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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 18, 2013 8:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was It's who we are (stupid people, that is). The next post in this blog is Kotek: "PERS is fine, and anyway, it's all Wall Street's fault". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

More Portland street parking stolen on a whim

Not content to invite businesses to take over parking spaces for their picnic table platforms, the car haters at Portland City Hall are also going to let private parties decide to take away the spaces for "parklets":

Public Parklet Option

Mirrored on similar programs in San Francisco, the new Street Seat program will include a public parket option for an entity (business, church, neighborhood association, non-profit, etc) interested in providing a platform as a public space but not interested in providing table service or serving alcohol. These public parklets must be signed as such, and have a sponsor willing to add the facility to their liability insurance and to clean and maintain it.

Anything to make driving anywhere in the city more miserable. And you can just picture who will be camping in the "parklet." Watch where you step.

Meanwhile, back on the picnic table front, apparently the bureaucrats are having second thoughts about the safety of the things:

Design

Design guidelines from the pilot program will be carried forward with the following additions: To increase safety and visibility of installations, planters or weighted bollard on either end of the installation will be required. Wheel stops with embedded reflective candlesticks will also be required on either end of the installation. The platforms must provide a continuous barrier along the street-facing perimeter while maintaining clear visual sightlines to the street. Finally, the use of durable materials capable of withstanding year-round use will be required.

You can try to make it safe to sit out at night drinking in the midst of auto traffic, but it's not going to end well, no matter how many "reflective candlesticks" are involved. Coolness and keeping up with San Francisco are not worth the cost, as some unlucky Portlander will soon find out.

Comments (10)

Nest up: Pedestrian refuges between high volume traffic lanes moving in opposite directions!

Would you like a pastry with your latte?

Hey Charlie, fix the damn streets and move the traffic. If we wanted Portland to be like S.F. we'd move to S.F.

Check out the parklet across from the Rebuilding Center on Mississippi. It has clearly been designed and constructed by the good folks at the RCA - lots of recycled fixtures made into ponds and planters. And using up parking spaces on the street to do it. No business is being conducted here, no advertising for the RC, and no seating for passersby. Just whimsy and no parking. Maybe the city and the RC expects people to carry home their recycled doors, light fixtures and toilets on their bikes.

What would a creative protest of these spaces look like?

The new requirements to fortify these things will now ensure they never go away.

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

Thomas Jefferson quotes (American 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826)

my first thoughts on this were who carries the liability?
When I contacted some ignorant young girl at Planning she said that permits for blocking the street for construction materials and seating the public in the street were exactly the same risk.

How mush will it cost taxpayers when the first car crashed through the "planters" and takes out 5-10 diners?

I am sure the $1M posted by any business applying will cover that payout. The people who make these rules are equal to those EU technocrats who think there will be no consequence for the theft of insured deposit funds.

This is another revenue generating item for the city and others will have to provide liability insurance. I am not so sure I would want to be liable for something that seems vulnerable to accidents, and I would think the insurance would be quite high. I wonder what else the planners are doing to keep busy and more redo in our cityscape.

These public parklets must be signed as such, and have a sponsor willing to add the facility to their liability insurance and to clean and maintain it.

Permit Fees
Eligible applicants will be charged a $500 permit fee plus $105 per linear foot of right of way. This would result in an annual fee of $2,600 for 20ft platform ($500 + $105x20ft). Businesses will also be responsible for securing a Café Seating permit if they do not already hold one. If the platform is to be located in a metered parking space, the applicant will be responsible for lost meter revenue. Public parklets will not incur the linear foot charge, will not be required to hold Café Seating permits, and will be responsible only for the $500 permit fee and lost parking meter revenue if applicable.

I unfortunately had to go downtown this am....first time in months!
I had no problem parking in a variety of locations, because NO one sane goes downtown any more.
The businesses are all dead or comotose. Sad!
It will be months again before I go there again.

It used to really be a vibrant downtown.
Funny how in those days I don't think the city needed to use the word vibrant.

30 years ago I lived both in inner NW and inner SE, at the time both easily affordable. I didn't own a car so I rode my old bicycle downtown for everything because that's where everything was and it was always a busy place.

That was before Portland got "revisioned" by "urban planning" and the Katz dynasty.


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