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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

Who’s mad and who’s glad about ‘Better Naito’?

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Naito Parkway traffic observations -13.jpg
Naito Parkway on Thursday afternoon as seen looking north from the Morrison Bridge.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend, the City of Portland plans to remove the temporary multi-use path from the eastern side of Naito Parkway so the space can be used by cars instead.

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Bike and Build team rolls through Portland, changing lives all around

Friday, July 29th, 2016
bike and build lot number
2016 Bike and Build riders Carmen Kuan and Kelsey Oesmann with local Habitat for Humanity worker Jake Antles at their work site in Cully Thursday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

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.”

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East Portland advocates say they won’t take no for an answer on Powell bikeway

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
outer powell street view
SE Powell near 125th. The state’s current plan is to add sidewalks and a center turn lane but potentially no vertical separation between bike and car traffic.
(Image: Google Street View)

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.

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State says raised bike lanes won’t work on outer Powell after all

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
concrete with durable striping
A sidewalk-colored bike lane (described here as a “concrete shoulder”) set off by slightly raised striping is the state’s preferred alternative for bike lanes on a reconstructed Powell Boulevard east of Interstate 205. The state-run road carries about 20,000 motor vehicles daily.
(Image: ODOT)

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.

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One-third of biking injuries in Toronto involve streetcar tracks, study finds

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
streetcar turn
Left turns from NW 9th Avenue onto Lovejoy Street toward the Broadway Bridge.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

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.

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Imagining an inner Powell that would actually solve the street’s problems

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
powell vision
When more people use cars on a street, it becomes less and less efficient. When more people use mass transit, it becomes more and more efficient.
(Image: Nick Falbo)

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.

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Portland’s drop in car use frees up $138 million in our local economy every year

Monday, July 25th, 2016
Bike traffic on N Williams Ave-9.jpg
Per-person car ownership is down 7 percent since 2007 and miles driven are down 8 percent.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland unless noted)

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?

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The Monday Roundup: A crash-proof human body, a San Jose bike bridge & more

Monday, July 25th, 2016
graham
The head of “Graham,” a lifelike model of what humans might look like if they’d evolved to use cars.
(Image: Towards Zero)

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.

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Comment of the Week: Portland’s five-step recipe for 25 percent biking

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Bike traffic on N Williams Ave-16.jpg
Getting there.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

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.

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Biketown says users will get multiple chances to protect their jury-trial rights

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
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The new Biketown station at SW 3rd and Oak.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

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.

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