Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Oh dear, what's wrong with Portland?

The letter below was signed by 60 Portland business owners opposing a bike lane that would have eliminated 100 parking spaces. The city dumped the bike lane project. Sounds like Polk Street. Don't those business owners understand that removing parking for their customers to make bike lanes is good for business?

Mr. Rich Newlands
Portland Bureau of Transportation

The purpose of this letter is to communicate our primary interests in regards to the proposed bikeway between I-84 and SE Stark. The business community's overriding concern along the 28th Avenue corridor is the safety of our neighbors, visitors and employees, no matter the mode of transport — pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicle. We support a bikeway that does not remove curbside parking on 28th Avenue. We will continue to support any alignment that does not impact parking on 28th Avenue and in the meantime will continue to provide our own extensive accommodation of bicyclists in our district.

Curbside auto parking along the short section of 28th between Sandy and Stark is already minimal and will become further stressed as the nearly 200 nearby new apartments, now nearing completion, are occupied by tenants. Very little off-street parking is provided for these apartments. Recent studies show that at least seventy percent of the new tenants will own automobiles and will have to depend on street parking (City of Portland Parking Impacts for new TOD Along Portland Inner Corridors by David Evans and Assoc., November 2012). Due to new housing and pre-existing housing infill, surrounding neighborhood streets already experience a serious shortage of on-street parking.

As business and property owners we are concerned with the safety, vitality, and livability of our neighborhood. The proposal to remove parking along one side of 28th Ave. is only going to add to the stress of the neighborhood with additional cars trying to find parking in the neighborhood. Parking removal will force cars into the neighborhood to look for parking. Many of these side streets are narrow and not designed to accommodate more vehicular traffic. This will create a dangerous and stressful environment for bicyclist, pedestrians and the neighborhood residents.

We have invested heavily in our neighborhood to make it the very popular dining and entertainment destination it has become. Our businesses have attracted a loyal clientele and customer base that come from all over the metro area and beyond. Our district competes with others in the city that have better transportation infrastructure. The removal of substantial amounts of parking puts our area at a competitive disadvantage and it will make our daily business operations more difficult by forcing delivery and tradesman vehicles onto overcrowded neighborhood side streets.

We support a shared bikeway on 28th avenue, with an enhanced greenway for bicyclist on 30th Ave., lowering the speed limit on 28th Ave. and installing crosswalks and traffic calming devices along this route to make a safer route for bicyclists and pedestrians.

We look forward to further neighborhood enhancements including a bikeway that will complement the district without imposing undue hardships on business vitality and neighborhood livability. In this context we support the bikeway that does not remove any parking on 28th Avenue between Sandy and Stark.

Thank you,
Concerned business owners along NE 28th Ave opposed to parking removal along 28th between Sandy and Stark street

Meanwhile, Portland streets deteriorate as that city continues to throw money at streetcars that few ride.

Thanks to Beyond Chron for the link.

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