Steel bollards on Naito have gone missing, leaving bike riders exposed to head-on traffic

At a press conference to celebrate the new cycling facilities on Naito Parkway in May 2022, then director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation Chris Warner was asked to address concerns about the increase in cars and dangerous drivers on the roads. “There might be more cars,” Warner replied. “We just have to keep pushing along and making the case and if the facilities aren’t safe, people aren’t going to ride. The safer the facilities are, the more ability we’ll have to really change the culture.”

Warner could be confident in that statement because a few minutes later he cut the ribbon on Better Naito Forever, a project that established 1.2 miles of bike lanes physically protected from auto traffic by concrete curbs, grade separation, street trees, and/or steel bollards.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for key parts of that protection to be wiped away due to a combination of political compromise, reckless driving, and suspected vandalism.

Video taken September 11, 2023.

Almost immediately after Better Naito opened, we heard complaints from readers about people parking in a section of the bike lane between SE Ankeny and the Burnside Bridge. As we reported in October 2022, that violation of the protected space was sanctioned by PBOT as part of a deal they cut with Portland Saturday Market decades ago (Naito had a standard unprotected bike lane for years before it was updated in 2022) to allow vendors to use the bike lane for loading and unloading. According to a permit renewed by City Council ordinance this past March, vendors are allowed to park in the bike lane for 10 minutes at a time on weekends, before and after the market opens as long they display a permit on their windshield.

Unfortunately that permit system has been a failure on several fronts. We found many people parked in the bike lanes without a permit and at least one vendor told us (via comment on our October 2022 story) it’s mostly customers who park in the bike lane.

To facilitate this weekly opening of the bike lane to car parking, PBOT installed about three dozen removable steel bollards as part of the Better Naito project. Today all those bollards are gone. Combined with missing bollards near Salmon Street Springs, we estimate at least half of the 85 ornate steel bollards installed last spring are missing.

We first heard about these missing bollards this past summer when reader Daniel Fuller cc’d BikePortland on an email to PBOT Capital Programs Manager Gabe Graff on June 21st:

“I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that most of the removable steel bollards protecting the Better Naito cycle track between SW Ankeny Street and the Burnside Bridge have been missing,” Fuller wrote. “I assume they were temporarily removed for loading & unloading and never replaced. Was this intentional or just an oversight? Any information you can provide would be appreciated.”

Graff replied a day later saying PBOT staff were “troubleshooting this issue” with Portland Saturday Market.

One month later, Fuller emailed Graff again, telling him that several more of the steel bollards had gone missing:

“Now only two remain… This seems to defeat the purpose of having a two-way, protected cycle track, since there is nothing between southbound bicyclists and oncoming vehicles in the northbound lane. Has there been any progress in finding out why the bollards are not being replaced?”

Graff had the same response and said he’d try once again to follow up with market staff to see if they’d made any progress on the issue.

Fuller waited another month, then email Graff yet again on August 18th. “Since your last email I have noticed that all the steel bollards along the Better Naito cycletrack near Saturday Market have been removed and not replaced,” Fuller wrote. Then continued:

“I am seriously concerned about the safety of bicycle riders traveling next to oncoming vehicle traffic with no physical separation here. Would it be possible to install plastic flex posts (“delineators”) at this location? I am thinking they would be less likely to go missing, and vendors could safely drive over them. Please let me know what else can be done to address this issue.”

Fuller hasn’t heard from Graff since that August email.

In September I shared a video on social media that confirmed all the steel bollards were gone and there was no longer any protection between users of the Better Naito bike lane and drivers on NW Naito.

One day after I posted that video, PBOT laid out orange traffic cones where the bollards used to be. Even with the cones, one person (who has raced road bikes at an elite level) responded to the video by saying riding that section, “Felt sketchy.”

The whereabouts of those ornate steel bollards remains unknown (I’ve heard reports of them being strewn about in the bushes next to the street), and now even most of the traffic cones are missing. Someone who lives nearby shared with me this week that there are only about 2-3 cones still present for the entire stretch where over 30 steel bollards were once installed.

Earlier this month, I confirmed with PBOT that the bollards are indeed missing in action.

I emailed PBOT Communications Director Hannah Schafer on November 17th to ask why both the bollards and cones had disappeared. Schafer was grateful to learn the cones were missing (“That wasn’t on our radar,” she wrote via email) and encouraged folks to call PBOT’s 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline (503-823-1700) to report that in the future.

As for the bollards, Schafer reminded me about the agreement they have with the market to remove the bollards for loading/unloading. “Unfortunately, that concept worked better in theory than in reality,” she wrote. “And most of the bollards have gone missing primarily due to vandalism.”

So for now, we have just plastic traffic cones (which are mostly MIA) to separate bike riders from oncoming car traffic on one of Portland’s most marquee bikeways. That’s hardly the type of facility that will, “Really change the culture,” like former PBOT Director Warner hoped for when Better Naito opened last year.

It’s also particularly troublesome to leave this bike lane unprotected for so long, given PBOT’s experience on NE 21st, where there’s a similar two-way bike lane design that had bicycle riders pedal directly into oncoming car drivers without adequate protection. On 21st, a woman was violently hit by a driver who swerved into the bike lane, and a few months later PBOT responded with large concrete barricades.

On Naito, Schafer says PBOT traffic engineers are currently sketching out a new, “permanent solution.” “But we have yet to identify funding for the actual installation.”

Hopefully they come up with something soon. Before another horrific collision.

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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Adam Pieniazek
3 months ago

Identify funding? Didn’t this site and the community save PBOT over $500,000+ recently by preventing them from removing infrastructure? Why can’t that $500,000 be used to harden this bike path? Why are providing free parking when we apparently don’t have money but somehow do have money when it comes to removing infrastructure? Does Portland have the ability to recall elected officials and if so how do we just go ahead and get that started ASAP?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago

The NE Multnomah “protected” bike lane has had most of its bollards obliterated for around a decade which illustrates how PBOT has proven utterly incapable of maintaining bike infrastructure. It’s also quite ironic that The Street Trust’s headquarters is located in a mall adjacent to a multiblock area where just about every bike lane bollard has been removed by reckless drivers.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Why am I commenting about NE Multnomah on this thread?
.
Because it’s the oldest bollard-protected bike lane in Portland and its neglect by PBOT illustrates how the problems with Naito are part of a long-term pattern (e.g. are to be expected).

