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Riders rally at River View, urge city to reverse biking ban

Posted by on March 16th, 2015 at 8:09 pm

River View Protest Ride-25
“Raise your hand if you think we’re compatible with the resource goals at River View!”
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

69-year old Hillsboro resident Roger Lynn just found out about the bike trails at River View Natural Area a few weeks ago. “I’ve been looking for a place like this, so I’ve been here three times in the past week. It’s just such a shame that the trails are closed now.”


Santiam Bicycle Sale!

As Clinton Street’s bikeway turns 30, locals plan a celebration

Posted by on March 16th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Guerrilla diverters on SE Clinton-9
Major arterial.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Whether you see it as a battleground or a workable compromise or a national model, the Clinton Street bikeway is one thing for sure: beloved.

A group of Clinton Street fans are meeting at SE 30th and Division Saturday to plan a party this summer that will celebrate this iconic bike route and everything it’s brought to the mix of residential and commercial uses that have made Portland’s Hosford-Abernethy and Richmond neighborhoods what they are.


River View update: Protest ride, OPB radio coverage, new video

Posted by on March 16th, 2015 at 11:08 am

As of 12:01 am this morning — for the first time in well over 20 years — it became illegal to ride a bicycle in a 146-acre parcel just west of the Sellwood Bridge known as the River View Natural Area. We’ve got more info on today’s protest ride and other updates below…


The Monday Roundup: Peak bike in Sausalito, engineering revolt, beach biking & more

Posted by on March 16th, 2015 at 9:30 am

A planned freeway cap in Hamburg.

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the Ride the Heart of the Valley Bike Ride. Set for April 18th, this ride is a benefit for the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis.

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

Hamburg post-auto: Germany’s second-largest city is planning to ban motor vehicles from “significant swathes of the city by 2034″ in favor of a “Green Network” of biking, walking and public transit.

Beach biking: Fat-tire biking on Oregon’s beaches could be enough to end your love of long walks.


Comment of the Week: Bicycling and the future ‘Golden Age’ of Portland

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park-18-17
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

“In a city where two-thirds of people surveyed support safer bike routes, we aren’t falling behind because of opposition, we are falling behind due to a failure to execute.”

Reading my share of the hundreds of terrific comments here over the last week, I’ve noticed a few assuming that because someone is advocating for biking improvements, it must be because those improvements would directly improve their own lives.

It’s hard to dispute that most of us here are motivated in part by self-interest. But this afternoon, reader Chris Anderson made an eloquent case for two big ideas:

  • that bicycling investments are and should be popular because making bicycling fully mainstream actually has the potential to help create a generations-long era of success and prosperity here in Portland for riders and nonriders alike.
  • that bicycling basically doesn’t have any organized enemies to speak of.

It’s a bold couple of claims, but I was inspired. See what you think.


Statement from BES Commissioner Fish on River View biking ban

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Nick Fish.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve finally heard a response from Commissioner Nick Fish on the decision to prohibit bicycling at River View natural area. His policy director Jim Blackwood just emailed us the following statement:

“River View provides a link for local wildlife to Forest Park, and includes special habitats including wetlands, interior forest, and waterfront areas. The area is an important resource for sensitive and threatened wildlife habitats. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) provides technical advice on the restoration and maintenance of the watershed.

When the City acquired River View, substantial funding came from Bureau of Environmental Services’ ratepayer dollars – so we must ensure the uses of the natural area match the BES mission to protect the watershed.


Bill in legislature would legalize safe crossings against unresponsive red lights

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

stuck on red
Many Portland bike users don’t realize how to use
detector loops like the one at NE Tillamook and
MLK Boulevard.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Though a bill as seemingly uncontroversial as state Senate Bill 533 isn’t the sort of thing we’d usually bother covering, some coverage today that originated in The Oregonian certainly has people talking.

As the O correctly explains in the seventh paragraph of the web version of its front-page story, SB 533 would make it legal to “proceed with caution” through a red light that is trying, but failing, to detect one’s bicycle or motorcycle. This would only be allowed after someone has waited through a full cycle.

