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Fatal collision spurs new calls to complete the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

Posted by on August 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Ellen Dittebrandt.

The death this past Sunday of Ellen Dittebrandt, killed while bicycling on Interstate 84 west of Hood River, has stunned her large community of friends in the Gorge, many of whom are now focused on completing the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in her memory.

Dittebrandt’s death also comes on the heels of a scary month in Oregon. Just last week we reported that there were four major rear-end collisions in the span of just one week.

This latest collision happened early Sunday morning. According to Oregon State Police investigators, Dittebrandt, a 52-year old volunteer firefighter (named Firefighter of the Year in 2010), artist and triathlete who lived in Mosier, was riding westbound in the shoulder of I-84. Friends say she was training for a triathlon and was riding from Rowena Crest to Crown Point and back.

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Arrest made in hit-and-run on SE 82nd in Clackamas County

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

82ndcollision

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s office arrested a man today after a hit-and-run on SE 82nd just south of King Road (about 12 miles southeast of Portland).

Here’s the story so far from the CCSO:

On August 26, 2014 at approximately 3:00 p.m., Robert B. Hyer, age 30, was riding a bicycle in the bike lane southbound along SE 82nd Avenue. As the bicyclist began riding in front of the entry to a gas station on the west side of SE 82nd Avenue, a Ford pickup driven by Leodan Juarez Belton, age 49, from Clackamas, turned into the gas station and struck the bicyclist, knocking him to the ground.

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New activist group off to fast start: First protest ride is tonight – UPDATED

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

First meeting of BikeLoudPDX-6
On Saturday at a brewpub in southeast, concerned citizens got down to the business of making Portland a better biking city.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Spurred into action by Portland’s Great Bike Stagnation and a growing realization that this town needs a bike advocacy shot-in-the-arm, a group calling itself BikeLoudPDX held its first ever meeting on Saturday.

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First look at new, left-side buffered bike lanes on NW Everett

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

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There’s a new, 10-foot wide bike lane on NW Everett (and as you can see not everyone knows it’s for bikes only).
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT has completed a lane “reorganization” project on NW Everett Street between NW 25th and I-405. As we reported back in May, this project is the result of two factors: An understanding by the bureau that the intersection of NW Everett and 16th is unsafe due to its history of right-hook collisions; and a repaving project that gave them a golden opportunity to do something about it.

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As Congress drops Safe Routes to School, advocates ask Metro to step in

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

A Safe Routes to School ride in Portland in 2010. A new BTA campaign suggests tapping federal funding allocated to the Metro regional government to offer the program in suburban schools, too.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Second in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

Over the last two years, people trying to reverse the spectacular 40-year slide in the number of kids who bike and walk to school have come to a gradual realization: dedicated federal funding for the Safe Routes to School program is probably gone for good.

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Q&A: How Minnesota saves lives by spreading safety money thinly

Posted by on August 26th, 2014 at 10:43 am

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Sue Groth, director of traffic, safety and technology
for the Minnesota Department of Transportation,
has been nationally recognized for overseeing rapid
drops in traffic fatalities.
(Photos: MnDOT)

Sue Groth’s job: use math and millions of dollars to stop injuries before they happen.

The team Groth leads at the Minnesota Department of Transportation has probably saved a few hundred lives over the last 10 years. In that time they’ve reinvented “highway safety” spending and seen traffic fatalities fall almost twice as fast as they have in Oregon and the rest of the country.

Groth is the plenary speaker at the Sept. 15 Oregon Transportation Summit hosted by OTREC at Portland State University. I caught her by phone last week to talk about MnDOT’s daring decision to give up some of the “gobs of money” it gets for highway safety and hand it to local agencies instead.

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Advocates work to build retailers’ consensus around a big city investment in NE Broadway

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

broadway
A rendering of a possible new version of Northeast Broadway.
(Image by Owen Walz)

First in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

More than anything else in central Portland’s bike network, commercial corridors are the missing links.

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National org wants to know: What should we call this thing we do everyday?

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

pfbsurvey

People for Bikes, a national advocacy group funded by the bicycle industry, wants to change cycling in America by coming up with a new name for it. Specifically, the group wants help figuring out what to call everyday cycling in order to differentiate it from recreation and fitness riding.

