Anti-PBOT extremists cut down ‘Road Closed’ signs in Rose City Park

Holes in the pavement where a Road Closed sign once stood. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Vandals have destroyed a neighborhood traffic safety project in Rose City Park. Apparently angry about a plan to limit driving access to one direction on NE 72nd Drive through Rose City Golf Course, someone sawed off two metal poles that held up a large “Road Closed” sign and discarded them a few yards away near the trunk of a redwood tree.

Based on what I saw from a visit to the park this morning, it’s clear someone used a high-powered saw to cut the poles and bolts. They were also in a hurry because I found bolts and washers hastily strewn about the area.

According to posts on Nextdoor and photographs sent to BikePortland, the suspects took multiple trips to the intersection to complete their job. They also sawed off bolts that held up a “Left Turn Only” sign and a sign that was posted nearby that reads, “72nd Drive Closed at Tillamook, Use 82nd.” The signs were thrown down a ravine and discovered yesterday.

BikePortland has asked the Portland Bureau of Transportation for comment, but has yet to hear back. Someone who posted on Nextdoor shared an email from a PBOT staffer who confirmed the vandalism on January 23rd. “We are aware of the issue and are looking into mitigation options,” the staffer wrote.

This is just the latest twist in a project that has been hobbled by irate neighbors who worry about changes to their driving routes and missteps by PBOT.

This installation was part of the 70s Neighborhood Greenway project which aims to create a safe street for walking and bicycling from SE Flavel to NE Sacramento. PBOT’s plan through the park is to prohibit driving northbound in order to create a “shared car-free path” (according to PBOT planning documents). But some neighbors don’t like the idea because they feel it’s not needed (the road is already safe, they say), only helps a small number of people, and that drivers will suffer too much inconvenience. As PBOT tried to finalize plans back in September, some neighbors tried to sabotage the city’s traffic counting equipment in hopes of shutting down the project.

12 days after BikePortland reported on that scheme, PBOT Director Millicent Williams relented and announced — after the city had already notified residents the project would move forward — that it would be paused. “We are currently on hold to do that work… After hearing concerns from the neighboring community,” PBOT communicated to residents. Two days later, Director Williams — facing intense criticism over her handling of the SW Broadway bike lane scandal — announced the project would be un-paused.

When the project was finally installed earlier this month, I was shocked at how bad it looked. A standard “Road Closed” sign drilled into the pavement with orange traffic cones surrounding it. Given the anemic and unserious design, I wasn’t surprised to hear that many drivers disobeyed the new rules. “I was walking there today and 10 cars deliberately drove around the signage and cones to illegally drive north on this restricted road,” someone posted on Nextdoor on Friday. “Someone is going to get hit…”

Sometime between Thursday and today, all the signs were removed. As of today, there’s no infrastructure to prevent people from driving northbound on the street.

One person on Nextdoor has repeatedly supported peoples’ opposition to this project — even in the face of illegal vandalism. “It’s no wonder people get frustrated at PBOT,” one person wrote. “I’m not excusing vandalism, but when you shove things down peoples’ throats that they don’t want… something is bound to give sooner or later.”

Back in November, PBOT completed a sidewalk project to connect to the new carfree path. There’s currently a nice new sidewalk between Tillamook and where the road is supposed to be closed. A sharrow marking in the southbound lane also points bike riders left (eastbound) across the intersection, to connect to the new sidewalk. Unfortunately that arrow assumed the closure of the northbound lane would be in place — so now it directs bike traffic into oncoming car traffic.

Taming auto traffic in the park and creating a safer space for walking and biking is part of a larger plan that includes not just this PBOT project. In June, Metro announced a $2 million project grant (from their parks and nature bond measure) to Portland Parks & Recreation to improve existing off-road trails in and around the golf course. “The project will provide low-income communities and others near the golf course a place to walk, jog and connect with nature within a short walking distance from home,” reads Metro’s website. And according to the Portland Parks website, the project will come with new crossings of 72nd Dr .

Whoever destroyed this infrastructure has cost taxpayers more money, has increased safety risks on a major bike route, and is making a mockery of Portland city government. If you have any tips about this case, please get in touch.


UPDATE, 4:15 pm: PBOT Communications Director Hannah Schafer tells BikePortland they are aware of the problem and are “discussing a variety of solutions.” She also said the traffic-cone-and-and-sign treatment that was here before someone ripped it out isn’t the final treatment. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/30 at 2:20 pm: A BikePortland reader shared the photo below with us via email, along with a message: “I took this photo on 72nd back on November 7th. Chatted briefly with the two PBOT guys who were cleaning it up. They were actually pretty light hearted about it, but admitted they knew there were some locals who were (obviously) upset with the plans.”

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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J. W.
J. W.
5 months ago

Here’s a long-standing Rose City Park resident who advocates for the closure and will look to turn in anyone I find destroying PBOT signage.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor

I don’t want to close this thread, but a lot of the rapid-fire comments coming in right now are philosophical in nature, and are veering into Iraq War and global warming. I’m going to start trashing comments that are veering off-topic and not moving the discussion forward. I hope everyone understands.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
5 months ago

I think we can all agree that using certain words may be catchy but also stir emotions that are derived from using such words. It’s a bit of a reach to call these individuals “extremists” for removing a sign… as if this doesn’t happen in other ways.. like Joanne’s wannabe orange barrel campaign. .. or the slow streets barricades. I don’t condone but I don’t think some “extremists” rolled through and removed it. Words have power. When we use them in ways that seemingly moss the mark, imho, then we get results that will vary more widely and wildly.

SD
SD
5 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

“Can power tools, property damage and routing bike riders into oncoming traffic stand up to the Sriracha-laced language of Bike Portland? In this diner on NE 82nd, whether they ordered the tofu scramble or a bloody steak served topless, patrons agree that both sides are out of control.”

blumdrew
5 months ago

It’s very funny (in a depressing way) to see someone say something like “I’m not defending vandalism” and then immediately defend vandalism on the grounds of “well that’s just what happens when you do crazy things like make a road one way!” Like come on, if you’re going to support destruction of city property to save a hypothetical driver a barely appreciable amount of time at least say it with your full chest.

Framing the partial closure of a street as “ramming a change down our throats” is just such a bummer of a way to experience the world. There are serious ways in which your life and the quality of your life are being eroded by policy, politics, and tons of other things. Why not get angry at those instead of an extremely minor change to traffic that is likely going to benefit nearby residents in both the short and long term?

Nathan
Nathan
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

How did you feel about the 2020 so called “racial justice protests”!?

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

I felt that they were an appropriate response to an unjust system, but I also lived 2,000 miles away in Wisconsin when they happened so everything I know about them is second hand. I think it was bad that the cops and feds teamed up to tear gas protesters en masse, it surely did nothing to de-escalate the situation.

BB
BB
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Breaking windows of locally owned businesses for 6 months was an “appropriate” response?
At least you admit you didn’t live here, how would even know if they were appropriate?
Maybe you can explain what difference the window breaking made?

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  BB

I lived here. It was an expected and understandable response even if you can moralize that they shouldn’t have done it. It also didn’t start with that, it escalated with police brutality.

BB
BB
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Explain how any of it helped anything. Did 6 MONTHS of protests and clueless window breaking change ONE thing on a national or local level except crush the City of Portland from which it hasn’t recovered?
Give us your assessment of the progress that was made.
That is supposed to be the point of protest, correct?

Nathan
Nathan
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

So it makes sense to vandalize and destroy ones own city every time a cop 2000+ miles away does something perceived as bad. My barber is black and had his windows smashed by the mostly young white “racial justice” protesters. How is projecting bias equating “ALL” cops as “b&$t&2ds” for the actions on one/few any different from proclaiming broad stereotypes as valid like all jews are cheap all PoC are thugs.

The feds certainly didn’t help anything but more than obvious was that PPB absolutely acted reasonably and with surprising constraint. I dare any of the 2020 “racial justice” protesters go attempt such in other democracies like Turkey or even in Texas. The only other alternative was letting the mob burn down Portland courthouses, office buildings, loot shops, and in several occasions attempt to barricade the police in their precinct while setting it on fire.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

You are thinking of the riots that occurred at night and were intended to provoke exactly the response they got.

The actual protests were much larger and generally quite peaceful. For the most part, the cops just stayed away. If you were in WI, you probably only heard about the riots, which were much more interesting from a news perspective.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Watts

Thanks for writing this Watts. The narrative of “Portland Riots,” I fear is compressing a lot of the different activities/people into one big melee, it wasn’t. When people talk about those events, the followup questions should be: before 11:00 PM or after? and What month?

The people I know of who were regulars at the early protests were not participants in the vandalism and window-smashing that persisted for so long after. Very different sets of people. It’s inaccurate to conflate them.

BB
BB
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The large peaceful protests were in the first weeks after the Floyd murder. I was in Hollywood in November 5 months after when about 50 aholes with zero clue about anything came down Sandy blvd. breaking windows that were about 90% local owned shops that had Nothing to do anything except existing.
This must be the Appropriate response Blum is speaking of…
No cops showed up despite hundreds of frantic calls from people inside the shops.
Absolute idiocy by all. Nothing to do with George Floyd.

John V
John V
5 months ago

Wishful thinking, but on the bright side maybe it’ll get PBOT to put in something better. A concrete barrel or something like that. Really though, they just need to close the road to all automobile traffic if drivers can’t be trusted not to drive around the barrier.

Michael
Michael
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

100% I think the current one-way scheme is just a weird half-measure. Either keep the street open to motor vehicle traffic or close it entirely. I really don’t understand why northbound traffic is prohibited while southbound traffic is still allowed. The best I can come up with is that the steep ridge just south of Sacramento makes a somewhat dangerous situation, but the street is pretty low traffic, and for my part I don’t feel particularly imperiled by drivers going around me as I crawl up the incline.

Joseph E
Joseph E
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael

To pass a bike rider, northbound drivers have to go into the oncoming lane around a sharp left-hand turn, with trees which obstruct their view. I would not be surprised if this has caused collisions

Bjorn
Bjorn
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I have heard a couple reasons for the one way closure. There was a desire to maintain motor vehicle access to a maintenance area within the golf course, and I think this was viewed as a compromise for motorists. As for the direction of the closure I think most of the stress and conflict occurs as people are going up the hill because going down the hill on a bike you are basically going as fast as anyone should be driving down that street without pedaling. There is also a data driven reason which is that traffic counts going northbound are often around 50% higher than southbound and also frequently exceed 1000 vehicles per day. The hope is that this closure as well as some other changes along the greenway will discourage the folks who are driving all the way up to Killingsworth on 72nd from doing so.

