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…]
Ted Wheeler crosses Tilikum Crossing during Sunday Parkways in September 2015. (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland
Portland’s next mayor is a Multnomah County commissioner turned state treasurer who embraced protected bike lanes and more neighborhood greenway traffic diverters from almost the start of his run for office.
Ted Wheeler was drawing 58 percent of Portland’s primary vote Tuesday night, easily defeating opponents Jules Bailey and Sarah Iannarone, among others.
Wheeler also set himself apart on transportation issues by endorsing a local gas tax to improve Portland streets on the day he announced his campaign — a position that rapidly became conventional wisdom among local politicians and won a narrow victory Tuesday night.
Since many of you will probably spend some part of this weekend reading your voter’s pamphlet and/or filling out your ballot, here’s a quick way to compare how the three most prominent mayoral candidates are thinking about bike safey.
Portland mayoral candidate and seeming frontrunner Ted Wheeler could imagine using decongestion charging to unclog Portland roads but isn’t ready to back a dedicated bus lane on Powell or Division.
He’s also a fan of dedicated bike signal phases and supports “rationing” auto parking as long as it’s done in conjunction with improved transit and biking options, but isn’t willing to specify how that rationing might take place.