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For less than $500,000, 3 Portland road diets are preventing 37 crashes every year

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

road diet safety
(Data: Portland Bureau of Transportation. Chart: BikePortland.)

A new city study shows the big payoff the city has quietly seen from a few uses of one of the least-understood tricks in traffic engineering: the 4-3 road diet.

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Comment of the Week: For this rider, driving is a necessity

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

2490690324_945b8c7214_z
(Photo: Amanda)

Even in Portland, people who bike more than they drive are a pretty small minority.

What sets us apart, in fact, might actually be the percentage of Portlanders who drive while wishing they were on a bike.

In a comment beneath our post about a road diet on Burnside that probably improved safety at a cost to fast driving (but might have also made biking less convenient), reader Edwards shared some compelling thoughts from the perspective of someone who loves to bike but also needs, at least for the moment, to drive.

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Smiles, fire, kids, crashes, and mud: A Cross Crusade gallery

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Cross Crusade #1 Alpenrose-53-53
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the eve of the opening race of the Cross Crusade, I find myself getting a bit nostalgic. This season marks the ninth year I’ve photographed these epic spectacles.

Looking through the 1,500 or so images in my Cross Crusade archives brings back all sorts of memories. There has been so much great racing and shenanigans over the years!

Scroll down and browse through this selection of images as you get ready for yet another season of the world’s most photogenic cyclocross race series…

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Bike Commute Challenge participants toast 1.2 million miles ridden in September

Posted by on October 10th, 2014 at 10:10 am

railing
People wait for awards to
be presented to workplaces with
the most dedicated bike commuters.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Well over a hundred biking fans packed City Hall’s courtyard with their vehicles and stepped inside for beer and pizza Thursday night to celebrate the end of the annual Bike Commute Challenge.

The event run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance drew 10,350 participants this year from 1,190 workplaces in a friendly competition that saw the most dedicated commuters logging more than 1,000 miles during September. In all, participants logged 1,212,271 miles of bike commuting this year.

“At the same time as you saved money on gas, you saved our communities money on road maintenance,” BTA Deputy Director Steph Noll said.

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BTA calls on members to back income tax for street funding

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

BTA Annual meeting-2
BTA Director Rob Sadowsky, part of a coalition
of local nonprofit leaders offering to
endorse a city revenue proposal.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For months, almost no local institutions have been willing to voice public support for one of Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s signature agenda items: a new revenue stream for city transportation budgets (a.k.a. the Our Streets Transportation Funding Conversation).

On Thursday, a group of nonprofits, many of which focus on transportation, offered to do so — with conditions.

In a separate but related action Wednesday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which is among the nonprofit coalition, issued a rare action alert calling on its members to contact Portland City Council in support of “a new progressive street fee with strong discounts for low-income members of our community only if it prioritizes safety.”

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A day to appreciate bicycle messengers

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Sharky-8
After a long and illustrious career, Eric “Sharky” Young hung up his messenger bag this year. He was a credit to his profession (and, given the speed and skill with which he operated his bicycle, he was not easy to photograph.)
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you see a bike messenger in your office or in your lane today, give ‘em a nod or say “thanks.”

You should probably always do this, given the importance and symbolism of their chosen profession; but today is special because it’s 10-9 Day, a.k.a. Messenger Appreciation Day.

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Weekend Event Guide: Crusade, Ghostbusters, 3-speeds, and more

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Cross Crusade at Alpenrose-16
The wait is over.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

Now that we’re well into October, I guess it’s not too early to get into the Halloween mood. If you need some inspiration on that front, look no further than the Ghostbusters ride happening on Sunday. They’ll stop for a behind-the-scenes look at a graveyard, eat Ghostbusters-themed donuts, and ride bikes — that’s a lot of birds to kill with just one stone.

This weekend also ushers in the official start of cyclocross season. Yes, we know races have been happening for over a month now, but the start of the Cross Crusade is so momentous that it has earned its season-changing status.

Oh, and it looks like the rain will hold off until Monday! Have fun out there…

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A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: Fighting fear with practice

Posted by on October 9th, 2014 at 10:33 am

newb-taborsun
Training ground.
(Photo by Ben Salzberg)

There’s just one race left in the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and I’ve got my work cut out for me. With the exception of my wipe-out in Week 2 that left me in 14th place, I’ve been stuck in 3rd and can’t seem to budge. The rider who has been finishing first usually does so with such a large margin that I can’t even see her after the first minute of the first lap.

