Car2go’s new bike racks have passed the Portland test

Posted by on November 12th, 2014 at 9:53 am

Yes, Virginia, a seven-foot-tall tandem tallbike can be carried on one of car2go’s new rear racks.
(Photo: Carl Larson, Bicycle Transportation Alliance)

Last week, we reported that floating-fleet carsharing service Car2go was preparing to start testing a new feature in Portland: external bike racks.

Yesterday, Bicycle Transportation Alliance staffer Carl Larson helped the company test whether their product was up to the job of hauling the full diversity of our local bike fleet.


Wind topples tree onto woman as she bikes up Naito Parkway

Posted by on November 11th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

It’s windy out there. Very windy.

This afternoon there were reports of trees and branches falling all over the region. Before leaving the office for the day, Jonathan posted the following tweet:

Then, what he’d posted in jest actually happened to an unlucky woman riding downtown.

According to a Portland Police Bureau report, a woman who was biking in downtown Portland survived a tree falling on her in the bike lane. It happened just after 4 p.m., according to police. She received “traumatic but not life-threatening injuries.”

Check out a photo of the tree and the full PPB press release below the jump…


Holiday profile: David Lewis of Veteran Bicycle Co. is trying to invent a cheaper bike

Posted by on November 11th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

david lewis
David Lewis believes that bike
manufacturing is ripe for disruption.
(Photos courtesy Lewis)

Portland is thick with indie bike frame builders. But the most audacious bike-design entrepreneur in town is focused on everything except the frame.

Ringed on three and a half sides by his tiny metal fabrication studio — a sort of blue-collar cubicle inside ADX, Southeast Portland’s coworking facility for people who make stuff — David Lewis described the product he’s slowly trying to design from the gears out.

“It’s an American bicycle that’s affordable and ready to ride,” Lewis said. “I don’t know what that bike looks like yet.”

The 37-year-old founder of Veteran Bicycle Co. just got his machine manufacturing certificate this fall. But he’s about to head into his second year of trying to come up with completely new and lower-cost ways to design and manufacture any and every part of the bicycle.


Proposed changes to Lloyd Center Mall entrance will face protected bike lane

Posted by on November 11th, 2014 at 9:24 am

lloyd center entrance rendering
Plans for the new south-facing mall entrance also include a row of sidewalk-facing storefronts and 34 covered bike parking spaces just inside the garage.
(Images: Waterleaf Architecture via City of Portland. Click to enlarge.)

After decades of keeping its shops (and Portland’s most famous skating rink) behind the bars of its parking garage, the Lloyd Center is planning a change.

As we reported last winter, the new owners of the mall have planned a new “grand entrance” that will slice away part of the rarely crowded garage in order to welcome foot and bike traffic from Multnomah Street, Holladay Park and the Lloyd Center MAX station.


The Monday Roundup: Beautiful bike parking, Magliozzi’s car freedom and more

Posted by on November 10th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Nice corral, Philadelphia.
(Photo: PlanPhilly)

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by North St Bags, celebrating their fifth anniversary of making great panniers and backpacks right here in Portland.

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

Beautiful parking: When businesses pay for their own bike corrals, they tend to look really nice.

Car-free mechanic: Tom Magliozzi, the late “Car Talk” host, didn’t own a car and said he preferred bikes and public transit.


City’s new ‘Street Fund’ proposal would raise $46 million a year

Posted by on November 10th, 2014 at 12:54 pm

PBOT Director Leah Treat, Mayor Hales, and Commissioner Novick at this morning’s press conference.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

At City Hall this morning Mayor Charlie Hales, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and PBOT Director Leah Treat unveiled their latest proposal to raise new revenue for transportation. The “Portland Street Fund” would raise $46 million for maintenance and safety projects through a mix of business fees and personal income taxes.


