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Here’s what’s going on at North Williams and Killingsworth

Posted by on February 2nd, 2016 at 11:08 am

The new curb extension on northeast corner of Williams and Killingsworth.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The other day while biking home up North Williams Avenue I got a surprise. As I crossed Killingsworth, the usual cut-through I used to enjoy was gone. Instead of the bike lane leading me to a curbside channel with a median island buffer between me and people driving in the opposite direction, I had to ride head-on into traffic. I didn’t think much of it because it was an active construction site, but I wanted to find out what was going with this very busy intersection in the north/northeast Portland bike network.


Worst Day of the Year Ride February 14th

The political arm of Portland’s biking movement is back and organizing for 2016

Posted by on February 2nd, 2016 at 8:26 am

A Bike Walk Vote event at Crank bike shop in February 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The national political season may have officially begun with Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, but the local political season is well underway.

And Bike Walk Vote, the political action committee that has helped elect politicians in 23 Portland-area races since 2004, will be back at it in 2016.


Condo association releases ‘Call for Community Safety Plan and Dialogue’

Posted by on February 1st, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Compassion for all members of our community and a low tolerance for open criminal activity are not contradictory.
— McCormick Pier Condominium Association

The condominium association that closed a public path along the Willamette river last week has issued a statement calling on “transportation advocates” and other interested parties to come together in order to address the “crisis” of citywide homelessness.

The McCormick Pier Condominium Association re-opened public access to the path on Friday after the City of Portland made their presence felt at a large homeless camp adjacent to their property.

Here’s the statement they just released:


Could Pronto’s problems come to Portland? Here’s what experts say

Posted by on February 1st, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Pronto bikeshare @king st station
Not ridden enough, but why?
(Photo: Diane Yee)

As we mentioned in this week’s news roundup, Seattle’s 16-month-old bike sharing system is in a very tight spot.

With the Pronto system taking in only 68 percent of the money required to meet its operating costs last year and the city considering taking it over in order to bail it out, many Portlanders are rightly wondering whether the upcoming Biketown system (which will be operated by the same company, Motivate) could face similar problems.

We talked to some of the country’s leading independent bike-share experts today to get their take. Here’s what we heard.


Industry Ticker Roundup: Rawlands at Velo Cult, New Nutcase CEO, and Walnut’s new workshop

Posted by on February 1st, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Newest Nutcase Scott Montgomery.
(Photo: Nutcase)

Portland’s bike industry is always in flux. Here at BikePortland we try to stay on top of it because a signficant part our region’s economic development, jobs market, and talent pool is tied in some way to bicycles.

Today we’ve got three tidbits to share…

Nutcase hires a new CEO

This is big. Portland-based helmet company Nutcase has just hired a big-name CEO. It marks a giant step for the company that had been run by its founders — Michael Morrow and Miriam Berman — since 2006. Not only that, but the new CEO, Scott Montgomery is kind of a big deal. Montgomery comes to Nutcase after being CEO of cycling apparel company Club Ride. Before that he spent over 30 years at Cannondale before leaving in 2003 as its vice president to become the general manager of another bike manufacturer, Scott.

With Montgomery’s experience, Nutcase is sure to hasten its growth and expansion. Next on the company’s radar? “Lifestyle products.”


City responds to Steel Bridge homeless camp, Condo owners re-open Greenway path

Posted by on February 1st, 2016 at 11:43 am

Path gate open for business.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last Tuesday we reported that the board of directors of the McCormick Pier Condominiums had taken it upon themselves to close access to the Willamette Greenway Trail path between the Broadway and Steel Bridges. The reason? They said a nearby homeless camp was causing safety issues.

While the larger issue of homelessness looms over this issue and is of much greater concern to us than bikeway access, we’re covering it because the Greenway Trail is a public path and the city has an easement over the condo property during daylight hours. The homeless camp in this area has also encroached on the public path people use to connect between northwest Portland, Waterfront Park and the Steel Bridge/Eastbank Esplanade paths.

