wonk night

Wonk Night highlights widespread I-5 Rose Quarter project concerns

Avatar by on March 7th, 2019 at 11:55 am

Great turnout!
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The idea behind Wonk Night is to go deeper into the issues, get questions answered, and connect with other people. Based on early reviews from last night’s event, it appears to have been a big success.

About 40 people braved a stormy evening and came together in the offices of Lancaster Engineering downtown to learn more about the I-5 Rose Quarter project’s environmental assessment (EA). We had drinks (thanks in part to an assist from The Street Trust!) and snacks (peanut M & Ms were a big hit) and plenty of copies of the relevant documents.

In the room was a healthy mix of Wonk Night regulars and new faces. There was a strong contingent of PSU planning students, a few agency staffers there on their own time, and activists and concerned citizens of all stripes. We had people like (poet) Alicia Cohen who’s just learning the ropes of activism, and veterans of freeway fighting like Jim Howell who was a key figure in stopping the Mt. Hood Freeway and founded Riverfront For People in 1969, the group that helped turn Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park.

Everyone in attendance expressed serious reservations about the project. Before we got started, I asked how many people in the room wanted to defeat it. All the hands went up. [Read more…]

Wonk Night Wednesday (3/6): Let’s talk about the I-5 Rose Quarter project

Avatar by on February 28th, 2019 at 3:46 pm

What’s the purpose of this proposed overcrossing at NE Clackamas street? Is it only to dress up the plan drawings and hide the widening of the freeway beneath it? (Graphics: ODOT)

While the fact that the Oregon Department of Transportation wants to widen I-5 through our central city gets most of the attention (reasonably so), an estimated half of the project’s $500 million price tag will be spent on surface streets and non-freeway infrastructure.[Read more…]

Wonk Night zeroes in on bike parking code update

Avatar by on September 25th, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Advocate Betsy Reese (L) and Bike Loud PDX Co-chair Emily Guise know that parking policy can be fun!
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of a contractual partnership between BikePortland and Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Last night we hosted a special Wonk Night event to bolster the City of Portland’s bicycle parking code update project.

As we shared last week, the bike parking chapter of the Zoning Code (33.266.200) was written in 1996. That means it doesn’t address today’s volume of riders, the types of bikes people ride, or best practices for the design, security, and location of bike parking. And it’s certainly not strong enough to handle projected growth — in terms of our bicycle ridership goals or the population overall.

That’s a problem.

If people don’t have an accessible and secure place to park their bikes, they’ll be less likely to ride. And for those who don’t bike yet, seeing bikes neatly lined up at high-quality parking spaces can be an inspirational nudge toward giving it a try.
[Read more…]

After 20 years, Portland’s bike parking code set for major update

Avatar by on September 20th, 2018 at 10:08 am

Among the proposals are requirements for larger spaces (to fit cargo bikes) and outlets for e-bikes.
(Photo: PBOT)

1996 was a long time ago. I imagine some of you reading this weren’t even born yet. Did you know the City of Portland is using a bike parking code that was adopted way back then?

It’s true. Even though our bicycling rates have septupled since then and we have about 100,000 more residents, we’re still using a playbook that’s 20 years old. If we want to meet our goal of 25% bicycle mode split by 2030, we’ve got to bring our parking policies into the modern era. Thankfully, a major update is in the works.
[Read more…]

Wonk Night recap: Exciting times for open streets

Avatar by on June 3rd, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Wonk Night June 2016-3.jpg

(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If Portland is on the cusp of a new open streets era (and I think it is), it will be up to us to make it great. And by “us” I mean all of us — from city staffers to grassroots activists and everyone in between.

Especially the grassroots.

That’s because the way Portland is doing this is different than other places (surprise, surprise). Our movement is being led by the community and the powers-that-be (the transportation bureau and City Hall) are merely facilitators.

That’s one of the big — and exciting — takeaways from our latest Wonk Night that happened on Wednesday at the Lancaster StreetLab.

With about 40 or so movers-and-shakers in the livable streets movement, we shared insights, traded ideas, and asked important questions about Portland’s open streets past, present, and future.[Read more…]

Wonk Nights work! 30 months later, city kicks off bike parking reform

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 23rd, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Bike Parking Wonk Night-7

The crowd of problem-solvers in 2013.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

BikePortlanders may remember that a few years ago, Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith approached us with an idea: he felt the city’s bike parking rules needed an update, and wanted help proving it.

So we teamed up with our friends at Lancaster Engineering to host a “wonk night” at which 30 attendees broke into groups and brainstormed ideas for updating the city code that tells developers how to design bike parking and how much of each type to include.

Smith wrote us this week to share some good news: Tomorrow night is the first meeting of the Bicycle Parking Stakeholder Working Group, which has been officially tasked with rewriting the city’s code.

[Read more…]

Wonk Night focuses on pursestrings and politics of big projects (photos)

Avatar by on September 11th, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Wonk Night September 2015-16.jpg

We might need a bigger venue!

Sure, we’ve got your shiny new Orange Line light rail corridor and the fancy bike/walk/bus/streetcar/light-rail-only bridge, but what’s next?
[Read more…]