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Join us Monday to learn about the history of Portland bicycling

Posted by on April 22nd, 2016 at 2:23 pm

KEN History POSTER FEB 16 copy

Bike transportation is essential to the future of Portland. But every year it also becomes more and more a part of Portland’s history.

At a free event next week, a local biking writer and three Oregon biking advocates will meet up at a brewpub to talk about the history of biking in Portland — both its early heyday in the 1890s and the modern renaissance that began around 1970.

First, Portland author April Streeter (of Women on Wheels and Treehugger) will talk about seven “unforgettable characters who have shaped Portland’s bike culture,” going back to the 1800s.

Then Mychal Tetteh of the Community Cycling Center, Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Steve Schulz of Cycle Oregon will join a panel about the movement’s modern history. I’ll be moderating.

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- Huntco is the official sponsor of BikePortland's bike parking coverage.-
Huntco Site Furnishings

Affordable-housing alliance to city: Legalize ‘missing middle’ in bikeable neighborhoods

Posted by on April 22nd, 2016 at 1:58 pm

2314-16 se salmon duplex built 1927
2314 and 2316 SE Salmon: built in 1927, illegal to build today. City Council could change that with the comprehensive plan it’s about to vote on.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As Portlanders debate ways to deal with the city’s continuing surge of housing prices, a coalition of local affordable-housing developers and service providers says Portland can’t afford to continue banning so-called “missing middle” housing from most of the city.

Duplexes, triplexes, internal home divisions and two-story garden apartments are common throughout many of the neighborhoods Portland built in the early 20th century. Today, those neighborhoods are the city’s most walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly — but since 1959, city code has made it illegal to build more neighborhoods like that. Homes with multiple kitchens or space for fewer than two cars are forbidden even on most residential land in the central city.

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Jobs of the Week: Cycle Portland, Pearl Izumi, Cyclone, Bike Friday, Bike Gallery

Posted by on April 22nd, 2016 at 7:22 am

Looking for a new gig? We’ve got six great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bike Tour Guid/Rental Staff – Cycle Portland

–> Assistant Store Manager – Woodburn – Pearl Izumi

–> Inside Sales Representative – Cyclone Bicycle Supply

–> Sales Support Specialist -Cyclone Bicycle Supply

–> Service Department – Bke Friday

–> Bike Mechanics/Bike Builders – Bike Gallery

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Metro Council unanimously backs mountain biking trails north of Forest Park

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 5:10 pm

tualatinmap

Portland’s regional government unanimously approved a plan to allow mountain biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains Natural Area Thursday in a session that gushed with praise.

“This project took a lot more work than I thought it was going to,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase, whose district includes the natural area just north of Forest Park, to chuckles around the room. “We have really come to a fantastic place.”

The vote came despite organized objections from a cluster of people who live nearby, in some cases with property immediately bordering the public land. As we reported last week, some of them held a protest outside Metro’s headquarters to argue that allowing mountain biking trails in the natural area would do undue harm to local wildlife.

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Crash victims in limbo as police records backlog swells to six months

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 4:16 pm

rowan
Small business owner Rowan Kimsey was seriously injured in a traffic crash over five months ago. She still doesn’t have a copy of the police report.
(Photo: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

For many traffic crash victims the difference between getting a check from the insurance company and getting nothing comes down to one document: a police report. And for an increasing number of Portlanders the time it takes to receive a copy of that report has ballooned from two weeks to up to six months.

These victims are in limbo. Without a police report they can’t get paid what they’re owed and they can’t fully heal emotionally because they often aren’t even able to find out basic information — like the first and last name — of the person who hit them.

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As the city mourns Prince, the week’s biggest bike ride is tonight

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Bowie v. Prince Ride-9
Tim Nakayama, a.k.a. Diablo, keeper of Prince’s flame in Portland bike culture.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Three months after Portland lost one icon behind its annual Bowie vs. Prince ride, the other has also left the stage.

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City, state sued for unsafe road design in death of Martin Greenough

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 9:02 am

greenoughlawsuit

A lawsuit (PDF) has been filed in the death of Martin Greenough, the man who was killed while bicycling on NE Portland Highway (a.k.a. Lombard) on December 12th of last year.

