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Yearning for change after a painful week

Posted by on July 8th, 2016 at 12:16 pm

No week passes without violence somewhere. And as we’ve watched the horrific deaths this week in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas ricochet around our country, it’s been impossible to ignore the ways violence shapes and constrains human lives — for some of us far more than for others.

Jonathan, heading back from a family vacation today, wrote me this morning to suggest that even for a site that’s proudly obsessed with bicycling, it’s worth acknowledging the number and depth of the other problems in the country and the world. And it’s worth considering what actions each of us can take to help solve them.

We don’t have answers. But we’ll see you, as usual, on Monday.

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- Huntco is the official sponsor of BikePortland's bike parking coverage.-
Huntco Site Furnishings

Safety advocates uneasy about striping bike lane across Steel Bridge onramp

Posted by on July 8th, 2016 at 11:36 am

naito davis couch
New striping near the Steel Bridge at Naito will be done in the next few days.
(Image: Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Safety advocates are trying to balance enthusiasm for the city’s newly announced Naito bike lanes with concern over one key detail.

After nine years of delay, the plan to close the “Naito Gap” in the next few days drew joy from people like Reza Farhoodi, planning and transportation committee co-chair at the Pearl District Neighborhood Association and a member of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. But Farhoodi said it would be a “terrible mistake” for the city not to use a right-turn arrow signal to protect bikes from right-turning autos as the bikes head north across the Steel Bridge onramp.

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Join us for a citywide urban adventure game on July 16

Posted by on July 8th, 2016 at 1:10 am

If you and a few family or friends are looking for a fun, lightly competitive and prize-bespeckled outdoor adventure next Saturday, we’ve got you covered.

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Jobs of the Week: Western Bikeworks, Westside Transportation Alliance, Salem-Keizer Transit District

Posted by on July 7th, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got three great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Operations Lead-Sales Associate – Western Bikeworks

–> Executive Director – Westside Transportation Alliance

–> Rideshare Assistant – Salem-Keizer Transit District

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First look: New path north of Sellwood Bridge is open

Posted by on July 7th, 2016 at 2:12 pm

A very nice new path segment along the west bank of the Willamette River is finally ready to ride.

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Portland is finally closing the Naito Gap by converting a passing lane

Posted by on July 7th, 2016 at 7:53 am

naito gap
This 1,500-foot stretch of NW Naito has been a barrier to biking between downtown and northwest Portland, but it’s about to change.
(Image: Google Street View)

After nine years of sometimes elaborate plans to connect NW Naito Parkway’s bike lanes north and south of the Steel Bridge, the city’s transportation bureau has found a way.

The secret: it’s removing an unnecessary passing lane in each direction between NW Davis and NW Ironside Terrace to create continuous bike lanes that will be, at their widest, 10 feet with a four-foot buffer.

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Council pulls parking mandate after affordability advocates pile into hearing

Posted by on July 6th, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Portland City Council
Portland City Council: Steve Novick, Amanda Fritz, Charlie Hales, Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Five days after the city council seemed headed for a vote to mandate garages in larger transit-oriented apartment buildings in the Northwest District, it’s put the proposal on hold.

The decision came after opponents of mandatory parking organized a letter-writing campaign and then outnumbered supporters nearly three to one at the council’s Wednesday hearing.

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Campaign seeks funds for an indoor park for skating, BMX & other bikes

Posted by on July 6th, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Allison Waters, a Portland-based skateboarding lover, has unveiled a concept for a “family-friendly indoor skate park” within Portland city limits.

The current plan is for two days a week to be open to BMX and other bikes.

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Editorial: Even if more garages were a good idea, they’re pointless without permits

Posted by on July 6th, 2016 at 11:56 am

empty lower garage
The empty apartment garage at NE 12th and Ankeny.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

At the risk of overloading BikePortland with one subject (we’ll also be covering the outcome of this afternoon’s hearing about parking vs. housing in northwest Portland), one pretty simple fact seems to be getting lost in the city’s big transportation debate of the moment.

More or bigger parking garages will do nothing to reduce curbside parking unless people have some new reason to use them.

