Build protected bike lanes on Hawthorne Boulevard
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UPDATE: Please donate to help us sue PBOT to make these much-needed safety improvements: https://gofund.me/f8aea9ad
This summer, PBOT is repaving and repainting Hawthorne to improve the street and better serve the needs of the community. One of the proposed designs includes protected bike lanes.
Protected bike lanes use physical protection (like concrete or parked cars) to make it safe and pleasant for people of all ages to bike on a street, just like how sidewalks make it safe and pleasant to walk.
Here's why it's important to build protected bike lanes on Hawthorne:
1) Safety. Protected bike lanes will make the street dramatically safer for people riding bikes and e-scooters by physically protecting them from dangerous cars and trucks. And by giving people on bikes and e-scooters a dedicated place to ride, they won't need to use the narrow sidewalks anymore, which will make the street much safer for pedestrians. Last but not least, by slowing traffic to a more neighborly pace (think NW 23rd), the street will be safer for everyone—including drivers.
2) Business success. Protected bike lanes are hugely beneficial for local businesses. In 2016, a PSU study found that cyclists are "competitive consumers, spending similar amounts or more, on average, than their counterparts using automobiles." By encouraging people to bike on Hawthorne instead of nearby Greenways, businesses increase their visibility with an influx of foot and bike traffic, drastically boosting sales.
More than 75 local businesses on Hawthorne want protected bike lanes. Here's a video where they tell you why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DSnO_ZkGm4
3) COVID recovery. Protected bike lanes will help businesses recover from the hits they've taken during COVID by bringing an entirely new stream of foot, e-scooter, and bike traffic to Hawthorne, and transforming the street into a more vibrant, human place. Cars don't buy things, people do; and by making the street more friendly to people, businesses will thrive.
4) Equity. Protected bike lanes on Hawthorne will provide people in outer SE Portland (Lents, Foster-Powell, etc.) a faster, more affordable alternative to driving (according to AAA, the average cost of owning a car is $8,588, while an e-bike can be purchased for less than $500). Commuting from Lents to downtown with a 20 mph e-bike is nearly always faster than riding the bus or even driving, and will be an especially attractive option with a safe and direct route via Hawthorne.
5) Climate goals. By encouraging people to bike rather than drive, we'll get closer to achieving our city's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. In addition to helping us achieve long-term goals, protected bike lanes will immediately make the neighborhood's air cleaner and reduce noise pollution caused by excessive lanes of traffic.
6) Accessibility. Protected bike lanes benefit people with disabilities by giving them a safe, fast, and comfortable way to get around, which lets them be more independent by not relying on the bus or a car for every trip. Protected bike lanes offer a much smoother ride than narrow, crowded sidewalks.
7) Transit. By encouraging people to get around by bike and scooter rather than drive, people will choose to drive less when accessing Hawthorne. Fewer cars on the street mean buses will be able to move faster. We can also invest in additional transit improvements, such as longer buses, all-door boarding, signal priority, stop consolidation, and perhaps one day, make Hawthorne a car-free busway.
8) Building for the future. Now is our big opportunity to rebuild Hawthorne to serve the neighborhood and city at large for the coming decades. As bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and other micro-mobility options continue to increase in popularity, we need to adapt the street to serve the modes of the future, not the past.
If you like this vision for Hawthorne, please sign the petition and share it with anyone else you think would benefit from a safer, healthier Hawthorne! Thank you!
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