After 28th Ave businesses hear from customers, a few backpedal from bike-lane opposition

After 28th Ave businesses hear from customers, a few backpedal from bike-lane opposition

NE 28th Avenue and Davis commercial district

Some 28th Avenue businesses and
customers see things differently.
(Photo by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Different businesses react differently to hearing from upset customers.

A week after we posted a petition, circulated by opponents of a buffered bike lane on 28th Avenue near Burnside and signed by 60 nearby businesses, many readers have contacted those businesses to let them know they disagree with the decision.

Some of those businesses have responded by saying that a planned neighborhood greenway, two blocks away from the commercial strip on 30th, is a good compromise that would preserve about 100 auto parking spaces in the neighborhood while obliging north-south bikers to zigzag only a few blocks out of the way. Others have said they didn’t intend to sign the petition, and others have asked to be removed from it.

“We would love to have a bike lane on 28th,” wrote the owner of food cart Wolf & Bear’s, at 113 SE 28th. “Why on earth would we be against that?”

Here are the written responses we’ve seen so far:

From Coalition Brewing, a brewpub at 2724 SE Ankeny St.:

As you know, Coalition is situated on the main Ankeny bike route, and we have always worked to make the neighborhood more bike and pedestrian friendly. With those goals in mind, what we have suggested is lower speed limits for cars, more cross walks for pedestrians, and a bike only lane on 30th, not 28th. While we have a strong neighborhood and bike commuting base, we also depend on people being able to come from all over the city, and beyond, to enjoy our beer. Losing all those parking spots could cause a serious financial loss, as many non-bike commuters are not willing to go somewhere they are unable to park. We feel that offering a bike only lane a mere two streets over is a great compromise for everyone. We hope you feel the same way, and thanks again!

From PaaDee, a Thai restaurant at 6 SE 28th Ave.:

It’s Earl from PaaDee here. We have nothing against bike lane, and did inquire the city to put bike racks in front of the building when we first moved in. I have been approached by Laurelhurst theater’s owner on my busy time, they informed that 30th would be a better and safer street to add bike lane than 28th which i did agree and then signed the paper without having time to read any details about it.

I do apologize that my mistaken had upset the community and bikers. I will write a letter/call the city again to take us off this list.

Sincerely,
Earl
PaaDee

From the Captured Beer Bus, which used to be owned by Captured by Porches and was incorrectly labeled as such on the petition, to reader Bjorn W.:

Brian here from the Captured Beer Bus on 28th and Ankeny. I bike down 28th everyday for work. The petition somehow labeled my signature as “Captured by Porches” but I am my own entity. (I am a former Brewer/ Employee and love the beer, so I carry it).

I’m removing my name from the petition. I fully support improvements for biking on 28th. In support of my biking customers, I will be making improvements at the food cart pod for bike parking and offer “happy hour” for bikers from 4-6pm on Wednesdays.

From Migration Brewing at 2828 NE Glisan Street, first in a Facebook post and then in a conversation with a local man, Tony Jordan, on Facebook:

I fully support Portland’s bike community. The petition we signed was presented to us from some local businesses we support. They said they would like to make sure all options were explored before jumping to using 28th as the bikeway option. I also as a member of our overall community wanted to hear what the residents had to say about the pathway. In going to neighborhood association meetings I know one of the biggest qualms of the residents of our neighborhood have is the amount of parking on their streets that come from the local businesses. So with that being said I want to know their position on loosing 140 spots on 28th Ave.

I hope the cycling community will look at the whole picture rather than chastising us for this decision. We simply wanted to make sure all options were explored and all voices were heard before a decision was made.

Tony Jordan: “With all due respect, you are aware that there is an entire process and stakeholder advisory committee which has been looking at all options and attempting to make all voices heard on this issue. If your intent is as you say, then should you have signed on to a petition which asks for the option of removing parking to be taken off the table?”

Migration Brewing: “Yes Tony I do feel that was ok. What would the cycling communities response be if business owners worked to make bikes or bike parking no longer available on 28th? Is an all or nothing answer really the best answer for our cycling/driving community?”

Tony Jordan: “So ‘all options’ does not include the option of removing some parking? I don’t find your analogy very compelling. Proposals were made to remove parking from one side of the street only. The petition is simply ‘opposed to parking removal,’ which seems to be an ‘or nothing’ answer.”

Migration Brewing:

I did not create the verbiage of the petition and I am not here to argue on FB. We chose to sign the petition so more conversation could be had on the issue and that is exactly what it has achieved is providing the opportunity for all voices heard.

Here is a great response from one of the business owners who I believe did have a hand in creating the petition.

‘Thank you for your letter and addressing your concerns. I believe that there is some misinformation being circulated that says businesses are not supportive of the bike community. This is simply not true.

‘As a Portland native and having a business on 28th for the last 15 years, we are truly excited to have a proposal from the city that will create a safe bike route for bicyclist. And we are also excited that our concerns for a safer corridor along 28th are being addressed.

‘One of the original proposals was to remove parking on the west side of the street and put a one way bikelane going southbound. While this had some merits, it would not solve the situation for bikes going Northbound. It also creates a difficult traffic crossing for bikes on 28th and Burnside.

