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City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

Hales at council this morning.

Hales at council this morning.

What started as a vision of a few tactical urbanists is now officially ensconced in City of Portland policy.

A few minutes ago Portland City Council unanimously agreed to to pass the fall supplemental budget package that included $350,000 for a seasonal version of the Better Naito project. The budget also includes $1 million for upgrades to outer Northeast Halsey Street — funding that will trigger a $1 million match in funds from the Bureau of Transportation to complete the project.

As we reported earlier this week, these two projects emerged from a list of six requests made by the Bureau of Transportation in an attempt to get a piece of a $4 million piece of the General Fund that was up for grabs.

“We’ve killed 34 of our fellow citizens with cars [this year], and that’s the #1 threat to public safety in our city.”
— Charlie Hales, Mayor

It was the last budget-related act for outgoing Mayor Charlie Hales, and he was motivated to make good on promises about making cycling on Naito Parkway easier and safer. During his pre-vote remarks in City Hall this morning Hales has strong words of support for both the projects. He spoke directly about hearing from many Portlanders who supported the Naito project.

Hales rode a bike on Naito’s temporary protected lane in July and implored advocates to get loud if they wanted the city to fund it.

“I’m very happy about Better Naito,” he said this morning, “And in terms of community involvement, I want to thank the hundreds of people who let us know it was a priority for them. It really helped us make the case that having more safe places to bike, and expanding the public realm for bicycles in this city, and is something we’re still committed too.”

And perhaps alluding to permanent, year-round changes to Naito, Hales added, “This is a step in the right direction.”

The seasonal version of Better Naito will reconfigure the lanes on the east side of the street during the busy summer festival season in Waterfront Park. For the next five years, city crews will screw in flexible plastic bollards to protect a wide space for walking and biking in both directions. The project also institutionalizes the tactical urbanism approach to street management popularized by Better Block PDX, the nonprofit group who first deployed the project in 2015. This more nimble, flexible, and cheaper approach to re-imagining streets bodes very well for the city’s new Livable Streets Strategy initiative.







Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg

Coming back this summer!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“People should have an absolute right to the safe use of our streets and it’s a goal we’ll get closer to if we make these types of investments.”
— Nick Fish, Commissioner

Hales also spoke forcefully today about the need for safety upgrades on Halsey, a project that lines up with the city’s vision zero committment and its need to invest in safety upgrades east of I-205. “Gang violence is still a serious problem in this city, we’ve had 15 homicides so far this year,” he said. “But we’ve killed 34 of our fellow citizens with cars, and that’s the #1 threat to public safety in our city.” Hales also mentioned testimony he heard last month from the mother of Fallon Smart, the 15-year-old killed by a reckless driver while walking across Hawthorne Blvd earlier this year. “We had Fawn Lengvenis here, talking about the hole in her heart from her daughter’s death… So vision zero is real and it’s human and it matters… Budgets are how you put values into action, and this is good action and I’m very proud of it.”

Commissioner Nick Fish also voiced strong support for both projects. Back in July, Fish decried Better Naito because it made it harder for him to drive on the street. “When I am in a car and trying to get from point a to point b,” he said during a Council meeting on July 29th. “There are huge consequences when we take a lane out of Naito or we close a street, and effectively what it means is that you just can’t get from here to there.”

Thankfully Fish has changed his tune. “Thanks to everyone who educated me about the benefits of Better Naito,” he said, before voting “aye” this morning. And about the Halsey vision zero project, Fish said, “Vision zero has to be at the center of what we do as a city. People should have an absolute right to the safe use of our streets and it’s a goal we’ll get closer to if we make these types of investments.”

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

Hales at council this morning.

Hales at council this morning.

What started as a vision of a few tactical urbanists is now officially ensconced in City of Portland policy.

A few minutes ago Portland City Council unanimously agreed to to pass the fall supplemental budget package that included $350,000 for a seasonal version of the Better Naito project. The budget also includes $1 million for upgrades to outer Northeast Halsey Street — funding that will trigger a $1 million match in funds from the Bureau of Transportation to complete the project.

As we reported earlier this week, these two projects emerged from a list of six requests made by the Bureau of Transportation in an attempt to get a piece of a $4 million piece of the General Fund that was up for grabs.

“We’ve killed 34 of our fellow citizens with cars [this year], and that’s the #1 threat to public safety in our city.”
— Charlie Hales, Mayor

It was the last budget-related act for outgoing Mayor Charlie Hales, and he was motivated to make good on promises about making cycling on Naito Parkway easier and safer. During his pre-vote remarks in City Hall this morning Hales has strong words of support for both the projects. He spoke directly about hearing from many Portlanders who supported the Naito project.

Hales rode a bike on Naito’s temporary protected lane in July and implored advocates to get loud if they wanted the city to fund it.

“I’m very happy about Better Naito,” he said this morning, “And in terms of community involvement, I want to thank the hundreds of people who let us know it was a priority for them. It really helped us make the case that having more safe places to bike, and expanding the public realm for bicycles in this city, and is something we’re still committed too.”

And perhaps alluding to permanent, year-round changes to Naito, Hales added, “This is a step in the right direction.”

The seasonal version of Better Naito will reconfigure the lanes on the east side of the street during the busy summer festival season in Waterfront Park. For the next five years, city crews will screw in flexible plastic bollards to protect a wide space for walking and biking in both directions. The project also institutionalizes the tactical urbanism approach to street management popularized by Better Block PDX, the nonprofit group who first deployed the project in 2015. This more nimble, flexible, and cheaper approach to re-imagining streets bodes very well for the city’s new Livable Streets Strategy initiative.







Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg

Coming back this summer!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“People should have an absolute right to the safe use of our streets and it’s a goal we’ll get closer to if we make these types of investments.”
— Nick Fish, Commissioner

Hales also spoke forcefully today about the need for safety upgrades on Halsey, a project that lines up with the city’s vision zero committment and its need to invest in safety upgrades east of I-205. “Gang violence is still a serious problem in this city, we’ve had 15 homicides so far this year,” he said. “But we’ve killed 34 of our fellow citizens with cars, and that’s the #1 threat to public safety in our city.” Hales also mentioned testimony he heard last month from the mother of Fallon Smart, the 15-year-old killed by a reckless driver while walking across Hawthorne Blvd earlier this year. “We had Fawn Lengvenis here, talking about the hole in her heart from her daughter’s death… So vision zero is real and it’s human and it matters… Budgets are how you put values into action, and this is good action and I’m very proud of it.”

Commissioner Nick Fish also voiced strong support for both projects. Back in July, Fish decried Better Naito because it made it harder for him to drive on the street. “When I am in a car and trying to get from point a to point b,” he said during a Council meeting on July 29th. “There are huge consequences when we take a lane out of Naito or we close a street, and effectively what it means is that you just can’t get from here to there.”

Thankfully Fish has changed his tune. “Thanks to everyone who educated me about the benefits of Better Naito,” he said, before voting “aye” this morning. And about the Halsey vision zero project, Fish said, “Vision zero has to be at the center of what we do as a city. People should have an absolute right to the safe use of our streets and it’s a goal we’ll get closer to if we make these types of investments.”

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Call to action: Let’s make ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ a reality

Call to action: Let’s make ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ a reality

Naito Parkway traffic observations -14.jpg

We can set this in stone every summer for five years if we let City Council know we want it.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycle access through and to Waterfront Park is in dire need of help. And ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ — a project proposed by the Bureau of Transportation and supported by Mayor Charlie Hales — is our best chance to get it.

We’ve heard from various sources that despite the City Budget Office throwing a bit of cold water on the project last week, there’s still a very good chance Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick can get the one additional vote from the other three Council members they need to get it funded through the Fall Budget Monitoring Process (a.k.a. “Fall BuMP”).

But in order to grab $350,000 from the intensely competitive general fund where there’s only $4 million up for grabs across all bureaus citywide, they need to hear resounding support from the community. Again.

Yes, we agree that a permanent reconfiguration of Naito Parkway with year-round protected space for walking and rolling is needed. Unfortunately given the timing and political realities we find ourselves in, that’s not just going to happen. We think that pushing for this seasonal project would be a very positive step forward. And most importantly, it could actually happen.

Here’s why we’re asking you to email or call Mayor Hales and the four other city commissioners to tell them you support Seasonal Naito in the Fall BuMP…

Funding and the sure thing

As a photographer I often remind myself of an old hunting mantra: “One in hand is better than two in the bush.” That means when in doubt I shoot the sure thing that’s right in front of me, because I never know if the perfect image I want will ever manifest itself. In this analogy, Seasonal Naito is “in hand” while a more robust, year-round version is “two in the bush.”

PBOT estimates that a year-round, mature version of the Better Naito trials we had for the past two summers (as in, one not implemented for pennies by the all-volunteer nonprofit Better Block, bless their hearts) would cost around $3.7 million. The full version of Better Naito PBOT wants to do would come with first-rate design and materials — both of which come with a price tag City Hall can’t swallow right now.

And right now — as much as we wish we could do everything all at once — a full redesign of Naito Parkway simply isn’t as urgent to a large swath of the community as other infrastructure needs. Equity is carrying the day at PBOT right now. And while that doesn’t mean they won’t invest anything in the central city, it means there’s more momentum (from the public and from funding sources) to spend money in east Portland where a disproportionate number of people fear their streets and all too often die while using them.







Political timing

Politics is everything. Whatever change you seek in Portland, if you don’t get the politics lined up, it ain’t gonna’ happen. Naito has had the attention of Mayor Hales for over two years now. He went from mentioning it in an off-handed comment in August 2014, to putting together an official (and unfortunately misguided) budget proposal for it back in May, to making a desparate plea to advocates over the summer to help him garner support for it.

Mayor Hales has rolled up his sleeves to make something happen on Naito.

Mayor Hales has played both the inside and outside game to try and make something happen on Naito.

With just a few months left as leader of Portland Hales likely sees this as a legacy project and the Fall BuMP is his last best chance to make it happen. Hales is an embattled mayor swimming in negative press lately for his (mis)handling of the police union contract and the homelessness crisis. It’s also worth noting he was elected in large part by transportation reform advocates who were excited about his experience with rail transit and previous stint as a city transportation commissioner.

But in the past four years Hales doesn’t have one marquee transportation project to his name. When I shared that opinion on Twitter this week, the Mayor’s account replied by mentioning the gas tax increase and bike share. Those are massive wins for Portland, but Hales was just a supporting actor.

Naito would be his project. He could take credit for making a significant change for the better on one of Portland’s most iconic streets.

And if we miss this opportunity, who knows what will happen with new Mayor Ted Wheeler. He’ll come in and face pressure to tackle very high-profile issues like police relations, a growing Black Lives Matter movement, homelessness, and so on. Even if he is supportive of street reform, it’s unlikely he’ll put Naito Parkway front-and-center.

Seasonal Naito is worth fighting for

If we don’t act now and make it clear to City Hall denizens that we want $350,000 for Seasonal Naito, we’ll be giving up a major opportunity.

PBOT would use bollards that screw in-and-out of the roadway.(Images: PBOT)

PBOT would use bollards that screw in-and-out of the roadway.
(Images: PBOT)

The project would create protected space on the west east side of Naito Parkway during the busy summer season. It would vastly improve our waterfront for everyone: While driving we’d be able to slow down and appreciate the urban landscape (a new report from Better Block (PDF) shows that the driving delay is just 30 seconds or less throughout the day); we’d be able to walk, bike, roll, and simply exist without less stress and danger from other road users speeding past in large and loud vehicles. The space on Naito would also reduce demands on the riverfront path in Waterfront Park — which means you could take your friends and visitors on a leisurely walk without getting buzzed by people on bikes who are afraid to use Naito and are hurrying to get from A-to-B.