Right now, in Portland’s Northwest District, a parking space in a garage or lot costs about $1,800 per year. A city permit to hunt for space on the public curb costs $60 per year.

So what on earth is going to motivate anyone to park their car in the bigger garages that the city’s law would mandate? There’s only one answer: It would have to remain extremely annoying to find street parking in the Northwest District.

So if the only way this policy works is if the curbs of the Northwest District remain crowded, what is the point of mandatory garages in the first place?

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As bike share stations hit the streets, 550 annual memberships are sold so far

Posted by on July 5th, 2016 at 9:27 pm

empty bikeshare station
An empty bike share station near Tilikum Crossing.
(Photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation)

The first publicly visible news of Portland’s long-awaited Biketown system has arrived.

Its vessel: 100 rows of simple, sturdy metal tongues painted fluorescent orange, each with an oversize eyelet through which bike share users will thread the system’s built-in U-locks.

These rows (“stations”) will be spread around the 8.1-square-mile service area that opens for business July 19. Twenty of them will have solar-powered pillars with digital screens (“kiosks”) that let you purchase a one-time ride or a daily or annual membership on site with your credit card.

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First annual Pedalpalooza awards recognize the festival’s best

Posted by on July 5th, 2016 at 4:11 pm

monster bike
Dan S. with his creation, the democratically elected “best bike” of Pedalpalooza 2016. The jaw opens and the eye blinks.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s annual open-source bike festival ended Monday with a cookout picnic in Woodlawn Park, complete with a vertical flamethrower rigged atop a huge bike-towed grill and a dozen handmade awards for the best rides and riders of the year.

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City weighs parking rule for NW that could block a fifth of new homes

Posted by on July 5th, 2016 at 11:41 am

~1950 Pettygrove.
The Tess O’Brien Apartments on NW 19th and Pettygrove, built with no on-site parking, are the largest project that would have been illegal under a proposal going before city council tomorrow.
(Photo: Ted Timmons)

Portland’s City Council will meet Wednesday to consider a new mandatory parking requirement that, if it had existed for the last eight years, would have illegalized 23 percent of the new housing supply in northwest Portland during the period.

The Tess O’Brien Apartments, a 126-unit project that starts pre-leasing next week and will offer some of the cheapest new market-rate housing in northwest Portland, couldn’t have been built if they’d been required to have 42 on-site parking spaces, its developer said in an interview.

“Do the math,” Martin Kehoe of Portland LEEDS Living said Friday. “The apartments at the Tess O’Brien are between $1250 and $1400 a month. If we were required to build parking, you’d be between $1800 and $2000 a month. … It probably just wouldn’t have been built. And then what’s that going to do to the existing project that’s out there and has been built? It’s just going to drive the rents of those up.”

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Alleged shooting by fellow camper sends Springwater resident to hospital

Posted by on July 5th, 2016 at 8:46 am

trail motion
The Springwater Corridor in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A man living on the Springwater Corridor survived an early-morning “non-life-threatening gunshot wound” Tuesday near the path just east of SE 82nd Avenue, police said.

A news release from the Portland Police Bureau said the suspect also lives along the path, parts of which have become an informal home for people living in tents as local home prices have continued to climb.

The release said police “located and detained a person of interest in the shooting” but did not describe the detainee as the “suspect.”

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The Monday Roundup: NYC’s lost sidewalk space, the Tour’s intense history & more

Posted by on July 4th, 2016 at 10:42 am

wider sidewalks
The same intersection, a century apart.
(Photos courtesy John Massengale)

Happy Independence Day! BikePortland is taking the rest of today off to celebrate the country we love, warts and all. We’ll be back first thing Tuesday morning. In the meantime, here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week.

Missing sidewalks: As New York City’s croweded sidewalks overflow into bike and car lanes, some are pointing out that people are basically reclaiming space they had in 1906.

Tour history: The Tour de France, which started this weekend, no longer bans teams, requires riders to make every repair personally or features people trying to slip poisoned wine to contestants.

Job access: Real estate site Redfin has used the number of jobs you can reach by transit and foot within 30 minutes to create a Walkscore-style rating for any address.