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Steel bollards were a poor choice from the start. Plastic bollards of any color is best. The Naito Pkwy bikeway design is otherwise sound design engineering. Better crosswalks & new sidewalk. Of many PBOT failures, Naito Pkwy is NOT one. Whatever PBOT agency did Naito . . . did Naito good! PS: The Green Loop Bikeway design is garbage.

Ben Richards
Ben Richards
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

The Street Trust has done nothing to help cycling in Portland in YEARS so why would that matter?

Quint
Quint
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

NE Multnomah Street has had plastic posts in the past, but never had bollards, which are hard metal posts as shown in this article. They are very different things.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
3 months ago
Reply to  Quint

The problem with metal bollards is their predictably high accident rating. soft rubber bollard will bring most any vehicle to a safe stop with less damage and bodily harm.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Art Lewellan

That’s also why so many people have no fear driving over plastic bollards. Are we to presume you only care about safety for those inside the automobiles that collide into bollards?

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Caleb

Are we to presume you only care about safety for those inside the automobiles that collide into bollards?

How do you conclude that? Art specifically said his proposal would stop vehicles while doing less collateral harm. Isn’t that a good thing?

Caleb
Caleb
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

People can drive over plastic bollards without stopping is what raised my question. Art didn’t specify whom among automobile occupants and those outside would receive less bodily damage, so I made no assumption that Art believed those outside the automobile would receive less damage.

Besides, I made no conclusion. I asked a question.

dw
dw
3 months ago

Maybe a couple of human-protected bike lane protests during the Saturday Market would help speed up PBOT’s process of “identifying funding”.

idlebytes
idlebytes
3 months ago

This is the safest NS route downtown especially when the Saturday market is going on and the Waterfront is full of people. By my count drivers have 8 other NS routes within a half a mile of Naito. When Hawthorne was repaved weren’t we told ad nauseam that it was perfectly reasonable for us to bike a half a mile out of our way to use greenways? Why can’t drivers go a few blocks and take 2nd and 3rd? Biking half a mile isn’t a big deal but driving 800 feet is asking to much?

They should close Naito to non-vendor drivers and let the vendors park in the travel lanes. At the very least they could change the southbound side of Naito to a two way for the market and close the northbound lane to let vendors park there. The first option seems easier though.

Daniel Reimer
3 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

I like you’re thinking but one thing to consider is that there is the fire station right there and I’m sure they would protest any closure of the northbound travel lane.

Perhaps they can pedestrianize/loading zone on the northbound car lane, and make the southbound lanes 2 way. Or pedestrianize those few blocks of Naito on Saturdays and allow for emergency vehicle access.

There are a lot of options for the bike lane to not be blocked by loading vehicles and it seems like PBOT isn’t interested in exploring any of them.

Amit Zinman
3 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

Closing a lane is actually BETTER for fire stations as the lane would be clear or mostly clear of cars.

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
3 months ago

Why we don’t take a cue from NYC and use Jersey barriers, is beyond me. This constant cycle of the city installing flimsy bollards and drivers plowing though them is madness. Even the steel ones along Naito were simply bolted in place and not up to the task of convincing drivers to pay attention.

Lone Heckler
Lone Heckler
3 months ago

Why can’t Saturday Market vendors pull into the driveway just north of the market, under the Burnside Bridge? There is infrastructure already in place (one could re-configure the porta-potties to allow for this). And then install the same curb barrier that lines the rest of the Better Naito route and prohibit any parking in the bike lane.

(Frankly, I wanted Jersey barriers along this stretch since the rounded curb barrier still feels sketch to me, but that is another issue!)

cc_rider
cc_rider
3 months ago
Reply to  Lone Heckler

Sorry, there are multi-generational vendors who need to park on the street /s

dw
dw
3 months ago
Reply to  Lone Heckler

I’ve wondered this as well. The answer is probably “we’ve always done it this way and don’t want to change”

maxD
maxD
3 months ago
Reply to  Lone Heckler

This is the exact answer, thank you! PBOT did a truly horrible job at designing the Better Naito project, and this is just another example. The fact the bike become unusable every Saturdays in the summer is a failure. The fact the the summer festival fences block off portions of the sidewalk forcing pedestrians in the bike lanes is a failure. Even these bollard designs is ridiculously bad- if the bollards are meant to be removable, then you need to design a place to move them! There should be a matching set of bollard receivers so the bollards can be moved from a the “closed” position to an “open” position but still be locked in a safe position. As it is, they are simply piled up somewhat out of the way, damaging the bollards, damaging the landscape, and presenting a hazard to people walking or cycling by.

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
3 months ago

“Better Naito Forever” was a waste of money to pour all of that concrete for a lane that’s too narrow for the intended purpose (sharing with parade floats and market parking and festival crowds) when we had a perfectly good concrete median and just had to put two-way car traffic onto the west side of it. The offramp from the freeway/harbor drive and onramp to the Hawthorne bridge are a cancer to the city, but this entire project budget was essentially just to preserve those carways. PBOT should stop pouring concrete (especially those low useless half curbs) until they learn how to control cars, take off the kid gloves and install stuff that will cause damage to the cars of careless and reckless drivers.

Brent
Brent
3 months ago

Removable metal. No one considered that this would be a temptation for people selling scrap metal? Or, no one considered that some people who do not like them would figure out how to remove them and throw them away just to spite “the bicyclists” (or “the man”)?

All I’m saying is that I am some one with no traffic infrastructure expertise and I could have predicted this situation. (I’ve seen lots of non-removable metal infrastructure disappear at the hands of scrappers with metal cutting saws.)

I understand PBOT may have been in a tough spot due to the agreement with Saturday Market, and had to come up with a less-than-ideal solution given the constraints. But I can’t imagine no one in PBOT considered the obvious risk that these things could easily disappear, and at least made an effort to keep an eye on them (and watch as they disappeared forever).

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  Brent

Criddlers ruining this city. Time to use concrete barriers.

maxD
maxD
3 months ago
Reply to  Brent

Agreed Brent, but this is just bad/lazy design. They should include a set of bollard receivers out of the way the the bollards could be moved to an locked in place while the access was given.

