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Auto traffic diversion still "on the table" for NE Rodney project

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

NE Rodney near Fremont.

Whenever we report on a new neighborhood greenway project, the discussion always turns to diversion. That is, how will the project promote or prevent a higher volume of driving on a street specifically set aside by the Bureau of Transportation to have "low traffic volume and speed where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority."

Last week we shared PBOT's first swing at plans to turn NE Rodney into just that sort of street. And sure enough, many readers asked about diversion.

Reza wrote;

"Can we get some diversion please? Rodney near Russell gets a lot of car traffic from motorists going to Wonder or other nearby establishments continually circling the block for on-street parking."

Craig Harlow wrote;

"PBOT, please start installing diverters along ALL of the n'hood greenways."

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PBOT Director Leah Treat on pricing auto use, bike-only streets, and more

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 10:58 am

PBOT Director Leah Treat
PBOT Director Leah Treat last summer.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nine months into her position as the Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Leah Treat appears to be finally ready to spread her wings. We've noted here at BikePortland that for someone in charge of one of America's marquee transportation systems, and someone who came to town with such fanfare, Treat has been relatively quiet in laying out any sort of vision for what she wants Portland streets to look like.

But now, finally, we have reason to believe that might be changing.

Next Tuesday (4/22), Treat is slated to speak at the Sentinel Hotel as part of a partnership between the City of Club of Portland and the Oregon Active Transportation Summit. With the title of her talk being, Portland Transportation: Today & Tomorrow, this event will likely be the first major policy speech of her tenure.

Given all this, we figured it was a good time to sit down for an interview to learn more about what she's been thinking and how her leadership might impact cycling and local street culture in general. Due to sickness (mine) and scheduling, we ended up chatting on the phone yesterday and we only had limited time. Even so, we covered some good ground and you can read our conversation below...

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After host network failure, we're back from the dead

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 9:35 am

Our home page yesterday.

Just a quick note to say sorry for the site being down almost all of yesterday. We noticed the site stopped loading in the morning and it didn't return until the wee hours of last night.

Here's what happened: Our server host, Hostgator, experienced a network outage at one of their data centers that took down thousands of sites across the web (here are the latest details if you're so inclined). It was their problem, which meant we couldn't do anything but sit back, wait, and hope they could fix it quickly.

We've had our share of server issues over the past nine years; but things have stabilized a lot recently thanks to the help of our phenomenal system/server admin, Ryan Aslett. We have a dedicated server at Hostgator which we devote a fair amount of cash to each month, so we expect it to be reliable. While a tiny bit of downtime is just part of doing business on the web and is somewhat expected, an entire day is rare and quite disruptive.

Now we'll sort things out with Hostgator and make sure everything is where it should be now that the lights are back on.

Before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming, we thought you'd enjoy the fun tweets some of our friends shared yesterday as the hours of outage dragged on and on and on...

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Does Oregon really need the NACTO guide?

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 17th, 2014 at 9:08 am

The parking-protected bike lane near Portland
State University, from page 1-30 of ODOT's
Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide.

On Monday, we highlighted a few bike ideas from around the country that Oregon might imitate, but so far hasn't. One of them: formally endorsing the National Association of City Transportation Officials design guides.

But Jessica Horning, the transit and active transportation liaison for the Oregon Department of Transportation's Region 1 (which contains the Portland metro area) replied to our question about this with a fair argument: Oregon's in-house design guide is already really good.

Developed by practitioners in Portland and other cities around the country, the NACTO guides are a sort of professional Pinterest for human-friendly street designs such as protected bike lanes and traffic diverters. Images are well-annotated and informed by extensive research about safety and performance.

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Time to get excited for the 2014 Disaster Relief Trials (watch new promo video)

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 16th, 2014 at 9:41 am

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Domino's Pizza now delivers by cargo trike in downtown Portland

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 16th, 2014 at 2:04 am

Scott Kealer of Domino's Pizza on SW 4th Avenue
with his shop's new vehicle.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland's pedal-cargo delivery scene has hit a new milestone: even Domino's has bought a trike.

Cheap, fast and classy, cargo bikes and trikes have been in use for years from Old Town Pizza to Good Neighbor Pizzeria. Last fall, Scott Kealer did the math and decided his downtown Portland Domino's Pizza franchise should join their ranks.

"I've got a corporate name on the front of the door that says 'Domino's,' but it's really my pizza shop," said Kealer, owner of the local store on 4th Avenue near Portland State University.

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Census shows Hosford-Abernethy is Portland's bikingest neighborhood (updated)

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Tour de Ladd-13.jpg
The Tour de Ladd in 2008.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Update 4/17: City Clock has now updated its post using a revised methodology.

