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It’s East Portland Week on BikePortland!

Posted by on June 9th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

SE 102nd in Gateway
NE 102nd in Gateway.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

In case you missed the few minor announcements, today is the kickoff of East Portland Week here on BikePortland. That means Michael and I are focusing our time and coverage on bike issues and news that impact people who ride bikes east of I-205 — and hoping to enlighten those of you who don’t.

Right now, we’re both working from the Starbucks on the corner of NE 102nd and Halsey (Gateway Town Center).

Why do this? Many reasons: For starters, both of us live in neighborhoods relatively close to downtown. This means that our mental mobility maps are much different than folks who live further out (in other words, our perspectives on bicycling are central-city centric). It also means that we don’t know as much about the roads, the people, and the issues in outer east Portland — which is a huge part of our city that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.


So, one reason we’re out here is to educate ourselves and thereby become better at our jobs (bringing you the best bike news possible). The other reason we’re here is to try and shine a light on the riding conditions, the people, and the projects that define biking in this part of the city.

East Portland HQ
Starbucks is providing our office
services today.

And yes, we realize it’s also Pedalpalooza right now. At first we thought maybe we should postpone east Portland week during this big festival of bike fun. But then we realized… That’s the whole point! After all, what’s it like for east Portlanders to try and participate in Pedalpalooza (and other bike events for that matter) — when most of the rides take place in closer-in neighborhoods?

It’s going to be a great week. Here are some of the stories we’re working on:

  • A ride-along with a local biking mom
  • A recap of Michael’s “Bizarro 122nd” Pedalpalooza ride (and other rides based in east Portland)
  • On-the-street interviews and photos of local bike riders
  • An interview with an east Portland activist
  • A closer look at the Gresham-Fairview Trail
  • A trek through the east Portland bike shop desert
  • An east Portland bike news roundup
  • And more!

This is the first time we’ve tried anything like this and we’re not exactly sure how it will go, please so bear with us as we try to make it come together. If you have something you’d like us to consider while we’re out here, or just want to share a thought about riding in east Portland, we’d love to hear it (we’re also looking for recommendations of good cafes/coffee places to work from). We’ll be posted updates and other notices all week on Twitter (@bikeportland), including a potential reader meet-up later in the week.

Stay tuned!


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  • Chris Smith June 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I nominate the Starbucks at the intersection of Capitol Highway and Barbur for your next remote week HQ!

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  • LK June 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Try the teriyaki at Ichi 15 next door to the Carl’s Junior…. delish.

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  • TOM June 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    NE 122nd & Halsey is THE worst intersection for right hooks and drivers turning across the crosswalks while you are transiting that I’ve ever experienced. Doesn’t seem to matter which corner.

    Rest of 122nd isn’t too bad.

    Occasional warning runners at Midland Library strobe crossing.
    Stark from 122 to Gresham is kinda rough.

    Burnside is like a private bike hiway ..wide bike lane and sparse one way vehicle traffic. My fave E/W route.

    have fun, I experience SE daily.

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    • ed June 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Agreed, other than that the bike lanes on Burnside out there can at times be a sea of broken glass. Seems some MAX riders just love to crash bottles along that route; though it could be motorists too most is close to MAX stops. I’ve had more flats along that than anywhere else besides HWY 30 out to Sauvie. Both seem routes where roadside maintenance is comparatively sub par.

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  • KM June 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I’d recommend checking out Park Place Cafe in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham (just a handful of blocks over from the Portland city boundary). Sadly its original community activist owner is no longer with the cafe, but rumor on the street is the new owners are trying to carry on her legacy of providing a community space. The cafe is located on SE 182nd Ave between Stark and Division.

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  • Matthew Rogers June 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Super neato idea! I ride over the Halsey bridge over 205 to get to Fred Meyer and WinCo fairly regularly. I missed the 122nd ride for a Cargo bike get-together.

    I’m pleasantly surprised being able to ride around there with bike lanes on most of the major streets.

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    • Reza June 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      That Halsey bridge is awful – some might even say “death-defying” – to ride on, especially at night. The lack of safe east-west connections north Burnside is truly embarrassing.

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  • Cora Potter June 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Want to test my new commute route home? I was thinking of riding home from 99th and Glisan sometime this week to check the traffic conditions.

    and THANK YOU for having an east Portland week!

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    • Hart Noecker June 10, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Rightfully so, to confine coverage of East Portland’s horrifying lack of bike/ped happy stuff is a bit a deal breaker. Honestly, who designated such an awfully short period of time to focus on the largest part of our city?