If this project gets funded we’d have this space guaranteed to us for five years. We’d also have the door to more permanent changes left wide open.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Seasonal Naito is that it would institutionalize Better Block-style tactical urbanism within PBOT. This is huge! If you believe in street reform and want PBOT to be more flexible and attentive to the needs of non-driving road users, you should eagerly support a project that creates a tactical urbanism crew within the city bureaucracy. The thought of PBOT maintenance staff screwing in flexible bollards to create protected space for biking on Naito makes us smile. And it would plant a seed within PBOT that could take root and blossom into very exciting things.

This isn’t the big step many of us hoped for, but can you really argue that it’s not a step worth taking?

If you support Seasonal Naito, please take a few minutes to remind Mayor Hales and Commissioners Novick, Amanada Fritz, Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman (their emails and phone numbers are below). Please keep in mind that none of them oppose Seasonal Naito. In fact, in a budget work session yesterday we learned that Hales has included the project in his Fall BuMP proposal (along with $1 million for Vision Zero work on outer Halsey, watch it here at the 02:14:30 mark) and even Commissioner Fish had positive words to say about it.

We’re close, but there are no guarantees. Here’s the contact info:

Mayor Hales: mayorhales@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-4120
Commissioner Fish: Nick@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-3589
Commissioner Fritz: amanda@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-3008
Commissioner Novick: novick@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-4682
Commissioner Saltzman: dan@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-4151.
PBOT: naitoparkway@portlandoregon.gov

Let’s do this! Because a seasonal Better Naito is better than no Better Naito at all.

UPDATE, 3:30pm: We’ve just heard that Commissioner Nick Fish supports the seasonal Better Naito funding request. Fish’s Policy and Communications Advisor Everett Wild sent us this email from Fish in response to a constituent:

Thanks for your email.

I have talked to a lot of stakeholders about Better Naito (Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks, etc.), read the summary report prepared by Better Blocks PDX, and received briefings from PBOT and Novick.

I am impressed with the breadth of community support (Better Blocks PDX, Travel Portland, Rose Festival, etc.).

The briefings were helpful–and I now better understand the costs and benefits. I also appreciate PBOT’s efforts to relieve congestion in the central city during rush hour.

Here is where I land: I favor an extension of the pilot.

We have limited surplus $ to carve up in the Fall BMP, and a lot of compelling needs. While I am a strong supporter of Vision Zero, the Council ultimately needs to decide which of the transportation safety “ask’s” in the Fall BMP make the cut now, and which are taken up through the regular budget process

Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

Regards,

Nick

That’s three votes, so this should be funded next week. Nice work everyone!

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Call to action: Let’s make ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ a reality appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Mayor Hales has advice for bike advocates: Get louder and get organized

Mayor Hales has advice for bike advocates: Get louder and get organized

Hales spoke in the new public plaza on SW 3rd yesterday.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hales spoke in the new public plaza on SW 3rd yesterday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales offered a very unexpected admonition during an informal, invite-only meeting yesterday. It was a veiled criticism of Portland’s transportation advocates — and bike advocates in particular. Yes, you read that right, bike advocates: the group many Portlanders (mistakenly) assume wields unlimited power in City Hall.

Hales’ comments came at the end of a brief speech he gave while standing in the new Ankeny Plaza on SW 3rd in front of about two dozen advocates, city staffers, and other local leaders. His remarks were mostly about his support for Better Naito, the importance of great public spaces and the city’s new “livable streets strategy.” But then he ended with a plea for more support from advocates — many of whom were standing right in front of him.

I happened to have my recorder on. Here’s the transcript (with my emphasis added):

“Let me make a brief political announcement for those of you who are advocates. And that is, when you have a progressive city government with progressive city bureaus, that doesn’t mean that the good things will always happen on auto-pilot. Advocacy is still necessary. The enemy of this kind of progress generally is not loud opposition. I mean, everything we do has some backlash; we do get some phone calls to my office complaining about Better Naito. But that will happen whether we do something or we don’t do something. So the problem isn’t opposition, the problem is just inertia and taking things for granted. So for those of you who are advocates, even though this is Portland, remember that a lot of the success we’ve had as a city is because bike advocates have been loud and clear about where we should go.

So my political advice to all of you as bike advocates is keep being loud and keep being clear because that will empower a council that already wants to do the right thing, to do so. And don’t just assume it will happen without advocacy because drift is the enemy. That’s my political admonition and good advice to my friends.”

I caught up with Hales afterward and asked for clarification. He offered affordable housing advocates as a model to follow:

“Complacency is the enemy. Just because we’re Portland, just because we have a progressive city council and progressive transportation bureau doesn’t mean we’ll go at the pace that we should. So advocates need to advocate.

And if you need an example of how spectacularly successful that can be, take a look at our housing agenda. We just committed 45 percent of all available urban renewal money to afforable housing. We did that because we do have a housing crisis and everyone recognizes it; but the housing advocacy coalition has been very loud and very clear about what the city needs to do and that has helped advance that agenda. And I think the transportation advocacy community needs to be similarly vocal.”

And have you seen this playing out during your time in office? I asked.

“Yes. Again, I don’t want to be critical of my friends and allies; but it’s easy to get complacent… ‘Oh it’s Portland, of course they’ll do the right thing.’ Well, we should [do the right thing].”







He said that last part as we walked away, smiling, as if to say council will do the wrong thing unless advocates step up and speak up. And in my book, when someone says, “I don’t want to be critical of…” that means they do in fact want to be critical and they’re just trying to soften the blow.

“I don’t want to be critical of my friends and allies; but it’s easy to get complacent.”
— Charlie Hales, Portland mayor

It was a fascinating glimpse into the mind of Portland’s most powerful elected official. Three and-a-half years into his four-year term he’s imploring transportation reformers to do better so he and his council colleagues can move more quickly in their efforts to remake Portland’s streets.

Hales’ comments reminded me of similar remarks made by his predecessor Sam Adams. In June 2010 at the annual fundraising event for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Adams also tried to light a fire under bike advocates’ feet after not feeling enough love when he needed it. “What got us to the dance, won’t keep us dancing,” he told the crowd, who surely expected to hear nothing but effusive praise for the BTA on their big night. “Our success has not come without pushback,” he added.

