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Oregon’s new transportation safety plan shows strongest ever commitment to zero deaths

Posted by on October 26th, 2016 at 5:03 pm


About 400 people have died every year on Oregon roads for each of the past 20 years. Now a new plan adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission on October 15th says the state has 20 years to bring that number down to zero.

Facing a second consecutive year of a double-digit increase in road fatalities, the the 177-page Transportation Safety Action Plan lays out a path to tackle the problem.

It’s the fourth Transportation Safety Action Plan adopted by Oregon since 1995. The previous plan was adopted in 2011. Beyond a useful roadmap to safer streets for policymakers and citizens, the plan also fulfills a requirement of the Federal Highway Administration. If Oregon wants to tap into federal safety funds, they must have a plan like this on file.

But it’d be a shame if the plan got stuffed into a file to just gather dust because the data and directives in the plan are essential knowledge.

For instance, the more than 230,000 traffic crashes that happened in Oregon between 2009 and 2013 had a total societal cost of $15.6 billion — about $785 per year for every Oregon resident. In that same time period 1,675 people were killed and over 7,000 people were seriously injured using our roads.


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City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

Posted by on October 26th, 2016 at 11:40 am

Hales at council this morning.

Hales at council this morning.

What started as a vision of a few tactical urbanists is now officially ensconced in City of Portland policy.

A few minutes ago Portland City Council unanimously agreed to to pass the fall supplemental budget package that included $350,000 for a seasonal version of the Better Naito project. The budget also includes $1 million for upgrades to outer Northeast Halsey Street — funding that will trigger a $1 million match in funds from the Bureau of Transportation to complete the project.

As we reported earlier this week, these two projects emerged from a list of six requests made by the Bureau of Transportation in an attempt to get a piece of a $4 million piece of the General Fund that was up for grabs.


Former PBOT staffer finds niche with bike-powered greeting card biz

Posted by on October 26th, 2016 at 9:45 am

Diane Dulken - Sunnyside Studio-3.jpg
Dulken after a visit to one her customers yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bikes at Work series. Read more here.

You might not know her name, but you have probably seen Diane Dulken’s work around town. And if her plans work out, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

Dulken, a former reporter at The Oregonian who worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s media relations department from 2013 until July of last year, is now putting her effort into Sunnyside Art Studio. It’s a return to doing art, mixing in her love for cycling, and sharing it all with the city she loves that goes back nearly two decades.


County closes carfree path onto the Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by on October 25th, 2016 at 5:22 pm

I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye.

It was nice while it lasted. This carfree onramp to the Hawthorne has been closed.

I cherish every inch of carfree infrastructure downtown. It’s such a rarity when biking around the central city to be able to take a deep breath and not worry about any other vehicles — even if only for a few seconds.

That’s why I’m a bit sad that we can no longer bike on the ramp that goes from southbound Naito Parkway up to the Hawthorne Bridge eastbound.


Product review: The Islabikes Beinn 20 children’s bike

Posted by on October 25th, 2016 at 10:44 am

Testing the Islabike Beinn 20-4.jpg
When a kid has the confidence to do little tricks, it’s a good sign they trust their bike.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When he was finally ready, his bike was more than up to the task. That’s how I think about my five-year-old son Everett’s evolution to becoming a confident bike rider.

It wasn’t easy. He first learned to ride a regular pedal-bike (after learning on a balance bike) over two years ago. But for some reason he didn’t keep it up. He parked the bike and seemed afraid or nervous about it whenever we urged him to get back on the saddle. Even getting a shiny new red bike didn’t inspire him! I was completely at a loss. I was so frustrated that I just stepped back and stopped even talking about riding (absent dropping a few hints here and there).

Then one day while I was out of town, I got a text from Juli. It was a video of Everett riding his bike. “This just happened,” she wrote.

He got his bike out and just started riding it. All on his own. I guess he was finally ready.

And thankfully, his bike was too.


Timberline Bike Park needs your support (hopefully) one last time

Posted by on October 24th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

(Photo: Timberline Lodge)

(Photo: Timberline Lodge)

After over five years of court battles and exhaustive analysis of potential environmental impacts, the United States Forest Service is on the cusp of final approval of the Timberline Bike Park. The final piece of the process is to hear from the public whether or not to reopen the formal Environmental Analysis (EA) process — a move that would delay the project yet again.

