Weekend Event Guide: Corn cross, Blazers Bike Night, sausage ride, and more

Posted by on October 30th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Bike to Blazers 2010-36
Let’s do this!
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

Things are getting a bit lean on the various ride calendars… Except, that is, if you are a cyclocross fan (and can get to Bend). If you aren’t into racing and you’ll be in Portland this weekend… Might I suggest joining 100 other BikePortland readers for Blazers Bike Night on Sunday!?

Of course, Halloween is tomorrow and we all know that the streets will be full of folks headed to parties and filling up panniers with candy and treats.

Have fun!

Friday, October 31st


Clackamas County wants Metro to fight climate change by widening roads

Posted by on October 30th, 2014 at 8:32 am

traffic on i-5 -1
Climate change in action — or inaction, depending on your point-of-view.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning, Clackamas County’s commissioners are considering whether to urge the Portland region to attempt to fight climate change by adding more lanes to its freeways.


Portlanders say street parking is getting worse, but their neighborhoods are getting better

Posted by on October 29th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

The people have spoken, and they say that in most of Portland, it’s getting harder to park a car on the street:

street parking bad
(Source: 2011 and 2014 community surveys, Portland auditor’s office)

Since the central-city building boom resumed, residents of every part of the city except East Portland are more likely to say it’s annoying to find a car parking space.

But this is interesting: they say something else, too.


PPB officer on a mission to curb downtown bike theft

Posted by on October 29th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Ofcr David Sanders PPB
Officer David Sanders.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a strong feeling among many in the community that the Portland Police Bureau simply doesn’t care about bike theft. I hear this sentiment all the time, and I agree that the bureau needs to step up and make this growing problem a higher priority.

In the meantime however, it’s good to know there are some PPB officers going out of their way to battle bike thieves. Officer David Sanders is one of them; but unfortunately he’s doing it inside a bureau that has yet to join him in the fight.

I met Sanders last week at his headquarters office in Old Town.

As he led me into a conference table, I noticed about 8-10 bikes strewn about. They were just the latest batch that Sanders and his partners have taken off the streets and now hope to connect with their owners. Sanders is one of six members of the the downtown Bicycle Patrol Unit (four of which are paid for by Portland Patrol Inc., a private security company that contracts with the PPB), whose job is to keep the peace on the streets. The bulk of his day is responding to low-level disputes and establishing relationships with downtown residents and business owners.

But whenever he can find a few extra minutes, his attention turns to bike theft.


Portland’s ‘Peacock Lane’ holiday light show will go car-free on busy nights

Posted by on October 29th, 2014 at 10:15 am

More bike visits mean less trouble for the neighborhood.
(Photo: PeacockLane.com)

First, it was the Last Thursday art festival. Then, Old Town’s weekend nightlife district.

Now, Portland’s 90-year-old holiday light tradition is also dealing with crowded streets by going car-free on certain nights.

The catch: It looks as if the car-free nights this December on Peacock Lane, which is one block east of SE Chavez Boulevard between Stark and Belmont, won’t be announced in advance.

That’s the word this month from the Peacock Lane Neighborhood Association:


NYC investment company buys Alta Bicycle Share, hires former transit CEO

Posted by on October 28th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Bike share ride with Oregon team-1
DC’s Capital Bikeshare system was a hit – a bigger one, it turned out, than an independently owned Alta Bicycle Share had the capacity to capitalize on.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

You might have heard by now: A local bike business that bootstrapped its way to the national stage, and then suffered a dizzying series of problems, has sold.

Alta Bicycle Share, a startup that unexpectedly became much larger than the bike planning company that birthed it after launching popular and successful systems in Boston and Washington DC, announced Tuesday that it has been purchased by New York City real estate developer REQX Ventures.

Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. In July, the Wall Street Journal pegged the deal at $40 million, but it’s not clear whether any of that money went to Alta’s founders or will be invested directly into the company. It’s also not clear whether Alta’s six cofounders (including local executive and former Portland bicycle coordinator Mia Birk) retain any ownership in the firm.


