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The story behind the new Portland Police Bureau Bicycle Theft Task Force

Posted by on February 26th, 2015 at 2:27 pm

bttflogo
Rough version of new logo.

By now you might have heard that the Bike Theft Task Force we’ve been working on since mid-October was launched today. Well, sort of.

The Portland Police Bureau sent out a media advisory about a press conference to announce the initiative, but then the event was cancelled this morning. What the heck it going on you ask? Here’s the deal…

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Advertise with BikePortland.

What would bike-friendly auto parking reform look like? Seven ideas

Posted by on February 26th, 2015 at 12:26 pm

7488005252_da5d66ae49_z
Squeezed on Northeast Alberta Street.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

As the City of Portland continues public meetings with its two massive parking reform committees, most attention has been on parking prices: how much permits and meters should cost and how the money should be spent.

But another issue has, so far, mostly escaped notice: The many ways that parking spaces can conflict with biking improvements.

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Biking would win big under Oregon Climate carbon tax plan

Posted by on February 26th, 2015 at 11:27 am

A new advocacy group is angling for Oregon to use its moment as one of the only fully Democratic-controlled state governments in the country and pass the country’s first statewide carbon tax.

The group, called Oregon Climate, is pushing a concept called “tax and dividend”: instead of sending the proceeds into government coffers, all of the revenue collected from wholesale fossil-fuel transactions — gasoline to a distributor, coal to a power plant, and so on — would be pooled and divided evenly among Oregonians in the form of checks worth an estimated $500 to $1500 per year.

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Join us for Blazer Bike Night on Wednesday, April 8th

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Blazer Bike Night I - 2014-4
This could be you! We’ll be flying the Trail Blazers flag once again on April 8th.

If you missed our last Blazer Bike Night back in November, you have a chance to redeem yourself next month.

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Skyline Tavern set for rebirth as legit bike riders’ hang-out

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 at 11:11 am

skyline
Things are looking up for the old and worn-down Skyline Tavern.
(Photo: Google Maps)

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Six reasons London is going big for biking, and how Portland could follow

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 at 10:00 am

superhighway
Future plans for W Burnside? Nope. This streetscape is coming to London. They’re about to embark on one of the biggest municipal bicycling investments in the history of the world.
(Image: Transport for London)

London is making it happen.

“It dwarfs any equivalent program, certainly in the UK, probably anywhere in Western Europe.”
— Ben Plowden on London’s new $1.4 billion biking program

The last time he visited Portland, in 2003, Ben Plowden was several years into a job as the first full-time director of Living Streets, a small walking advocacy group. The city he worked in, London, had recently created a new regional government.

When Plowden returned to Portland last week, it was as the London regional government’s top surface transportation official – and he was here to explain how and why the region has just approved a $1.4 billion investment in biking over the next decade.

If spent as planned, Plowden said it’ll be one of the biggest municipal investments in cycling in the history of the world.

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Washington County will install bike fix-it stations at five locations

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 at 9:08 am

bike repair station
A Bike Fixation stand in action.
(Photo: Bike Fixtation)

The county to Portland’s west is upgrading the bike-friendliness of five of its public buildings with an amenity that’s becoming almost common in the area: self-service bike repair stations.

It’s a benefit to employees and, presumably, anyone else who might get to these Washington County locations on a bike.

County sustainability coordinator Robin Straughan wrote in an email to workers this week that the stations “will be installed this winter/spring.”

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Bike lane art honors late Blazers star Jerome Kersey

Posted by on February 25th, 2015 at 12:15 am

Jerome Kersey, the local basketball hero who died last week at age 52, has been granted one of Portland’s highest honors:

Kersey bike lane
The Jerome Kersey Bike Lane outside the Moda Center on NE Multnomah Blvd.
(Photo J Maus/BikePortlnd)

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PBOT looks to hire ‘high profile’ Equity and Inclusion Manager

Posted by on February 24th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Bike to School Day in NoPo-13
Making sure school investments are fairly
distributed is a big part of PBOT’s equity strategy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has taken a major step toward being a more inclusive agency with the announcement today that they’re recruiting for a new position: Equity and Inclusion Manager.

