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How Travel Oregon has responded to spate of bicycle collisions

Posted by on October 16th, 2014 at 9:43 am

“Travel Oregon is deeply saddened by the recent bicycle tragedies on Oregon roads, and they have served to elevate our attention and concern.”

While Oregon’s highways are under the official jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, they’ve also become a key asset in our state’s burgeoning bicycle-based tourism economy — and that means the Oregon Tourism Commission/Travel Oregon also has in interest in how they’re managed.

For years now, exploring Oregon’s rural roads by bike has been a cornerstone of Travel Oregon’s marketing strategy. They’ve invested in advertisements, created an online guide to the best routes, and they’ve partnered with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department to help promote and develop a network of official State Scenic Bikeways program.

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NW Examiner: Everett bike lanes part of ‘campaign against auto-orientation’

Posted by on October 15th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

examinerlead
Frank Warrens is not happy
about the new bike lanes.

A cover story in this month’s NW Examiner is stoking an old but unfortunately familiar meme: the “war on cars.”

In Driving out Cars, Allan Classen, the publisher and editor of the free neighborhood newspaper, focuses on how new buffered bike lanes have impacted people who use NW Everett Street. As we reported back in August, the Bureau of Transportation re-designed Everett between 24th and I-405 in order to improve bicycle access.

For the main face of the story, Classen chose an auto repair shop owner named Frank Warrens, who refers to the project as an example of PBOT’s ongoing “war on cars”:

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After 3-day demo, city council moves to ‘next phase’ of rethinking 3rd Avenue

Posted by on October 15th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Sped-up version of a video of Northwest 3rd Avenue just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 5.
(Original video: Better Block PDX)

The widely praised experiment that created a temporary protected bike lane and big new pedestrian areas on 3rd Avenue in Old Town this month seems to be reshaping the way the city sees the street.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve noticed the extraordinary width at that point on 3rd and I should have noticed an obvious use for all that space was ping pong tables,” Commissioner Steve Novick, who had enjoyed a game of table tennis during the demonstration, joked at a city council hearing on the subject Wednesday.

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Economist Joe Cortright launches ‘virtual think tank’

Posted by on October 15th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

cityobservatory
Home page

Joe Cortright, a Portland-based economist who specializes in making the case for urban innovation and active transportation and was a powerful critic of the failed Columbia River Crossing project, has launched City Observatory, a “virtual think tank” that will be “devoted to data-driven analysis of cities and the policies that shape them.”

Topics on the site will be arranged in a system of “cards,” copying a successful feature of popular news site Vox.com.

The goal of this new venture will be to spark conversations about what policies and practices will create great cities. Cortright received funding for the project from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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First Look: 50s Bikeway adds diverters, crossings at Burnside and Division

Posted by on October 15th, 2014 at 11:58 am

50scrossingma
The new green-striped bike lane in front of the new bike box at 52nd and Division creates a more visible crossing.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

After more than a year of delay and months of construction, the 50s Bikeway is looking great, and two of the most important components are in place: comfortable crossings and traffic semi-diverters at two major streets. On Tuesday, I swung past to get some photos.

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Travel Oregon adds gravel routes to bicycling portal website

Posted by on October 15th, 2014 at 11:23 am

rideoregon
Now you have one less excuse to not explore Oregon’s excellent unpaved roads.

RideOregonRide.com, the awesome resource developed by Oregon’s tourism commission Travel Oregon, now includes a handful of the best gravel rides our state has to offer.

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In ‘Requiem for a greenway,’ Clinton Street user renews call for diverters

Posted by on October 14th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Clinton bikeway signage-4-4
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Has one of Portland’s first and most beloved bikeways drowned in car traffic over the last six months?

The data isn’t there yet to say for sure. But Brian Davis, a transportation analyst for Lancaster Engineering and a regular user of Clinton Street on his bike, has written a short, moving essay on Portland Transport about his changing experiences riding on the street. (Emphases mine.)