Todd/Boulanger
3 months ago
Reply to  Brent

Yep, my money is on the “scrappers” once the market staff (etc.) “stored” them in the bushes by the curb zone per the reports here. The PDX area scrappers always are very proactive about picking up metal trash and metallic tripping hazards. [The Honolulu scrappers are much less proactive.]

hamiramani
3 months ago

How about retractable bollards? If PBOT really cared about efficiency for market vendors and safety of people on bikes they would implement tried and true systems with perhaps higher front-end investment but fewer future problems. As I remember, these “ornate” bollards that are now missing took quite a while to arrive from China in the first place. We don’t need ornate; we need stuff that actually works.

dw
dw
3 months ago
Reply to  hamiramani

No way retractable bollards would stay working. How long have the elevators been out on the Bob Stacy overcrowding? Lock-able bollards seem like a more cost-effective and tamper-resistant solution

jakeco969
jakeco969
3 months ago
Reply to  dw

They don’t even need to be high tech.
We have these at security points, when service vehicles need access they are unlocked and manually lifted out.
Very similar to these….
https://www.bollardbarrier.com/bollards/Removable/Removable-Lockable-Bollards-6inch

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  dw

Retractable bollards are like tiny little elevators.

Phillip Barron
Phillip Barron
3 months ago

Make them: 

  • bollards of steel and concrete sufficient to stop a truck 
  • retractable by lowering into the ground
  • the operation of which is keyed to a radio frequency, like a garage door
  • and only vendors (and city vehicles) get those keys, which for the vendors work only between x and y hours on Saturdays. 

I’ll pitch in. 

Pkjb
Pkjb
3 months ago
Reply to  Phillip Barron

Heavy duty, automated, retractable bollards all over the place in public rights of way in Amsterdam. They seem to work great there.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

The Dutch have also figured out how to keep their elevators running. They’re next level.

Brian McGloin
Brian McGloin
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

“next level” … elevators … that’s a good one.

Greatdane
Greatdane
3 months ago

I ride this almost every day to commute. It’s been super sketch riding in both directions since the bollards disappeared, especially now that it’s dark in the evening. I’ve been wondering where they went and sent a comment in that I never heard back on. Thanks for the update (though I can’t say it makes me feel better about the situation or any possible fixes).

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago

Hmmm … right next to the main fire station … I wonder if they had them removed?

Scallywag
Scallywag
3 months ago

What’s wrong with a Jersey barrier? Obviously vandals are not deterred by the metal bollards.

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Scallywag

It’s understandable that something massive like a Jersey barrier gives a sense of security. But, they’re ugly and they take up right-of-way space. If we rent them, then our infrastructure keeps costing us money forever.

If we buy them that means about a ton of material is extracted from the ground for each one. Some of it is heated to a very high temperature to make cement, and that takes a lot of energy and produces CO². Sand and gravel are also extracted materials and we are, globally, starting to encounter shortages of sand which is often pirated from natural environments. It turns out you can’t just make good sand for concrete.

‘Put up Jersey barriers’ can’t be the answer for everything. I know that I’ve made this comment before and also, TLDR. If it’s become tedious I trust the moderators to spike it.

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 months ago
Reply to  X

Dear goodness, we ride in loads of concrete, that’s fine. But if we use concrete to save lives, that’s not ok because, the planet. Thus why many are turned off by the “climate first movement”.

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark smith

Scallywag asked, “What’s wrong with a Jersey barrier?” so I named a couple of things. Ugly is just my opinion, sorry to mix that in with things that are measurable.

Any use of concrete has the same issues. If we’re going to have paved roads, bikes have greater capacity on a given area of pavement, so roads can be narrower and the pavement can be thinner. A paved road for bikes could require less than a quarter of the material and energy inputs of a motor vehicle route.

I don’t demand pavement. I’ve ridden on perfectly usable aggregate surfaces which are durable and also permeable. I’d happily trade off any decrease in speed for a long human power right-of-way without motor vehicle conflicts.

If Portland had natural surface trail routes connecting across town I’d happily trade out some tires.

Pkjb
Pkjb
3 months ago

Better Naito Forever*

*You didn’t seriously think we meant forever, did you?

dw
dw
3 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

Better Mostly Improved Naito Stretch of Naito Forever Monday-Friday

Jeff "Que" Pasa
Jeff "Que" Pasa
3 months ago
Reply to  dw

Kinda fits the now ~2% modeshare though

cct
cct
3 months ago

PBOT going dark on people asking safety questions? WHERE have we heard that before? Do kids still do ‘talk to the hand?’ No? ‘Shocked Pikachu face’ maybe?

Carrie
Carrie
3 months ago

As others have said, now that it’s dark this seems like a tragedy waiting to happen. Particularly some wet evening when cars back up and someone decides they are going to speed past everyone in this ’empty’ lane.

maxD
maxD
3 months ago

good timing! I just sent in a notice that the bollards at Salmon are all missing. I have had a few conflicts with uber drivers using the bike lanes as a drop-off. The Saturday Market totally ruins Better Naito every weekend. They start setting up on Friday and close the access to the waterfront path under the Burnside Bridge. Vendors park there most of Saturday.

  • I don’t think they need to use the bike lanes at all. There is a curb ramp to the site under the bridge, they should pull across the bike lane and load/unload there.
  • If the access to the waterfront trail is going to be closed by the Saturday Market, PBOT should improve the connect from Naito to the Steel Bridge that is under the Steel Bridge. The grades, geometry and vegetation are really bad, and the the it is very poorly maintained.
  • All the removable bollards along Better Naito need matching receivers that the bollards can be moved to and locked to create temporary access.
  • While they are it, they should open the crosswalk at Naito/Morrison (closing that is a crime against pedestrians) and grind down the horrible transitions where the asphalt meets the concrete crosswalks
Carrie
Carrie
3 months ago

Hit send too soon. This is the PBOT comment that kills me “Schafer was grateful to learn the cones were missing (“That wasn’t on our radar,” she wrote via email) and encouraged folks to call PBOT’s 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline (503-823-1700) to report that in the future.” As someone who’s only an occasional rider of Naito (but I was planning on riding there this weekend even) how they hell are we supposed to know cones were missing when the expectation is that this is a PROTECTED bikeway? IMO the use of the lane as a loading zone has got to go.

