Originally Posted by wsbob
Portland, Ore is not 'anti-motoring', has not been anti-motoring', and at least at present, shows no inclination to be anti-motoring' going into the future. Recalling generally from memory, Portland Bureau of transportation estimates of transportation mode share, is around 10-15 percent bike, with the rest by motor vehicle and light rail. I don't recall reading anything city officials ever have said that would imply they, either as private individuals or in their capacity as city officials...oppose people's use of motor vehicles to come to town for business, entertainment, tourism, and most any other reason. And in fact, the city has been very attentive in introducing rail and bike infrastructure into the city's street system in ways that allow it to mesh well with motor vehicle usage. Portland welcomes motor usage and encourages and supports active transportation as well.
I didn't say 'if'. There is demand for infrastructure that supports biking as transportation. In Portland, there's no question a demand for such infrastructure exists. The demand seems to be coming from more and more people, and a wider range of them. Not just within Portland, but out in the burbs too. Increasing numbers of bikes on the road in traffic amongst cars involves adjustment on numerous points, but there are many signs that adjustment is being made, such as, more common, effective use of hand signals by people that bike, and also visibility gear, including lights and reflective material. People driving having the experience of being able with less difficulty, to see people biking, and have clearly conveyed to them by persons biking, what people on bikes are doing, is helping people that drive be more comfortable with bikes in traffic. And, improvements in biking infrastructure options is helping everyone.
Because people have been and are speaking up, increases in better biking and walking infrastructure, such as bike through traffic switchover lanes at intersections, are happening. Portland is experimenting with separated cycle tracks, but that infrastructure is the exception. In terms of biking infrastructure, what the city has done more than anything else, is work to devise ways to have motor vehicle and bike traffic travel well on the street together. Traffic situations thus created, call for a certain level of in-traffic bike specific skill and ability on the part of people that bike, although many don't have those skills and abilities, and can be slow to develop and use them. That can and does cause problems. Leaving travel on main lanes of the road, the only travel infrastructure option for people that bike, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be successfully compelled to pick up and use skills and abilities adequate to travel in traffic amidst motor vehicles.
Originally Posted by John Forester
It is my understanding that Portland has deliberately limited downtown parking in order to serve its desires, among them its mass transit system. And that it has managed to keep its downtown offices filled, despite inadequate parking, because there is a law requiring a large proportion of the state offices to be in Portland. I say that this is clear evidence of anti-motoring.
The description that you provide of the Portland facilities is clearly a description of a system that is intended to make cycling safe for traffic-incompetent cyclists. Despite thirty-five years of trying, the bikeway advocates have never been able to demonstrate which traffic skills a cyclist doesn't need in a city with facilities such as Portland's. Indeed, the only evidence is that the cyclist, to be safe, still needs the full set of skills. Which is one reason that it has never been demonstrated that the typical bikeway system, such as most of Portland's, has reduced the car-bike collision rate. Sure, the rate may have gone down, but there is no reason to attribute that to the bikeway system.
Furthermore, Portland has two types of cyclist-killing bikeway designs: bike boxes and what I think are those referred to as switchover lanes. In both of these systems, straight-moving cyclists are put on the right-hand side of right-turning motorists, with the results to be expected.
Accommodation for car parking in Downtown Portland, abounds
. There are many private and public parking facilities, including multi-story and below ground parking and street parking. The city derives revenue from metered street parking, which it uses for street repair. Perhaps you know specific instances of where the city has deliberately limited downtown parking in order to serve its expanding mass transit and trolley system. If so, you're welcome to cite them. Parking aplenty exists adjacent to light rail and trolley lines in Downtown Portland. In the suburbs, Tri-met, serving the Metro Area including Portland, has in fact built numerous 'park and ride' facilities to support people's use of motor vehicles as a means to travel to light rail stations for boarding.
Re; Your understanding about existence of a law supposedly existing to keep state offices located in Downtown office buildings to fill up office space left vacant, supposedly because of difficulty driving downtown and lack of sufficient parking: I'm not saying there isn't such a law, but if there is, I don't know about it. Appreciate a citation or link to the law's text if the law exists and you have tabs on it.
Originally Posted by John Forester
"(snip)....Portland has long had a massive anti-motoring campaign to make motoring difficult, to support both its mass transit system and bicycle transportation. It could not prevent private businesses from leaving downtown Portland because of the motoring and parking difficulties, but it could, and does, require by law that a great many of the government offices be in downtown Portland, to keep the office space filled."
I'm not sure whether you mean it to be insulting or are simply attempting to be descriptive, but in this statement:
"...The description that you provide of the Portland facilities is clearly a description of a system that is intended to make cycling safe for traffic-incompetent cyclists. ..." John Forester
...use of the phrase "...traffic-incompetent cyclists. ..." comes across as intentionally insulting. If that's your intent
, it's uncalled for. If use of the phrase on your part was an unintentional slight, in future, you might reconsider your use of the phrase way you have here.
The facts are, as many people including myself see them, as it seems cities in the Metro Area do as well...is that not everyone capable of riding a bike, has the ability, the skills, or the inclination even if they had the ability and the skills...to mix it up with traffic in main traffic lanes amongst, depending on the type of traffic situation, what can be very fast, quick moving motor vehicles. There are certain types of people, potential cyclists...that could be taught to be very proficient and capable in the use of bike-specific in traffic riding skills, but who would still choose not to ride if it means having to ride at length amongst fast moving motor vehicles.
Some cities such as Portland, recognize from the standpoint of traffic congestion problems that must be confronted and addressed with workable remedies, there is a need to encourage and support riding by this type of person.
For example, a hypothetical rider, call her 'Auntie' can ride a bike for two, three miles, just fine, maybe down a fairly quiet neighborhood street, especially if it has a well maintained 5' or wider bike lane. She knows and uses her hand signals, has the lights, some reflectivity, which equip her well to ride there, but if a route involves a thoroughfare with fast moving traffic: Just forget it. Someone like Auntie will never ride there. Sprightly, quick moving folks on racing bikes regularly tackle big thoroughfares skillfully and safely, no problem...but I suspect this this type of rider does not realistically depict the type of rider a cross section of the general public that could ride, would be.
Re; bike boxes and switchover lanes: Bike boxes in particular are one of various kinds of hyped up experiments Portland has been trying out for 2-3 years. They aren't particularly common Downtown or elsewhere. Some people like them, some don't. I don't recall they've contributed to or caused anyone's death. Switchover lanes, also rather experimental, may be even less common than bike boxes, but one I'm familiar with out in Beaverton has its benefits. It can do a good job of sorting out bike and motor vehicle traffic to more easily and safely enable right turning traffic to proceed without turning across a bike lane. Still, practical use of switchover lanes is likely limited, and I would think for a number of reasons, not likely to become common.