Just a few years ago, the thought of going two whole months without setting tire upon Clinton Street would have been unfathomable to me. One of the best things about my job is that I get to travel throughout the city to look at roads and intersections, and Clinton has long been my superhighway to all points southeast. If you got there early enough, you could often go from Seven Corners all the way to Southeast 26th without seeing a single car. On my many ambles through the corridor I discovered the best cup of coffee in Southeast, the best corn muffins in the city, and the best hot buttered rum anywhere. I realize now that I developed something of a sentimental attachment to the street while riding eastbound all those mornings, mesmerized by constant stream of people cycling past me on their way downtown. Those sign-toppers really meant something back then.

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New path will link Sellwood to Milwaukie on SE 17th

Posted by on October 14th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

se17thpath-crosssection
SE 17th is getting a makeover between Sellwood and Milwaukie.

A new, $3.4 million path and street design update will vastly improve the bicycling connection between Portland and Milwaukie and the City of Milwaukie wants your feedback on its preliminary design.

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Commissioners Fish and Fritz warm to income tax to pay for streets

Posted by on October 14th, 2014 at 9:16 am

council work session novick fritz hales fish
Portland’s city council speaks with staff Monday about the “Our Streets PDX” proposal.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Can Portland’s proposed transportation income tax count to three?

In the political tea leaves of Portland’s five-member city council, three is the magic number. And the tenor of Monday’s hearing on the city’s proposed tax suggested that consensus is building. But the vote seems likely to hinge on who would pay how much.

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New maps show which streets would be improved by proposed income tax

Posted by on October 13th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

As Jonathan reported earlier this afternoon, the city has just released its most thoroughly vetted list yet of which streets would see improvements from a proposed income tax for streets.

How solid is this list? Well, this is the first time the city has ever put it on a map.

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Here’s what PBOT wants to do with $173.8 million in new transportation revenue

Posted by on October 13th, 2014 at 2:14 pm

ourstreets-lear
PBOT staffer Mark Lear updated advisory
committee members on the Our Street
funding effort.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning in a conference room in the Portland Building, Bureau of Transportation staff laid out how they intend to spend $173.8 million in new revenue they hope to collect from residents and businesses in the first six years of the “Our Streets” funding plan.

While 42% of all the new revenue go toward paving (about $75 million), bike-specific investments are also on the list. A new carfree bridge over I-405 at NW Flanders Street and a protected bike lane on NE Broadway from 24th to the Broadway Bridge make up a list of about $7 million in projects that would dramatically improve biking conditions.

PBOT called this meeting to share an update on the funding plan to their various advisory committees. Among the 12 people in attendance at the meeting, six were city staff and the others were representatives from the City’s freight, bicycle, and pedestrian advisory committees. Members of the City’s Transportation Needs Funding Advisory Committee and Business Workgroup — both put together specifically to address the Our Streets plan — were also at the meeting.

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The Monday Roundup: A clever road-space demo, Seattle gets bike share and more

Posted by on October 13th, 2014 at 9:45 am

latvia
Now that’s taking the lane.
(Photo: Let’s Bike It!)

[This week's Monday Roundup is sponsored by North St. Bags, celebrating their 5th year of making great bags in Portland.]

Here are the great bike links that caught our eyes this week:

Road space demo: Latvian bike commuters came up with an evocative (though probably wobbly) way to show how much space bikes save on the road.

“The Wash Cyclist”: A Philadelphia startup is preparing a national rollout of a cargo-trike laundry delivery service.

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For less than $500,000, 3 Portland road diets are preventing 37 crashes every year

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

road diet safety
(Data: Portland Bureau of Transportation. Chart: BikePortland.)

A new city study shows the big payoff the city has quietly seen from a few uses of one of the least-understood tricks in traffic engineering: the 4-3 road diet.

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Comment of the Week: For this rider, driving is a necessity

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

2490690324_945b8c7214_z
(Photo: Amanda)

Even in Portland, people who bike more than they drive are a pretty small minority.

What sets us apart, in fact, might actually be the percentage of Portlanders who drive while wishing they were on a bike.