1kw
1kw
3 months ago
Reply to  Carrie

Wouldn’t most non-permanent cones be gone within 24 hours…can’t that be permanently “on your radar”…i.e. “if we use cones must replace cones every 24 hours.” Yet another reason NOT TO USE CONES TO STOP CARS.

Fred
Fred
3 months ago

The situation with Saturday Market parking just reinforces the tendency of PBOT to prioritize *EVERYTHING* over cycling.

If there’s any possible reason to compromise cycling infrastructure, PBOT will find it.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
3 months ago

This whole “whoopsie it wasn’t on our radar” attitude is infuriating

Pkjb
Pkjb
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

It wasn’t on their radar because Portland business owners (aka political money donors) didn’t tell mapps about it.

JoeSurfer
JoeSurfer
3 months ago

Vandalism, the scourge of “New Portland”.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  JoeSurfer

I’ll take vandalism any day over the “Old Portland” scourge of racist skinheads:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/31/portland-white-supremacy-racism-train-stabbing-murder

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

Why do we have to have either?

PTB
PTB
3 months ago

It’s incredible that with an article and comments about bollards on Naito, we can still get in a “PORTLAND IS RACIST” comment. Hats off, Socially Engineered!

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  PTB

Dunno how you could read “racist skinheads were the scourge of Old Portland” as “Portland is racist” (in all caps to boot) but go off I guess

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago

Thanks for the report, Jonathan. One small correction: I was the one who submitted the north-facing photo credited to “BikePortland commenter”. The photo is actually from August, even though it was posted to the site in November.

https://bikeportland.org/2022/05/05/first-look-at-the-new-lanes-and-paths-on-naito-parkway-353232#comment-7510105

SD
SD
3 months ago

Is there a slick bollard salesperson that can set up a backroom meeting with Mapps?

Isn’t that how things work around here?

Bicycle Dude
Bicycle Dude
3 months ago

I would expect that the missing bollards fell victim to the same fate as the iron grills surrounding tree trunks along many city streets such as Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., metal thieves.

The apartment where I live, l caught our maintenance man cutting the gratings away from the tree trucks with a metal grinder, then wheeling the ill gotten goods to his Washington state work truck.

When he saw me watching, he said “you didn’t see anything.”

Each half of the iron grills weighs nearly 75-100 pounds, there are six trees that front my apartment building had their grills removed.

Due the math.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago

Maybe the native assumption that bike lanes can safely coexist everywhere is flawed. Heresy, I know, but nevertheless there should be a hierarchy of users based on volume alone.

qqq
qqq
3 months ago

…there should be a hierarchy of users based on volume alone.

If that’s a good argument for restricting bike lanes, it’s also a good argument for significantly restricting which streets freight trucks are allowed to use.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago
Reply to  qqq

The key thought in my post was a heirarchy of users. You want fully stocked grocery stores? Might want to think about prioritizing freight. Do any of you honestly think that cars are not by far the most widely used means of personal transportation in Portland? You want the minority of users to negatively impact the manner in which the majority of citizens get around?

qqq
qqq
3 months ago

That doesn’t make any sense. You say your key thought was a “heirarchy (sic) of users”, then you say cars are the most widely used means of personal transportation, then you say the minority of users shouldn’t negatively impact the manner in which the majority get around.

But if you prioritize freight, as you recommend, then the minority (freight trucks) WILL negatively impact the majority (car users)–exactly the opposite of what you’re saying should happen.

So first you’re claiming that people are making a “native (sic) assumption” that nobody or hardly anyone is making, then you’re saying there should be a hierarchy of users based on volume alone, then you’re saying if you DO set up that hierarchy, it will interfere with having fully stocked grocery shelves.

None of that makes any sense. And it has no relevance to the safety of bike lanes on Naito anyway. And by the way, allowing a vendor (one person) to park in and block the bike lane (many users) is exactly the opposite of your “hierarchy of users based on volume alone” recommendation.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago

Or we could simply design streets to serve people rather than cars, which PBOT is apparently now trying to do here (funding issues aside). You know, because people are the ones who actually pay for public streets in the first place.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago

Think about your comment. How is it that people actually pay for public streets? They pay for them through their vehicle fees and taxes. Key word = vehicles. What do bikes contribute to Highway Fund?

Aaron
3 months ago

Despite your condescending tone, your comment has an element of truth to it. We do fund PBOT mostly through gas taxes and parking fees, and that funding strategy needs to change to reflect the stated goals of PBOT to encourage more active transportation like bicycles. The fact that the funding is entirely car-based is reflective of society’s past mistakes and is in no way a reason to continue on the unsustainable path of car dependency.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

We do fund PBOT mostly through gas taxes 

Portland’s gas tax is not only an immoral regressive tax but as economically-comfortable Portlanders increasingly switch to monstrous SUV EVs it will become even more disgustingly anti-poor.

The fact that so many cycling advocates/YIMBYs stridently supported this tax (instead of the progressive income tax that had greater popular support) is one of the many reasons I dislike many, if not most, cycling advocates/YIMBYs.

Fred
Fred
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

It’s wrong to hate people, pierre, but you can certainly argue with their ideas. Hate the sin; love the sinner.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Politics is personal, Fred. If these people reform their political views, I will stop disliking them.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

I, on the other hand, am able to maintain friendships with people who see the world very differently than I do.

In fact, I think this practice is critical.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Another way to look at user fees on automobiles is as a “Pigouvian tax” used to correct the market failure of car dependency. Taxes & permit fees could be scaled progressively to fund alternatives to driving, like taxes on alcohol and cigarettes being used to fund health care. After all, driving is basically the new smoking:

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/09/02/driving-is-the-new-smoking-lessons-from-americas-public-health-victory-over-tobacco

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
3 months ago

Your notion of “how they pay” is a combination of anachronism and fantasy. It’s just about as bad as if you were spouting “flat earth” nonsense. If you care to climb out of your ignorance pit, here’s a place to start: https://pirg.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Who-Pays-for-Roads-vUS_1.pdf

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  360Skeptic

In Oregon, we don’t use much general fund money for roads. It pretty much is still vehicle based, so perhaps not quite the flat-earth level nonsense you suggest.

