News Sep 7, 2012 at 4:00 am

City Program Converts Parking Spots to Outdoor Dining


Portland 'planner' logic: putting pedestrians within inches of vehicular traffic is 'pedestrian friendly'
@D, to be fair, pedestrians are equally close to vehicular traffic in places all over the world, this is not unique to Portland. Also, the proximity of cafe seating to traffic is not something that the City needs to go all "nanny state" over. People can assess the risks for themselves pretty easily, and if they don't think it's safe, they will just take a seat inside. Trust me, there are some decisions that people can make for themselves without government getting involved.
It's great to see the City reclaiming part of the public ROW from privately-owned cars. This space should be managed to maximize public benefit, and it's hard to see how letting people store their private cars for free does ANYTHING for the public. Sure, it benefits the car owner, and perhaps the nearby business, but it's an unfair subsidy -- at the public expense -- of the car owner and/or the private company.

Parking spaces in areas (like SE Division, Hawthorne, Belmont, Broadway, etc.) where there's more demand than supply should be metered, and the resulting revenue should be spent on public services (e.g. maintenance of the public ROW; public schools; community centers).

Creating parklets that are privately-controlled is a lot like giving the same space to a private car driver. Let's hope the City gets smart about this, adds meters nearby, and then charges the restaurants whatever they would otherwise earn in foregone meter revenue.
a solution of sorts but i won't eat beside cars and traffic anywhere
It is pretty bizarre no one has a problem with a restaurant basically taking over a public space for a nominal fee, car owners have to move their car but restaurant owners can throw out anyone they want.

Maybe Portland is really just that more conservative than New York and Seattle?
@Ardennes, don't be surprised. People are rarely idiologically consistent. Change just one detail, and there would be protest marches on City Hall. If it was a bike lane instead of a parking space, or if the restaurant was a McDonald's, there would be all kinds of anger. Personally, I think this is a great idea, and I hope they do it in a lot of places. I think it makes the street more interesting. (also, I don't care about parking spaces.)
Nice try but it only makes sense if people don't mind adding a generous dose of car exhaust to their meals. On the other hand it is a great place for a smoking patio.

Lots of great thinking on the comment board, essentially:

"the cafes are too close to cars to be pedestrian friendly, so we should just leave the cars PARKED CLOSER TO THE SIDEWALK and keep driving and parking easy"

Now close your eyes and envision a solid block of cafes, bike corrals, food carts and other forms of colonized street parking...

imagine who's yielding to pedestrians in that situation? imagine the expansion of public space as you walk down the sidewalk and run into people in what was formerly a parked car? imagine how much less exhaust there is when people are biking and walking instead of driving?

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.