Drivers heading west on SW Jefferson get backed-up between 18th and I-405. There’s one westbound lane for driving where there used to be two (the right lane is only for turning). (Photos: Jonathan Maus)
“I bike that every day and I believe it’s made the biking situation worse.” — Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland
Yesterday a City Council Work Session on the Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero program turned into a sharp critique of recent striping changes SW Jefferson Avenue. Commissioner Nick Fish interrupted a presentation by outgoing PBOT Director Leah Treat (her last day is Friday) to share his concerns that a new lane configuration has made conditions worse. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who said he bikes home on the road every day, agreed with him. [Read more…]
It’s time to talk about the future of Better Naito. (Photo: Jonathan Maus)
“The Mayor wants one of these options to move forward [and] is interested in Option B.” — Michael Cox, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for Mayor Ted Wheeler
Now in its fourth year as a seasonal street oasis for vulnerable road users, the talks about making Better Naito permanent are heating up.
This past winter, the Portland Bureau of Transportation commissioned a private consulting firm to develop a report (below) with conceptual designs for a capital project that would replace the temporary plastic delineator wands and paint striping that exist today on Naito Parkway’s northbound lanes from SW Main to NW Couch with a permanent, 20-foot wide path for bicycling, walking, and other uses.
This is the first time the report has been made public. We received a copy of it from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications Michael Cox after hearing about from various sources. Here’s the report:[Read more…]
Mayor Ted Wheeler supports an ODOT megaproject that invests hundreds of million of dollars in more of this. (Photos: Jonathan Maus)
When it comes to transportation, recent statements from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler paint a confusing picture of the future.
On one hand, Wheeler seems to understand the urgency of climate change. On the other hand, he supports the I-5 Rose Quarter project that adds lanes to a freeway to improve driving conditions in our central city.
On one hand, he understands that the future of transportation is in flux. On the other hand, he supports single-occupancy vehicle use — a form of urban transportation whose time has long since passed.
Confused or simply wrong, Wheeler — someone who is ostensibly a progressive — is on the wrong side of this issue. [Read more…]
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made his support for the I-5 Rose Quarter project very clear during a radio interview yesterday. He also pushed back rather strongly against the significant grassroots opposition to the project.
As a guest on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud show, Wheeler answered several questions about the project from host Geoff Norcross. The interview came just a few hours before Wheeler would hear more testimony on the project at yesterday’s City Council public hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan. (Also notable at the hearing was that Wheeler invited seven people to testify in favor of the project, including Governor Kate Brown’s top transportation policy advisor Karmen Fore and State Representative Susan McClain.)
(Image: Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability: Central City 2035)
The Green Loop, one of the the city’s “Big Ideas” in the Central City 2035 plan, has been singled out by a coalition of activists who say it’s yet another sign east Portland is being left behind.
In a letter (PDF) sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and city council members on September 6th as testimony on the Central City plan, the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC) said they are, “disappointed in the City’s numerous efforts to elevate the Green Loop concept while failing to elevate similar efforts in areas outside the city core.” [Read more…]
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.
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…]
Don’t worry! Those cars are driving themselves. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Hoping to get out in front of what many see as an inevitable tidal wave in vehicle technology that will transform our streets, the City of Portland has announced the Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative (SAVI).
The announcement was made this morning at the Portland Business Alliance’s April Forum Breakfast event. Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman spoke at the event and formally launched the initiative via the Portland Bureau of Transportation (which Saltzman oversees). By the end of this year the city will develop a suite of policies and review proposals from private companies that want to test AVs on Portland streets.
“My goal is to have an autonomous vehicle pilot program in Portland, working for Portlanders, by the end of the year,” Wheeler said in a statement. “To the inventors, investors and innovators, I’m here to say that Portland is open for business. By working with private industry, we can make sure that cutting edge technology expands access to public transit and reduces pollution and congestion.” [Read more…]
Wheeler in September 2015. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Ted Wheeler has started his tenure as Portland’s 53rd mayor with a bang. Or should we say, with a brrrrr.
Wheeler revealed on Twitter today (after being asked about it) that he rode his bike to work for his first day on the job. “This is Portland!” you might say, “That’s no big deal!” But consider this: When Wheeler left his home in the West Hills the mercury rose to only about 25 degrees. And there was a serious wind chill. And it was dark.
When we asked him how it went he said, “Cold, but the roads were dry and the stars were out.”
Riding a bike in an urban environment on a regular basis isn’t a pre-requisite for success as the leader of a major city; but it is certainly important. Given that nearly all policymakers have an automobile-centric perspective, it’s imperative that a non-driving worldview has a chance to work its way into our planning, policies, and priorities. [Read more…]