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Even in suburban Oregon, drive-alone trips are a shrinking share of new commutes

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-2
Bike commuter Jim Parsons in Washington County.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland metro area seems to have already discovered how to slow the growth of traffic congestion, the city’s bicycle planning coordinator said Friday. But it’s not investing in it very quickly.

Between 2000 and 2014, the three Oregon counties in the metro area added 122,000 new commuters. And inside the Metro urban growth boundary, less than half of that net growth came from people driving alone in cars.


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Washington Park path at Burnside and NW 24th to close for improvements

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 at 12:03 pm

It will close tomorrow. But by the end of summer it should be much-improved.(Graphic: Portland Parks & Recreation)

It will close tomorrow. But by the end of summer it should be much-improved.
(Graphic: Portland Parks & Recreation)

We’ve got some bad news and some good news.

The bad news is that tomorrow (Wednesday, May 18th) the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau will close a key path in Washington Park: the entrance to the park off W Burnside and NW 24th place. It might seem like a little path that isn’t important in our transportation network, but a fair number of people rely on this path as a connection between the west side and downtown Portland. Thankfully the closure will only last one day.

The original notice from PP&R didn’t include anything about a detour, but in a follow-up email here’s what they suggested: Use NW 23rd to Vista Ave, then to Park Ave into Washington Park.


Bikes on TV shows and the endless possibilities of cities

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 at 11:22 am

A scene from Episode 2 of "Girls" on HBO.

A scene from Episode 2 of “Girls” on HBO.

This post is by our “Gal by Bike” columnist Kate Laudermilk. She previously wrote about how she’s been influenced by Portland’s silly group rides.

There’s something noteworthy going on in movies and television lately — especially those taking place in New York City. There’s a theme that, while seldom discussed, speaks volumes: Bikes.

They can be found lurking in frame after frame of shows like “Girls“, “Broad City”, and movies like “Francis Ha”. Much like the iconic bike next to Jerry Seinfeld’s bathroom or the cruiser tucked away in Carrie Bradshaw’s hallway — but in a new New York City — one built by Janette Sadik-Kahn.


ODOT hosts event to highlight bicycle access through work zones

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 at 10:38 am

A new type of "channelization device" ODOT plans to use this summer.(Photo: State of Oregon)

A new type of “channelization device” ODOT plans to use this summer.
(Photo: State of Oregon)

The Oregon Department of Transportation is hosting an interesting event. They’re asking people to ride a bicycle (or walk) through a work zone to see what it’s like first-hand.

The event happens tomorrow (May 18th) in front of ODOT’s headquarters in Salem where the agency has set up a temporary work zone to demonstrate how their crews are using new materials to ensure safe passage by people using feet and bikes. The event is part of the state’s Transportation Safety Month and it’s being done to help kickoff the summer road construction season.

“Have you ever ridden a bike through a work zone? Sound daunting? How does ODOT protect bicyclists and pedestrians in work zones?” reads an ODOT media advisory about the event. “Come find out! Bring your GoPros! Show the unusual perspective of riding through a work zone on two wheels.” (Love how they assume biking through a work zone is “unusual”.)

According to ODOT someone crashes in a work zone every 19 hours in Oregon (about 477 a year) and about seven people die in those crashes annually. Statistically, the most common cause of work zone crashes are people simply not paying attention and driving too fast for conditions.


Next-gen traffic signals and vehicles could be new boost to bike safety

Posted by on May 16th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

The road wouldn’t need to detect you any more — traffic signals could do that themselves before you even roll up.
(Image: Econolite)

We’ve been writing for a few months about Portland’s application for $40 million in federal funds that could make it easier to combine services like bike sharing, TriMet, Lyft and so on into a single system of multimodal mobility.

But we haven’t been talking much about another important aspect of Portland’s grant: millions of dollars for connecting vehicles to improve safety.

As city leaders prepare for a personal pitch on Wednesday to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the Portland Bureau of Transportation held a “Connected City Expo” Monday to show off many of the companies that could be bringing their knowhow to a Smart City award here in Portland.


A glimpse at Portland’s future — and better — bike network

Posted by on May 16th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Buffered bike lanes NE 15/16th
New buffered bike lanes on NE 15th and 16th in the Lloyd District connect the protected bike lane on NE Multnomah to NE Broadway (which had a protected bike lane last week).
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s infrastructure still has a long way to go before cycling appeals to as many people as walking, taking transit or driving; but it’s moving in the right direction.

The way to get there is not a mystery: We need more roadway space dedicated solely to cycling with lanes that are physically separated and protected from motorized traffic. And each segment of protected bikeway we add makes the entire network exponentially better.

With two Better Block projects running simultaneously last week I realized I could hit both of them on my way home. As I did the ride it occured to me that my route would be full of bikeways that are protected from cars and trucks in some form or another. In fact by the time I got home I’d spent the vast majority of my time on bike lanes or paths that are a step (or two) above the standard, door-zone bike lanes that dominate most cities, including Portland.