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 10, 2014 at 6:35 am

        We’re not confining anything. We always have and will still cover east portland whether it’s East Portland Week or not.

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  • Mike June 9, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    The city is about to rebuild 102nd from Glisan to Burnside. Huge project. New lighting, wider sidewalks, trees… the works! Apparently a rapid flash beacon will be added at the crosswalk where NE Davis St would be — except Davis isn’t a street there, it’s just a pedestrian path from 103rd. But a critical path it is — connecting all those streets (103rd-108th) for peds & bikes to get out to the MAX station. The city’s SE Portland Bike/Walk map indicates this short trail officially as a multi-use path. Which brings me to my point — I hope the new signs at the crosswalk are the “ped/bike” symbol sign, instead of just the “ped” symbol sign. The “ped/bike” symbol is a clear statement to motorists that, yes, bikes SHOULD be crossing here. I see bicyclists coming out of the Davis trail every morning and across that crosswalk to head southbound on 102, then west inbound on Burnside.

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  • kiel johnson June 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    what is the most biked street in east portland? holgate? how about an update on the holgate buffered bike lane to no where?

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    • fred nilsen June 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I bike Holgate from I-205 out to 122nd then South to Leach Garden with some regularity. I know that just working for me, doesn’t help all, but it is a start.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      That’s actually on our story list right now Kiel. Watch for it on Wednesday or Thursday.

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  • Adam June 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Can you look into the poor sightlines/blind corners on the 205 Multiuse path? Specifically where the path turns at the south side of Burnside. The noise wall there makes it a completely blind corner. Another problem location are the hedges at around Main St., right when the path curves at the multiuse bridge that goes across the freeway to get to the Mall 205/Main Max stop. I have personally seen one collision at this location, and many barely avoided collisions at both. Is there anything ODOT or PDOT can do to make these locations safer? These aren’t deadly locations, but I feel like multiuse paths should be held to a higher safety/comfort standard. I feel more anxious at these locations than biking on Burnsides narrow bike lanes in the 72nd to 82nd area. Thanks.

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    • Jessica Horning June 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Adam,

      I’ll bring up the hedges with our maintenance crew, but could you please also copy your comment into an email to:

      Ask.ODOT@odot.state.or.us

      That’s the best way to get improvements like this on ODOT’s radar (and we’re required to provide a response within 5 business days).

      Thanks!

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  • Rob Chapman June 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    As someone who lives in close-in North Portland I’m looking forward to this series. It should be an education, thanks for doing it.

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  • Sue June 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hooray! I’m in year two of my year-round, 25 mile round trip, five day a week commute from Woodstock to NE 185th and Sandy. I commuted from Woodstock downtown and to Albina for a number of years and east Portland is a completely different world. For the most part it’s made me distance myself from the Portland bike scene because I’ve grown tired of listening to people complain about what seems like minor inconveniences when there is so much lacking in a really large part of Portland. Kudos.

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    • Todd Hudson June 10, 2014 at 6:37 am

      Inner Portland: “Why can’t we have infrastructure like Amsterdam?”

      East Portland: “Why can’t we have infrastructure like inner Portland?”

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      • davemess June 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

        I’d change it to
        The Rest of Portland: “Why can’t we have infrastructure like inner Portland”

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        • jocko June 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

          Its the 205 path or in my hood Bush st.

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  • Buzz June 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve seen more cyclists out in the Columbia Corridor (~NE 82nd to NE 223rd, Marine Drive to Sandy Blvd) in the past few years than in the whole previous decade.

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  • Patrick Barber June 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    This is a great idea! We used to commute to Zenger Farm (SE Foster @ 117th) on the regular… we had a complicated but pleasant route, mostly on neighborhood streets except when we had to cross big intersections. All of our places to stop and eat were more like 50s-70s though. Arleta Library Cafe was really good and a nice place to hang out, not sure if it is still there, it was at 72nd and Harold. Toast in Woodstock is awesome, but that’s practically downtown. Mt Scott Community Center has a water slide!

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    • davemess June 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Yes Arleta Library is still there. And still great! Wish they were open for dinner we need a few good dinner restaurants in the area.

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  • davemess June 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Not to nitpick, but “East Portland” is also west of 205 for parts of the city (like Lents, etc.). Also Brentwood-Darlington was once considered part of “East Portland”, due to it similar lack of infrastructure and more recent annexation history.