Anachronism? Perhaps. Fantasy? No.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

We don’t use much general fund money, but also not much of the money is vehicle-based. All easily trackable vehicle-based revenue is part of GTR, which is less than a third of PBOT’s budget. Most of the funding is from other sources.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

What are those other sources that are not vehicle based?

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I don’t know.

PBOT’s budget overview shows only 28% of its funding is obviously from vehicle user fees (OR fuel taxes, DMV fees, weight fees, street meters, permits, citations). That 28% includes user fees from OR, but I don’t know if it includes user fees trickled down from the federal level.

I can’t find any information showing that the other 72% of PBOT’s funding contains any user fees, but am open to evidence. Maybe Federal gas tax? Maybe not?

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/budget/overview

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Well, surely this statement is relevant (from that link):

Only 2% of PBOT’s resources come directly from taxes paid into the city’s General Fund.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It’s not particularly relevant. You seem to be under the impression that all funding is either user fees or general fund. I don’t think that is the case. If PBOT shows 2% funding from general fund and 28% from user fees, that leaves a lot of question marks still.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago
Reply to  360Skeptic

Humorous. Oregon has a dedicated Highway Fund.

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
3 months ago

Ignorant and anachronistic, as previously noted. Another place to begin climbing out of your pit, should you ever care to: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/sap-fundingoutcome.aspx

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago
Reply to  360Skeptic
Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
3 months ago

The very first lettered section of that law says roads shall be funded with “revenues derived under and by virtue of the sale of bonds”. Who do you think pays the interest on those bonds?

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

This is getting tiresome. Bond interest is also paid with Highway Funds. Where do Highway Funds come from? They come primarily from VEHICLE fees and taxes. General Fund is not used to pay interest on highway construction bonds. Class dismissed.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago

Yeah, except when it is:

“Oregon’s commitment would [carve out] $252 million in general obligation bonds and an additional $750 million in debt over the next three biennia, totaling $1 billion. … Rep. Khanh Pham, D-Portland, said she’s concerned the state has tapped general fund bonds to pay for the infrastructure project.”

https://www.opb.org/article/2023/06/20/oregon-washington-interstate-5-i5-bridge-replacement-salem-politics-funding/

Maybe class was dismissed a little early?

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago

The whole “drivers pay” argument is especially tiresome because it assumes all those people *want* to drive and don’t care about alternative forms of transportation. In reality, nearly half of Portlanders say they would bike and use transit more if they were safer and cheaper:

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

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Who do you think pays the interest on those bonds?

Road users, primarily.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I assume you mean “motorists”. Not always so. Infrastructure bonds are paid out of the Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which gets money from the state highway fund plus federal grants and and any money “appropriated to the infrastructure fund by the Legislative Assembly”:

https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_367.015

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

Not always so. Infrastructure bonds are paid out of the Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which gets money from the state highway fund plus federal grants and and any money “appropriated to the infrastructure fund by the Legislative Assembly”:

That raises the question of how much is appropriated for this purpose by the Legislative Assembly. Are you aware of any money in recent times that has been used for this purpose? Or do you mean “in practice, always so, but in theory not”?

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

That doesn’t include general obligation bonds issued for specific road construction projects, such as the I-5 bridge replacement noted above.

https://www.oregon.gov/treasury/public-financial-services/Documents/Oregon-Bond-Center/4_Types-of-Debt-Instruments.pdf

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

When we start spending actual general fund money to pay off actual bonds, then the facts will have changed.

But until that happens, road users (motorists, freight, et al) pay for almost all of the road network in Oregon (or at least Portland, I can’t speak for other cities).

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

road users (motorists, freight, et al) pay for almost all of the road network in Oregon (or at least Portland, I can’t speak for other cities).

Please show data that prove this if you wish it to be accepted. You may be right, but I have not found or been shown anything that backs it up, other than dismissive statements of “it’s obvious common sense” or “it’s true but too complicated to show”.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Please show data 

From: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/About/Pages/Transportation-Funding.aspx

Federal Transportation Funding

The federal government provides revenues from federal fuels taxes and heavy truck taxes to states and local governments. Most federal funding is distributed to states and local governments by funding formulas.

Oregon receives about $700 million in funding from the Federal Highway Administration each year for construction projects on the state’s roads, including the interstate, as well as planning and engineering. Some funds can also be used for transit and bicycle/pedestrian capital projects. All federal highway funds flow through ODOT. We distribute about 30 percent of those funds to local governments. Oregon also receives about $150 million in public transportation funding from the Federal Transit Administration each year.

State Highway Fund

Oregon’s State Highway Fund collects resources from three main sources:

Taxes on motor fuels, including gas tax and diesel tax.

Taxes on heavy trucks, including the weight mile tax and truck registrations.

Driver and vehicle fees, including licenses and vehicle title and registration.

Under the Oregon Constitution, State Highway Fund fees and taxes must be spent on roads, including bikeways and walkways within the highway right of way. State funds can be used for both construction projects and the day-to-day maintenance and operations of the state’s roads.

Formulas set in state statute distribute more than 40 percent of State Highway Fund revenues (after deducting the costs of collecting the revenue) to cities and counties.

Other State Funding

ODOT also receives revenue from a number of other state sources, including:

A 0.1 percent employee payroll tax ($1 for $1,000 in payroll) pays for public transportation service in both rural and urban communitities.

A 0.5 percent vehicle dealer privilege tax on new car sales funds rebates for electric vehicles and provides ongoing funing for the multimodal Connect Oregon program. 

A $15 tax on the sale of new bicycles with tires over 26 inches and that cost at least $200 goes to off-road bicycle and pedestrian paths that serve commuters. 

A small portion of cigarette tax revenues are dedicated to transit services for seniors and disabled people.

Custom license plate fees are dedicated to operating passenger rail.

Highway Trust Fund:
https://data.bts.gov/stories/s/Transportation-Economic-Trends-Government-Transpor/6bdc-i7mh#highway-trust-fund-receipts-outlays-and-cash-balance

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Thank you for providing a reply. I am aware of that page and that data. There are a lot of revenue streams there but I do not see how it proves your statement. To prove that

road users (motorists, freight, et al) pay for almost all of the road network in Oregon (or at least Portland,

show me
a) how much OR (or PDX) spends on its road network every year.
b) how much OR (or PDX) generates in road user fees every year.

