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About Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

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Jonathan Maus is the publisher and editor-in-chief of BikePortland.org.

You can reach him via email at jonathan [at] bikeportland [dot] org. If you have an urgent matter, please use our 24HR Tipline - (503) 706-8804.


Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) Post Archive

In case you read about us in the NW Examiner this month…

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Right now in the “Drafts” folder of this blog’s backend there are 303 unpublished stories. One of them is titled, “The Friday Profile: Allan Classen, the ‘fearless’ voice of northwest Portland.”

And right now on newsstands throughout northwest Portland is the January issue of the NW Examiner, the paper that has Classen’s name atop the masthead. And on page three of that issue is the monthly “Editor’s Turn” column where he takes issue with BikePortland for not publishing that story.

There are a few things Classen got right in his column; but unfortunately everyone who reads it is now mostly misinformed. That’s because it’s based on assumptions about our editorial motives which are simply wrong.

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Metro hits pause after crime fears fuel Gresham’s opposition to 40-Mile Loop trail project

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.

The City of Gresham is more worried about the potential impacts of illegal camping along a path than they are about the benefits of closing a major gap in the 40-Mile Loop.

After Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis* announced his opposition to the Troutdale to Gresham Master Plan last week, Metro has decided to postpone a scheduled planning meeting for the project and they will not move forward with planning in Gresham. The news was first reported by the Gresham Outlook.

“While I have always been a fan of recreational amenities and I enjoy running regularly on the trail, I cannot in good conscience support this proposal at this point in time,” Bemis shared on his Facebook page last week. “There are far too many chronic issues currently extending along the entire trail alignment.”

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Bike Gallery moving Woodstock store to Westmoreland

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Bike Gallery will move into this space on SE Milwaukie Blvd by the end of the month.

Bike Gallery plans to close their Woodstock location and re-open in Westmoreland.

Bike Gallery Partner Kelly Aicher said the reason for the move is that rent had doubled. The store at 4235 SE Woodstock first opened 12 years ago and the location had been a bike shop for over 40 years prior. “We are sad to leave a spot that has been a bike shop for over 50 Years,” Aicher shared with us in an email today.

The new location will be 6717 SE Milwaukie Avenue. It’s just 1.5 miles west of the Woodstock store and Aicher says it will be much larger. Not only will their be moire room for products and service but it’s right across the street from Laurelwood Brewing and Moreland Theater, so you’ll have plenty of excuses to linger.

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This simple bill will make it easier for cities across Oregon to lower speed limits

Thursday, January 12th, 2017
New 20 MPH Sign

Cities know best.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Interstates and urban highways are one thing; but why should the State of Oregon be able to tell cities and counties how to set speed limits on local streets?

It’s a question that has irked City of Portland transportation officials for many years and one that has grown in importance as Vision Zero has emerged as a top priority. Speeding is the top factor that determines whether someone lives or dies in a traffic collision, so it’s no surprise that cities want to do everything they can to keep it under control. But under current law the Oregon Department of Transportation wields nearly complete oversight of speed limits. With just one narrowly-defined exception (more on that below), ODOT gets first and final say about how fast people can legally drive on every street in Oregon.

That might be changing thanks to a bill making its way through the legislative process in Salem.

Currently, the one exception to ODOT’s oversight of speed limits is on residential streets that have been engineered specifically to prioritize vulnerable roadway users. Cities and counties won the right to lower the speed limit on residential streets (a.k.a. “neighborhood greenways” in Portland) to 20 mph in the 2011 legislative session.

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Is the bike shop open? Are the bike lanes icy? An open thread for post-storm intel

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

I-205 path at SE Foster Road.
(Photo: Patrick F.)

It looks like the worst of the snow and and ice and cold is finally behind us. According to my weather app we should be back to the normal 50s and rain by next week.

But with a foot of snow still on the ground and cold temps sticking around, our roads and paths will be a mess for quite a while. That means it will be tricky getting around town and some of our favorite destinations won’t be open for business. With that in mind, it’s time to share what you know about local routes and destinations.

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Biketown bike share vs. Snowmaggedon

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
Riding bike share in the snow

Bike-skiing down the North Interstate Avenue hill was the highlight of the ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How does Biketown, Portland’s bike share system, stack up against other modes of travel during extreme weather? How would it work — or would it work at all — during a major snowstorm?

Those were the questions that have been on my mind after my brief foray on a Biketown bike late last night.

This morning I wanted to give it a real test. With twice as much snow on the ground as there was last night, I rolled over to my local Biketown station. My goal was to get downtown and back. Here’s what I learned…

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Portland is absolutely covered in snow: Let’s go ride (and walk and play)!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Time to ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here we go again.

A record amount of snow has fallen in Portland. There’s over a foot in some places, it’s still falling, and forecasters say it’s not going anywhere.

Most of the city has shut down. Schools, government offices, and many businesses can’t stay open because driving is so hazardous that people simply can’t reach destinations (imagine if more of us lived closer to where we work!). This means our streets are mostly quiet and calm — perfect for us to enjoy as should always be the case.

What does all this mean for you? Are you still biking? What are your plans for today?

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New York’s high court says city’s unsafe street design makes them liable for injuries and deaths

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Advocates in New York City are all abuzz about the ruling.

It happens way too often: Someone is seriously injured or killed at a location that’s a known traffic safety hot-spot. As an activist, it’s infuriating. I can only imagine what it’s like for the family and friends of victims.

After years of assuming cities had blanket immunity from liability when it came to street design decisions, a recent decision by New York’s highest court has thrown that into question. The court found that the City of New York can be held partly liable for a man’s death because they knew the road encouraged speeding and unsafe driving but they failed to study and implement measures to mitigate the risk.

The ruling is being hailed as a “landmark” and “game-changing” decision by New York City nonprofit organization Transportation Alternatives. Here’s what they said in a statement last week:

“The New York high court just ruled that the City can be held liable for failing to study and implement traffic calming measures, which the jury determined were a major factor contributing to the crash. In a 2004 incident, the driver was traveling at 54 mph on Gerritsen Avenue, which had a speed limit of 30 mph. Prior to the incident, the City had been advised by local residents, elected officials, and the Department of Transportation that speeding was common on the street, but that no sufficient speed study or traffic calming review was performed. The Court found the City liable for failing to adequately study and mitigate the road conditions that contributed to the speeding, stating that “an unjustifiable delay in implementing a remedial plan constitutes a breach of the municipality’s duty to the public.”

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Rob Sadowsky let go by board of The Street Trust (formerly known as the BTA)

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Sadowsky this past summer.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Board of Directors of The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) just announced that Executive Director Rob Sadowsky is stepping down has been relieved of his duties effective immediately.

The former deputy director of the organization, Stephanie Noll, will take his place as an interim leader until a new director is found. Noll left The Street Trust back in July.

Here’s the full statement from The Street Trust:

The Board of Directors of The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) announced today that Rob Sadowsky will be stepping down as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board has asked Stephanie Noll, the former Deputy Executive Director of The Street Trust, to step in as interim head of the organization and has launched a national search for the organization’s next executive director.

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Goodbye BTA, hello The Street Trust

Monday, January 9th, 2017

New logo.

After 26 years as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Portland-based advocacy organization is now officially known as The Street Trust.

Actually, according new Communications Director Kate Walker, the name is now, “The Street Trust, formerly The Bicycle Transportation Alliance.” That “formerly” part will remain for the rest of this year.

You might recall that the name change was ratified by the organization’s board and members back in August. But the new name wasn’t fully integrated into the brand until the new year. “With a new year, we’re finally ready to reveal our new brand,” reads a blog post about the change posted on January 4th.

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