caved, and PBOT leaders don’t actually give enough of an crap about bike infrastructure to take a marginal political risk. Not committed to any ideals besides self preservation. I say Boo-urns!

I’ll add that this whole street should have bike lanes. Marine Drive to SE Ankeny. They just repaved most of the corridor and could have modernized the whole thing, but instead they choose to prioritize speeding down a neighborhood collector. Boo-urns again!

Lazy Spinner
Lazy Spinner
8 months ago

Wow! We truly live in a post-competence age. Portland is close to beyond saving at this point. No wonder people are leaving.

Pizzahead
Pizzahead
8 months ago

This is so exhausting. More lies from PBOT. More wasted resources. Another lost opportunity. Providing plenty of ammo to ensure no one wants to fund them. Trying to make a few people happy and anger even more people. We are getting a first hand view of an imploding organization caused by leadership that don’t know what they are doing and are in way over their heads.

Cyclekrieg
8 months ago

This segment of bike lane was installed by mistake and will be removed. A change of this magnitude would only come after significant public outreach, which did not happen as part of this maintenance project. PBOT is investigating and reevaluating its work process to make sure this costly mistake does not occur again.

That is unmitigated horse crap. Do you know how many checks a project has to go through to get built? You have a design manager, a project manager, a road manager and a process manager. That just gets you to construction plans. There is no way this was “a mistake”.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

I know how PBOT can save some money: fire everyone who was involved in this. Start with Williams.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

Do you know how many checks a project has to go through to get built? 

And yet somehow, despite all that oversight, PBOT’s processes still weren’t followed. To me, that speaks to the value PBOT places on engaging the community.

Michael Andersen
Michael Andersen
8 months ago

That’s funny, I don’t remember any neighborhood outreach when a row of new parking spaces was installed in front of the huge Fred Meyer parking lot on Glisan, three blocks from my house, while I was sitting on my neighborhood association board. Better remove those too.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
8 months ago

Fire director Williams now. This is who she is. This is what she wants to do. It all started once she became director. One pro car disaster after another. Morale at PBOT must be at an all time low.

PS
PS
8 months ago

So, the neighbors to this section must have lawyered up and after review of the internal documents relating to the approval process, PBOT determined that they may be at risk of litigation, which I am assuming they don’t have the capital to fund, so the easiest remedy is to remove the infrastructure change and return it to the way it was.

What is going to be an utterly amazing experiment to watch from a distance is if the new council structure of geographic representation increases the installation of infrastructure beneficial to the collective. Or is the pressure from residents of outer neighborhoods, who are generally lower on the economic strata and desire driving over riding a bike to destinations, sufficient to crater the vast majority of bike related infrastructure improvements in these areas?

SeaTacgoride
SeaTacgoride
8 months ago

Everyone who lives near this location (in the adjacent Concordia or Cully neighborhoods) should contact their respective Neighborhood Associations and urge them to contact PBOT on this matter as well as Mapps’ office. Since NA’s are open to all and represent a group of individuals the bureaus and city council members will often at least respond to their inquiries. Individuals acting alone rarely get much attention from the dysfunctional city of Portland.

http://www.cullyneighbors.org/

https://concordiapdx.org/community-room-rental/

Johan Kreigst
Johan Kreigst
8 months ago

BikePortland wouldn’t think this was a big deal if Hardesty or Eudaly were still in charge of PBOT, but since Jonathan Maus is dead set on harming Mapps’ mayoral bid, it’s another “scandal”.

The motivation here is plain as day.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Johan Kreigst

You’re wrong.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

How does this compare with the tone of the coverage when Hardesty’s PBOT removed the traffic circle at 7th?

I recall the coverage being much more subdued.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

To the best of my knowledge, a traffic circle isn’t a bike lane and doesn’t help close a significant gap in cycling transportation infrastructure.

Jim
Jim
8 months ago
Reply to  Johan Kreigst

Obviously ridiculous comment.