Bjorn
Bjorn
5 months ago

Personally I feel that Williams really misguided decision to pause and unpause the project emboldened a small number of very loud car centric people who have been encouraging vandalism on Nextdoor and Facebook since. Recently one of these folks suggested that the next step would be to destroy the recently installed speed cameras at NE Sandy and 75th and 78th. I think in light of the response to Director Williams actions PBOT should consider placing hidden cameras when installing projects like these to prevent them from being vandalized. They also have already waited far to long to repair this damage, if vandalizing safety improvements results in them being removed then those who oppose safety improvements will continue to vandalize them.

Middle o the Road Guy
Middle o the Road Guy
5 months ago
Reply to  Bjorn

Vandalism is the language of the unheard!

Caleb
Caleb
5 months ago

While that may be the case, anyone who gets heard can still choose vandalism.

Once in my community, a large group of people swarmed a city council meeting, wearing the same colored shirts, to protest a decision they thought the council would make. They were given plenty opportunity to share their pieces, so much that the council tabled the decision for until the next month. Yet that next month, after repeating many of their same arguments, they claimed they just weren’t being heard. They were heard, all too loud and clear even by those of us who watched on video; they just lacked logical and compelling arguments, and the arguments they posed were followed by rebuttals explaining why.

I often suspect that car-centric folks similarly just can’t look beyond the default ways they’ve always known in order to understand their opposition, and thus feel unheard after their opposition finds their arguments insufficient to answer questions or solve problems.

For example, we’ve heard for years and years the many arguments against cameras.

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  Caleb

Sounds like a classic astroturfing campaign.

Caleb
Caleb
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

I suspect it was, Steven. One of the participants vowed to run for mayor the following spring to keep the council in check. He ended up not running, but now is part of a group aimed at “saving” our community, using tools handed to them by Moms for Liberty and such. And before that council meeting, he and his friend masked up and watched over a “march for black lives” with rifles, as if my little community and its downtown were anything like the big cities that had them so afraid (thanks to their flavor of media).

JaredO
JaredO
5 months ago

Wrong.

Vandalism (in this case at least) is the language of those who didn’t get what they want, at the expense of others.

To say they were “unheard” isn’t correct. They were heard, but they didn’t convince.

This project had clear trade-offs of safety vs. convenience of drivers, and could not maximize everyone’s wants.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago

As of today, there’s no infrastructure to prevent people from driving northbound on the street.

That is rather surprising to hear, leaving this as is for even a day feels irresponsible. I understand PBOT has been dealing with a lot lately but even some orange barrels and a temp sign feels doable in the week since this occurred. PBOT not taking this seriously and not even having a comment ready is deeply concerning.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe they are all busy maintaining the bike-lane-sweeping map??

maxD
maxD
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Should we interpret PBOT’s tacit acceptance of guerilla sign removal as a green light for guerilla sign additions? If there are no consequences for removing signs, why not add some signs and close some streets?

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago

It’s a bummer when the guerrilla street warriors are on the “wrong side”, but totally great when they are on “the right side” I’m surprised they didn’t smash some Starbuck’s windows while they were at it.
On a more serious matter, it is irresponsible (and of course illegal) to have done this, but even more ridiculous that PBOT hasn’t done anything to fix the problem of unfettered wrong way car access. It’s a very bad precedent to let might make right decide what the flow and shape of the roadways are. A definite wake up call for everyone to calm down and work together.
ps. not a bot, but a long time reader with occasional conservative leaning tendencies on some things.

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Yes, it’s good when people take direct action to make society better, and bad when they take direct action to make things worse

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Eye of the beholder my friend. Just because I agree with you doesn’t mean everyone will and apparently didn’t. Hence the danger of advocating for “direct action”, one can never be sure what the direct action will be.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Direct action is not an end, it is a means. One does not advocate for direct action, one advocates for direct action to achieve a particular end. Arguing over means when the real disagreement is about ends is muddled thinking.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

Direct action is not an end, it is a means. 

This is an important point. Our society mostly regulates means, not ends. Everyone has the right of free speech and to petition government for change, none of us has the right to cut signs down or attack the Elk statue or smash windows (even at a Starbucks or the Historical Society).

The particular ends you are trying to achieve are not relevant, even if you believe them to be righteous.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Given the right ends, almost any action is absolutely morally justified. To pretend otherwise is ludicrous. Regardless of what details you fill in there (I’m deliberately not saying what ends and what means), you have to be able to think of something where smashing a window was a good and righteous response.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Given the right ends

Sure, I can easily construct a set of circumstances where I would feel totally justified in smashing a window or even killing someone. But if everyone decides for themselves what means are justified by what ends, and acts accordingly, we end up with anarchy (and not the fun Sex Pistols type).

There were a lot of folks on Jan 6 who honestly believed our democracy was being overthrown by Joe Biden (I think we would both agree that preserving democracy is a pretty righteous cause). But that doesn’t in any way justify their invasion of the Capitol.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

There were a lot of folks on Jan 6 who honestly believed our democracy was being overthrown by Joe Biden

Yeah, we should wonder why that is. If they honestly believed it or not (I have doubts), they made a move for power. If they really believed it, I don’t think they were wrong to do it. So I’d rather work on helping people to not believe they are under threat. Maybe have people not feel so precarious.

You’re saying if you honestly believed our democracy was being overthrown by Joe Biden, you wouldn’t try to storm the capitol or at least support those who did? Why not? I sure would.

prioritarian
prioritarian
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

none of us has the right to cut signs down or attack the Elk statue or smash windows (even at a Starbucks or the Historical Society).

none of a group of people had the right to sit in the front of the bus, use a public pool, stay in a hotel, or attend the school closest to their home.

and none of a demographic had the right to a weekend off, the right to a safe workplace, the right to an 8 hr workday, the right to paid time off etc.

In a moral society the ends become the means, Watts.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  prioritarian

In a moral society the ends become the means

That really only works if everyone agrees on the morals. In the cases you cited, we’ve arrived at a general consensus that those were moral causes, and moral means.

In plenty of other examples (such as the oft discussed 2020 riots), we haven’t. Perhaps in 20 years, we’ll look back and hail those who smashed windows and set dumpsters on fire (or, in this case, cut down signs) as great moral heroes, but I’m guessing we’ll probably dismiss them all as vandals and arsonists as we have so many others who supported causes that have aged less well.

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Sure, I would advocate for a direct action to make the world better in my eyes because I want the world to be better. My moral judgments about the world give me convictions. If a tactical urbanist group put up concrete barriers to protect cyclists and pedestrians from errant automobiles, I would support that even if it were not 100% above board. Because I have a strong moral conviction about protecting people from the harm and destruction of automobiles.

I don’t support the particular piece of tactical urbanism described in the piece because I think unfettered automotive access to streets (and this street in particular) is bad, not because I’m against members of the public acting to shape the world in their own image.

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Sure, I would advocate for a direct action to make the world better in my eyes because I want the world to be better. My moral judgments about the world give me convictions.

You honestly creeped me out with your first few sentences. I eventually realized you were just talking about the world as restricted to Portland, but it was still unsettling.

Twenty years on: The shocking numbers behind the Iraq war | The Independent

The Iraqi War was started by someone who also thought their moral judgement and convictions were strong enough to be beyond reproach. Be careful on where you think your convictions will take you, it might not be a place you want to end up.

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The Iraqi War was started by someone who also thought their moral judgement and convictions were strong enough to be beyond reproach.

Okay, and many people had equally strong convictions that it was wrong. And the people who had that conviction were correct, and were right to advocate, protest, and take action against it. It is not always possible to know what the “correct” action will be in the moment, but that should not preclude you from taking action! War is wrong, someone having a conviction that it isn’t doesn’t make having moral convictions wrong.

I eventually realized you were just talking about the world as restricted to Portland, but it was still unsettling.

No, I am talking about the world generally. People act on their convictions as a matter of fact. Imagining that the world is not a place in which people act in ways that represent their values and beliefs is naive at best. The person in this article should be reprimanded for acting immorally in terms of eroding safety for other road users, rather than for vandalism.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

The Iraqi War was started by someone who also thought their moral judgement and convictions were strong enough to be beyond reproach.

Many people had equally strong convictions that it was wrong.

Is the proper place to hash out that difference of opinion in the political realm, or on the street where life-and-death ends (which both sides could claim) justify almost any means?

The person in this article should be reprimanded for acting immorally in terms of eroding safety for other road users, rather than for vandalism.

In that case, this person should also be reprimanded if they wrote a letter to PBOT demanding the sign removal; their ends were equally immoral, and their means irrelevant.

I just don’t buy that.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Is the proper place to hash out that difference of opinion in the political realm

This is a joke, right? It’s an ongoing invasion, is the right response to wait for an election if you believe our unresponsive military apparatus (which is fully supported by both parties anyway) is committing an illegal invasion and killing tens of thousands (more) people?

With stakes that high (and not even in a weird contrived way), the proper place to “hash out that difference of opinion” is absolutely wherever you can. Our military does whatever it damn well pleases regardless of public opinion and neither “side” does anything to reign it in. The only way anything could possibly affect it is if you do something more disruptive than wait for an election and put in one impotent little vote.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

This is a joke, right?

The decision to invade Iraq was a political one, and nothing on the streets changed the outcome. In that particular example, the only way to have stopped the invasion would have been to convince your elected officials (and others) not to authorize the invasion.

I do generally support peaceful street protests as a means of showing support and influencing officials, but in this case they proved utterly ineffectual.

Our military does whatever it damn well pleases regardless of public opinion 

Good. Our military should not be acting on behest of “public opinion” — they have a duty to follow orders from civilian leaders (regardless of whether it pleases them). I don’t want them disobeying those orders and doing their own thing, justified by what they claim “the people” want.

So bringing this back to bikes, if you want to change the designation of a street, talk to PBOT or Mingus Mapps; don’t just cut down the sign even if you’re sure you’re right.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Good. Our military should not be acting on behest of “public opinion”

This is all you needed to say. There’s nothing left to talk about.

The only acceptable protest is the kind that never has any effect, and the fact that public outrage has no impact in one particular case is actually good. Upside down land.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Upside down land.

Do you actually support our military ignoring civilian leadership and acting in support of “the people”? This is commonly referred to as a coup, and it’s how many civilian governments have ended.

History is chock full of examples. It very rarely works out for anyone except the military.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If you insist on focusing on inconsequential, pedantic details instead of substance, I’ll clarify. Do I specifically want the military making executive decisions based on public opinion? Obviously not. I want the executive and Congress doing that. And they didn’t. They didn’t respond to public pressure, nor was there legal authority to do it, so that’s why there were justified protests and riots. The fact that they don’t respond is why people with a conscience and moral convictions were right to do as much direct action as they were comfortable with. Regardless on if they succeeded in stopping the war.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

I want the executive and Congress doing that. And they didn’t.

They did.

I fundamentally disagree that polls should drive our foreign policy, but in this case, you got your way. The will of the people was respected.

Why should those that lose in the political arena have moral license to riot (or cut down signs)? Is it enough that they think they’re right?

