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Someone has died after being struck while bicycling on SW Multnomah

Posted by on May 30th, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Looking east on 6300 block of SW Multnomah.

Looking east on 6300 block of SW Multnomah.

There was a fatal collision on SW Multnomah Blvd today that involved a person who was riding a bicycle.

According to the Portland Police Bureau the collision happened at 4:00 pm on the 6300 block of Multnomah — just a few tenths of a mile east of where it splits with Garden Home. Both the bicycle rider and the automobile driver were going east prior to the collision.


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Comment of the Week: The car-free destiny of NW 13th Avenue

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Sunday Parkways NW-39
Northwest 13th Avenue during Sunday Parkways, 2011.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Curb-protected bike lanes are cool and all, but they’ve got nothing on building-protected bike lanes.

That’s roughly the position from BikePortland reader Andrew, who added the first comment to Tuesday’s post about possible downtown protected bike lanes with a very different vision for one of Portland’s most unique streets: Northwest 13th Avenue.

Here’s what Andrew had to say:


Ask BikePortland: Do I have to stop for red lights while riding on ‘Better Naito’?

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 at 2:19 pm

The cones and wide bike lane are temporary, the legal requirement to stop at lights is not.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The cones and wide bike lane are temporary, the legal requirement to stop at lights is not.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Ask BikePortland is a regular column. Browse the archives or drop us a line if you have a question you’d like us to answer.

Today’s question is about Better Naito, the temporary project that has created a two-way, 15-foot lane for biking and walking on Naito Parkway.

Reader Skip Winters lives in West Linn and commutes into northeast Portland (thanks to an electric bike he says). His favorite part of the ride is Naito Parkway, especially now with the generous amount of space and safety afforded by the new alignment. But he’s confused about the signals.


Two videos that will help you understand homelessness in Portland

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Still from Hazelnut Grove, a short film by Kevin Neidorf.

Still from Hazelnut Grove, a short film by Kevin Neidorf.

I want to share two videos that I think will help broaden your understanding of the homelessness crisis and give you some new perspective on it. And here’s why I’m doing it:

Over the past few months I’ve gotten many emails from people who bike by homeless camps and then write in to say: “The homeless situation is out of hand and something needs to be done about it.” In part because of emails like that we’ve covered the topic several times recently.

This might make you wonder: Why are bicycle riders talking about the local homelessness crisis? Why am I reading about this on a bike blog?

Part of the answer is that when you experience a city by bike, you are physically and mentally much more a part of your surroundings than people who drive or use transit. Bicycle riders experience the street environment in a very direct way, so it’s no surprise that all this camping — much of it happening directly adjacent to multi-use paths — is on many people’s minds at the end of their commute.


Why are all those people drinking coffee and eating donuts on the bike path?

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 at 10:51 am

Breakfast on the Bridges-1.jpg
The scene this morning on the Esplanade at the Steel Bridge.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re new to biking in Portland you might notice something afoot on the last Friday of every month as you pedal into downtown: A bunch of happy-looking people standing around with coffee and donuts in their hands.

Next time you see this, consider stopping: It’s for you!

What you’re seeing is an old Portland tradition known as Breakfast on the Bridges. For the past 14 years (14!) a hardy bunch of volunteers affiliated with Shift have been serving food and drinks and smiles on downtown bridges from 7:00 to 9:00 am. It currently happens on the Hawthorne (west end), Steel (east end), and the Tillikum (east end). The selection of eats varies from month-to-month. I’ve seen everything from bagels and bacon to made-to-order pancakes. This morning on the Tillikum Lilian Karabaic and friends offered chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies and banana muffins.

If you’re wary of stopping because you think you’ll have to sign up for something or listen to someone’s political or product pitch, don’t worry. “B on B” (as the locals call it) has no agenda (although politicians have been known to show up). Like everything Shift makes happen (Pedalpalooza and the World Naked Bike Ride included), the goal is simply to have fun and meet people.


