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A Labor Day treat: the lovely new bike-walk-run mural at the Doubletree

Posted by on September 1st, 2014 at 7:00 am

mural wide
The new mural on the south side of Multnomah Street in the Lloyd District, one in a string of investments in the streetscape that have been made since the installation of a protected bike lane on the street.
(Photo: Craig Harlow)

Both Jonathan and I are out of town until tonight, so your regularly scheduled news roundup will be published on Tuesday this week.

For now, take a moment to celebrate a gift workers at the Doubletree Hotel gave the city last Thursday. It’s a beautiful celebration of Portlanders’ love of physical activity.

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Comment of the Week: A little perspective on city rankings

Posted by on August 29th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Like best-guitarist-of-all-time rankings, best-bike-city rankings are mostly just for fun. But in a week when Portland reportedly got a serious demotion from the granddaddy of bike rankings, reader MaxD’s reaction probably spoke for a lot of us.

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Safety advocates win on Clinton: city installs barricades during Division detour

Posted by on August 29th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

type three barrier
The city’s two new temporary barricades at 26th and Clinton created a visual cue that reduced detour traffic onto the SE Clinton Street bike boulevard.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Hours before a pair of protest rides were planned to start, the City of Portland on Friday used light barricades to reduce through auto traffic on Clinton Street during the remaining week of a detour for eastbound traffic on Division.

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BTA throws weight behind five new greenways east of 205

Posted by on August 29th, 2014 at 11:34 am

elizabeth pedal pt
BTA advocate Elizabeth Quiroz talks greenways at the BTA members meeting this month.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Fourth in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

Of the five new Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocacy campaigns we’re examining this week, the only one that’s almost certain to succeed is east of Interstate 205.

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Jobs of the Week

Posted by on August 29th, 2014 at 9:01 am

Looking for your next professional adventure? Two opportunities were added to our Job Listings this week. Check them out via the links below…

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Magazine demotes Portland to nation’s #4 bike city

Posted by on August 28th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

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Traffic on Portland’s 122nd Avenue in June 2014.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Ouch.

Dirk VanderHart of the Portland Mercury broke the news this afternoon after checking his mailbox: in Bicycling magazine’s periodic ranking of the country’s best bike cities, Portland has tumbled from first to fourth since 2012.

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Get pumped: The 2014 Bike Commute Challenge kicks off next week

Posted by on August 28th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Hawthorne Bridge scenes-5
Hawthorne Bridge traffic in September 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With August’s heat lifting, we’re headed into one of the nicest times of year to be on a bicycle in Portland, and that means it’s time to convince your co-workers to give biking to work a shot.

The region’s annual Bike Commute Challenge is a free, friendly contest between workplaces, ad-hoc teams and/or your own performance the previous year to see whose commuters can bike the most or the farthest on their way to work in September.

If they’d like, participants can use bikes for only part of their trip. Routes can fall anywhere in the state or metro area, including Clark County on the Washington side of the Columbia.

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Community demands change as SE Clinton remains in the spotlight

Posted by on August 28th, 2014 at 11:05 am

bikeloudontv
Bike Loud PDX founder Alex Reed made
local TV headlines in his group’s
first-ever protest action.

Traffic conditions on SE Clinton have created a perfect storm for concerned members of the community who are pushing to maintain the street’s status as a low-stress bicycle boulevard.

Three years ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation was so eager to show that Clinton was a bicycle route that it became the first street in the city to receive special, bike-inspired signage. It was a marketing push PBOT called the Clinton Street Bike Boulevard Enhancement Project.

But those signs don’t seem to be doing much. Since then, Clinton has become a popular cut-through for drivers looking to avoid SE Division. Even before the City threatened to detour auto users onto Clinton during the recent paving project on Division, we had already reported about concerns and calls for more diverters to keep them away.

Thankfully, after community outcry the City reversed its detour plans. But the problem remains and now volunteer activists have taken to the street in hopes of strengthening their calls for change.

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Weekend Event Guide: Cyclocross, scavenger hunt, protests, and more

Posted by on August 28th, 2014 at 10:09 am

Cyclocross race at David Douglas Park-20
Racers fly through the wooded trail section of the David Douglas Park cyclocross course in 2013.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

With a bit of a cooling trend in store, this weekend should be just about perfect for bike riding. While it’s sort of a quiet week in terms of organized rides, I know a lot of people will be hitting the streets. And with the big Cycle Oregon week ride starting next weekend, you might notice a bunch of people pounding out last-minute miles to get themselves ready.

It’s also a holiday weekend with many people taking Monday off for Labor Day. Raise your hand if you’re going bikecamping! Strangely enough, I’ll actually be completely bike-free this weekend and I take my wife and three kids on our last summer hurrah — a road trip through the Gorge and down to the John Day River Valley.

And then there’s cyclocross season that kicks off Saturday just north of the river in Vancouver. Whatever your plans are, we hope you have a great weekend!

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Future off-road bike park Gateway Green acquired by City of Portland

Posted by on August 27th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

gg
Conceptual drawing of the off-road biking plans.

A key step toward making Gateway Green a reality was taken today when Portland City Council voted unanimously to authorize a land transfer from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Portland is now the official owner of the 25 acre property that’s slated to become what Portland Parks & Recreation referred to today as an “off-road biking facility.”

The City of Portland acquired the land from ODOT for $19,300, money they received from developers via System Development Charges (SDCs).

