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Activist and radio show host trashes Tilikum Crossing, calls it 'Auto-ban' bridge

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Concept drawing of path on Tilikum bridge.
(Graphic: TriMet).

Rob Kremer, a talk-radio host and the Portlander behind a Republican-donor-funded movement to oppose "Portland creep" in Clackamas County, raised eyebrows on Friday afternoon when he said on Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud radio program that TriMet's new Tilikum Crossing bridge is a "symbol of dysfunctional transportation priorities."

About 12 minutes into the program, Kremer shared his strong objections to the bridge because it won't allow access for private automobiles:

"I'm not quite sure about this name Tilikum. They say it means people, tribes and relatives — I think it means streetcars, buses and bicycles in Portland. They can call it Tilikum all they want but the real name of this bridge, by the people, will always be the 'Autoban' ... And it will always be a symbol of TriMet's, Metro's and Portland's dysfunctional transportation priorities.

To think we're building a bridge across the Willamette ... the first bridge in who knows how long, and not allowing cars to cross it is not only insane, but it's a symbol of dysfunction."

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Novick wants $1 million from general fund for beacons at 15 crosswalks

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland's general fund has a few million dollars to spare, and Commissioner Steve Novick is mounting an unusual campaign to spend some of it on safer street crossings.

In a city where you're twice as likely to die from traffic as from homicide, Novick and other backers say making roads safer is the most cost-effective way to improve public safety.

In an interview Friday, Novick called out a few police operations in particular as having lower returns on investment.

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Businesses and bikeways: City reveals more details about street fee plans

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 11:30 am

PBOT Street Fee Town Hall - NoPo-6
PBOT's Mark Lear laid out priorities for spending
revenue raised by a new street fee.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland is slowly leaking out more details of their plans to create a new fee to boost transportation investment. At a town hall meeting in North Portland last night, Mayor Charlie Hales, PBOT Director Leah Treat, and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick sat at a table in front of a small crowd to present, promote, and defend the idea.

We covered one of these same town halls back in February, but since then PBOT has sharpened their pitch and their plans into a much finer point. As we reported a few weeks ago, the fee on the table will be either $8 or $12 per household per month. But what about businesses? Up until this latest round of town halls, PBOT has kept details about how much business owners would pay under wraps. Also revealed last night was a clearer picture about where exactly the new revenue would be spent.

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50s Bikeway: still alive, just moving slowly

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 9:11 am

A Sunday ride-9
One holdup after another, but still moving.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Maybe it's a mark of the eastward spread of low-car life that someone seems to ask us every few days when the 50s Bikeway is going to finally start construction.

The latest word from the city: early May. Hopefully.

"The contract prep has taken longer than expected," project manager Rich Newlands wrote in an email last week. "But we do now have the pre-con[struction] scheduled for 4/29. In theory, the notice to proceed will be issued that day and within a week the contractor will start. But, still contingent on the contractor being timely in submitting all the final pre-construction submittals."

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'Can't you read?!': When one rider calls out another for rolling through a stop

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 8:48 am

bike stop markings at broadway flint-1.jpg
Bike stop markings at North Broadway and Flint.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Is it out of line for one person on a bike to aggressively criticize another for pedaling through a stop sign in a safe situation?

That's the opinion of local writer and rider Diane Yee, who writes about biking and other subjects at her Tumblog Citymaus. Here's an excerpt of her story, posted Thursday:

there’s this one awkwardly, possibly misplaced stop sign in the middle of the hilly stretch of SE Salmon*. since I’m coming from uphill, i have a better view of the cross street, and there was no traffic as usual (small residential street, and four-way stop), so i just keep riding through the stop sign as usual…

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Jobs of the Week

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 18th, 2014 at 8:39 am

The spring hiring boom continues here in America's bike industry mecca. Last week had had a record nine job listings and this week we've got eight. Whether you're a wonk or a wrench, we've got some great opportunities for you. Check out the latest jobs posted to our Job Listings via the links below...

