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Weekly Video Roundup: Seattle visit, how carbon wheels are made, midpriced bike torture

Posted by on December 2nd, 2016 at 8:57 am

Welcome to the weekly video roundup! Last week was busy, with a train trip to Seattle for a no-friends no-family Thanksgiving. So I’m back to playing catchup – there are about 60 videos in the queue for next week already. So this week’s entries are on the short side, but they are still great!

The video above is from ‘Bike Kill NYC’, which is … I can’t summarize it any better than Gothamist: “a few hundred bike punks riding mutant welded art-cycles and throwing weird shit at each other in an endless counter-clockwise beer gyre while onlookers partied to the searing riffs of live metal bands”.

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Take a photo tour of new bike access on nearly completed Sellwood Bridge

Posted by on December 1st, 2016 at 3:14 pm

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A new bridge on the greenway path on the west side of the main bridge connects walkers and rollers headed eastbound into Sellwood.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been almost a decade since our very first post about replacing the old Sellwood Bridge. Now, after years of debates over funding sources and designs, the new bridge is almost 100 percent complete.

While it re-opened to traffic back in February, many of the bikeway elements were unfinished. In recent weeks Multnomah County has made significant progress on the bike lanes, sidepaths, crossings on the west side, and on the greenway path connections. I rolled over a few days ago for a closer look at how it was all shaping up.

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Weekend Event Guide: Ale fest, SSCXWC, Chris King’s 40th, and more

Posted by on December 1st, 2016 at 12:32 pm

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This is what happened the last time the SSCXWC were hosted in Portland (in 2009). There’s no telling what’ll transpire this year.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

The last time the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships were in Portland there was a huge steel thunderdome complete with dangers dangling from ropes and a huge bubble-making machine that covered costumed racers in foam. Seven years later there’s really no way to tell what will happen. All we can assume is that it’ll be memorable. Whether you plan to partake in the festivities out on Sauvie Island or have other plans (Holiday Ale fest perhaps?), we hope you enjoy this first weekend of December.

Check out our menu of great rides and events below…

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Sponsor pulls out of Singlespeed Cross “World Championships” amid sexism concerns

Posted by on December 1st, 2016 at 11:23 am

” This event is about being inclusive. We are not arguing that some of these things aren’t juvenile, but the goal isn’t to be sexist, it’s to be equally silly to everyone.”
— Dani Dance, PDX Singlespeed Collective

Hundreds of racers from all over the country will descend on Portland this weekend for the “officially unofficial” 10th annual Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) — but some fans have decided not to attend and one of its sponsors has pulled out. They say the marketing of the event has been blatantly sexist and objectifies women.

SSCXWC, which got its start in Portland in 2007 and will be held this year at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island, is legendary for its irreverent and debaucherous approach to cyclocross racing. Beer, mandatory tattoos for the winners, crazy costumes, severe heckling, and even strippers are expected elements of the race atmosphere. As the weekend approaches, it feels like everyone in the local bike racing scene is buzzing about it. Registration has been sold out for weeks as organizers have teased out details of Saturday’s main event as part of an elaborate and creative marketing strategy.

But some people feel like the promotion of the event has crossed a line from edgy humor to outright sexism — a behavior the bike industry on the whole has struggled with for many years.

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PSU transportation class projects: A Safer SW Salmon Street by Ross Peizer

Posted by on December 1st, 2016 at 9:02 am

Ross Peizer wants to create a safe bikeway on Salmon that would connect Washington Park to the Willamette River.

Ross Peizer wants to create a safe bikeway on Salmon that would connect Washington Park to the Willamette River.

(Publisher’s note: This week we’re excited to highlight a few of the projects created by students in Portland State University’s Traffic and Transportation course. As we reported in a profile earlier this year, the class has had a vast impact on Portland in numerous ways by churning out over 1,200 smart and inspired graduates since 1991. We worked with class assistant Rebecca Hamilton (a graduate herself who now works at Metro) to share three of the projects. Learn about Amy Wren’s work to improve biking and walking near Bridger Elementary School and Charles Tso’s work on parking benefit districts.)