In a statement released today by PP&R, City Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz said,

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BTA looks to revive plan for protected bike lanes through downtown

Posted by on August 27th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

downtown pbl map annotated
Four possible routes for north-south protected bike lanes through downtown.
(Graphic: BikePortland)

Third in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

With almost every street project that isn’t happening in Portland, the city’s stated reason is that it doesn’t have the money. A long-discussed couplet of north/south protected bike lanes through downtown is the exception.

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Fatal collision spurs new calls to complete the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

Posted by on August 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Ellen Dittebrandt.

The death this past Sunday of Ellen Dittebrandt, killed while bicycling on Interstate 84 west of Hood River, has stunned her large community of friends in the Gorge, many of whom are now focused on completing the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in her memory.

Dittebrandt’s death also comes on the heels of a scary month in Oregon. Just last week we reported that there were four major rear-end collisions in the span of just one week.

This latest collision happened early Sunday morning. According to Oregon State Police investigators, Dittebrandt, a 52-year old volunteer firefighter (named Firefighter of the Year in 2010), artist and triathlete who lived in Mosier, was riding westbound in the shoulder of I-84. Friends say she was training for a triathlon and was riding from Rowena Crest to Crown Point and back.

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Arrest made in hit-and-run on SE 82nd in Clackamas County

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

82ndcollision

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s office arrested a man today after a hit-and-run on SE 82nd just south of King Road (about 12 miles southeast of Portland).

Here’s the story so far from the CCSO:

On August 26, 2014 at approximately 3:00 p.m., Robert B. Hyer, age 30, was riding a bicycle in the bike lane southbound along SE 82nd Avenue. As the bicyclist began riding in front of the entry to a gas station on the west side of SE 82nd Avenue, a Ford pickup driven by Leodan Juarez Belton, age 49, from Clackamas, turned into the gas station and struck the bicyclist, knocking him to the ground.

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New activist group off to fast start: First protest ride is tonight – UPDATED

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

First meeting of BikeLoudPDX-6
On Saturday at a brewpub in southeast, concerned citizens got down to the business of making Portland a better biking city.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Spurred into action by Portland’s Great Bike Stagnation and a growing realization that this town needs a bike advocacy shot-in-the-arm, a group calling itself BikeLoudPDX held its first ever meeting on Saturday.

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First look at new, left-side buffered bike lanes on NW Everett

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

new buffered bike lane NE Everett-14
There’s a new, 10-foot wide bike lane on NW Everett (and as you can see not everyone knows it’s for bikes only).
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT has completed a lane “reorganization” project on NW Everett Street between NW 25th and I-405. As we reported back in May, this project is the result of two factors: An understanding by the bureau that the intersection of NW Everett and 16th is unsafe due to its history of right-hook collisions; and a repaving project that gave them a golden opportunity to do something about it.

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As Congress drops Safe Routes to School, advocates ask Metro to step in

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

A Safe Routes to School ride in Portland in 2010. A new BTA campaign suggests tapping federal funding allocated to the Metro regional government to offer the program in suburban schools, too.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Second in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

Over the last two years, people trying to reverse the spectacular 40-year slide in the number of kids who bike and walk to school have come to a gradual realization: dedicated federal funding for the Safe Routes to School program is probably gone for good.

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Q&A: How Minnesota saves lives by spreading safety money thinly

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 10:43 am

27-tzd-groth400
Sue Groth, director of traffic, safety and technology
for the Minnesota Department of Transportation,
has been nationally recognized for overseeing rapid
drops in traffic fatalities.
(Photos: MnDOT)

Sue Groth’s job: use math and millions of dollars to stop injuries before they happen.

The team Groth leads at the Minnesota Department of Transportation has probably saved a few hundred lives over the last 10 years. In that time they’ve reinvented “highway safety” spending and seen traffic fatalities fall almost twice as fast as they have in Oregon and the rest of the country.

Groth is the plenary speaker at the Sept. 15 Oregon Transportation Summit hosted by OTREC at Portland State University. I caught her by phone last week to talk about MnDOT’s daring decision to give up some of the “gobs of money” it gets for highway safety and hand it to local agencies instead.

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Advocates work to build retailers’ consensus around a big city investment in NE Broadway

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

broadway
A rendering of a possible new version of Northeast Broadway.
(Image by Owen Walz)

First in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

More than anything else in central Portland’s bike network, commercial corridors are the missing links.

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National org wants to know: What should we call this thing we do everyday?

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

pfbsurvey

People for Bikes, a national advocacy group funded by the bicycle industry, wants to change cycling in America by coming up with a new name for it. Specifically, the group wants help figuring out what to call everyday cycling in order to differentiate it from recreation and fitness riding.

Here’s the set-up from People for Bikes via an email they sent out today:

“Lots of people ride bikes for recreation, exercise and sport. But there’s another kind of bicycling that’s becoming more and more popular in communities across the country. It’s difficult to quantify, because folks call it a lot of different things. And it doesn’t have an official name…

Imagine you’re rolling out on your bike right from your garage—no spandex involved, you’re wearing normal, everyday clothes.

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A community on bikes rallies against violence in the streets of north Portland

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 10:06 am

Take Back the Streets Ride-41
Samuel Thompson led calls for peace on the streets of the New Columbia neighborhood on Sunday.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Occupy the streets! Until we get peace! Occupy the streets! Until we get peace!”

Reeling from a (yet another) violent summer where gang members have ruled the streets with guns, about 150 people joined the Take Back the Streets Ride in New Columbia on Sunday. Armed with bicycles and a powerful sense of unity, they stood up to their fears. As they pedaled, chanted and smiled, they started a new narrative about the public space outside their doorsteps and showed how bicycles can be an effective tool for grassroots, social change far beyond the central city.

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