Our office is on SW 4th between Stark and Oak and I live up near Peninsula Park in the Piedmont neighborhood of north Portland. Below is the route I took with the little detour to check out the Better Broadway project (which is now over, sadly):


City puts future of transportation on display today at Smart City Tech Expo

Posted by on May 16th, 2016 at 10:11 am

Detail from PBOT event flyer for today's event.

Detail from the event flyer.
(Image: City of Portland)

Today at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry the City of Portland will give the public a glimpse of how they’re competing for a chance to win the $40 million Smart City Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Portland is one of seven finalist cities vying for the prize. Today’s event is a precursor to a visit later this week from DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

At OMSI today from 11:00 to 2:00 the Bureau of Transportation and private consulting firm DKS Associates are hosting the Smart City Tech Expo. Here’s more about the event from PBOT:

“The expo will showcase the technology, partnerships and innovation going into Portland’s bid as a finalist for the $40 million Smart City Challenge. Prototypes of connected vehicles, electric vehicles, demonstrations of mobile apps, and videos of other cutting edge technology will be available for viewing and hands-on learning…


The Monday Roundup: Sidewalk delivery robots, Tacoma teen Tazing and more

Posted by on May 16th, 2016 at 9:39 am

geo orbital
(Photo: Geo Orbital)

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

E-bike wheel: The Geo Orbital replaces the front wheel of a conventional bike, is currently Kickstarting for $699 and will retail for $950.

Biker Tazed: A 15-year-old Tacoma girl who was bicycling through a mall parking lot was stopped for “trespassing” by a uniformed off-duty police officer working as a security guard. After she tried to bike away, he threw her to the ground by her hair and then used a Taser on her.


Five myths and a fact about the gas tax on Tuesday’s ballot

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 3:32 pm

buczek walking
SW Barbur Boulevard at Capitol Highway. The city’s proposed gas tax would add a sidewalk to Capitol Highway, connecting to Barbur Transit Center. Most Portlanders like sidewalks, so the oil industry prefers to refer to them as “other things.”
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Despite endorsements from big business, small business, every significant mayoral candidate and seemingly every civic or nonprofit organization in town, two major institutions oppose the gas tax on Portlanders’ ballots Tuesday: the oil industry and the Oregonian editorial page.

Last week, a poll showed the measure with a narrow lead. The oil industry responded Wednesday with their latest mailer (the “no” campaign has raised $165,000 so far, half of it from out of state) claiming that a tax on their product would be the worst idea ever.


Lovers of great streets: Better Broadway needs our help

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 1:31 pm

This is worth fighting for. Please take the survey and email the mayor and Commissioner Novick about it. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is worth fighting for. Please take the survey and email the mayor and Commissioner Novick about it.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been out on NE Broadway several times this week. And I love what Better Block has done with the place. The transformation of the street from auto-centric thoroughfare to a pleasant street that welcomes a mix of uses has been nothing short of amazing.

But I’m here to let you in on a secret: Not everyone is pleased. I’ve heard from several sources that the project is coming under fire by people whose hate equals my love.

Much of the anger is apparently coming from people think Broadway should remain a fast, crowded arterial mostly for driving on. While people out on the street are supportive and Better Block PDX has many fantastic neighborhood partners, there are some (who just so happen to have very powerful voices) who see this temporary street transformation as evil incarnate.


Opinion: A permanent “Better Naito” deserves better than this

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Better Naito kickoff-12.jpg
For better or worse.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales wants to go out with a bang. And in the process he just might blow up his chance to make “Better Naito” permanent.

As we gleefully reported on May 2nd, Hales’ last budget proposal included $1.46 million to redesign Naito Parkway to include a protected bikeway. It’s an idea he’s been talking about for nearly two years now and it makes a lot of sense from a transportation planning perspective. That’s why it’s a shame it might go down with a sinking ship.

Naito should be a marquee street in Portland but it’s held back because it’s dominated by auto traffic. Creating more space on the street to bike and walk would enliven Naito-facing hotels and restaurants and improve safety for everyone who uses it. A report published after “Better Naito” last year showed that auto travel times were not significantly impacted by the new lane configuration, biking went up 56 percent, and the majority of public feedback was “overwhelmingly positive.”

Better Naito was such a success that the City decided to bring it back for three months this summer. Unfortunately Hales’ proposal to make it permanent might be dead within a week.


After delay, Metro again faces vote that pits Safe Routes money against highways

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 10:33 am

Trillium Charter School bike train-24-19
A bike train at Trillium Charter Schoool
in north Portland.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The regional Metro committee that controls $130 million in federal funds continues to consider an increase in money for road widening rather than for safety improvements to streets near schools.

JPACT, the committee of 17 regional officials, was due to vote last month but decided to postpone its vote until next Thursday.

At play are $17.4 million in new money created by last year’s federal transportation bill. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance and other nonprofits in the For Every Kid Coalition have led a two-year campaign to secure much of that money for Safe Routes to School infrastructure across the region, which improves crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways near schools. Their proposal would prioritize “Title 1” schools, those with higher rates of child poverty.