SW Salmon Street Bikeway between Washington Park and the Willamette River – Ross Peizer

There are precious few convenient and safe east-west routes for cycling through downtown Portland. In the southwest quadrant I-405, the Park Blocks, and Portland State University buildings are just some of the impediments to cycling access between Washington Park and the Willamette. Ross Peizer (who took a job as program manager with the Westside Transportation Alliance last year) thinks SW Salmon is a good candidate for improvements.

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City will make Clinton traffic diverter permanent after data shows it’s working

Posted by on November 30th, 2016 at 2:47 pm

SE Clinton traffic diversion project-5
It worked.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the eve of the Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan going before City Council, the City of Portland just released some positive safety news: The traffic diverters installed on Southeast Clinton Street are working very well and the one at 32nd will be redesigned and made permanent in the next few weeks.

The diverters at SE 17th and 32nd were part of a comprehensive effort to tame auto traffic on Clinton that included educational outreach, public meetings, speed bumps, lower speed limits, “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs, and targeted enforcement. As one of the oldest and most used neighborhood greenways in the city, Clinton (which has about 3,000 bicycle users a day) was originally designed to prioritize bicycling; but driving skyrocketed in recent years as the surrounding neighborhoods added new residents, shops, restaurants and offices. In July 2014 we reported on growing rancor among bicycle users who called Clinton a “bikeway in name only.” Those concerns led community activism and became a rallying cry for the fledgling, all-volunteer bike advocacy group Bike Loud PDX.

Just four months after BikeLoud’s activism began, the City’s Bureau of Transportation launched a comprehensive assessment of the neighborhood greenway system (that would later be adopted by City Council) and agreed to meet with representatives from the group to learn more about the issues.

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PSU transportation class projects: Safer routes to Bridger School by Amy Wren

Posted by on November 30th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

SE 80th looking towards Mill, right outside an elementary school.(Photos: Amy Wren)

SE 80th looking towards Mill, right outside an elementary school.
(Photos: Amy Wren)

(Publisher’s note: This week we’re excited to highlight a few of the projects created by students in Portland State University’s Traffic and Transportation course. As we reported in a profile earlier this year, the class has had a vast impact on Portland in numerous ways by churning out over 1,200 smart and inspired graduates since 1991. We worked with class assistant Rebecca Hamilton (a graduate herself who now works at Metro) to share three of the projects that will be presented by students in class later this week. Yesterday we shared Charles Tso’s work on parking benefit districts.)

Safer routes to Bridger Elementary School – Amy Wren

Tucked between Southeast 82nd Avenue and Mt. Tabor Park, Bridger Elementary School is surrounded by streets that lack sidewalks and that are littered with big potholes and gravel. Add in winter weather and vehicle traffic and you’ve got a recipe for danger and stress. For her project, Amy Wren (who took the PSU class after reading about it on BikePortland!) asked a simple question: Would you want your kids to bike or walk on those streets?

What’s your big idea?

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Biking and Safe Routes to School programs come up big in $2.5 million worth of regional grants

Posted by on November 30th, 2016 at 10:15 am

Bike to School Day in NoPo-17
About a quarter of the grants went to Safe Routes to School programs.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s some good news: Metro just announced grants to 17 agencies and organizations throughout the region that will make it easier to get around without driving alone. The grants are worth a total of $2.5 million — money that comes from the federal government and is doled out by Metro via their Regional Travel Options (RTO) program.

Metro spokesman Craig Beebe said, “This cycle’s awardees continue the program’s trend of focusing on youth and underserved communities.”

On that note, a $178,000 grant to the Community Cycling Center will allow the nonprofit to implement a “community centered” Safe Routes to School program at Title I schools (where students come from low-income families). And the Bicycle Transportation Alliance won $203,000 for an “Access to Bicycling initiative” that will include a continuation of their Women Bike program and hands-on bike repair and riding clinics at workplaces and in communities around the region. In Washington County, the Westside Transportation Alliance will use its $196,000 grant to encourage biking, walking and transit use in areas with a high percentage of low-wage and shift workers.

