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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 16, 2011 9:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Speaking of paving paradise.... The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Portland car hater agenda: Sunday Parkways every day

We have no beef with Sunday Parkways -- the summer event in which the city closes down streets for bicycling on a half dozen Sundays in various parts of town. We took the kids walking on the parkways a couple of times, and it was o.k. But we soon realized that while it's advertised as being for walkers, too, Sunday Parkways is really for the cyclists. It's not particularly friendly to pedestrians at all.

Be that as it may, we can't see any harm. For those of us who don't feel like riding our bikes in dense packs of mostly inexperienced cyclists, all we need to do is note and avoid the affected areas on the few Sundays on which the events take place. Fine.

But Portland's pushiest bicycle freaks will stop at nothing to make known their claim to superiority, and for some reason this shrill minority has complete control of the Beautiful People currently running Portland government. And so now they're bragging about certain streets in town that they're gradually taking over on a permanent basis:

First of all, the message here is pretty misleading. It's only "Sunday Parkways Everyday" on Going Street until you get hit by a UPS truck on a Tuesday afternoon. But more importantly, it's stunning to us that this is the mindset of Portland city government these days. "Sunday Parkways Everyday." Just wow.

This latest in the endless stream of glossy propaganda brochures mailed to our home explains a lot. Yes, it's "Sunday Parkways Everyday" in Portlandia. Hardly anybody goes to work on Sunday.

Comments (37)

You may not have a problem with the summertime Sunday Parkways but we live just inside the boundary of the North Portland parkway and dread them every year. We can look forward to SUVs and vans clogging our street (one block long), taking up available parking and unloading bicycles. Buses are re-routed and good luck trying to figure out where Tri Met has sent them. And just try to walk anywhere. It may be a nice Sunday afternoon outing for people who drive to the neighborhood to ride their bikes. But it is nothing but a headache for the neighborhood. So I have nothing but sympathy for those who live along the "Sunday Parkways Everyday" routes.

Jack, Jack, Jack - you just keep refusing to see the big picture ...

You know who else demanded that cars only drive 25 mph on residential side streets? Hitler.

All your street are belong to us.

Uh, how is the glossy misleading? It says that there are certain streets where peds and bikes are given priority all the time, and that Sunday Parkways tries to include the greenways when possible.

Hard to see anything misleading here.

I think the point is that Sunday Parkway streets are closed to motor vehicles, whereas Sunday Parkway Everyday streets are not. Except for Sunday Parkway.

"We can look forward to SUVs and vans clogging our street (one block long), taking up available parking and unloading bicycles.

Driving to a biking event. Sigh....

I've never been to one of these things. I ride my bike to get places. Riding it around in circles on a street packed with other cyclists for the point of... what exactly? Makes no sense to me.

It would perfect sense if the goal were simply to clog up the streets, now wouldn't it? Don't the bike activists call that "corking"?...

...which, by the way, I'd assume would eventually attract the attention of Homeland Security.

Not surprised, not surprised at all!
Just wow is right.
Feel sorry for those neighborhoods overtaken by the band of cyclists. Am sure some of the people living there would like a little peace and quiet in their homes and streets, from their hectic week.
What is wrong with Springwater trail and Gateway Greenway, etc? Why go through residential areas? Seems like an army here taking over territory.
It is one thing to have an occasional "sunday parkway" but give an inch and take a mile by making streets permanent is the message here!

Just want to add, am not against people who bicycle and see the value of the exercise, etc. but am against being propagandized and pushed by certain groups here.

Enough is enough, too much in the faces of the rest of the people here visually and then the finances towards this when the economy needs prudence on projects.

What is next, how far does the lobbyist bike group intend to take this?

I'm a daily rider on Going from around NE 35th. And a couple of times a week, I'm a pedestrian walking the dog there. There really isn't much motor traffic at all during the commute times and it is pleasant. I see many more residents out and about in their yards or with their kids than I see on high speed Prescott just a block over. I'm pretty sure the vast, vast majority of residents would prefer the bike vehicle traffic noise on Going as opposed to the motor traffic noise on Prescott.

That said, I agree that producing and sending out propaganda like this should not be part of the City's agenda.

Now that I think more about it, maybe disguising it as a "community event" is actually diabolically brilliant.

And so what if local residents feel harrassed? Doesn't it only further the goal? If they don't want to live in the settlement being forced on them, they're free to move and someone who wants to be there can move in and take their place, increasing the headcount and political clout of the desired thinkers.

And if those harrassed do something unpleasant, sure, there may be collateral damage, but they wind up in the penal system, a problem gets removed from the colony, and again the goal is furthered along.

If I can think of it, so can people who sit around scheming up clever, manipulative, and dishonest ways to achieve an agenda.