In updates to our story last week we shared that the McCormick Pier Condo board of directors was using the path’s closure to force action from Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. He didn’t like that. “I want you to know that I’m not going to permit people to take public right-of-way hostage for political purposes,” he told me in a phone call after our story went up Tuesday. Hales’ office was already well-aware of the growing size and issues at the camp under the Steel Bridge and was already planning actions to address it before the gate was closed. For whatever reason, the day after our story was published, the city began a clean-up effort at the site.


The Monday Roundup: Vancouver’s business turnaround, ‘mechanical doping’ & more

Posted by on February 1st, 2016 at 8:27 am

bikers crossing
We explored downtown Vancouver BC in a 2013 post.
(Photo: M. Andersen)

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the 15th annual Worst Day of the Year Ride, coming your way on February 14th.

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

Business turnaround: Five years after Vancouver BC’s downtown business group spoke against removing parking for a protected bike lane network, the group’s executive director has reversed his position, saying “it’s obvious that separated bike lanes [are] working.”

“Mechanical doping”: Hidden electric motors are the latest way to cheat in a bike race, apparently.


Comment of the Week: ‘When I was broke, I barely rode my bike’

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 4:47 pm

I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has.

We talk a lot about infrastructure at BikePortland, because it matters to people who bike. But it’s very far from the only thing that matters.

In a comment beneath Monday’s post about the driving habits of rich and poor people, BikePortland reader Ellie wrote about a time in her life when she was too poor to drive but when her life was too fragmented and unpredictable for her to bike.

Both the argument against gas taxes and increased parking fees use the added burden on poor people as a reason not to increase associated costs, but it is mostly a red herring, an excuse to avoid extra taxes and fees for higher income earners. However, bike activist and urban planning activists due similar things. I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has. One of my biggest frustrations with a certain sort of bicyclist is that they seem to think that since they do not find public transit useful, it isn’t important.


TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

trimet bike parking
Concept art for a new bike-and-ride facility at the Goose Hollow MAX station, due to open by the end of 2016.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency expects to add new locked “Bike and Ride” facilities this year to its Goose Hollow, Beaverton Creek and Orenco Station MAX stops, greatly increasing the west side’s capacity for bike-to-transit commuting.

It’s especially welcome news for MAX commuters through the crowded Robertson Tunnel between Portland and Washington County. Job and residential growth in Central Portland and urban Washington County have been leading to more and more people looking to reach those stations by bike.

At at least one of the facilities, there’s even room being set aside specifically for cargo bikes.


Gap Week Roundup: Your gaps and what we learned

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Map of our four gaps and a selection of reader submissions. Feel free to add your own.

What a week! In addition to all our regular news and feature stories we shined a light on bikeway gaps. Places where — for maddening and often inexplicable reasons — a perfectly fine bike lane vanishes for just a few short blocks.

Because if we want to fill these bikeway gaps we must first fill the knowledge gap.

Before I share your submissions and some thoughts on this topic, I want to say thanks to our business sponsors and subscribers. We need your continued financial support to keep doing this work. If you haven’t stepped up to subscribe or to become an advertising partner, please sign up (and join 200+ fellow readers!) or drop me a line today.


Portland Auto Show entertains their customers with… Bikes!

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 9:50 am

Custom-built bike ramps at the Portland Auto Show.
(Photos: The Lumberyard Bike Park)

When the biking-est city in America hosts a big auto show, it should come as no surprise that bikes find their way into the mix. Such is the case with the Portland Auto Show, the big motoring to-do happening now through Sunday at the Oregon Convention Center — a location bordered by a streetcar line, a light rail line, and bike paths.


Gap Week: Cully, Columbia and Alderwood to Portland Airport

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 8:51 am

columbia sidewalk
Portland is already tantalizingly close to providing a really solid biking connection from Northeast Portland’s working-class Cully neighborhood to the airport area.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of Gap Week, a special series made possible by our sponsors and subscribers.

Portland has a problem: like most U.S. cities, it’s been losing middle-wage jobs, especially the kind you can get without a fancy degree.

Many of the middle-wage, blue-collar jobs that remain are spread in industrial centers along the rivers with limited public transit access. And one of the most important clusters is one in Northeast Portland that many Portlanders know well: Portland International Airport.


