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Mayor Hales will kick off ‘Vision Zero Safety Task Force’ today

Posted by on August 17th, 2015 at 11:32 am

Bike safety meeting and press conference-9.jpg
Mayor Hales at a bike safety press conference in June.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today in East Portland we’ll get our first look at how serious Mayor Charlie Hales is about Vision Zero. He’s set to announce the Vision Zero Task Force as well as strategies and actions he and other leaders will work on to put weight on the bones of his promises to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

As we reported last month, Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan will be a city-wide approach to traffic safety that will go far and beyond work already being done by the Bureau of Transportation.

Today’s announcement will take place at the headquarters of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) at SE 82nd and Division. PBOT says the event will the, “Announcement of a major step forward in the community-wide effort to achieve Vision Zero.”

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The Monday Roundup: A gallery of street changes, L.A.’s road rethink & more

Posted by on August 17th, 2015 at 7:56 am

before after
Same space, different vision.
(Images: Google Maps via URB-I.com)

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Metro’s Bike There! Map, now available at local bike shops.

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

Before/after gallery: A new website from Brazil documents public space transformations from around the world.

Los Angeles turns: Its Mobility Plan 2035 abandons the practice of street widening in favor of 300 new miles of protected bike lanes, 240 new miles of bus-only lanes and in 20 years, it says, zero traffic fatalities.

Biking vacation: Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s plan for cooling off this week in the wake of being attacked by Donald Trump for asking aggressive debate questions: turning off her phone and riding her bike.

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Vision Bear-o in Yosemite National Park

Posted by on August 16th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

speedingkillsbears-1
Slowed me down.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Traffic violence in America knows no boundaries.

Even in our national parks, which are set aside as sanctuaries for wildlife, road authorities are forced to address this issue. In Yosemite National Park, where I spent eight days earlier this month on a family vacation, the National Parks Service estimates that over a dozen black bears are killed each year after as a result of park visitors who run into them with their cars. In 2010, the NPS reported 28 “vehicle-bear collisions.”

To “increase visitor awareness of the high frequency of vehicle-animal collisions” and encourage people to drive more carefully, the NPS started an awareness campaign in 2007. It consists of roadside signs and posters throughout the park that feature a red bear and the simple phrase, “Speeding Kills Bears.” The signs are placed in locations where the animals have been hit. They’re like ghost bikes for bears.

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First Look: Southwest Moody is now probably Portland’s best street to bike on

Posted by on August 14th, 2015 at 5:09 pm

moody lead
The new coloring and lane sorting makes things much more intuitive and comfortable for people biking and walking.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Just in time for Tilikum Crossing’s public preview last weekend, TriMet and the City of Portland unveiled a new design for the main street leading to the South Waterfront.

In two words: It’s fantastic.

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Weekend Event Guide: Alleycat alumni, Grease sing-along & more

Posted by on August 14th, 2015 at 9:40 am

Midnight Mystery Ride -10
It’s Midnight Mystery weekend, but that’s not all.
(Photo © J.Maus/BikePortland)

This menu of delicious rides and events is brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Their support makes BikePortland possible.

Today may be starting out pleasantly brisk with a dose of drizzle, but things are expected to turn around Saturday and Sunday and hit highs in the 80s. So get ready to take a ride and catch some rays. Here are the organized bike events we’ve heard about happening this weekend so far…

Friday, Aug. 14

Clinton Social Ride – 5 p.m. at PAZ PDX (SE 16th and Woodward)
Latest edition of the “positive and non-confrontational” monthly social ride down the middle of Clinton with the goal of communicating that Clinton Street is in fact supposed to prioritize bike traffic. More info here.

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Jobs of the Week: Velotech, Chris King

Posted by on August 14th, 2015 at 8:53 am

We’ve had two great jobs listed this week. Learn more about them via the links below…

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‘Bikes vs Cars’ film, coming to town next week, takes a global look at advocacy

Posted by on August 14th, 2015 at 8:36 am

A new documentary looks at transportation activism in a way many of us rarely see: multinationally.

“Bikes vs. Cars,” made by Swedish director Fredrik Gertten and drawing on characters in Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Toronto and Copenhagen, will screen at the Hollywood Theater at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, followed by a post-show discussion panel and party at the nearby Velo Cult bike shop.

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State’s proposal to improve bike crossings of Powell: Remove bike lane from 26th

Posted by on August 13th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

26th powell bike box
About 600 to 800 people a day currently bike on 26th to cross Powell. The city wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless the lanes and bike boxes at 26th are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is facing pressure from its counterparts at the Oregon Department of Transportation to do something it’s almost never done before: remove bike lanes from a street.

