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.
If comments we've seen here on the site and elsewhere are any indication, it's clear that there's still a ton of gravel out there. I can also say from personal experience that many key bikeways in all parts of the city look like they haven't been touched by a sweeper at all. Yesterday I rode on NW Everett into downtown. This is a stretch well known to PBOT for the high rate of collisions due to right hooks at NW 16th, so I was dismayed that it hasn't been swept. After all, braking and making sudden movements to avoid a collision is all but impossible on gravel.
The encampment along the Springwater path has grown considerably. Parks says they're working on the issue. (Photo by reader Steve B.)
Over the past several months a large encampment has sprung up along the Springwater Corridor Trail near the Ross Island Bridge. People are living directly adjacent to the popular and busy bicycling path that connects downtown Portland to Sellwood and points beyond. Their tarps, shelters and vehicles (bicycles) are situated between the path and the shore of the Willamette River.
The event was held at Sunnyside Environmental School at SE 34th and Salmon.(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last night was the coming out party for the City's big new effort to raise new revenue for transportation. It was the first of three Town Hall events planned for this month where the Bureau of Transportation will make their funding pitch and ask for feedback from the public.
The night was anchored by a panel of Portland's three most powerful transportation leaders: Mayor Charlie Hales, City Commissioner Steve Novick, and PBOT Director Leah Treat. Each of them shared a common sentiment throughout the night that echoed the "Our Streets" slogan being used to market the effort: If we want to solve the chronic shortfall in local transportation funding, we must step up to the plate and do it ourselves. Or put another way, it's time for some new taxes to pay for our roads.
How's your job search coming? If you want to work around bikes and bike gear in Portland, you've come to the right place. Check out the two latest opportunities posted to our Job Listings via the links below...
Thanks to Hopworks for making this feature possible.
Welcome to (what's soon to be) the weekend.
Now that more normal weather has prevailed, I'd like to think we can get back to our regularly scheduled riding. While I'm dreaming about the days when I don't get either frozen and/or wet on a long bike ride, I much prefer the warmer temperatures and light rain we've had recently over the chillier weather of the past several weeks.
Take note, this weekend's guide includes two events that were rescheduled due to our freak ice/snow storm a few weeks ago.
Attendees of a meeting Wednesday at Coalition Brewing to discuss the 28th Avenue commercial district of the planned 20s Bikeway. (Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
For the most vocal business owners along 28th Avenue's commercial strip, the mystery seems to be: why can't people on bikes just take 30th instead?
At the city's first meeting with businesses on the subject Wednesday, Portland Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller made a data-rich argument that business owners don't want to push bikes two blocks away from their storefronts.
Instead, he argued, the city's lead proposal for the street would give them a chance to be "the most bike-friendly business district in the most bike-friendly city in America" while increasing the flow of people past their storefronts as more Portlanders shift from cars to bicycles for commercial errands.
"If 28th were any other district, we wouldn't even be here," Geller said. "We're talking about 28th because people want to get to 28th."
The 'Age Friendly Portland Advisory Council' (coordinated by the non-profit Elders in Action) has just launched a new website to spread awareness of the action plan they developed last year. In October 2013, Portland City Council adopted the Action Plan for an Age Friendly Portland (PDF) which outlines how Portland can help its older residents ease into their later years while enjoying active and socially vibrant lifestyles.
It's not often talked about along with bicycling's myriad other benefits, but cities where bicycling is easy and viable will enjoy a considerable head start in their efforts to be age friendly. We took a closer look at the action plan and were pleased to see that its authors seem to understand and embrace this concept.
In the plan's eight different action areas, several of them deal with issues that relate to bicycle access.
In the Transportation action area, the plan makes it clear that Portland must make it easy for seniors to use bicycles and other forms of non-car transportation. The plan even directly addresses active transportation.
Places like Champoeg State Park (shown above) could become even more welcoming to bike riders if funding comes through. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
As we've been covering since the legislature passed it back in July, a pot of $42 million in Oregon Lottery-backed funding is now available to bicycling projects for the first time ever through the Oregon Department of Transportation's Connect Oregon program.
And, not surprisingly, when the application process opened at the end of last year, ODOT was flooded with biking and walking projects from throughout the state. Of the 108 applications sent in, 35 of them were in the "Bicycle/Pedestrian" category (the other categories are aviation, marine, rain and transit) and the dollar amount for those projects totaled more than any other mode.
Now ODOT has released more information about each project, so we decided to take a look.
The Salmonberry Corridor would connect Banks to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast. (Map by Oregon State Parks & Rec)
A bill to begin planning the Salmonberry Corridor — an 86-mile rails-to-trail project that would link Washington County's Banks-Vernonia corridor to the Pacific Ocean — seems to be coasting through the state Senate, The Oregonian reports.
It's backed by one of the body's most influential members, centrist Democrat Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who happens to be an occasional hiker and horse lover and says the path "could be a national, if not an international, draw" of tourism through her district.
A PBOT staffer takes down a suggestion at a PBOT Transportation Safety Summit in 2010. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
A two-hour "town hall" this evening at SE 34th and Salmon will be the Portland public's first chance to turn out in support of their priorities in the next decade of Portland transportation budgets.
What Mayor Charlie Hales, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat hear tonight and at two more planned town halls this month will undoubtedly shape the way they think about the looming political battle over both the city's transportation spending and transportation revenue.
We've been hearing for months about the Cully neighborhood's new bike club, Andando en Bicicletas en Cully, a mostly Spanish-speaking group from in and around the Hacienda development who ride bikes together and have been organizing to improve biking in their area. On Tuesday, I headed up to check out one of their events.
Portland-based urban planner and designer Nick Falbo's latest project aims to expand the benefits of protected bike lanes — places where people can ride with physical separation from auto traffic — all the way to intersections. Falbo calls them "protected intersections" and he's launched a website and new animated video to help spread the idea.