Adams asked bike advocates to be louder and more supportive of city council, who were getting clobbered with negative feedback about the mayor’s proposal to spend $20 million from the city’s water bureau to help jump-start the Bike Master Plan. The BTA had just hired a new leader (Rob Sadowsky), and Adams sensed the time was right for a bit of prodding. “The new leadership of this organization combined with the existing advocacy can take us there,” he said. “City government cannot do it on our own.”

There was a similar context to both remarks. So, do they have a point? Or are they just scapegoating advocates for their own mistakes and lack of accomplishments in the area of bike infrastructure and innovative street designs?

I often think of a chicken-and-egg scenario as I watch this interplay between electeds and advocates:

ADVOCATE: Please do more!
POLITICIAN: No, you do more first, then we’ll do more!
ADVOCATE: No, you do more first then we’ll do more!
POLITICIAN: Ugh. I’ll go work a different issue then.

In the end, this might be a case of unrealistic expecations — on both sides of the equation.

As citizens (and especially as passionate activists) we want everything right away and we expect politicians to make it happen. That’s not a realistic expectation, but some of us still get frustrated with the pace of change. And mayors probably have unrealistic expecations of advocates — especially in a city like Portland where the reputation of a “bike lobby” is much more myth than reality. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a politician say, “We are really going to need the bike community’s support on this!” I wouldn’t have to worry about paying the bills.

From my experience, absent a major tragedy or funding/project opportunity to rally around, it’s very rare for advocates (regardless of the issue) to coalesce around a single demand. This is especially true in today’s world where community activism has become disintermediated and democratized away from the traditional, institutional advocacy groups and toward individuals and the grassroots. In other words, if you wait around for unanimity from “the bike community,” you’ll never get anything done.

I’ve been very critical of Hales in the past, but I’m glad he spoke up about this. It’s an important discussion to have, especially as we welcome a new mayor to town, PBOT seems to have gotten its groove back, and the BTA is in the midst of a major re-structuring.

Stay tuned for details about an upcoming Wonk Night where we’ll discuss how we can all work together to move forward faster.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Mayor Hales rallies advocates to support his dream of a ‘Better Naito’

Mayor Hales rallies advocates to support his dream of a ‘Better Naito’

Mayor Charlie Hales speaking at Salmon Street Fountain prior to a bike ride of Naito Parkway this morning. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Mayor Charlie Hales speaking at Salmon Street Fountain prior to a bike ride of Naito Parkway this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland will take down the “Better Naito” project this Sunday night, whether it returns as a permanent bikeway and walkway someday is up to us. That was the message Mayor Charlie Hales gave a group of advocates, city staff, and agency representatives this morning.

This project has been a dream of Hales for almost two years.

“What if we just took that east lane on Naito and went ahead and made it into a bikeway?” he proclaimed while on a bike ride in August 2014. Then the nonprofit Better Block PDX made his wish a reality in 2015 when they installed “Better Naito” — a lane marked off by traffic cones and DIY signage that created dedicated space for biking and walking. That multi-week demonstration was so successful that the City of Portland brought it back for three months this year.

Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg

Should it stay or should it go?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

While Portlanders pedaled and walked freely in their new safe zone on adjacent to Waterfront Park, Hales surprised everyone with an attempt last May to make it permanent. He requested $1.5 million for the project out of his budget — money that would have come from a controversial tax hike on businesses. That wasn’t the right strategy to fund Better Naito and the project went nowhere.

Now, with the window closing on his Mayoral tenure, Hales has a new plan to fund what could be the most important piece of his cycling legacy. The current Better Naito pilot project ends on July 31st (this Sunday). With that date near, Hales called a special meeting this morning to proudly announce that he remains fully supportive of making the Better Naito changes permanent.

After riding a Biketown bike share bike with several dozen advocates, city staff, and other agency representatives, Hales gathered the group at the new Ankeny Plaza and laid out his case for the $1.5 million project. He said as Portland grows quickly in the coming years we need to fit more people on our streets. Here’s how the mayor is making the case for Better Naito:

“Another reason we need to think about that evolution from 630,000 to 850,000 people… We have a very successful promenade in Waterfront Park. We have activities out there all summer long and we have a lot of people that commute through there on bike or on foot. There’s not enough space. We need a sidewalk on this side of Naito for pedestrians. We need a permanent bikeway where we now have a temporary bikeway. It’s for capacity reasons. That’s the agenda here: Where can we create additional, non-auto capacity in ways that work? To me, Better Naito is a sterling example of that. So we have this opportunity I hope this year to make that project permanent.

I’m glad we got to be here together with the temporary version of it and I look forward to all of us riding it as a permanent version.”







Mayor Hales (right) riding a Biketown bike on Naito Parkway this morning. (Photo: City of Portland)

Mayor Hales (right) riding a Biketown bike on Naito Parkway this morning.
(Photo: City of Portland)

Hales and his team plan to hammer out details of a proposal in time for the request to be considered at the city’s fall budget monitoring process (known as the “BuMP”) in October. That’s when the city will take a look at how its collected tax revenue stacks up against existing expenses. Since the economy is strong, Hales thinks it’s a “pretty safe bet” there will be extra funds to invest back into the city.

This means that while there’s strong momentum for Better Naito, there’s still a political lift ahead. It might be worth noting that representatives from Commissioner Steve Novick and Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office were on today’s ride. That’s three of five votes right there. But even if we assume those two are supportive, there’s no telling how the vote will go if/when it happens.

If you have opinions about the changes on Naito, email them to naitoparkway@portlandoregon.gov and send a copy to the five members of Council: mayorhales@portlandoregon.gov, nick@portlandoregon.gov, amanda@portlandoregon.gov, novick@portlandoregon.gov and dan@portlandoregon.gov.

The public debate has already begun. Here are a few selected tweet from the last few hours:

And Mayor Hales himself has already gone on the offensive. He posted a call for support of the project on his Facebook page today.