An ODOT official said she could not cite evidence other than the site-specific judgment of her engineering colleagues that removing the bike lane on SE 26th Avenue would improve overall road safety. But she said that because 26th is not as safe to bike on as 28th would be, it stands to reason that the bike lane on 26th should be removed in order to encourage people to cross at 28th.

Therefore, ODOT has agreed to approve the city’s request to add a new traffic signal at 28th and Powell only on the condition that the city remove the bike lane and bike box from 26th.

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Another bike touring boost: Two nearby state parks get bike facilities

Posted by on August 12th, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-50
Bike camping at Champoeg State Heritage Area in 2009.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fun to report two separate bits of news about bike friendliness in the state park system on the same afternoon.

Milo McIver State Park and Champoeg State Heritage Area are both upgrading their bike amenities, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said Wednesday. They’ll get new lockers for gear and food storage; phone charging stations; and bicycle fix-it stations, plus new group shelters. A third park, Bullards Beach State Park on the southern Oregon coast, will be upgraded too.

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State parks office will sponsor a free beginners’ bike tour through the Gorge

Posted by on August 12th, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Biking Break in Lee Vining Ca
Ride leader Stephen Dodson.
(Photo courtesy Dodson)

A seasonal Oregon State Parks employee is leading a free introduction to bike touring in the Colombia River Gorge this month.

The 30-mile trip on Saturday, Aug. 22, will start at 9 a.m. outside Hood River, and loops to Mayer State Park and back by 5 p.m. Here’s the description from Oregon State Parks:

You will learn what equipment is necessary, how do you plan a route and pack panniers or a trailer to be successful. We will discuss the light impact of bike touring is on the environment and other traffic, and the positive effects on small town economies. By the end of the program you’ll have resources to take away and learn more about this exciting way to see the world around you!

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Guest post: Los Angeles could teach Portland a thing or two about open streets

Posted by on August 12th, 2015 at 7:38 am

ciclavia bridge
Los Angeles’ answer to Sunday Parkways: welcoming frequent car users with big streets and open arms.
(Photos: Ted Timmons)

This is a guest post from BikePortland reader Ted Timmons, who visited L.A.’s version of Sunday Parkways this year and was moved to write up some of his observations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Los Angeles was late to the ciclovia scene, even by American standards. However, they have had several per year since late 2010.

While the stereotype of Los Angeles revolves around its infatuation with the car, it’s arguably the densest urban area in the country. The percentage of trips in Portland by means other than car is about 16 percent; in Los Angeles, it’s 25 percent.

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Burnside Bridgehead project includes possible bike-through retail window

Posted by on August 11th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

burnside bikes rendering
Though it’s a shame that the creators of this image seem to have been unaware of the existence of Couch Street’s bike lane, they do seem to be enthusiastic about serving people who arrive by bike.
(Image: Key Development)

In the latest burst of bike-oriented development on the Burnside Bridgehead, a developer is considering turning the tables on all those drive-through windows that allow cars but not bikes.

Key Development has proposed a 20,000-square-foot, $7 million commercial building on the space immediately west of Couch Street’s southward curve towards the Burnside Bridge. Currently in design review, the project would include a bike-oriented retail plaza, possibly with a bike-through window.

It might also function as a sort of annex that’d create easy bridge-level bike access to residents of the big 21-story tower that’s now in construction right behind it.

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Man riding motorcycle dies after collision with delivery truck at Williams and Monroe (updated)

Posted by on August 11th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

A man died early Tuesday, Portland police said, two days after a collision between a motorcycle he was riding and a Red Cross blood delivery truck turning left off of North Williams Avenue at Monroe Street.

It happened at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on the corner just outside Urban Nest Realty, one block south of the Waypost and immediately west of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. According to a police statement on Tuesday, the man in the motorcycle had been trying to overtake the truck on the left, presumably by entering the bike lane, when the truck made a legal left turn.

This is to my knowledge the first traffic fatality on Williams since its late 2014 redesign that created a wide left-side bike lane and various crosswalk improvements, and restricted auto traffic on many blocks to a single lane.

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Hope for mountain bikers? Off-Road Cycling Master Plan starts rolling

Posted by on August 11th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Kunec-North
Michelle Kunec-North is managing
the process for the city.
(Photo courtesy Kunec-North)

A year after hundreds of people attended a rally in support of in-town mountain biking trails, the City of Portland is starting its project to decide where such trails should go.

“It’s a way for people to get outside, to get in nature, to be active, to spend time with their families,” said Michelle Kunec-North, the city planning bureau staffer (and longtime recreational mountain biker) managing the process. “It’s the city’s goal to have active transportation, and it’s kind of an entry point, for kids in particular but for adults in some cases, to learning how to ride a bike.”