TonyT
8 months ago
Reply to  Johan Kreigst

There were numerous critical stories run by Jonathan on BP when Hawthorne didn’t get a bikelane under Hardesty.

PS
PS
8 months ago
Reply to  Johan Kreigst

I’m no JM apologist, but Mapps’ seems to be doing a pretty good job harming his chances himself if he’s remotely concerned about the active transit segment of the voter base. He may be attempting a different calculus of attracting outer neighborhood voters, but it is quizzical at best and reckless at worst.

maccoinnich
8 months ago
Reply to  Johan Kreigst

I’m pretty sure that if Hardesty or Eudaly had been actively trying to remove infrastructure recently installed by the Bureau they oversee, there would have been plenty of coverage in BikePortland. But because they didn’t do that, we can’t know for sure.

Adam Leyrer
Adam Leyrer
8 months ago

Here’s what I’ve sent to Commissioner Mapps this morning; your mileage may vary.

“Traffic Engineering is a data-driven profession, not an applause meter. Stop insisting on hyperlocal public outreach and start using scientific evidence to make our streets safer. Indulging adjacent homeowners instinctively resistant to the chore of adapting to anything new is killing drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Until you direct PBOT to use science not applause to do its job you’ve lost my vote for anything in the future.”

AndrewPM
AndrewPM
8 months ago

I live on the block and have been waiting for the permanent “No Parking” signs to be put up.

Instead, this morning, we are given a vague notice tucked into our doors that they’re ripping out the lanes?

Meanwhile the bike lanes have had a positive effect in a number of ways, including slowing traffic that usually goes 15-20 miles above the posted speed limit as well as allowing me to see oncoming traffic while backing out of my driveway.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  AndrewPM

How often do parked cars get clipped and/or obliterated by DUII drivers on this stretch? I definitely wouldn’t be parking my car here if given the option. This is basically a Mad Max corridor to the mayhem north of Columbia.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago

Do traffic volumes and car speeds on this section justify a need for bike lanes here? From the story, it sounds like the bike lanes south of Holman will remain as well as those on the bridges and ramps north of Dekum. Is this correct?

IMO, it’s all cosmetic – two blocks of painted bike lanes that offer absolutely no protection whatsoever – might as well be sharrows.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

You must not have ridden this section, because traffic speeds are absolutely an issue, especially when you are trying to ride south (up a big hill), and suddenly your lane drops with no parallel route options.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Actually, I’m quite familiar with that section from when I lived in Sullivan’s Gulch 2002-2006, I’d bike through there periodically. Mind you that was 20 years ago and the city was smaller back then and still affordable. At the time it had hardly any traffic – the section north of the bridge had a lot more traffic.

So far in this debate is only criticism of how PBOT botched this project, but not the actual design. By adding substandard narrow bike lanes, it seems to me that PBOT accidentally designed the street to encourage cars to go faster – what they put in there is a horrible 1970s design IMO and it needs to be redone.

If the traffic is so busy and you want car drivers to slow down, why have bike lanes added at all? Wouldn’t it be better to either A: remove all lane markings altogether including the center yellows and make all drivers a lot more cautious? Or B: put in 7-foot wide car-parking edge lines to create a chicane effect and narrow up the traffic lanes to 9-feet, forcing car drivers to slow down?

Steve C
Steve C
8 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Because the expensive bridge work to the north, it looks like PBOT wants more capacity on 33rd so removing parking and adding striping for bikes allows that. If they wanted a calmer street, then yes, removing the markings and narrowing the lanes would be the move. I assume the residents of the street aren’t too happy about more and faster traffic on their street. I know I wouldn’t be.

I always think about that for those rich people who built big expensive houses on 39th or Burnside in the 20-30s. Over the years they probably regretted not building a street over. Now they’re basically little highways with all the negatives that brings. Don’t think the people on 33rd are too happy to see the “rationalization” of the street. But them’s the breaks? Though maybe in this case someone connected enough to make a call.

