BikeCraft is gift making and buying the Portland way

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 2:40 pm


Since 2005 Portlanders have come in from out of the cold and huddled together for a holiday shopping tradition unlike any other: BikeCraft, a holidy gift bazaar for bike lovers.

This year’s event is on the weekend of December 12th and 13th.


Get Metro's newly updated Bike There! map

Most of those new traffic victim memorials will be gone soon: Here’s why

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Most of them will be gone by next week.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

On Sunday in the pouring rain, dozens of activists and family members of people who have been killed in traffic crashes erected memorials at 135 locations throughout Portland. The effort was part of the national World Day of Remembrance to End Traffic Deaths. The ghostly white silhouettes were ziptied to sign poles adjacent to some of the most dangerous major streets in the region — most of them owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

No more than 24 hours later ODOT maintenance crews started taking some of them down.

One of the event organizers said at first she was angered, but after contacting ODOT she now plans to remove most of them this weekend.

Kristi Finney with Families for Safe Streets, whose son Dustin was killed by a drunk driver while he biked on SE Division in 2011, didn’t ask for ODOT’s permission prior to the event. “We suspected they would take them down if we affixed them to their property,” she told us via email yesterday.

Even so, Finney added, “I feel dismay that out of all the priorities ODOT should have, removing these memorials of people killed on their unsafe roads was made a top one. Really, they couldn’t even leave them through the outbound rush hour?”


Let the city know (again) if you support diverters on SE Clinton

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

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The issue on Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

In a digital companion to its Nov. 5 open house, Portland is circulating another online survey taking the political temperature of Clinton Street residents, businesses and users about traffic diverters on a busy stretch of Clinton Street.

It takes about 30 seconds to complete.

This is the second online survey asking how people feel about the city installing an experimental diverter in the 30th and Clinton area to see what happens to traffic patterns. The current proposal is to install one test diverter at 32nd, in addition to one planned for 17th.


Brazen bike thief appears in court facing prison sentence and $250,000 bail

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 11:48 am

Parsons appeared via video at the Justice Center in downtown Portland this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office is sick and tired of Leroy Parsons gaming the system.

Parsons, arguably Portland’s most brazen and prolific perpetrator of bike theft, appeared in court today. He was arrested last week for bike theft and the DA has upgraded his charges to include 16 total counts, including nine felony charges (several of which are for bike theft) and an increased bail amount aimed in keeping him locked up until sentencing.

If convicted on all counts Parsons could face a lengthy prison term. But that’s a big if.


New rules would require Portland pedicab operators to drive cars and carry car insurance

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 8:19 am

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A night ride.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

“Half my guys don’t even have driver’s licenses — in fact, I don’t have a driver’s license.”
— Kyle Kautz, owner at PDX Pedicab

Three weeks ago, a task force convened by Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick released a new set of regulations for “for-hire vehicles” like taxis, Lyft and Uber.

Also included in the new rules: pedicabs — but the rules for those seem to have been written mostly with copy-paste buttons.

The result: According to code now under review at city council, car-free Portlanders would need not apply for pedicab jobs.


Wednesday Video Roundup: Sagan, Terry, Brits

Posted by on November 18th, 2015 at 8:15 am

Our first video is a fantastic bio of Georgina Terry, avid cyclist, fabled bike builder, and owner of the Terry Bicycles brand. I have a Terry seat and am jealous their apparel isn’t meant for me- they don’t “shrink and pink” things. For an example of how thoughtful and women-oriented they are, look at their chamois guide and fit guide. Anyhow, the video- and pay attention to Georgina walking down a hallway just past the five minute mark.


Brad Ross, Cross Crusade promoter since 1995, announces his retirement

Posted by on November 17th, 2015 at 3:52 pm

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Ross at work in 2007.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Brad Ross, the man behind the Cross Crusade, which has grown into one of most successful cyclocross race series in the world, has announced his retirement. Ross was also the director of the Cascade Cycling Classic and many other races during his career.


Gimmick or godsend? My review of the NiteRider Sentinel with “Laser Lanes”

Posted by on November 17th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

The light has two lasers that project a bike lane on the road alongside your bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A bike light that creates virtual bike lanes wherever you go? That’s the promise behind the NiteRider Sentinel 40, a rear light that comes with a special “laser lanes” mode that projects two bright lines on the ground around your bike.


First look at Metro’s plans to build new singletrack trails north of Forest Park

Posted by on November 17th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Detail of Metro’s trail plans.

We have important updates on a story we shared yesterday about a historic step forward for off-road cycling in Portland.

As you might have heard, Metro is on the verge of finalizing a plan that would develop several mountain parcels north of Forest Park. Two of the parcels are slated to include singletrack trails built specifically for mountain biking. If built, these trails would represent the largest network of off-road bike trails ever developed in Portland. In advance of a final public meeting about the plans that will be held tonight, Metro has published the meeting materials on the project website.

In addition to giving you a more detailed look at Metro’s plans, I also want to elaborate on a point I made in yesterday’s story about the people who are organizing opposition to the bike trails. A key point in their case against Metro’s inclusion of the trails in these plans is a contention that the land was purchased solely to protect habitat and that, “a mountain bike park is contrary to the terms of the levy.”


A backwards incentive in Portland, where bus rides cost more than parking spaces

Posted by on November 17th, 2015 at 10:07 am

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We’ve made driving both cheap and convenient even though it causes a whole lot of problems.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Though lovers of bikes, transit and walking hate to admit it, driving a car is often the most convenient way to get around Portland. Until we start reconfiguring our roads to give more space to bicycling and dedicated transit lines, that will likely remain the case years into the future.

An odd thing about driving is that not only is it usually convenient; it’s also usually pretty cheap.

