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Comment of the Week: The five-ingredient recipe for a great bike city

Posted by on April 24th, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Mia Birk at Powell's Books-3
Birk at Powell’s Books in 2011.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If anyone in the country knows what it takes for a city to improve its bike transportation, it’s a woman whose entire business depends on cities doing so: Mia Birk.

Birk, the former Portland bicycle coordinator and senior local principal of Alta Planning + Design, was indirectly quoted in a comment this week from BikePortland reader Matt, who said he’d heard Birk’s theory about this in a conversation once.

Matt seems to have remembered it. It’s a memorably simple formula.

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Advertise with BikePortland.

The Bike Concierge finds niche by making bike adventures easy

Posted by on April 24th, 2015 at 1:18 pm

conciergelead
Fat biking in Post Canyon? The Bike Concierge has you covered.
(Photos courtesy Jennifer Sotolongo_)

— This article was written by Jennifer Sotolongo, a tourism development specialist for Clackamas County who’s about to embark on a bike trip around the world with her husband Dave and dog named Sora. Follow them at @longhaultrekker.

When Thom Batty resumed his regular life after riding the Tour Divide in 2013, he realized that he no longer wanted to spend his days behind a desk. He wanted to get people on bikes.

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City debates cutting park fees for small homes, hiking for big ones

Posted by on April 24th, 2015 at 10:27 am

N-NE-SE Portland Good-Bad-Ugly Houses 84
Backers say the proposal would encourage smaller, more densely built houses.
(Photo: Mark McClure)

For years, almost every new home built in Portland has paid thousands of dollars into a city fund that pays to buy and develop parkland. But so far, the size of the home hasn’t affected the size of the fee.

If it were built today, a 900-square-foot bungalow would pay the same $8,582 parks fee as a 3,100-square foot 4-bedroom.

But in a proposal that could shift the local economy toward building smaller homes — and potentially provide a boost for bike infrastructure funding — the Portland Parks Bureau is suggesting that its fees on new homes become proportional to the number of people who are likely to live in them, based on their square footage.

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Jobs of the Week: Rack Attack, Chris King, Sprocketfly, Bike N’ Hike, Universal Cycles

Posted by on April 24th, 2015 at 10:13 am

We’ve had five great job opportunities listed this week. Learn more about them via the links below…

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County’s bridges may get $33 million for biking and walking upgrades by 2020

Posted by on April 24th, 2015 at 9:50 am

Hawthorne Bridge bike counter hits 1 million-1
Crowding on the Hawthorne sidewalks is already a serious problem and is only likely to increase, advocates say.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Some or all of Multnomah County’s four busiest bridges across the Willamette River — the Broadway, Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne — could see major biking and walking upgrades within five years, biking and walking advocates said Thursday.

One possibility being discussed: physically separating bike and foot traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge by moving either biking or walking to one or two of the four auto-dominated lanes on the bridge deck.

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Did you hear? Oregon Governor Brown talks bikes in her first State of the State address

Posted by on April 23rd, 2015 at 3:58 pm

brown
Governor Brown is not afraid
to say the “b” word.

Given the sad state of cycling in our local politics, I was eager to hear if the issue was on the radar screen of Oregon’s new governor, Kate Brown.

Brown’s first State of the State address on April 17th was a great opportunity to plant a flag in the ground and let everyone know that when she thinks of transportation she can see beyond the status quo.

And guess what? I was not disappointed. Governor Brown mentioned bikes — not once but twice! It was just what I needed to allay my lingering disappointment from when Portland Mayor Charlie Hales — who was a Portland commissioner in bicycling’s heyday in the 1990s and rode into office in part for his progressive transportation bona fides — didn’t mention bikes at all in his State of the City address back in January.

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Weekend Event Guide: Wonka, women, work, the world, and more

Posted by on April 23rd, 2015 at 12:46 pm

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If you have an oompa loompa costume, you might want to dust it off.
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

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

The forecast is a bit spotty the next few days, but you don’t let that stop you from riding do you? And if you do, we’ve got a few things in this week’s guide that are indoors (but you’ll still have to bike to them of course).

Our pick of the weekend is the big trail work party and campout that Portland Design Works is putting on. Imagine hanging out with a bunch of great people volunteering with the Forest Service to make awesome bike trails. Then imagine camping out afterwards and then riding the next day. That sounds like a winning combination to us.

Whatever you do this weekend, have fun! You’ve earned it.

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Cycling beyond 80: Providence sponsors trike ride for senior residents (photos)

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015 at 3:53 pm

smiles
The weather was perfect for a pedicab trip to Peninsula Park.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A cohort of residents at local senior housing facilities took a roll through North Portland in style Wednesday, including one 96-year-old taking her first cycle trip ever.

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B-Line inks deal to deliver products to New Seasons stores

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015 at 2:48 pm

blinepic
Franklin Jones of B-Line on one of his delivery trikes.
(Photo by NashCO Photography, courtesy New Seasons Market)

Earth Day seems like a fitting day to announce the latest evolution in Portland’s cargo bike delivery ecosystem.

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Mayor Hales wants to start ‘ASAP’ on $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan – UPDATED

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:57 am

mayorquote
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like Mayor Hales is willing to put money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing Portland’s extreme lack of trail riding opportunities.

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For ninth edition of Bike There map, Metro chops print price to $6

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:07 am

Bikethere2015CoverLoRes_Metro
Cover of the new map.

The definitive regional bike map has been updated with lots of new routes and a significant price cut.