Car, freight, bike and transit advocates agree to back Oregon gas tax or fee hike in 2015

Posted by on November 10th, 2014 at 7:32 am

The Oregon Trucking Association, AAA and petroleum industry agreed last week not only to back a possible gas tax hike but to support indexing the tax for future automatic increases.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Oregon’s 2015 legislative session is sure to include lots of plot twists for transportation policy. But at least among the key lobbyists, a grand bargain has been struck.

A group of advocates for biking, driving, urban density, public health, the gasoline industry, truck freight, rail fright, cities and public transit agencies — Oregon’s broadest-based organization of transportation interest groups — voted unanimously Thursday on the basic terms of a proposed transportation bill.

The deal brokered by members of the Oregon Transportation Forum would use a gas tax and/or auto fee hike to raise hundreds of millions of dollars over two years for infrastructure around the state.


Portland legislators launch effort to put 82nd Ave under PBOT control

Posted by on November 7th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

east 82nd
(Photo: Elly Blue)

It’s looking as if the 2015 legislative session could bring a change that Portland transportation advocates have dreamed of, without much hope, for years.


ODOT releases ‘ORcycle’ smartphone app to collect biking data

Posted by on November 7th, 2014 at 3:16 pm


The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a research lab at Portland State University just announced “Orcycle” a smartphone app billed as a way for bicycle riders to share “valuable information” with the agency.

Here’s more from an ODOT press release that just hit our inbox:

Gathering valuable data about how bicyclists use the transportation system has always been a challenge. Starting Nov. 10, a new Smartphone app created by the Transportation Technology and People (TTP) lab at Portland State University, in partnership with ODOT, will provide data that can help planners and others make decisions based on users’ feedback and facts never before gathered in one place. The goal of the app, called ORcycle, is to get cycling data from people who ride bicycles voluntarily contributing via their Smartphone, from anywhere in the state.


Is Portland the Indianapolis of the future? Six questions for Urbanophile Aaron Renn

Posted by on November 7th, 2014 at 10:05 am

aaron renn
Aaron Renn of Urbanophile.com is rarely
dull and didn’t disappoint.
(Photo: Jin Won (James) Park)

For years, people have been convincing Aaron Renn to share his nuanced opinions about Portland. So last week, he finally decided to visit.

Way back in 1998, Renn launched one of the country’s first blogs so he could cover the Chicago Transit Authority. In recent years he’s been based in Indianapolis, running a data analysis startup and sharing thoughts about cities on his website Urbanophile.com and elsewhere.

After Renn returned to Indianapolis, we caught up with him by phone to get his perspectives on the truths and fictions of Portland’s reputation, the ups and downs of our bike infrastructure and his intriguing theory that Portlanders have an existential problem: we might be too similar to each other to have useful disagreements.


Jobs of the Week

Posted by on November 7th, 2014 at 9:52 am

We’ve had two excellent job opportunities posted this week. Learn more via the links below…


BikePortland Podcast: What if?

Posted by on November 6th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Policymakers Ride 2014-49
What would happen if every local bridge were tolled?
And other speculative but interesting scenarios.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

We spend all our time on this website writing about things that are true.

So we decided that it’d be fun to spend 40 minutes talking about things that aren’t.

In the latest episode of our monthly podcast, producer Lillian Karabaic, Jonathan and I sat down for a particularly fun game: inspired by this CityLab post, we took turns proposing improbable (but plausible) events that could change the future of Portland transportation and then making educated (though sometimes wacky) guesses about what would happen next.

We considered scenarios like these:


Weekend Event Guide: Cross, code, fall colors, and more

Posted by on November 6th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Fall scenes in and around Portland-8
It’s a great time of year for riding bikes.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.

We’ve only got a few more weekends before much of the colorful leaves are gone and we’re really into the winter doldrums. That’s my way of saying… Get out there and ride your bike this weekend! If nothing below suits your fancy, just head east into the Columbia River Gorge and tilt your head up and to the sides. You’ll be amazed at what you see (Alex Barr Road, pictured above, is one of my favorite climbs this time of year).

