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‘Portlanders for Central City Bikeways’ Facebook group will help advocates network online

Posted by on July 19th, 2016 at 8:24 am

Screen grab from the Facebook group.

Facebook is the most important organizing tool in the world right now — look at its success for everyone from Portland Tenants United to the president of Turkey — so it’s nice to see pro-biking volunteers putting it to strategic use.

As Portland gets ready to roll out a long-awaited network of protected bike lanes in its central city, there’s a new Facebook group for people in favor of biking improvements there.

Portlanders for Central City Bikeways was created Monday by Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike shop and valet in the South Waterfront. Here’s how he described his vision for the group in his first post:


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‘Twas the night before bike share

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 11:18 pm

On Twitter, BikePortlander Kyle Rohr (@antipex) composed a work of poetry to accompany his picture of the new biketown bikes. PBOT called it “a magical poem for Bike Share Eve”. Thanks for letting us share, Kyle.


T’was the night before bike share, when all through the city,
Not an automobile was stirring, not even for pity;


Weekly Video Roundup: strandbeest wheel, paracycling, Walmart bike, and more

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Welcome to this week’s roundup! Normally I review 60-80 videos, but after taking last week off to pay respect to the tragedies that had taken place. So far this week I’ve reviewed 130 videos, have a second review queue of Tour de France videos, and have some leftover videos I’ll review next week. For me, the past two weeks included an internet outage, a hospital visit, some great rides, and lots of Tour de France watching. To start us off, PathLessPedaled’s Russ and Laura are vlogging their #GreatWesternRamble (they don’t like spaces, apparently). The first video in the series is above; you can watch the full series with this playlist. The Palouse is a beautiful place.


It’s bike share eve in Portland: Tips, new app, latest on parking, and more

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Crews are working overtime to get the final stations installed. This crew worked fast on Salmon Street on Saturday.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Crews are working overtime to get the final stations installed. This crew installed a station on Salmon Street on Saturday in about an hour!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Less than 24 hours from now Portland will have a bike share system.

Let that sink in.

OK. Now let’s get focused and think about what we need to know about this Biketown thing. Below is a roundup of news tidbits we’ve been collecting for the past few days:


Two new traffic diverters installed on Ankeny and Mississippi

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-3.jpg
New traffic diverter on SE Ankeny at 15th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With two new traffic diverters installed in the past week, the City of Portland continues to fulfill its promise to defend the low-stress biking environment on neighborhood greenways.


The Monday Roundup: Urban alleys, collision readiness & more

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 9:53 am

An alley in Edinburgh: just another name for a human-scale street.
(Photo: Byronv2)

— This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Hassalo on Eighth, Portland’s new neighborhood now leasing in the Lloyd District.

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

Urban alleys: They’re narrow. They’re non-uniform. They’re underrated public spaces.

Collision text: If you’re ever in a traffic crash, having this text in your notes app might be a good way to avoid forgetting to gather important details as your body escapes shock.


First look: The City has finally bridged the the notorious Naito Gap

Posted by on July 15th, 2016 at 2:04 pm

New bikeway on Naito Parkway near Steel Bridge-13.jpg
We waited nine years for this!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The day has finally come: You can now ride your bike in legally-protected, cycling-only space between Davis and the Steel Bridge on Naito Parkway.


Long-term plan for central-city bikeways moves toward council approval

Posted by on July 15th, 2016 at 10:43 am

downtown portland bikeway map
Future central-city bikeways in the city’s proposed Central City 2035 plan. Dark green lines are “major” city bikeways, light green are other city bikeways. Green shading indicates a “bicycle district.”

Some recent updates to a map of future bikeways in Portland’s central city have advocates talking.


Oregonian: Mayor Hales plans complete removal of camps along Springwater path

Posted by on July 15th, 2016 at 9:10 am

mohawk craig
“Mohawk Craig,” a resident of a Springwater Corridor camp, in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

“You can’t stay here any more.”