Seven months prior to the September 11 attacks a Gallup poll showed that 52% would favor an invasion of Iraq while 42% would oppose it.

Following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, United States’ popular opinion was seemingly for an invasion of Iraq. According to the CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, conducted on October 3–6, 2002, 53% of Americans said they favor invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The American public’s support for the war fluctuated between 50% and 60% during the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11.

According to a Gallup poll conducted from August 2002 through early March 2003, the number of Americans who favored the war in Iraq fell to between 52 percent to 59 percent, while those who opposed it fluctuated between 35 percent and 43 percent.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken after the beginning of the war showed a 62% support for the war

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

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

In reality (where we live) it doesn’t matter what “rights” you think someone has to protest or do civil disobedience. If people have convictions about something, they’re going to act. That’s just reality.

In the cases where people do that and I agree with them, it means obviously I’m in the same camp that might “act” in the same way. Obviously I agree and condone it. That’s how I feel about Iraq war protests and civil disobedience, as well as “guerilla” transportation infrastructure. That’s how I feel about historical disobedience like during the 60s.

In cases where people do something stupid, like cut down a sign because they don’t like driving an extra 30 seconds, I want to do what ever can be legally done to stop that because they’re wrong, and to convince them that they’re wrong.

These are just the facts. They exist independent of whatever notion you have about what rights people have.

prioritarian
prioritarian
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

In cases where people do something stupid, like cut down a sign because they don’t like driving an extra 30 second

Non-violent direct action should always be tolerated even if you disagree with the politics. In genuine democracies (e.g not this shithole oligarchy) there is a high-degree of tolerance for this type of direct action because it is understood to be an intrinsic part of the democratic process. This is why French farmers will not be punished for breaking into and trashing government buildings..

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  prioritarian

I don’t know about that. I get where you’re coming from, but if non-violent direct action was always tolerated, officially, one or two individuals could just go around causing millions or billions of dollars in damage with no fear of repercussions. That’s not really acceptable. Direct action is meaningless if it has no consequences.

But yeah, places like France do a much better job of leaving some room for smaller stuff, and that’s how we should treat it here.

So maybe what I should say is, as a response to cutting down the sign, PBOT should put a solid concrete barrier in its place, like those upside down planters they used mere months ago.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Hey Watts, I just want to write it a different way and leave it at that rather than go off into the weeds of nitpicking. So I’ll try to summarize my point (and yours) and leave it at that.

I think everyone has beliefs they hold dear and important enough that they will do what legally is crime to protest in some situations. I think everyone has that. To some, that means some (spontaneously agreed upon) threshold of police violence. That’s a big deal, and to some, the lack of progress on that is worthy of breaking the law. To some, it’s protesting a war. To some people, it’s escaping or protesting slavery. To others, it’s lack of implementation of easy safety infrastructure. Everyone has things like that, probably many of them (and it differs by how severe the consequences will be).

If I take you at your word about your own beliefs, what you’re implying is that for you, rule of law and democratic process is above any of that, even if the process itself is unjust (since, recursively, that might be improved by the process itself! Laugh.)

And that’s where we disagree. Just a fundamental difference of where we rank the importance of various beliefs. Obviously it’s not all or nothing. I’m not going around doing vigilante justice all day, mostly because potential consequences are too high for me. I’m sure I would in the right circumstances. But I prefer to use the legal / political process if I think it can work. But sometimes, in my opinion, it fails and in my view direct action is a legitimate recourse to that failure.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Some people here are saying We get the right to cut down signs, but They don’t. It sounds like you are saying everyone can (and prioritarian is definitely saying this), a view which I believe will lead to social breakdown and violence if widely embraced, but it is at least internally consistent.

I can generally respect an intellectually honest position, even when I disagree.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  jakeco969

John V. I put your comment in the trash. It’s not that there is anything wrong with it, but I think the conversation between you and Jake is going to end up off-topic and heated really fast.

Jake is a veteran who has lived all over the world, and if memory serves, was stationed in the middle east, among other places.

You are both valuable commenters, so I don’t want to click through where I see this going. I hope you understand.

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago

Hi Lisa, Thank you. I wasn’t trying to start a discussion or argument over current events in certain places. I just remember how certain and justified the beginning of the war was (my, over 20 years ago now), what it led to and how the locals (and us) are dealing with the effects of the toxic pollution and damage to this day. Meanwhile the higher ups who had such grand moral judgement kept their fingers literally clean and most of them, Republican and Democrat alike are nice and wealthy today.
Oregon, as supposedly liberal as it is was ironically one of the more deployed National Guard’s during that time, thanks to our air assets (like the ones who rescue people off of Mt. Hood) and our engineer and infantry assets.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  jakeco969

Hi Jake, I thought your example was fine. But on internet, a quickly chosen example becomes the focus of a sub-thread even though it wasn’t your main point. I’d love to talk with you about politics in the aughts, but then I would be violating my own standards. 🙂

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I would advocate for a direct action to make the world better in my eyes because I want the world to be better. 

If you believe this, you probably need to support others doing it too, with exactly the same motivation, even if you and they disagree about exactly what constitutes a better world.

Otherwise it’s just claiming special rights for yourself, which doesn’t really work, because others will claim them too and we’ll end up with escalating conflicting direct actions.

The only tenable path is for everyone to follow the rules and fight about our issues in the political arena, where these matters belong.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Absolutely 100%. Direct actions are only ever considered inherently bad by people who already have what they want (status quo warriors) or people who don’t have strong convictions about anything.

Jack
Jack
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Ah yes, vandalism is encouraged if it suits the mob’s agenda, but “extremist” if it does not.

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack

That is how society generally functions, yes. Was the Boston Tea Party a mob?

Kanaye Thomman
Kanaye Thomman
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

It absolutely was.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack

The partial closure of 72nd was a public safety issue. The illegal removal of the infrastructure was done so drivers wouldn’t be inconvenienced. You can put whatever PC spin you want on this, but I have no problem seeing a right and wrong side here.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

I have no problem seeing a right and wrong side here.

I don’t hear anyone saying the sign removal was right; I hear some people saying it was wrong because taking matters into your own hands is not the way society should operate, and others saying it was bad because while vandalism in general is fine if it supports what they consider a worthy end, in this case it didn’t.

We all agree on what the wrong side was, we just don’t agree on why.

Jesse Martinez
Jesse Martinez
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

It’s a very bad precedent to let might make right decide what the flow and shape of the roadways are. A definite wake up call for everyone to calm down and work together.

Check the archives, let’s count the number of times BikePortland has celebrated taking matters into one’s own hands.

When it’s aligned with this site’s politics, it’s “guerrilla activism”. When it’s not, it’s the work of “extremists”.

Here’s an example: would Jonathan take issue if someone had cut down these bike racks?

https://bikeportland.org/2022/06/02/downtown-property-owner-installs-dozens-of-bike-racks-on-sidewalk-without-a-permit-355281

qqq
qqq
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

That’s a confusing example. Are you viewing someone cutting those racks down as taking matters into their own hands (either legitimately or not)? Or are you viewing the property owner as taking matters into their own hands (legitimately or not)?

If someone removed those racks–i.e. removed something that someone else put up illegally on public property–that seems different from this Rose City case of someone cutting down something put up legally by the City on public property.

I don’t condone the cutting down of PBOT’s legal sign/barrier, but I’d likely condone someone cutting down a sign put up on that street by neighbors saying “private street”.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I’d likely condone someone cutting down a sign put up on that street by neighbors saying “private street”.

It should probably be PBOT that removes the offending sign. It’s not really up to residents to be policing and removing what they think are illegal signs.

SD
SD
5 months ago

Modified jersey barriers or large bollards by the end of the week is the appropriate and only acceptable response.

Ben Waterhouse
Ben Waterhouse
5 months ago

The only appropriate response is to fully close the street to cars.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Ben Waterhouse

Collective punishment is always appropriate!

blumdrew
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Closing a street to cars is hardly punishment

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Closing a street to cars is hardly punishment

In this context it sounds like it would be.

As an alternative, I would suggest arresting the person or people who are vandalizing the street signs and ticketing those who are driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Or, better, just wait them out. Eventually the malefactors are going to get tired and stop doing what they’re doing, just like those who were driving over the diverter at 17th & Clinton eventually gave up.

Not every action demands a reaction. I’m sure you all could identify situations where one side was goaded into overreacting against the other. Sometimes less response is more.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If that’s collective punishment, then so was the original road closed sign. And for that matter, any one way sign or no parking. Rules are collective punishment.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

It’s not punishment to close a lane to make room for cyclists. It is punishment (collective punishment at that) to close a lane in response to somebody cutting down a sign.

It’s a bit like the difference between your child going to bed early because they did something bad (punishment) vs. going to bed early because they have to get up early the next day (not punishment).

Do you see the difference?

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Nonsense. Closing one lane or two are both ways to keep cars out of the bike lane. Stop calling it punishment, you’re being as dramatic as the nextdoor weirdos who cut the sign down. It’s traffic management just like anything else.

Speed bumps are put in, for everyone, because drivers don’t follow the speed limit otherwise.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Stop calling it punishment, you’re being as dramatic as the nextdoor weirdos who cut the sign down. It’s traffic management just like anything else.

If it’s traffic management, the reason for closing the street would be based on managing traffic. Ben Waterhouse asked for the street to be closed in a response to someone cutting the sign down. He cited no traffic management rationale, no supporting data or reasoning, only that it would be an “appropriate response” to the sign removal.

It’s not “dramatic” to call that a punishment (and a collective punishment because it targets everyone, not just the guilty party), because that’s exactly what it is.

If you don’t like “punishment”, perhaps we could settle on “retaliation”?

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Automatic weapons bans are just retaliation for guilty people using them wrongly. Collective punishment targeting everyone, amirite?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

The “why” matters. I support banning automatic weapons, but not because I want to retaliate against a vandal.

Allan
Allan
5 months ago

I wonder if PBOT could do what they have in construction zones in rural areas for cars. Allow for 2 way traffic one way at a time. Essentially stop lights at both ends that automatically allow one direction then the other and somehow detect when the cars have cleared the one way stretch.

dw
dw
5 months ago
Reply to  Allan

Something permanent and durable would probably be prohibitively expensive. I think making the street a one way is the most cost-effective solution.

Kanaye Thomman
Kanaye Thomman
5 months ago
Reply to  Allan

That’s generally done for closures where one lane is blocked, like for repair work or a landslide.

The difference here is that both lanes are open, it’s a low-traffic / low-speed street with speed bumps, and there’s plenty of room for cars to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians.