The agency will pay over $107,000 for the right “change agent” they hope will fill a “high profile within the Bureau,” and, “make decisions impacting all areas and functions” of the 750 person bureau.

Equity is a major initiative not just within PBOT but across city bureaus. The Portland Police Bureau hired their first-ever equity and diversity manager just last month. City initiative or not, PBOT has focused on equity for many years now and the effort has found new life as a priority for Director Leah Treat.

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Multiple people assaulted by ‘unstable’ man on Eastbank Esplanade

Posted by on February 24th, 2015 at 11:07 am

high water on willamette-4-3
The incidents happened just north of this location.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A reader has shared a disturbing incident that took place while he was riding his bicycle on the Eastbank Esplanade before sunrise this morning.

According to Jeff B., at around 6:15 am he was thrown off his bike while riding southbound on the floating portion of the Esplanade just north of the Burnside Bridge. In an email to BikePortland, Jeff described what happened:

“A man hit me with what appeared to be a car antenna and checked me into the railing. At first I thought he was just messing with me and taking a step towards me to scare me, but that wasn’t the case. I was going about 20 mph and went down hard, even shattering my helmet.”

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Advocates mount effort to keep transportation hierarchy in city policy

Posted by on February 24th, 2015 at 9:35 am

green hierarchy
Created in 2009 for the city’s Climate Action Plan, it’s
maybe the city’s single most progressive statement of
transportation policy.

The City of Portland says (PDF) its new 20-year comprehensive plan is informed by three city documents that created a prioritized ranking for transportation needs.

But it’s an open question whether the “green transportation hierarchy,” as it’s been known since its creation in 2009, will be fully enshrined in the 20-year comprehensive plan as it previously was in the Sam Adams-era Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Plan for 2030 and Portland Plan.

Members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee are making it one of their top requests to the city to keep the chart in place and intact.

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Regional Safe Routes program is one of many winners from Metro grants

Posted by on February 23rd, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Mayor Adams at Safe Routes to School ride-2
A Safe Routes to School event in Portland, 2010.
Other cities will get regional funding
for the programs thanks to new Metro grants.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With the federal government’s support for early biking education shrinking, the Portland area’s regional government is making a significant investment.

Safe Routes to School programs in Tigard, Beaverton and across the region are among the winners of $2.1 million in Metro grants announced Monday. Other highlights include a new active transportation staffer for Portland Community College, a bicycle tourism initiative in the Gresham area and continued support for the City of Portland’s marketing of biking, walking and public transit.

The $2.1 million in two-year grants were chosen from among $4.6 million requested by various nonprofits and government agencies around the region.

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Rare, $20,000 Specialized-McLaren road bike sold at local shop

Posted by on February 23rd, 2015 at 1:11 pm

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The lean and mean S-Works McLaren in southeast Portland last week.
(Photo: River City Bicycles)

It’s not every day that a local shop builds up a $20,000 bike that was made in collaboration with a legendary auto racing company.

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Industry Ticker: Zen Bicycle Fabrication launches in-house brand

Posted by on February 23rd, 2015 at 12:33 pm

zen-all5-lead
The full line-up from ZEN Bike Co.

Zen Bicycle Fabrication, a bike frame manufacturer based in north Portland, has launched an in-house brand of bicycles under the Zen Bike Co. label.

Zen launched back in October 2011 and has found a niche for themselves by making production runs of frames for many other brands.

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The Monday Roundup: Automatic lifesaving, handlebar cams and more

Posted by on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:08 am

jaguar
The driver might not see, but the car does.
(Image: Jaguar)

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

Automatic lifesaving: Street-scanning, self-braking technology is already saving lives. So why isn’t it required in every car yet?

Handlebar cam: The Fly12 is a combination headlight/video camera.