After months of telling park rangers and police to avoid issuing that order to people living in tents along the major Portland biking path, Willamette Week and The Oregonian are reporting that Mayor Charlie Hales plans to order a sweep of the length of the corridor within city of Portland boundaries (the eastern border is SE Jenne Rd/174th).

Here’s more from Hales in a video created by The Oregonian:


Discount ends tomorrow for the International Open Streets Summit in Portland

Posted by on July 14th, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Sunday Parkways northeast 2014-28
Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways, 2014.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The biggest conference about open-streets events (like Sunday Parkways) and tactical urbanism (like Better Block) is coming to Portland next month.

The International Open Streets Summit will bring many people who work to humanize street space to Portland State University from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Saturday, Aug. 20. The draft program includes speakers from Philadelphia; Dallas; Los Angeles; Missoula; Toronto; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile, among others.

The “tactical urbanism” thread is newly added to this conference, reflecting the fact that fast, flexible changes and demos on city streets are a growing trend among community groups and city governments alike. Mike Lydon, a planning consultant helping produce this conference, literally wrote the book on that subject.


Pokemon Go is a boon for biking

Posted by on July 14th, 2016 at 1:19 pm


Pokemon Go has gamified cycling. The new app that’s taking the world by storm also happens to be great to play by bike. As more and more people realize this, the game could do more to encourage biking — especially among young people — than decades of advocacy.

I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve been monitoring chatter about bikes on the internet long enough to know when something big has happened. And it has.

The game itself is really interesting. It uses a combination of your smartphone’s map and camera to “augment reality” by placing the game’s features right on the streets where you live, work, and play. When it first hit the news all the reports were about people playing it on foot. We then started hearing about people playing while driving (bad idea!). And now it appears that a bicycle is the secret Pokemon Go weapon.

Here’s Bicycling Magazine writer (and Portland resident) Caitlin Giddings explaining why bikes and Pokemon go so well together:

Not only has my bike allowed me to access Pokéstops more quickly—so it’s easy to stock up on Pokéballs and other items—but it’s also proved invaluable in hatching eggs. Eggs are items you can find at Pokéstops. To hatch them into Pokémon, you have to walk (or even better, ride) a certain distance—between two to 10 km, as measured by your phone’s accelerometer. Eggs won’t hatch if you’re traveling that distance in a car—so you essentially have to get outside and use your own body to get the job done. On foot, this can take a while because you have to leave the app open the entire time for your steps to count. But on a bike? I think you know where I’m going with this.

Although not really a cycling app, Pokémon Go is the first cycling-adjacent app I’ve ever given a damn about


One week left to apply for two important city funding committees

Posted by on July 13th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Bike Advisory Cmte Meeting-1.jpg
The city’s bicycle advisory committee is different, but you get the idea.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Not everybody loved the local gas tax that Portland voters approved in May. But most Portlanders can probably agree that now that it exists, it ought to be spent as promised.

There’s a strong possibility that the tax might bring in more or less money than expected, or that the city might eventually consider changing the project list in ways that violate the implicit promise to voters that it made when it created the list.

If either of those things were to happen, the main watchdog institution will be a volunteer oversight committee that’s currently recruiting members.


Thanks for voting us Best Local Blog!

Posted by on July 13th, 2016 at 3:36 pm


The Willamette Week’s Best of Portland issue hit the streets today and if you turn to page 60 you’ll see something pretty cool: BikePortland has been voted Best Local Blog!


Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes

Posted by on July 13th, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Tucked into Nike’s exclusive $10 million bike share contract with the City of Portland is a clause that allows the company to put its considerable marketing prowess on display.

Nike has the right to place occasional “wraps” on 100 of the 1,000 Biketown bikes. This means they can change the color scheme of the usually bright orange machines in order to promote whatever they please. Today they announced their first wrap scheme.

Say hello to “sneaker bikes.”

When Biketown launches next week some of the bikes will echo the stylings of three historically significant Nike sneakers.

