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Winding roads, wine and an all-women ride: Gal by Bike says Yes, Please

Posted by on June 17th, 2016 at 7:24 am

Maybe it was the wine?
(Photos: K.Laudermilk)

This post is by columnist Kate Laudermilk.

In April, Cycle Oregon’s Chris Knott e-mailed me asking if I would like to cover the first ever women’s only Cycle Oregon ride. At the time, he informed me that they had exceeded their original goal of 250 sign-ups and were at 620.

After visiting the ride’s website, I could tell why so many women were enticed. Wine tasting? All local catered lunch and rest stop snacks? Massage therapy and acupuncture? Yoga? Live music? Widmer beer? AND bike riding!? SOLD!


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Fun for everybody! A 7-point action plan for a more diverse Pedalpalooza

Posted by on June 16th, 2016 at 2:31 pm

2014 Bike Fair-27
At the Multnomah County Bike Fair, 2014.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This post is by columnist Taz Loomans.

Not long ago, I thought more bike lanes would save the world. In fact, my passion for a better environment for bicyclists and pedestrians was one of the reasons I moved to Portland.

Since then I’ve become disillusioned with the bike advocacy movement, largely because of its lack of racial and ethnic diversity.

According to the recent CNN article by comedian/activist W. Kamau Bell, called Gentrifying Portland: A tale of two cities, “Portland is 76 percent white. That’s a lot, for two reasons. 1) According to the 2010 census, the United States is 72% white, so Portland is whiter than America. 2) Portland is considered a major city. And we don’t associate major cities with whiteness,” he says.


New Columbia’s Bike Repair Hub wants your help to double its hours

Posted by on June 16th, 2016 at 11:59 am

Half the residents of north Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood are kids, and 80 percent of households with kids live in poverty.

Bikes are simple, inexpensive machines that can be a big part of those kids’ lives — but bikes often need repairs and tuneups, not to mention friendly folks to talk about how and where to ride. Four years ago, the Community Cycling Center opened a Bike Repair Hub in the middle of the New Columbia mixed-income housing community to try and solve that problem.

It’s a shed with tools and a staffer, next to an awesome skills course. But staffers cost money, and the CCC wants to double the number of hours that the Hub can be staffed this summer — enough to fix 50 bikes per week, they say.


State will likely fund Flanders Crossing of 405, spurring thousands of bike trips in NW

Posted by on June 15th, 2016 at 5:28 pm

flanders bridge span
The long-proposed span would connect downtown Portland and the Pearl District with the Northwest District.
(Photos: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

A new biking-walking bridge across Interstate 405 at Northwest Flanders has probably made the cut for funding, a state official said Wednesday.

The approximately 250-foot-long, 24-foot-wide bridge would become by far the most comfortable crossing of Interstate 405, an alternative to the existing crossings at Everett, Glisan and Couch. Paired with a proposed neighborhood greenway on Flanders from the Steel Bridge west to 24th Avenue, the span is expected to carry 9,100 trips per day.

That figure, which includes both biking and walking trips, is higher than the summertime bike counts across the Hawthorne Bridge and about five times the daily bike ridership so far on Tilikum Crossing.


Weekly Video Roundup: Portland archives, speed cameras, and more

Posted by on June 15th, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Welcome to this week’s roundup! My pile of videos was lighter than normal this week, but there are some good ones. I’m starting off the week with a couple of local videos. Above, Joe Biel posted a video about the “dinner and bikes tour“. I hadn’t heard of it, but.. bicycles, film shorts, and a seven-course buffet. Sounds perfect. Has anyone gone to it in the past?


Bike share system apologizes for snafu that made first 400 members’ names public

Posted by on June 15th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

biketown stock user

One day after it started selling memberships, Portland’s new bike-share system has apologized to its first 400 members for inadvertantly letting any of them pull up a virtually complete list of other members’ names.

In an email circulated to those early members on Wednesday, the city said that no other information had been made public. By way of apology, it also offered an additional free month of bike-share membership to everyone who signed up before the city fixed the problem at noon Wednesday.

City spokesman John Brady said Wednesday that the issue stemmed from the “social function on the website that allows people to look up friends.” But the function also let people search by member number.

“I think what happened is someone realized that the member numbers were sequential, entered member numbers, and was able to get the first members’ names,” Brady said.


Tens of millions in unused parks fees could boost bike-path projects

Posted by on June 15th, 2016 at 2:24 pm

trail dedication ceremony- Swan Island
Swan Island, north of the Fremont Bridge on the east bank of the Willamette, is home to a lonely segment of what could be a future North Portland Greenway.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation is rarely discussed as part of the answer to Portland’s transportation problems.

Instead of relying mostly on relatively costly off-street paths, which are the main channels for low-stress bike transportation in most of the United States, Portland generally prides itself on improving its actual streets for biking.

But the city’s parks bureau is currently facing a problem that many transportation advocates don’t know about: How to spend the tens of millions of dollars in fees from new development that have been pouring into city coffers for years now.