Regardless of feedback, the city says they plan to take down the existing cones at the end of Sunday. That means Naito will return to its previous alignment with two standard lanes, an unprotected bike lane, and no space for walking. PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera said in an interview this morning that PBOT will collect data after Better Naito comes down in order to compare and contrast traffic volumes and travel times. Stay tuned for results of their analysis.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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City weighs parking rule for NW that could block a fifth of new homes

City weighs parking rule for NW that could block a fifth of new homes

~1950 Pettygrove.

The Tess O’Brien Apartments on NW 19th and Pettygrove, built with no on-site parking, are the largest project that would have been illegal under a proposal going before city council tomorrow.
(Photo: Ted Timmons)

Portland’s City Council will meet Wednesday to consider a new mandatory parking requirement that, if it had existed for the last eight years, would have illegalized 23 percent of the new housing supply in northwest Portland during the period.

The Tess O’Brien Apartments, a 126-unit project that starts pre-leasing next week and will offer some of the cheapest new market-rate housing in northwest Portland, couldn’t have been built if they’d been required to have 42 on-site parking spaces, its developer said in an interview.

“Do the math,” Martin Kehoe of Portland LEEDS Living said Friday. “The apartments at the Tess O’Brien are between $1250 and $1400 a month. If we were required to build parking, you’d be between $1800 and $2000 a month. … It probably just wouldn’t have been built. And then what’s that going to do to the existing project that’s out there and has been built? It’s just going to drive the rents of those up.”

Kehoe said the Tess O’Brien units, which average 330 square feet, are intended for people who don’t own cars.

“We’ve got free bike parking rooms, you’re a block off the bus, you’re a block off streetcar, you’ve got access to Uber whenever you want it,” he said. “People who move into these apartments … they don’t have cars.”

The proposal up for debate on Wednesday would apply the same rule to the Northwest District, immediately west of Interstate 405, that applies in other neighborhoods outside the central city: buildings with 31 to 40 homes would need at least one parking space for every five units. Buildings with 41 to 50 homes would need one space for every four units. Buildings with 51 or more homes would need one space for every three units.

Mandatory parking minimums would have driven up the construction cost of 305 new homes built in northwest Portland since 2008.

Including the Tess O’Brien Apartments, those mandatory parking minimums would have driven up the construction cost of 305 new homes built in northwest Portland since 2008, city data show, potentially by enough to kill the five new buildings in question. That’s 23 percent of the 1,339 units that were added to northwest by buildings of 10 or more units.

For comparison’s sake, if those 305 new no-parking homes were in a single building, it would have been the sixth largest built in Portland since at least 2000. The largest new building in the Lloyd District, for example, added 337 units to the city’s housing supply.

But most new homes in northwest Portland are in buildings where developers opted to build more than the minimum amount of parking, usually much more, suggesting that new no-parking buildings are a niche market in the Northwest District.

‘We certainly should have the option of no parking’

nw portland new units

Buildings marked in orange would have been illegal under the proposed new rule.
(Data: Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Chart: BikePortland.)

Portland rental vacancy rates have been below 5 percent since 2008. Last year, monthly rent in the average apartment rose $100, with hikes concentrated mostly in older units. In April, the local Barry Apartment Construction Report saw housing supply finally keeping up with demand (a trend confirmed by May Census figures) but still not increasing fast enough for a significant rise in vacancies.

Local home purchase prices, too, have been rising at the fastest rates in the nation.

“It won’t end until we have more balance between supply and demand in the housing market,” University of Oregon economist Tim Duy told The Oregonian last week.

“Demand is severely outpacing supply,” the news report said.

Margot Black, an organizer for the advocacy group Portland Tenants United speaking for herself, said in an interview Monday that she’d spoken with Portland Commissioner Steve Novick last week to oppose new parking minimums in northwest.

“Right now, we should not be doing anything that restricts supply and increases prices,” said Black. “We certainly should have the option of no parking if that means we could have more units at a lower price.”

Parking advisory committee: Every building brings more cars

2018 nw everett 1910 9-20

2018 NW Everett Street.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The proposal to bring parking minimums to the Northwest District comes from the volunteer Northwest Portland Parking Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

“At least half of our committee did not use to support parking minimums,” said Rick Michaelson, who chairs that committee and supports minimums. “We see that the transit system has not expanded rapidly.”

Michaelson said that even in the Footprint apartments, another 50-unit microapartment building in northwest, 16 units have signed up for street parking permits.

“We’re going to see a minimum of 30 percent even for these microapartments,” he said. “We think it’s a fairness issue. We think we need as many opportunities to get the system in balance and make sure that everybody contributes to the parking infrastructure.”

“9700 parking permits have been issued that are competing for the 4100 spaces.”
— Karen Karlsson, NW Portland Parking Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Michaelson predicted that city rates for street parking will go up, which will lead to more demand for off-street parking in the future. He also said a project similar to Tess O’Brien might have penciled out even with 42 on-site parking spaces.

“Some developers are choosing to have parking without affecting the bottom line,” he said.

Michaelson said his committee had discussed other ideas for affordability such as not counting below-market-rate units toward a building’s total, or exempting buildings that offer free TriMet passes to residents.

Karen Karlsson, who also serves on the committee, said her “bottom line” is that “9700 parking permits have been issued that are competing for the 4100 spaces.”

“We really need to find a way to help balance the supply and reduce the demand,” she said. “We need every tool that we can get.”







Council will hold hearing Wednesday and may vote

Portland City Council

Portland City Council: Steve Novick, Amanda Fritz, Charlie Hales, Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Commissioner Steve Novick said Friday that because he assumes “markets operate like markets,” requiring on-site parking in buildings in transit-oriented neighborhoods does tend to drive up housing costs by reducing the supply of new housing.

But Novick said he is considering support for a new parking minimum anyway, at least in the short term, because minimums already exist in most of the city.

“I generally am not excited about constructing lots of new parking,” Novick said. “I don’t think we should continue to build society around the car if we are going to take our climate goals seriously. [But] I am much more sympathetic when folks come from a neighborhood that has meters, has a permit system, has a fair amount of density, and say ‘Hey, we want to be treated the way other folks are treated.’”

