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With Naito transformed, Better Block launches its biggest summer yet

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 2:09 pm.

Naito bike traffic observations-6.jpg
Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg
You should start getting used to streets that look like this.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Is there a more Portland story than a group of “tactical urbanists” who go from putting up chairs and tables in parking spaces to partnering with the City of Portland on several major projects in less than three years? That’s the story of Better Block PDX, the all-volunteer group of aspiring engineers, transportation activists and urban planners who today kicked off the what they’re calling “the largest temporary street transformation in America.”

And that’s just one-third of their summer workload.

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

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 12:10 pm.

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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The Ride: Exploring the Gifford Pinchot National Forest ‘Hinterland’

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 10:01 am.

Into the Hinterland we go.(All photos courtesy Ron Lewis/OMTM.com)

Into the Hinterland we go.
(All photos courtesy Ron Lewis/OMTM.cc)

Welcome to The Ride, our occassional series where we share amazing adventures in Portland and beyond. If you have a ride to share and want to see it featured here, drop me a line.

Just across the Columbia River from Oregon the Gifford Pinchot National Forest beckons bike adventurers. Last year I spent a very memorable day getting to know it better during the Gifford Gravel 50 (which is back for its second running this Saturday).

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

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 3:55 pm.

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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With $1.5 million proposal for Naito, Mayor puts money where his mouth is

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 3:10 pm.

new bike lane on Naito
The existing bike lanes on Naito are outdated.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales released his final proposed budget this morning and it includes funding for a project we’ve been hoping to see materialize for several years: improved access for biking on Naito Parkway. $1.46 million to be exact. It was one of 14 infrastructure projects and over $42 million in new spending he’s put on the table.

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Bicycle rider ticketed for running red light and ‘careless driving’ after injury crash in Lloyd District

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 1:13 pm.

View southbound on 15th with eastbound Weidler traffic on the right.

View southbound on 15th with eastbound Weidler traffic on the right.

Here’s something you don’t hear about very often. In fact, I don’t recall this ever happening…

According to the Portland Police Bureau 50-year-old Donna Leslie was biking south on NE 15th this morning at about 7:15 am and was involved in a collision when she attempted to cross NE Weidler (map). 49-year-old David Kennedy was driving his car eastbound and police say he had the green light prior to the crash.

Leslie, a City of Portland employee who works in the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau, was transported to the hospital via ambulance. The extent of her injuries are unknown at this time but police say they’re not expected to be life-threatening.

After hearing about this crash on Twitter, we followed up with PPB Spokesman Peter Simpson. Simpson said responding officers interviewed witnesses and conducted an investigation. “Multiple witnesses told police that Leslie was riding her bicycle southbound on 15th Avenue and failed to stop at the red light at Weidler,” Simpson shared with us via email. Based on this, officers issued two citations to Leslie: one for Careless Driving (with a crash, ORS 811.135) and one for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

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A bike company has finally made an ad that competes with the auto industry

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 10:55 am.

Love the symbolism of leaving the car in the driveway.(Screengrab from Stromer)

The star of the ad leaves his car in the driveway.
(Screengrab from Stromer)

Biking in America suffers from a major image problem. Bike riders are rarely seen as cool, conquering heros in movies or advertisements the way auto users are. While we do our activism and political lobbying here and there, it has very limited impact when our entire culture is consumed by media that makes automobiles look like sexy, must-have products.

Many car commercials are fake, mean-spirited, and promote dangerous driving; but with billions of dollars to spend, the auto industry knows how to win the hearts and minds of Americans. The bike industry? Not so much. More often than not bike advertisements focus too much on racing or too much on the corny stuff bike advocates love but that non-believers (an important marketing target) can’t relate to or simply don’t care about. Granted, the marketing budget of the entire bike industry is probably equal to what Ford spends on office coffee for a week. But still.

Then I saw a new ad for Stromer bikes over the weekend….

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

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 9:20 am.

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

Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 9:01 am.

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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Ex-Minneapolis mayor prods Portland region to rethink transportation

Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 12:20 pm.

Mayor R.T. Rybak challenged Portland-area leaders in an address at the Oregon Convention Center on April 22, 2016.(Photo: Metro)

Mayor R.T. Rybak challenged Portland-area leaders in an address at the Oregon Convention Center on April 22, 2016.
(Photo: Metro)

This article was originally submitted by Metro as a subscriber post.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak praised and provoked Portland-area leaders at a forum last Friday, challenging them to work together to address growing transportation dilemmas facing Portland and metropolitan regions around the country.

Rybak, a three-term mayor from 2002 to 2014, spoke with humor, humility and bluntness at a regional leadership forum at the Oregon Convention Center, kicking off Metro’s 2018 update of its regional transportation plan.

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