In 2010 Portland, Oregon made it cheap and easy for people to build ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units — also known as “granny flats”, “in-law apartments”, “carriage houses”, etc — small secondary dwellings that are on an existing property), and to nobody’s surprise, the tiny homes boomed. This kind of housing adds density without changing neighborhood character, lets people live lighter on the land, and helps makes housing affordable both for the renters, and the homeowners who now have a rental income that was impossible before. And they do it all without any public subsidy.
I have some urban envy: a development under construction in the Lloyd neighborhood of Portland called Hassalo on 8th (almost like you’d buy it at Ikea…) has 657 apartments, 1,200 bike parking spaces, and 328 (underground) car parking spaces on 4 city blocks with car-free streets between them. They hope to land a grocer for one of the ground floors. Special attention to parking for families (cargo bikes and trailers). Bike Portland has more details.
One of the new buildings is 20 stories tall, but if everything on the superblock were built to 7 stories, I think overall it would have a similar FAR or probably close enough anyway.
And why is it we can’t we build something like this in Boulder?
On street bike parking (bike corrals) have become very popular with local street-level businesses in Portland, Oregon. I think it’s time for Boulder to regularize our bike corral program. We need to get some decent non-diagonal racks in there with higher capacity, like the Portland racks, and also create a process through which businesses can request the racks, and get them. Portland has nearly 100, by population, Boulder ought to have something like 16.
Portland literally cannot build bike corrals fast enough to satisfy local businesses. After installing 30 corrals in 2009 and 21 in 2010, there are now 75 businesses on the waiting list. Once you reach a certainly critical mass of cyclists, swapping a single car parking space (1.3 customers) for a dozen bike parking spaces (12 customers) is no longer a difficult idea to sell to business.