The central city, which includes the Pearl District in inner northwest, doesn’t have parking minimums. As in northwest, developers there usually opt to include on-site parking as an amenity for residents who choose to pay extra for it.

Most of the buildings that define northwest Portland were built before the city’s first parking requirements.

But many older apartments and condos in northwest Portland, maybe even most of them, have zero on-site parking. That’s because most of the buildings that define northwest Portland were built before the city’s first parking requirements, which probably date to the 1950s.

In fact, one older apartment building in the district without on-site parking belongs to Michaelson’s real estate company.

For the second half of the 20th century, most new apartment and condo buildings in Portland had garages or parking lots attached. In 2000 the city council, led by then-Commissioner Charlie Hales, eliminated parking minimums for units close to frequent-service transit lines. Starting in 2008, as Portland’s rents began their recent climb, some developers began to secure loans for buildings without on-site parking.

In most of those buildings around Portland’s east side, half or more of households in the no-parking buildings owned at least one car. That meant parking spillover, which led to a backlash from some neighbors.

In 2013, Hales (newly elected as mayor) led approval of what he described as a stopgap measure to require parking at most new buildings of 30 units or more, even if they were within a block of a frequent transit line. But there was one exception: the Northwest District, which was already in the midst of a parking reform program.

Demand-based parking group organizing opposition to rule

park avenue west

Parking excavation beneath the future Park Avenue West tower downtown.
(Photo: GRI.com)

In the three years when many apartment buildings in Portland were being constructed without parking, from 2011 through 2013, average construction costs per apartment fell even though construction costs for other units didn’t.

Then, after parking minimums were reinstated for most transit-oriented buildings in 2013, average construction costs per apartment shot back up even though construction costs for other units didn’t.

Tony Jordan of the group PDX Shoupistas, which advocates for demand-based parking policy, found that the number of buildings going up in Portland with exactly 30 units — the maximum size a transit-oriented building can be in most of the city without triggering parking minimums — is apparently about to soar. There are currently 14 such buildings in development, he calculated last week.

According to city permit data obtained by BikePortland under state open records rules, that compares to eight such buildings over the last 15 years.

Jordan is organizing people to contact the city council Tuesday and/or testify on Wednesday to oppose new minimums.

“In times like this, proposals which curtail the supply of new housing and increase rents should be dead on arrival,” Jordan wrote Monday. “A vote for minimum parking requirements is a vote to make the housing crisis worse.”

Novick says citywide reform is an option, but not yet

housing+construction+ankeny

New homes on Southeast Ankeny Street, built with an on-site garage.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

In an interview Friday, Joan Frederiksen of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability said the city staff does not see a “tradeoff” between space for parking and space for people.

“I wouldn’t use the word tradeoff,” she said. “I think it’s more about balancing. … With this project we are echoing the direction council provided back in 2013, finding that balance between parking and affordability.”

Matt Grumm, a senior policy manager for Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman, put things differently.

“There’s no doubt that these are tradeoffs,” he said. “Parking minimums potentially increase the cost of that housing.”

Grumm said his boss would “wait for the hearing” before deciding how to vote but suggested that maybe developers who opt to include below-market-rate units in their buildings should get a break on parking requirements.

“It’ll be interesting to see if that gets any traction,” he said.

In an email last week, Hales spokeswoman Sara Hottman said the mayor supports the proposal to “extend the City’s minimum parking requirements to the Northwest Plan district.”

There are two other votes on the council: Nick Fish, who proposed the 2013 parking minimums that were passed into code, and Amanda Fritz.

Both Novick and Frederiksen suggested that the city might consider amending its citywide parking minimums at some point in the future.

“Even if we wind up applying parking minimums in northwest next week, I’m really encouraged that I’ve been hearing people opposing parking minimums,” Novick said. “Once we have those new tools available, one option is to revisit the parking minimum requirements throughout the city.”

Novick didn’t respond to a question about when the council is likely to consider his proposal that would let neighborhoods create their own parking permit districts.

Eudaly: “We must start decreasing our reliance on the personal automobile”

NW Portland Week - Day 5-24.jpg

Parking outside the Clearing Cafe on NW Thurman.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Chloe Eudaly, who is running on a housing-affordability platform to replace Novick on the city council, said in an email Monday that she opposes new minimums:

Portland is going through growing pains right now and traffic congestion and parking are high on the list of concerns, but what’s even higher is housing affordability. So when we’re talking about a policy that would increase the cost of housing and decrease the number of units built, such as minimum parking standards for new multi-family developments, we need to consider our options and their impacts very carefully.

I respect the work of the NW Parking SAC, as an almost 20-year former resident of NW Portland I know what a headache parking has become in the area, but I don’t support their proposal of a blanket minimum parking standard for all new multi-dwelling developments of more than 30 units. Knowing that these spaces are likely to be underutilized in many developments and that we must start decreasing our reliance on the personal automobile, I believe we can and must come up with a more nuanced approach, especially in a neighborhood that is so central, dense, and transit-friendly (many NW residents live within 10 blocks of the street car, Max, AND a bus line).

Instead of requiring more parking space, Eudaly suggested requiring developers to offer bus passes, bike-share or car-share memberships, creating shared parking options, and raising on-street permit prices “to more closely reflect the actual cost of providing street parking.”

Other options she suggested included shared parking garages and a “live where you work” program. She, too, suggested a parking exemption for developers that include below-market-rate units.

Black, the tenants organizer, said Portland is facing a difficult transition away from a “small town” where most trips happen by car and most homes have private yards, driveways and “a picket fence.”

“It’s great if you got it, but it’s mathematically impossible for all of us to have it,” she said. “I see Portland really struggling to make this shift into a city from this small-town feel. … We need to shepherd Portland through that paradigm shift.”

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org. The Real Estate Beat is a regular column. You can sign up to get an email of Real Estate Beat posts (and nothing else) here, or read past installments here.