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Hundreds of riders light the night at carfree Winter Wonderland event

Posted by on November 29th, 2016 at 11:35 pm

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A rare window of dry skies was an unexpected treat.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It was a perfect night to bundle up and enjoy the holiday lights at the annual “Bike the Lights” night at Winter Wonderland. With dry and relatively clear skies, hundreds of people (organizers expected over 1,200 based on last year’s numbers) showed up for a chance to pedal stress-free around the racetrack at Portland International Raceway.

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First look: New raised bikeway on Couch curve at Burnside bridgehead

Posted by on November 29th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

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PBOT has given riders a raise on Couch as it winds onto the Burnside Bridge.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

For years now the Portland Bureau of Transportation has tried to keep people from driving into the bike lane on the Couch curve at the eastern end Burnside Bridge. They’ve used buffer stripes, reflectors with LEDs inside them, and even rumble bumps — all without much success.

The curve. Note that the vacant lot on the right will soon be a new office building.

The curve. Note that the vacant lot on the right will soon be a new office building.

Have they finally figured it out?

Their latest attempt is a new concrete surface that’s raised a few inches above the adjacent roadway and that looks more like a sidewalk than a vehicle lane. We reported on this back in June and took a closer look at the finished product yesterday.

This section of Couch is a high-volume bikeway (especially during morning rush-hour) that collects traffic from inner southeast and northeast neighborhoods and then feeds right into Old Town/Chinatown via the Burnside Bridge. The road cross-section includes two standard vehicle lanes along with this new bike lane (which is the standard width of about five or six feet). Due to the curves (a design that was agreed upon in order to make the lot on the northwest corner of MLK and Burnside as large as possible for development), long buses and trucks need plenty of room to maneuver (see photo below).

The raised bike lane begins right at the start of the “s” curve after Couch crosses Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Bicycle users take a gradual ramp onto the lane and there’s a mountable curb with a very slight angle between the bike lane and the standard lane. Between the bike lane and the sidewalk there’s a three-inch curb that isn’t rounded at all. The width of the bike lane isn’t wide enough for side-by-side riding and, as local urban planner Nick Falbo pointed out on Twitter last week, it’s barely wide enough for a freight delivery bike.

Before we share more feedback and images, it’s important to know the urban context at this location. The area around the Couch curve has, quite literally, grown up a lot in the past few years. In every direction there are new developments that have brought hundreds of new residential units and well over 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. That means the future demand for space on adjacent public spaces (which includes streets) will grow considerably in the years to come.


It seems crazy to me that we have two lanes of motor vehicle traffic bisecting a thriving new neighborhood in our central city; but I digress.

The good news is that the raised bike lane and all the development have already slowed road users down. That’s a natural reaction to the built environment that we hope continues.

As for the new bike lane design, it’s a nice step forward. We’d love to see physical separation, but making the bike lane a different color and texture than the other lanes and raising it up a few inches is an improvement. One puzzling thing about the design is how the mountable curb is between the standard vehicle lanes and bike lanes, instead of between the bike lane and the sidewalk. This means people on bikes who want to pass will leave the (relative) safety of the bike-only lane and enter a lane shared with motor vehicles — instead of using the sidewalk.

The issue we’ve heard a lot about since this new bike lane was installed is the big puddle that has formed where it transitions back onto the Burnside Bridge (see photo below). The puddle was still there on Monday and the people I observed left the bike lane to go around it. This puddle needs to be fixed.

Here are more photos…

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New raised bikeway on Couch Curve-9.jpg
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Another thing to keep in mind is that there will soon be a new, carfree road that connects to the Couch curve from NE 3rd Avenue. This will create a potential conflict point where people on bicycles merge from the new road onto the existing bike lane. As with all the changes around the east side of the Burnside Bridge, we’ll be watching that closely.

