450 people have signed up for this year's Women's Forum, twice as many the first year in 2012. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
BikePortland coverage from Washington D.C. is made possible by Planet Bike.
The Opening Plenary of the third annual National Women's Bicycling Forum opened today with a series of TED-style presentations from an impressive line-up of female leaders.
About 450 people have signed up for the Women's Forum this year, that's over twice as many that attended the first edition in 2012. They're hear to learn and be inspired by a full day of speakers, networking, and break-out sessions.
Before the opening plenary got started this morning, League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke said that their Women Bike program is "transforming the League and transforming our movement." For the League, Women Bike has become a key pillar of their larger equity initiative which includes efforts to broaden the bicycling and advocacy tent to welcome women, communities of color, and kids.
BikePortland will be reporting this week on news from both coasts — Jonathan from the National Bike Summit in D.C. and Michael on the news in Portland — but our post schedule may not keep to the normal business hours as usual. This week's collection of the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes is a good one:
Jeffrey Cramer, who says he can support himself indefinitely as long as he spends just $500 a month, talked to us about bikes, bike theft and living outdoors in Portland. (Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
"At that time of night, $10 for a bike ride home was a good deal — you can't get a cab back to where I live for $10," he said. "It wasn't 'til I got home that I realized I was riding a gem."
Cramer, 48, doesn't want to say exactly where he lives, except that it's "way the fucking hell out there." But five days after he turned down most of a $100 reward for tracking down the owner of the bike he'd bought from the man who stole it, this self-described "vagabond" was willing to have a candid conversation about his decision to live outdoors, the importance of bikes in his life and his own thoughts about Portland's underground economy of stolen bicycles.
A big crowd absorbed knowledge from a trio of experienced bike adventurers. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
A much larger than expected turnout at last night's Bikepacking 101 Seminar confirmed that interest in backroads and adventure bicycling is at an all-time high. Either that, or people just jumped at the chance for some great free beer, catch up with friends (and make new ones) and a peek inside the headquarters of Chris King Precision Components.
In all seriousness, the 200+ people that packed the King Cafe was yet another reminder that we've hit a tipping point in this type of riding. From "gravel grinding" on beefed up road bikes to multi-day trips on fully decked-out fat-bikes, it seems like everyone is getting excited for two-wheeled adventures these days.
How big was the crowd? It took me a few shots with a wide angle to get it all...
Portland's construction of low-traffic, low-stress neighborhood streets for biking, walking and recreation has slowed to a crawl. What happened? (Photos by J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)
If Portland has contributed any innovations of its own to the craft of designing great streets, it's this two-word idea: neighborhood greenways.
A remix of ideas from Utrecht and Vancouver BC, these low-cost retrofits of low-traffic side streets — adding speed humps, sharrow markings, traffic diverters and signalized crossings of big arterials — have taken the national bike world by storm since Portland's Greg Raisman and Mark Lear developed the concept in 2008 or so. In 2010, a citywide network of greenways became the first priority to emerge from Portland's landmark 25-year bike plan.
Nice elevator when it's working. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The opening of the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge in July 2012 came amid much fanfare. The $13.6 million span over Interstate 5 provided a much-needed connection between the Lair Hill neighborhood and the burgeoning South Waterfront.
While it's a beautiful bridge to walk and bike on, it has one major flaw. There's no ramp to make bicycling easy and smooth at the transition to the South Waterfront side.
Once you get to the east side of the bridge, the design requires people to: carry and/or push their bikes on six flights of stairs with only a narrow and hard-to-reach wheel gutter to ease the task; or use an elevator.
And unfortunately, the elevator — which is by far the preferred option if you are biking, especially with kids and/or with a large bike — has proven to be unreliable.
NWTA Board President Kelsey Cardwell (photo courtesy NWTA) and newly hired Director Dave Roth (photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
With the recent hire Dave Roth, their first-ever full-time director, and election of Kelsey Cardwell as Board President, Northwest Trail Alliance is shoving off into an important new era of off-road cycling advocacy.
Get ready D.C., the nation's bike lovers are on their way. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
It's that time of the year once again when hundreds of advocates, activists and bike lovers of all stripes converge on Washington D.C. for the League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Summit. I'll be attending again this year (my eighth time!), so stay tuned next week for various reports, musings, photos, and so on.
Riders embark on a 50-mile loop of dirt and gravel farm roads west of Salem. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
I still don't who organized last Sunday's Salem Gravel Grinder ride; but I think that's somewhat by design. The ride is part of a growing trend of unsanctioned, unpermitted group rides where the participants expect nothing more than a good route, good company, and a good adventure.