Here’s the set-up from People for Bikes via an email they sent out today:

“Lots of people ride bikes for recreation, exercise and sport. But there’s another kind of bicycling that’s becoming more and more popular in communities across the country. It’s difficult to quantify, because folks call it a lot of different things. And it doesn’t have an official name…

Imagine you’re rolling out on your bike right from your garage—no spandex involved, you’re wearing normal, everyday clothes.

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A community on bikes rallies against violence in the streets of north Portland

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 10:06 am

Take Back the Streets Ride-41
Samuel Thompson led calls for peace on the streets of the New Columbia neighborhood on Sunday.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Occupy the streets! Until we get peace! Occupy the streets! Until we get peace!”

Reeling from a (yet another) violent summer where gang members have ruled the streets with guns, about 150 people joined the Take Back the Streets Ride in New Columbia on Sunday. Armed with bicycles and a powerful sense of unity, they stood up to their fears. As they pedaled, chanted and smiled, they started a new narrative about the public space outside their doorsteps and showed how bicycles can be an effective tool for grassroots, social change far beyond the central city.

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The Monday Roundup: Biking to the Emmy Awards, removing lanes for safety & more

Posted by on August 25th, 2014 at 9:39 am

IMG_7771
Simpler times.
(Photo: Midtown Partnership)

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

When Hollywood and biking mix on the red carpet: It’s a great sign for cycling in America when venerable movie industry paper The Hollywood Reporter covers an Emmy nominee who biked to the closely watched awards event (in Rapha no less!).

Mistaken for Uber: “Basically anytime I’m pulled over on the side of the street, someone tries to hail me or just opens my car door,” says a New Yorker who just wants to drive his car in the age of Uber. One person told him: “Are you Uber? Well can you just be? Can we go?” “It’s kind of immoral to have a car in New York anyways, so I feel like this is my tax for doing that.”

When lanes are less safe: Removing center lines on London streets (something Portland has been doing for some neighborhood greenways) reduced average speeds by 5 to 9 mph.

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Comment of the Week: A good review for Director Treat

Posted by on August 22nd, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Street fee press conference-2
Transportation Director Leah Treat at a city
press conference in April.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Like her predecessor Tom Miller, Portland’s top transportation bureaucrat is part of a class of bike-friendly Generation Xers who, after working up the ladder for years, are moving into the top perches of government.

Hired last year, Director Leah Treat turned out to be the first of three such faces on the West Coast alone. Last month, Seleta Reynolds of San Francisco’s livable streets division was tapped to lead the vast Los Angeles transportation department and Scott Kubly, who like Treat was a top lieutenant to fellow Xer Gabe Klein in Washington and Chicago, was named to the same role in Seattle.

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Weekend Event Guide: Parkways, community building, a kermesse, and more

Posted by on August 22nd, 2014 at 9:58 am

Sunday Parkways Southeast-59
You never know what you’ll see at Sunday Parkways Southeast.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

Summer might be waning, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop riding bikes!

Whether you miss Pedalpalooza or you want to test out your fitness for the upcoming cyclocross season, there’s a great selection of activities this weekend, and even a few for tonight…

Friday, August 22nd

Rocky Butte Sunset Dance Party Picnic – 6:30 pm at Irving Park (NE 11th and Klickitat)

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Jobs of the Week

Posted by on August 22nd, 2014 at 9:11 am

Two new opportunities have been posted to our Job Listings this week. Check them out via the links below…

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City switches plan for Division detour: Signs will point to Powell, not Clinton

Posted by on August 21st, 2014 at 4:08 pm

clinton traffic
Traffic on Clinton.
(Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

Six days after saying that it would detour eastbound traffic from Division Street onto the Clinton Street neighborhood greenway for two weeks, the City of Portland has changed course.

Starting Monday, electronic signs will instruct drivers heading east at 11th Avenue to turn south to Powell Boulevard rather than one block south to Clinton, the Portland bureaus of transportation and environmental services said Thursday.