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Opinion: A permanent “Better Naito” deserves better than this

Opinion: A permanent “Better Naito” deserves better than this

Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg

For better or worse.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales wants to go out with a bang. And in the process he just might blow up his chance to make “Better Naito” permanent.

As we gleefully reported on May 2nd, Hales’ last budget proposal included $1.46 million to redesign Naito Parkway to include a protected bikeway. It’s an idea he’s been talking about for nearly two years now and it makes a lot of sense from a transportation planning perspective. That’s why it’s shame it might go down with a sinking ship.

Naito should be a marquee street in Portland but it’s held back because it’s dominated by auto traffic. Creating more space on the street to bike and walk would enliven Naito-facing hotels and restaurants and improve safety for everyone who uses it. A report published after “Better Naito” last year showed that auto travel times were not significantly impacted by the new lane configuration, biking went up 56 percent, and the majority of public feedback was “overwhelmingly positive.”

Better Naito was such a success that the City decided to bring it back for three months this summer. Unfortunately Hales’ proposal to make it permanent might be dead within a week.





Hales included the $1.46 million for Naito as one of several expenditures that are dependent on a business tax increase that was immediately controversial and is now teetering on life support.

Even Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick — who has been extremely enthusiastic and supportive of Better Naito (to the point of literally singing the praises of its organizers Better Block PDX at a press conference last year) — didn’t support the business tax. Does that mean Novick doesn’t want a better Naito? Or does it mean that, once again, a mayor has thrown a much-needed bikeway project into a political fight that it shouldn’t be in. (And it’s worth noting that Novick, who could be this project’s biggest champion, isn’t likely to publicly support it until his gas tax increase passes.)

As reported in the Portland Mercury today, the Naito funding (along with a host of other expenditures Hales wants to pay for with a new tax) is now on the chopping block.

Hales has talked about improving bike access on Naito since 2014. He’s had nearly two years to do the legwork it takes to make this project a reality. But as of last week there are no preliminary designs, no project renderings to capture public and political imaginations and no details about the project that advocates could sink their energy into. It’s as if he just popped it into his budget at the last minute as a moonshot.

The mayor’s final budget could have been an exclamation point on a better Naito and instead it’s still a big question mark.

This project deserves better.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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With $1.5 million proposal for Naito, Mayor puts money where his mouth is

With $1.5 million proposal for Naito, Mayor puts money where his mouth is

new bike lane on Naito

The existing bike lanes on Naito are outdated.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales released his final proposed budget this morning and it includes funding for a project we’ve been hoping to see materialize for several years: improved access for biking on Naito Parkway. $1.46 million to be exact. It was one of 14 infrastructure projects and over $42 million in new spending he’s put on the table.

Re-allocating roadway space on Naito is a much-needed step for Portland. Waterfront Park is too crowded to be used as a transportation corridor and Naito Parkway’s existing bike lanes are outdated and inadequate. And it’s not just bike advocates who’ve been talking about this.

Hales has talked about it several times. In August 2014 during a bike tour with fellow dignitaries he told me the Naito Parkway idea “is a slam dunk” and that it’d be “a very compelling project” that could be done, “fairly quickly.” “What if we just took that east lane on Naito and went ahead and made it into a bikeway?” he wondered out loud, “You know we really don’t need all those lanes.” Then, during his brief romance with biking to work before he dropped out of the mayoral race, Hales said making “Better Naito” permanent was “The next thing on our list.”

Speaking of Better Naito, a politician couldn’t ask for a better way to float a bold idea before putting real funding behind it. After a highly successful partnership with volunteer urbanist group Better Block PDX last year, the City of Portland has doubled down by bringing back the temporary biking and walking lane to Naito for three months this year. The “tactical urbanism” demonstration is the largest and longest-lasting project of its kind ever deployed.







The future of Naito Parkway? (This is a design rendering of a bikeway in London).

The future of Naito Parkway? (This is a design rendering of a bikeway in London).

Better Naito pilot project-3.jpg

A “Better Naito” for sure.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Separated bike-walk lane on Naito-5

Jersey barriers created a protected bike lane on Naito during a construction project in 2009.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Redesigning Naito also makes sense from a planning and engineering standpoint. Its current configuration of two standard bike lanes and five auto lanes (including a parking lane) is an embarrassment for America’s most bike-friendly big city. When the Bureau of Transportation spent $10 million to repave Naito in 2007 the design was outdated and inadequate for cycling day it opened. Even PBOT’s longtime bicycle planning coordinator Roger Geller acknowledged (at a meeting of the Bicycle Advisory Committee in 2012) that, “By the time we implemented it [Naito paving project], we would have been ready for buffered bike lanes or cycle tracks.”

And going back in further, the City of Portland’s 2003 Waterfront Park Master Plan (link) called for several biking and walking improvements that have never materialized: a 10-15-foot path (“The Promenade”) that would wind through the park from the Hawthorne Bridge to NW Couch; and a new 6-8-foot wide sidewalk that would have run the full length of the park.

So far the technical details of this project still need to be ironed out. The Oregonian reported this morning that, “The proposed funding would provide for a permanent barrier in a configuration similar to the pilot program [Better Block], but the design is still in early stages.”

Perhaps as a starting point we could look at the design of one of London’s cycling superhighways we highlighted last year. And of course anything major improvement to bike access on Naito would have to include a fix for the notorious “Naito Gap” where the bike lane ends under the Steel Bridge. If we can fix that gap, we’d be tantalizingly close to connecting to the thousands of new residential and commercial units being built further north and the vast biking potential of the industrial area.

Imagine a safe and efficient bikeway from the Hawthorne Bridge to NW 26th Avenue.

With less than a year to cement his transportation legacy, Hales has put forward his most interesting bike project yet. If this proposal makes it through the budget process (not a foregone conclusion by any stretch) it would be the very first protected bike lane to be built during his tenure. And it’s far from a “slam dunk” unfortunately. Hales hasn’t made transportation projects a priority and his last budget is clearly focused on other pressing needs like affordable housing, homelessness, and police staffing. But at least we’ve got something on the table. We’re eager to see what happens next.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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USDOT picks Portland as finalist for $40 million ‘Smart City Challenge’ grant

USDOT picks Portland as finalist for $40 million ‘Smart City Challenge’ grant

ubmobile-cover-3

Graphic from Portland’s grant application.