Have you ridden this new raised lane? What do you think? Would you like to see more of them in the central city?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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PSU transportation class projects: Parking benefit districts by Charles Tso

Posted by on November 29th, 2016 at 11:29 am

Traffic observations- NE Alberta St-9
How parking is managed in neighborhoods and adjacent commercial districts can have a huge impact on the cycling environment.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

(Publisher’s note: This week we’re excited to highlight a few of the projects created by students in Portland State University’s Traffic and Transportation course. As we reported in a profile earlier this year, the class has had a vast impact on Portland in numerous ways by churning out over 1,200 smart and inspired graduates since 1991. We worked with class assistant Rebecca Hamilton (a graduate herself who now works at Metro) to share three of the projects that will be presented by students in class later this week.)

Parking Benefit Districts – Charles Tso

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Willamette Greenway path closed for two weeks

Posted by on November 29th, 2016 at 9:36 am

Willamette Greenway path closure through December 14th.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Willamette Greenway path closure through December 14th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A construction project on the west side of the Willamette River just south of the South Waterfront district has closed the Greenway path and the City of Portland has offered no official detour.

Crews from Fore Construction are building the Sanctuary Apartments at 4800 SW Landing Drive. A notice distributed by the company last week said work on the apartments will include the rebuilding and resurfacing of the Willamette Greenway path and the path will be closed through December 14th.

Fore’s statement said, “We will endeavor to keep as much of the trail open as possible during this period.” There was no specific timeline for when the path would be fully closed or open during construction and no detour map was provided with the company statement. We asked Fore and the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau what bicycle riders should do when the path is closed.

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New bike shop opens on Williams while another preps to expand

Posted by on November 28th, 2016 at 12:25 pm

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

Portland’s busiest cycling street is about to get even better for bike lovers.

A new shop has opened in the bustling commercial block of North Williams Avenue between Failing Street and Shaver. And Metropolis Cycle Repair on North Page Street is planning to move across the street to a new and larger location.

The new shop is called 3928 Bike Shop and is located at — surprise, surprise — at 3928 N Williams Ave. That’s right across the street from the Hopworks Bike Bar in the old Jesuit Volunteer Corps building. It’s a new endeavor from Portland Bicycle Studio owner Molly Cameron. Cameron, a well-known figure in the racing scene, calls her new store a “pop-up bike shop”. She’s not a newcomer to the area, having opened her first shop (“Veloshop”) a four blocks east on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. back in 2001.

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The Monday Roundup: A vision zero must-read, Trek prez on Trump, ADA and e-MTBs, and more

Posted by on November 28th, 2016 at 10:33 am

“If you have places in your system where you have unprotected road users and protected road users, according to Vision Zero you can’t allow a higher speed than 30 kilometers per hour [18.6 mph].”
— Matts-Ake Belin, Director of the Vision Zero Academy at Sweden’s transportation agency via Citylab

Welcome back from the long weekend everyone. Hope you had time to enjoy your friends, your family, and yourself. We’ve got another full week of news cooking for you. But before we dive in, make sure you check out the best bike and transportation-related news we came across last week…

Straight dope on Vision Zero: This week’s must-read is Citylab’s interview with Sweden’s head traffic safety strategist. I wish all U.S. electeds and engineers would adopt his perspective — or at least print out this article, tape it to the wall of their cubicle, and bring it to their project meetings.

Rare candor about “safety”: It’s rare to have a city staffer admit so bluntly that political reality was put ahead of vulnerable road user safety.

Wheelchair bike program takes off: ‘Healing Rides’ is the name of a new program in Illinois that gets wheelchair users out on the trails thanks to volunteers on customized bikes.

Seattle’s bike share saga: Seattle city council has made the end of Pronto official by setting a shutdown date. Read all about it on Seattle Bike Blog.