If this feels like déjà vu that’s because the Forest Service already approved the permit four years ago. After determining that the proposal by Timberline Lodge for 17 miles of singletrack and a skills park on the western side of Mt. Hood was in compliance with federal environmental policy, the permit was granted and construction was poised to begin.

But a consortium of environmental groups weren’t convinced. Bark, one of the groups who oppose the Bike Park, says the trails will be built for “lift-assisted extreme mountain biking” that would take place in “fragile alpine habitat,” and “could erode sensitive volcanic soil, harm water quality and fish habitat, and dramatically chance the historic character,” of the area. They also contend the project will only benefit a private company and the lucky people wealthy enough to buy a ticket.


ODOT eyes expansion of Gorge bus service after successful first year

Posted by on October 24th, 2016 at 10:31 am

Half of the four-bus fleet.(Photo: ODOT)

Half of the four-bus fleet.
(Photo: ODOT)

Turns out there are other ways to solve auto overcrowding and congestion than spending billions on freeway expansions.

The first season of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Columbia Gorge Express bus service has “far surpassed” expectations, the agency announced this morning. “The public response highlighted a significant demand for transit service in the Gorge.”

Launched in May as a way to relieve serious overcrowding of private cars in the Gorge, the service carried more than 30,000 people between the Gateway Transit Center, Rooster Rock State Park, and Multnomah Falls. The service was offered for 18 weekends and it was the first year of a two-year pilot project. There were initially three, 20-seat buses, with a third, 53-seat bus added in July. All four buses had bicycle racks that ODOT says were “used every day.”


The Monday Roundup: Pool noodles, puke, parking and more

Posted by on October 24th, 2016 at 9:13 am


This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the River City Bicycles Cyclocross Crusade, coming to Bend this weekend for spooky cyclocross shenanigans.

Just noodling along: The most emailed link we got from readers this week was about a guy in Toronto who uses a pool noodle to keep drivers off his back.

Latest bike share bike tech: Bike share bike maker BCycle’s newest rigs look pretty solid and offer tight integration with transit, turn-by-turn directions, and a big touchscreen in the cockpit.

Entitlement and fear: A surprisingly comprehensive and concise look at traffic culture problems and how to fix them, including, “Emphasizing intervehicle etiquette in driver’s education programs,” and the “emotional side of driving.”


Weekly Video Roundup: Riding in North Korea, ‘Cross at Cascade Locks, Glady-ators, and more

Posted by on October 21st, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Welcome to the weekly video roundup! It was a good and wild week for me- I went on a fantastic muddy ride last Sunday, there were tons of hikers, runners, and cyclists out despite the weather. Anyhow, here’s a great pile of vids to enjoy over the weekend. We’re starting with Brumotti, who never fails to entertain with his bike-handling. Notably, he shows some ways to avoid the gaps next to streetcar tracks.


Budget update: Safety upgrades to outer Halsey and ‘Seasonal Naito’ poised for funding

Posted by on October 21st, 2016 at 1:04 pm

NE Halsey in east Portland
Buffered bike lanes, safer crossings, and lower speed limits could be coming soon to Northeast Halsey.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

And then there were two.

Winners and losers are coming into focus in the mad dash for cash that is known as the Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BuMP). Two of the five Bureau of Transportation projects we’ve been tracking are now poised for funding.

$8 million from the city’s General Fund is up for grabs this go-round with about $4 million of that total set-aside for major maintenance and infrastructure projects. The process began with each city bureau submitting their funding requests. Then the City Budget Office offered their opinions to City Council. The final step before the budget is voted on at Council next week was to see what the Mayor wanted to do.

As we alluded to in a post this morning, we can now confirm that — out of the six PBOT projects in the discretionary category (as in, not part of the major maintenance and infrastructure list) — Mayor Hales has formally requested $350,000 for the Seasonal Naito project and $1 million for new sidewalks and other “safety improvements” on Northeast Halsey Street between 112th and 162nd Avenues (the Gresham border).


Call to action: Let’s make ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ a reality

Posted by on October 21st, 2016 at 10:08 am

Naito Parkway traffic observations -14.jpg
We can set this in stone every summer for five years if we let City Council know we want it.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycle access through and to Waterfront Park is in dire need of help. And ‘Seasonal Better Naito’ — a project proposed by the Bureau of Transportation and supported by Mayor Charlie Hales — is our best chance to get it.