If b) is “almost all” (80%? 90%?) of a) then you have proven your statement.

To be clear, I cannot (yet?) disprove your statement. I doubt the data exists to prove or disprove your statement. Funding is extremely convoluted. There does seem to be an assumption among many road users that roads are paid for by vehicle user fees, and this leads to entitlement and a feeling of ownership that is nowhere backed up by reality.

An interesting study was linked to in another comments section:
https://pirg.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Who-Pays-for-Roads-vUS_1.pdf

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Accounts that generalize across the US are not useful for Oregon’s situation, as every state does things differently.

The only significant source of non-transportation funds that ODOT has access to that I’m aware of are the occasional cash infusions into the highway fund, listed on my second link, some of which trickle down to Oregon. The ODOT document I excerpted shows pretty clearly that ODOT does not spend general fund money.

I’m not sure what more you need; if ODOT spends 50% or 90% of their budget on roads, what does that change?

Two quick observations:

1) Many drivers do feel entitled, as do many cyclists. It’s the nature of modern living, sadly. And even if drivers and freight haulers weren’t funding the road system, they would still feel entitled. No collection of facts and figures is going to change that; it’s not it works.

2) The way we fund our transportation system is about to undergo radical change. I have no idea what things will look like on the other side, but it should be clear to everyone that gas taxes are going to disappear pretty quickly, and all proposed replacements are flawed. Perhaps if fleet-based automation takes hold (as I believe it will), it will be a bit easier to manage. Or perhaps not. Google is not going to want to pay many millions to ODOT every year to maintain the roads, and they’ve got good lobbyists.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Again, there can be sources of funding that are not user fees or general funds. Most of PBOT’s revenues are not shown as either of there categories. (only $89 million from the State Highway Fund out of PBOT’s $513 million total). This leaves large unknown revenue sources that you have not addressed.

I’m not asking for generalized data. I’m asking you to prove your statement that most spending on OR or PDX roads comes from user fees. You have not done so. You keep saying, in effect, “if you can’t prove me wrong then I must be right”. I don’t agree at all. I have shown to you in another thread that there are huge transfers to ODOT (and some transfers from ODOT). Funding and revenues are far more complex than you seem to be acknowledging.

You also seem to be (purposely?) missing my point. I am not wondering if ODOT spends 50-90% of its budget on roads. I am wondering if 50-90% of money spent on roads is from user fees. Can you see the difference?

It is important whether or not road user fees pay most of the cost of roads. I think your unproven assumption is shared by much of the population, and this assumption informs attitudes to road use, social relations and future decision making. It is important.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It is important whether or not road user fees pay most of the cost of roads.

I disagree with this. What are the implications of it being true or false? I believe there are none.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If it was widely known that user fees are not necessarily what pays for our roads, I probably would not have been yelled at about this when crossing Halsey, or when I was riding down Foster. I do not like being yelled at from motor vehicle. It makes me jumpy. It affects my life. This is a small example, but I really do feel that the assumptions we are arguing about play into the behavior we see on our streets.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I probably would not have been yelled at

You probably would have been; someone wanted to yell at you, and it wasn’t because they were irate about you not paying your share of the road budget.

If only we could use facts and figures to convince people with anger issues to be nice to us…

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The word “almost” is doing a lot of work in that sentence. A few months ago you seemed to agree with Joe Cortright that using general fund money to pay for highway projects such as the I-5 bridge replacement was a real problem. What changed?

https://bikeportland.org/2023/08/21/monday-roundup-portland-bullet-train-i-5-bridge-crime-socialist-bike-lover-and-more-378488#comment-7503923

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

you seemed to agree with Joe Cortright

Nothing has changed in that regard. I still agree with him on that point. But as far as I know, we have not yet spent any general fund money on the bridge. It’s just a proposal. And a bad idea.

If and when we do start spending general fund money to build a highway bridge, I’ll have to change what I say. As I already have since someone pointed out a few months ago that there has been a small transfer of federal general fund money to the federal highway trust fund, some of which is spent on Oregon road projects. Hence the “almost”.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It’s not a proposal; it’s a law that was signed by the governor in August committing $252 million in general obligation bonds to the bridge project. The first bonds will go on sale in 2025:

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Measures/Overview/HB5005

Saying no general fund money has *so far* been spent (which is not the only source of non-driver funding, by the way) is like claiming you haven’t spent any money at a fancy restaurant while ordering course after course, just because the check hasn’t arrived yet.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

there has been a small transfer of federal general fund money to the federal highway trust fund,

The FAST act transferred $70 billion from the federal general fund to the highway trust fund over ten years. I would not call that “small”. Even after this, the HTF is running a deficit in the tens of billions of dollars. See page 3:
https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R44332

I am beginning to feel that you are not arguing in good faith.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

not arguing in good faith

I linked to a document that clearly showed those inflows; and you are right, in an absolute sense, those transfers in are a big big number. But in the context of the overall fund, and Oregon’s share, it is not, depending on what time frame you want to consider.

We are arguing about angels on a pinhead. I suspect we are in full agreement on the issues that the budget is supposed to illuminate (but does not):

The cost of driving should be higher to include more of its externalitiesDrivers are not specially entitled to use the roads, regardless of how they are fundedSomeone noted that this conversation was tiresome. It is. It is not important, and I wish people would stop bringing it up.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

those transfers in are a big big number. But in the context of the overall fund, and Oregon’s share, it is not, depending on what time frame you want to consider.

HTF outgoings for 2020 were close to $60B. Revenues without transfers were just over $40B. The transfer equates to an extra $7B incoming for the year. I consider that a significant number given the size of the overall fund.

You write a lot about what is a “big amount”, what is a “small amount”, funds being “mainly” or “mostly” comprised of something, what is “important” and “not important”. I think you are giving subjective summaries that are hazy in order to give impressions that are not accurate, in order to stand by your initial position.

We may well agree on many things. The budget is very un-illuminative. Even if we could prove who pays for what, it does not give entitlement for some users over others. We must decide our priorities as a community. Transportation funding is not working, and our systems are failing.