We don't usually devote much space to the endless lists ranking Portland among the best this or that for biking, and with good reason — most of them aren't worth much. One list that was published yesterday has some noteworthy tidbits, but wouldn't have been worth mentioning here if it hadn't hornswaggled us at first.

An article on cityclock.org titled "Top 10 cycling communities in America" (later changed to "Top 12 cycling areas") claimed that Census commute data showed central Eugene to be the best neighborhood in the country for biking, and that Portland's Hosford-Abernethy — Hawthorne to Powell, 29th to the Willamette, including Ladd's Addition — ranked 10th.

Both of these are very good places to ride bikes, and biking to work is more popular in those neighborhoods than elsewhere in each city. But beyond that, the methodology the site used doesn't really stand up.

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Judge dismisses Medford man's protest over citation for leaving bike lane

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Still from police video of traffic stop.

A Medford man issued a citation last year for pedaling outside of a bike lane to avoid debris says a judge has sided with the officer who pulled him over, saying he should have steered his bike around the rocks and sticks without leaving the bike lane.

We reported on this incident in October, including a video of Dallas Smith's encounter with Ashland police officer Steve MacLennan.

"I get flats when I ride over there," Smith tells Ofc. MacLennan in the video, which was captured by the officer's dashboard camera. "I got two flats riding (unclear) last week."

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Task force agrees: Make NE Multnomah protected bike lanes permanent

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 15th, 2014 at 10:58 am

People parking cars in the bikeway is a major
issue that needs to be addressed in a
permanent design.
(Photo sent in by reader Brian M.)

The private task force that developed the NE Multnomah Street Pilot Project met last week and decided that Portland's marquee protected bikeway project should be a permanent fixture in the Lloyd District.

According to Lindsay Walker, head of the bicycle program for transportation management association Go Lloyd, "The stakeholders were all in agreement that we'd like to see the pilot project transition to something permanent."

The task force is made up of PBOT staff, Lloyd District real estate developers, representatives from the Lloyd Center Mall (who are planning a new "grand entrance" on Multnomah), the Rose Quarter/Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Development Commission, and a citizen activist who works in the Lloyd.

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Five new bike ideas from other places that Oregon could steal

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Share the Road - North Plains
Time for Oregon to stop "Share the Road"? (This sign is on NW West Union in North Plains, a small city in Washington County.)
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Over the last week or so, a bunch of great ideas from other cities have been washing up on our digital shorelines. Let's take a look at a few.

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Bicycle 'Aid Stations' coming to Plaid Pantry stores

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

New window decal coming to Plaid Pantry stores.

Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations.

According to Administrative Manager Laura Sadowski, the new aid stations will be available at all 104 Oregon stores and will consist of a flat repair kit, basic bike tools, and a floor pump. The aid kit will be kept behind the counter, so you'll have to ask a store employee to use it. "As the weather is improving, I am seeing more bikes on the road," said Sadowski via email. "Not everyone is prepared for a flat or adequate nutrition and fluids, so we want to be there on (mostly) every corner to 'aid' them!"

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With grant application, PBOT finally acknowledges 'safety issue' with streetcar tracks

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 10:15 am

Crash on NW Lovejoy-3
Streetcar tracks have claimed many
victims over the years.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

After years of activism and untold amounts of carnage, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is finally making an attempt to address the dangers that streetcar tracks pose to people riding bicycles.

PBOT has filed a grant application with the Transportation Research Board that would give them $150,000 in funding to work with Portland Streetcar Inc. and Portland State University to identify best practices and improve the safety of cycling around streetcar tracks.

This is an issue we've covered for over seven years.

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The Monday Roundup: Hit and run by bike, bike golfing & more

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 14th, 2014 at 9:12 am

Bikes at Earth Day
Bikes on the Springwater path.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

— This week's Monday Roundup is sponsored by ABUS Security, makers of locks that can "thwart even the cleverest of thieves."

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

Biker hits and runs: "BAM! He hit me and just kept going," said a woman who says her arm was broken by a man on a bicycle who hit her on the Springwater Corridor and then (illegally) left the scene last month.

Bike golfing: Vail Golf Club is adding a third mode for golfers: they can walk; they can take an electric cart; or they can now bike their clubs to the tee.

Drone injury: A flying drone that was filming a bike race whacked a triathlete in the head and sent her to the hospital.

Less congestion: Auto traffic in Seattle has been consistently falling since 2003. Go ahead, read that sentence again. (The population has grown 11 percent and transit use is up 40 percent.)

