better naito

Guest Post: Tell PBA Members You Support Better Naito

Avatar by on June 23rd, 2017 at 8:06 am

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Portland commuters and business customers using Better Naito.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

(Publisher’s note: This article was submitted by BikePortland subscriber Joan. It comes the day after the Portland Business Alliance launched an email campaign against Better Naito. The campaign appears to have backfired as it has spurred dozens (if not hundreds) of emails to city council and social media comments in support of the project.

We shop, patronize, attend, work for, and support the organizations that comprise the PBA. It’s time to talk to these businesses directly. Do they know about this campaign PBA is running in their name?

As Jonathan wrote in BikePortland last month, the Portland Business Alliance (PBA), which bills itself as the chamber of commerce for greater Portland, has an aggressive campaign against Better Naito, the temporary lane change to SW Naito Parkway along the Waterfront Park that makes bicycling and walking and visiting festivals safer and better during the summer months. As the Portland Mercury notes in the headline to a story about this very topic, the PBA ‘is weirdly obsessed with ‘Better Naito.'”

This campaign has taken several forms, including a misguided editorial in the Portland Tribune and multiple contacts with elected officials. The Mercury said, “PBA brings Better Naito up in meetings with elected officials, and earlier this month, the organization drafted a strongly worded letter to Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman attempting to bring its monied heft to bear on the issue.”
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New path in Waterfront Park part of Naito’s emerging role in bike network

Avatar by on May 31st, 2017 at 9:42 am

This new path is just one sign of Naito’s emerging significance in the downtown bikeway network.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sorry Portland Business Alliance, but the evolution of downtown streets will continue with or without your approval.

The business lobbying group (known around here as “the PBA”) that used to have considerable sway over downtown decision-making, made their opposition to the Better Naito project clear last week. And while the PBA might feel better when the temporary biking and walking-only lane gets removed in September, they’ll soon realize it’s just one of many moves the Portland Bureau of Transportation is making to update downtown streets. And those updates are all aimed at doing the same thing as Better Naito: create more space for biking so it becomes safer and more convenient for more people.

With Better Naito, a new (permanent) path to connect to the Steel Bridge, and several other recent developments, the future of Portland’s downtown bike network is taking shape and Naito Parkway plays a leading role.

Here’s how just a few parts of this emerging bike network figure into that future…
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What does the Portland Business Alliance really think about Better Naito?

Avatar by on May 25th, 2017 at 4:28 pm

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Make way for the job creators!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

What does the Portland Business Alliance think about Better Naito; the city’s reconfiguration of Naito Parkway to include a two-way protected bike lane and sidewalk? It depends on who you ask. Or more precisely, it depends on which of their positions will face more public scrutiny.

The PBA, Portland’s most well-established business lobby group with over 1,800 member companies, has issued two official statements on Better Naito. One came in the form of an op-ed from PBA Board of Directors Chair Jim Mark published in the Portland Tribune on Tuesday; the other came from PBA President and CEO Sandra McDonough in the form of a letter dated May 9th and addressed to Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. I obtained that letter (PDF) via a public records request along with 12 other emails sent to Saltzman’s office regarding Better Naito over the past month.
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Who’s riding on ‘Better Naito’? A look at how the project is going so far

Avatar by on May 10th, 2017 at 5:03 pm

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Traffic on “Better” Naito.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been almost two weeks since the ‘Better Naito’ project opened. I spent some time riding in it and watching traffic yesterday afternoon and I’ve got some observations and photos to share.

Here are some of my takeaways, in no particular order:
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470 bollards not enough to protect ‘Better Naito’ bikeway

Avatar by on May 2nd, 2017 at 4:40 pm

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This is supposed to be a carfree lane.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Let me make this as clear as possible: If Portland wants to get more people cycling, we must provide a network of high-quality, physically protected routes that are connected to destinations. Any bikeway that does not provide physical protection from “A to B” that’s both real and perceived is a gap in the network.

I bring this up because of the fanfare that launched Better Naito last week. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fanfare is justified. The volunteers who advocated for the project initially and the city staff that have embraced it have many reasons to be proud. But let us not forget that this is still second-rate infrastructure designed on the cheap.[Read more…]

With City’s embrace, an ‘Even Better Naito’ returns to the waterfront

Avatar by on April 27th, 2017 at 2:36 pm

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Naito will never be the same.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2015 it was just a wild idea by a few ambitious urban planning activists: What if we reconfigured Naito Parkway so that there was more room for biking and walking?
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A protected bike lane is born: ‘Better Naito’ is being installed right now

Avatar by on April 20th, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Posts were erected today on Naito. They’ll be in place (barring destruction by careless drivers) through the end of September.
(Photo: Timur Ender)

From now until the end of September, all Portlanders will benefit from a much more humane Naito Parkway. Along a busy section of our marquee riverfront street usually held hostage by speeding motor vehicles spewing toxic fumes into the air we breathe, people will drive more slowly and there will be much more room to walk and bike and roll.

As I type this, transportation bureau crews are installing the plastic wands and other elements that will help re-allocate space on the northbound (east) side of Naito for about 3/4 of a mile between SW Main and NW Couch. The $350,000 project was supported by City Council last October. Former Mayor Charlie Hales was an ardent supporter of improving vehicle access on Naito. Prior to voting on it last fall he said, “Expanding the public realm for bicycles in this city, and is something we’re still committed to.”
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City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

Avatar by on October 26th, 2016 at 11:40 am

Hales at council this morning.

Hales at council this morning.

What started as a vision of a few tactical urbanists is now officially ensconced in City of Portland policy.

A few minutes ago Portland City Council unanimously agreed to to pass the fall supplemental budget package that included $350,000 for a seasonal version of the Better Naito project. The budget also includes $1 million for upgrades to outer Northeast Halsey Street — funding that will trigger a $1 million match in funds from the Bureau of Transportation to complete the project.

As we reported earlier this week, these two projects emerged from a list of six requests made by the Bureau of Transportation in an attempt to get a piece of a $4 million piece of the General Fund that was up for grabs.
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Budget update: Safety upgrades to outer Halsey and ‘Seasonal Naito’ poised for funding

Avatar by on October 21st, 2016 at 1:04 pm

NE Halsey in east Portland

Buffered bike lanes, safer crossings, and lower speed limits could be coming soon to Northeast Halsey.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

And then there were two.

Winners and losers are coming into focus in the mad dash for cash that is known as the Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BuMP). Two of the five Bureau of Transportation projects we’ve been tracking are now poised for funding.

$8 million from the city’s General Fund is up for grabs this go-round with about $4 million of that total set-aside for major maintenance and infrastructure projects. The process began with each city bureau submitting their funding requests. Then the City Budget Office offered their opinions to City Council. The final step before the budget is voted on at Council next week was to see what the Mayor wanted to do.

As we alluded to in a post this morning, we can now confirm that — out of the six PBOT projects in the discretionary category (as in, not part of the major maintenance and infrastructure list) — Mayor Hales has formally requested $350,000 for the Seasonal Naito project and $1 million for new sidewalks and other “safety improvements” on Northeast Halsey Street between 112th and 162nd Avenues (the Gresham border).
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Call to action: Let’s make ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ a reality

Avatar by on October 21st, 2016 at 10:08 am

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We can set this in stone every summer for five years if we let City Council know we want it.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycle access through and to Waterfront Park is in dire need of help. And ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ — a project proposed by the Bureau of Transportation and supported by Mayor Charlie Hales — is our best chance to get it.
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