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Swan Island transportation group may shut doors after Metro funding shifts

Posted by on February 21st, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Daimler bike shelter opening-22
    Swan Island TMA Executive Director Sarah Angell cuts the ribbon in 2013 on a bike parking facility at Daimler Trucks North America. A Metro committee has recommended cutting funding for Angell’s 15-year-old advocacy and education organization.
    (Photos: J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)

    The densest major industrial park in Portland seems likely to lose its tiny transportation advocacy organization after a proposed funding shift from the Metro regional government.

    The Swan Island Transportation Management Association currently relies on Metro for 59 percent of its revenue, with businesses based in the North Portland industrial park providing the remainder. In a round of grants announced Friday, Metro cut all its funding for the Swan Island TMA as well as for the similar organizations in the Lloyd District and Washington Park.

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Comment of the Week: A definitive wishlist for Portland’s bridges

Posted by on February 20th, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Last (and cold) sunrise of 2010-5
The Burnside’s bike lanes are OK;
it’s the landings that hold it back.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

From afar, Portland’s bridges are civic treasures. Up close, they’re little slices of rural highway in the middle of the most beautiful part of the city.

To its credit, Multnomah County asked for ways to change this, and this week BikePortland readers certainly delivered — none more comprehensively and persuasively than reader MaxD, whose Tuesday morning comment on the subject picked up on points raised by many other readers.

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Amtrak’s trains keep getting bike-friendlier, but its buses aren’t keeping up

Posted by on February 20th, 2015 at 12:36 pm

bikes on Amtrak bus
It’s sometimes possible to talk bikes onto an Amtrak
bus, but the variety of contractors is an obstacle.
(Photo: Mark Hogan)

As Amtrak invests in improving its trains to carry bikes, some customers are warning that Amtrak’s buses are falling behind.

The Amtrak Cascades line, between Eugene and Vancouver BC, is both one of the most-ridden regional rail lines in the country and maybe the bike-friendliest. For $5 on top of your fare, you can easily check an unboxed bike to most stops on the line and reclaim it like any other bit of luggage.

The service has been so popular that the hooks in Amtrak’s baggage cars started filling up. So two years ago, the Cascades added more hooks, boosting its bike capacity by 67 percent.

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Weekend Event Guide: Dropout, trail work, time trial and more

Posted by on February 20th, 2015 at 8:19 am

Splash Dance Ride
Tall bikes are for everyone. Ride with freak bikes and the people who love them at the Dropout Bike Club ride tonight.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

Looks like we’ve got another weekend of stellar weather ahead. Might as well take advantage of it with a bike ride right?

If you don’t already have something planned, perhaps we can entice you to one of the rides below. Whatever you do, have a great weekend!

Friday, February 20th

Dropout Bicycle Club Ride – 9:00 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE 20th & Belmont)
Join the Dropouts for their monthly “freakbike social ride.” Show off your latest creation and/or check out what other two-wheeled creations other people have dreamed up. The ride will go late and you will have fun and/or an adventure. More info here.

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Don’t let a state gas tax hike go straight into more freeways, activist warns

Posted by on February 20th, 2015 at 8:09 am

traffic on i-5 -1
If you build it…
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Thursday on the political blog BlueOregon, veteran Portland transportation wonk Ron Buel warned Oregonians eager for a gas tax hike to be careful what they wish for.

Though there’s almost universal consensus among Oregon Democrats that human-caused global warming is a catastrophic threat to the state, Buel writes that

It’s also an article of Democratic Party faith in Oregon that our highway infrastructure needs to be built out at breakneck speed in order to deal with growing congestion on the state’s highways, so that our economy can thrive. The annual Oregon Business Summit, held earlier this year, attended by thousands of businessmen, and capturing our leading politicians of both parties to speak there, recently proclaimed this congestion as the state’s number one issue. The Democratic Party in Oregon seems led by the nose by unions who also love that argument, including particularly the building trades and the AFL-CIO, who are dying for these local union highway construction jobs that used to be so numerous but have virtually disappeared as people drive less and drive vehicles that use less gas per mile.

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