City Portland Gets It
posted by July 23 at 12:19 PMon
In Seattle, when a bike lane threatened to take out a few feet of road that could otherwise be used by cars, businesses put pressure on the mayor and got the bike lane killed.
In Portland, when the city replaced prime curbside parking with parking corrals for bikes, businesses and city leaders applauded the move.
According to the Oregonian, each of the so-called “bike corrals” replaces two traditional parking spaces with 22 spots for bikes. Businesses like the corrals because they keep bikes from stacking up on the sidewalk, create better sight lines for pedestrians, and keep big vehicles from blocking storefronts so that no one on the street can see them. In fact, businesses like the corrals so much, they’re helping to pay for them.
Along Belmont, industrial designer and cyclist Bill Stites rounded up support for the corrals and won a $5,000 grant from the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations for the project. The Belmont Area Business Association and some local businesses are also ponying up. And businesses near the racks have agreed to clean up the street beneath them, which street sweepers can’t get to now.
Stites, the Sunnyside neighborhood’s representative on the Belmont business association board, said he encountered no resistance to the idea among business owners. “You’d think the attitude would be, ‘We’re not going to lose any car parking, get out of here with the cycling,’ ” Stites said. “But it hasn’t. It’s been amazing.”
Too bad Seattle is different than every other city in the world. That’s why we can’t tear down the viaduct, can’t build rapid transit, can’t replace car parking with spots for bikes, can’t stripe bike lanes if businesses complain…