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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

BTA and environmental groups line up against bill that could boost bus service 42%

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
First snow day of 2014-1
The proposed tax hike would be enough to upgrade
20 bus lines to frequent service.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A coalition of transportation and environmental groups is opposing a payroll tax that would create a massive boost to TriMet bus service.

As reported Wednesday by The Oregonian, they’re doing so because the tax would fall flatly on both rich and poor workers, like TriMet’s existing payroll tax does.

The main differences: unlike TriMet’s employer-side payroll tax of 0.7337 percent, which is invisible to employees, this tax of 0.185 percent would appear on paychecks alongside Social Security and Medicare; and the revenue could be spent only on bus service, unlike other payroll taxes that have been earmarked for new rail service, bus service or construction projects.

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Here are six locations where Portland could create protected intersections

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
West Burnside & 3rd
West 3rd Avenue at Burnside Street.
(Images: Nick Falbo)

The local street planner who created the “protected intersection” concept has come up with six sketches of where it could be done in Portland.

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Gamification and ‘ubiquitous mobility’: Inside Portland’s $50 million ‘Smart City’ grant pitch

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
mobile girls
The city’s plan includes a “Marketplace” mobile app that would let you plan and buy trips by every mode.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Portland is one of 77 cities around the country that have put in for a one-time federal ‘Smart City’ grant that’s looking to promote big ideas about urban mobility.

An award is a long shot — only one city will get the $50 million prize — but the city’s application (which wraps together a wide variety of concepts for improving and integrating digital transportation data) is an education in itself, offering various details about the city’s vision that we haven’t seen publicly until now.

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With help from development interests, Wheeler is dominating mayoral fundraising

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
Safe Sound and Green press event-3.jpg
Then Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler at a
2008 event calling for new local road funding.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Former Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler has reported raising almost 15 times as much money as his closest competitor in the race to be Portland’s next mayor.

Among his donors are a wide variety of real estate businesses and Paul Romain, the oil and gas station lobbyist who’s threatened to kill the 10-cent local gas tax increase that Wheeler supports.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, the second-biggest draw for donors, has brought in $26,886 since just before declaring his candidacy, compared to Wheeler’s $398,509.

The race’s newest candidate, Portland State University scholar Sarah Innarone, has brought on a campaign manager, so presumably aims to raise money. But she hasn’t been in the race long enough to hit a 30-day fundraising report deadline.

Of the other three registered candidates, only David Schor has reported any campaign finances at all, mostly loans from himself. Bim Ditson and Philip Davis haven’t reported anything.

Part of the reason for Wheeler’s lead is that he’s had longer to raise money. But Wheeler has reported $74,542 raised in 2016 alone, triple Bailey’s four-month total.

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Wonk up! Four notable speakers coming to town

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
JSK at Women's Bicycling Forum
NYC transportation hero Janette Sadik-Khan
visits town next month.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

More than any time since I’ve been here, it seems as if Portland is opening its arms and ears to good ideas from elsewhere.

In the coming days and weeks we’ll be welcoming a bunch of nationally known experts on transportation for some timely talks. Delightfully, all of them are free.

With some, we’ll be doing more extensive previews based on advance interviews. With others, we’ll attend and report what they say.

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Got polluted air? A good biking network helps, PSU study says

Monday, February 8th, 2016
In traffic on Grand Avenue-1.jpg
It turns out when people have route options, they choose healthier ones.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last week’s news that a glass factory on SE 21st Street seems to have been emitting “alarming” levels of arsenic and cadmium has many Portlanders who bike through the area worried.

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The Monday Roundup: Beautiful biking ads, mushroom-foraging bike & more

Monday, February 8th, 2016
heart so strong

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the BTA’s sixth annual bicycle-themed storytelling event, Live the Revolution (February 12th, tickets available now).

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

“Better by Bike”: These five ads from the City of Buenos Aires are more clever and heartwarming than anything I saw on TV Sunday.

“The Forager”: “Is this the first bicycle to come with its own fire-pit, mushroom knife and recycled wooden chopping board?”

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Concerns mount over draft of state’s bike plan

Friday, February 5th, 2016
buczek walking
SW Barbur and Capitol Highway is supposed to become a major urban center.
(Photo by M Andersen/BikePortland)

Staff from bike advocacy groups, from the Metro regional government and from the Portland office of the Oregon Department of Transportation are all pushing for significant changes to a document that will be the foundation of bicycle planning for the next quarter century.

Serious concerns are being expressed about ODOT’s draft of its next Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Among the points of contention: the plan doesn’t explicitly say that the state should be putting complete biking and walking facilities on highways like Southwest Barbur, Southeast Powell or Northeast Lombard.

That stands in contrast to the previous state plan, published in 1995, which describes such arterial highways as “potentially the most important element of a complete network of bikeways and walkways.”

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Gap Week follow-up: You’ve mapped 120 bikeway gaps around the city

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Bikeway gaps really get on Portlanders’ nerves. That much is clear.

The week after Jonathan and I suggested that people enter their least favorite gaps on a Google Map, the map has 120 items scattered around the Portland area.

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Detour done right: 21st and Belmont shows how construction zones should work

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
lead diversion
A contractor’s trailer blocked sidewalk and bike lane, so the city temporarily removed some parking to keep the routes open.
(Photos: Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

Three months ago, there were so many construction zones encroaching on walking and biking routes that a few Portlanders organized a walking tour of downtown’s worst offenders. So today we’re happy to take a moment to recognize a detour that the city has handled beautifully.

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