In an interview last week, Kunec-North added that off-road cycling options in Portland would also help build a generation of stewards of the city’s natural areas and boost the local tourism and bike economies.

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The Monday Roundup: Rethinking congestion, from the NFL to pro cycling & more

Posted by on August 10th, 2015 at 6:12 am

nahbs_day1his_cafescene
What do we really want?
(Photo J.Maus/BikePortland

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

Traffic overloads: Here’s the problem with thinking of congested city streets as a backlogged garden hose that needs widening: “cities aren’t the hoses, they’re the gardens.”

Footballer cyclist: Former Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. wants to be the first NFL player to become a professional biker.

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By the tens of thousands, Portlanders preview their new car-free bridge (photos)

Posted by on August 9th, 2015 at 6:21 pm

throngs
An estimated 40,000 people crossed Tilikum Crossing Sunday on foot, bike, skateboard, scooter or wheelchair.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

With walkers and in strollers, on hopalongs and (in the case of quite a few happily panting dogs) on leashes, Portlanders packed a series of previews Sunday of Tilikum Crossing, the first bridge in the United States to carry buses, bikes, trains, streetcars and people walking but no private cars.

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After media reports, state says it will smooth sunken grates on Barbur

Posted by on August 7th, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-14
Jim Parsons in a 2011 photo.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For at least one last time, the squeaky wheel known as Jim Parsons has gotten some grease onto the gears of government.

After the veteran Portland-area bike advocate’s unsanctioned paint job of two sunken grates in Barbur Boulevard’s bike lanes landed them on TV news for two consecutive days, the Oregon Department of Transportation said Friday that it’ll follow his recommendations for addressing the problem within the next week or two.

An agency spokesman added that ODOT owes thanks to Parsons, who recently finished a degree at Portland State University and is planning a move to China.

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Comment of the Week: SE Foster, the heart of Portland’s coming bike grid

Posted by on August 7th, 2015 at 2:19 pm

SE Foster Road-4
Not currently a spot for
low-stress rolls.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Foster Road feels a long way from the heart of Portland’s transportation conversation at the moment. But that’s not going to last long.

Next year, right in the middle of Portland’s mayoral election, Foster is scheduled to be the site of the city’s most ambitious road diet yet, a conversion of passing lanes to bike and turn lanes that’s widely expected to create auto spillover onto other streets even as it dramatically improves the safety of driving or crossing Foster, which is currently one of the city’s 10 high-crash corridors.

The new bike lanes will be nothing more than paint, but six-foot-wide or buffered. And in a comment beneath Tuesday’s story exploring how to divvy up Portland’s bike-infrastructure budgets, BikePortland reader Gutterbunnybikes made an interesting case that those bike lanes will be more important than you think.

Why? Because unlike almost every other bike lane in Portland, they’re going to run right through commercial districts.

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DIY relay event this month will echo Hood to Coast – with bikes instead of vans

Posted by on August 7th, 2015 at 11:32 am

View of Hood from SW Barbur
Come on down.
(Photo J.Maus/BikePortland)

The annual Hood to Coast running relay is understandably celebrated as a signature Northwest event. But if you’ve ever participated, you know that it involves a lot of motor vehicles.

What a hassle!

Two weeks from today, a squad of Portlanders is inviting a few people to join a trial run of an interesting experiment: a Hood-to-Coast style running relay that relies on bikes, not vans, for support. Here’s the description of the “Peak to Rising Tide” relay from organizer Jamey Harris:

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Weekend Event Guide: Sprocket Podcast live, Tilikum Bridge Pedal & more

Posted by on August 7th, 2015 at 10:23 am

DSC_0791
A Grill by Bike rig in action.
(Photo © M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This menu of delicious rides and events is brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Their support makes BikePortland possible.

Highs around 80, lows in the 60s and partly cloudy — now that’s what I call Portland summer. Which makes it extra perfect for an event like Bridge Pedal. Whatever we’re up to, let’s enjoy it.

Friday, Aug. 7

Portland Bicycle Studio Mountain Bike Demo – noon-5 p.m. at Skibowl on Mount Hood
Test ride new Giant-brand mountain bikes on the mountain Friday and Saturday. Includes trail access and a $20 all-day lift ticket. (Also see below.) Shuttle available. More info here.

Grill by Bike – 5 p.m. at Laurelhurst Park (3700 SE Ankeny St)
The fire-fueled bike-fun club meets for a ride to a live taping of the Sprocket Podcast’s 250th episode. Meet with grillables at the north-central corner of the park and get ready to ride on fire. More info here.

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