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#WorkzoneFTW? City may require walking and biking routes around building sites

Posted on June 28th, 2016 at 9:48 am.

brian rod
A proposed city policy would require builders to look for a way around.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A proposed policy before the city council Wednesday would withhold city permits from builders that block sidewalks or bike lanes around their work sites without first considering reuse of parking and travel lanes.

The action comes after a months-long social media campaign from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which evolved out of a years-long behind-the-scenes effort by the BTA.

The city’s draft policy stops short of saying that walking, biking or traveling by mobility device are always higher priorities in work zones than traveling by car. Instead, it says that walking and biking routes should only be blocked if no other option is “practicable.” Here’s some other relevant language:

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BTA will change name, expand mission to walking, transit and political action

Posted on June 6th, 2016 at 10:01 am.

2013 BTA Alice Awards-17
BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky says the changes will usher in a new era of progress.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Change is afoot once again at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. The Portland-based nonprofit organization announced today that they’ve embarked on a major transition that will result in a new name, a new mission, and a new entity that will allow them to be more engaged in political lobbying.

“This is about building a broad political tent that can move policymakers.”
— Rob Sadowsky, executive director

The organization plans to no longer focus solely on bicycling and will expand their mission to include advocacy for better transit and walking. In addition, the BTA board has voted in favor of creating a 501c4 alongside the 501c3, a move that would give the BTA more tools to influence elections and politics through endorsements, direct political lobbying, phone-banking for candidates, and so on. The 501c4 would also offer memberships to other organizations with aligned missions: like Oregon Walks, the Community Cycling Center, 1000 Friends of Oregon, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and others. After the reorganization is complete the BTA could lead a new political action committee (PAC) that could have wide-ranging impacts on elections and policy measures statewide.

In an interview with BTA leadership last week I learned that this change has been in the works for many years.

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After delay, Metro again faces vote that pits Safe Routes money against highways

Posted on May 13th, 2016 at 10:33 am.

Trillium Charter School bike train-24-19
A bike train at Trillium Charter Schoool
in north Portland.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The regional Metro committee that controls $130 million in federal funds continues to consider an increase in money for road widening rather than for safety improvements to streets near schools.

JPACT, the committee of 17 regional officials, was due to vote last month but decided to postpone its vote until next Thursday.

At play are $17.4 million in new money created by last year’s federal transportation bill. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance and other nonprofits in the For Every Kid Coalition have led a two-year campaign to secure much of that money for Safe Routes to School infrastructure across the region, which improves crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways near schools. Their proposal would prioritize “Title 1” schools, those with higher rates of child poverty.

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Next week’s ‘Better Broadway’ trial aims for better shopping environment

Posted on May 6th, 2016 at 9:12 am.

better broadway plan
(Images: Broadway-Weidler Alliance)

Nine months ago, one of the city’s top experts on the Lloyd District predicted to us that any changes to inner Northeast Portland’s main east-west arterial were 10 years away.

“I think people need to realize that Broadway doesn’t know what they want to do yet,” said Rick Williams, the founding director of the Go Lloyd business association, in an interview. “Broadway is kind of where we were 10 years ago: in the planning phase.”

But if an on-street trial next week of improved crosswalks and a protected bike lane do well, the planning phase could move pretty quickly.

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Your guide to National Bike Month in Portland

Posted on April 26th, 2016 at 2:58 pm.

Bike to Work Breakfast-1
Bike riders will find lots of free food this month.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hold on to your handlebars folks, May is going to be completely bike-crazy in Portland.

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Portland ‘Transformation’ bureau unveils a new trick: ’20 is Plenty’ signs

Posted on March 24th, 2016 at 3:49 pm.

The anonymous street-safety activists at PDX Transformation are following the lead of successful campaigns in New York City and the United Kingdom to spread the idea of driving at nonlethal speeds.

The group took responsibility last weekend for hanging a set of signs that look like legal speed-limit signs but aren’t.

KATU-TV’s Reed Andrews reported Wednesday that the signs were “donated by someone who works for a sign-making company.”

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Community Cycling Center recognized for work with underserved people and places

Posted on March 22nd, 2016 at 11:05 am.

Sunday Parkways northeast 2014-16
The CCC’s Lale Santalices and a member of Andando en Bicicletas en Cully at Sunday Parkways in 2014.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycle advocacy that’s inclusive of people from different racial and cultural backgrounds — commonly referred to under the umbrella term of equity — is something every bike group seems to be talking about these days.

But the Portland-based nonprofit Community Cycling Center has been doing this work long before it was common. And now they’ve been recognized with a “Catalyst Award” from the Alliance of Biking and Walking. The award was presented to the CCC at the recent National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.

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Bus riders’ union launches new campaign: Discount fares for low-income people

Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 9:45 am.

TriMet bus with rack
Great transit access is closely linked with
less driving and more cycling.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One year after it persuaded TriMet to add 30 minutes to the life of every transit fare, a local transit advocacy group has a new goal.

Bus Riders Unite, a rider-led project of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, will launch a new campaign chosen by its members: for the Portland region’s transit system to follow Seattle’s and San Francisco’s by offering lower transit fares to lower-income people.

“We think the most reasonable and simplest approach would be to let low-income people have the same fare honored citizens currently receive,” said OPAL spokesman Shawn Fleek.

Due in part to federal law, TriMet offers half-price tickets to people ages 65 and up, people on Medicare and people with disabilities, a grouping the agency refers to as “honored citizens.”

But over the years, U.S. poverty trends have shifted. As of 2014, 15 percent of Oregonians age 19 to 64 live in poverty. So do 20 percent of Oregonians under age 19. For Oregonians aged 65 and up, the figure is 7 percent.

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Bike Loud PDX is getting louder

Posted on February 23rd, 2016 at 12:03 pm.

bikeloud-lead
Bike Loud’s meeting Sunday in southeast Portland.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bike Loud PDX — Portland’s upstart, all-volunteer bike advocacy group — is not going anywhere. In fact, they’re growing, maturing, and likely to get much louder in the coming months and years. I attended their general meeting on Sunday to see what they’re up to and get a feel for what the future might hold.

Bike Loud launched in August 2014 with a single comment by Alex Reed. “Anybody interested in starting a louder voice for cycling in Portland email me,” he wrote under a BikePortland post about the state of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. “If we get a few people, we’ll meet for drinks and a ride sometime soon!” The emails happened. So did the meeting and the ride shortly thereafer. 18 months later Bike Loud hasn’t slowed down and they’ve chalked up an impressive string of successes.

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As a big election year looms, Bike Walk Vote PAC is looking for new leaders

Posted on December 24th, 2015 at 11:54 am.

Bike Walk Vote candidate party-11
Future Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick speaks at a 2012 event for Bike Walk Vote-endorsed candidates.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2016, Portlanders will vote on a local gas tax, a new mayor, a transportation commissioner, a regional council and a governor.

If you make between approximately $7,000 and $100,000 a year, you’ve probably got $50 in free money from the State of Oregon to spend in 2015 on a candidate or political committee of your choice.

That’s the fact of Oregon’s unusual but underused political tax credit system.

But for people who believe that Oregon should be reducing its dependence on cars, the odd complication is that no political committee active on those issues seems to be asking for that money — even as Portland heads into an election year that will shape transportation issues for years to come.

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