In a comment beneath our post about a road diet on Burnside that probably improved safety at a cost to fast driving (but might have also made biking less convenient), reader Edwards shared some compelling thoughts from the perspective of someone who loves to bike but also needs, at least for the moment, to drive.

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Smiles, fire, kids, crashes, and mud: A Cross Crusade gallery

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Cross Crusade #1 Alpenrose-53-53
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the eve of the opening race of the Cross Crusade, I find myself getting a bit nostalgic. This season marks the ninth year I’ve photographed these epic spectacles.

Looking through the 1,500 or so images in my Cross Crusade archives brings back all sorts of memories. There has been so much great racing and shenanigans over the years!

Scroll down and browse through this selection of images as you get ready for yet another season of the world’s most photogenic cyclocross race series…

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Bike Commute Challenge participants toast 1.2 million miles ridden in September

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 10:10 am

railing
People wait for awards to
be presented to workplaces with
the most dedicated bike commuters.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Well over a hundred biking fans packed City Hall’s courtyard with their vehicles and stepped inside for beer and pizza Thursday night to celebrate the end of the annual Bike Commute Challenge.

The event run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance drew 10,350 participants this year from 1,190 workplaces in a friendly competition that saw the most dedicated commuters logging more than 1,000 miles during September. In all, participants logged 1,212,271 miles of bike commuting this year.

“At the same time as you saved money on gas, you saved our communities money on road maintenance,” BTA Deputy Director Steph Noll said.

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BTA calls on members to back income tax for street funding

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

BTA Annual meeting-2
BTA Director Rob Sadowsky, part of a coalition
of local nonprofit leaders offering to
endorse a city revenue proposal.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For months, almost no local institutions have been willing to voice public support for one of Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s signature agenda items: a new revenue stream for city transportation budgets (a.k.a. the Our Streets Transportation Funding Conversation).

On Thursday, a group of nonprofits, many of which focus on transportation, offered to do so — with conditions.

In a separate but related action Wednesday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which is among the nonprofit coalition, issued a rare action alert calling on its members to contact Portland City Council in support of “a new progressive street fee with strong discounts for low-income members of our community only if it prioritizes safety.”

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A day to appreciate bicycle messengers

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Sharky-8
After a long and illustrious career, Eric “Sharky” Young hung up his messenger bag this year. He was a credit to his profession (and, given the speed and skill with which he operated his bicycle, he was not easy to photograph.)
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you see a bike messenger in your office or in your lane today, give ‘em a nod or say “thanks.”

You should probably always do this, given the importance and symbolism of their chosen profession; but today is special because it’s 10-9 Day, a.k.a. Messenger Appreciation Day.

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Weekend Event Guide: Crusade, Ghostbusters, 3-speeds, and more

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Cross Crusade at Alpenrose-16
The wait is over.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery

Now that we’re well into October, I guess it’s not too early to get into the Halloween mood. If you need some inspiration on that front, look no further than the Ghostbusters ride happening on Sunday. They’ll stop for a behind-the-scenes look at a graveyard, eat Ghostbusters-themed donuts, and ride bikes — that’s a lot of birds to kill with just one stone.

This weekend also ushers in the official start of cyclocross season. Yes, we know races have been happening for over a month now, but the start of the Cross Crusade is so momentous that it has earned its season-changing status.

Oh, and it looks like the rain will hold off until Monday! Have fun out there…

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A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: Fighting fear with practice

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 10:33 am

newb-taborsun
Training ground.
(Photo by Ben Salzberg)

There’s just one race left in the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and I’ve got my work cut out for me. With the exception of my wipe-out in Week 2 that left me in 14th place, I’ve been stuck in 3rd and can’t seem to budge. The rider who has been finishing first usually does so with such a large margin that I can’t even see her after the first minute of the first lap.

That’s quite a gap to close, but I’m an unreasonable person and let’s be honest – I want to win.

I know from my extensive experience in adult beer-league kickball that practice is essential to improving on-field swagger as well as performance, albeit to a lesser degree. So I’m ready to put some work into this. But where to begin?

For me, cyclocross can be broken into 3 categories: things that are hard, things that are tricky, and things that terrify me.

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