Greenough’s family filed the lawsuit yesterday. The suit says that the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, and the man who hit Greenough, Kenneth Smith, are all at fault for his death and are asking for $3.6 million in damages.

As we covered at length here on BikePortland, Greenough was hit in a section of Lombard — where the bike lane stops and the road narrows under the NE 42nd Avenue overpass — that was a known danger spot. We reported on the exact location just one day before he was hit. Tragically however, we learned Greenough was new to town and was very likely following the route suggested on official city and regional bike maps.

In the lawsuit, Greenough’s lawyer claims both the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Transportion had been aware of the “pinch point” for at least a year before the collision and that they failed to “failed to provide for safe travel for both motor vehicles and bicycles.”

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City launches web survey and open house for Ankeny diverter project

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 8:54 am

ankenylead

Detail of city plans for diversion at SE Ankeny and 15th. More detail here.

Portland’s mission to upgrade its first-generation bike boulevards into lower-stress neighborhood greenways is continuing.

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Wednesday Video Roundup: Tall bike touring, the ‘Grey Escape’, Paris-Roubaix & more

Posted by on April 20th, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Welcome to this week’s roundup! Our first video (above) is a great 10-minute trailer about the Tall Bike Tour and fringe society. It’s somehow related to The Winking Circle (artsy straightedgers?) near Toronto. In any case, the trailer is really interesting even as a standalone piece.

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Better Block volunteers prep for Broadway and Burnside demos in May and June

Posted by on April 20th, 2016 at 3:34 pm

3rd Avenue Better Block PDX
A protected bike lane on SE 3rd Avenue in 2014.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)

Dozens of volunteers are now meeting weekly to plan temporary human-friendly makeovers of Northeast Broadway and the Burnside Bridge this spring and summer.

Better Block PDX’s next “work party” is tonight at Pizza Schmizza at NE 7th and Broadway, from 6-7:30 p.m. Next Wednesday it’s the same time at Black Water Bar, NE 9th and Broadway.

The Broadway demo will create a protected bike lane for one week, from May 9-15.

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Bike Walk Vote will host ‘meet the candidates’ event Sunday at Velo Cult

Posted by on April 20th, 2016 at 12:19 pm

bwvevent-lead
Bob Stacey (Metro Council), Sarah Iannarone (Portland Mayor), and Sam Chase (Metro Council) have all been endorsed by Bike Walk Vote.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bike Walk Vote, the political arm of Portland’s transportation reform movement, wants to get you some face time with this year’s city council, county commission and Metro council candidates.

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On eve of vote, Metro has heard all sides of Tualatin Mountains debate

Posted by on April 20th, 2016 at 11:50 am

Metro council meeting-4.jpg
The council heard concerns and praise
at a public hearing last week.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The seven-member Metro Council will decide on Thursday whether or not to approve the creation of new off-road trails near Portland.

If their North Tualatin Mountains Trail Access Plan is passed it will set into motion the development of over six miles of new off-road routes open to bicycles. This plan would be a major milestone because the first phase of trail construction (at Burlington) will happen just 10 miles north of downtown Portland and 2.25 miles of those trails will be built specifically for bicycle riding.

“Bicycle-optimized trails,” to use Metro’s term (a.k.a. singletrack) are rare and coveted for many Portlanders who don’t want to drive a minimum of 45 minutes just to ride. Forest Park only has 1/3 mile of singletrack and Powell Butte (about 13 miles east of downtown Portland) is small and offers only limited options. Off-road cycling advocates have been trying for years (without much success) to improve bike access at Forest Park and more recently at River View Natural Area in the southwest hills. Both times the Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau has pulled the rug out from under them in favor of the status quo.

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How a zany race sold me on bikes and made me the woman I needed to become

Posted by on April 20th, 2016 at 8:25 am

kate
The author.
(Photos via K.Laudermilk)

We’re pleased to welcome new contributor Kate Laudermilk, a Portlander who’ll be sharing humor and wisdom from her biking life in the occasional column Gal by Bike over the next few months.