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Rock battles, modern murals & Vancouver beer: Pedalpalooza picks for weekend 3

Posted by on July 1st, 2016 at 10:15 am

art for the future
Tour some of Portland’s marvelous modern murals Saturday.

It’s the final four days of Pedalpalooza 2016, and the marquee ride of the weekend is the battery-powered thumper Loud and Lit on Saturday night. But don’t let that limit your agenda. Here are some of the others worth checking out.

Zeppelin vs. Floyd vs. Emo
Only the first two of these are an official pairing along the lines of Bowie vs. Prince, but it’s funny that the moody scheduled their ride against the hairy. Friday, meet 7 pm and 8:30 pm respectively, ride 7:30 and 9 pm.

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BikeLoud, Livable Streets Action will ride to Salem July 16 for transportation reform

Posted by on July 1st, 2016 at 9:41 am

roca bikeway
The ride will use parts of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
(Photo: Russ Roca/The Path Less Pedaled for Travel Oregon)

Two Portland-based grassroots groups are biking to Salem this month in an echo of the tactics that built pressure for Oregon’s 1971 bike bill.

Organizers for BikeLoudPDX and Livable Streets Action say they’re responding to Oregon’s 42 percent increase in roadway fatalities in the last two years.

“If 700 people died in a crash or collision as a one-time event, the state would prioritize everything that could be done to prevent this kind of tragedy happening,” said Soren Impey, BikeLoudPDX’s direct action coordinator. “But over the past two years, this is what’s happened, and there hasn’t been what we believe is an appropriate type of response.”

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Portland will offer Biketown-branded cycles for people with disabilities

Posted by on June 30th, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Adaptive Bike Clinic-20.jpg
Participants in the June 5 adaptive bike clinic where the city gathered suggestions for an accessibility program.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

After taking criticism from local accessibility advocates and from the transportation commissioner’s political challenger, Portland says it’ll fund a discounted rental program for handcycles and trikes.

It seems to be the first such program in the country, though city staff couldn’t say for sure.

The goal is to make it possible for more people with disabilities get access to bicycles, in the same way that most other people will have an option to use Biketown, the publicly backed bike sharing system that launches July 19.

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Weekly Video Roundup: new and old mountain bikes, drone videos, and more

Posted by on June 29th, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Welcome to this week’s roundup! I reviewed 60 videos this week to give you the best of them. It seems there are a few video producers that put their vids up on Wednesday. Our first video from Dave at River City is an example- it went up while I was finishing this post. It’s my favorite of the week, showing an early-80s Ritchey mountain bike. Those bars look like BMX bars, though less adjustable, and the fork looks very similar to a road fork. Of course, most forks are straight now, I guess.

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A ride into the future with east Portland’s biking action committee

Posted by on June 29th, 2016 at 9:37 am

elizabeth
Walter Lersch and Elizabeth Quiroz on NE Weidler. A curb-protected bike lane couplet will arrive there next year.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s vast east side has huge potential for biking, and many millions of dollars in biking improvements are poised to drop on its streets.

It’s also gearing up for what could be a regional-destination bike recreation park in the form of Gateway Green.

But the little cadre of folks who’ve scored those victories are looking for new blood to set the area’s next goals. The East Portland Action Plan bike committee invited me to join them on a tour Tuesday night of some of the most promising biking projects about to happen on the east side.

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Repaving on E Burnside brings newly buffered bike lanes

Posted by on June 29th, 2016 at 2:33 am

buffered burnside
Yes, this guy doesn’t seem to know he’s riding in the buffer rather than the lane. Bike stencils or cross hatches would help.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Here’s an example of the sort of incremental bike-lane improvement we can hopefully expect to see more of now that the city has $9 million more per year to repave roads.

This spring, the city refinished East Burnside Street with a smooth new coat of asphalt. And when they did, they converted the 1990s-style door-zone bike lane to a more comfortable buffered bike lane between Interstate 205 and approximately 90th Avenue.

It’s not a major improvement but it does extend what was already a buffered bike lane on Burnside’s bridge across I-205 by about a third of a mile. This is the most comfortable crossing of I-205 anywhere south of Marine Drive, so it’s nice to improve the comfort a bit further west.

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