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

PBOT: Bike lanes on Hawthorne would be bad for climate change, racial equity 2020-09-01Leave a comment

electrical bike PBOT: Bike lanes on Hawthorne could be unhealthy for local weather change, racial fairness

PBOT is worried about how these bike lanes may impression transit and racial fairness.

“…It’s probably that the bike lanes would provide a largely localized profit to entry locations on the hall quite than benefiting folks additional away within the Foster and Lents areas.”
— PBOT

A golden alternative to create secure area on Hawthorne Boulevard for bicycle customers is perhaps 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 venture back in January there’s been a hope that bike lanes may lastly be coming to considered one of Portland’s marquee primary 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 exchange the present lane striping with one thing new. At present this part of Hawthorne west of Cesar E Chavez Blvd (thirty ninth) has six lanes — 4 basic visitors lanes and two lanes used to park automobiles. East of Cesar E Chavez Blvd, the highway has 5 lanes — two for basic visitors, one heart flip lane, and two automobile parking lanes.

Listed here are the three choices PBOT has into account:

PBOT evaluates these three choices based mostly on 5 standards: “Enhance security; Help Hawthorne’s Predominant Avenue operate and assist folks get to locations there; Join folks to different components of the town; Will it advance fairness and deal with structural racism? Will it scale back carbon emissions?”

As you’ll be able to 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 couple 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 believe the entire thing is a joke and they’ll use this knowledge to say why the established order will proceed,” activist and software developer Lance Poehler shared with me through e-mail this morning.

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

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

PBOT believes bike lanes on Hawthorne would power extra drivers onto standard neighborhood greenways streets equivalent to Salmon, Ladd, Harrison and Lincoln. PBOT’s evaluation reveals that the ensuing variety of drivers that will divert onto these streets would push them above the two,000 automobiles per day most they permit on “low-stress, family-friendly” aspect streets.

2030 Bike Plan map exhibiting 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 — folks may really change behaviors and drive much less.

And in one other troubling signal for a metropolis ostensibly dedicated to preventing local weather change and boosting biking and different non-driving journeys, PBOT frames on-street auto parking as a necessity and a proper, quite than a privilege. All three choices preserve area for parking automobiles. Different 3b would result in 225 fewer automobile parking areas that PBOT says would, “Make it harder for folks visiting the Hawthorne Enterprise District to seek out parking,” and “be a major impression to some primary road companies that depend on short-term car entry.”

Be mindful as we talk about these choices that in the event you use a automobile, 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 Different 3 offers you this sort of area. Put one other approach, for bicycle riders, we’re speaking about whether or not or not there’s entry. For everybody else, we’re speaking about how a lot entry.

PBOT additionally tries to make the case that bicycle and automobile 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 car speeds and wider journey lanes”. They provide no quotation for this declare.

The impression on transit occasions is framed by PBOT as probably the most severe risk posed by the addition of motorbike lanes. They are saying if bike lanes are added, Line 14 bus riders may 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 spot in visitors to make turns. “Since Hawthorne Blvd is classed as a Main Transit Precedence Avenue,” the report states, “this type of journey time improve and reliability impression for the Line 14 could be very regarding.”

It’s necessary to remember the fact that PBOT is presently 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 motorbike 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 enhancing probably the most frequent and highest-ridership bus traces within the space.”
— PBOT

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

The report consists of 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 also be associated to those claimed impacts on transit occasions.

Utilizing their new concentrate on racial fairness, PBOT says the bike lanes’ adverse impression on transit velocity 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 “largely localized profit… quite than benefiting folks additional away within the Foster and Lents areas.” “Due to this fact, our conclusion is that Different 2 [which they say offers the most benefit to transit service] is extra in keeping with the purpose of advancing fairness and addressing structural racism with this venture.”

For local weather change impacts, PBOT stated 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” obtained 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 motorbike 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 enhancing probably the most 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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