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PBOT: Bike lanes on Hawthorne would be bad for climate change, racial equity

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PBOT: Bike lanes on Hawthorne could be dangerous for local weather change, racial fairness

PBOT is anxious about how these bike lanes would possibly affect transit and racial fairness.

“…It’s seemingly that the bike lanes would supply a principally localized profit to entry locations on the hall relatively than benefiting individuals additional away within the Foster and Lents areas.”
— PBOT

A golden alternative to create secure area on Hawthorne Boulevard for bicycle customers is likely to be slipping away. That’s the sensation of many native advocates following the discharge of a draft report yesterday by the Portland Bureau of Transportation on the SE Hawthorne Pave and Paint project.

Since we shared information of this mission back in January there’s been a hope that bike lanes might lastly be coming to certainly one of Portland’s marquee principal streets. There’s strong grassroots support for devoted biking area and again in Could nearly 60 business owners said they’d support bike lanes.

Since Hawthorne is slated to be repaved from twenty fourth to fiftieth, PBOT has a clear slate to switch the present lane striping with one thing new. Presently this part of Hawthorne west of Cesar E Chavez Blvd (thirty ninth) has six lanes — 4 normal site visitors lanes and two lanes used to park vehicles. East of Cesar E Chavez Blvd, the street has 5 lanes — two for normal site visitors, one heart flip lane, and two automotive parking lanes.

Listed here are the three choices PBOT has into consideration:

PBOT evaluates these three choices primarily based on 5 standards: “Enhance security; Assist Hawthorne’s Predominant Road perform and assist individuals get to locations there; Join individuals to different elements of the town; Will it advance fairness and handle structural racism? Will it cut back carbon emissions?”

As you may see beneath, PBOT has positioned possibility 2 because the clear winner:

Sure it seems PBOT is leaning towards no area for bicycle riders on Hawthorne. That is regardless of sturdy help for bike lanes and a 2030 Bike Plan that explicitly requires them. Not surprisingly, this has set off a number of alarm bells. “I hate the dearth of ambition right here,” tweeted transportation reformer and member of the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee Iain Mackenzie. “I feel the entire thing is a joke and they’ll use this information to say why the established order will proceed,” activist and software developer Lance Poehler shared with me through e-mail this morning.

To higher perceive PBOT’s justification, right here’s how they summarize choices 2 and three:

Notably, the bike lane choices acquired dinged for his or her anticipated unfavourable impacts on close by neighborhood greenways, “[auto] parking retention”, local weather change and fairness.

PBOT believes bike lanes on Hawthorne would drive extra drivers onto in style neighborhood greenways streets reminiscent of Salmon, Ladd, Harrison and Lincoln. PBOT’s evaluation exhibits that the ensuing variety of drivers that might divert onto these streets would push them above the two,000 vehicles per day most they permit on “low-stress, family-friendly” facet streets.

2030 Bike Plan map displaying bike lanes on SE Hawthorne.

Lacking from this analysis is any expectation that — if we achieve updating our infrastructure in a approach that makes driving much less handy — individuals would possibly truly change behaviors and drive much less.

And in one other troubling signal for a metropolis ostensibly dedicated to combating local weather change and boosting biking and different non-driving journeys, PBOT frames on-street auto parking as a necessity and a proper, relatively than a privilege. All three choices keep area for parking vehicles. Various 3b would result in 225 fewer automotive parking areas that PBOT says would, “Make it harder for individuals visiting the Hawthorne Enterprise District to seek out parking,” and “be a big affect to some principal road companies that depend on short-term automobile entry.”

Take into accout as we focus on these choices that in the event you use a automotive, stroll or take transit, you’re assured some sort of devoted and secure area for that exercise. Nevertheless, in the event you use a bicycle, solely Various 3 provides you the sort of area. Put one other approach, for bicycle riders, we’re speaking about whether or not or not there may be entry. For everybody else, we’re speaking about how a lot entry.

PBOT additionally tries to make the case that bicycle and automotive customers sharing the identical lane “would supply some security enchancment for cyclists that select to take the lane,” as a result of there could be “slower automobile speeds and wider journey lanes”. They provide no quotation for this declare.

The affect on transit occasions is framed by PBOT as essentially the most severe menace posed by the addition of motorcycle lanes. They are saying if bike lanes are added, Line 14 bus riders might count on between 8 and 16 minutes of delay. In addition they say reliability would undergo as a result of drivers would again up behind bus drivers ready for a niche in site visitors to make turns. “Since Hawthorne Blvd is classed as a Main Transit Precedence Road,” the report states, “this sort of journey time improve and reliability affect for the Line 14 could be very regarding.”

It’s essential to needless to say PBOT is at present led by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. The direct line between transit and racial fairness on this report is similar to Eudaly’s approach to transit in her Rose Lane Project. Suffice it to say, no design idea will survive if it delays transit by 8 to 16 minutes.

“…including one stretch of motorcycle lane in an space of Portland with among the many highest bicycle mode shares within the metropolis is prone to have much less marginal profit than bettering one of the vital frequent and highest-ridership bus traces within the space.”
— PBOT

For related causes, PBOT says bike lanes on Hawthorne would have a “excessive affect” on driving occasions and that the, “stage of diversion onto decrease categorised streets could be regarding because it doesn’t align with Metropolis coverage.”

The report contains no evaluation of how a scarcity of secure area on Hawthorne for bicycle riders negatively impacts biking journey occasions.

The justification for giving bike lanes low marks on fairness and lowering carbon emissions can be associated to those claimed impacts on transit occasions.

Utilizing their new concentrate on racial fairness, PBOT says the bike lanes’ unfavourable affect on transit pace and reliability would harm low-income individuals who dwell in east Portland areas served by the Line 14 bus. PBOT acknowledges the profit bike lanes would have for some, however they body them it a “principally localized profit… relatively than benefiting individuals additional away within the Foster and Lents areas.” “Subsequently, our conclusion is that Various 2 [which they say offers the most benefit to transit service] is extra according to the purpose of advancing fairness and addressing structural racism with this mission.”

For local weather change impacts, PBOT mentioned they leaned on Metro’s Climate Smart Strategy, which evaluated relative local weather advantages of various transportation methods. In that report, “make biking and strolling secure and handy” acquired 3 out of 5 stars, whereas “make transit handy, frequent, accessible, and reasonably priced” nabbed 5 out of 5 stars. “This appears very true on this scenario,” the report states, “since including one stretch of motorcycle lane in an space of Portland with among the many highest bicycle mode shares within the metropolis is prone to have much less marginal profit than bettering one of the vital frequent and highest-ridership bus traces within the space.” PBOT additionally says that the elevated bus journey occasions would cancel out any local weather advantages of latest bike lanes.

Now that the report is out, it’s time to share your suggestions. PBOT has launched an online survey and can host two webinars to listen to your enter on these alternate options. Study extra on the project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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