You don’t seem to feel it’s important that there is a widespread misconception that the budget is simple and that motor vehicle drivers pay almost all the money for roads. I believe it is important, hence my continuation. You are welcome to discontinue this conversation if you feel it is not important.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Even if we could prove who pays for what, it does not give entitlement for some users over others. We must decide our priorities as a community.

This is exactly my point. Thank you for stating it so clearly. This principle is the key that unlocks the issue.

If paying does not grant entitlement, and entitlement is the real issue, why waste energy arguing about who pays?

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Because in our city today there are people acting with unfounded entitlement to dictate who uses the roads and for what, because they feel they “pay for it”. This is unhealthy for our community and sometimes dangerous for individuals. I am trying to discredit the foundation of that entitlement. I am not trying to replace the entitlement of drivers with an entitlement of cyclists or peds or transit users. We all need our streets and we all pay for them in various ways. If we have any hope of a transportation future then we need a better foundation for communication and collective decision making.

Is this really so hard to understand?

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Is this really so hard to understand?

I understand what you are saying, I’m just not convinced there is any way you can make an effective argument against that entitlement when your strongest line is “budgets are complicated and you can’t really prove who pays to my satisfaction.”

It is much stronger to argue against the entitlement based on “I paid for it” because that’s not how society works. We all pay for things in various ways, and we don’t cast out those who can’t.

In addition to being a more powerful argument, it also sidesteps a lot of messiness and ambiguity.

And you articulate it so well yourself:

Because in our city today there are people acting with unfounded entitlement to dictate who uses the roads and for what, because they feel they “pay for it”. This is unhealthy for our community and sometimes dangerous for individuals.

Let’s just go with that.

qqq
qqq
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I agree. There’s also another component to the “who pays for it” discussion. I don’t see bike infrastructure as benefitting only bike riders. They benefit drivers as well, because they get slower bike riders out of vehicle traffic lanes.

If people totally drop the analysis of exactly who pays for what in road costs, and just assume that drivers pay for all of it, it’s still fine with me as a driver to be paying for the bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks that I don’t use as a driver, because they make driving easier by giving bikes somewhere to ride other than in front of me in the traffic lane, people walking somewhere to walk other than the edge of the traffic lane and somewhere to cross that’s predictable and defined, etc.

There’s also the benefit that everyone in the bike lane might otherwise each be in a car adding to traffic congestion.

Most people seem to accept that providing public transit has some benefit even to people who never use it, because it reduces the number of cars competing for road space. Having drivers paying for pedestrian and bike facilities is similar, in my opinion.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  qqq

They benefit drivers as well, because they get slower bike riders out of vehicle traffic lanes.

And they get wider feeling streets so they can drive faster and with more confidence.

But more succinctly, I would just say we let people use the libraries, schools, and parks even if they don’t pay property tax or income tax, and the people who pay more don’t get to yell at those who pay less, no matter how many people are in line to check out books ahead of them.

[I know someone is going to say that even renters pay property tax, indirectly, every time they pay rent. In the same way even the most hardcore cyclist pays the fuel tax indirectly every time they buy something in a store. But that just muddies the argument.]

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

We all pay for things in various ways, and we don’t cast out those who can’t.

This is a complete joke. We cast out people who can’t pay all the time. Look at evictions and homelessness. You are describing a fantasy that has no influence on how people treat each other. It certainly has no bearing on motorists who harass cyclists for “not paying their way”.

Of course I can’t make an effective argument on the spot to someone who yells on the street. I have made an effective argument here in a longer discussion. You have stopped even trying to defend the position you started with, and resorted to snide sarcasm in the other thread. In this thread, you seem to have basically abandoned your argument are now telling me what will and will not convince others. I am aware other approaches will be needed in other venues. The approach I took in here was specifically to disprove your incorrect assertion.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Look at evictions and homelessness. 

Housing is a completely different issue than government services. For better or worse, we’ve left that to the private market which does not operate on the collective government service model I was describing.

I haven’t abandoned my argument; I’ve looked to work around it and find common ground on the issues I think we all agree on, so we could find a happy note to end on. You did nothing to disprove my point. I still believe the question of who pays isn’t a substantive issue, and that my core assertion is fundamentally correct, certainly more than the 80% you said you would accept. (I would change my mind if I saw evidence I was wrong, which neither of us can find. What would it take to convince you?)

(Also I did try to go back and completely rewrite the comment you describe as sarcastic, but I was too late. I was going for humor, but suspected it might be misinterpreted. You’re looking for ill will in my posts, but it isn’t intended to be there. We fundamentally agree, so why can’t we focus on that?)

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
3 months ago

That’s “inside baseball” about the _innards_ of the Highway Fund. But you’re either lying or (willfully) ignorant about the ability of the Highway Fund to actually cover the tab and how the (at least partial) stopgap is federal money, which we _all_ pay. This is really unacceptable for someone with your job.

I’ve led to you water, hoss. It’s up to you to decide to drink. Per your comment below, you are slipping up big time and I’m calling you on it. Don’t respond to me again until you read what’s at the links I already cited and maybe follow where they imply. Then refute a given point specifically with _relevant_ citations.

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
3 months ago
Reply to  360Skeptic

And do the same for others who’ve also led to you to water here, such as “socially engineered.”

Fred
Fred
3 months ago
Reply to  360Skeptic

He didn’t – he disappeared. Oh well. I was hoping Gregg would actually be able to defend the view that car- and truck-drivers pay for all of the roads, but he wasn’t able to, so we can safely dismiss that claim.

socially engineered
socially engineered
3 months ago

Not entirely true. Federal grants and system development charges (SDCs) make up a significant portion of PBOT’s non-discretionary budget:

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/budget/overview

Specifically, grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) are being used for various street safety upgrades:

https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/iija.aspx
https://www.portland.gov/transportation/news/2023/2/1/pbot-awarded-20-million-us-department-transportation-major-safety

In addition, the $15 excise tax from every new bicycle sale over $200 goes to fund bike and pedestrian projects:

https://bikeportland.org/2022/05/13/oregons-bike-tax-receipts-have-nearly-doubled-since-2018-353747

Also, getting personal cars off the road is a must if you want to prioritize freight traffic. Just saying.