Jobs of the Week: Trek Travel, HIA Velo

Posted by on October 21st, 2016 at 8:10 am

Three new job opportunities offered up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Tig welding & brazing specialist – HIA Velo (Little Rock, AR)

–> Machining Specialist – HIA Velo (Little Rock, AR)

–> Bike Tour Guide Worldwide – Trek Travel


Cascade Locks unveils designs for new carfree bridge into Marine Park

Posted by on October 20th, 2016 at 1:17 pm

One of three options would include a ramp and an elevator.(Drawings: Port of Cascade Locks)

One of three options would include a ramp and an elevator.
(Drawings: Port of Cascade Locks)

For over a decade the city of Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge has wanted to rebuild the entrance to their marquee destination: Marine Park. Now the project is moving forward and they want to hear what you think about the options.

Currently, the only entrance to Marine Park (a place that attracts 350,000 annual visitors) is down a narrow road at the far end of the main commercial area. The road makes a sharp right turn under a set of railroad tracks before emerging on the other side. Besides having height restrictions, the underpass is so narrow that there’s no accomodation for people on foot or on bikes. “The current undercrossing’s narrow width is dangerous to pedestrians, strollers, wheelchair users and cyclists trying to enter or exit the park at the same time as vehicles,” wrote the Port of Cascade Locks to the Oregon Department of Transportation in a project grant application. “It has a steep grade, blind 90-degree corner, and shared lanes. The new overcrossing would protect non-vehicle traffic from potential crashes.”


Weekend Event Guide: Freak bikes, singlespeeding, the ‘Ovas’, and more

Posted by on October 20th, 2016 at 12:04 pm

A "singlespeed adventure rally"? Yes please.

A “singlespeed adventure rally”? Yes please.

Yikes. This weekend is packed and Saturday should be mostly sunny, so finish up your Halloween costumes early and get outside. In fact, why not take your costume for a test ride? Whether you’re looking for eccentric or educational, there’s plenty to choose from.

Check out our weekend picks below and have fun out there!

Friday, October 21st

Art Exhibit: Annexation & Assimilation Along 82nd Ave – 6:00pm APANO/JADE Multicultural Space (8114 SE Division St)
This one-day only exhibition uses 20ft large-scale video projections, poster installations, oral histories and a theater performance to explore the fraught process of annexation and growth as experienced by disparate communities east of 82nd Ave. The result is an accelerating and visceral mash-up of Portland’s past and present along this boundary, which is at once both real and imagined. Free. Learn more here.


Metro gives east Portland bikeway and safety projects highest rankings for federal funding

Posted by on October 20th, 2016 at 11:09 am

The top-ranked project would make walking and rolling to 82nd Avenue and Gateway much easier.

The Cully neighborhood would get a new biking and walking “parkway” and big roads that run through two major commercial districts in east Portland near I-205 could be updated and vastly improved for people on bikes and foot if the City of Portland is able to convince Metro to give them the cash to do it.


Portland’s Nutcase Helmets acquired by private equity firm

Posted by on October 20th, 2016 at 8:01 am

Nutcase Helmet Design Contest Party-14
Nutcase founder Michael Morrow in 2011.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after being founded by a former Nike employee, Portland-based Nutcase Inc. has been acquired by Bravo Sports Corporation.

The move brings Nutcase under an umbrella of 23 other brands owned and/or managed by Bravo Sports that includes well-known names in the skateboarding market like Kryptonics, Sector 9, Pro-Tec, and Vision Street Wear. Bravo also owns children’s scooter brand Pulse Performance Products, holds major licensing agreements with Marvel, Nickelodeon, Disney/Pixar (and others), and holds exclusive rights to license, manufacture, and market E-Z UP tents. Bravo Sports is backed by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.

Nutcase was founded in 2006 by Michael Morrow. Over the past decade the company has grown steadily and has become a leading helmet brand known for their focus on eye-catching designs. After establishing a strong foothold in the U.S. market, Nutcase made a big push into Europe in 2013 and now has distributors in over 40 countries worldwide. In February of this year the company hired its first-ever CEO and a few months ago Nutcase made the decision to drop their motorsports helmets to focus exclusively on bicycling helmets.


Police surprise Craigslist seller to help woman get her stolen bike back

Posted by on October 19th, 2016 at 4:05 pm

The Craigslist post (still up as of today) said the bike was, "Recently bought for me as a gift but I'm not much into bicycle riding."

The Craigslist post (still up as of today) said the bike was, “Recently bought for me as a gift but I’m not much into bicycle riding.”