EP
EP
5 months ago

I’ve been following this for awhile and was happy to see the northbound lane properly closed down while they were building the sidewalk. That closure had the traditional, 6-8’ wide “ROAD CLOSED” sign with horizontal bars and such. You know, the standard thing people see when something’s actually closed. The little road closed sign they ultimately installed (that was cut off) just seemed so out of place, and I was just waiting for someone to run it over some late night. A little sign up high and six cones? “Is this even real?” Usually when a road is closed, even temporarily, there are all sorts of signs, barrels, flashing lights, etc., but this “permanent” treatment was just a tiny sign. It really doesn’t add up as to why it was such a poorly signed closure. They need to drop a few concrete planters like on 21st, or several jersey barriers, and a dozen barrels to really get the message across to drivers that yes, this is really happening.

Photo is from November, when one lane was closed, and marked and signed accordingly.

IMG_9395
Ross
Ross
5 months ago

Proof that signs do not stop cars. Paint does not stop cars. If you want to stop cars, install proper bollards or 4000 lb cement barriers.

Jack223
Jack223
5 months ago
Reply to  Ross

Or just share the road? Did anyone here complete 3rd grade? Cars and bikes can handle using the roads–and if bike riders can’t figure out how to effectively do this, the solution isn’t closing roadways. If you think it is, you’re selfish and narcissistic.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
5 months ago

And yet as someone who drives, you manage to “share the road.” So it is apparently possible.

Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack223

Some cyclists have not completed 3rd grade and their lives should be respected and their cycling encouraged. This is a difficult connection for children to make with the incline and no shoulder.

SD
SD
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack223

If you would have stuck it out through 4th grade, you would have learned that, in this universe, bikes and cars cannot share roads, only sentient being such as people can share. Unfortunately, this means that Cars 1, 2 and 3 are all fictional. On the other hand, the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, 1 – 11, teaches us that it is actually humans that drive cars. This is an important point because, believe it or not, people have made the choice to take resources or share resources before they even get on the road.

When a person uses a bike for transportation, they commit an act of sharing by relinquishing space, expense and not contributing risk to the transportation system. When a person drives a motor vehicle, they usually take more space than is necessary and create a hundred times more risk and cost for the system. Because a significant percentage of people driving create too much danger, and those people aren’t prohibited from using the transportation system, the use of dangerous vehicles has to be limited in certain rare circumstances.

M.B.
M.B.
5 months ago

As a resident of the Rose City neighborhood and frequent car and bike user of 72nd I’m happy to see the street “reopened” for N bound car travel. Closure of the N bound lanes for car travel doesn’t make much sense since the street has numerous speed bumps preventing speeding, numerous bike chevrons, is a routinely used thoroughfare for the neighborhood, a majority of the planned greenway is already designated for mixed use and closure redirects cars through multiple schools zones or heavily residential areas and then back onto a shared greenway. I definitely hope no one gets hurt from the misguided bike directions. Given the 20 mph speed limit, well lit intersection, wide street, speed bumps, and a population of pedestrians, cars, golf carts, and cyclists who are all used to sharing the road, an accident seems unlikely. I also hope that in the future city planners will reach out to community members prior to investing dollars into projects that directly them.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  M.B.

I guess you’ve been lucky enough to not have angry motorists honk at you on the hill, or rev their engines behind you, as you ride up the hill on a narrow road with no shoulders and a steep slope and stone wall on your side. Would you ride north through the park and up the hill with a young, or inexperienced rider? The goal of this project is to create a safer route that roughly parallels 82nd from SE Flavel to beyond RCP. This stretch through the golf course, specifically the narrow road section on the hill with no shoulders, is a crucial part of the route with no easy fix. Closing one lane is the best option for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. The road is still “open”, it’s just a one way street now.

Jesse Martinez
Jesse Martinez
5 months ago
Reply to  EP

I’d ridden through the golf course shortcut on a bike maybe 500 times and I can count maybe 2 or 3 unpleasant interactions with drivers. IMO you’re very much exaggerating.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

What “shortcut” are you taking? The steep dirt trail at the north end of 72nd where 72nd turns west? Sure, I can clean that rutty muddy path solo on my bike, but have you slowly ridden up all of 72nd with kids in a non e-assist cargo bike and had some jerk hassle you? It _sucks_ and 2 or 3 unpleasant interactions out of 500 is still too many. This isn’t just about a car-free bike route for dudes on recreational rides on fast bikes, it’s about making a safe route for families, and for people just trying to get around town via bike.

bjorn
bjorn
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

When you make this about the section of road through the golf course you play into the fallacy that is being propagated by a handful of car centric folks. The big problem with the 70’s greenway is that there are just too many cars traveling along it. The city studied how drivers were using the greenway and found that many of them were travelling long distances and using it as a cut through from North of Sandy to South of Tillamook. If a diverter was placed further north people might just drive around it and continue using the greenway as a cut through, but by closing the golf course you redirect that cut through traffic onto arterials where it belongs.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  M.B.

When I am out for a run in the neighborhood, I frequently run on 72nd through the park. It is most definitely NOT safe for a pedestrian. There is no sidewalk on the curve up the hill and it’s a blind corner so drivers can not see if someone is on the road. In my experience, “sharing the road” doesn’t work well if it means slowing down auto traffic because a pedestrian or a bicycle is in the road.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  M.B.

Or, let people on bikes have one of a small handful of places they can feel safe riding with their young kids and not have to worry about distracted drivers who can’t add 15 seconds to their route to go around. This road shouldn’t even exist. It does nothing. Drive around.

el timito
5 months ago
Reply to  M.B.

As a quarter century- plus resident of the neighborhood I must offer a differing opinion. Until about two years ago I transported my two kids by bike to preschool south of Halsey via 72nd Drive. Over the 3 or 4 years of this routine I observed many patient and polite people driving. I also observed a fair number of people in cars passing us at unsafe speed, in poorly chosen locations – like at the (blind) uphill curve while another car was approaching in the opposite direction. There is no – I repeat NO – margin at those points. My bike had no shoulder to move into and the approaching auto had only the cliff side.
True, we were never injured. But as a parent transporting kids (who will have to live on this warming planet) if I was not a lifelong cyclist, I would have said forget it and driven them the 1.5 miles, twice a day, every day. What the Swedish call “a ridiculous trip.” My children learned a lot of curse words on those anxious occasions. But hey, those car drivers saved a minute or two.
The whole point of neighborhood greenways is to give folks who are NOT hard-core bikers a sense of safety, so they can reduce the number of ridiculous trips they take. An “accident seem[ing] unlikely” is not going to convince them.

RCP Neighbor
RCP Neighbor
5 months ago
Reply to  M.B.

I have never–and I mean *never*–seen a car travelling northbound on that section of NE 72nd drive make a legal turn onto NE Sacramento eastbound. It’s impossible. You have to admit that. The turn is too tight, the cars drift well into the westbound lane on Sacramento. I challenge you to stand at the top of NE 72ND and observe the traffic.

In addition, there are not enough speedbumps on that stretch to ensure that traffic travels at a speed that is safe enough to accommodate pedestrians literally sharing the pavement with cars.

I am a resident of Rose City Park as well. We desperately need this feature and this suggestion that the city didn’t reach out to the community about this project is completely false. I recommend you start going to our RCP Neighborhood Association (or Roseway Neighborhood Association) meetings to hear about these projects. Discussions about this project have been coming up in various contexts for at least ten years.

This incident is extremely disappointing and that traffic control measure needs to be fixed immediately. I hope the person or people who vandalized it are brought to justice soon.

Shawne Martinez (Guest author)
Shawne Martinez
5 months ago

“when you shove things down peoples’ throats that they don’t want… something is bound to give sooner or later.”

40,000+ deaths per year.
Millions of injuries per year.
$200 Billion in annual economic loss due to car crashes.
Communities displaced for freeways.
Air pollution (emissions)
Noise pollution (tires and exhaust)
Water pollution (tire particles and oil)
Terrible land use policies (parking)
Traffic Congestion
Sedentary lifestyle
Higher medical expenses
Environmental disaster from fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
Never ending road maintenance.

Cars are a net loss for society.

Dave
Dave
5 months ago

Exactly–take any pro-car argument and sub the word “fentanyl” for “car,” see how it looks then.

Jesse Martinez
Jesse Martinez
5 months ago

Anti-PBOT extremists

Okay, I chuckled a bit when I read the headline.

IMO, the overly hostile tone and sheer amount of criticism levied against PBOT over the past year or so by BikePortland itself could easily qualify this site for such a title. Not to mention the constant promotion of conspiracy theories against politicians, law enforcement and the business community in this comment section.

So let’s recap: it’s glorious when someone forms a human barricade to block a PBOT contractor from performing work, but somehow deplorable when the tables are turned and direct action sabotages other PBOT work.

Pot, meet kettle.

Or maybe you’re just making it up as you go along? Either way, funny moral compass y’all folx have around here.

SD
SD
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

I think most people can tell the difference between physically destroying city property and a non destructive protest.

qqq
qqq
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

Your two examples aren’t comparable. In one, people blocked PBOT from doing work. The main impact was that PBOT had to reschedule the work, at some cost.

In the other someone destroyed traffic control signs. Luckily, PBOT can fix those (at some cost). But another thing that could have happened was someone driving into the closed lane area, not knowing it was closed, and running over someone who wasn’t expecting oncoming cars.

Your point would make some sense if protestors had disrupted PBOT from installing the signs, vs. destroying them and creating a dangerous situation.

And your chuckling about how BikePortland could easily qualify as being “anti-PBOT extremists” doesn’t make any sense here, given that this article is praising and defending what PBOT did. BikePortland does criticize PBOT often, but it also praises it often. I see more positive reporting and commentary about PBOT here than anywhere else–by far.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
5 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Martinez

…and sheer amount of criticism levied against PBOT…

What I’ve noticed is that the higher number of comments and likes is gradually shifting eastwards, presumably in response to a related economic decline in the incomes of BP readers and commenters. True, east of 82nd/205 there’s still hardly any comments, but it wasn’t all that long ago that Portland essentially ended at 60th for most BP readers. Perhaps by 2030 streets like 130th will receive the same level of concern and criticism as 72nd or 33rd, rather than just the 17 comments in 2014.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  David Hampsten

That’s an interesting observation, David.

JS
JS
5 months ago

Wow, google maps directs me up this road everyday to get to work, I thought it was just a temporary closure so when I saw the signs were gone today I assumed they had reopened the road and was annoyed when a bicycle came speeding down the hill in the “wrong” lane, this is the first im hearing of it being a permanent change this was very poorly handled

bjorn
bjorn
5 months ago
Reply to  JS

Literally years of outreach and communication by the city, and it was well signed until someone destroyed all of them.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago
Reply to  JS

Pbot has been planning this for half a decade and they’ve done extensive outreach in the neighborhood. This did not come out of the blue. If you didn’t hear about it, and you live anywhere nearby, you haven’t been paying attention.