‘Cully Camina’ event on Sept. 18 will be a Sunday Parkways just for walking

Posted by on June 15th, 2016 at 10:35 am

Cully Blvd cycle track-15
The route will include mostly residential stretches of Cully Boulevard and Alberta Street.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This fall, Northeast Portland will host a new experiment in humanizing streets: the city will open a one-day route from 42nd Avenue and Alberta to NE Cully Boulevard and Killingsworth just for walking.

“We want to give Portlanders a chance to see and experience their streets in a new way,” said Inna Levin, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the nonprofit advocacy group Oregon Walks, in a news release Tuesday. “We hope Cully Camina will be the start of something bigger, inspiring more people to walk and engage in their community.”

The free event is Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since there’s no Sunday Parkways scheduled in September this year (the fifth and final open streets event, Sellwood-Milwaukie Sunday Parkways, is set for Oct. 2) the new Cully event will in a sense be a sixth Sunday Parkways.


Further ‘clean up work’ will delay west-side Willamette River path opening

Posted by on June 14th, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.
(Graphics: Multnomah County)

The new path north of the west landing of the Sellwood Bridge opened briefly Tuesday morning, but then was re-closed and will remain closed for a matter of weeks.

Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen said in an email to BikePortland Tuesday afternoon that “some clean up work” is still needed after all, forcing the path to close:

I have some bad news. The westside regional trail between the Sellwood Bridge and SW Miles Place will not be opening for two to four weeks. … The trail did open this morning as scheduled. County staff found there is still some clean up work to be done on and near the trail that would not be safe to do with the public using the trail. Unfortunately, there are a number of subcontractors that need to be scheduled to do the work. So the public will be using the old detour route on the east side of Highway 43/Macadam for a few more weeks.

That’s all we know for now, except that the county’s new path still looks beautiful from a distance … and that ending Portland’s worst detour onto Macadam’s sidewalk can’t happen too soon.


ODOT’s new Columbia Gorge Express bus has already carried thousands of riders

Posted by on June 14th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

“There was a really great energy in the bus,” our contributor Kate Laudermilk wrote about her trip. “I overheard a lot of conversations between complete strangers.”
(Photo: Kiel Johnson)

Three weekends in, the new bus line that offers $5 round trips between Gateway Transit Center, Rooster Rock State Park and Multnomah Falls is going gangbusters.

The buses, subsidized in part by the Oregon Department of Transportation, offer 12 departures a day from Friday to Sunday and each one has a rack that carries up to three bicycles.

Conceived as a way to cut congestion on Interstate 84 and take pressure off parking space in the Gorge, the buses carried more than 4,600 rides during their four-day launch weekend, including Memorial Day. Last weekend, the buses carried 1,477 rides.


NW Portland is about to become one of the best bike-share areas on the continent

Posted by on June 14th, 2016 at 11:26 am

NW Portland Week day 2-36.jpg
A bikeway crossroads: NW 14th and Johnson.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s most underperforming bike quadrant is about to get a very big investment.

Despite their proximity to jobs, northwest Portland residents are significantly less likely to bike-commute than residents of inner southeast, north or northeast Portland. And that’s exactly why Portland’s Biketown system is putting its biggest bet on northwest.

Today’s announcement of a final station map comes on the very same day that a state committee will start debating the fate of the first major bike project for northwest Portland in many years, arguably the key to getting inexperienced bike users comfortably across Interestate 405: the proposed Flanders Crossing bridge.


Should you buy a Biketown membership right now? Here’s the calculation

Posted by on June 14th, 2016 at 7:29 am

hello biketown is here
There are a few scenarios to consider.
(Image: BIKETOWNpdx.com)

Now that we finally know the prices to use Portland’s new public bike sharing system, it’s time to start making a decision: What do you want to commit to?

Even broken out into $12 monthly payments, $144 a year is a pretty big commitment, though far cheaper than, say, an annual TriMet pass ($1,100). And unlike TriMet or most U.S. bike sharing systems, month-to-month passes apparently won’t be an option with Biketown. You can pay $12 for 24 hours or $12 each month for a year; nothing in between. Or you can put up $2.50 for a single ride any time you need one.

So what’s the best option for you? Here’s a short BikePortland guide to the $12-per-month decision.


Portland’s bike-sharing system just started selling memberships at $12 a month

Posted by on June 14th, 2016 at 6:31 am

Screenshot 2016-06-14 at 6.21.52 AM
(Image: BIKETOWNpdx.com)

After 10 years, it’s happening.

Annual memberships in Portland’s city-owned, Nike-sponsored public bike sharing system went on sale at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, and the 1,000-bike system to be known as Biketown will get one of North America’s largest-ever bike share launches on Tuesday, July 19.


Five rides before Friday: Bike bells, Pittsburgh longings and more

Posted by on June 13th, 2016 at 1:53 pm

queerest ride
Organizer-provided art for the Queerest Bike Ride
of the Year (Thursday).

