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Weekly Video Roundup: St. Helens adventure, brake abuse, and more

Posted by on August 25th, 2016 at 9:34 am

Welcome to the weekly video roundup! I reviewed 45 videos this week so I could show you the best. As always, a third of the videos were just posted in the last 36 hours. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always busy with this. I’m starting the week with a video that is on Vimeo- it ends up being the forgotten step-sibling but the videos are often great. This is no exception to that- it looks like a really fun adventure on the side of Mt. St. Helens.

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- Huntco is the official sponsor of BikePortland's bike parking coverage.-
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Portland about to win another major battle in its quest to lower speed limits

Posted by on August 24th, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Ride Along Kathleen McDade-34
The City of Portland thinks proximity to vulnerable road users should be used to determine speed limits — not the dangerous behaviors of those with the most protection.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s simple: When we drive too fast, it’s much easier to kill someone. But even with that clear and present danger, the vast majority of us still speed. Our roads will never be safe until we get a handle on this and now the City of Portland has taken a big step in the right direction.

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City’s bicycle advisory committee seeks an east Portland rep

Posted by on August 24th, 2016 at 11:18 am

N NE Quadrant plans at BAC-3
BAC gets down to business.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

East Portland is where it’s at these days. We all know how the future looks in the Central City because the changes are happening right before our eyes. But the story of east Portland is still being written. And if the first few chapters are any indication it’ll be a bestseller.

From a bicycling standpoint the possibilities are endless: Activists (like Jim Chasse) and the City of Portland have laid a strong foundation, there’s plenty of right-of-way to work with, and there’s strong demand for a more affordable and healthy way to get around.

If you want to have a powerful voice in this future, the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee wants to hear from you. They have an opening and need to fill it with a person who lives and/or works east of 82nd Avenue.

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Traffic civility in Portland’s new era of congestion

Posted by on August 24th, 2016 at 10:18 am

Portland bike traffic-1.jpg
It’s not just Portland’s freeways that are crowded these days.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Please welcome back Sarah Gilbert. She’s written for us in the past about a cargo biking adventure and the psychology of anger.

Crystal was egged one day coming back from a bike tour, her guests trailing behind her on their bicycles. We don’t know why; just, bam, splat. The assailants only got her.

We’re both tour guides for the same company and I heard the story when I got back to the shop that afternoon. It’s busy work, with the tourist industry on the same upswing as everywhere-to-Portland immigration.

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Another person has managed to drive onto the I-205 path

Posted by on August 24th, 2016 at 8:55 am

"It's not my fault"
“It’s not my fault”

In 2013 someone managed to get their car partway across the Columbia River on the I-205 multi-use path. Now it has happened again.

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Multnomah County bought a tiny car to avoid blocking a bridge path

Posted by on August 23rd, 2016 at 2:08 pm

The County's new fit-on-the-bridge-but-not-block-the-path car.

The County’s new fit-on-the-bridge-but-not-block-the-path car.

How far would your county go to maintain the integrity of a path?

Multnomah County has added a new, very small car to its fleet. The reason? So that it won’t get in the way of people walking and rolling on the Morrison Bridge.

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Fallon Smart’s death, a heart-wrenching reality check, has sparked protests and support

Posted by on August 23rd, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Hawthorne and 43rd-2.jpg
Fallon Smart’s family and friends, concerned members of our community and transportation reform activists have left their mark on the intersection at SE Hawthorne and 43rd.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The death of Fallon Smart has torn our community apart. A potent mixture of how she was killed (run over by a dangerous man who used his car as a deadly weapon while she legally walked across a street), where she was killed (a stretch of Hawthorne you might see in a tourism brochure), and who she was (by all accounts a bright, giving and creative 15-year-old who attended a nearby high school), has led to multiple protests, heated online debates, an outpouring of support for her grieving family, and a much-needed dose of reality on Portland’s back-patting path to “Vision Zero.”

Whenever someone dies in a traffc collision, it has an impact on the community; but every once in a while a fatality will spark something larger. Smart’s death appears to have done that. But strangely, while citizens and grassroots activists have mobilized, there’s a deafening silence from City Hall.