Here’s the announcement from Nike:


City responds after bike share station locations spur complaints

Posted by on July 13th, 2016 at 11:01 am

Biketown station on North Mississippi and Skidmore where an on-street bike corral used to be. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Biketown station on North Mississippi and Skidmore where an on-street bike corral used to be.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Besides the bikes themselves, the stations are the most visible part of the Biketown bike share system that’s set to launch six days from today. And not surprisingly, as the bright orange stations are installed on streets and sidewalks throughout Portland, their presence has stoked anger and confusion.

We’ve already covered the confusion: People are locking their own bikes to the racks which are intended solely for Biketown bikes. That issue is likely to disappear once the Biketown bikes show up next week.

Then just as that story died down a bit, we heard concerns from readers via comments that the City of Portland has torn out existing bike parking corrals in front of businesses and replaced them with bike share stations. Also yesterday, I fielded a call from a southeast Portland resident who was angry when she woke up, looked outside her house and saw that the space where she used to park her car was now a row of 18 Biketown racks.

What’s going on? Here’s what the city says…


Views from campers about the future of the tent city on Springwater path

Posted by on July 13th, 2016 at 9:56 am

trail motion
The Springwater Corridor near SE 82nd.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

It’s been a week since someone living on the Springwater Corridor survived a gunshot and months since it became maybe the largest single tent camp — tent suburb? — in Oregon.

Consciously tolerated by the city government under an uneasy compromise brokered by Mayor Charlie Hales and his (now former) chief of staff Josh Alpert, the encampment has gotten more and more complicated as it’s become a more common place for people without a roof to look for refuge. It’s also gotten harder for people biking on the Springwater to ignore. With Alpert gone from the city as of July 1, the camp’s future is newly uncertain.

Thacher Schmid (who I should disclose is also a personal friend of mine) is a freelance reporter based in Portland, writing in this case for his own website. He rode his bike to the camp last week and spent a few hours talking to people there about their lives and the city’s efforts to reduce, manage and regulate homelessness.


BTA will ask members to ratify name change at annual meeting

Posted by on July 12th, 2016 at 9:00 am

BTA Annual meeting-2
BTA head Rob Sadowsky at the member’s meeting in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland-based biking advocacy group that is transitioning into a biking-walking-transit advocacy group plans to unveil its proposed new name on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

It’ll happen at the organization’s annual members meeting, which will be 5:30 to 7:30 at Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said Monday that the organization’s board and staff will then ask members present for an up-or-down vote on the name proposal.


After 83 cars park in Mississippi Ave bike lanes, city issues 83 tickets

Posted by on July 11th, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Somebody started it and many others decided to follow suit. Bad idea.
(Photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation parking enforcement)

When an urban neighborhood holds a beloved street festival, space becomes scarce — and less space-efficient transportation options become a much worse way to get there.


City has authority to impound privately-owned bikes parked at Biketown racks

Posted by on July 11th, 2016 at 2:42 pm

This is how a Biketown station should look when it's empty.(Photo: M Andersen/BikePortland)

This is how a Biketown station should look when it’s empty.
(Photo: Peter Koonce)

In case you haven’t heard: Don’t lock your bike to one of the orange Biketown racks. If you do the City might cut your lock and impound your bike. Why? Because those racks are only for Biketown bikes.

After docking stations were installed last week they were almost immediately used by people looking for a place to park their own bikes. The issue forced the City to post a relatively aggressive tweet that was picked up by the local media. After that dust-up we asked the city if there was any city code that specifically covered this issue. There is.


People keep talking about a regional transportation ballot measure for 2018

Posted by on July 11th, 2016 at 10:32 am

The region’s biking and walking goals (green line) are far cheaper to build than its auto or transit goals, but at the current rate they won’t be built until 2209.

As Oregon legislators start talking about the statewide transportation bill many hope to pass in 2017 (look for some reporting on that soon), others are starting to think locally, too.

We’ve heard from various sources recently that some people in the Portland area are looking toward November 2018 as the right moment for a region-wide bond measure for transportation. The idea is to create a burst of new money for public transit, roadways, biking and walking.

How much of each, you ask? Those negotiations would probably get underway over the next year.