housing

How car parking makes new housing much more expensive

Avatar by on October 2nd, 2019 at 11:44 am

Townhomes at NE Couch and 53rd Avenue, currently selling for $729,000 each. But if parking isn’t needed, the most profitable project would be mixed-income condo buildings with average prices near $280,000.
(Photo: Michael Andersen/Sightline)

We’ve been on the car-housing beat for many years now, so when housing expert and Sightline reporter Michael Andersen says he’s never seen a more clear-cut example of how Portland can choose housing for people or housing for cars, I think it’s worth your attention.

Andersen just published a story about a policy in front of Portland City Council today that would reform “mid-density zones”. Among the details of the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability’s Better Homes By Design proposal is one that Andersen finds “almost shocking its clarity.”

I’ll let Andersen explain (emphasis mine):[Read more…]

Did segregation cause your traffic jam?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 22nd, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Segregation isn’t just for suburbia. White householders in greater Portland are marked in blue, Asian-American householders in red, black householders in green, Hispanic or Latino householders in orange. Source: 2010 Census via University of Virginia. (Click for zoomable nationwide map.)

Crossposted from Sightline Institute. Senior researcher Michael Andersen is a former news editor at BikePortland.

Many North American cities are oddly un-city-like compared to their peers in Asia, Europe, Africa and even South America. Our cities are weirdly spread out and the damage to our environment and economy is colossal.

Why did this happen?

[Read more…]

Oregon legislature finds ‘missing middle’, passes ban on single-family zoning

Avatar by on July 1st, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Built in 1927, this duplex has been illegal has been prohibited in our zoning code for almost a century. HB 2001 changes that.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When it comes to boosting bicycle mode share, where we build our homes is more important than how we build our streets. Density of residential dwellings matters because the viability of bicycle use increases as people live closer to their jobs, schools, friends, and other destinations.

That’s why we’ve talked up the connection between cycling and land-use planning and zoning on this site for well over a decade.

Now we’re very happy to share that over the weekend the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that bans single-family zoning. This is a boon for the potential of efficient transportation modes like cycling, and transit.

Here’s the lowdown from Michael Andersen at Sightline:

If signed by Gov. Kate Brown in the next month, House Bill 2001 will strike down local bans on duplexes for every low-density residential lot in all cities with more than 10,000 residents and all urban lots in the Portland metro area.
[Read more…]

‘Missing middle’ housing bill needs a push in Salem

Avatar by on June 10th, 2019 at 8:46 am

Plenty of “middle housing” in Montreal is one reason why it’s such a great city for biking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important bills we’ve been tracking this legislative session is hanging in the balance.

House Bill 2001 would allow “missing middle” housing (a.k.a. multi-family dwellings) in places currently zoned for only single-family housing. It would have a vast impact on cycling because it would enable more people to live in closer proximity to jobs and other destinations — making a trip by bike more feasible.

According to advocates who support the bill, the time is now to press legislators to move the bill forward. Below is a message from southeast Portland resident Doug Klotz: [Read more…]

Oregon’s proposal to lift fourplex bans would be great for biking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 18th, 2018 at 8:57 am

Protected bike lanes aren’t the only reason so many people bike in Amsterdam.
(Photo: M. Andersen)

An earlier version of this post was published by the Sightline Institute. It’s by former BikePortland news editor Michael Andersen.

The fight to strike down apartment bans has arrived in Oregon’s legislature.

Would re-legalizing fourplexes everywhere be good for bicycle transportation? It very much would be.

On Friday, Willamette Week broke some news: Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek has been working on a bill that’d require all but the smallest Oregon cities in urban areas to re-legalize up to four homes per lot—a lower-cost housing option that was quite common in the early 20th century but was gradually banned from most parts of most cities.

[Read more…]

Planning Commission finds ‘missing middle,’ votes for more housing citywide

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 17th, 2018 at 1:04 pm

A 1905 duplex on SE 33rd Avenue in Portland. Like many other cities, Portland made these illegal on most lots in the mid 20th century. Photo by Portland for Everyone.

“What do the neighbors have to be afraid of? It’s buildings, people or cars.”
— Chris Smith, Planning Commissioner

An earlier version of this post was published by the Sightline Institute. It’s by BikePortland’s former news editor, Michael Andersen, who started covering the need for “missing middle” housing — especially in Portland’s most bikeable neighborhoods — for us in 2015. We last covered this issue in May, just before the crucial public hearings described here.

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The most provocative housing policy event of this week in the Pacific Northwest started happening four months ago.
[Read more…]

Speak up or sprawl out: “Missing middle” housing proposal hits the planning commission tonight

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 8th, 2018 at 10:28 am

The “safety in numbers” phenomenon works in housing too.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

This is a guest post by Michael Andersen, BikePortland’s news editor from 2013 to 2016. He’s a writer for 1000 Friends of Oregon’s pro-housing campaign Portland for Everyone.

There are two ways for more Portlanders to live in bikeable neighborhoods.

One way is to add good bike infrastructure to neighborhoods without it. The other way is to let more people live in neighborhoods that have it already. Portland should be doing both.[Read more…]

The future of Portland housing depends on biking, and vice versa

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Bikeways of Montreal-93.jpg

The bikeways in Montreal inspire people to give cycling a try; but it’s their proximity to ample and affordable residential housing that seals the deal.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When BikePortland reported last week that the city may slash its goal for increasing biking, the eighth paragraph contained a twist.

The obstacle to advancing our city to 25 percent of trips by bike by 2030 wasn’t actually the biking, city staff said. It was real estate.
[Read more…]

Auto parking or affordable housing? Portland Mayor says debate is “over”

Avatar by on May 9th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Mayor Wheeler speaking at the Rose City Park Neighborhood Association meeting last week.
(Photo from video. Watch it below)

This article was written by Tony Jordan, founder of Portlanders for Parking Reform. It originally appeared on his website on May 4th and has been re-published here with his permission.

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Convenient parking is a problem in parts of Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler conceded last week. But it’s a smaller problem than housing — and Wheeler says that when the two come in conflict, housing must be the priority.

The mayor’s words came at a Rose City Park Neighborhood meeting April 25th. Wheeler was asked by RCPNA board member Deborah Field what his plan was to “require developers to put in ample parking spaces” with new housing projects.

The mayor’s response was definitive:

“But I want to put a marker down. The debate: Parking vs. Housing? It’s really over. That piece of the conversation is over. When younger families or younger people say they want to locate here, the first thing they’re saying isn’t ‘Boy I wish I had another parking space, or had access to a parking space.” What they’re saying is, “I can’t afford to live in this city.” And, so, the city, meaning the debate that happened over the last three years actually made a choice, and the choice was affordability and housing over access to parking. I just want you to be aware that that is a real dynamic and is a real choice and it was made with full community involvement.”

The mayor told the crowd that, “parking adds significantly to the cost of affordable housing.”[Read more…]

PBOT wants your input on apartment bike parking

Avatar by on February 1st, 2017 at 10:49 am

bike parking at Central Eastside Lofts-4

New city code could require developers to build better bike parking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Do you live in an apartment? If so, where and how do you park your bike?

The Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is refining and updating the portion of our city code that regulates bicycle parking in residential buildings and they want your input. Because this is Portland, they’ve also assembled a stakeholder advisory committee that’s grappling with code revisions that could dictate a new number of new policies such as: whether or not a fee should be charged for bike parking rooms; how high bike racks should be installed; what type of security and signage should be used in bike rooms; the quality of access routes to bike rooms, and more.
[Read more…]