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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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).
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.