Here’s how Oregonian reporter and columnist Joseph Rose and his editors chose to explain this bill:


Biking in River View: A broken process and many unanswered questions – UPDATED

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

“There’s a public process we tried to go thru but got abandoned… now we’re supposed to be advocating for another public process?”
— Kelsey Cardwell, NW Trail Alliance president

It’s been 12 days since Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish unilaterally decided to ban bicycling in the River View Natural Area and many people in the community remain shocked and confused.

We’ve been trying to get in touch with the Commissioners and their staff to get answers to many outstanding questions and have not heard back. While we continue to work on that, we wanted to share an update on what we’ve learned and offer some background on the issues swirling around the story.

Advocates and insiders were blindsided by the decision

For a city that usually puts such a premium on open and transparent public process around important issues, the decision to ban biking in River View came completely out of the blue.


Next-gen bike sharing company Social Bicycles swings through Portland

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

justin with bike
Justin Wiley, Social Bicycles’ VP of Launch
and Operations, at Velo Cult in
Northeast Portland last week.
(Photo: Lizbon Grav)

Social Bicycles, maybe the country’s fastest-growing bike sharing company right now, sent one of its top executives on a swing through Portland last weekend.

SoBi, as it’s sometimes known, has scored contracts to equip public bike sharing systems in Phoenix, Tampa, Topeka, Boise, Orlando, Ottawa, Hamilton and Santa Monica. The company’s key innovation: “smart bikes” that can be parked anywhere inside a service zone, whether or not they’re at a dock.

Like most business development trips, the visit wasn’t publicized. But it certainly caught my attention last Friday when SoBi Vice President of Launch and Operations Justin Wiley walked into bike shop/bar Velo Cult with a SoBi bike.

“We are spending a lot of time on the road this year meeting with partners and potential clients to demo the product,” Ryan Rzepecki, CEO of the the New York-based bike sharing company, explained Thursday. “Recently, we made a quick visit to Portland to meet with a transportation planning consultant and a large employer that is interested in a private bike share.”


Spinlister to launch user-owned bike-sharing system in Portland this summer (updated)

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 7:51 am

Back in 2011, when she cast the lone vote against Portland’s still-unimplemented public bike sharing system, Commissioner Amanda Fritz asked a fair question: If bike sharing is such a good idea, why doesn’t the private sector do it?

It’s taken a little while. But with what looks to be a well-funded launch in Portland this summer, the company Spinlister is trying a novel idea for doing exactly that with their Smart Bike model.


Jobs of the Week: 10 great new opportunities

Posted by on March 13th, 2015 at 7:50 am

There’s a hiring boom in our region. We’ve had a record 10 job opportunities listed this week. Check them out via the links below…


Guest article: A personal perspective on riding River View, a.k.a. the “cemetery trails”

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Erik Tonkin enjoying a “secret” waterfall in River View last summer.
(Photo courtesy Erik Tonkin)

This article was written by Erik Tonkin in response to the City of Portland’s decision to ban bicycling in River View Natural Area.

This will not be about my own personal narrative of biking, racing, and River View, but that’s where I’ll start because my life in Portland began on the cemetery trails.

I flew to Portland in 1993, 22 years ago this month. It was just my second time on a plane and my first time west of Minnesota. I was a freshman in college back home, and I’d saved up my work-study money for a round-trip flight to Portland. I was considering a transfer to Lewis & Clark College, so I came to give it a closer look.


Love the Blazers? Don’t forget it’s Bike Night on April 8th

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Boys Cali Trip SB to LA ride-24
My friend Dave Rebanal and I on PCH last week
en route to see the Blazers play in Los Angeles.

Blazers Bike Night is just a few weeks away and we’d love for you to join us. This event combines two things that make Portland great — biking and the Trail Blazers — but it only works out if we get a good crowd.

It’s no secret that I love basketball and I’m a huge NBA fan. And there are few things I like more than combining basketball and my other love — biking. In fact, last week some friends and I celebrated our 40th birthdays by following the team on a California road trip. We saw them play the Sacramento Kings, then we took the train to Santa Barbara and rode our bikes to Los Angeles to see them play the Clippers!

