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About Michael Andersen (News Editor)

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Michael Andersen is the half-time news editor of BikePortland.org. He joined the team in May 2013 after three years as publisher of Portland Afoot and is proud to be supporting BikePortland's pursuit of new initiatives. With the other half of his time, he works as the staff writer for The Green Lane Project, a project of bike advocacy group PeopleForBikes that assists and encourages cities in the design of better bike lanes. You can reach him at michael@bikeportland.org or his cell, 503-333-7824.

Michael Andersen (News Editor) Post Archive

With bike sharing two months away, TriMet links ticketing app to Lyft, car2go

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
IMG_0182
A screenshot from TriMet’s ticketing app.

The more seamlessly mobile future we’ve been talking about since November has started to arrive.

On Thursday, TriMet announced that you can now begin the process of hailing a Lyft or reserving a car2go using their TriMet Tickets app.

“More options, including BIKETOWN bike sharing, are expected be included in the future,” the regional transit agency wrote on its website.

This is a milestone for two reasons: first, it seems to be the first time any transit agency in the country has offered this kind of service, which envisions transit users not as monomodal drones who only get around by train or bus but as actual humans who are constantly using different tools for different jobs.

Second, it’s a real-life step (though a small one) toward the vision spelled out by cities like Helsinki to “make car ownership pointless” within a decade by creating a single, connected “mesh” of options that can whisk you around the city as efficiently — more efficiently, actually — as owning a car and taking it everywhere with you.

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Five months after Clinton diverters, most people who bike say it’s much improved

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
inner diverter
A new diverter at SE 17th and Clinton, designed to reduce automotive through traffic on the major bike route. The other new diverter is at 32nd.
(Photos: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

It’s been almost two years since we started reporting on the call by some Portlanders for traffic diverters on Clinton Street, one year since Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick approved them, and five months since two were installed.

So as the city prepares for similar diverters on Ankeny and considers them someday on Northeast 7th, we wondered: How are things going? I spent 90 minutes on Clinton Wednesday during the evening rush hour to ask passers-by what they thought.

Here’s what people said…

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Willamette Greenway trail link might wait decades if Tesla plan goes through

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
tesla gap
(Image: Bob Cronk via South Waterfront Facebook group)

Half a mile south of the lonely riverside trail segment derided recently by The Oregonian as a “pathway to nowhere,” the city could miss a chance at a key connection.

Last week, Tesla Motors filed an application to convert an old metal-parts warehouse between Macadam Avenue and the Willamette River into an auto showroom.

But for people who would like to see a continuous riverside trail here, there’s bad news: a special section of city code exempts projects in the South Waterfront from having to connect greenway trail segments on their property unless they’re adding at least 50,000 square feet of new floor space. Because Tesla only plans to remodel the warehouse, not expand it, the unused space behind its shop wouldn’t have to redevelop.

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Portland-region committee gives middling marks to NW Flanders bridge project

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
flanders bridge span
The span at Flanders and I-405.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The prospects for rapid state funding of a biking-walking bridge across Interstate 405 dimmed somewhat Monday as a regional advisory committee appointed by the Oregon Department of Transportion ranked it as only the eighth off-street transportation priority for the Portland region.

Top marks went to a 19-acre, $2.6 million parking lot that would help the Ford Motor Co. export more cars to China — though only if Ford agrees to increase its exports via the Port of Portland, which it hasn’t.

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Car-sharing service Turo builds slowly, nears 50 cars in metro area

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
turo cars
Turo’s website lists just under 50 cars for rental.

If you own a car but don’t use it much, or if you don’t own a car but want one occasionally, your options keep getting better.

First came CarSharing Portland (the company that reintroduced car-sharing to the country in 1998) and its corporate successors Flexcar and Zipcar. Later came car2go, which was like Zipcar but you could return it anywhere inside the service area. And Getaround, which let people make money by essentially turning their personal car into a Zipcar.

Now, Turo is making a bid to increase its usage in the Portland area. The company essentially lets people turn their personal car into a Hertz: it’s like Getaround but it’s optimized for car rentals that last one or more days at a time.

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It’s Bike Month – what’s your bicycle evangelism story?

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Tour de Fat 2008-27.jpg
Nothing like starting off Bike Month with 80-degree temps!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to May, the month that bicycle lovers go forth and multiply.

Now that National Bike Month lines up with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike More Challenge and also with the Month that Portland Weather Starts Being Awesome on a Fairly Regular Basis, it seems fitting to spend some time reflecting on the way bicycles reproduce in our auto-oriented society: recruitment.

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The Monday Roundup: Tokenism in advocacy, murals in Montreal, handcycling in London and more

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Hassalo on Eighth, Portland’s newest bike-friendly community.

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

Bike-path murals: Montréal may allow them.

Bikes and disability: In London, about 15 percent of people with disabilities bike for transportation compared to 18 percent of people without disabilities, observes wheelchair handcyclist Isabelle Clement.

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A vision for traffic diverters at every neighborhood greenway crossing of a major street

Friday, April 29th, 2016
greenways
Northeast Portland reimagined.
(Image: Terry Dublinski-Milton)

Let no one say that Terry Dublinski-Milton lacks vision.

The advocate for better neighborhood greenways — back in 2012, before he teamed up with BikeLoudPDX, the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition and other groups, he founded a niche greenway advocacy campaign called C.O.P.I.N.G. with Bikes — unveiled a map yesterday of what it’d look like if traffic diversion were required “at or near every greenway crossing of a neighborhood collector, corridor or civic corridor” in inner northeast Portland.

Neighborhood greenways are low-traffic, low-stress side streets, mostly developed in Vancouver BC and Portland, that have become the backbone of Portland’s biking network. The city has long used diverters to reduce auto traffic on a a street; last year it created formal guidlines for determining when to install a diverter to keep auto traffic on a neighborhood greenway below 2,000.

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Dueling petitions: NE 7th Avenue greenway supporters swamp 9th as council votes

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
7th 9th petitions
Take your pick.

The debate over the best route for a future NE 7th/9th neighborhood greenway is, for the moment, largely about appearances. But in this week’s battle for appearances, backers of a 7th Avenue route are definitely winning.

As we mentioned in Monday’s coverage of this issue, an anonymous supporter of a 9th Avenue route launched a petition on Sunday in which he or she suggested that a 7th Avenue route would send traffic spilling onto other small residential streets. As of this writing, it’s got 50 signatures.

Yesterday morning, resident Montse Shepherd started a competing petition in favor of a 7th Avenue route, itemizing 16 reasons for that route. 26 hours later, it’s drawn 368 signatures.

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New Seasons on Williams Ave pays undisclosed sum for 47 more auto parking spaces

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
Parking at New Seasons on Williams
A sign at New Seasons Market on Williams Avenue.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The costs of “free” parking have been hidden inside the price of almost everything we buy, but it’s rare to see an example as straightforward as this one.

The New Seasons Market on Williams Avenue, which like virtually every grocery store in the city doesn’t charge you to park a car on their property, recently started renting 47 parking spaces from an apartment building across Ivy Street that charges $175 a month for resident parking.

New Seasons won’t disclose what it’s paying to rent the new spaces — “we keep our real estate transactions confidential,” spokeswoman Mea Irving said Wednesday — but if they were paying the same $175 per month as residents, those 47 spaces would cost $98,700 a year.

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