Traffic Advisory: One week nighttime closure coming for St. Johns Bridge

Posted by on January 29th, 2016 at 8:40 am

sidewalk on st johns bridge
Life on the St. Johns Bridge sidewalk.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)


New era for off-road cycling begins as master plan committee meets for first time

Posted by on January 28th, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Committee members get down to work.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

That could be the motto for the City of Portland’s attempts to address the glaring lack of off-road cycling opportunities within city limits. But tonight the city took a big step forward on an unprecedented effort to solve that problem when the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability convened its first project advisory committee meeting for the Off Road Cycling Master Plan.

If all goes according to plan, 12 months from now Portland will have its first-ever citywide plan on not just how to provide bike access in parks but where it should be allowed. To be clear, this plan won’t put any lines on a map. BPS Project Manager Michelle Kunec-North made that clear at the outset of the meeting. “This plan alone doesn’t get something built. This will get us to a citywide understanding on where off-road cycling is appropriate and what type of facility is appropriate on that site.”

Make no mistake though, this plan will have the potential to be the guide for how Portland implements all future mountain bike trails — that means everything from singletrack, fire roads, pump tracks, skills parks, and so on.


Videos show difficulties navigating TriMet’s swing gates

Posted by on January 28th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

A new video just released by veteran transportation reform advocate Doug Klotz (we profiled him back in November) shows that the new swing gates installed by TriMet along the Orange Line in inner southeast Portland pose a significant barrier to people in motorized wheelchairs.


Council sends gas tax to ballot behind wide range of supporters

Posted by on January 28th, 2016 at 10:42 am

Marion Haynes with the Portland Business Alliance
offered conditional support.
(Photos from City Council live feed)

Advocates of a 10-cent local gas tax joined up to form quite a list of endorsers Wednesday for a midafternoon hearing at Portland City Council. Council heard a presentation and testimony about the idea ahead of adopting a resolution to send the tax to the ballot.

“I feel like a possum on I-5 during rush hour right now,” said Paul Romain, a lobbyist for Oregon gas retailers who was one of only two people to speak clearly against the measure.

Offering support was everyone from a freight advocate to a business advocate to an environmental justice advocate from East Portland to a frequent City Hall testifier who goes by the name of “Lightning.” While almost everyone seemed to like the idea, a close look at their testimony reveals mixed feelings that could offer clues to future debates.


The westbound path of the Broadway Bridge will be closed for a month

Posted by on January 28th, 2016 at 9:27 am

Broadway Bridge detour observations-13
Get used to it.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s more bad news to report about your ride over the Broadway Bridge.


Monday night ride helps women power through winter

Posted by on January 28th, 2016 at 8:56 am

The Let’s Race Bikes monday night ride crew was all smiles after a dry and mild ride this week.
(Photos: Jenn Levo/Let’s Race Bikes)

Getting out on training and fitness rides can be tough this time of year. Not only does the weather often not cooperate, but the racing calendar is sparse so there isn’t much in the way of motivation. This is where group rides come in!


Gap Week: SW Terwilliger between Chestnut and 7th

Posted by on January 27th, 2016 at 2:12 pm

SW Portland Week - Day 1-6
Gap? Check. Curve? Check. Narrow road? Check. Dangerous driving? Check. This one has it all (unfortunately).
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Part of Gap Week.

So far this week we’ve covered a gap in downtown, one out east, and now we’ll travel over to southwest. Today’s gap is one that I had the displeasure of discovering during our Southwest Portland Week last February: southbound Terwilliger between Chestnut and 7th/Caldew (map).


Wednesday Video Roundup: 1993 bike messengers, 2016 pro racing kits, and electric car efficiency

Posted by on January 27th, 2016 at 11:52 am

Welcome to this week’s roundup! We’ve had glimpses of almost springlike weather, I hope you were able to enjoy it. Our first video is a great one from Brumotti at a soccer (“football”) stadium. There are some great moves, but my favorite is bouncing across the armrests. The other good Brumotti of the week is where he shows the proper way to use a treadmill.