Comment of the Week: Lawsuits, the quiet pressure behind city decisions

Posted by on December 19th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

clinton speed
Traffic on SE Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As we wrote beneath the last Comment of the Week post, BikePortland has decided to be the only blog we’re aware of that pays for great comments. The person whose thoughts we select for this feature gets a crisp $5 bill in the mail, as a way for us to appreciate the site’s amazing discussion community. So watch your email — we might be in touch.

Street safety matters to cities. So does street comfort. But only one of those issues will land you in court.

That’s the insight shared this week by BikePortland reader paikiala, responding to the discussion on Wednesday’s post about a guerrilla traffic diverter installed on Clinton by anonymous activists.


The Friday Profile: Kyle Carlson, Daimler Trucks’ 52-mile-a-day iron man

Posted by on December 19th, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Kyle Carlson.
(Photos by M Andersen/BikePortland)

Kyle Carlson was a couple hundred feet up the hills of Northwest Portland when he mentioned he used to ride all the way home without switching out of his biggest front gear.


PBOT hopes new signs, markings fix tricky Williams Ave intersection

Posted by on December 19th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Williams Ave & Stanton - observations-4
The person in the truck was legally required to turn left at this intersection; but a weak design — coupled with a bad decision by the vehicle’s operator — led to an abrupt merge in tight quarters with other road users.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Now that construction of the North Williams Safety Project has nearly wrapped up, it’s time to address how specific parts the new design are working — and how they’re not.


Weekend Event Guide: Holiday lights, braving the elements, makers, and more

Posted by on December 19th, 2014 at 10:11 am

Riders in the storm-16
Don’t let the rain keep you down. (Rob Sadowsky doesn’t.)
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.

You know what’s great about this town? Even with the cold/wet weather and the holiday season craziness, there are still fun bike rides and events to take part in.

Whether you are looking for a group ride or an event that lets you connect with other biking fans, there’s something for you in the roundup below. I have a feeling many of your bike rides this weekend will be of the shopping variety. If you do plan on doing some gift-buying by bike, remember to lock up your bike well and don’t let yourself become a bike prowl victim by leaving stuff in your bike bags.

Have a great weekend!


Jobs of the Week: Quality Bicycle Products, Trek Travel, Chris King

Posted by on December 19th, 2014 at 8:51 am

Some of the bike world’s best companies have posted new job opportunities this past week. If you’re looking to break into the industry, check them out in the links below…


The BikePortland Podcast will again take your questions

Posted by on December 18th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

BikePortland Podcast crew
Team Podcast: Michael Andersen (L), Lillian Karabaic,
and Jonathan Maus.
(Photo: BikePortland)

It’s the end of the year, and that means the next couple weeks here on BikePortland will be rich with retrospectives and analysis from 2014 and predictions for 2015.

One of those will be part of a new tradition: the annual question show on our podcast. This is a fun endeavor where the three of us — Jonathan, me, and producer Lillian Karabaic — take questions from listeners and others and address as many as we can, on air, in 25 minutes. The only restriction: the questions somehow have to be about either the year past or the year to come.

Last year, we tackled subjects like proper use of crosswalks, the latest improvements to the Springwater Trail and the Nobel Prize for Physics.


City makes deal to legalize Uber, sharpening deadline for safety requirements

Posted by on December 18th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Riding Portland's urban highways-8
Uber inside?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If Portland’s street safety advocates hope to put special requirements on Uber drivers, they’d better move fast.

On Thursday afternoon, city officials reached a deal that will make Uber and similar ride-summoning services legal by April 9. In exchange, Uber promised to suspend its service in the city starting on Sunday.

According to Willamette Week, the first local outlet to report on the city’s deal:


DeFazio leads trio requesting GAO investigation into bike/walk safety

Posted by on December 18th, 2014 at 11:08 am

Transpo bill press conference-4
Rep. DeFazio in September 2010.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio — who likes to mention in speeches that he’s the only member of Congress who has ever worked as a bicycle mechanic — is taking his fight for safer bicycling to the United States Government Accountability Office.

Citing a “troubling increase in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in recent years,” Rep. DeFazio has joined with fellow House Democrats Rick Larsen from Washington state and Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District of Columbia to request a GAO investigation into the issue.