Jobs of the Week: BIKETOWN, Portland Design Works, B-line, Yakima, Go By Bike, First City Cycles

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 at 9:21 am

Looking for a new place to work? We’ve got six great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Lead Bike Technician – BIKETOWN

–> Warehouse/Customer Service Coordinator – Portland Design Works

–> Rider / Brand Ambassador – B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery

–> Consumer Service Rep – Yakima Products

–> Go By Bike Morning Attendant – Go By Bike Shop

–> Bike Mechanic/Sales – First City Cycles


Portland’s ‘Lawyer Ride,’ now 25 years old, is still pedaling strong

Posted by on May 26th, 2016 at 4:23 pm

The Lawyer Ride-1.jpg
Lawyer Ride founder Ray Thomas in Pioneer Courthouse Square where friends and colleagues have been starting a weekly training ride for the past 25 years.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 1991 two Portland lawyers, Jim Coon and Ray Thomas, started riding in the west hills above Portland twice a week during their lunch hour to stay in shape and let off a bit of steam. 25 years later both men are still doing those rides — every week, rain-or-shine. Today I finally joined them.


As TriMet puts another $2 million into WES, some imagine the bike trail that wasn’t

Posted by on May 26th, 2016 at 9:41 am

Waiting for WES
WES at Beaverton Transit Center.
(Photo: Thomas Le Ngo)

TriMet’s Westside Express Service commuter rail line, built for the equivalent of $178 million in 2008, is getting some new investment.

The line between Beaverton Transit Center and Wilsonville costs TriMet $135,000 per week to operate and serves something like 900 to 1,000 people per weekday.

That comes out to a cost of $14.83 per boarding in April, compared to $2.68 per boarding of a frequent-service bus line or $2.36 per MAX boarding.

The Oregonian reported Monday that the regional transit agency was agreeing this week to spend another $2 million to buy and retrofit two rail cars from Texas:


Weekly Video Roundup: playing on closed streets, bikepacking Norway, more

Posted by on May 26th, 2016 at 9:09 am

Welcome to this week’s roundup! I’ve been travelling and otherwise busy the last few weeks, it’s nice to catch up on all the cycling videos. I watched 103 vids this week. We’re starting off with a local video, documentation of the Better Block Broadway project from TransitSleuth. There’s one colorful rant in the middle. There are more vids from him below.


Reform school: PSU will host a free ‘Summer Transportation Institute’ for girls

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 3:29 pm

It’ll be an introduction to transportation careers.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re a female high schooler with a yen for understanding how cities work and how to help them evolve, Portland State Unviersity has a deal for you.

PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center is offering its first-ever Summer Transportation Institute, a two-week course designed to introduce young women (rising into grades 9-12) to the possibilities of a career in shaping streets. It’ll be divided between (a) guest lectures from prominent women in Portland’s transportation world and (b) “field tours of Portland’s transportation infrastructure and public spaces.”

Here’s how the course description puts it:


Here’s how Multnomah County promotes bicycling (video)

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

The vast majority of stories about road projects and transportation policies we publish here on BikePortland are about the City of Portland. The Oregon Department of Transportation is probably in second and Metro would be a close third. And then, way behind them all is Multnomah County. Because the County doesn’t control many newsmaking bikeways and they don’t hold as much sway over important transportation policies as PBOT, ODOT, or Metro, we can go months without even mentioning them.

But don’t forget about Multnomah County!


Precision Castparts will hold community meeting on air quality tonight

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Precision's factory in southeast Portland. (Photo: South Portland Air Quality)

Precision’s factory in southeast Portland.
(Photo: South Portland Air Quality)

A major industrial metal parts manufacturer with a factory just a few hundred feet away from the Springwater Corridor biking path is holding a meeting tonight (5/25) to talk about air quality.

Precision Castparts Corporation will host a community meeting from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas (12566 SE 93rd Avenue, it’s unclear why they’re having it four miles from the community that’s impacted).

Pollution concerns have dominated headlines in Portland for months now. It started when a researcher discovered unhealthy levels of toxic pollutants coming from a glass factory in southeast Portland. The issue became a major topic in the Portland mayoral campaign, has led to a class-action lawsuit and has galvanized local activists. Dozens of people rallied and testified at the state capitol yesterday to put the issue in front of lawmakers. Also yesterday the Oregon Environmental Council published a new report about dirty air from diesel truck engines which they say causes up to 460 premature deaths each year.


Woman dies after crashing near streetcar tracks in Seattle

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 11:33 am

Screenshot from Capitol Hill Seattle.

Screenshot from Capitol Hill Seattle.

