Archive for June, 2008

Updated: Cars create (temporarily) carfree Last Thursday

Monday, June 30th, 2008

[Updated at 8:02pm on 6/30 — see end of story.]

Two cars created a carfree zone
on Alberta Thursday night.
More images
(Photo: Stephen Upchurch)

In a brilliantly ironic bit of activism, two strategically placed cars helped created a three-block stretch of carfree streets during last week’s Last Thursday event on Alberta Street.

The event was first reported by Stephen Upchurch, who shared what he saw on the Shift email list.


Trucks now rolling with side underrun guards

Monday, June 30th, 2008
A City of Portland tanker truck with new side underrun guard.
More images
(Photos © J. Maus)


Portland won’t give up on bike-share system

Monday, June 30th, 2008

“There are a lot of [bike-sharing] systems out there and we really want to pick the best model.”
–Shoshanah Oppenheim, transportation policy aide for Commissioner Adams

With the announcement last week that the City of Portland has canceled their search for a bike-sharing vendor, some are wondering what’s next in Portland’s public-bike future.

Far from giving up on the idea, Commissioner Sam Adams’ office says just they’re taking a new approach.


Blumenauer unveils his ‘Gas Price Relief Act of 2008’

Monday, June 30th, 2008
Blumenauer unveils Gas Price Relief Act-2.jpg
Rep. Blumenauer at this
morning’s press conference.
Video below
(Photos © J. Maus)

Ending speculation since the announcement on Friday, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer was in Portland this morning (sans bowtie) to deliver some “straight talk” about energy policy and unveil a bill that will help cure America’s ailing transportation policies.

Expensive oil and gas prices, he said, “has exposed the vulnerabilities of American families to what President Bush famously said was an addiction to oil.”

Standing next to a chart that showed American households living near public transportation services save over $6,000 per year (over those who don’t), Blumenauer introduced his Transportation and Housing Options for Gas Price Relief Act of 2008 (download summary of bill — PDF).


Slideshow: Sun and fun at MCBF

Monday, June 30th, 2008
Mult Co Bike Fair (MCBF)-47.jpg
Scott Nowicki displays
his style and skill.
Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

Those who were brave enough to confront the freakishly hot weather at the Multnomah County Bike Fair on Saturday, were rewarded with a fun and fitting end to Pedalpalooza.

While some were happy to enjoy the two-wheeled ambiance with a nap in the shade, others carried on in the grand MCBF tradition of beer, bikes, dancing, and, like the sign says, “All bike fun, all the time.”

After perusing the expo for a cheap helmet, a free bike tune-up, a cap by Shaun Deller, or a cool, pedal-powered smoothie, most folks ended up watching (or being part of) the bike action.


Weekend open thread: Share your bike fun

Saturday, June 28th, 2008
Bike Kiss-in-5.jpg
Ahhh, summertime in Portland
(Photo © J. Maus)

The big Multnomah County Bike Fair is happening today at Colonel Summers Park (SE 17th Ave & Belmont). Will you be there?

There’s also a benefit silent auction of photographs from the Cycle Seen exhibition. It’s at the SE Division location of Stumptown Coffee (4525 SE Division) and the proceeds go to the Bikes to Rwanda organization.

And how about the Livestrong Ride? I’d love to hear a little report on how that went.

Share your bike adventures in the comments below, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

TriMet clarifies why they required riders with bikes to disembark

Friday, June 27th, 2008

“At rush hour, expecting to board a train with a bike is a less dependable option than locking a bike at both ends of the trip, bringing on a folding bike, or traveling at a different time.”
–Colin Maher, TriMet

TriMet’s bike programs manager Colin Maher has taken the time to look into the incident that I reported on earlier today. After his investigation of reports from Fare Inspectors at the scene, he has clarified what happened.

Unlike I reported (which was based on a post on Trimetiquette), he says what I referred to as TriMet’s contracted security personnel were actually uniformed TriMet Fare Inspectors.

Maher says the inspectors encountered a standing-room only MAX train at Willow Creek Transit Center “on which passengers with bikes were blocking aisles and/or doors.” He goes on to say that the hooks were full and that “three and four” bikes were in one priority seating area (which is against TriMet policy).


TriMet security still saying, ‘No hook, no ride’

Friday, June 27th, 2008

[UPDATE: Please see this story (posted at 5:35pm) for TriMet’s clarification of this incident.]

bikes on max-1
(Photo © J. Maus)

After over a year, and following clarifications from TriMet staff, their contracted security personnel are still allegedly telling some people that they cannot board a MAX train unless a hook is available.

Back in April of 2007, I shared reports from readers that were incorrectly told that they could not bring their bikes on board because there was no hook available.

In that story, TriMet strategic planner Eric Hesse said the security staff was not properly enforcing TriMet policy. He clarified with me that “there is no specific requirement that a bike hook be available,” and added that, “we have clarified this point with our inspectors and expect no further issues in this regard.”


Blumenauer will announce gas price relief proposal in Portland

Friday, June 27th, 2008
Summit Day 2 - the Opening session-4.jpg
What sort of mystery legislation
does Mr. Blumenauer have up
his sleeve?.
(Photo © J. Maus)

On Monday morning, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer will be in Portland to announce legislation that he says will provide immediate relief from high gas prices.

A statement issued today from Blumenauer’s office says that, “Although there is no silver bullet for solving the energy crisis, Portland and the metro region have led the way in providing innovative and cost effective methods for helping people deal with the rising costs of gas.”

Specifics of the bill won’t be revealed until Monday’s event, but the statement says it will take ideas from Portland even further by having the federal government, “invest in communities instead of gas tanks,” and that it will, “provide consumers with housing and transportation options.”


“Bike box!”; Streetfilms points lens on Portland’s green space

Friday, June 27th, 2008
Bike box. Get it?
(Photo: Movie still)
(Watch video below.)

Clarence Eckerson Jr., that intrepid auteur with New York City-based Streetfilms, just posted another one of the films he made during his recent visit to Portland.

Eckerson is the man behind the Sunday Parkways video I posted Tuesday (that film has already been viewed nearly 4,000 times).