‘We are happy and we support the city’s proposal of an enhanced bikeway on 28th this includes lower speed limits, speed bumps, and bike sharrows for cyclist who want to access 28th. And the proposal of putting in a greenway on 30th for bicyclist who want a quieter means of travel through the neighborhood. This bicycle greenway will include bike activated lights at Glisan, Burnside and Stark.

‘We appreciate your past support, we truly believe that the best way forward is to work together to accomplish making this a safe accessible neighborhood for all.’

From Tapalaya, a cajun/creole small-plates restaurant at 28 NE 28th Ave:

Hi Bjorn, first let me mention to you that I am a cyclist too. I use my bike to commute to the restaurant and run as many errands as possible on my cargo bike. I have promoted cycling to my business by advocating for on street bike corral parking and by offering a bike only happy hour every Wednesday for the last five years. I support increased bike safety but I also care about the safety and needs of all members of our community. I don’t believe that taking out parking on 28th street is a viable option for our neighborhood (for many of the reasons listed in the letter). Yes, I did sign it. I also went to the meetings, listened to the presentations, talked to our neighbors, customers and other small business owners. I am in favor of making the street safer and more accessible for everyone and am excited at the prospect of having a dedicated bike street just two blocks away. Cheers, Chantal

From Wolf & Bear’s, a vegetarian food cart at 113 SE 28th Ave:

Hey guys,
You published a list of businesses that signed an anti bike lane petition on 28th.
Our name was on the list.
WE NEVER SIGNED ANY PETITION.
Where did you get this list from?
Why are we on it?

Id appreciate to hear back from your guys asap and to have a correction published. (Editor’s note: We did so. It seems that a Wolf & Bear’s employee had signed it without the owners’ permission.)

BTW, we would love to have a bike lane on 28th. Why on earth would we be against that?

-Jeremy
Wolf and Bear’s

We assure you that we are not. Nobody signed the petition. It is a mistake and we are deeply frustrated by it.

From the Laurelhurst Theater, at 2735 E Burnside St:

Hi Esther,

Thank you for your letter and addressing your concerns. I believe that there is some misinformation being circulated that says businesses are not supportive of the bike community. This is simply not true.

As a Portland native and having a business on 28th for the last 15 years, we are truly excited to have a proposal from the city that will create a safe bike route for bicyclist. And we are also excited that our concerns for a safer corridor along 28th are being addressed.

One of the original proposals was to remove parking on the west side of the street and put a one way bikelane going southbound. While this had some merits, it would not solve the situation for bikes going Northbound. It also creates a difficult traffic crossing for bikes on 28th and Burnside.

We are happy and we support the cities proposal of an enhanced bikeway on 28th this includes lower speed limits, speed bumps, and bike sharrows for cyclist who want to access 28th. And the proposal of putting in a greenway on 30th for bicyclist who want a quieter means of travel through the neighborhood. This bicycle greenway will include bike activated lights at Glisan, Burnside and Stark.

We appreciate your past support, we truly believe that the best way forward is to work together to accomplish making this a safe accessible neighborhood for all.

Sincerely
Prescott Allen

From Crema Coffee and Bakery, at 2728 SE Ankeny:

Thank you Jim,

I appreciate you taking the time to write, and your thoughtful comments. I am 100% supportive of making 28th Avenue a safer road for bicycles and
pedestrians. I signed a letter that was in support of the greenway running up 30th Avenue, with enhancements to 28th. The 28th Avenue proposal was
very attractive, and I would be perfectly happy if that were to come to pass. I only felt like the 30th avenue route made a bit more sense, and still made major improvements to 28th avenue cycling including reduced speed limits, more crosswalks, speed bumps and bike sharrows. Also, providing only a southbound greenway for bicycles seemed a bit lacking, where the 30th plan was a 2-way route, and included cyclist activated lights at the major street crossings like Burnside and Glisan. It sounded really cool, and I thought people would be into it.

My decision to sign the letter was NOT about parking spaces. I realize that some businesses might be motivated by that, but losing 1 or 2 parking spaces around my business is not a real concern. The only parking related issue I have concern with is the impact on the residential streets bordering 28th avenue. Parking is often a challenge for residents, especially during business and dining hours. Forcing 100 more cars into those streets might not be favorable for our nearby neighbors.

I’m not anti-bike, far from it. I checked out the PBOT website and their 3 different route proposals. I felt like I was putting my name on the one
that seemed to make the most sense to me. I honestly don’t feel strongly enough about one route or another to feel like I need to be part of the
decision. Next time something like this comes up, I’ll hold my pen and let my neighbors (with stronger opinions on the subject) hash it out. I’m drafting a general letter to post in the forums where I’ve been getting the most backlash on the subject. I’ll attach it for you, it has more info on my decision, and what I’ve learned since this argument began.

thank you for your time and comments.

Collin Jones
Owner + Operator
Crema Coffee + Bakery

As we wrote last week in a post that focused specifically on the views of Staccato Gelato owner and stakeholder advisory committee member Sarah Holliday, 20s Bikeway Project Manager Rich Newlands said the committee’s discussion of the central section “is not over.”

However, Newlands said two weeks ago that the city had settled on its recommendation — no bike lanes on 28th — even before receiving the petition from businesses.

“A promising new idea or a change in our understanding of public sentiment on the core issues would certainly warrant continuing it,” Newlands wrote in an email last week. “New information aside, it did not appear at the last meeting that the most of the members of the SAC felt that it needed to be discussed further.”

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