About Michael Andersen (News Editor)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or his cell, 503-333-7824.
Michael Andersen (News Editor) Post Archive
For the 15th year in a row, a crew of young adults on bikes pulled into Portland Wednesday almost ready to finish a cross-country bike trip designed to change the way they see their country.
Thursday’s time painting part of a new Habitat for Humanity house in the Cully neighborhood was one of 10 “build days” for the 24-person crew affiliated with the national organization Bike and Build. Part charity bike tour and part Americorps, Bike and Build’s mission is to “benefit affordable housing and empower young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement.”
East Portland’s most prominent advocacy group is unanimously opposed to the state’s current plan for outer Powell Boulevard, its top staffer said Thursday.
“Every one of our transportation advocates — from pedestrian to bicycle to transit to overall transportation — was in disagreement with their decision and they want a separated bike lane on Powell,” said Lore Wintergreen, advocate for the East Portland Action Plan.
After an advisory group agreed that it wanted an upcoming rebuild of outer Powell Boulevard to include raised bike lanes, the Oregon Department of Transportation says they’re not practical after all.
Instead, it’s drawing the ire of some (though not all) advisory committee members by saying there won’t be any vertical protection between bike and car traffic on the busy state-run street.
In the city with North America’s largest streetcar system, on-street rails almost rival automobiles as a factor in collisions that injure people on bikes.
That’s one major finding in the first academic study in North America dedicated specifically to the danger of streetcar tracks to people biking.
Among bike-related injuries in Toronto that resulted in emergency-room trips, the study found, 32 percent directly involved streetcar tracks and more than half happened on streets with streetcar tracks. And in what lead author Kay Teschke described as “a surprise to us,” 67 percent of track-related injuries happen away from intersections.
The City of Portland and the State of Oregon both say they want to free more of their constituents from traffic congestion and to reduce planet-killing pollution.
There’s no mystery at all about what this would look like on inner Powell Boulevard. Everyone with some measure of power who has considered the issue knows the answer. But for some reason, the millions of public dollars spent talking about that possible answer have never resulted in a street-level picture of it.
Last month, we wrote about the 38,501 additional cars and trucks that would be in Multnomah County right now if its residents still owned cars at the rate they did in 2007.
What does it cost to own 38,501 cars? Or more to the point, what does it not cost to not own them?
For that post, we focused on the amount of space those nonexistent cars would take up. They’d fill a parking lot almost exactly the size of the central business district, for example.
But what about the money that isn’t being spent to move, maintain, insure and replace all those cars, and can therefore be spent on other things? How much money have Portlanders collectively saved by having a city where car ownership (or ownership of one car for each adult) feels less mandatory than it used to?
This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by The Portland Century, a one or two-day bicycle tour coming August 6-7th.
Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:
Crash-proof human: An Australian artist collaborated with a trauma surgeon to create “Graham,” a full-body silicone model of what humans might look like if they evolved to survive car crashes.
Bike bridge: San Jose’s proposed biking-walking bridge over a freeway would certainly be spectacular.
Of all the wonderful ideas in Portland’s Bicycle Plan for 2030, the one I personally hope is never forgotten is its audacious use of a numeral: 25 percent.
That’s the target it set for the share of trips that could happen by bicycle in Portland. Today, the figure is something like 7 percent. Only several dozen cities in eastern Asia and northern Europe, probably, can currently boast 25 percent or more.
But 25 percent is possible and even imaginable, as BikePortland reader Alex Reedin spelled out in a Thursday morning comment estimating the payoff for each step that’ll be required to get us there.
Anyone who acts to protect themselves from a clause buried in the Biketown contract that prompts users to waive their jury-trial rights is protecting themselves permanently, the bike share operator says.
At issue is a “binding arbitration” clause in section 15 of the long rental agreement to which people must agree in order to use the public system. Such clauses, which are designed to prevent class actions and other customer lawsuits, are increasingly common for credit card companies and other corporations but are rare among public bike share systems.
But as we reported Thursday, the contract includes a way for Biketown users to protect themselves: you have to send an email with a particular subject line to a particular email address mentioned in the contract.