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TriMet track work gives bikers one less reason to avoid the Lloyd

Posted by on August 21st, 2014 at 6:44 am

biking to train
Smooth cruising: looking west across 11th at Holladay.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A key bike connection between Southeast and inner North/Northeast Portland keeps getting a bit better.

The latest improvement to Northeast 11th Avenue and Holladay comes courtesy of track work last week by TriMet at its Lloyd Center MAX turnaround. The transit agency prioritized repairs to the track there in part because the crumbling pavement around the tracks had been increasingly dangerous for biking.

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Q&A: How bikes meet tech in Austin, Portland’s chillest sister city

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

spokeqa
Nate McGuire of Austin bike-tech startup Spokefly.
(Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

Nate McGuire is part of two worlds that Austin, Texas, is still pretty new at: digital entrepreneurship and biking.

His startup, Spokefly, uses a mobile app and combination U-locks to turn people’s underused bicycles into income-generating shared bikes that float around the city until their owners need them. (At that point, the company will fetch it and deliver it home.) Though it’s not yet available in Portland, he’s preparing to launch in a handful of cities soon and was in town last week to scope our city out.

When he stopped by BikePortland’s office for a talk, we saw a perfect chance to hear more about biking and related issues in one of the U.S. cities that Portland most resembles in size, culture and reputation.

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Meeting could spark formation of a “more assertive advocacy group” in Portland

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The first step is showing up.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Many Portlanders who care about bicycling want to find a way to create more urgency for bike-friendly changes. As we’ve been reporting since May, Portland — once a biking beacon that other cities aspired to — has lost its mojo. With our largest bicycle advocacy organization, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), choosing to take a more conservative role, some in the community want to start a new advocacy group.

When Alex Reed moved to Portland in 2007, he thought that “There was so much excitement around bike it felt like everything was destined to get better.” Now that he’s “not seeing much progress,” the 29-year-old southeast Portland resident (and father) has planned a meeting this weekend to discuss the possible formation of a new group. “Are you frustrated at the lack of progress on bike issues in Portland in the last five years?” reads the event description on the Shift calendar. “If so, come join us to try to make things better!”

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Spate of collisions across state, region highlight passing dangers

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 9:47 am

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The aftermath of a collision in eastern Oregon.
(Photo: OSP)

There have been four (officially recorded) rear-end collisions involving a bicycle rider in the past week. One of them resulted in a fatality and the other three resulted in serious injuries. The incidents have occurred throughout Oregon and nearby southwest Washington.

While the incidents are unrelated, the uncommon frequency (two happened on the same day) led to a response by the Oregon State Police earlier this week. In an official statement published on August 17th, they said: “OSP urges all drivers to be alert for bicyclists and other vulnerable highway users. When approaching from behind, make sure there is adequate room to safely pass on the left of the bicyclist(s).”

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‘Mujeres en Movimiento’ group brings out the bike-fun smiles

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 8:54 am

mujeres en movimiento
Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez, Lale Santelices and Elizabeth Quiroz get ready for Mujeres en Movimiento’s ‘Sundress Sunday’ ride last weekend.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A pair of Portlanders have organized a new group aimed at giving Latinas regular events for riding bikes together.

“There is this conversation about, ‘People of color don’t bike,’” said Lale Santelices, one of the organizers. “But that’s not my expericence.”

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‘Cross update: A new weekly race series and a training talk

Posted by on August 19th, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-13
Weeknight racing at PIR? Sign
me up!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two items of cyclocross news to share today: There’s a new, weekly race series and a talk by locally-based elite racer Beth Ann Orton.

The big news is the announcement of the Rapha Trophy Cup presented by Western Bikeworks. This new cyclocross race series starts September 2nd and happens every Tuesday night through October 7th. The six race series goes down at Portland International Raceway and adds to our great local tradition of weeknight racing.

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City Bicycle Advisory Committee leaders offer new vision, seek new members

Posted by on August 19th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

stude
Incoming Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee
chair Ian Stude.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The incoming chair and vice-chair of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee are full of energy and they’re recruiting new voices, faces and brains.

“I want to see the committee be more present in the process, both on the community level and the political level,” said Ian Stude, a member of the committee for six years and its incoming chair, in an interview last week. “People who want to cozy up to the beast a little more.”