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Weekend Event Guide: Films, a 'Super Swap', bunnies, and more

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Filmed by Bike 2009-7
Filmed By Bike returns to the Clinton Street Theater this weekend with the big New Belgium Street Party Saturday night.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Blumenauer will ride to celebrate new path along Marine Drive

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Section of new path in Blue Lake Park adjacent to Marine Drive.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Auto traffic diversion still "on the table" for NE Rodney project

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

NE Rodney near Fremont.

Whenever we report on a new neighborhood greenway project, the discussion always turns to diversion. That is, how will the project promote or prevent a higher volume of driving on a street specifically set aside by the Bureau of Transportation to have "low traffic volume and speed where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority."

Last week we shared PBOT's first swing at plans to turn NE Rodney into just that sort of street. And sure enough, many readers asked about diversion.

Reza wrote;

"Can we get some diversion please? Rodney near Russell gets a lot of car traffic from motorists going to Wonder or other nearby establishments continually circling the block for on-street parking."

Craig Harlow wrote;

"PBOT, please start installing diverters along ALL of the n'hood greenways."

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PBOT Director Leah Treat on pricing auto use, bike-only streets, and more

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 10:58 am

PBOT Director Leah Treat
PBOT Director Leah Treat last summer.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nine months into her position as the Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Leah Treat appears to be finally ready to spread her wings. We've noted here at BikePortland that for someone in charge of one of America's marquee transportation systems, and someone who came to town with such fanfare, Treat has been relatively quiet in laying out any sort of vision for what she wants Portland streets to look like.

But now, finally, we have reason to believe that might be changing.

Next Tuesday (4/22), Treat is slated to speak at the Sentinel Hotel as part of a partnership between the City of Club of Portland and the Oregon Active Transportation Summit. With the title of her talk being, Portland Transportation: Today & Tomorrow, this event will likely be the first major policy speech of her tenure.

Given all this, we figured it was a good time to sit down for an interview to learn more about what she's been thinking and how her leadership might impact cycling and local street culture in general. Due to sickness (mine) and scheduling, we ended up chatting on the phone yesterday and we only had limited time. Even so, we covered some good ground and you can read our conversation below...

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After host network failure, we're back from the dead

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 9:35 am

Our home page yesterday.

Just a quick note to say sorry for the site being down almost all of yesterday. We noticed the site stopped loading in the morning and it didn't return until the wee hours of last night.

Here's what happened: Our server host, Hostgator, experienced a network outage at one of their data centers that took down thousands of sites across the web (here are the latest details if you're so inclined). It was their problem, which meant we couldn't do anything but sit back, wait, and hope they could fix it quickly.

We've had our share of server issues over the past nine years; but things have stabilized a lot recently thanks to the help of our phenomenal system/server admin, Ryan Aslett. We have a dedicated server at Hostgator which we devote a fair amount of cash to each month, so we expect it to be reliable. While a tiny bit of downtime is just part of doing business on the web and is somewhat expected, an entire day is rare and quite disruptive.

Now we'll sort things out with Hostgator and make sure everything is where it should be now that the lights are back on.

Before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming, we thought you'd enjoy the fun tweets some of our friends shared yesterday as the hours of outage dragged on and on and on...

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Does Oregon really need the NACTO guide?

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 9:08 am

The parking-protected bike lane near Portland
State University, from page 1-30 of ODOT's
Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide.

On Monday, we highlighted a few bike ideas from around the country that Oregon might imitate, but so far hasn't. One of them: formally endorsing the National Association of City Transportation Officials design guides.

But Jessica Horning, the transit and active transportation liaison for the Oregon Department of Transportation's Region 1 (which contains the Portland metro area) replied to our question about this with a fair argument: Oregon's in-house design guide is already really good.

Developed by practitioners in Portland and other cities around the country, the NACTO guides are a sort of professional Pinterest for human-friendly street designs such as protected bike lanes and traffic diverters. Images are well-annotated and informed by extensive research about safety and performance.

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Time to get excited for the 2014 Disaster Relief Trials (watch new promo video)

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 16th, 2014 at 9:41 am

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Domino's Pizza now delivers by cargo trike in downtown Portland

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 16th, 2014 at 2:04 am

Scott Kealer of Domino's Pizza on SW 4th Avenue
with his shop's new vehicle.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland's pedal-cargo delivery scene has hit a new milestone: even Domino's has bought a trike.