Northwest Portland resident Tina Penman is feeling very grateful for the Portland Police Bureau today. After her bike got stolen on Monday she set up a Craiglist sting with an officer who rolled up just in time to bust the thief.

In the interest of educating others about how to prevent and recover a stolen bike, we asked Tina to share how it all went down. Here’s her story…

With the rain and winds late last week into this past weekend, I took a 5-day hiatus from riding my bike. On Monday night, I popped down to my building’s private courtyard to say hi (who doesn’t miss their bike after a 5-day hiatus?) and see how it was doing. I live in an apartment complex in the Pearl and you need a fob to gain access to this area. To my unpleasant surprise, it was no longer there. I had it locked using a Kryptonite Chain Combination Lock in a well-lit area next to two other bikes (one was my husband’s) that remain unscathed.

I immediately hit up my husband and a couple friends to ask for advice. My bike had a Tile tracker attached to seat and I wasn’t sure how it would work in a situation where my bike could be anywhere. Tile utilizes a Bluetooth connection so you have to be in very close proximity for an item with a Tile attached to be found. I hopped in a Zipcar, drove real slow around some popular camps in PDX in hopes my Tile app would capture my bike, but no such luck. After driving around for an hour, I realized it was like searching for a needle in a haystack so I called it quits and went home.


Cargo trike company B-Line takes over delivery for SoupCycle

Posted by on October 18th, 2016 at 10:41 am

Coming soon to your front door.(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Coming soon to your front door.
(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Bike-powered business, urban freight delivery and local food production have come together in a very exciting way in Portland.

Today two local companies that have built strong niches hauling cargo with pedal power — B-Line and SoupCycle — announced they’ve joined forces. From now on B-Line’s electric-assist cargo trikes will distribute meals for SoupCycle, a company with over 600 customers throughout Portland.

It’s an intriguing collaboration that shows the maturity of Portland’s bike business ecosystem and it comes just days after the University of Washington debuted a new “Urban Freight Lab” in partnership with major retailers and shipping companies with an aim to make downtown deliveries more efficient and friendlier for humans and the environment.

For SoupCycle and B-Line, the move allows both of them to do more of what they do best.


The Monday Roundup: Carfree holy day, six-foot traffic cone, bikes on trains, and more

Posted by on October 17th, 2016 at 12:55 pm


This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by our friends at Bicycle Fitting Services, who reminds you that it’s the perfect time of year to dial-in your fit for maximum power and comfort.

Here are the best stories we came across last week:

Bike valet at the train station: Great news from Amtrak: You can now simply check your bicycle as luggage on the Coast Starlight route which goes from L.A. to Seattle.

Utrecht makes it look easy: This transformation of a street in the Dutch city of Utrecht shows the pinnacle of people-centered design. And yes, it unabashedly comes at the expense of space for driving.

An opportunity for cargo bikes?: Good news: University of Washington now has a corporate-funded Urban Freight Lab to figure out more efficient urban, last-mile deliveries. Bad news: The word “bike” doesn’t appear in the article and “drones” and “autonomous vehicles” does.

Perspective on “inner cities”: After an awkward moment in the second presidential debate, The Black Urbanist Kristin Jeffers lays out some important perspective about who lives where (and why).


PBOT will install permanent crosswalk and median island at site of Fallon Smart’s death

Posted by on October 17th, 2016 at 10:46 am

Coming soon: A permanent refuge island and crosswalk installed by the City of Portland.(Photo: Paul Jeffery)

Coming soon: A permanent refuge island and crosswalk installed by the City of Portland.
(Photo: Paul Jeffery)

Ending weeks of emotional back-and-forth between transportation reform activists, neighbors and the City of Portland; the Bureau of Transportation confirmed with us this morning they plan to install a permanent crosswalk and a median island on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at 43rd.

This is the intersection 15-year-old Fallon Smart was walking across on August 19th when a man recklessly and illegally drove his car into her and killed her. It’s also a stretch of Hawthorne that local residents and business owners have complained about for many years; because despite being a bustling main street filled with popular destinations there are no marked crosswalks for eight full blocks (between 41st and 48th).

Just days after Smart was hit the community made a presence at this intersection with their own bodies and a variety of objects. They had one goal: Slow people down so that a tragedy like this never happens again. The intersection became filled with a mix of memorial items like flowers, signs and photos; and guerrilla traffic-calming devices like a orange traffic cones and an unsanctioned crosswalk. The center turn lane used by Abdulrahman Noorah to speed passed someone who had stopped to let Smart cross was effectively closed.