In a statement released today, the trio said they want the GAO to investigate, “trends and causes of accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles and to make recommendations about improving safety.”


With or without Vision Zero, a safer Barbur might be an economic win

Posted by on December 18th, 2014 at 10:40 am

looking back
An organized ride on Barbur last year.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A few times each day on the wooded four-lane stretch of inner SW Barbur Boulevard, state data released last week suggest, someone decides to hit the gas and zoom through at an average 55 mph or more.

And about a dozen times each year, Barbur’s crash history suggests, someone on this part of Barbur loses control of their vehicle and hits something. Once or twice a year, someone dies.

Since narrowing the road in this stretch to one lane in each direction appears to make many fewer people choose to hit the gas, a redesign that would replace one of the northbound lanes with a bike lane and walking path in each direction could be seen as a perfect test case for Vision Zero. That’s the principle, endorsed by Portland’s transportation director, that safety is always a higher priority than convenience when it comes to road design.


Teen involved in throwing bricks at bike riders implicated in high school shooting

Posted by on December 18th, 2014 at 9:42 am

The law has caught up to a teenager who threw bricks at three men riding their bicycles in northeast Portland back in April.

16-year-old Marquise D’Angelo Murphy was picked up by police in Keizer, Oregon Tuesday night in connection with a shooting at a high school in north Portland on December 12th. Murphy was also arrested by Portland Police on April 20th for his role in the brick-throwing incident that injured Adrian Richardson.


Tonight: BTA hosts first-ever Bike Advocacy Clinic

Posted by on December 17th, 2014 at 1:58 pm


The Bicycle Transportation Alliance wants more of the community to step up and become their own advocates for better biking. Tonight they host a Bike Advocacy Clinic that aims to give people with bike-related concerns and issues the tools they need to fix them.

The BTA has done free bike legal clinics for many years, but this is the first time they’ve offered a clinic on advocacy. The group’s engagement manager Carl Larson said today that they recognize there’s, “A need for informed advocates in our community and we can’t tackle every little problem.” “With some basic tools and and tactics,” he added, “our members and the public can make biking better.”

It’s sort of like getting to tap into the BTA’s 25-years of lessons and expertise. Topics that will be covered at tonight’s clinic will include messaging, defining success, figuring out who holds influence on your issue, finding allies, and the difference between pressure and persuasion.


Portland Commissioner Nick Fish “sad” after getting his bike stolen

Posted by on December 17th, 2014 at 11:42 am

East Sunday Parkways-2
Commissioner Fish on his bike in May 2011.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland bike thieves’ latest victim works in City Hall.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish got his bike stolen last night. According to an update to his personal Facebook page, Fish parked his bike in the racks in front of 24 Hour Fitness in Hollywood and went in for a workout. When he returned 30 minutes later his bike was gone.

“I have been reading about friends who had their bikes stolen recently,” Fish wrote, “Well, tonight I joined the club.”

The bike, which was locked with a cable lock, was a grey and black Trek hybrid that Fish says he bought with his Obama stimulus check.

Fish isn’t the first high-profile city official to get his bike stolen. Back in September 2013, Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat got her beloved bike stolen after leaving it overnight outside the Portland Building on SW Madison. Fortunately for her, it was recovered a few days later.


The simple way to end bike theft: Externalize the costs

Posted by on December 17th, 2014 at 10:56 am

go by bike overhead
OHSU covers the costs and reaps many benefits from the South Waterfront’s free-to-use bike valet. If we’re willing to listen, its success could be a lesson.
(Photo: Go By Bike)

America's Next Bicycle Capital

Part of our series of guest posts, America’s Next Bicycle Capital, where we share community voices about the future of biking in Portland. This week’s guest writer is Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike shop and operator of the Go By Bike valet.


Repeat after me: it is not your fault your bike got stolen. Even if you were a dummy and left your custom bike unlocked only to return several hours later and find it stolen, it is not your fault.

The solution to ending bike theft is easy. It starts with this fact: we are already dealing as individuals with the costs of theft.