Vice-chair Heather McCarey is leading the recruiting process for the committee, aiming for a total of 13 members and seven alternates.

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Guest Article: Want to spice up Sunday Parkways? Then step up

Posted by on August 19th, 2014 at 9:01 am

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2012-20
Sunday Parkways is great. It could be even better.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last month we asked the community to share ideas on improving Sunday Parkways. This guest article was written by PBOT Program Manager Linda Ginenthal in response to that post.

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Regional ODOT Director Jason Tell leaves job for private sector

Posted by on August 18th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Safer Routes to School event-1-2.jpg
Jason Tell at a Safe Routes to School
event in February 2008.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland region’s top Oregon Department of Transportation official has left his post and taken a job with a private company. Jason Tell, who has spent 18 years with ODOT — eight of them as Region 1 Director — is now the Senior Planning Manager at the downtown Portland office of Parsons Brinckerhoff.

ODOT has named Planning and Development Manager Rian Windsheimer as the interim Region 1 Director.

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Novick, Treat will trumpet transportation needs on van tour tomorrow

Posted by on August 18th, 2014 at 10:53 am

Street fee press conference-1
Novick to hit the streets.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and PBOT Director Leah Treat want to hear from you about neighborhood transportation needs. They also wants to draw attention to existing problems they’d like to fix with your money.

Novick and Treat are in the middle of a major effort to pass a “street fee” that would raise new money for street repairs and updates. At tomorrow’s “Transportation Needs Tour” they’re inviting the news media to join them in a for a stop at three locations that’ll highlight where new revenue would be spent.

Keeping to the City’s strategy of not mentioning the “b” word (bikes); a statement released this morning about the tour specifically addresses “streets that lack sidewalks” and “commercial corridors in need of preventative maintenance.” In addition to the three stops, the City will also unveil the Portland Transportation Needs Guidebook, “an online compilation of the maintenance and safety needs identified by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and prioritized by community input over the years.”

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Portland’s Circa Cycles wants to bring $1500 custom bicycles to the mainstream

Posted by on August 18th, 2014 at 9:27 am

rich with bike
Former Nike innovation director Rich Fox has created a new process for making custom bike frames that can be done entirely in Portland.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A Portland startup is marrying the 1980s concept of “screwed and glued” modular frames with modern computer machining to dramatically cut the price of a custom handmade bike.

Its founder’s goal: a chain of minimalist, 600-square foot Apple Store-esque retail shops across the country, each one able to fit and service a line of Portland-built bikes as colorful and distinctly branded as iPods.

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The Monday Roundup: Robin Williams, Detroit’s biking rise & more

Posted by on August 18th, 2014 at 9:19 am

Robin Williams at NAHBS
Robin Williams in Portland for a
bike show in February 2008.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

Robin Williams and bikes: Cycling superfan Robin Williams’ impression repertoire included Marco Pantani, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Tragically, they went uncaptured on video. The Oregonian’s aggregation of Williams’ ties to bikes includes the time he had one delivered to Conan O’Brien.

Robin Williams in Portland: The story of that time in 2008 when the late comedian flew his plane to Portland for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Bike share safety: 23 million rides later, zero people have died on bike share bicycles. In fact, they seem to reduce bike injuries.

Bikeways improve walking: According to every available dataset in the country, protected bike lanes consistently cut sidewalk biking approximately in half.

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Cars will be detoured onto SE Clinton during Division Street repaving

Posted by on August 15th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

clinton traffic
Traffic on Clinton.
(Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

If you think the SE Clinton bike boulevard is already turning into more of a car boulevard, you won’t like this news: The Bureau of Environmental Services announced today that during a two-week re-paving project on SE Division set to begin later this month, all eastbound auto traffic will be detoured to SE Clinton.

Not surprisingly, news of the decision is spreading fast throughout the community and many people are very concerned. Why would the city purposefully add more auto traffic to a street that already has too much of it?

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Comment of the Week: How self-driving cars are actually going to work

Posted by on August 15th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

early-vehicle-lores
(Photo: Google)

Two big issues, gender in the bike world and the nature of Portland bike activism, generated lots of excellent perspectives from readers on the site this week. This one about the “thousand cuts” of being a woman was one of our most upvoted ever; this one early this morning about the recent history of Portland-centric bicycle advocacy groups is very persuasive.