“Ubiquitous mobility” is one step closer to reality in Portland.

On Saturday the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the City of Portland has been selected as a finalist for a $40 million ‘Smart City Challenge’ grant. Portland’s big idea is known as “Ubiquitous Mobility” or UB Mobile PDX. The concept is to create access to our myriad transportation options that is so integrated that everyone can easily plug into it. The city says it will, “Show what is possible when communities use technology to connect transportation assets into an interactive network” and that it “puts forward bold, data-driven ideas to improve lives by making transportation safer, easier, and more reliable.”

Imagine opening up a mobile app to find (and pay for if necessary) the best trip option available for your specific needs. Whether it’s finding a Biketown bike, hopping on a TriMet bus, renting a bike through Spinlister, calling a Lyft driver, or whatever. The same app would also enable users to pay for parking spots and even the pay-per-mile gas tax that might someday be an option in Oregon. And that’s just the start. We took a deep dive into the city’s grant application last month.

77 cities applied for the grant and that list has been whittled down to seven. Portland is now competing with Austin, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Denver, and Columbus (Ohio). U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made the announcement at the South by Southwest conference in Austin while on stage with several mayors including Portland’s Charlie Hales.





At SXSW Hales said, “Portland is uniquely positioned to be the prototyper in the USDOT Smart City Challenge, because we’ve been a prototyper for the nation. We will use this opportunity to invest in economic development, mobility, connectivity, and equity.”

As a finalist, Portland now receives $100,000 to further develop their idea. The USDOT says the winning city will be selected “based on their ability to think big, and provide a detailed roadmap on how they will integrate innovative technologies to prototype the future of transportation in their city.” The winner will be announced in June 2016.

Learn more at Transportation.gov/SmartCity.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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As state law passes, the fight for affordable proximity moves to City Hall

As state law passes, the fight for affordable proximity moves to City Hall

trauma

A rally last fall to better protect Portland tenants from displacement.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

After years of fighting, a “grand bargain” on affordable housing passed Oregon’s legislature this week. But it won’t begin shaping Portland’s bikeable neighborhoods until after the city council takes action of its own.

Representatives for Mayor Charlie Hales and his council colleague, Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman, say that plans to do so are already underway.

Any city plan seems certain to include some level of “inclusionary zoning,” a measure that could require that up to 20 percent of units in some new buildings be sold and/or rented at discount prices to people who make less than 80 percent of the median income. (As of 2015, that 80 percent figure means that a family of three that makes less than $52,950 would qualify for the reduced-rate units.)

But many questions remain. In which neighborhoods would the rule apply? Will developers be allowed to build higher, or exempted from expensive requirements such as auto parking, to make up for their losses from those discounted rents? Will inclusionary zoning be coupled with other changes such as re-legalizing duplexes or garden apartments or charging a “linkage fee” on all new development? Developers will also have the option to get out of the inclusionary zoning requirement by paying into a city affordable housing fund; how high will that fee be?

All of those decisions will be made by cities like Portland, probably in the next few months.

Because migration to Portland boomed during the Great Recession just as the construction rate plummeted, the city’s population has grown 79 percent faster than its housing supply.

rental shortage width=

When vacancy rates are low, landlords can raise the rent without losing tenants.
(Data: Census Bureau.)

That’s left the metro area with one of the nation’s lowest rental vacancy rates and made soaring real estate prices and rents the single hottest issue in the current mayoral election.





Oregon’s House of Representatives approved a Senate bill Thursday that removed the “preemption” in state law that has banned cities from using inclusionary zoning. Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign.

Saltzman’s chief of staff, Brendan Finn, said in an email Thursday that his boss has laid out a plan for “a community-wide data driven discussion that would include but would not be limited to members of the development community, as well as affordable housing experts and advocates.”

“Dan introduced a resolution at council Feb. 10,” Finn said. “Now that preemption is to be lifted and signed into law, we can get started on a process for crafting a policy for Portland.”

Hales spokeswoman Sara Hottman said the mayor is also ready to start work.

“Mayor Hales has instructed all involved city bureaus to develop plans for an effective Portland implementation of the new law,” Hottman said in an email. “Commissioner Saltzman, in charge of the Housing Bureau, has been instrumental in passing the bill, and will be overseeing the implementation.”

A repeal of the state’s ban was the Portland city government’s top legislative priority in Salem this year.

Affordability advocates gear up for local debate
Occupy Portland on SW Main Street-4-3

Commissioner Dan Saltzman walks past an Occupy Portland demonstration in 2011.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland advocates who’ve been pushing for repeal of the state ban said they’ll be shifting their work to City Hall, in part because they think a successful policy in Portland will create political support for a future effort to fully remove Salem’s regulation of housing price controls. Here’s the word from Vivian Satterfield, deputy director of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon:

This is obviously a big day for OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and the Oregon Inclusionary Zoning Coalition. We’re proud to have put this issue on the table in Salem and to have convened a large and powerful statewide coalition that together, brought about this historic victory for housing opportunity. That being said, there are key pieces of the legislation that need to be fixed in future years at the state level. OPAL and other partners of the Coalition, namely those organizations representing people of color and working families, expect to be at the relevant policy tables to craft a local IZ policy that maximizes the use of the tool in its current form. We have already initiated these discussions with Commissioner Saltzman’s office and we look forward to working with the future Mayor of Portland as well. Demonstrated efficacy of any inclusionary zoning policy both at the City of Portland and other jurisdictions ready to adopt their own IZ policy will undoubtedly support future efforts to seek a full repeal and local control.

For three years now, we’ve been exploring how you can’t have a truly bike-friendly city without affordable proximity. Depending on how this new state law gets enacted and what other changes come along with it, this could be a very important moment in making sure Portland’s bikeable neighborhoods don’t slip permanently out of reach for most Portlanders.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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