27-year old Seattle resident Desiree McCloud died yesterday from injuries she sustained from a crash on May 13th. According to reports she was biking with friends near streetcar tracks on E Yesler and 13th when she lost control and went down.

The incident highlights a major problem that has plagued both Seattle and Portland for years: Both cities have busy urban neighborhoods where streetcar tracks and unprotected bikeways mix and both cities have countless crash victims because of it. Track crashes are so rampant here in Portland that there’s an assumption among daily riders that it’s a matter of when not if you’ll go down on them.

Not only do these exposed tracks cause many broken bones and bodies every year, they are also just one more thing that scares some people away from cycling.


Industry Ticker: Islabikes steps up youth bike offerings with new ‘Pro Series’

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 9:39 am

Serious bikes for kids who are ready to go fast.(Photos: Islabikes)

Serious bikes for kids who are ready to go fast.
(Photos: Islabikes)

Islabikes has just taken kids bikes to a whole new level.

The UK-based company that opened their North American headquarters in southeast Portland three years ago has just launched the new ‘Pro Series’ range. They call it “the pinnacle of performance for youth that really want to push limits in regards to stealth and handling.”


Bikes and trains: Free meetup at the Green Dragon tonight

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 8:52 am

Bikes on Amtrak
More Amtrak lines are allowing this.
(Photo: Will Vanlue)

They’re the smallest and the biggest vehicles many people use during their lives, and they keep becoming a better travel pair.

A free event Wednesday evening will bring a rail-riding college student to Portland to talk about various aspects of bicycle-and-train travel.

The latest major improvement on this front in the United States is Amtrak’s expanded roll-on bike service, a 2013 shift by the national passenger rail company that came after years of advocacy from people who saw the potential.


$8.4 million downtown protected bike lane plans will start this summer, city says

Posted by on May 24th, 2016 at 1:44 pm

unhappy sw broadway
The door-zone bike lane on Broadway is not very comfortable for most beginning riders.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Among the many projects funded this month by Portland voters is one we first covered in early 2013: a network of protected bike lanes in downtown Portland.

The new local gas tax will send a projected $2.8 million to the project, joining with $6 million in federal funds the project scored in 2013 and $600,000 in other local funds.


Welcome to Portland’s new era of open streets

Posted by on May 24th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Sunday Parkways NW 2011-34-33
Our streets could thrive if we let them.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Something big is happening in Portland: We’re entering an era where streets are seen as places for much more than private vehicle travel and storage. An era where the public right-of-way can reach its potential as a thriving place that adds to the vitality and energy of our city.

Livable streets are in Portland’s DNA, but a combination of factors have recently come together to energize and formalize the movement and soon it could be enshrined in official city policy.

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is in the process of selecting a private firm to develop a “Livable Streets Strategy.” According to the request for proposals (PDF), the city is, “looking at innovative ways to open Portland’s streets, parking spaces, plazas, and alleys to a range of events, programming, and physical infrastructure that reinforce the idea that public streets are public places to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.”

We knew something special was afoot ever since Transportation Commissioner began literally jumping up-and-down and chanting “Bet-ter Block! Bet-ter Block!” at the opening of the Better Naito project in 2015. The three-way romance between City Hall, the Bureau of Transportation and Better Block PDX has helped create the political and public momentum neede to re-think how we use our streets. But it didn’t start there.


We’re up for ‘Best Local Blog’ – Vote for us!

Posted by on May 24th, 2016 at 10:02 am

Let's do this. Vote today.

Let’s do this. Vote today.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you a special announcement:


Portlander offers beer to illustrate bike parking demand at brewery

Posted by on May 23rd, 2016 at 1:33 pm

(All photos by Ross Putnam.)

Last Friday night the lack of bike parking at Base Camp Brewing was readily apparent.
(All photos by Ross Putnam.)

Our bike parking coverage is sponsored by Huntco.

There are two things you can never have enough of in Portland: bike parking and great beer. Especially when a friend buys the beer*.


100 kids from east Portland families now have new bikes to ride

Posted by on May 23rd, 2016 at 12:36 pm

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

Every year the Community Cycling Center’s Holiday Bike Drive gives 300 kids a new bike. But what about the families that can’t make it to inner north Portland to pick one up?