However, when one buys property on a busier street to live on, they already know what comes with it....
different than one who buys property on a quiet street because that is what they bought it for.
Having bicyclists going through neighborhood streets is not so much the issue here as having streets designated as such permanently.
Propaganda is one thing, how about finances and fairness? There are some streets where the white lines for vehicles are nearly vanished, why for lack of money for labor and paint?
The focus in on freshly painted streets for the bikes.

Mr. Grumpy:...If I can think of it, so can people who sit around scheming up clever, manipulative, and dishonest ways to achieve an agenda.

And they do!!

I wonder how much of the agenda would be accomplished
if those who desire it were paying for it?

I don't get the need for Sunday Parkways. Many of Portland's roads are very casual on Sundays even without Sunday Parkways. I've never had any problem getting around on bike or walking on Sundays anyways. All Sunday Parkways does is obstruct other forms of commuting such as Sunday automobile trips; and gives the police extra over time pay. What A Waste!

Sunday Parkways is fun... there are lots of mindsets government could have that would seem worse to me...

Now I can see there are some advantages to living in outer SW PDX where the city doesn't care about us or our streets or whatever. They keep their agendas out of here for the most part. Except recently I was visting a friend in a very hilly area and noticed those damned bike chevrons on the lines of one street. I've never seen a bike on that street ever. What a waste of dough.

What a waste of dough.

Maybe, but it looks great in a brochure.

I wonder how much of the agenda would be accomplished
if those who desire it were paying for it?
Posted by clinamen | September 16, 2011 12:39 PM

I ride on Going frequently, and I love it. I also pay gas taxes every time I fill up my tank, I sometimes pay to park downtown, and I recently paid almost $150 to register my car. Explain to me how I'm not paying.

Looks great in a brochure and perhaps on resumes for Adams and others.

Sigma, yes you paid in a few ways...to use your car, but you haven't paid for the costly bike boxes, whole lanes for bikes with all their strips and signage, now even bike lights, nor bike parking areas, bike PR programs, city gov. bike staff and every commissioner having 2 to 5 bike staffers, etc.

Over $89 Million dollars were taken out of Oregon STIP gas tax money in just the 2009 tax year for the propagation of bikes. Then add all the fed, state, and other grants and otherwise diverted to bikes. We need a true auditing then we'd totally be blown away.

"Over $89 Million dollars were taken out of Oregon STIP gas tax money in just the 2009 tax year for the propagation of bikes."

I know. I pay gas taxes. So explain how I'm not paying for "costly bike boxes."

Sigma,
Are your gas taxes paying for the cost of the many brochures we get, staff time, design, printing costs to promote the bike agenda, if the bike groups had to pay for them, we most likely wouldn’t be getting these costly brochures or certainly not as many.

I talked about fairness, explain to me why the paint is nearly vanished on auto lanes but crisply painted all over town for bikes and the signage for bikes, it is in our faces, and if you can't see that, then you are not interested in the fairness issue. It is obvious the proportion of attention is heavily on one side here, the side of bikes.

Sigma, it's simple fact and logic. Gas taxes by law are suppose to go to roads. Drivers of vehicles pays for all roads according to the Federal Highway Commission and other Federal over-site commissions, including the Federal Budget Office.

Having bike users pay for their (I'm an avid bike rider) infrastructure improvements is fair and logical. And like other are saying here, then maybe some common sense will creep in, in regards to the type/costs of these improvements.

Emphasizing specific roadways as bicycle-oriented is the right idea, and it's surprising that Portland has lagged behind a bunch of other cities on this. Separate facilities, to the extent that they can be achieved affordably (meaning something like this, where low-traffic roadways are shared and drivers know to expect through bicycle traffic, instead of building all new facilities, which just isn't feasible in the near-term), are better for cyclists, walkers, and drivers alike. Predictability is a major key to a safe, shared transportation network.

A big problem, of course, is that cyclists seem slow to adopt the routes designated for them. Indeed, many continue to use whatever street they feel like even where the greenway would be more convenient for them and where such utilization would improve the function of the arterial or connector they clog instead. This is precisely why publicizing this with "glossy propaganda" is important. Do cyclists on Alberta know Going is theirs? I really don't know, and the city should be measuring awareness of the greenway network. FWIW, I do agree that the message is a little misleading here. Greenways and Sunday Parkways are not the same thing. I also think the name change from "bicycle boulevard" to "greenway" was a mistake. But I support the effort and can see why they'd try to raise awareness of the greenways using the popular Sunday Parkways events.

