The City of Portland is not a fan of drive-through windows. For decades Portland has adopted regulations that limit how and where drive-throughs can be built.
City planners believe drive-throughs don’t serve the community’s best interests and that they lead to auto-oriented development that’s directly counter to adopted policy goals and dangerous for people on foot, on bike, and on mobility devices.
Now the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission wants to ban new drive-throughs east of 80th Avenue and require all establishments that already have them to serve all customers, not just those using cars.
As Portlanders debate ways to deal with the city’s continuing surge of housing prices, a coalition of local affordable-housing developers and service providers says Portland can’t afford to continue banning so-called “missing middle” housing from most of the city.
Duplexes, triplexes, internal home divisions and two-story garden apartments are common throughout many of the neighborhoods Portland built in the early 20th century. Today, those neighborhoods are the city’s most walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly — but since 1959, city code has made it illegal to build more neighborhoods like that. Homes with multiple kitchens or space for fewer than two cars are forbidden even on most residential land in the central city.
Saying that “not everybody can cycle,” Commissioner Amanda Fritz Tuesday urged the city to switch the order of its “green transportation hierarchy” to prioritize public transit above biking.
“Everybody can use the bus,” Fritz, who a city staffer mentioned was supported by written testimony from advocacy group Elders in Action, said at a council work session on the city’s new comprehensive plan. “And our transit system is not good.”
Fritz’s comments drew disagreement from her counterpart Steve Novick, who said the city’s plan already calls for big upgrades to transit and that “historically we’ve spent a hell of a lot more on things other than biking and walking.”
The city says there’s no room for future bike lanes on the most direct street between Northwest Portland’s fast-growing residential area and the Central Eastside’s fast-growing job district.
Instead, inner Southwest Alder Street is slated to become a “trafficway” offering automobile and truck connections to the Morrison Bridge and interstate highways.
As we reported earlier this week, the City of Portland is trying to hone its massive transportation to-do list by asking people to rank their 10 favorite projects.
In a letter circulated this week, the citizens’ committee that’s most closely tied to Portland’s biking policies shared theirs.
maybe the city’s single most progressive statement of
The City of Portland says (PDF) its new 20-year comprehensive plan is informed by three city documents that created a prioritized ranking for transportation needs.
But it’s an open question whether the “green transportation hierarchy,” as it’s been known since its creation in 2009, will be fully enshrined in the 20-year comprehensive plan as it previously was in the Sam Adams-era Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Plan for 2030 and Portland Plan.
Members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee are making it one of their top requests to the city to keep the chart in place and intact.
(Photo: Mark McClure)
Why does Portland require every new house to have a driveway big enough to fit two cars?
Why do we forbid most lots from having two separate dwelling structures unless one is 25 percent smaller than the other and has a roof with an identical slope?
Why do we ban second kitchens within a single home unless the owner essentially pinky-swears that only one household will be living in the building?
The most familiar answer to all of them is one of the most-used words in urban zoning: “compatibility.” But what exactly does that mean?
(Image from BPS Map App Explorer)
The web-based toolkit that lets you track Portland transportation projects and related issues has been heaved into the Hales/Novick era.
When we wrote in July about the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Comprehensive Map App, its list of transportation projects was rooted largely in 2007, which had been the last time the city had updated its master list of transportation projects.
Portland’s proclivity for planning and process can make activism on certain topics daunting. The city’s Comprehensive Plan is one such topic: it’s as large and complicated as it is important. So, when our friends at Lancaster Engineering and Bike Walk Vote wanted to make it the theme of a Wonk Night, we jumped at the chance to get involved.