Metro’s Bike There! map, published since 1982, will release its ninth edition next month in the first update since 2010. There’s a lot to keep up with: the number of mapped bike routes in the Oregon side of the Portland metro area has shot up 71 percent since 2010.

The current bike map shows 675 miles of on-street routes and 234 miles of off-street paths. For the new one, it’ll be 1,008 miles of on-street routes and 550 of off-street.

Also added to the new edition of the map, according to Metro (our regional government): “popular recreational off-road destinations where [users] can enjoy the area’s natural beauty.”

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Portland has mapped every reported traffic injury from 2004-13

Posted by on April 21st, 2015 at 4:01 pm

portland all modes map
Ten years of traffic injuries by car, foot and bike, mapped on the city’s Vision Zero site. Black-rimmed circles represent fatalities; larger circles represent multiple injuries or fatalities at the same spot.
(Click for interactive site)

Various organizations have tried their hand over the years at mapping Portland’s traffic-safety hot spots. Now, the city has created a map of its own.

It might be the best one yet.

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Guest post: What you can do to improve bicycling in Portland right now

Posted by on April 21st, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Utrecht study tour-9
Gerik Kransky, in brown.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Editor’s note: This post is from Gerik Kransky, advocacy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Last week was a big week for conversations among people who ride bikes, advocates, activists, media, and the general public. Everyone is talking about the petition to rescind Portland’s Platinum bicycle-friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists.

So what’s next? How do we push today to improve conditions for bicycling tomorrow? Here are five ideas for immediate action.

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On-bike air conditioning system and a periscope: Two things you didn’t know you needed

Posted by on April 21st, 2015 at 1:34 pm

spruzzabikeguy
Hit the Spruzza for a quick cool mist.

Here at BikePortland we get a fair amount of product pitches (especially since the advent of crowd-funding). Just when I think I’ve seen it all, something new pops up. Cases in point are two products that have found their way into our inbox in the past few weeks: A periscope and an on-board mister for your bicycle.

Yes, you read that right.

The Spruzza ($59) is described as, “an on-board cooling system that attaches quickly and easily to your bike. Spruzza ‘air-conditions’ by allowing you to spray just enough water to cover and cool your head, face and neck. The relief from the heat is immediate.”

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Industry Ticker: Cycle Dog launches jersey and Earth Day tube drive

Posted by on April 21st, 2015 at 12:01 pm

cycledog

Portland-based Cycle Dog has found success by combining two things local love: bikes and dogs. The six year old company has a retail store and sewing shop in northwest and their products are found in hundreds of stores across the country.

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City files motion to dismiss River View land use case

Posted by on April 21st, 2015 at 10:11 am

Riding and working at Riverview property-3
Photo taken in August 2012,
before biking was illegal.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland says the State Land Use Board of Appeals has no jurisdiction over its decision to prohibit bicycling on trails at River View Natural Area.

In a “motion to dismiss” filed on April 13th (which we obtained through a public records request, PDF here), Chief Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Beaumont argues that Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish acted within their “managerial discretion” when they informed the community via a letter on March 2nd that bicycling would no longer be allowed on the 146 acre parcel.

The decision shocked riders and biking advocates. People have been riding the trails at River View for decades. And, following its purchase by the City of Portland in 2011, advocates were working in partnership with the Portland Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services bureaus on a management and trails plan under the assumption that bicycle trails would be allowed. The Northwest Trail Alliance, a Portland-based non-profit that builds, maintains and promotes off-road bike trails, responded by filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the State Land Use Board of Appeals on March 23rd.

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If climbing hills is so hard why are all these people smiling?

Posted by on April 20th, 2015 at 1:43 pm

ronde2
It hurts so good.
(Photos by Ken Luke)

Climbing very steep hills on bikes is hard. Most people dread them. But for some reason, hills are also a temptress to many riders. And somehow, they are also fun.

The proof is in the pictures.

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Project aims to improve safety at Springwater/Oaks Bottom intersection

Posted by on April 20th, 2015 at 10:40 am

Springwater path at Oaks Bottom-1
There will be a new stop sign for riders coming out of the Oaks Bottom path, which is on the left side in this photo. Parks will also add additional measures including paint striping on the Springwater that warns riders to slow down.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

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The Monday Roundup: Tampa’s ‘Bicycle Blitzkrieg,’ London’s bombsite races and more

Posted by on April 20th, 2015 at 10:13 am

alphonso
Alphonso King’s homebuilt bike was confiscated
by police who couldn’t believe he hadn’t stolen it.
(Screen grab from Tampa Bay Times)

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

“Bicycle Blitzkrieg”: A Tampa woman walking her bike home after cooking for an elderly neighbor, carrying a plate of fish and grits in her other hand, got a $51 ticket for not having a bike light. A 54-year-old man’s bike was confiscated because he couldn’t produce a receipt to prove it was his. A 56-year-old man was handcuffed for towing a borrowed lawnmower through a stop sign on his bike. They’re all part of the Tampa police department’s effort to “head off crime before it happens” by issuing thousands of bicycle-related infractions to black people.

Bikes vs. bombs: After World War II, London teens turned bomb-site ruins into low-rent velodromes. One man who’s still in the saddle tells the story.

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Summer stops by for a weekend, and Portland explodes with bikes

Posted by on April 19th, 2015 at 9:03 am

helmet
Hard to argue with.
(Photo from Yuriy Mikitchenko via Instagram)

One of the best things I did when I started writing for BikePortland a couple years ago was to use Tweetdeck to create a live feed of people in the Portland area who use the word “bike” or “bicycle” on their social media.

A day like Saturday really lights that list up. Here’s a sampling, roughly in chronological order through the day.

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