Also remember to keep your wits about you as you navigate all that slippery muck that tends to accumulate in the bike lanes this time of year. Leaves are nice in trees; but not so nice under your tires.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, November 8th


Our annual leaves-in-bike-lanes post

Posted by on November 6th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Leaves in bike lanes-2
New left-side bike lane on NW Everett is very bad right now.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Seems like every year around this time we have to do a post about leaves in the bike lanes.

Portland is a tree city. I love all our street trees! But they also make for messy streets this time of year when rain mixes with wind. When I’m driving my car, leaves on the street don’t bother me at all because there’s zero chance of slipping on them. I can also count on the wheels of other drivers to whisk the leaves out of the lane in very short order. Cars are great street sweepers.


Thoughts on “passing chaos” on new Williams Ave bike lane

Posted by on November 6th, 2014 at 11:32 am

Williams Avenue-7
No reason to panic.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The new lane configuration is very different than the old one. And that seems to be causing some discomfort among those who use it.


Three events tonight: Bicycle Times launch, fashion trunk show, Senator town hall

Posted by on November 6th, 2014 at 10:51 am

Portlanders who love all things bike, you have a decision to make: There are three cool events tonight that are dueling for your attention.

I hope you can work them into your plans…


Guest article: Why civil disobedience needs more bikes

Posted by on November 5th, 2014 at 11:56 am

PDX Bike Swarm - ALEC F29 protests-5
A man lifts his bike during the F29
ALEC protests in February 2012.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Story by Guest Contributor Hart Noecker.

Bicycles are the perfect tool for civil disobedience; so why don’t we use them for that purpose more often?

The worlds of cycling and activism have a long history of intersecting. In the 19th century, bicycles were a vehicle of liberation for women fighting against disenfranchisement. Swarms of riders also rode to demand safer paved streets, only to see their victories robbed from them by the imposition of the automobile years later.

More recently, Critical Mass proved to be a game-changer in how we think about reclaiming streets for people cycling, as well as walking. The concept of a ‘bike bloc’ evolved into ‘bike swarms’ with the inception and ultimate eviction of the Occupy encampments here in Portland. The genesis of the ongoing PDX Bike Swarm inspired the formation of several similar groups across the world.


Oregonians reject two politicians after bike-unfriendly statements

Posted by on November 5th, 2014 at 10:54 am

“This picture is just way too awesome!” former
Milwaukie city council candidate Scott Barbur wrote on
Facebook in 2010.

Though many issues other than bikes were at play in two races decided last night, both will be familiar to many BikePortland readers.

In one of the races, donations from BikePortland readers seem to have been a meaningful factor in the outcome.

In Milwaukie, Portland’s neighbor to the south, voters overwhelmingly nixed Scott Barbur’s city council candidacy. Barbur, who took 47 percent of the vote in his previous 2012 run, was thumped with just 36 percent this time.


Democratic Senate victories set the stage for a 2015 transportation bill

Posted by on November 4th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

A day in Salem-6
In the balance.

This post has been updated after the release of results.

The key question in the Oregon legislature tonight wasn’t whether the most powerful woman in the state Senate would be reelected. Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) was — she wasn’t even opposed by a Republican.

The question was whether Johnson would still wake up tomorrow as the most powerful woman in the Senate.

It’s looking as though she won’t.

Johnson’s power has come from her brains (they’re sharp) and from the fact that she’s the body’s most conservative Democrat by a country mile. The Columbia County legislator has been the swing vote on many issues, transportation and otherwise, for years.

But with Democrats victorious in at least two of six potentially close Senate races, it looks as if they’ll have at least 17 votes to Republicans’ 13 — enough to proceed with or without Johnson’s approval. This could make the difference on transportation-related issues like a gas tax hike (which we’re told is likely to be a major focus of the 2015 legislature) and inclusionary zoning (which would let cities build income diversity requirements into their zoning code).


How I stole my bike back

Posted by on November 4th, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Stole my bike back!-1
Found it! (Can you tell I was a bit nervous at that moment?)

It’s back! I found my bike and am happy to report it’s right here next to me in my office.

Let’s rewind…


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