SD
SD
3 months ago

Otherwise known as a race to the bottom. These simplistic ideas are common, but are the basis of how we have destroyed our environment and quality of life.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago
Reply to  SD

It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Without making any further value judgments, I’d say it is safe to say “car people” and “bike people” see the world through different lens. It’s easy to note what separates the two and far more complicated to build upon what they may have in common. Human nature favors the former. I hope you would agree no reasonable person would purposefully make choices that they agree will destroy the environment and quality of life. The issue is that not everyone agrees with your underlying premise. That alone does not make you right or wrong. You and others are simply in disagreement.

SD
SD
3 months ago

Climate destabilization is not a relativistic “perspective.” It is absurd and nihilistic to claim that this is just a matter of opinion.

The idea that majority mode share should dictate transportation isn’t just “bike people” vs “car people.” It is a gross oversimplification that inherently leads to more destructive and less functional transportation.

Fred
Fred
3 months ago

Why do you separate the world into “car people” vs “bike people”? That dichotomy is not helpful and simply false. Almost everyone who reads BP and comments on BP does BOTH – drives and bikes. I hope most of us drive as little as possible. Most of us simply want a place to ride where motorheads aren’t running us off the road. “Better Naito” was one, mostly lame attempt (as we are seeing) to provide some of that space, and you can’t even let us have that. You are revealing not just the pro-motorist but also the anti-bike bias that is maintaining the destructive status quo.

qqq
qqq
3 months ago

 there should be a hierarchy of users based on volume alone

Yesterday in Beaverton I saw hundreds of drivers out for Black Friday shopping pull over so an ambulance with its siren blaring could get to some emergency.

And I realized that under your hierarchy system, ambulances (and fire trucks and police cars) should be the ones yielding to shoppers.

Ben Richards
Ben Richards
3 months ago

Where’s the outrage for the dozens of bollards repeatedly and regularly removed and destroyed on our multi-use paths? You know, an ongoing issue that has directly resulted in paths becoming covered in trash, damaged by illegal fires, made unpassable due to vehicles, and claimed as private property?

Oh yeah… those paths don’t have top billing like Better Naito, so the essentially don’t matter (even though I suspect that they see a lot more bike traffic than BN does these days).

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago

I ride through daily. Prior to the steel bollards the plastic ones were being removed by a person experiencing mental distress. I replaced one while he was there and was attacked by the individual with a bollard.I defended myself also with a bollard for the worst Star Wars cosplay ever. He really hates bollards!

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

And that, my children, is how the Battle of the Bollards began.

Jeff "Que" Pasa
Jeff "Que" Pasa
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Completely unsurprised to hear about another example of mentally ill people experiencing destructive / self destructive crisis while progressives twiddle their thumbs and say stuff like “well, we can’t just institutionalize them!”

We’re well beyond compassion, beyond enablement and have decided that full on self destruction is okay, even worthy of celebration. Cue a gaggle of protesters to cheer this poor man on.

Brian McGloin
Brian McGloin
3 months ago

I live close to Better Naito and was stoked to see it completed. While parts are pretty good, the area illustrated here in the article is as terrible as the bikeway on Broadway. I’m glad they’re both there, it’s just that Portland is doing a half-assed job of maintaining them, at least in places.
If I have to ride that way on Saturday morning, I either ride very slowly in the remaining lane on Naito (the bike lanes are for car parking on Saturday), along the waterfront or just skip it. There’s no way I’ll ever buy any of the crap they sell at the Saturday Market. They should park in the car lane and leave the bike lanes open to us (do the Saturday Market people even live in Portland?). Car people can drive somewhere else, there’s lots of highways and thoroughfares.

Gregg Dal Ponte
Gregg Dal Ponte
3 months ago

A final thought …. I told myself I wouldn’t do it again and in this very thread my sarcasm is on display. So, my apologies to everyone on this forum. The truth is I struggle with some of the thoughts expressed here. Going forward I am going to try very hard to draw my inspiration from something said by a friend of mine:

“A place to start: Cut the trash talk. Stifle the snide remarks. Don’t sugarcoat Oregon’s shortcomings but aggressively attack the state’s problems, not its policymakers. Develop workable solutions, regardless of whose idea they are, by finding common ground.” (Dick Hughes)

That’s a tall order. If I slip up feel free to call me on it.

Fred
Fred
3 months ago

Gregg, your use of that comment by Dick really annoys me b/c I don’t think anyone in this forum has trash-talked anything you’ve said. Rather, commenters have produced really solid arguments and data that REFUTE the points you made, especially your main, specious claim that whatever most people want, transportation-wise, should take precedence over all other uses (yes, that’s a necessary simplification).

It’s nice you are here and commenting, so I hope you’ll keep doing it but also be open to learning something and not just freeze out the ideas you disagree with.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Fred

Fred, read Gregg’s comment again. Let’s take it sentence by sentence:

1) I told myself I wouldn’t do it again and in this very thread my sarcasm is on display

2) So, my apologies to everyone on this forum.

3) The truth is I struggle with some of the thoughts expressed here.

4) Going forward I am going to try very hard to draw my inspiration from something said by a friend of mine:

Fred, how can you read those sentences and think that Gregg is accusing anyone of trash-talking to him? The man is apologizing for being sarcastic, something he admits to having trouble with in the past, and pledging to try to do better. Jeesh.

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 months ago

If only…Paris style jersey barriers. Is it that Portland is so afraid to act because their commissioner might use it as a way to undermine the agency, again? And then deny they didn’t?

Asking for a friend.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
3 months ago

Couple things. In illegal parking, if they’re vagrancy activity related, homeless non-profit related or city’s construction cronies, violations of parking regulations are gleefully ignored.

For example, city issues “one-hour non profit permit” that is valid with ANY vehicle while it is performing non-profit’s function but not so for making ordinary parking convenient. However, it is common practice to see these permits issued to Central City Concern being displayed in derelict vehicle parking ALL day at a meter without payment and nothing being done.

You will also see passenger autos in construction areas even though the permit specifically prohibits use by passenger autos or those only used to carry small tools. Any vehicle not allowed to park in a loading zone are prohibited in parking in construction reserved zones. This is REGULALRY violated and almost always ignored by PBOT, because the perpetrators are construction related.