Guerrilla traffic diverters installed – then removed – on SE Clinton

Posted by on December 17th, 2014 at 10:31 am

Guerrilla diverters on SE Clinton-6
Police observe while people ride down Clinton and City of Portland crews work to remove the unpermitted traffic diverters.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)


5 takeaways from the PPB’s latest ‘Bike Theft Trend Report’

Posted by on December 16th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Stolen bikes at drug bust in Old Town-14
Over $2 million worth every year.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When it comes to the battle against bike theft, data plays a huge role. Online registration and listing services rely on data to aid in your bike’s recovery, the police use data to determine whether a bike is stolen or not, the public can use data to measure progress (or failure) over time, politicians often use data to determine whether or not a specific issue is worthy of their attention, and so on.

The latest numbers released by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) are definitely worthy of attention. They show that bike theft is costing Portlanders well over $2 million a year and that at least 8 bicycles are stolen in our city every single day.


New Census data shows zero-car households on the rise in Washington County

Posted by on December 16th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

washco no-car map
Estimated rates of zero-car households in Washington County.
(Map: Census Reporter – click image for interactive version)

Central Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Beaverton are now as car-lite as many parts of east-central Portland.


ODOT’s Barbur Blvd lane closure analysis finds 1 minute delay, big cut in speeding

Posted by on December 16th, 2014 at 9:28 am

SW Barbur Blvd-5
SW Barbur in August, when repaving work created a temporary simulation of a possible road diet. The state studied the results, and they make a redesign seem feasible.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Converting one northbound traffic lane on 1.9 miles of SW Barbur Boulevard to two protected bike lanes with sidewalks would apparently prevent unsafe weaving during off-peak hours without massive impacts to morning traffic.

That’s one conclusion from data released Friday that analyzed changes to people’s driving habits during construction work on Barbur this summer. A repaving project had temporarily closed one traffic lane in each direction.


Guest Article: Four things BikeLoudPDX has learned in their campaign for SE Clinton

Posted by on December 15th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

First meeting of BikeLoudPDX-7
Alex Reed.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: We’ve been covering the work of local bike activist group BikeLoudPDX since their first meeting back in August. Since then they’ve been busy with their campaign to tame traffic on SE Clinton. The update below was written by their founder, Alex Reed. It follows a meeting the group had with top-level PBOT staff last week.


Since August, BikeLoudPDX has been advocating for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to take action on SE Clinton Street. Clinton was one of the city’s first two “bike boulevards” and continues to be one of the busiest bike streets in Portland. However, as more people have moved to Portland, and especially as more buildings have been built on close-by SE Division Street, Clinton has felt less comfortable to bike on. The reason is simple: Too many people are driving on it.

In the meantime, PBOT has done nothing to deter people from using Clinton to get to or bypass the new destinations on Division.


The Monday Roundup: Beer-battered driving, a Minneapolis bike win and more

Posted by on December 15th, 2014 at 9:29 am

Deuchar's battered haddock and chips at The Shore, Leith, Edinburgh
Not actually an intoxicant.
(Photo: Edinburgh Blog)

Here are the biking-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Beer-battered driving: A Wisconsin man pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy said he hadn’t been drinking, only eating beer-battered fish. It would be his 10th drunken-driving conviction.

Minneapolis victory: The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition says the city’s new budget, with $750,000 for protected bike lanes (3-6 miles’ worth) and eight open streets events, is its “best ever.”


Police ticket man who was run over during ‘Don’t shoot’ protest

Posted by on December 14th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Guilty for “improper position on a highway”.
(Still from Multnomah County Copwatch video)

Portland Police have issued a ticket to a protestor who was taking part in a march downtown yesterday.

The march was organized by Don’t Shoot PDX, a fledgling group of activists who have organized a sustained movement for more police accountability and justice following protests in Ferguson, Missouri that started last month.

According to people involved with the march, there was a collision on West Burnside near Powell’s Books between someone driving a car and one of the marchers. A man who has uploaded video footage from the scene alleges that the driver swerved into protestors and yelled, “Get a job” before running over a man’s foot. The driver did not stop.

There was almost immediate outrage on Twitter once people learned that not only was the driver not charged with anything, but the man whose foot was run over was the one given a citation.

Below is a video from the scene uploaded by Multnomah County Copwatch:


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