A Good Day for Bikes in Portland

Thursday was indeed a good day!

The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 passed City Council unanimously, and Mayor Adams has promised to return in 30 days with a plan to kickstart $20M in new funding to get it rolling.

Obscured by that headline, earlier in the day City Council put all-but-the-finishing touches on the RICAP 5 zoning amendment package (one unrelated item needs to come back for further scrutiny in 3 weeks). This package includes an amendment increasing the required bicycle parking in new multi-dwelling buildings (condos and apartments). The current requirement is 0.25 spaces per unit (1 bike parking space for every four apartments or condo units). Under the revised code that ratio will go to 1.5 spaces/unit in the Central City and 1.1 in other parts of the City.

12 responses to “A Good Day for Bikes in Portland”

  1. I’m curious Chris, what has been the developer reception of this “increasing bicycle parking spaces” idea? Does it depend on the developer? What region of the city they invest in?

  2. We interviewed developers about this and the comments ranged from “we can fit this in the existing auto parking areas” (that from a Central City developer) to “minimal impact on costs”.

  3. I have designed a number of buildings , and I can say it will be no problem to fit in Bike Parking.
    Way to go PDX Council !

  4. Chris Smith: “…to “minimal impact on costs”.”

    ws:People can’t even afford the housing that’s being built already (falling incomes, too) anything more minimal to housing costs — especially with more regulations to come in the future, of course — is just another thing to deal with.

    Just get rid of parking and biking regulations all together.

  5. Just for some simple math, what does a 150 unit condo yield in terms of biking parking lots?

    225 bike parking spots. How many sf will that take up?

  6. Commissioner Fish raised the question about how this impacts housing affordability – and was satisfied with the answers.

    As to simply letting the market drive this with no City requirements – that would be ideal if the market were doing this. But it’s not.

    We heard testimony from condo associations that have had to turn ever available common space into bike parking to meet demand.

    When people shop for condos they may ask if there is bike parking – but do they stop to ask how many spaces per unit? I didn’t the last time I was shopping for real estate. But they would never think about not asking about auto parking. The market needs to get a little better trained. Meanwhile this standard will help set market expectations.

    Planning Commission (at my suggestion) in our recommendation on the Bicycle Master Plan suggested a comprehensive look at how parking for all kinds of vehicles is allocated. Ideally as we have less demand for auto parking and more for bikes, we would be converting or reducing space, NOT adding more square feet.

    In fact, the 1.1 recommendation was intended to stay below a level that would increase building footprints (which is not sustainable financially or environmentally).

    The specific rationale for 1.1 is on my other blog.

  7. “$20M in new funding”

    It won’t be new. It will be taking it from somethng else.

    Is it safe to assume the bike regime could care less where it comes from?

  8. Ah, yes. The “Bike Mafia”. There are too few of them to justify pandering to them or too many that they are clogging up ALL the roads. They are either unemployed or richie riches. Whichever fits your ideological argument.

    Wait, maybe there isn’t actually a Bike Mafia, but rather a diverse group of people who ride their bikes. John E., JK, do either of you own a bike? If so, then they are YOU!

  9. Chris Smith:“Ideally as we have less demand for auto parking and more for bikes, we would be converting or reducing space, NOT adding more square feet.

    ws:So, is this plan in conjunction with a reduced parking requirement? If not, I do not see how increasing the bike requirements 6 fold will not increase the actual footprint of a building if parking req’s aren’t changing.

  10. There is no reduction in auto parking requirements (in the central city, the requirement is already zero).

    But several developers have told us they can fit in the additional parking amidst the auto parking and storage rooms without increasing footprint.

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