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ODOT wins $28 million federal grant for Historic Highway project

Posted by on November 23rd, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Not many gaps left.

Not many gaps left.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has inched ever closer to its goal of reconnecting a 75-mile paved path and low-volume road between Troutdale and The Dalles. Their Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail project just won a $28 million grant from the US Department of Transportation for the Mitchell Point Crossing.

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People driving out of control: Daycare damaged, schools delayed, bike rider burned by downed power pole

Posted by on November 23rd, 2016 at 9:30 am

What happened this morning. Be thankful you weren't in that car, in that daycare or under that power pole. (Images: Portland Police, Tigard Police)

What happened this morning. Be thankful you weren’t in that car, in that daycare or under that power pole.
(Images: Portland Police, Tigard Police)

The amount of daily destruction and disruption in our region caused by peoples’ inability to control their cars and trucks is staggering.

Between 2:00 am and 6:00 am this morning there were two incidents that illustrate what has become an all too common occurrence on our roads.

Around 2:00 am on Hall Boulevard in Tigard (adjacent to the skatepark and Burnham Street) a man who had been drinking while driving failed to maintain control of his van and he struck a large power pole. According to the Tigard Police Department, the power pole fell over and a woman riding a bicycle became entangled in the wires. She sustained life-threatening injuries and burns and was taken via ambulance to the hospital.

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Mychal Tetteh leaves Community Cycling Center for new position at PBOT

Posted by on November 22nd, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Mychael Tetteh, executive director Community Cycling Center
Tetteh in front of the CCC offices in northeast Portland on Monday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh will leave the organization later this year for a new a position with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation. Tetteh, 34, has been hired by PBOT to manage the Fix our Streets program.

Tetteh has been with the CCC since 2005 when he got his start in the organization’s retail bike shop on Alberta Street. He was hired as CEO in August 2013. In his new role with PBOT Tetteh will oversee the implementation of a four-year, $64 million transportation infrastructure funding program that resulted from the 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase voters approved back in May.

In an interview yesterday, Tetteh said he’s proud of what the CCC has accomplished during his tenure. On the top of his list were the organization’s refreshed brand, stronger partnerships, a “deep commitment” to equity and inclusion, and increased investments in underserved communities. Tetteh said their summer bike camp program for east Portland youth will grow from 20 to 125 scholarships next year.

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A new campaign aims to make helmets available for Biketown users

Posted by on November 22nd, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Aaron Feiger in the news.

Aaron Feiger in the news.

There’s a new effort to increase the rate of helmet use on Portland’s Biketown bike share system.

35 year-old Woodlawn neighborhood resident Aaron Feiger has launched an online petition, Facebook page and guerrilla marketing campaign aimed at persuading the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Biketown operator Motivate to make helmets available at bike share stations.

As first reported Sunday night by KATU, Feiger says he’s motivated by a simple goal: making riders safer.

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City of Portland boosts network with 5.6 miles of newly buffered bike lanes

Posted by on November 22nd, 2016 at 7:44 am

A few of the streets recently striped by PBOT to narrow standard lanes and provide more space for cycling-only lanes.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A few of the streets recently striped by PBOT to narrow standard lanes and provide more space for cycling-only lanes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Have you noticed all the new white stripes on Portland streets? In the past few weeks, several key bike lanes across the city have been beefed up with an additional bike lane stripe. These buffers create more breathing room between bicycle riders and automobile drivers.

After coming across several of them while riding around recently, I asked PBOT what was going on.

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As traffic deaths spike, ‘Remembrance Day’ reminds us of human toll

Posted by on November 21st, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Despite all the technology; despite all the vigils; despite all the “safety campaigns”; despite all the promises from road agencies and elected officials that “safety is our number one priority” — people continue to die at an alarming rate while using Oregon roads.

To help stem this tragic tide, a small but dedicated group of bereaved family members wants us all to feel their pain — and then use those feelings to change ourselves and our streets. That was the goal of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which was observed yesterday in Portland’s Waterfront Park.

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