Learn about the natural areas that border the Springwater Trail on Sunday’s Johnson Creek Days ride. (Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)
Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.
Last night I rode through a patch of fallen leaves. And I’m sure you felt that wet stuff falling from the sky this morning… What’s going on? Yes, the season is changing; but your choices for having fun on bikes is as strong as ever.
From educational forays on our region’s best bicycle routes to a simple, yet powerful, way to entice you to try riding into work the first time, this weekend has a lot to offer.
Just north of Forest Park in northwest Portland lies 1,300 undeveloped acres spread across four separate properties. The land, which was historically a logging area and can be currently accessed from either Skyline or McNamee roads, is owned by Metro and is known as the North Tualatin Mountains natural area.
Metro is embarking on a planning process to figure out what to do on the land and there’s a great opportunity to include bicycle access in the equation. Advocates have been fighting for years to improve bike access in Forest Park but have made frustratingly slow progress.
The Tualatin Mountains natural area offers a fresh start and a new political context since it’s under Metro jurisdiction and not managed by the City of Portland (the current Parks Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, has all but shelved the Forest Park debate calling for “a citywide Master Plan for cycling recreation… prior to embarking on individual projects.”).
Kathy Goss (Photo: Kathy Goss for Oregon/Facebook)
Should the Oregon Department of Transportation stop paying its staff to work on bike lanes and trails in order to save money? That’s what Kathy Goss, a candidate running for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives, thinks.
During a debate with her challenger Paul Evans (Democrat) last week, Goss, a Republican, expressed that idea during a discussion about how ODOT might trim its human resources budget. Her comments were reported by the Salem-based Statesman Journal. Here’s an excerpt from their article published September 5th:
Source: Census American Community Survey. Chart by BikePortland.
Is America’s latest bike boom coming to an end? Or is it just moving to different cities?
2013 Census estimates released Thursday show the big cities that led the bike spike of the 2000s — Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and, most of all, Portland — all failing to make meaningful changes to their commuting patterns for three years or more.
Meanwhile, the same figures show a new set of cities rising fast — first among them Washington DC.
The path in Waterfront Park is no place to be riding fast. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland
With the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge in full swing and warmer than usual weather sticking around, there’s a lot of bike traffic in and around downtown Portland these days. Especially on the Waterfront Park path, which is also popular with joggers, tourists, walkers, and lots of other types of users.
Concerns about unsafe passing and crowded conditions have spurred the Portland Parks Bureau to partner with the Bureau of Transportation to install signs encouraging faster bike riders to use Naito Parkway and all others to ride slowly and use caution when the path is crowded. They’re calling the path a “Pedestrian Priority Zone.”
Some road users go out of their way (and beyond the law) to be “nice.” Being nice isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it involves giving somebody a break, or allowing a successful traffic merge; but other times — such as when a driver waves another driver through stopped traffic — there can be disastrous consequences.
When road users go out of their way to accommodate others when there is no legal authority for doing so, it creates real trouble later if someone gets hurt as a result of their “nice” gesture. In this column, I’ll go over some common scenarios where being what you think is good can actually be very bad.
Pledging to drive without distractions, from left to right: Senate Democratic Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland), Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem), AT&T Oregon President George Granger, House Democratic Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene), House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte), Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D-Portland), Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli. (Photo: AT&T)
Distracted driving is one of the largest public health crises in America today, and Oregon is not immune to its impacts. According to ODOT crash data, 93 people died on Oregon roads between 2006 and 2011 and there were over 18,000 collisions due to distracted driving. If you like to ride a bike, this issue is of immense importance given that you ride just a few feet away from people driving multi-ton steel vehicles.
Yesterday at the state capitol in Salem, legislators attended an event to raise awareness of the issue and even Governor Kitzhaber has gotten involved by declaring this coming Friday, September 19th, “Distraction-Free Driving Day” in Oregon.
When I headed to Pittsburgh last week to join the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference for my other gig, I was telling people that “the Paris of Appalachia” (as its mayor likes to call it) is the city that my hometown, Toledo, Ohio, wishes it could be.
Three days later, I started telling people it was the city that Portland wishes it could be, too.
Pittsburgh obviously isn’t as bikeable as Portland, though it’s coming along. But almost everything else about the city measures up.