Cheap, fast and classy, cargo bikes and trikes have been in use for years from Old Town Pizza to Good Neighbor Pizzeria. Last fall, Scott Kealer did the math and decided his downtown Portland Domino's Pizza franchise should join their ranks.

"I've got a corporate name on the front of the door that says 'Domino's,' but it's really my pizza shop," said Kealer, owner of the local store on 4th Avenue near Portland State University.

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Census shows Hosford-Abernethy is Portland's bikingest neighborhood (updated)

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Tour de Ladd-13.jpg
The Tour de Ladd in 2008.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Update 4/17: City Clock has now updated its post using a revised methodology.

We don't usually devote much space to the endless lists ranking Portland among the best this or that for biking, and with good reason — most of them aren't worth much. One list that was published yesterday has some noteworthy tidbits, but wouldn't have been worth mentioning here if it hadn't hornswaggled us at first.

An article on cityclock.org titled "Top 10 cycling communities in America" (later changed to "Top 12 cycling areas") claimed that Census commute data showed central Eugene to be the best neighborhood in the country for biking, and that Portland's Hosford-Abernethy — Hawthorne to Powell, 29th to the Willamette, including Ladd's Addition — ranked 10th.

Both of these are very good places to ride bikes, and biking to work is more popular in those neighborhoods than elsewhere in each city. But beyond that, the methodology the site used doesn't really stand up.

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Judge dismisses Medford man's protest over citation for leaving bike lane

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Still from police video of traffic stop.

A Medford man issued a citation last year for pedaling outside of a bike lane to avoid debris says a judge has sided with the officer who pulled him over, saying he should have steered his bike around the rocks and sticks without leaving the bike lane.

We reported on this incident in October, including a video of Dallas Smith's encounter with Ashland police officer Steve MacLennan.

"I get flats when I ride over there," Smith tells Ofc. MacLennan in the video, which was captured by the officer's dashboard camera. "I got two flats riding (unclear) last week."

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Task force agrees: Make NE Multnomah protected bike lanes permanent

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 10:58 am

People parking cars in the bikeway is a major
issue that needs to be addressed in a
permanent design.
(Photo sent in by reader Brian M.)

The private task force that developed the NE Multnomah Street Pilot Project met last week and decided that Portland's marquee protected bikeway project should be a permanent fixture in the Lloyd District.

According to Lindsay Walker, head of the bicycle program for transportation management association Go Lloyd, "The stakeholders were all in agreement that we'd like to see the pilot project transition to something permanent."

The task force is made up of PBOT staff, Lloyd District real estate developers, representatives from the Lloyd Center Mall (who are planning a new "grand entrance" on Multnomah), the Rose Quarter/Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Development Commission, and a citizen activist who works in the Lloyd.

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Five new bike ideas from other places that Oregon could steal

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Share the Road - North Plains
Time for Oregon to stop "Share the Road"? (This sign is on NW West Union in North Plains, a small city in Washington County.)
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Over the last week or so, a bunch of great ideas from other cities have been washing up on our digital shorelines. Let's take a look at a few.

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Bicycle 'Aid Stations' coming to Plaid Pantry stores

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

New window decal coming to Plaid Pantry stores.

Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations.

According to Administrative Manager Laura Sadowski, the new aid stations will be available at all 104 Oregon stores and will consist of a flat repair kit, basic bike tools, and a floor pump. The aid kit will be kept behind the counter, so you'll have to ask a store employee to use it. "As the weather is improving, I am seeing more bikes on the road," said Sadowski via email. "Not everyone is prepared for a flat or adequate nutrition and fluids, so we want to be there on (mostly) every corner to 'aid' them!"

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With grant application, PBOT finally acknowledges 'safety issue' with streetcar tracks

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 10:15 am

Crash on NW Lovejoy-3
Streetcar tracks have claimed many
victims over the years.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

After years of activism and untold amounts of carnage, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is finally making an attempt to address the dangers that streetcar tracks pose to people riding bicycles.

PBOT has filed a grant application with the Transportation Research Board that would give them $150,000 in funding to work with Portland Streetcar Inc. and Portland State University to identify best practices and improve the safety of cycling around streetcar tracks.

This is an issue we've covered for over seven years.

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