Willamette River ferry service tops ‘Fearless’ transportation ideas

Posted by on October 28th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Fearless - TREC big ideas event-16
I have an idea thiiis big. (Brad Biddle at last night’s event.)
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you want to figure out how to move a city’s people around in a way that does not bow to dominant, auto-centric power structures and paradigms, you’ve got to have guts. It was with that in mind that Portland’s nationally renown transportation research center hosted the Fearless event at Portland State University last night.


Postcard from San Francisco: How not to build a parklet

Posted by on October 28th, 2014 at 9:07 am

bad parklet lead
A parklet on Powell Street in San Francisco.
(Photos by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

I spent a few days in San Francisco last week, learning and sharing stories at the NACTO Designing Cities Conference. It’s not my favorite city (obviously) but it’s a lovely place.

Once in a while, though, they definitely screw up.


National ‘Bicyclist Safety’ report out today gets actual safety trends backwards

Posted by on October 27th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

bicyclist safety cover
A high-profile report about bike safety warns that “the number of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways is trending upward.” Wait, what?
(Click for report.)

A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association Monday is a perfect example of what can go wrong when safety experts get stuck behind their own windshields.


Bixby and her human (Mike Minnick) roll through Portland

Posted by on October 27th, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Mike Minnick and his trusty companion Bixby in northwest Portland today.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycling is probably the biggest thing that has ever happened to Austin, Texas natives Bixby and Mike Minnick. Just three years ago, Mike was a self-described chain-smoking couch potato who took up cycling on a whim. Bixby was a shelter dog who needed a good home.

Together, they’re on a journey that is changing both of their lives — not to mention inspiring thousands of people along the way.


Construction will detour bikes off SE Clinton for up to a month

Posted by on October 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Click to enlarge.

Late Friday the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services issued a revision of their construction detour plans that will impact bicycle travel on SE Clinton between 33rd place and 35th Avenue.


Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes its toll

Posted by on October 27th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-19

After a record-setting week of rain, the Cross Crusade‘s fourth stop was mired in mud.


The Monday Roundup: Getting real in WA, tolling the Golden Gate, and more

Posted by on October 27th, 2014 at 8:47 am

Washington’s old and new traffic projections.
(Image: Sightline Institute)

Here are the great bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Gas-tax realism: Washington state’s Office of Financial Management has just released what a Sightline Institute analyst calls “far and away the most responsible official traffic forecast I’ve seen from any government agency, ever.”

Sidewalk blocked: Saying there’s not enough parking in the area to “support” it, angry homeowners have blocked installation of a half-block sidewalk in Tulsa.


Comment of the Week: The slow, possible work of progress

Posted by on October 24th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Morrison Bridge bike-walk path dedication event-24
Ahh – can you feel that? That’s a successful
postcard campaign from 15 years ago.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There’s nothing new under the sun, but effective political tactics have a way of staying effective.

That’s what reader and legendary bike advocate Phil Goff observed this week in a comment beneath Tuesday’s post about a series of postcard campaigns by activist group Bike Loud PDX:

This is exactly what I did 15-16 years ago to create the political pressure to bring in funding for the Morrison Bridge sidepath project. On two occasions, I had 300-400 signed postcards mailed to Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein (to get the County’s attention) and then 6 mo later to Metro Council chair Rod Monroe during the MTIP process. In the age of e-mail, Twitter and FB, a simple postcard campaign can pack a lot of punch. Its great to hear that advocates are reviving the tactic for other projects. Good luck BikeLoudPDX!


PBOT, via blog comments, responds to “difficulties” of Williams project

Posted by on October 24th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Williams Avenue-1
Williams and it’s brand new, left-side bike lane has been a hot issue this week.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“I ride N Williams every day and am experiencing some difficulties myself.”
— Leah Treat, Director of PBOT

This week marked a very positive milestone for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT): They seem to be opening up a bit about joining the comment section here on BikePortland. I think this is a great development because it shows they understand the value of direct online engagement with their customers (us) and it could be a sign that they’re gaining confidence around the bicycling issue.