Joyce Hendericks
Joyce Hendericks
8 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Just like the Broadway “scandal” it’s not about practical use in the cycling network, it’s about the politics. Activists have long pushed the “never cede an inch!” attitude and are eager to paint any revision to bike infrastructure as an attack on all bike infrastructure. The outrage may be performative, but so far it’s on cue; the peanut gallery reacts like a well trained troupe of circus performers.

There’s also the very real issue of progressive factions losing their stranglehold on local politics as the public has soured on nearly two decades of failed policy initiatives that have snowballed into serious quality-of-life concerns. You won’t see much acknowledgement of that here, though, since it’s much easier to derail criticism by invoking the usual boogeymen (centrists, Portland Business Alliance, the Ritz Carton, anyone who is not 110% car-free, etc.).

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
8 months ago

Erasure is not “revision.”
And “we” cyclists (most of us also drive) should’t have to give an inch when we’ve been giving miles for years and years. The Portland transportation network is heavily car-centric, and has been for many decades. It’s only in comparison to most other US cities that Portland looks remotely progressive on bike infrastructure. Thankfully, we’ve got folks like you to remind us of how grateful we should be for the crumbs we’ve had to fight for.

Carrie
Carrie
8 months ago

I don’t have anything novel to add here, except I tried to use the Bob Stacey crossing this weekend and the elevators are still broken. They’ve been non functional now for almost TWO YEARS.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie

If PBOT had listened to the public input on that project, they would have added ramps.

SeaTacgoride
SeaTacgoride
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie

Last time I used the Bob Stacy crossing there were human feces in the elevator.
Portland is so broken.

https://forums.bikeportland.org/t/gideon-ped-bike-overcrossing/981

Steven Smith
Steven Smith
8 months ago

Williams is the wrong Director for PBOT and Mapps is the wrong Commissioner for PBOT. They do not hold a reduced driving vision for the city, which is where we need to go.

That PBOT statement was bullshit, as mentioned elsewhere. Project was not a “mistake”. PBOT doesn’t do “significant public outreach” to remove parking on residential streets that are also bikeways. They’re gaslighting once again.

Goals
Goals
8 months ago

Don’t trip, tax players got this. Hey all your mistakes not even someone with a few brain cells woupd ever do but shit what can we do? 1.4 million per homicide, 13 million for medians on Division street, hey thanks for fixing it also if u don’t do it right the first time who cares it s not your money, u don’t even need to get million dollar purchases inspected for the homeless housing lol this shit be so stupid u can’t even make it up

Matt
Matt
8 months ago

Sounds like another public records request is in order to ascertain the confirmed instigation and reasoning at PBOT for the removal of these bike lanes.

X
X
8 months ago

Is it time to revisit the MM candidate interview where a person claimed to be pretty much biking all the time, or some such thing?

The commissioner’s phone # is 503-823-4682.

qqq
qqq
8 months ago

This could be a bizarre response from PBOT to BikePortland and others calling them out on the Broadway mess.

PBOT was criticized on Broadway for deciding to remove bike infrastructure without notice. The reporting and criticism made PBOT look bad. So by chance, a project pops up where PBOT put IN bike infrastructure without proper notice (or at least PBOT can try to claim that).

So now PBOT has a chance to tear it out, which they know BikePortland and bike people will hate, while then saying “What? We’re only doing exactly what you just told us we should have been doing on Broadway. We made a decision without proper public involvement, so we’re correcting it. Isn’t that what you just told us we should be doing? We thought you’d be happy we were removing something we put in without public input!”

The “What? I’m just doing what you wanted me to do” reaction (when someone knows that’s not what you wanted) is the embodiment of immaturity and pettiness.

The only reason I’m not sure that’s what happened is that the other reason is just pure incompetence, and PBOT certainly is that.

Jeff
Jeff
8 months ago

How do you do something like this “by mistake”?

Uiop
Uiop
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

It wasn’t done by mistake. There was a long planning process that preceded it. PBOT is just pretending that there was a mistake and choosing to ignore years of outreach and engagement to give themselves an excuse to remove the bike lane.