Barbara
Barbara
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 43 yrs (not on the ridge but close by & not part of the small group of folks that you accurately refer to who are against anything) and regularly use it for biking since then as well. It’s always been narrow with the need to address it from way back then. I was paying attention & it might have been in the works very poor outreach to those of us in the neighbor. Decisions were made during the pandamic. Received notices but more of always said it was a done deal without any real meaningful input allowed.
Spending the real money needed as they decide to do elsewhere to correctly address all the needs (peds, bikers, cars, parents driving kids to Roseway school etc. along with no trucks allowed) would have been the way to go rather than having it be decisive one or the other. Given the push back from all sides one could hope the City would put more thought into it.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
5 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

Honest question: for a local driver like you, what is the problem this northbound closure creates for you? I live in the Montavilla neighborhood and frequently ride 72nd northbound on my bike to access substitute teaching jobs in N/NE Portland. The northbound closure definitely makes this section of 72nd safer for me and other cyclists and pedestrians, including students at Roseway Heights and McDaniel HS. Anyone in a car can still get from Tillamook to Sacramento by taking 61st or 82nd, so what’s the issue for you?

Allan
Allan
5 months ago
Reply to  JS

this goes to show that local outreach doesn’t actually reach many drivers who are just passing through (often at high speed)

Joseph E
Joseph E
5 months ago
Reply to  JS

Google Maps is slow to update things. The closure was already in Openstreetmap the next day after the closure.

TA
TA
5 months ago

Increasingly my scary moments are not infrastructure-driven but complete and total lack of traffic enforcement. We can’t jersey-barrier every bike lane, but cutting down on the Wild West distracted driving we all encounter would go a long way

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago
Reply to  TA

Maybe not jersey barrier, but grade separated infrastructure. Portland has been relying on shared, “low traffic” streets for decades instead of building infrastructure. The results are predictable.

dw
dw
5 months ago
Reply to  TA

I see too many people with both hands and both eyes on their phones while driving. PPB could make up any imagined budget shortfall in like, a week if they would actually ticket drivers for illegal behavior that endangers every single person on the road.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago

I’m sorry but when PBOT does these half-baked measures- which allow them to undo quickly whatever people complain about- they can expect vandals to undo them also.

If PBOT is serious about closing this road to traffic, they need to REALLY close it. Bring in a front loader and move some dirt.

Michael
Michael
5 months ago

I remember the griping on NextDoor when I first moved to the area in 2020 (I did not last long as an active user of NextDoor), and I’m sorry to say that I’m not terribly surprised by this outcome. It really astonishes me how much people are complaining about having to drive two or three minutes out of their way to go around this golf course.

PTB
PTB
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael

My experience in Lents/PHG is similar. I dropped NextDoor quite fast after joining and after getting priced out of inner Portland and moving out here in 2017 (attn. David Hampsten). Everyone on NextDoor is furious about speeding. The city shows up at a n’hood meeting with plans to slow speeders down and inexplicably, everyone is furious about it. An intersection is sketchy and people are mad, the city presents plans to change the intersection, same result. NextDoor fury. Pretty mindblowing. It’s wild how much auto use is so, I dunno, sacred(?) to some people. I drive too, but a lower speed limit or intersection/red light cameras or diverters don’t send me into a rage. People are nuts sometimes.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago
Reply to  PTB

It infringes on our God-given rights as Murcans. Ya know – freedom!

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  PTB

Yes, speeding is a problem for _those_ people over _there_. When I do it it’s normal and justifiable, and any restriction on my ability to drive quickly from point A to point B is an unacceptable intrusion on my liberty. Reminds me of that Onion headline: “98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.”

Damien
Damien
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

Reminds me of that Onion headline: “98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.”

I’ve encountered this in real life. In the run-up to Northwest-in-Motion, PBOT put on a pretty well-attended townhall-type presentation for the NW neighborhoods, showing the why of the need for a reduction in VMT. Some number was given – I forget what exactly, something like “we need to get down to 60% of trips made by cars by X date” and some woman very audibly replied “I think this is a great plan, so long as I’m in that 60%”.

I was probably too polite to actually facepalm, but I certainly was internally.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago

It’s funny how angry and self righteous people get when they are slightly inconvenienced when traveling around in their swift, high powered, heavily armored, virtually effortless to operate vehicles.

Oh, I have to drive a couple of extra blocks in my smooth driving, high performance machine while listening to my favorite music or podcast? That makes me angry! I should be able to travel in a perfectly straight line to my destination no matter where I’m going and regardless of what is in my way.

Oh, there’s a barrier that prevents me from taking the most direct route possible, and I have to sit in my plush, heated, leather seats for an extra three minutes while I reroute? Unacceptable! This is an assault on my rights and a war against personal freedom that is being imposed by the communist nanny state!

Oh, I am not allowed to drive in my giant, climate controlled, luxury vehicle on every single paved surface that I payed for with my taxes (even though most were paved long before I was born…)? This is an outrage! Make the bike people build their own roads with their bike taxes. These are car roads, and I will destroy or evade any barrier that you try to put in my way because Jesus and Lars Larson told me I could be here.

guy berliner
guy berliner
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

At Monolithic Oil, we want YOU to PAY.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago
Reply to  guy berliner

Monolithic Oil will go out of business the second people stop demanding the oil.

Nathan
Nathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

Do you even live in NE Portland. The “folx” driving around Rose City are likely in a Prius, late-model Subaru, econobox e-vehicle, perhaps an old school compact truck or mini van. OK so maybe the one rich couple down the street has a new Tesla….

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

I know the neighborhood well. I also have a good idea of who the most vocal and strident opponents of the 70s greenway and the slow streets barrels and signs on Sacramento street are. Most of them live on Sacramento, or within a few blocks. They tend to have much nicer houses than the neighborhood at large, with views of the golf course out their front window. Some of them sit on the Rose City Park neighborhood association, which, like most neighborhood associations, tends to overrepresent some of the wealthiest community members.

Regardless, I think my comment applies both to people driving in econoboxes and ultra expensive vehicles. If you’re driving in a car that was manufactured in the last few decades, even an old and beat up one, you’re in a vehicle with wonderous amenities, ample power, and amazing comfort. Driving a couple of blocks out of your way in a car that makes driving fun and easy is not a hardship. Whoever cut this sign down is a big baby.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

I also have a good idea of who the most vocal and strident opponents of the 70s greenway and the slow streets barrels and signs on Sacramento street are… Some of them sit on the Rose City Park neighborhood association, which, like most neighborhood associations, tends to overrepresent some of the wealthiest community members.

As commenters have noted elsewhere, the RCP NA was supportive of this change, so your stereotype is counterfactual.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Was the rcp na on record as being in favor of this project? I don’t see any comments that say they were. One person said pbot did outreach at their meetings, but that’s not the same as a vote of support.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor

Do we ever “build streets based on what NAs want”? I’ve never experienced that. At best, an NA can influence a design, but it had better have a lot of ducks in a row–video, traffic studies, photos, surveys, letters … it’s a lot of work, but it will carry weight with PBOT if your suggestions are good.

BTW, anybody can do all that, but it’s more fun with some buddies.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
5 months ago

The $132 million outer Powell was built according to what the Powellhurst-Gilbert NA and Centennial NA wanted, but they each have over 25,000 residents, so they are more like small cities really. They did eventually build a coalition with other NAs, EPAP, the governor, a US senator, and 10 state legislators – but in essence it was just a dozen unelected neighborhood folks who got their design approved. Most of the other EPIM projects were similar – over $400 million worth – with a focused effort by the 13 East Portland NAs. It’s all in how you exercise community power and good timing, plus lore.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago

Agree that streets shouldn’t be built according to the wishes of non representative neighborhood associations. They are groups that have valuable insight into communities that centralized government agencies may not. But they should never have veto power.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

streets shouldn’t be built according to the wishes of non representative neighborhood associations… they should never have veto power.

They’re not and they don’t!

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Pkjb

Pkjb, an NA doesn’t have/need to take a vote. The NA is the conduit between the neighborhood and PBOT, and it can involve suggestions for change, feedback and basic outreach. Also, in regard to an earlier comment I think you made, in the SW at least, NAs are very pro active transportation, they are the loudest, most effective advocates for sidewalks, for example. And no, NAs don’t have the wealthiest neighbors on them, far from it. NAs (at least in SW) are composed of people who like grassroots organizing and find value in the resiliency that a networked neighborhood provides. I don’t associate that with wealth. The NA board in my mostly upscale neighborhood (Portland Heights) has always had renters on it, including as president. Judging from the people I know on eastside NAs, those statements hold.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago

Not saying you are wrong, Lisa, but you have to admit that most NAs have a pretty limited group of self-selected members. People working two jobs with kids etc are not showing up for NA meetings, in my experience. And lots of people who don’t care for NA dynamics self-select OUT of participation.

I know, I know – they aren’t perfect but they are still better representative democracy than many places have.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Fred

Hey Fred. Your points might be valid, but one of things that has been so irritating about the Office of Civic Life is that they could have surveyed NAs and gotten some statistics on this. We don’t have to fly blind and insert our biases in place of real information. Anecdotally, I’ve known several NA board members with small children under five. And my NA has a healthy turnover of board members and presidents. Some of them rent, some are disabled, it is ethnically diverse …

Every month NAs have to submit their meeting minutes, and other info too, to Civic Life. And Civic life has never done anything, nada, to scrape that info and compile any profiles so that we aren’t all just shooting from the hip with what we say about NAs. Nor has Civic Life given any guidance about best practices, or any training!

OK, blood pressure just rose.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
5 months ago

Actually, Civic Life’s predecessor ONI did several good reports summarizing such statistics, including board turnover (or the lack of it), ages, incomes, and so on.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Fred

NAs are like any civic organization*, where people participate based on their level of interest, available time, and other things going on in their lives. All of those can change, and it is common for people drift in and out over time, as I have.

I don’t personally see this as a problem, but I’m always on the lookout for practical ideas for improvement. If you have any thoughts, please share them.

*Unlike many civic organizations, most NAs are required by their bylaws to conduct open meetings, publish minutes, and to allow any qualified resident to stand for election to the board.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago

Agree that NAs don’t need to take a vote. I was just taking issue with Watts’ unsubstantiated claim that RCP na was supportive of the lane closure on 72nd.

I have had mixed experiences with neighborhood associations. They tend to be composed of well meaning people who are strong community advocates, but they are not, in my experience, broadly representative. They often have minimal attendance except when a hot button issue happens to arise every few years. Some are completely dysfunctional, and devolve into pretty grievances and infighting. Some are openly hostile and unwelcoming to outsiders and non majority demographics. Others are wonderful, warm, welcoming, and highly functional. It’s a mixed bag.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

Watts’ unsubstantiated claim that RCP na was supportive of the lane closure on 72nd.

I may have been mistaken; the comment I was thinking of appears to say the project had been discussed for years, not that the board had taken any particular position for or against.

