Portland – where fantasies don't come true

I wrote a while back about the lunacy in which the City of Portland "transportation" bureaucrats are engaged on Broadway downtown. They've given the bikey set exclusive use of the right lane next to the curb, moved the parking to the second lane from the right, and squeezed vehicular traffic down to two lanes, along the entire length of the once-thriving street.

The new setup has turned out to be a drag for the businesses down there, but truly atrocious for the hotels, particularly the Benson and the Heathman. When their guests get out of their Ubers or rent-a-cars or taxis or whatever, they have to cross the bike lane, and well, not every tourist understands the goofball arrangement that's been installed there. Meanwhile, many of the bike children are going too fast. Their going faster and not having to look out is the whole point.

The result? Cyclists get doored, and hotel guests (and hotel employees) get hit, or so far, nearly so. This on top of all the other issues that have laid waste to downtown. KGW gets real about it here.

The partial shutdown of Broadway is not about safety. It's about forcing an agenda on a public, the vast majority of which don't want it. And the car haters get away with it, because climate.

Who are these people at City Hall, who come up with this stuff? Benign old-timers with decades of experience? Heck no. They're a bunch of smug kids, mostly. They took a few classes at Portland State and now they know how to run the city. Here's who you get to talk to when you complain about stuff like this:

And they know it all. A bunch of true believer 20-somethings, running the place into the ground. 

They should have a voice, but where is the balance? There isn't any.

You can have a downtown where the average person wants to stay and shop and dine, or you can have a downtown that's a bike paradise, where driving a car is an ordeal. You can't have it both ways. Unfortunately, Portland Cty Hall is in denial about that, and it has made its preference quite clear. No wonder downtown is dead.


  1. Not to mention bike traffic is down about 90 percent from what I can tell.

    1. Temps in the 30s, and rain and snow? My biking is down 100%.

  2. You know everytime a bicyclist drives into an open car door an angel earns their wings.

  3. For decades my travels in Portland took me across the Hawthorn bridge and past the Elk statue. About ten years ago I noticed less vehicle congestion. Today, except for commute times, those streets are almost empty. Now I see painted lane constraints that don’t seem to benefit anyone.
    Do you suppose the traffic control geniuses anticipate a future traffic increase. I wonder where they get their data

  4. Meanwhile, many roads in this city are crumbling messes (eg, NW 23rd from Northrop to Thurman, Burnside at 16th, Division in the 40s and higher). But PBOT spends the money building bike lanes that are mostly little used

  5. I have nothing to add Jack. You said it all perfectly.

  6. Looks as The Roach City is closer to the drain!

  7. The crazy thing is that the bike lanes stay even if they go largely unused.

  8. They not only hate cars, but they hate businesses too. Great combo to revive downtown.

  9. The way that they run this city is akin to some rich guy who builds a mansion, fills it with expensive items and with no locks on the door, and neglects to finish putting up the roof.


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