    But this is a great idea! Thanks for doing it.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Jayson June 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    What about a primer on east portland demographic trends? who’s moving there and why? I can speculate, but I don’t actually know. perhaps bike infrastructure should be considerate of those things? I’ve occasionally dabbled in the east portland action plan updates through email. Perhaps check with Lori who helps coordinate that effort?

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  • BIKELEPTIC June 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    yay! You’re talking about my neighborhood! We’ll be all primed up for the Rocky Butte Sunset Ride!

    I love Hancock Park at 90th and Tillamook (there’s also a free book sidewalk library just off of that corner too) and if you get hungry riding around checking out the neighborhood there’s a great thai place on 104th and Halsey or El Indio on 122nd and Halsey.

    Don’t forget to mention the Gateway Green stuff that Lumberyard and Friends of Trees are all collabing on!!

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  • TOM June 10, 2014 at 6:53 am

    you should give the 205 MUP a try , at least from Halsey to CTC.

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    • Spiffy June 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

      the I-205 MUP is so unfriendly that I try to avoid it most of the time… unfortunately it’s the best North-South route in the area… fortunately I can hop on MAX instead…

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      • davemess June 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

        ??? I’m confused by this, 205 path is easily one of the most direct North-South routes in the city. Sure there are a few sketchy intersections (and a couple are described above) and it would be nice to have more underpasses like the new one at Division, but it is by far one of the best routes in the area.
        The Southern part of 205 path (south Burnside) is pretty great, with minimal crossings for much of it.

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        • Sue June 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

          I don’t ride the 205 path after dark. The last time I did I was forced to stop by a group of men blocking the path. They didn’t seem to want anything in particular, but it scared me enough to decide that streets with lights and cars felt safer.

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          • davemess June 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm

            I’m sorry that happened to you. I’ve ridden the path a bunch at night and haven’t had any problems, but being a guy, that’s not something that I think about that often.

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    • Mike June 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      I use the MUP all the time & quite enjoy it, but the MUP crossing at Glisan is horrible. I had heard years ago it was slated to be fixed/improved at that spot, but nothing has been done. And I do mean NOTHING. If anyone knows when the MUP trail at Glisan is going to be addressed, I would love to know. Seems like some new signage & street markings could be done in the meantime if there’s no money now for a “real” fix.

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      • GlowBoy June 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm

        I used to ride that MUP regularly back in the late 90s when I worked out on east Sandy. I don’t specifically remember problems at the Glisan crossing anymore, but my wary 2014 eye pictures massive conflicts with right-turning vehicles entering and leaving the freeway. Not unlike the Sunset MUP crossing of Skyline/Scholls Ferry, but probably a lot worse due to much higher volumes.

        What I do remember is the MUP’s craptacular crossing of Burnside and the MAX tracks. Doesn’t look like they’ve improved that either.

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        • davemess June 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm

          I have very little issue with Burnside. Just have to make sure that no MAX trains are coming (from either way). I usually just take the street there (whatever it is, NE 99th?) instead of the path for the couple of blocks to Glisan. Glisan is just bad though. Bad pavement, huge traffic counts (at all hours of the day), right next to an on and off ramp, and it’s a jog to get over to it. That and Killingsworth are easily the worst intersections on the entire path.

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  • Spiffy June 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I tried crossing streets at unsignaled intersections around Mall 205 last week… it’s was extremely frustrating and disappointing… people were swerving around me into the other lanes so that they wouldn’t have to stop or slow down for me to cross the street…

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  • paikiala June 10, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Don’t forget to mention the east portland projects that are on the books and awaiting Federal funding. The public process for those will need lots of local cyclists to participate so the projects will be the best they can be. An update on where they are and when they might start would be good.

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  • lore wintergreen June 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    So glad you are giving this attention to East Portland! The East Portland Action Plan produced an Economic Development Strategy in 2012 that has demographic information and is posted on the documents page of http://www.eastportlandacitonplan.org. Also posted is a 2010 demographics report from the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability. More current equity reports reflecting service and spending comparisons are posted there as well. But for fun and good food, I suggest visiting: the pump track at Ventura Park and today I am going to Bora Bora Tacos on Division at SE 158th (I love the salsa and hot sauce, people rave about the grilled chicken, and they make vegan tacos). EPAPbike meets 4th Tuesday at 6:30 at Muchas Gracias on 102nd. Jim and Brian are the direct contacts: jmchasse@q.com or obscureworld@gmail.com.

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