I don’t think that changes the thrust of my comment, but it does appear I misrepresented that fact.

My apologies.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

I highly agree with your comments about NAs, my having served in both the Sullivan’s Gulch NA for 5 years and the Hazelwood NA for 7 years. NA’s boards are a self-selected lot in Portland and most other communities – they reflect people who care and who are willing to create change, rather than the slackers, the me-generation, and the uncaring. Many working folks make the time to help out and serve rather than wait for thing to happen they are change-makers.

Steven
Steven
5 months ago

My local neighborhood association (Old Town–Chinatown) has a board consisting of exactly two residents, five business/property owners, and four nonprofit/institutional representatives. It self-evidently represents the wealthiest and most well-connected more than the people who actually live here.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Steven

I believe you, but what, there are 94 of them? It would have been nice if Civic life had compiled some stats, so we are continually swapping anecdotes.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago

I believe there’s 95, and with that many self-organizing volunteer citizen groups, covering such a range of geographies and demographics, there’s bound to be some outliers and duds.

dw
dw
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

People in Portland, by and large, drive the same oversized trucks and SUVs that most Americans do.

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago
Reply to  dw

Completely agree that its a country wide problem and for the most part completely unnecessary. I know this is a well discussed subject and not really in debate, its just so annoying that the cars/trucks are bigger solely for the purpose of the passengers and the increased profits of the corporations at the expense of everyone else that is outside the vehicle for any reason and for any length of time. The lack of poorly written regulation is also at fault and showcases yet another failure of government who clearly can’t be bothered to write legislation that is effective for the majority of the citizenry.

Bold and underlines are mine.

Why Do New Cars Keep Getting Bigger and Heavier – TrueCar Blog

“So, we’ve gone over the reasons why cars, trucks, and SUVs have gotten bigger (and more expensive) over the years, but what does that mean for consumers? It’s that modern vehicles have evolved to meet the demands of today’s drivers.” 
“Ever notice that the doors and pillars of a new car are thicker than those of cars from just 20 years ago? That’s because modern cars are designed to better withstand collisions and rollover situations. The byproducts of this are usually larger blind spots for drivers, but, thankfully, many vehicles are equipped with blind-spot monitoring for this exact reason.”

Why Are Modern Vehicles So Much Bigger? | The Truth About Cars

” In 1972, the smallest version was 134 inches long by 59 inches wide. By 2023, the littlest Civic is 179 inches long by 71 inches wide.”
“Starting in 2011, the U.S. government revised CAFE standards to incorporate a vehicle’s size based on its wheelbase and track width. Requirements were set up such that a vehicle with a larger footprint has a lower fuel economy requirement than a vehicle with a smaller footprint.”
“Today’s CAFE standards are supposed to address fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But the industry has learned it’s easier to work around the system and has been designing vehicles intended for the American market around the CAFE standard’s distinction between “passenger vehicles” and “light trucks.””

Ray
Ray
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The lack of poorly written regulation is also at fault and showcases yet another failure of government who clearly can’t be bothered to write legislation that is effective for the majority of the citizenry.

As an admitted, and unashamed, auto enthusiast (gasp!), I really feel that more people need to know this. The CAFE standards, while well-intended, opened loopholes for auto manufacturers that directly contributed to the increasing size of all vehicles as well as the proliferation of oversized and under-utilized trucks and SUV’s.

I know it’s problematic to draw comparisons of The USA to other countries, especially European ones, but the number of small “econoboxes” in other countries by percentage is much more realistic for urban centers. Of course, this is also somewhat related to overall street design. But isn’t that part of what road diets are trying to achieve, at least passively? Refer to the recent BP post and many comments about delivery and freight trucks.

jakeco969
jakeco969
5 months ago
Reply to  Ray

CAFE regulation does seem to be stiffling innovation in the US as opposed to Europe and pretty much everywhere else. I long for the 60+ MPG diesels that are available overseas in a nice, petite and nimble package. The Chevy Cruz diesel was imported for a few years and I wish I had been able to afford one then. I truly believe that the calls to redesign various downtowns are a waste of time. The streets are for the most part as they will be for awhile. Thats not to say new areas can be designed to be less or not at all car centric, but there doesn’t seem to be very many new areas to expand into.
Much easier to pressure government in the form of congress to rewrite the CAFE rules to favor smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles not dependent on exotic minerals that use child labor. However, the PNW has been overwhelmingly Blue for awhile and still our representatives seem complacent to engage in performative actions rather than nuts and bolts work to help us all. Rewriting regulations isn’t as sexy as screaming about the perfidy of the other side, but it is where things get done.

Ray
Ray
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

While I agree with just about everything you’ve said, it’s really down to money in politics, IMO. The donor-class and lobbying groups are the ones with the real power.
I’m being hyperbolic, but I’d hazard to say that if our elected representatives received a million letters in favor of reduction of emissions, still nothing would get done unless each letter had a $1,000 donation in it. On paper, the politicians work for us. In practice, not so much.

Damien
Damien
5 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Much easier to pressure government in the form of congress to rewrite the CAFE rules…

[]

I truly believe that the calls to redesign various downtowns are a waste of time. The streets are for the most part as they will be for awhile.

Therein lies the rub – the federal government is at this point completely dysfunctional, and all signs show it only becoming more so until inevitable meltdown (blue is basically no better than red on this point). To that, I suspect it is in fact easier to pressure our local government for redesigns/rebuilds/repaints/just-put-a-planter-in-the-middle-of-the-street than it is to get Congress to do anything except pay for bombs and culture war.

Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

I assure you a Prius or Subaru is infinitely more luxurious and less physical work for the driver to move around than literally any bicycle, and weighs thousands more pounds to boot. They’re also usually also just moving a single person, just like the bicycle. So no, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them to have to sit in their Prius for another two blocks so that cyclists can go up this steep hill without the danger of that Prius trying to pass them unsafely around a blind uphill corner with no shoulder.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Maybe they don’t actually live in Roseway, but I get passed by plenty of big-ass trucks going up that hill. All the time.

Resopmok
Resopmok
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

If I get slowed down driving on my route because of extra cars and traffic that is barely moving, that’s just life and traffic, it happens. But if I get slowed down driving on my route by a bicycle in front of me, it’s the end of the world, I’m enraged beyond belief, and they need to get the hell out of my way. We call this attitude entitlement, and it is rampant in our culture.

Karstan
5 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

Comment of the week!

Chris I
Chris I
5 months ago

Maybe they can install one of those directional spike strips they have in secure parking lots. Travel northbound at your own risk…

Nathan
Nathan
5 months ago

So when bike activists lay down on the road in front of the PBOT work trucks and scream at Union City workers trying to remove a bike lane from NE 33rd they are “volunteers” and “good samaritans standing up” for cycle transit. Yet when someone vandalizes a PBOT road lane closure sign anonymously in the middle of darkness they are “Extremists”. Why not just go for the gold and infer they are probably -R voting MAGA folx!?

Tbh i support this bike infrastructure project. Just not general hypocrisy from my fellow cyclists and the ongoing unpunished “direct action” by dissidents regardless of my support of the underlying cause or not.

Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Your comparison would be more accurate if bike activists were destroying part of a highway off-ramp to discourage car travel, but all they did was stand in front of a truck. Comparing a nonviolent protest to literally destroying city property is totally dishonest.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Yep – Nathan also has trouble distinguishing an apple from an orange.

(That’s just hyperbole, Nathan! – please don’t get mad!)

The situations you described are not analogous, in my view.

Les
Les
5 months ago

Why are you calling that a park? It is a golf course. It is not a park. Rose City Park is by McDaniel High School (formerly Madison)

Barbara
Barbara
5 months ago
Reply to  Les

Glenhaven Park is the Park by McDaniels High School. Rose City Park is the park by 62nd & Tillamook. The Golf course is named Rose City Park Golf Course as it abuts Rose City Park at the west end if you want to be correct.

Chris I
Chris I
5 months ago
Reply to  Les

It’s unfortunate the about 80% of this park is consumed by a fenced-in golf course, but it is absolutely a park. The west end has a playground, soccer fields, etc. There is a trail at the base of the bluff, and on snow days, the entire area is open for sledding. I’ve cross-country skied this golf course multiple times over the years.

MontyP
MontyP
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

FREE ROSE CITY PARK!!!

Mark Falbo
Mark Falbo
5 months ago

Any time a solution to enhance the actual live ability of a community is proposed it’s usually met with objections from the local residents. . But once the speed bumps , pedestrians crossings and bike arterials are installed the residents see a positive difference to their neighborhood. They also see their property values increase because it’s a more desirable neighborhood. Then they complain about their taxes.
Thanks to all the people who continue to have the vision of creating safe communities that aren’t ravaged by the automobile.

dw
dw
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Falbo

Or they move. Infrastructure lasts in neighborhoods for generations, residents may only be there for a few years.

MontyP
MontyP
5 months ago
Reply to  dw

I’m guessing the majority of those opposed to this are in their 70s to 80s. Lots of gripes about this that start with “it wasn’t a problem when I regularly biked through there 30+ years ago, why is it a problem now?!”

I hope to someday grow old, and when I’m old I will try to not be in the way.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Falbo

All I read was bikeways are causing Portland properties to become even more unaffordable. Never really made the connection but now this makes sense in the gentrification issues around the Cully bike lane removal.

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
5 months ago

Funny how certain types of vandalism have been completely acceptable in this city for some time now.

X
X
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank Perillo

I don’t agree with your words “completely acceptable”. It’s common for people to be in agreement on an issue and disagree about what is to be done. It seems like the people who have a rightful long standing grievance aren’t necessarily the ones breaking things.

George
George
5 months ago

>Anti-PBOT extremists
Is that the complement the Spandex Mafia?

Aaron
5 months ago

“I’m not excusing vandalism, but when you shove things down peoples’ throats that they don’t want… something is bound to give sooner or later.”

I bet this person would be an enthusiastic supporter of people taking infrastructure into their own hands and blocking cars from their neighborhood streets all over the city with concrete planters, right? Or is this only understandable when it’s vigilante modifications to give cars even more space?

Kanaye Thomman
Kanaye Thomman
5 months ago

Just be honest, please. The only valid justification for closing this road is that it’s part of PBOT’s efforts to discourage driving. It’s not an especially dangerous road. The bike activists want it closed because they see it as a way to punish drivers, a minor “win” for “their side”. Ultimately not terribly important in our bike network yet very important in the “never cede an inch” / collective struggle narrative that is ubiquitous in activist circles.

There’s also an element of “class struggle” to this, because there are nice (for Portland) homes nearby and a golf course (public, affordable) involved. The activists want to put us on opposing sides of their battlefield. They want us to look at superficial differences in income or geography or race and attack one another. I’m sick of seeing it promoted here and all around Portland.

