With Hales hogging headlines, Wheeler challenges him to 12 “in-depth” debates

Posted on September 29th, 2015 at 12:37 pm.


(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

You’ve seen it. We’ve seen it. Portland mayoral candidate Ted Wheeler has seen it.

“If my presence in the race lights a fire under the mayor, how can that be anything but a good thing?”
— Ted Wheeler, candidate for mayor

Since Wheeler entered the mayoral race earlier this month Mayor Charlie Hales has been on a tear. From climate change to homelessness to bicycling, Hales has become more animated and action-oriented.

In a letter to Hales today, Wheeler all but accused the incumbent of copying his stance on issues and then challenged him to 12 “in-depth” debates.

“When I announced my candidacy for mayor,” Wheeler states in the letter, “I noted that our city had a homelessness crisis; last week, you declared it an emergency. Two weeks ago, I voiced my support for a gas tax; last Friday, you decided to agree.”


Hoping to be Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler seeks a cycling education

Posted on September 11th, 2015 at 11:35 am.

Ted Wheeler learns about biking in Portland-1.jpg
Wheeler took a very close look at an idea for an expansive
network of neighborhood greenways in southeast Portland
that was introduced to him by volunteer activist
Terry Dublinski-Milton.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you have aspirations to be mayor of Portland, you must know your way around cycling issues.

That fact was cemented yesterday when mayoral candidate Ted Wheeler sat down for a meeting with cycling advocates just one day after he officially announced his campaign. The meeting was organized by his staff several weeks ago as a simple informational session to help the current State Treasurer bone-up on bicycling.

Here’s who Wheeler met with for just over an hour at the central eastside office building of Alta Planning + Design: (Disclaimer: Alta offered to host. Wheeler’s staff asked me who should attend and I gave them a list): Terry Dublinski-Milton from SE Uplift and BikeLoudPDX; Alta Planning’s CEO Mia Birk; Ian Stude, Director, Transportation and Parking Services at Portland State University; and yours truly. (Others invited to the meeting but who were unable to attend were: Alta Planning Principal and Program Specialist Jessica Roberts; Carl Larson from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; founder of Rosewood Bikes Matt Martin; and citizen activist Lizbon Grav.)


A challenger to Charlie Hales wheels into mayoral race

Posted on September 9th, 2015 at 12:57 pm.

Safe Routes conference VIP ride-70
Wheeler at a 2009 ride during the
Safe Routes to School National Conference.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The race is on.

Today Ted Wheeler announced that he wants to unseat Charlie Hales as mayor of Portland.


City engaged in battle against speeding epidemic

Posted on June 12th, 2015 at 11:59 am.

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-6
PBOT has asked the state for a trial of new speed limit zones they say would reduce collisions.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Of all the ingredients that make up a dangerous roadway environment, most pundits and policymakers agree that speeding is one of the biggest threats. At a meeting of transportation advocates hosted by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick earlier this month, the scourge of speed was a constant thread through the discussion.


Did you hear? Oregon Governor Brown talks bikes in her first State of the State address

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 at 3:58 pm.

Governor Brown is not afraid
to say the “b” word.

Given the sad state of cycling in our local politics, I was eager to hear if the issue was on the radar screen of Oregon’s new governor, Kate Brown.

Brown’s first State of the State address on April 17th was a great opportunity to plant a flag in the ground and let everyone know that when she thinks of transportation she can see beyond the status quo.

And guess what? I was not disappointed. Governor Brown mentioned bikes — not once but twice! It was just what I needed to allay my lingering disappointment from when Portland Mayor Charlie Hales — who was a Portland commissioner in bicycling’s heyday in the 1990s and rode into office in part for his progressive transportation bona fides — didn’t mention bikes at all in his State of the City address back in January.


Oregon lawmakers try (again) to raise speed limits

Posted on March 31st, 2015 at 4:32 pm.

SW Portland bikeways-3
It might get faster down there.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Despite a clear connection between speed and fatal and serious injury crashes, ten Oregon lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would raise our state’s freeway speed limit to 75 miles per hour.

According to the text of House Bill 3094, it would increase the speed limit from 65 to 75 miles per hour on interstate highways (only for cars, large trucks and buses will stay at their current max of 55 mph). The bill also establishes a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour on state highways and limits the Department of Transportation’s authority to decrease freeway speed limits, except in work zones.


Oregon House Rep gives up on mandatory reflective clothing bill

Posted on March 26th, 2015 at 12:16 pm.

Rep. John Davis.

Oregon House Representative John Davis has changed his mind about how best to improve the safety of bicycling.

Davis made headlines around the state last month when he introduced H.B. 3255, a bill that would require all Oregonians who ride a bicycle at night to wear refelctive clothing. Davis’ clothing mandate garnered considerable media attention and resulted in an “action alert” from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance who urged their members to help stop the bill.

A hearing for the bill was scheduled for March 30th in Salem.

Now he says he’s changing course and the bill will no longer include any language about reflective clothing.


City Budget Office denies Parks’ request for Gateway Green and off-road cycling plan funds

Posted on March 19th, 2015 at 9:13 am.

BAC Bike Ride East Portland-19
Riders in Gateway Green, a future bike park.
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Portlanders itching for more places to ride bikes in the dirt will now have to work extra hard, thanks to a report from the City Budget Office (PDF) that recommends zero funding for two Portland Parks & Recreation projects we’ve been following very closely: Gateway Green and the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan.

Does this mean those two projects won’t be funded? No. The report is just one factor Mayor Hales and City Council will use to decide where money should be spent. But the CBO recommendation does underscore the difficult politics around these two projects and it means anyone who wants to see them become reality will have to make sure their voices are heard in the coming weeks and months.

We reached out the Budget Office, Commissioner Fritz’s office, and supporters of these projects to learn more about what this all means…


Oregon lawmaker wants to punish people who bike without reflective clothing – UPDATED

Posted on February 27th, 2015 at 12:11 pm.

Rep. John Davis.

*Scroll down for update with comments from Rep. Davis.*

A member of the Oregon House has introduced a bill that would require all bicycle riders in Oregon to wear reflective clothing. Representative John Davis (R-District 26) introduced House Bill 3255 this morning.

According to the text of the bill, Davis wants anyone caught riding a bicycle, “on a highway or on premises open to the public” without wearing reflective clothing to be punished by a maximum fine of $250. The bill also dictates that the clothing is, “including but not limited to a reflective coat or reflective vest.” The new law would only apply to people riding bicycles at night (between sunset and sunrise).

The new offense, “Failure of a bicycle operator to wear reflective clothing,” would be a Class D traffic violation.

Similar bills have been introduced in California, Wyoming and South Dakota. In California, Senate Bill 192 mandates helmets for all ages and reflective clothing, but carries a maximum fine of just $25.


With Kitzhaber resignation, bike advocates upbeat about incoming Gov. Kate Brown

Posted on February 13th, 2015 at 12:16 pm.

kate brown at portland society
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown at a
2011 fundraiser for the Portland Society Fund, which
supports “emerging leaders in active transportation.”
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Oregon’s next governor rides a tandem.

While we’ve been hurrying around Southwest Portland this week, we’ve been keeping half an eye on the drama unfolding in Salem. In the wake of Willamette Week’s report Thursday that Gov. John Kitzhaber unsuccessfully tried to get state employees to block release of thousands of his emails amid a criminal investigation of the overlaps between his public role and his fiance’s business, the governor has resigned and Secretary of State Kate Brown will be moving into the job.

According to her 2012 election registration, Brown lives with her husband in a 1914 home in Southeast Portland’s Woodstock neighborhood.