Oregon prepares to launch its opt-in test of a vehicle mileage tax

Posted by on October 24th, 2014 at 10:43 am

PDX Bike Swarm - ALEC F29 protests-15
A Bike Swarm ride passes a Portland gas station in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon keeps inching toward its goal of replacing or supplementing the gas tax it invented, back in 1919, with a Prius-proof mileage tax.

Next July 1, the first 5,000 volunteer drivers will get a chance to opt out of gas tax and into a so-called “usage charge.” As the state gets ready for that test, a meeting in Portland this Monday will be the last stop on a statewide tour to gather input about the concept.


People are driving right through new diverter on NE Rodney

Posted by on October 24th, 2014 at 9:58 am

New diverter on Rodney not working that great-1
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A traffic diverter is a barrier placed in an intersection to prevent auto traffic from going through it. The goal is to make certain streets less attractive to auto drivers and reduce auto traffic volumes overall. So, when it’s relatively easy to drive through one — which is the case with a new diverter in northeast Portland — it sort of defeats the purpose.


Weekend Event Guide: Thriller, a brewery tour, podcast party, and more!

Posted by on October 23rd, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Kidical Mass - Zombie Edition-24
It’s ‘Thrill the World’ weekend and Kidical Mass will be there to join in the creepy fun.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

I know what you’re thinking… Who the heck wants to ride in all this rain!? Well, the truth is, riding in the rain isn’t so bad, especially with friends. And besides, there’s bound to be a break in the clouds here and there, so why not be prepared with a list of all the fun bike stuff to do?

Grab your jackets, get your fenders on, and have a great (wet) weekend..

Friday, October 24th

Gold Sprints with Revolights – 7:00 pm at Chrome Retail Hub (425 SW 10th Ave)
Revolights, a California-based designer of very cool bicycle lights, is in Portland. Join them at the Chrome store tonight for some fun and gold sprinting. $5 race entry and winner takes all. More info here.

EcoSpeed Kickstarter Crush Party – 7:30 pm at 2330 SE Clatsop
The crew at EcoSpeed wants to celebrate their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Join them for a big party that will feature a DJ, free beer and food, a prize giveaway, and lots of lofty prognostications for what will surely be an exciting future. More info here.


First look: New bike facilities open along MAX Orange Line

Posted by on October 23rd, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Update on PMLR bikeway progress-46
New multi-use path goes east-west just south of MAX line/UPRR tracks between SE 7th and 17th.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s less than one year to go until TriMet takes the wraps off the Orange Line, a 7.3 mile extension of the MAX light rail system that will connect downtown Portland to Milwaukie in northern Clackamas County. While the marquee component of the $1.5 billion project, the Tillikum Crossing Bridge, won’t open until next fall, many parts of the new project are already open for business.


Two years after Portland’s auto parking wars, apartment garages aren’t filling up

Posted by on October 23rd, 2014 at 10:39 am

empty lower garage
The Linden apartments at SE 12th and Burnside are 98 percent leased, but 39 of their 110 on-site parking spaces, including the entire lower-level garage, have never been rented. These spaces rent for $110 a month, but street parking is free. (Note the occupied bike rack at the back of the garage.)
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Steven Van Zile moved from Los Angeles to the Pearl District last year for a job managing Guardian Management’s portfolio of Portland-area apartment buildings, the low number of parking spaces at some of the newer properties made him nervous.

Linden, the company’s new building on Burnside and 12th, had only 110 parking spaces for 132 units. In an interview at the time, Van Zile expressed gratitude to the building’s developer that the on-site parting lot was larger than at some other buildings. But what would happen if garage space ran short?

It turns out that Van Zile needn’t have worried.


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