It’s a measure of victory for people who called the detour an inappropriate use of an all-ages walking and biking facility that is already at or above the maximum national standard for auto traffic volume on a bicycle boulevard.

But the city also said Thursday that it still expects many people to detour onto Clinton anyway, because there are no plans other than signage to prompt them otherwise.

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‘Grand Prix of Portland’ race will come to downtown in 2015, organizer says

Posted by on August 21st, 2014 at 2:45 pm

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Cirque du Cycling racers in 2009.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The people behind an “international professional cycling event” in downtown Portland say they’ve gotten green lights from the international and national sport cycling organizations to host the “Grand Prix of Portland” here next summer.

Veteran Oregonian sportswriter Mike Tokito has the story:

The race would cover about 115 miles, with a one-day format that would be run like a stage of the Tour de France.

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TriMet track work gives bikers one less reason to avoid the Lloyd

Posted by on August 21st, 2014 at 6:44 am

biking to train
Smooth cruising: looking west across 11th at Holladay.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A key bike connection between Southeast and inner North/Northeast Portland keeps getting a bit better.

The latest improvement to Northeast 11th Avenue and Holladay comes courtesy of track work last week by TriMet at its Lloyd Center MAX turnaround. The transit agency prioritized repairs to the track there in part because the crumbling pavement around the tracks had been increasingly dangerous for biking.

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Q&A: How bikes meet tech in Austin, Portland’s chillest sister city

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

spokeqa
Nate McGuire of Austin bike-tech startup Spokefly.
(Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

Nate McGuire is part of two worlds that Austin, Texas, is still pretty new at: digital entrepreneurship and biking.

His startup, Spokefly, uses a mobile app and combination U-locks to turn people’s underused bicycles into income-generating shared bikes that float around the city until their owners need them. (At that point, the company will fetch it and deliver it home.) Though it’s not yet available in Portland, he’s preparing to launch in a handful of cities soon and was in town last week to scope our city out.

When he stopped by BikePortland’s office for a talk, we saw a perfect chance to hear more about biking and related issues in one of the U.S. cities that Portland most resembles in size, culture and reputation.

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Meeting could spark formation of a “more assertive advocacy group” in Portland

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The first step is showing up.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Many Portlanders who care about bicycling want to find a way to create more urgency for bike-friendly changes. As we’ve been reporting since May, Portland — once a biking beacon that other cities aspired to — has lost its mojo. With our largest bicycle advocacy organization, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), choosing to take a more conservative role, some in the community want to start a new advocacy group.

When Alex Reed moved to Portland in 2007, he thought that “There was so much excitement around bike it felt like everything was destined to get better.” Now that he’s “not seeing much progress,” the 29-year-old southeast Portland resident (and father) has planned a meeting this weekend to discuss the possible formation of a new group. “Are you frustrated at the lack of progress on bike issues in Portland in the last five years?” reads the event description on the Shift calendar. “If so, come join us to try to make things better!”

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Spate of collisions across state, region highlight passing dangers

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 9:47 am

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The aftermath of a collision in eastern Oregon.
(Photo: OSP)

There have been four (officially recorded) rear-end collisions involving a bicycle rider in the past week. One of them resulted in a fatality and the other three resulted in serious injuries. The incidents have occurred throughout Oregon and nearby southwest Washington.

While the incidents are unrelated, the uncommon frequency (two happened on the same day) led to a response by the Oregon State Police earlier this week. In an official statement published on August 17th, they said: “OSP urges all drivers to be alert for bicyclists and other vulnerable highway users. When approaching from behind, make sure there is adequate room to safely pass on the left of the bicyclist(s).”

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‘Mujeres en Movimiento’ group brings out the bike-fun smiles

Posted by on August 20th, 2014 at 8:54 am

mujeres en movimiento
Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez, Lale Santelices and Elizabeth Quiroz get ready for Mujeres en Movimiento’s ‘Sundress Sunday’ ride last weekend.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A pair of Portlanders have organized a new group aimed at giving Latinas regular events for riding bikes together.

“There is this conversation about, ‘People of color don’t bike,’” said Lale Santelices, one of the organizers. “But that’s not my expericence.”

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