Fast Lanes for Pedestrians?

The sidewalks of Portland are so busy that the city is developing plans to create 6'-8' Pedestrian Zones - basically, fast lanes for moving pedestrians separate from other street activities.

In this video, Warren Jimenez, the mayor's deputy chief of staff, explains the plan.

Sidewalk Management Draft Plan from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Full Story: Sidewalk Management Draft Plan



Not about Fast Pedestrians

I don't think this has anything to do with fast lanes for pedestrians. This is about managing panhandlers and people sleeping on sidewalks in front of stores.


yeah, total whitewashing of a Giuliani-esque initiative.

haha that is totally ridiculous. from an east coast perspective those sidewalks are anything but pedestrian gridlock. if there was a real need for more walking room they would tell starbucks to move those tables instead of booting the homeless.

Rather bogus for a sidewalk

Rather bogus for a sidewalk that's completely not busy. Sidewalks, particularly those shown are great for standing around and chatting with friends, or a number of other legitimate uses. There is literally no congestion there that cannot already be accommodated. Draconian sidewalk zoning is pointless, makes business more complicated, and discourages legitimate forms of streetlife. While it may be valuable to manage the indigant population, that can better be done by addressing that particular issue, rather than a blanket coverage for all kinds of uses that don't involve moving around.

Downtown Portland

This is a smart move by programming the entire sidewalk (just as the roadway is programmed as traffic thoroughfares). We needed something like this because the bums, lunatics, druggies, panhandlers, petitioners and 'road warriors' (grungy aggressive destructive selectively-homeless street kids with pit bulls) are killing Downtown Portland. Downtown Portland has always been the main shopping area for the entire region and of all income levels. It has just about every store at the malls plus a good number that are unique only to downtown. In recent years downtown has begun to lose its edge as a new fake main street themed luxury lifestyle center opened in the rich suburbs while the homeless have become much more dominant downtown. It was just announced last week that Saks Fifth Avenue is closing downtown (its only store in the Pacific NW) which is a real blow to keeping the downtown with high end stores. Sure the economy had a lot to do with it but the biggest complaint about downtown are the homeless.

Portland sidewalk video - a fuller story

It's worth clicking through to the "more information" at the end of the piece. If you don't have the patience to watch it all, the link is
This document, which bears the mayor's name, interweaves headlines about the city's effort to prevent panhandling in a way that will pass constitutional muster. This is strange, because this problem receives no mention in the video, which contains one pretty (otherwise) gratuitous shot of a woman seated on her belongings next to the curb.

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