To paraphrase / borrow from a Trump supporter quoted in national media a few years ago, y’all want the government to *hurt the right people*. Maybe that sounds sick, but that’s what this boils down to, this is why there are so many comments denigrating neighbors daring to express themselves on NextDoor (is that somehow less valid than commenting here?).

Another facepalm moment. And you all wonder where the disconnect comes from? You push it, you promote it, you deepen it. You do not want peace with your fellow Portlanders, you want civil war.

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
5 months ago

Jonathan, remember when you published a manifesto encouraging us to deflate the tires on our neighbors’ automobiles?

https://bikeportland.org/2022/11/09/opinion-despite-panic-deflating-suv-tires-is-a-smart-protest-tactic-366833

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
5 months ago

Why? It’s “direct action” that you approve of, and arguably way more offensive because it targets private property and put peoples livelihoods and even lives at risk.

You published it, and you’ve doubled down on this stance since. How is that flavor of vandalism not “extremist”?

Steven
Steven
5 months ago

The mere existence of gargantuan “light trucks” like those targeted by the Tyre Extinguishers is offensive. Also, it’s unclear how deflating a parked vehicle’s tires puts anyone’s life at greater risk than people driving illegally and dangerously in an area designated for non-motorized traffic.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago

Bet you 20 bucks Kanaye has never tried to bike on that street – or in Portland or possibly anywhere, ever.

Your transportation priorities are really clarified by time spent on the saddle.

Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Kanaye Thomman

Nah, I think people just want to get up that hill safely and you’re just not seeing how dangerous that spot is because you’re never riding a bike up there with cars trying to pass you around a blind turn on a steep hill with no shoulder.

There’s no conspiracy, it’s just really dangerous to get around the city outside of a car and we have to do a bunch of stuff like this to mitigate that danger.

idlebytes
idlebytes
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

On this note I’ll point out that since they put in the diverter at 50th and Lincoln I’ve only had 2 or 3 bad passes by drivers going up that hill at 52nd. Prior to its installation it was a weekly occurrence.

It’s massively improved my commute and only minorly inconvenienced people in the neighborhood while making their own road safer with less cut-through traffic. All the claims that it would push traffic to neighboring roads like Harrison also proved to be false.

It’s a win for the neighborhood and cyclists like I’m sure this slight diversion will eventually turn out to be.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

It’s just really dangerous to get around the city outside of a car and we have to do a bunch of stuff like this to mitigate that danger.

With an exception of a few spots, biking in Portland is really not that dangerous, and the data supports that.

Matt
Matt
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Which spots are the dangerous ones? Asking for a friend.

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I wouldn’t put a low-traffic street with speed bumps that runs for two blocks through a golf course on the list. Hell, it probably wouldn’t be in my top 500

Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The problem is that the dangerous spots (I’d say far more than a few) represent a huge barrier to making biking overall safe and convenient in the city. When someone on the fence runs into them on one of their first few outings trying to replace car trips with a bike they will, understandably, be more likely to go back to driving.

Someone driving doesn’t have to worry about terrifying death traps scattered all over the city that they could stumble into at any moment if they don’t memorize all the locations to avoid ahead of time. Cycling needs to be on that level if it’s ever going to be a feasible car replacement for an average person and not just highly motivated enthusiasts.

Fred
Fred
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

I love the spots all over Portland where the bike lane just ends. Sometimes there’s a helpful sign for motorists: “Bikes merging with traffic” (or something).

I always think: What if the situation were reversed and motorists suddenly lost their lane. How would they react?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Fred

What if the situation were reversed and motorists suddenly lost their lane. How would they react?

Normally. This happens all the time. One example out of literally hundreds in Portland would be here:

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5120547,-122.643512,72m/data=!3m1!1e3?entry=ttu

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Not sure what this picture is trying to show, but the problem when a bike lane ends is it’s just a road and you’re left in a dangerous situation (not a dead end). There is no comparison for motorists. It would have to be car lanes disappearing and turning into busy railroad tracks or something.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Not sure what this picture is trying to show

Losing a bike lane can be unnerving, or it can be practically unnoticeable. I’ve had a similar range of experiences when driving.

But I wasn’t comparing (or equating) the two; I was responding to a question asking what drivers do when they lose their lane.

The example I provided was intended to show the answer is “nothing much”.

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If the answer is “nothing much”, then why are road diets always so controversial?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

Because that’s something totally different?

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I thought we were talking about disappearing car lanes. Isn’t that what a road diet means?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

No, we were talking about lanes dropping. Fred wrote: “I love the spots all over Portland where the bike lane just ends.”

He wasn’t talking about a road diet.

Steven
Steven
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

OK, but that never happens with general-purpose lanes. If one lane is closed for maintenance, traffic is diverted to the adjacent lane. Merging zones where the road narrows don’t make it disappear.

qqq
qqq
5 months ago
Reply to  Kanaye Thomman

I live near some routes for people biking and walking that aren’t open to vehicles. They’re very popular, with people with kids walking and biking, and people using them passing through as a commuter and recreational route for biking, walking, and running. Even commuter bikers often choose the windier, slower vehicle-less route over a street shared with vehicles a few yards away.

I wish every neighborhood had places like that. The reason cars aren’t allowed isn’t due to some civil war/war on cars/class struggle fomented by activists or whatever. It’s because it works much better without cars, and cars have other routes available. And many of the biggest users are people from the neighborhood.

This Rose City Park road that isn’t necessary as a vehicle route, and works great for non-vehicle transportation and recreation. And PBOT didn’t even close the whole road, just half.

So it makes sense that PBOT made this change, so this area has something similar to what my neighborhood has. It has nothing to do with any reasons you claim.

And trying to portray people who wanted to close half an unnecessary road to create some nice biking and walking space as promoters and deepeners of civil war/class struggle/attack/etc.? That sounds more accurately like a description of what you’re doing, not them.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
5 months ago

I’m just guessing here, but my assumption is that for whoever it was that took the time and effort to remove this infrastructure, the issue wasn’t just that something was taken away from him/her (unfettered northbound car access), but that it was done to benefit cyclists (and pedestrians. For people who live in the land of Us vs Them, the only thing worse than losing is when your enemy wins.

PS
PS
5 months ago

Isn’t this just a “direct action”, often advocated for by this very blog?

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
5 months ago
Reply to  PS

Nope. This act of vandalism puts vulnerable road users’ lives at risk. Where do you see BikePortland ever advocating for that?
All the Devil’s Advocate comments in this thread just serve to demonstrate how much we need to limit driving on Greenways like 72nd. Anyone behind the wheel who condones this dangerous action shouldn’t be driving.

PS
PS
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Search “Corking”, “Direct Action”, “Tactical Urbanism”, etc. in the search bar and its all there.

Defaulting to the hyperbolic, “everyone is going to die because of these extremists” just makes the hypocrisy more evident and the concept that all direct actions are bad more true.

Jay T.
5 months ago
Reply to  PS

One difference that’s clear to me is that sign cutters worked in secret, under cloak of darkness. This contrasts with how open those who delayed the removal of separators on NE 33rd were. Even from 80 miles outside your city, I know some of those who were in front of trucks in December. I gather that you all can only guess who acted in Rose City Park.

Direct action that’s open appeals to me more than covert vandalism.

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
5 months ago

Reminds me of an article I read recently…

Egelman is part of a what conference organizers glowingly referred to as “illegal,” “confrontational,” and “illicit,” and, “a new breed of tactical urbanism that has sprung up across the U.S. and is transforming city streets without the permission of city governments.” “Direct action gets the goods,” reads the title of a panel Egelman participated in Wednesday.

https://bikeportland.org/2023/10/20/bullying-works-and-other-lessons-from-tactical-urbanist-adam-egelman-380678

Bullying works…

Steven
Steven
5 months ago

“When you shove things down peoples’ throats that they don’t want… something is bound to give” in relation to closing a single lane of a street to car traffic is the epitome of being accustomed to privilege and seeing equality as oppression.

Pkjb
Pkjb
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven

Comment of the week

Patrick Cashman
Patrick Cashman
5 months ago

Portland Anarchist Road Care at it again apparently; “we keep us safe”.

Beth H
Beth H
5 months ago

In cases where vandalism worked — like painting crosswalks across E. Burnside Street, several years later ended up having crosswalks, bike lanes and lights added — to create safer walking situations.
But in a case where vandalism serves to reduce walking and biking safety, that’s simply a sign of pro-car aggression by folks who find safety concerns for anyone NOT in a car to be inconvenient.

I believe that the only way to get people to support slower and safer streets for all is to make single-passenger automobiles more expensive and inconvenient to use. You can’t persuade people out of their cars into more sustainable transportation; you have to make it uncomfortable. So let’s have PBOT put the signage back, add CCTV and make anti-safety vandalism more uncomfortable going forward.

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
5 months ago
Reply to  Beth H

BikePortland: Direct action gets the goods!

also BikePortland: Noooo, not like that!!

Watts
Watts
5 months ago

It seems that if we all get to decide for ourselves which laws to follow, we end up in a bad place.

This law for me, that one for thee.

prioritarian
prioritarian
5 months ago

there’s a lot of nuance cognitive dissonance here

I unambiguously support the right of so-called anti-pbot-extremists to engage in non-violent direct action, despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with their transportation politics.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago

I don’t think I mischaracterized you. I agree that we as a society should debate and decide these issues together, and our decision is what we codify into law. “Legitimate” courses of action are legal, “illegitimate” ones are not. The law is not perfect, and probably cannot be given the complexity of the world, but it is our collective best attempt.

Isn’t using your personal moral compass to decide that one person can cross these boundaries but another can’t exactly what I was referring to?

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

if we all get to decide for ourselves

Hold up right there.

We do all get to decide for ourselves. We all DO decide for ourselves which laws to follow. What would it even mean for us not to be able to decide for ourselves?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

What would it even mean for us not to be able to decide for ourselves?

It would mean subjecting yourself to the rule of law. It’s how modern societies are supposed to work.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Beth H

I believe that the only way to get people to support slower and safer streets for all is to make single-passenger automobiles more expensive and inconvenient to use. You can’t persuade people out of their cars into more sustainable transportation; you have to make it uncomfortable. 

This seems to me like a “lower all boats” approach, a reflection of a belief that making transit work well for a majority of folks is not possible on a practical level (a belief I share).

I don’t think people will support slower and safer streets if it is based on a policy of making driving more painful on a systemic level.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

(I swear I’m not targeting your comments to reply to, you’re just active on here right now)

I think it’s not a “lower all boats” approach. What we have here is a tragedy of the commons problem. Transit doesn’t work well for a majority of people because there are too many cars on the road, too much investment and commitment in owning them, no significant investment in transit, urban sprawl (not a permanent thing, mind you), etc, etc.

Transit can definitely work for everyone. It can work MUCH better than what we have now or what we will ever have with (as yet, theoretical) automation. It’s just a better system. But it can’t work if you have every person pot committed financially and by infrastructure to individual car ownership.