Entler is the general manager of Radio Cab, the city’s oldest and largest taxi company and the only one operated as a collective by its drivers. After talking to the regional manager for Uber, which now operates in almost every major U.S. city except Portland, we sat down with Entler for a frank discussion about the taxi business and what it feels like to watch a startup willfully ignore a set of regulations he’s spent decades navigating and helping create.
Bottleneck at Alpenrose (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland’s preeminent cyclocross race series, the Cross Crusade, has announced some big changes for its 21st season that kicks off on Saturday, October 11th at the Alpenrose Dairy in Portland’s southwest hills.
Collisions between bike riders and car drivers are not uncommon. What is uncommon however, is the level of civility displayed by reader Ben Koker after he was thrown to the ground following a slow-speed collision with a man driving a Lexus SUV earlier this month.
Thankfully, Koker was not seriously hurt. And he also happened to capture the entire incident on video thanks to his helmet-mounted camera.
The collision happened in the intersection of Main Street and 10th in downtown Oregon City. Koker was heading southbound on Main toward the four-way stop at 10th. After stopping and thinking it was safe to go, Koker was hit by the SUV driver from his right. The driver failed to stop at the stop sign.
From southern Oregon to the Columbia River Gorge, local governments, agencies, and non-profit groups are jumping on board the biking bandwagon and working hard to develop their natural assets into cycling destinations. This latest round of grants were aimed specifically at advancing projects that “improve local economies and communities by enhancing, expanding, and promoting Oregon’s travel and tourism industry.”
We asked Travel Oregon for details on all five bike projects. As you can see below, there are exciting things afoot for cycling all across the state!
Here are brief descriptions of the projects (taken directly from Travel Oregon grant applications):
We’ve been watching these trends closely because services like Uber are already having a huge impact on low-car life in other cities. Last week, I met a young Chicagoan who gets around by bicycle in nice weather but said she’s spent $2,000 on Uber this year for foul-weather commuting and late-night rides home; two years ago, she probably would have bought her own car by now and started using it for most trips.
The Salmonberry Corridor project is moving ahead with as much steam as the Southern Pacific railroad cars that used to rumble through it in the early 1900s.
The project aims to re-open the derelict, 86-mile rail corridor to recreational use. When complete, it will connect the existing Banks-Vernonia rail-trail with the city of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast via a combination of paved and natural surface paths. Amazing huh?
What happened when Rebecca lined up for her first race? (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
I never intended to do a cyclocross race.
I’d been to a race before, several years ago when a roommate was competing at Barton Park. But the actual racing part of the affair was entirely lost on me as I happily settled into what I assumed was the True Meaning of Cyclocross: drinking beer under a tent, with the faint sound of cowbells clanging in the distance and the occasional blur of muddy spandex warriors providing momentary yet unimportant distractions from the rotation of hot dogs on the grill.
Racing myself seemed entirely out of the question. My position in the bicycle world has always been firmly ensconced in the advocacy and bike-fun camps. My bike-related skills consist of dressing up like David Bowie for Pedalpalooza and sending indignant tweets to @PBOTinfo about drivers parked in the bike lane.
But then this beautiful new bicycle came into my life: a Creamsicle-colored All-City Macho Man with disc brakes and internal top tube cable routing, built for adventure. The first day I rode it to the office, my boss (and avid racer) Todd took one look and said, “Oh, you got a cross bike!”
PGE Work will close the Springwater in Gresham in October. Check out the official details below: Gresham was notified recently that PGE will be closing a portion of the Springwater Trail as they replace insulators on their transmission lines. The closures will take place October 6 through October 10 and will run from 8 a.m. Read More »
Two issues to be aware of on some popular rural roads around the region: Construction up near Mt. Hood will mean major truck traffic on Lolo Pass Road and others in the Zig Zag area; and on the other side of region, Washington County will be paving some key biking roads. See the official notices Read More »
Cool volunteer opp with Oregon Parks & Rec: OPRD is organizing cyclist user counts along the Tualatin and Willamette Valley Bikeways and we need volunteers to help with the counts. User count data will be collected on August 16 and 17. We are looking for volunteers to sign up for two hour slots to count Read More »