As the City of Portland looks to create a usable, low-stress cycling network in the central city, one of the toughest places to make it a reality will be the Central Eastside Industrial District. An area hemmed in by massive freeway infrastructure with a legacy of heavy industry and freight-dependent businesses, the CEID is in many ways the lynchpin of the Central City in Motion project.
One of the people standing in the middle of discussions about how to plan for the future of this district is Peter Stark.
Stark is a licensed architect who owns his own design and planning firm. He’s also one of Portland’s most well-known activists. Stark’s many civic endeavors include a position on the board of Portland Streetcar Inc., and he’s the founder and board chair of the Cornell Road Sustainability Coalition. In the Central Eastside, Stark has been a key player for over 17 years. He’s a past president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council and currently on the board as well as being the executive director of the CEIC’s Transportation Policy Advisory Committee.
I caught up with Stark after a meeting of the Central City in Motion in project last week to ask him about how he sees the future of bikes and freight in the Central Eastside.
for the State of Washington, spoke at this
morning’s opening plenary.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
The “shared vision” of transportation reform advocates was literally on display at the kickoff of the Oregon Active Transportation Summit this morning. The event, organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, is being held at the Sentinel hotel in downtown Portland today and tomorrow.
I’m covering the action for the first part of the day, then our News Editor Michael Anderson will take over in the afternoon.
The summit started with an opening speech by Lynn Peterson, the former transportation policy advisor to former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber who was recently forced out of her position as director of Washington’s Department of Transportation.
Portland’s biggest trike-based urban cargo company is about to get bigger.
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.
Cities can’t exist without cargo. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that cities can exist with fewer big trucks.
Two weeks ago, the day after local man Kirke Johnson was killed in a collision with a right-turning semi-trailer truck that apparently failed to yield as he passed it going straight, urbanist website CityLab published an interesting bit of news.
After years of selling 15-foot cargo vans as delivery vehicles in Europe and Japan, Nissan has found a market for them in the United States, too:
(Photo © M. Andersen/BikePortland)
Michael Hanchin couldn’t take any more hours behind the wheel.
“You would never know where there’s a loading zone,” the veteran Portland Mercury delivery contractor, 42, recalled Wednesday. “I think that’s what did me in.”
Hanchin’s back ached from crawling into the bed of his truck to haul out 18-pound newspaper bundles on hands and knees. His fuel and repair costs were eating up his contract income. Sometimes, when he couldn’t find anywhere to park downtown, he’d sit behind his wheel and glare at other contractors while they ate lunch in their rigs, hogging the available space.
Then, after five years of delivering the Mercury to inner Southwest Portland every Wednesday, Hanchin had a revelation.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The long, cold war between Portland’s bike/pedestrian advocates and its freight advocates might finally be thawing, people involved in recent talks say.
The latest evidence: Trucking advocates have signed on to soften a set of state rules that might have essentially blocked all new bike lanes, road diets and crosswalk upgrades on state-owned commercial streets such as Lombard Street through St. Johns, Powell Boulevard through Southeast Portland and the Tualatin Valley Highway through downtown Beaverton and Hillsboro.
After two years of discussion, freight and bike/pedestrian experts have settled on a revised state rule that explicitly allows road changes as long as they don’t physically block the passage of wide freight loads.
A proposal to amend a powerful state transportation planning law would have had chilling effect on the development of bikeways in cities throughout Oregon. But thankfully, because of the swift action by active transportation advocates, the City of Portland, and Metro, the director of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) decided this week to not only suspend the proposal, but to launch a full “collaborative” review of the existing law.
How this all unfolded is a fascinating (at least to me) look into how influential stakeholders and entrenched institutional power can influence state policy — and how advocates can push back.
Committee, Corky Collier.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Not surprisingly, the death of Kathryn Rickson while she rode in a bike lane just one block from Portland City Hall has got a lot of people talking. Apart from the grieving we do as a community when something like this happens, many people are turning their feelings toward finding a solution to the problems they feel might have led to the collision.
Two major strains of discussion have emerged: large trucks and the safety issues they pose in tight, urban environments; and how we design bicycle access into our roads. Today I want to focus on the issue of truck safety (I am not dismissing the bikeway design issue; but it’s worth noting that we covered that at length following a similar fatality back in October 2007).
To get a better understanding about freight movement and truck safety downtown, I got in touch with Corky Collier. Collier is the former chair of the Portland Freight Committee, which is an advisory group to the Bureau of Transportation (think of it as the Bicycle Advisory Committee, but for freight). Collier is also the executive director of the Columbia Corridor Association, a non-profit business association that represents industries along the Columbia River.[Read more…]