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Ian Mackay is on a wheelchair tour to promote better paths and trails

Posted by on August 22nd, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Very few people would ride 300 miles on a bicycle just to raise awareness for a cause they believe in. Ian Mackay is doing it in his wheelchair. And what is it that he believes in? Better paths and trails so that more people in wheelchairs can get around safely and efficiently.

Mackay started from his hometown of Port Angeles earlier this month and is slated to arrive in Portland (his final destination) on Tuesday.

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Athletes Lounge, a fixture in Portland’s triathlon scene, is closing

Posted by on August 22nd, 2016 at 1:14 pm

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

Portland’s only bike shop that specialized in the needs of triathletes is closing its doors. Athletes Lounge in northwest on Vaughn and 26th plans to close by October 1st.

Gary Wallesen has owned the shop for nearly six years after purchasing it from its previous owner who had run it since 2007.

Wallesen says the business isn’t strong enough to remain open. “Last year the numbers were down, this year numbers really down,” he shared via email last week. And he also offered some external reasons he feels the bike shop business is especially challenging these days. “The business environment is changing, online [shopping] is growing, a shop in town discounts everything and hurts all others. There is a big inventory of new bikes in Portland and the market.” Wallesen said the triathlon market is particularly flat (pun intended).

He even shared one cautionary tale that might point to larger trends: “I think people are looking to ride, but the roads are getting more crowded and a little less safe. So markets that take riders of the road might be doing better.”

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The Monday Roundup: Extremist NFL announcer, power of bikes, big data, and more

Posted by on August 22nd, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Want to sponsor the Monday Roundup? You need exposure, we need your business, the community needs this information. It’s a win-win-win! Get in touch.

Welcome to the 34th week of the year. Here are the stories and tweets that caught our eyes in the past seven days…

Extremist views go mainstream: An announcer with the NFL Network displayed his deviant and violent tendencies when he said on Twitter that he wanted to hit people on bikes with his car. He later deleted the tweet saying he “didn’t mean to offend anyone.”

Great public spaces more important than ever: In these days of protest and sorrow around killings of black people on our streets, the Project for Public Spaces says we need to plan them a different way. There has never been a more important time to integrate transportation and public space advocates with Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements.

Much more than a bike ride: The ability of bicycles to help connect people to others and to themselves and the world around them never ceases to amaze me. This woman’s recap of a Sydney Night Ride weaves together racism, sexism, politics, and a huge plate of nachos.

Summer driving season = summer dying season: As gas prices come down, driving goes up and so do the vast societal costs that come with it. City Observatory breaks it down for us.

Paris is doing it right: Still angry after Friday’s fatal collision on Hawthorne, my heart swelled with joy reading about this plan in Paris to expand a ban on cars along the Seine River.

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Speeding driver kills teenage girl who was crossing SE Hawthorne

Posted by on August 20th, 2016 at 8:57 am

Hawthorne Blvd approaching 43rd.

Hawthorne Blvd approaching 43rd.

Yesterday afternoon a man was driving his Lexus SUV recklessly down SE Hawthorne Blvd and his behavior led him to strike and kill a teenage girl. First responders were unable to revive her and she died on the scene as her family grieved just feet away from her.

The man, 20-year-old Abdulrahman Noorah — who was driving with a suspended license — originally fled the scene of his crime and later returned. He has been arrested by the Portland Police Bureau and has been charged with Manslaughter II, Felony Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (hit and run) and Reckless Driving.

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Don’t miss Sunday Parkways Southeast this weekend!

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Sunday Parkways Southeast-5
There will be plenty of ways to keep cool at Sunday Parkways.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We know it’s stiflingly hot right now but the forecast is for cooler temps on Sunday. It should be a perfect day to enjoy your streets the way they intended to be used — by walking, rolling, and riding on them during Sunday Parkways.

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Carfree bridge across I-405 at NW Flanders wins $2.8 million state grant

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Artist rendering of new Flanders bridge.

Artist rendering of new Flanders bridge.

A bridge that will allow people to walk and bike — but not drive — over I-405 at Northwest Flanders just came much closer to reality. The Oregon Transportation Commission has approved $2,877,000 for the project through the state’s Connect Oregon funding program.

The award means the City of Portland is on track to start construction of the bridge in 2018.