I know firsthand that the thought of being a “cyclist” or “bike rider” can be intimidating. Often it’s even more intimidating for women to get started and break into the biking community. And using a bike as my sole form of transportation was never my plan.

That is why I think the evolution of my life on a bike is a story worth telling.

I know that sometimes it can seem easier to just drive, walk, or take the streetcar. Just kidding, it’s never easier to take the streetcar. But as a skeptic by nature, riding a bike makes me second guess things, worry, and question my capabilities. What if I can’t ride fast enough, long enough, or what if my hair gets all messed up under the helmet? Worries aside, I have and continue to deem my decision to become an avid bike rider as one of my smartest decisions to date.

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Green Zebra opens in the Lloyd Thursday, with bikes in a starring role

Posted by on April 19th, 2016 at 2:15 pm

gzebralead
Green Zebra is opening along the beeswax-colored Multnomah protected bikeway and they’re planting pollinators in the planter boxes.

Green Zebra Grocery, the business we’ve said has the best bike parking in Portland, is just two days away from opening their second store. And they’re putting bicycles front-and-center.

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Thank you for helping us make NW Portland Week a success!

Posted by on April 19th, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Get Together NW Portland Week-10.jpg
Some of the crowd at our Get Together on Friday.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

20 stories, hundreds of images and many new friends and discoveries made for a highly successful NW Portland Week. Thank you for reading and contributing (I think the comment threads were as interesting and valuable as our reporting). And a special thanks goes to our 250 subscribers. Their monthly payments are what make these special reporting projects possible.

So, what did we learn?

We learned that northwest Portland has more potential when it comes to bike access investments than any other part of the city. And if you think those investments would only target “the rich” you might want to read Michael’s excellent story that debunked that myth.

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County’s new courthouse could bring a raised bike lane to SW Madison

Posted by on April 19th, 2016 at 9:52 am

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View of the new courthouse looking eastbound from SW 1st Avenue. Madison is on the left.
(Image: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County is planning a new central courthouse to replace the 100-year-old building they currently use on SW 4th Avenue — and it could come with a raised bike lane.

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Merger puts the HQ for a leading low-car transportation startup in Portland

Posted by on April 19th, 2016 at 9:10 am

moovel
Screenshot of moovel.com.

Whether or not the City of Portland succeeds in its bid for a $40 million “Smart City” grant to advance a collection of ideas about digitally connected transportation, the private sector is already leaping forward on similar lines.

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Free webinar Thursday will explore the potential of e-bikes

Posted by on April 18th, 2016 at 2:53 pm

The Ohm electric-assist bicycle-6.jpg
Electron-powered.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

As electric-assist bikes take over more and more of the global bicycle market, they’re growing in the United States and Portland too.

Last year, Portland snagged its third and fourth e-bike specialty stores. Next month, we’ll host the Electric Bike Expo for the first time. And this week, Portland State University is sharing some of the only modern academic research on the domestic e-bike market.

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Street Roots survey turns up differing priorities in mayor’s race

Posted by on April 18th, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Portland Mayor Debate-20.jpg
Mayoral candidates Ted Wheeler, left, and Bim Ditson.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Street Roots, Portland’s first-rate paper about homelessness and housing issues, sometimes asks questions about the closely related subject of transportation.

A questionnaire distributed to the mayoral candidates and published last week includes a quick window into the ways different candidates think about mobility issues.

The question:

Please place the following items in order of priority as mayor.

• Increase parking
• Bike infrastructure
• Low­ or no-fare public transit

Here’s what they said:

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Amid talk of congestion relief, Salem Dems reboot transportation bill talks

Posted by on April 18th, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Speaker of the Oregon House Tina Kotek
Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The 2017 Oregon legislature hasn’t even been elected yet, but state House and Senate leaders are getting ready for another try at a transportation bill.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-North Portland, told the Salem Statesman Journal that they’re planning another “bipartisan, bicameral legislative committee” to start negotiating a deal that would presumably include a statewide gas tax hike.

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