About 150 Portlanders filled a gym last week in the Woodstock neighborhood to hear city officials pitch a new 4 1/2-mile bike route going through the neighborhood.
The Rogue Desk notes the location for the city's Jan. 26 open house—Our Lady of Sorrows Parish—couldn't have been more apt. The sorrow on display by supposedly parking-starved residents at the city's presentation for its "50s bikeway" (so named because the proposed route runs from Northeast Thompson Street and 57th Avenue south to Southeast Woodstock Boulevard and 52nd Avenue) was of apocalyptic proportions.
Blame the frigid winter temperatures for our crankiness, but the NIMBYish arguing over roadways means the Rogue Desk is naming the neighbors hating on Portland's 50s bikeway Rogues of the Week.
If they had a legitimate concern, we'd listen. But most of the whining last week had to do with what some Portlanders consider an inalienable right—free on-street parking. A map of the proposed bikeway filled an entire wall of the gym, and city officials invited attendees to write their comments on Post-it notes they could then stick to the map.
"Don't take away parking on 52nd," one read. "This is a terrible idea!" "What about the elderly?" asked another, with no explanation for what that meant. "Nobody bikes here anyway," asserted another.
Actually, compared with elsewhere in the city, nobody parks on 52nd Avenue. The proposal would eliminate parking on one side of 52nd Ave. A study of the area showed a peak use of 30 percent for those spots.
Our final note from the evening of the open house, at 6:30 pm: The Rogue Desk spotted one car parked on the 12-block stretch of Southeast 52nd Avenue between Holgate and Woodstock.