By that measure, Sunday's ride (also known as "Oregon's Perry Roubaix") was a great success.
Portland's regional transit agency is installing far fewer $50-a-year bike lockers than it used to and adding more short-term parking near stops as it rethinks the ways people in cities tend to combine bikes and public transit.
Though the City of Portland's parking code requires eight "long-term" parking spaces at every new rail stop, the city is waiving that rule for many stations on the future Orange Line. Instead, TriMet is building several much larger and more space-efficient bike-and-ride storage areas, plus plenty of covered, open-air bike parking.
Scene of the collision. (Photo courtesy Rickson's attorneys.)
As we reported this morning, a jury was expected to rule on the Kathryn Rickson case today. Rickson's family was pursuing a $1.78 million lawsuit against the trucking company that owned and operated the truck involved in the collision that claimed her life back in May 2012.
However, just a few hours before the closing arguments were set to be heard at the Multnomah County Courthouse, representatives from Golden State Foods Corp. decided to settle out of court for a sum of $700,000.
According to Charley Gee, an attorney with Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton, the firm representing Rickson's estate, this is a significant settlement that should send a clear message to trucking companies to take driver training more seriously.
Kafoury, left, is a five-year county commissioner. Francesconi, right, is a former city commissioner. (Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Transportation is rarely the biggest issue for Multnomah County chairs, but that didn't stop candidates Deborah Kafoury and Jim Francesconi from gamely finding some modest differences at a debate on the subject Tuesday.
Though neither politician has been known as particularly passionate on transportation issues, both contenders for the county's top elected position endorsed the concept of a "multimodal" county and shared a few ideas for making it better.
Meet the LIT tires, offered by Portland-based Velo Products. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
This review was written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based trial lawyer whom I met while biking in Forest Park last year. He's also an alternate member of the City of Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee and a dedicated transportation activist.
It’s impressive that Portland-based Velo Products took the crowd-funding route to make their LIT Tires concept a reality. The tires themselves are equally impressive.
I pre-ordered a pair last April because the company is local, they partnered to support the BTA with their sales, and the tire design has Portlanders’ needs in mind. As the months ticked by, I got e-mail updates, mostly describing manufacturing snags. At one point they offered to refund our money because of the delays. I stuck it out, and my tires arrived last week. I’m glad I did.
Community advocates Roger Averbeck, Gerik Kransky, and Cameron Whitten at the rally for Kathryn Rickson on May 18th, 2012. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
This afternoon at the Multnomah County Courthouse, a jury will hear closing arguments in the wrongful death civil trial of Kathryn Rickson. Rickson, a 28-year-old graduate student and aspiring playwright at Portland State University, died following a collision with a semi-truck at the intersection of SW 3rd and Madison on May 16th, 2012.
A representative of Rickson's estate alleges that the trucking company, Delaware-based Golden State Foods Corp., was negligent because one of their drivers, Dawayne Eacret, failed to see Ms. Rickson and yield to her presence prior to the collision. Rickson's family is seeking $1,789,281.93 in damages. Attorney's for Golden State Foods deny the allegations and maintain that the fault of the collision belongs solely to Rickson.
Sally Spear, 63, moved into a 200-square-foot backyard cottage designed by her son-in-law Schuyler Smith, 33, in 2010. Last year he co-founded Polyphon, an architecture firm that specializes largely in accessory dwellings, using her Woodlawn cottage as the first template. (Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Though they're still far from common — it's only about 3 percent of new dwellings citywide, and fans say those that exist remain in hot demand — the backyards, cellar doors and underused garages of Portland's central neighborhoods are rapidly filling up with "accessory dwelling units," which the city defines as living spaces of 800 square feet or less that have an entrance, bathroom and kitchen to call their own.
A new section of the path just opened last fall. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The momentum to complete the remaining 10 miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail — a route that will ultimately provide a pleasant bicycling connection between Troutdale and Hood River without ever forcing riders onto Interstate 84 — got a major boost on Friday. In a unanimous vote, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) approved a resolution (PDF) that puts the project atop the Department of Transportation's priority list.
The resolution calls for ODOT to fund and construct the final segments and called it, "a project of statewide and national significance."
Portland's bicycle coordinator for the last 14 years — a confident and amiable man, but always known more for his groundbreaking analyses and head for numbers than for a silver tongue — was pitching the benefits of replacing auto parking on one side of the street (including a couple blocks in each direction, it's maybe one-eighth of the district's auto parking) with a buffered bike lane. Geller made one argument after another as to why there was no reason to think the district would suffer. But for each fact he cited, someone had an immediate rebuttal.