Greenways constitute an obvious, low-cost improvement to a transportation network that is multi-modal whether we promote or snicker at that term. Status quo means more bike/car conflict where we really need to keep cars moving, greater inclination for bloated projects, and unnecessary congestion in every commercial district in town. Transportation infrastructure is astronomically expensive; printing and distributing brochures that will engender a higher perception of safety in the right places for bikes and cars is comparatively cheap.

From the point of view of this blog (host and commenters alike), every aspect of transportation planning in Portland belongs to a single phenomenon, one that incorporates all aspects of land-use planning and development, too. I think that view is counter-productive. You cannot possibly think EVERYTHING the city or regional government does emanates from a bizarrely united Weird, Green, Beautiful People, Homer Williams, Trade Union, Panhandler, Fireman, Streetcar agenda. That's too easy an answer for the very real political problems that plague our area right now. Please do keep calling for responsibility, Jack, but ask whether something as small as this could have its place in a responsible government, and whether you should keep after the big fish instead of jabbing at something that, if effective, would benefit everybody.

Somebody's bound to pick up on my infrequent pattern of defending Portland planning here sooner or later, so I'll preempt guesses by saying that I am not a planner and I don't work for the City of Portland, TriMet, Metro, Multnomah County, etc. I am just one who believes we lose the plot by lumping good ideas with bad under one banner.

Can you boil that down for me? Is it the well-worn Portlandia argument, "We waste so much money on other garbage, this isn't worth arguing about"?

I'm not lumping all that crap together -- only you are. Pronouncing it all crap doesn't mean it's all related.

"Urban renewal" boondoggle and "40% cycling share" malarkey have little in common, other than both occupying large sections of the brains of people like Earl Blumenauer and Sam Adams. And both being ripoffs.

But hey, you want weird linkages? Try the selling of bike streets as "green streets" -- throw in a couple of bio-ditches, so that the city can steal sewer money for toys for the Spandex minority.

Are your gas taxes paying for the cost of the many brochures we get, staff time, design, printing costs to promote the bike agenda,

It's PDOT money, so parking, gas tax, and registration fees pay for it. I pay all those. I am simply refuting the tired argument that people who ride bicycles "don't pay." The vast majority of us do.

explain to me why the paint is nearly vanished on auto lanes but crisply painted all over town for bikes

The recovery act (stimulus) paid for the vast majority of all the new bike stencils you see around town.

Perhaps the best part about living in far southwest is that many of the streets have no shoulders and thus, no chevrons, bike boxes, and other stuff.

In the '80s, the City of Portland had ONE committee - a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Now it has two - a Pedestrian Advisory Committee and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. They meet monthly. Who knows if any conversation exists between the two or if they even plan together. Even in the '80s, most of the work the committee undertook had nothing to do with pedestrians and everything to do with siting bicycle paths and parking.

LUrid wrote: "Emphasizing specific roadways as bicycle-oriented is the right idea, and it's surprising that Portland has lagged behind a bunch of other cities on this."

The City has recognized certain streets as optimal and desirable as routes for biking; these have appeared on the City's BIKE THERE maps for at least 30 years. It has never been official, signed, etc. however and unless riders got hold of a map they wouldn't necessarily have known about them.

My take on the "close the streets and set the bicycles loose" plan is that it's supposed to encourage people who might not other ride a bike in the street to give it a try. The problem with that is that, unless it's accompanied by a strong attempt at education (safety, route-finding, bike mechanics) it is not helpful except as a sort of one-day carnival.

Well then, guess Sigma does not want to factor in the fairness issue.
It is obvious the bike agenda is getting the royal creme de la creme, at the expense of other needs.
Maybe the bike lobbyists could relinquish some of their agenda so that road lines could be painted as well, especially in time for our rainy dark evenings coming on!
This would be beneficial for all.

I'd like pot holes fixed properly (and not by neighborhood volunteer wannabe types) and arterials resurfaced every so often in my part of SW. But well that's not ever going to happen again.

Hey Lucs! CoPo actually re-striped SW Taylors Ferry this week! Unfortunately, that appears to have depleted the pothole repair budget.

I thnk those dam bikerists aut to git off the rodes. Jes like Palind said, people like Jack wanna drive beg trucks an luk like macho men. Those weeny people lukin all fisicle an stuf in there tyte cloase shud not run thengs.

I goota stop now so an I can driv to the 7-11 to git more cigs.

Where does this "40% bike share" claim come from? When I googled the amount that came up according to short-timer Mayor Adams was 17%, and that was of "uncommitted" city road revenues. Meanwhile, another google search shows that ODOT commits 1% of state gas moneys to bike improvements on state highways.

Max, I don't care about the stripes. Just the potholes. Where I grew up not all the roads had asphalt on them and they don't put stripes on dirt roads and in the winter in that part of the world, stripes don't show up on rural asphalt either. But potholes damage cars, etc.


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