Thursday’s passage of the Central City in Motion plan will be remembered as a crucial moment in Portland’s history. I was sitting in the back of council chambers on Thursday with Ryan Hashagen from Better Block and during the testimony we both reflected on the passage of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan eight years ago. [Read more…]
It’s time for Portland to build more efficient streets downtown where walkers and bicycle riders can get around without fearing for their life. And to make it happen, we need to move forward with the Central City in Motion plan and more people need to stop driving cars.
That was the message newly-appointed Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly shared at Thursday’s city council hearing. Commissioner Eudaly made activist hearts flutter when she opened the meeting with a speech that set a strong tone that helped pass the plan with flying colors in a vote of 3-0 (two commissioners were absent). Eudaly’s tone throughout was “Blumenauer-like” one source told me after the meeting, referring to U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who served as PBOT commissioner in the 1990s when our city put itself on the map as a leader in bicycling, walking, and transit.
Recounting her experience being stuck in Hawthorne Bridge traffic next to a TriMet bus, in her opening speech Eudaly said Portland needs to encourage incentives and disincentives so people, “Change their deeply engrained behaviors and their cherished traditions — namely to not drive their single occupancy vehicles [into downtown].” She also promised that no public funds would be spent on auto parking garages and that the city is current “over-investing” in east Portland, pushing back against any claims that central city investment is not equitable (an issue that has plagued bikeway investments in the past). [Read more…]
The proposal going before Portland City Council at 2 pm today would be the city’s most important biking infrastructure investment in 20 years, and its most important bus infrastructure investment in 40.
Just as importantly, it’d also make our streets work better, permanently.
The Central City in Motion plan avoids the false promise of bigger roads: 39 percent of the central city is already dedicated to street space, it notes. So, as Jonathan reported last month, it’s planning to dedicate an additional 1 percent of those central streets to bike lanes and another 1 percent to bus lanes.
That little shift in urban space, which would take the form of 18 street projects over the next 10 years, would boost the people-moving capacity of the affected streets by an average of 60 percent. [Read more…]
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) hopes commissioners will approve their list of 18 projects they say will vastly increase capacity of streets from the Pearl to the Lloyd, and from southwest to the central eastside. PBOT’s argument is that growth of our central city makes squeezing more efficiency out of our existing roads imperative — and we can only do that by making cycling and transit easier and faster.
But if this plan is to get through council it will need support from local transportation advocacy groups. Three in particular have watched this plan closely as it has taken shape over the past several years: Bike Loud PDX, The Street Trust, and Portlanders for Parking Reform.
Below is a taste of the tone you can expect from each group on Thursday… [Read more…]
This week the Portland Bureau of Transportation published a bunch of new documents (including the official Implementation Plan) and changed the council hearing date to this coming Thursday November 15th at 2:00 pm.
This is not a drill.
With two years of public outreach and planning all tied up in a bow, all that’s left is to make closing arguments, get this thing passed at City Council, and start building.
In a four-page letter (PDF) sent to Transportation Commmissioner Chloe Eudaly yesterday, Portland Business Alliance President and CEO Andrew Hoan offered carefully mixed doses of support and opposition to projects included in the City of Portland’s Central City in Motion (CCIM) plan.
And in a surprising show of dealmaking, Hoan offered up enthusiastic support for a carfree transit mall in exchange for the City’s proposal to add protected bike lanes to SW Broadway and 4th. And instead of using one lane of Naito Parkway for a protected bike lane, the PBA says they’ll support a new bike path that would bisect the iconic Waterfront Park. Neither of those ideas has been seriously considered in the past two years of discussions about this plan.
With less than a month before the groundbreaking investment in central city streets is scheduled for its first hearing at City Council, many project-watchers have been waiting to see where the PBA stands on the proposals. The organization represents 1,900 businesses and has a history of outsized influence at PBOT and City Hall. [Read more…]
PBOT map of Central City in Motion projects shared by Business for a Better Portland today.
One week after an open house where the public was asked to rank a list of potential projects to be funded through the Central City in Motion plan, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has trimmed the list from 18 to 11. PBOT also seems to have axed key parts of two remaining projects.
At least that’s how it appears in an email just sent to members of a local, pro-business advocacy group.
Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) sent an email to members today encouraging them to submit comments on the projects. “Although the online open house survey is now closed,” reads the email, “BBPDX members have the opportunity to provide direct feedback on which projects should be slated for development in the next five years.”
The map and list of projects provided by BBPDX is different than the map shown at the open house last week. The most recent map made public by PBOT showed 18 “project bundles” (a mix of protected bike lanes, crossing updates, and enhanced transit lanes). The map revealed in the email from BBPDX today shows just 11 projects — two of which have had key elements removed since last week. [Read more…]