Portland’s biggest, baddest bike parking facility is about to open

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 10:16 am

Inside the Lloyd Cycle Station, where you can catch a game on the tube while you chill after a ride.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Generally speaking, Portland does bike parking better than any city in North America. And one of the continent’s biggest bike parking projects is about to open in the middle of it.

The Lloyd Cycle Station, which opens to the public next month in the basement of the Lloyd 700 Building at 700 NE Multnomah Street, will offer half of the record-breaking 1,200 indoor bike parking spaces constructed as part of Hassalo on Eighth in the Lloyd District. But unlike most residential bike parking projects, this facility will also be open to people who work or shop in the area.

The 24-hour facility will offer service from on-site mechanics, paid lockers, showers, a bike-repair stand, extra-large cargo bike parking, a bike wash and free “commute consultations.”


Jobs of the Week: SprocketFly, Velotech, Stages, Athletes Lounge, Kenton Cycle Repair, Cynergy E-Bikes

Posted by on May 13th, 2016 at 9:31 am

Looking for a new place to spread your cycling wings? Check out these six great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Lead Mechanic/Mobile Repair – SprocketFly

–> Customer Experience Specialist – Velotech, Inc

–> Customer Service Representative/Technical Support – Stages Cycling

–> Part Time Sales – Athletes Lounge

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Kenton Cycle Repair

–> Bike Mechanic/Part time – Cynergy E-Bikes


City debuts new ‘Tuff Curb’ to create physical separation for bikeways

Posted by on May 12th, 2016 at 3:15 pm

City crews installed a new plastic curb at SW 13th and Clay today.(Photos: City of Portland)

City crews installed a new plastic curb at SW 13th and Clay today.
(Photos: City of Portland)

Hallelujah! At long last the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is using an actual curb to separate bike-only lanes from standard vehicle lanes.

For years PBOT has struggled to figure out how to cheaply and quickly add physical separation. They’ve tried using plastic wands but those rarely last more than a few days before they’re hit and ripped out by people who can’t control their cars. PBOT’s most recent attempt to help separate the bike lane from encroachment by motor vehicle operators came in the form of “rumble bars.” Those failed too.


More bike projects in the works: NE 16th, SE Holgate, NE 37th

Posted by on May 12th, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Members of the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee discussed the projects Tuesday night.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Members of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee discussed the projects Tuesday night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In yesterday’s post about a flurry of new, smallish protected bike lane projects around town, we promised a follow-up post about some other street changes on the way.

As with the nine projects we explored yesterday, Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller presented these to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee on Tuesday night. None of these will transform a neighborhood, but all three will clarify links in the city’s bike network.

NE 16th/Sandy – installing this summer

This is the most unusual of the three designs here. It’s a three-block link between the Benson Polytechnic High School area and Sandy, leading to the Ankeny-Couch-Davis-Everett neighborhood greenway. The issue is that because of a freeway onramp in this area, northbound auto traffic on 16th Avenue between Irving and Sandy exceeds the city’s standard for a comfortable shared bike-car lane, but southbound traffic is lower.


Stumptown Coffee employees can now check out a bike from the company fleet

Posted by on May 12th, 2016 at 2:07 pm

The new Stumptown Coffee employee bike fleet — complete with helmets and backpacks.(Photos: Stumptown Coffee)

The new Stumptown Coffee employee bike fleet — complete with helmets and backpacks.
(Photos: Stumptown Coffee Roasters)

Stumptown Coffee has grown into a national brand since its first cafe opened on SE Division back in 1999; but the company just did something that centers it firmly back onto its Portland roots. They’ve purchased a fleet of four bikes that any employee can check out and use to pedal around the city.

After seeing the bikes pop up on Twitter we asked a bit more about them and Stumptown Vice President Matt Lounsbury gave us the details.


PBOT wants your opinion on Clinton Street diverters and Vision Zero

Posted by on May 12th, 2016 at 12:34 pm

What do you think? Make sure to let the city know.

What do you think? Make sure to let the city know.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants your input on two very important issues: the Clinton Street traffic diverters and Vision Zero. They’ve released an online survey for each of them and we’d like to officially encourage you to take a few minutes and fill them out.


Sunday Parkways kicks off this weekend in outer southeast Portland

Posted by on May 12th, 2016 at 9:02 am

East Portland Sunday Parkways-16
East Portland could look like this every day; but for now Sunday Parkways is your one chance to experience its true potential.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Grab your friends and kids and neighbors — it’s time for Sunday Parkways! The ninth annual season starts this Sunday (May 15th) in outer southeast Portland.


Pedalpalooza is nearly here! Get your rides listed by Sunday

Posted by on May 11th, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Hammercise Ride-7
Hammercising in Waterfront Park during Pedalpalooza in 2010.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s legendary lead-it-yourself festival of bike fun kicks off in one month, and that means it’s time for you to write a line or two of its legend.

This year’s Pedalpalooza festival will run from June 9 to July 4, and so far it’s got 173 rides listed. But there’s still room for lots more, and the print calendar (which is distributed in the Portland Mercury) goes to press after this Sunday, May 15.