But let’s finish the week on a lighter note, thanks to reader Jake.

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First look: Warning signs installed near skinny bike lane on Interstate Ave

Posted by on August 15th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

new sign interstate ave
One of two new signs installed on Interstate. The bike lane narrows to just 3.5 feet wide as it passes under the overpass in the background.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed new signs on N Interstate Avenue in order to raise awareness of the dangers posed by a narrow bike lane.

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Weekend Event Guide: BMX, century, Milwaukie, and more

Posted by on August 15th, 2014 at 11:07 am

Tour of Tomorrow
Discover the hidden bike path gems of southern Clark County Washington at the Portland Century on Saturday).
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

How’s your summer riding been going so far? Are you ready for a century ride — or as our friends at OR Bike like to say, a “Hundo“?

Hopefully you’ve done a bit of training because the Portland Century is our marquee event of the weekend. While most of the route isn’t actually in Portland this year, the support and food and drinks you’ll encounter at the rest stops and the finish line party will be decidedly local.

There’s nothing but warm and sunny blue skies in the forecast. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 16th

Dew Tour – All Weekend downtown on SW Broadway between Jefferson and Salmon
This event will feature some cool BMX action. The best riders in the world will show off their skills in “streetstyle” and dirt jump competitions. And the best part is the whole thing is free to watch! If you’re not a BMX fan, consider this a great chance to hang out on a carfree SW Broadway! More info here.

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BTA launches five new campaigns at annual members’ meeting

Posted by on August 15th, 2014 at 9:07 am

wide angle
Attendees of the BTA’s annual member meeting Thursday evening had plenty to talk about.
(Photos by Michael Andersen)

With “The Revolution will Not Be Televised” playing from portable speakers above them, almost 100 Bicycle Transportation Alliance members and staff gathered in the Portland Art Museum courtyard Thursday to drink Hopworks beer, eat food-cart tacos, recognize key volunteers and (most intriguingly) learn about the five major advocacy campaigns the organization had just launched.

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Tech will make central-city parking spaces pointless, Gabe Klein tells Portland crowd

Posted by on August 14th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

klein at table
Gabe Klein, right, speaks to a panel of local transportation experts at the Multnomah Athletic Club Thursday.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The author of the transportation reinventions in Washington DC and Chicago offered some advice to Portland-area developers Thursday: start building for parking-free cities.

Self-driving cars will be available in a few years, predicted Gabe Klein, the former transportation director of both those cities, and they’ll mean “the end of parking as we know it.”

Klein, now a fellow at the Urban Land Institute, an organization for real-estate and land-use professionals, spoke to a room of local ULI members and other guests Thursday morning at the Multnomah Athletic Club in southwest Portland.

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Virtual ‘bike travel agency’ hosts Portland party and seeks local bike wisdom

Posted by on August 13th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

photo1
Bikabout.com founder Megan Ramey, left, with her family.
(Photo courtesy Ramey)

Partly inspired by a visit to Portland last year, a Massachusetts woman has launched “a free travel agency for bike travel” across the United States.

Bikabout.com founder Megan Ramey will host a party at Velo Cult in Portland next week to gather information on the city and invite contributors.

Ramey said in a phone interview Monday that she started referring to Portland as “Graceland” after a 2013 visit with her family. She, her beer-loving husband and their young daughter traveled the city with a copy of Hop in the Saddle, a locally written guide to enjoying Portland breweries by bicycle.

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Bikini-themed promo for local bike tour deepens criticism of industry’s gender issues

Posted by on August 13th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

gsp email
Screenshot of an email promoting a local bike event.

One of the Portland area’s biggest bike event companies apologized Wednesday for sending a promotional email dominated by a big photo of a weathercaster in a bikini.

“Frightening Poll,” said the email from Good Sport Promotion (screenshot at right). “47% of Romanians did not expect today’s heatwave despite having watched the weather last night.”

“Remember Nadia Comaneci?” the email’s text began, referring to a Romanian athlete (but not the woman pictured). “She got the first perfect 10 in the Olympics. (Montreal 1976) This weekend we have a perfect 10 on the weather forecast.”

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