Or put another way, individual automobile ownership is at a local maximum in terms of what it can do. It can’t really get any better than it is now. Alternatives to individual ownership (and for that matter, individual car use) can do better, but to get there we have to do something to move away from where we are now.

And it’s hard to do that. Maybe we never will. I can see the possibility of a bright future without cars (or rather, very few of them for special cases), but maybe people will never get there because they just can’t get off this cozy local maximum.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

individual automobile ownership is at a local maximum in terms of what it can do…

but maybe people will never get there because they just can’t get off this cozy local maximum.

This is the fundamental issue. I’m stuck on automation not because I think it’s the best possible world (I’m sure it isn’t), but because it is the only way I see to lure people off Maximum Island.

I see no way to do this with transit. Each incremental step needs to be palatable enough that we’re willing to take it, and affordable enough to feel worthwhile. If we could just remake the world all at once, then sure, transit might work. But we can’t.

I believe there is no step-by-step way to get from here to there. If we want to progress beyond where we are, we need a new approach. If automation fails (which is definitely a possibility), then I think we’re going to be stuck here for a good while longer.

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Well, I don’t think people will just do it willingly, without some external force. Climate change might be that, forcing actual regulations. Or some kind of economic collapse (maybe a worse outcome). Or a movement like the “stop the child death” in the Netherlands which helped them. It has to be possible to get there, and I expect there is a gradual way, that doesn’t mean I know what it is. Simply investing heavily in actually high quality transit would help. It can happen a few routes at a time, a dedicated bus lane that takes some political will but not so much that people lose their mind.

One of the main problems I have with automation is I just don’t think it actually gets us off the individual auto dependence even a little. It probably makes it worse! Every car either parks just like they do now, or they drive around looking for rides like a taxi. I don’t think they reduce the cars on the road.

Damien
Damien
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

One of the main problems I have with automation is I just don’t think it actually gets us off the individual auto dependence even a little. It probably makes it worse! Every car either parks just like they do now, or they drive around looking for rides like a taxi. I don’t think they reduce the cars on the road.

Bingo. I believe automation will improve systemic efficiency of automobiles – just as I believe we (as a society, country, capitalists, etc) will simply increase consumption to offset that efficiency. Total consumption will probably increase as individual costs go down (e.g., the cost of actually having to do the driving). We’ve already seen this played out with ridesharing services.

We don’t have a technology problem – we have a behavior problem.

bjorn
bjorn
5 months ago
Reply to  Damien

automation is a good idea, FOR TRANSIT. The technology is fully developed, look at SkyTrain in vancouver, in peak hours trains come every 3-4 minutes and late night your max wait is 10 minutes. Super efficient, great system that we don’t have to wait for future tech to build today.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

Look at SkyTrain in vancouver, in peak hours trains come every 3-4 minutes and late night your max wait is 10 minutes. 

It we had Max trains coming every 3-4 minutes (automated or not), would that lead to a large increase in ridership?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Damien

I believe automation will improve efficiency, but we  will simply increase consumption to offset that efficiency.

In other words: “it’s going to be so great everyone is going to want to use it too much.”

Damien
Damien
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

In other words: “it’s going to be so great everyone is going to want to use it too much.”

Right off the ecological cliff to catastrophe and/or totalitarianism. Enjoy the ride while it lasts!

John V
John V
5 months ago
Reply to  Damien

But it’s going to be soooo cool for a little bit (for some people). Luxury space nihilism.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  John V

Well, I don’t think people will just do it willingly, without some external force.

I agree — but if we have to wait for climate change to force us, it will be far too late to matter. None of our past economic meltdowns drove widespread adoption of transit, so it seems unlikely that the next one would.

It has to be possible to get there

That’s not necessarily true on a practical level.

I just don’t think it actually gets us off the individual auto dependence even a little

“Individual auto dependence” is not itself the problem; it’s the downstream consequences such as traffic fatalities, parking issues, cost of ownership, and pollution that are the problem. Cars have a lot of positive attributes, and having them with much reduced societal costs would be great. If automation can provide that (which is still unproven), it will be a win for everyone.

Brandon
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Nearly every city that has successfully moved the needle on mode share ran into fierce opposition, and it has sank plenty of political careers. Doing the right thing is sometimes unpopular, especially if it involves people changing their behavior. Most here would agree that the status quo of car dominance is unsustainable, and relying on the masses making the “right” decision to drive less doesn’t work. The more public space allocated to cars, the more VMT, it’s as simple as that. To reduce VMT we must reduce space allocated to cars and shift that space to more efficient transportation methods. There are myriad benefits to this approach, and I can’t think of a single city that started down the path of road diets only to give up and cede that space back to the automobile, because residents tend to prefer the new status quo of less dangerous streets and cleaner/healthier communities. I have no interest in a war on cars, but I also think it’s clear that auto-dominance is antithetical to healthy communities. I mean, if more cars meant better communities then everyone would be clamoring to buy a new house on 82nd, right?

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Brandon

Nearly every city that has successfully moved the needle on mode share ran into fierce opposition

Are you thinking of American cities? I’m not aware of any American city that has significantly reduced auto mode share. Some cities, like NYC, do have high rates of transit usage, but that’s a reflection of the unique ways they developed, and even NYC feels very full of cars.

If some Portland leader figures out the way to transition us away from autos and into a high quality transit system, that would be great. I would totally support it.

I just don’t believe it’s going to happen in the foreseeable future. Do you?

Brandon
5 months ago
Reply to  Watts

No major American cities have truly attempted the scale required, but many have made progress, especially following the covid lockdowns. To your point, NYC already has very high public transit mode share, but they have also taken steps to discourage driving, especially in lower Manhattan. I’ll also give the Seattle area some credit here, they are putting their money where there mouth is right now with transit. Whether that is out of necessity due to limited space, or a more benevolent reason, they are building a ton of new train tracks.

I don’t pretend to be able to see into the future, but I won’t count Portland out. If Oregon regains the independent spirit it had decades ago, combined with a strong enough leader, I think it’s possible. We have seen plenty of progress already, it just isn’t as fast or complete as I believe it should be. Each step will get plenty of pushback, but if leaders can weather those storms it can happen. Broadway bike lane is a perfect example of positive progress that was almost lost due to weak leadership. Once space is reallocated to more efficient use it’s rarely given back to autos, and it’s incredibly unpopular when it does. That leads me to believe that most people enjoy the results, they just fear the change.

Watts
Watts
5 months ago
Reply to  Brandon

We have seen plenty of progress already, it just isn’t as fast or complete as I believe it should be. 

Maybe we’re talking about different things — I agree we may be able to increase our transit ridership around the margins, but I think we were discussing the prospect of displacing private cars as the dominant (and default) transportation mode in Portland. There’s no evidence or reasonable extrapolation from current trends to suggest that could happen here or in any similar American city.

I agree with you that Naito (for example) is unlikely to revert to its previous configuration (whether or not its current lane allocation is “efficient” is a different conversation), but I don’t see how even doing a lot of projects like Naito, Hawthorne, or Broadway will add up to a transit (or bicycle) oriented world, and 82nd shows the limits of how many transformative projects we can reasonably expect in the foreseeable future.

If we want real change, we need a new paradigm.

MontyP
MontyP
5 months ago

1/31 update:
Road is wide open and no PBOT vehicles in site as of 12:30PM. Lots of people walking and a few bikes.

They said they can’t stripe until the spring. Is this the roundabout way PBOT is pausing this project, even though they said they wouldn’t?

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
5 months ago

From the Twitter post, I understand that PBOT reached out to police about this.

I would like to know what PBOT considers the threshold for involving the police, such as a specific dollar amount or only if it meets PBOT’s political agenda.

A tent that is powered with an extension cord spliced into a PBOT light pole was reported to PBOT. It likely costs hundreds of dollars each time this happens as they have to send a union electrician to make repairs. If it’s a dollar amount, I am not sure if this makes the cut, however it is a vandalism of type that cause public safety concern, because haphazardly rigged cord has potential to electrify metal objects as poles are not GFCI protected.

Photos were submitted to them showing cord going into the tent, so finding the suspect would have been a easy matter.

While the City of Portland OMF-IRP expedites illegal camps associated with crime for clean-up, when the target of crime is PBOT asset, the city is the only one that can file a crime report. Due to PBOT not reaching out to the police on this matter as a crime, it’s been preventing the crime based expedited removal of that encampment.

An engineering technician from Signals and Street Lights Division wrote saying the below however a manager (as identified by 311 City & County Info) has never provided a response.

“I spoke with my manager and learned our maintenance team reaches out to police at times based on their field observations.”

exhibit-b-1
Tobias
Tobias
4 months ago

A “high powered saw” ? Are we sure it wasn’t an asault saw with a military grade high capacity battery?

Crazy Portlander
Crazy Portlander
4 months ago

As a life long Portlander, lefty liberal and small business owner for 30 years I have given up on Portland. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and I cherish Portland and Portlands individuality. However I have given up on Portland for one significant reason, Special Interest Groups and their lack of caring for the larger community and the change to NE 72nd is a perfect example of this. The alteration to NE 72nd benefits a small group, in my opinion, while I believe it negatively effects the larger community. I live near 72nd and occasionally drive it, bike it and run it. I also love to play the golf course. I know first hand that there was plenty of land that could have been used to allow two lanes of car traffic, two dedicated bike lans and a walking path. But obviously level heads and the greater good was not important here and this is where I think Special Interest Groups AND Portland policy makers fail Portland. My bent on policy and policy makers is decisions must benefit the larger community as a whole over a small group and I just don’t see this in this instance. As of now I have given up on Portland and it breaks my heart. Thank you Special Interest Groups for helping to make Portland so very dysfunctional. I hope your win makes your Portland a better place for ALL people. I personally don’t think it does and I believe your myopic thinking and lack of care for the larger community and others is what is wrong with Portland and society as a whole. Guess it’s time for me to get out and take my crazy big picture ideas/ideals and reasoned community philosophies to the burbs. #icarebeyondmyself (ICBM)

Steven
Steven
4 months ago

“How Do You Do, Fellow Liberals?” When I mentioned equality feeling like oppression this is exactly what I meant. How, precisely, does closing a single street to car traffic in a single direction negatively affect the larger community?

qqq
qqq
4 months ago

Many people might think that spending the millions of dollars it would have taken to build bike lanes there, for the purpose of keeping the southbound vehicle lane open for the relatively few people that use it (and don’t need it) would be a great example of the City catering to special interests.

Damien
Damien
4 months ago

I hope your win makes your Portland a better place for ALL people.

I believe that it does.

I personally don’t think it does and I believe your myopic thinking and lack of care for the larger community and others is what is wrong with Portland and society as a whole.

I personally believe that you are wrong, and that the second part of your statement is projection.