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The Friday Profile: Rachael Pecore-Valdez, mountain-bike rookie on a wolf's tail

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 11th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Every day, Rachael Pecore-Valdez trains by riding her 26-year-old Huffy to the top of Mount Tabor.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Rachael Pecore-Valdez said her husband, for one, is thrilled that she's finally coming around to bikes.

She's a little nervous herself. For someone whose longest bike trip ever is 40 miles to Sauvie Island and back, a 1,200-mile, five-week mountain bike trek across most of Oregon will be, well, a leap.

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West-side paths may get lottery grants, but bike-share expansion looks iffy

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 11th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

The blue dashed lane along the south bank of the Tualatin River shows a future trail connection that might be funded by $1.6 million in state lottery proceeds.
(Image: City of Tualatin)

A mixed-use path link in Tualatin is among the top contenders for a lottery-funded state grant program that includes biking and walking projects for the first time this year.

The 0.8-mile, Tualatin River Greenway gap completion project is faring well in the state's competitive Connect Oregon program because it creates a low-stress link to jobs and retail across Interstate 5 for 67,000 nearby residents. It'd cost $3.1 million; Tualatin is hoping half will come from Connect Oregon.

Also performing well in early (and still flexible) rankings for Connect Oregon's state lottery dollars are the proposed Tigard Street Trail, which would convert an unused rail alignment to a walking/biking path along SW Tigard Street from SW Main Street to SW Tiedeman Avenue, and a TriMet proposal to add secure bike parking and safe track crossings at the Beaverton Creek and Goose Hollow MAX stations.

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What's in store for NE Rodney? A dispatch from the open house

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 11th, 2014 at 11:52 am

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-7
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported earlier this week, PBOT held their first open house for the NE Rodney neighborhood greenway project on Wednesday night. I wasn't able to put it on my schedule, but I found myself biking up Williams well before it was scheduled to open at 6:00 pm so I rolled in to see if I could get a sneak peek. Fortunately, PBOT project manager Rich Newlands was already there and everything was set out. I only had a few minutes, but I learned enough to share here on the Front Page.

Judging from comments on our last story, many of you are concerned about all the stop signs currently on Rodney. You'll be pleased to hear that PBOT's proposed plan would get rid of almost all of them. Currently there are 19 stop signs (no signals) on Rodney between Broadway and Killingsworth. That's out of a total of 27 intersections. And the way they're spaced out means you have to stop almost every other block. That much stopping is a deal-breaker when trying to make a street attractive for bicycling.

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Exploring good, bad, ugly and new bikeways with PBOT's Bicycle Advisory Committee

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 11th, 2014 at 10:29 am

Bike Advisory Committee rides downtown-1
Members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee assembled at City Hall prior to the ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tuesday night I took part in the annual bike facility tour led by Portland Bureau of Transportation bike coordinator Roger Geller. Once a year, instead of sitting around a table on the second floor of City Hall discussing projects and policies, members of PBOT's Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) get on their bikes. The goal of the tours is to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of current conditions and discuss how things might look in the future.

Past rides have covered northeast Portland, the central city, and east Portland. Tuesday's ride was focused on southwest Portland.

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Jobs of the Week

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 11th, 2014 at 8:02 am

We've hit a record folks! Nine excellent opportunities have been posted this week. Now is a great time to launch your career in the Portland bike world or find a new place to hang your hat. Check out the latest jobs posted to our Job Listings via the links below...

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Weekend Event Guide: Tweed, gravel, cherry blossoms and more

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 10th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Tweed Ride Portland 2010-47
'Tis time for Tweed.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events (lovingly brought to you by Hopworks Urban Brewery).

Given all the sun we've had this week, I know a lot of people already have some big adventures planned. For those of you still looking for some excellent options, we have a fine edition of our Weekend Event Guide all dolled up just for you. Whether you're looking for a fun and social themed ride or a big adventure like your first Gran Fondo, check out the menu below and order up something tasty for your sunny weekend.

Saturday, April 12th

Wenzel Coaching Mountain Bike Clinic - 10:00 am at Stub Stewart State Park

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Poll shows Portlanders split about 50/50 on $8 household 'street fee'

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 10th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Press Conference for Transpo Fee -1-2
Commissioner Steve Novick announcing the
poll results at City Hall today.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Michael Andersen also contributed to this story.

About half of Portland's English-speaking voters are in favor of an $8-a-month household fee to pay for street repairs and improvements, a city poll testing public attitudes found. The results were announced today at a City Hall press conference led by PBOT Commissioner Steve Novick.

The poll, first covered by BikePortland last week and expanded on by Willamette Week, found 48 percent of Portlanders would oppose an $8 fee, while 47 percent would support it. After the city added details about how the fee might work, the tally shifted to 52 percent in favor.

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