On Wednesday, April 8th our ride to the game will be about 100 miles shorter. We’ll be riding to the game as a group to cheer them on against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T’wolves have the top rookie in the league right in Andrew Wiggins and with the recent addition of NBA veteran big-man Kevin Garnett, they’re a fun team to watch.


Weekend Event Guide: Sunset, sipping, a scenic highway and more

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Get out and get some.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Even with a bit of wet stuff that might fall from the sky this weekend, it will still be nice and toasty. Hopefully you have some time to get on a bike.

I was actually surprised at how thin the official event offerings are for the next three days. If you have an event you’d like to see below, drop us a line and we’ll add it to the list.

Friday, March 13th

Endless Summer Sunset Ride – 7:00 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE Belmont and 20th)


Portland Police, community team up to recover stolen bike

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Sherrie Austin and her bike, happily reunited!
(Photo courtesy Sherrie Austin)

When it comes to recovering your stolen bike, there’s simply nothing more powerful than a caring community and social media. Add in the cooperation of police and you’re nearly guaranteed to get your bike back.

On Monday, the Portland Police made an arrest and recovered a stolen bike that was taken from Oak Grove resident Sherrie Austin nearly two months ago. We caught up with Austin last night to hear her side of the story.


Get Legal with Ray Thomas: Passing on the right from a rider’s perspective

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

A ride with the family-3
Knowing how to legally pass on the
right can help you get to your destination
faster and help you breathe easier.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today’s article will try to clear up confusion about how and when you are legally permitted to pass another vehicle operator on the right side of the roadway.

While Oregon law did not specifically authorize passing on the right before 2006, the law was clarified that year to follow the great majority of other states (and the Uniform Vehicle Code) in specifically allowing bicycle riders to pass other vehicles on the right when it can be done safely.

Bicycle riders complained for many years about the pre-2006 Oregon law that appeared to prohibit passing on the right when road users were sharing the same lane. In 2005, the Oregon legislature (thanks to lobbying by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) voted to change the law so that passing on the right would be allowed “if the overtaking vehicle is a bicycle that may safely make the passage under the existing conditions” (ORS 811.415). The “new” law went into effect in January of 2006.


Turnover of top traffic engineers will shake up city and county

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 11:05 am

Cycletrack on SW Broadway-2
Rob Burchfield, who spent 16 years as Portland’s city traffic engineer, is moving to the private sector.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Two people whose judgment calls have shaped Portland’s streets for years — in one case, for decades — are stepping into jobs elsewhere.

Rob Burchfield, Portland’s top traffic engineer since 1999 and a nationally respected innovator on bike-friendly street designs, will leave the city on Friday after almost 30 years. He’s becoming the regional engineering director for Toole Design Group, a national engineering and design firm that specializes in biking and walking projects.


What a difference the sun makes: Hawthorne bike traffic up 46% over last February

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 9:01 am

Summer bike traffic-4-4
You might call this winter the September that never ended.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For all the freakishness of the warmest February in Portland history — forget the wildfires and snowpack, think of where housing prices are headed if we turn gradually into San Diego — we’ve all enjoyed the benefits.

At least 37,571 more times than last year, anyway.


New ad for women’s jeans raises the bar for marketing bike products

Posted by on March 11th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

We shared the news in this week’s Monday Roundup that Levi’s has just launched some new fits, including a line for women, of their Commuter brand jeans. The jeans are designed for bike transportation with high-rise waists, skinny legs and slightly reflective seams.

And befitting a clothing line that’s built for everyday riding, the video they launched today bursts through a dozen dull stereotypes about both biking and about marketing women’s bike products.


Kaiser Permanente completes new bike path through North Portland campus

Posted by on March 11th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Workers put finishing touches on the new bike path just south of N Failing Street. It opened yesterday.
(Photos: Kaiser Permanente)

Kaiser Permanente has just opened a new bike path through their campus on North Interstate Avenue. It helps close a troublesome gap and makes biking east-west through the Mississippi area and Overlook neighborhood much easier.


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