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How TriMet’s project in the Rose Quarter Transit Center will impact your ride

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 10:50 am

Portland bike traffic-8.jpg
A busy bikeway cuts right through the middle of the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

If you bike through the Rose Quarter Transit Center be advised that starting this Sunday August 21st and lasting two weeks until September 3rd, TriMet is embarking on a major construction project that will close streets, change lange configurations, and put work crews and vehicles all over the place.

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Crunching numbers: A closer look at Portland’s road fatality rates

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 10:23 am

1996-2015 Portland traffic fatalities
Portland traffic fatalities, 1996-2015

The past few weeks have been especially bad in terms of road fatalities in Portland. Within nine days between July 30th and August 8th we had four fatalities, which prompted me to run the numbers- so by the time you’re reading this, they have gone up.

For the year to date as of August 9, we’ve had 28 fatalities. I took PBOT’s fatality data and crunched some numbers:

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Cycle Exploregon: A dose of history, wild rivers, and a ‘true taste of the Pacific Northwest’

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 10:01 am

Cycle Exploregon Day 4 - Gold Beach to Indian Mary Park-20.jpg
The mighty Rogue River.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

CO-sponsorsWelcome to Cycle Exploregon, our annual adventure done in partnership with Cycle Oregon to explore beyond their official route. This is the final ride recap in this series. Read the other ones here.

Riding a bicycle through Oregon is an awesome way to learn about our history and get up close and personal with the wild places that have shaped it. From a bike you can hear, see, and smell much more than from inside a car — and hours in the saddle give you time to ponder everything your senses take in.

The final leg of my journey gave me several opportunities to for this. I rode from Gold Beach on the coast to the steep canyons of the Rogue River just outside of Grants Pass (see route details on RideWithGPS.com). Unlike the other three days of this trip, my route mirrored exactly what we’ll do on Cycle Oregon next month — all 71 miles (and nearly 7,400 feet of climbing) of it.

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City’s Vision Zero survey says distracted driving, speeding are top concerns

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 9:13 am

Results from a street safety survey conducted by PBOT show extent of traffic crash epidemic.

Results from a street safety survey conducted by PBOT show extent of traffic crash epidemic.

We hear a lot of debates about our roads: Who pays for them, who’s at fault when vehicles and people collide, and so on. But there one thing that’s relatively clear. The reason people fear traffic is because too many of us drive distracted, drive too fast, and simply don’t follow the rules.

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Sellwood Bridge will close through Tuesday, open with changes

Posted by on August 19th, 2016 at 8:22 am

Sellwood Bridge opening celebration-6.jpg
The new bridge during the opening celebration in February.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Multnomah County continues to inch closer to completion of the Sellwood Bridge project; but some of the final changes mean yet another temporary closure.

Starting this Friday the 19th at 7:00 pm through Tuesday morning the 23rd (no later than 6:00 am), the bridge will be closed to all users. When it reopens you’ll notice new lane striping and new traffic signals at each end of the bridge.

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Weekly Video Roundup: Dutch cargo, 14k feet, and more

Posted by on August 18th, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Welcome to the weekly video roundup. I have a fresh batch of great cycling videos for you. I want to start off with the latest from Mike Cotty of Col Collective. He’s been branching out from the French Alps as he rides (and narrates) up Mount Evans in Colorado. It’s over 14,000 feet, which is 3000 more than Mt. Hood, the highest in Oregon. It’s also very impressive compared to the European peaks, as the video illustrates.

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Attention climbers: Another member of the “Ronde” family has been born

Posted by on August 17th, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Follow the green lions.

Follow the green lions.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Portland’s incredible culture around bicycling is how one great idea begets another. It’s typical of any healthy cultural ecosystem: One person does a cool thing and it inspires another person to do a cool thing that riffs on the original cool thing. And so on and so forth.

The Ronde PDX is a perfect example. That unsanctioned ride was first held in 2007. Only about 100 intrepid souls showed up that first year, eager to challenge themselves against an insanely difficult route that tackled nearly ever climb in the west hills between Saltzman Road and Council Crest.

Word spread quickly about the Ronde and a few years later it had become a bonafide phenomenon. Then in 2013 the Ronde spawned La Doyenne, another epic ride scheduled for the same weekend. This gave strong riders the opportunity to climb about 15,000 feet over 100 miles in two days.

Now there’s a third ride in the series: the Giro PDX.

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