The question is, why are we also going out of our way to make driving so cheap?

At least, that’s the question asked Sunday by Tony Jordan, a member of the committee that’s currently advising the city on whether it should raise its downtown parking rates from $1.60 to $2 per hour.


135 ghostly memorials of traffic victims now haunt our region’s streets

Posted by on November 16th, 2015 at 4:37 pm

(Photos: Oregon Walks)

Yesterday local advocates for safer streets joined with family members of traffic victims for a somber ceremony: they placed white silhouettes of their loved ones on our area’s most dangerous roadways.


Advocates line up to support singletrack in Metro parcels north of Forest Park

Posted by on November 16th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Detail of Metro trail proposal shown back in May.

If all goes according to their plans, Metro could build about a dozen miles of new biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains Natural Area, a 1,300 acre section of hills just north of Forest Park. The agency will unveil their recommendation for where trails should be built and who should be allowed to use them at a meeting tomorrow night (11/17).

If the trails in this plan get built, they will represent the most comprehensive network of singletrack (made for cycling) in the history of Portland.

Metro used a voter-approved levy to purchase four parcels off NW McNamee and Skyline Roads and has spent the last year in a planning process to decide how to manage public access. The stakes are high because the new trails will be built a mere 12 miles from north Portland — far closer than any other similar riding opportunities in the region. The land is currently undeveloped with only rudimentary dirt roads running through it.


First look at ODOT’s draft of a new biking and walking plan

Posted by on November 16th, 2015 at 11:40 am

Plan cover.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has released a draft of their new Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

This plan is the result of two and-a-half years of meetings and outreach and it’s the first time ODOT has updated its biking and walking plan since 1995 (an update to their design guide in 2011 notwithstanding). It’s a crucial document because the policies and strategies in this plan will set the framework for what ODOT decides to build going forward.

A coalition of transportation advocates that includes the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Oregon Walks, the Sustainable Transportation Council, the Oregon chapter of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and two members of the plan’s own advisory committee have already penned a letter to ODOT with their concerns about the plan.

We’ll be taking a closer look at the plan in the coming weeks. At first glance it appears to be a solid start, but could use some strenthening in order to make a real impact.


The Monday Roundup: German scofflaws, winter tips, John Wayne threat, and more

Posted by on November 16th, 2015 at 8:31 am

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Click to download.
(Image: Google Maps)

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Cascadia Ciderworks United, makers of fine cider made right here in Portland.

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

Offline maps: Google Maps can now pre-download maps of areas you plan to journey.

John Wayne Trail threat: A major biking path in eastern Washington is under threat because two state reps are taking “concerns of adjacent landowners” way too seriously. (More details.)

Tips and tricks: To stay safe at night this winter, convince your city to stripe narrower traffic lanes and install speed cameras. Wouldn’t it be nice if more news outlets at least mentioned this alongside lights and reflectors?

Beyoncé on a bike: GearJunkie aims for a balanced exploration of whether and when an image of a woman on a bicycle goes from sexy to sexist.


The Friday Profile: Doug Klotz, Southeast Portland’s unlikely lightning rod

Posted by on November 13th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

klotz car
167 of Doug Klotz’s neighbors voted this fall to kick him off the Richmond Neighborhood Association after 22 years. He survived the recall attempt by a single vote.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

It’s 8:10 a.m. on Friday morning and the most controversial man in the Richmond neighborhood has just finished reading the funnies.


City applies for funding of Flanders bikeway bridge, 70s Bikeway, and more

Posted by on November 13th, 2015 at 2:15 pm

The Red Electric Trail, a dream for southwest neighborhood activists, could get over $600,000 in funding if a city grant request comes through.

City Council voted 5-0 yesterday to authorize grant applications for five major bikeway projects. The $9 million in grant requests would help the Bureau of Transportation fund a host of key projects, some of which have languished on lists and in the hearts of advocates for many years.


City ponders new bike lane striping design for N Interstate Ave

Posted by on November 13th, 2015 at 10:32 am

Looking southbound on Interstate at Tillamook, about to enter 315 feet of traffic “free for all.”
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Anyone who rides south on North Interstate Avenue between Tillamook and the Broadway Bridge/Larrabee split can understand why the Bureau of Transportation wants to re-stripe it.


Jobs of the Week: Bike share GM and Ride With GPS

Posted by on November 13th, 2015 at 8:50 am

Looking for a new job or for a change of pace? We’ve got two great job opportunities for you to consider, including GM of Portland’s upcoming bike share system! Learn more about each job via the links below…


‘Families for Safe Streets’ to launch Sunday on national day of remembrance

Posted by on November 12th, 2015 at 4:01 pm

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Kristi Finney at a protest on Powell Blvd in May.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new organization for people whose lives have been changed by traffic violence will hold its first public event this weekend.

As part of the World Day of Rememberance for Road Traffic Victims, members and supporters of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets will meet noon Sunday at 1805 NE 2nd Ave. in Portland, the headquarters of Oregon Walks and the Community Cycling Center. Anyone is welcome.

From there, they’ll meet for fellowship and then break into carpools and bike trains “to place memorials at crash sites along high crash corridors to build awareness and honor those who’ve died.” The group hosted an event this week where volunteers cut out cardboard in the shape of humans.


Taking the pulse: Aggressive driving in Portland

Posted by on November 12th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

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What’s going on out there?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Part of my job is to monitor various sources of information. As I do that, trends often start to emerge. Recently I’ve sensed an uptick in chatter about how “aggressive driving is getting worse in Portland.” I’ve also heard of a few specific incidents just in the last day or so.

I’m putting this on the Front Page to hear more from you and gain more understanding about whether or not aggressive driving is indeed on the rise or if these are isolated incidents that don’t point to a larger trend.