Welcome to the first of a series we’ll be running for the next three Mondays: a roundup of weekday rides in the Pedalpalooza bike festival that you might have overlooked but shouldn’t.

Rust Belt Ride
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
SE Eastbank Esplanade and Main Street (Vera Katz statue)
“Calling all yinzers! Join me on a casually-paced ride to a few Portland places that remind me of Pittsburgh.”

Bike Bell Ensemble
Thursday, noon meet / 12:10 ride
NW Naito Parkway and Couch (Japanese American Historical Plaza)
“A short lunch-hour ride down the waterfront. … Plan for rhythmic improvisation, silliness, and lots of ringing.”


Blast from the past: BikeTV visits Pedalpalooza in 2005

Posted by on June 13th, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Live from 2005.
(Image: BikeTV)

These days, many people know Clarence Eckerson as the guy behind Streetfilms, the beautifully produced series of web videos about livable streets and transportation reform.

But back in 2005, he was honing those skills as the creator of BikeTV, a local cable show in New York City — and he happened to stop in Portland for the Multnomah County Bike Fair that closed the fourth annual Pedalpalooza festival. Eckerson wrote us today to mention that he was recently uploading some old DVDs, came across the footage below and thought we’d enjoy it.


The Monday Roundup: The Canadian military vs. bike lanes and more

Posted by on June 13th, 2016 at 9:29 am

beatty street
The “recipe for disaster” now installed on Beatty Street.
(Image: City of Vancouver, BC)

Welcome to an extra-robust roundup! We missed last week’s, so this one has the best of two weeks of great bike-related links from around the world.

Military conflict: The Canadian military says a new parking-protected bike lane in front of their Vancouver BC building is a “recipe for disaster” because a “flying” bicycle might hit one of their soldiers.

Teen driving: The Washington Post’s bicycle-fearing columnist is dismayed that kids these days prefer “texting friends and meeting up for a ‘group date’ on a Metro subway car” to “the freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel.” He thinks the answer should be bringing back driver’s ed.


Banks-Vernonia nominated for Rail-Trail Hall of Fame

Posted by on June 10th, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Family trip to Stub Stewart State Park-5-55
The Banks-Vernonia has been a runaway success.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We all know it’s an amazing place to ride, now let’s make it official: The Banks-Vernonia Trail has been nominated for the 2016 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.


New path from Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park opens Tuesday

Posted by on June 10th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.
(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County announced today that the new multi-use path being built as part of the Sellwood Bridge project would open on Tuesday, June 14th.

The new path on the west side of the bridge will be 14-feet wide and head north to connect with SW Miles Place and Willamette Park. This will come as very welcome news to everyone who has experienced the detour that put bicycle riders on a narrow sidewalk of SW Macadam.

The new path currently connects only to the north side of the Sellwood Bridge. A connection to the southern path of the bridge remains closed until the County finishes a new bridge that will take riders and walkers up to the deck.

Here’s more from the County:

Signs will direct trail users to access the trail from SW Miles Place. At first, some southbound trail users may access the trail from SW Macadam via the Macadam Bay driveway, because the current path is on the SW Macadam sidewalk, which will now end at the driveway. Eventually, trail users will get used to the new alignment from Willamette Park to the bridge.


7 things to know for a great Bowie Vs Prince ride

Posted by on June 10th, 2016 at 12:55 pm


Ride co-leaders Lillian Karabaic and Tim Nakayama at last year’s Bowie Vs Prince.
(Photos: Lillian Karabaic)

The recent deaths of rock titans David Bowie and Prince have had a unique impact on Portland because of the beloved tradition of the Bowie Vs Prince ride. The woman who created the ride, Lillian Karabaic, sent us a few last-minute reminders before it rolls for the last time this Saturday (6/11) at 7:00 pm.

For the 9th and final time, Bowie Vs Prince will ride tomorrow through the streets of Portland. For some folks, they’ve never missed this ride, and for others, it will be their first time. Below are a few things to keep in mind before you roll out on Saturday night…

1. Best things to Bring for Dancing in The Streets

Bring snacks, water, lights, a bike lock, your ID and your dancing shoes. If you can, bring a candle for a memorial. If you usually hit bed early, I’d recommend a disco nap in the evening, as this ride will go late.


State transportation funding debate starts Monday in east Portland

Posted by on June 10th, 2016 at 11:47 am

Bike lane SE Division near 119th or so
Is there congestion in this photo? Depends on who you ask.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland

The stage is set. The priorities are already being set. It’s time to let Oregon’s leaders know what kind of transportation system you want.

The first public hearing on a transportation funding package that will be proposed in the 2017 Oregon legislative session happens on Monday (6/13) in east Portland. The committee hosting the hearing is the Joint Interim Committee On Transportation Preservation and Modernization — a name that shows a few of the political cards already being played.