That’s quite a gap to close, but I’m an unreasonable person and let’s be honest – I want to win.

I know from my extensive experience in adult beer-league kickball that practice is essential to improving on-field swagger as well as performance, albeit to a lesser degree. So I’m ready to put some work into this. But where to begin?

For me, cyclocross can be broken into 3 categories: things that are hard, things that are tricky, and things that terrify me.

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Bike-friendly convenience store blows past sales targets and prepares to expand

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Bike parking at Green Zebra Grocery-16
Bike parking at Green Zebra Grocery.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The “healthy convenience store” startup founded by the former CEO of New Seasons Market says it’s exceeded its sales expectations thanks in part to even more non-car traffic than expected.

Last year, Green Zebra Grocery founder Lisa Sedlar told us she needed about 400 to 600 transactions a day for her model — higher quality, higher prices — to be viable. She was also counting on 30 percent of those customers to arrive by means other than a car — if only to prevent the 14-space parking lot from filling up.

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Event will spotlight “fearless” transportation ideas

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

bigidea

Stagnation got you down?

Tired of over-compromised projects that don’t move the needle?

Looking for exciting transportation projects you can really sink your teeth into?

Than we’ve got an event for you!

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is hosting Let’s be Fearless: Big Ideas for our Transportation Future on October 27th.

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Join us for Wonk Night October 15th: Romp in the Comp Plan

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 11:01 am

Wonk Night -4
Wonk Night is where people and policy mix.

We’re excited to announce our next Wonk Night.

On Wednesday, October 15th (one week from today) we’ll take a Romp in the Comp Plan. The City of Portland is updating our Comprehensive Plan and the time is now to make sure they hear your feedback. A draft plan has been released and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability needs to hear your comments before the plan is officially adopted by City Council early next year.

The Comp Plan is big; and it’s a big deal. It guides Portland’s land-use and infrastructure decisions. It includes a list of specific infrastructure projects, sets long-term goals and aspirations, and the all-important Transportation System Plan is folded directly into it.

Here’s how the plan sits in relation to local, regional, and statewide transportation policy documents:

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Five Walktober ambles worth checking out

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 9:58 am

walklead
In the 2012 Situationist Walk, attendees concocted
bizarre rules to govern their own behavior as they
strolled through Southeast Portland.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

Portland’s annual three-week festival of fun on foot, inspired by PedalPalooza, has its first big burst of action this Saturday.

Walktober is run by advocacy group Oregon Walks. Like PedalPalooza, anyone can create an event online; the most interesting will survive.

With lots of good contenders for people interested in exploring, learning more about the city or just sampling many kinds of beer without worrying about the bike home, we thought we’d pull a few highlights from this month’s calendar of walking events.

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E Burnside project adds auto parking, leaves out bike lanes

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 9:35 am

E Burnside lane redesign project-11
The new design on East Burnside requires westbound cars to enter the new turn lane while passing westbound bikes.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Saying that any removal of on-street parking during a redesign of East Burnside Street would have required more time and money than the city could afford, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is boosting on-street parking instead.

The East Burnside Transportation Safety Project between 14th and 32nd Avenues, part of the city’s high-crash corridor program, has converted one westbound lane west of 32nd into a center turn lane and converted the rush-hour-only lanes east of 32nd into permanent parking lanes.

For people who ride bicycles west on Burnside, one result is that space that often functioned as a de-facto bike lane — the curbside auto lane — has been eliminated.

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Portland needs to invoke the lifeboat rule

Posted by on October 7th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

kid on bike
Amsterdammers are made, not born.
(Photo in Amsterdam by J. Maus/BikePortland)

America's Next Bicycle Capital

Part of our series, America’s Next Bicycle Capital, where we share community voices about the future of biking in Portland. This week’s guest writer is A.J. Zelada, who chaired the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2013.

The lifeboat rule needs to be invoked: parents and children first.

I returned from the Netherlands a few weeks ago and I was struck, of course, by how different it was. I admit, I am not so sure it is reproducible here as much as I’ve hawked it in the past. My partner and I bicycled from Bruges, Belgium to Amsterdam up the North Sea coast line but catching Ghent, Delft, Leiden and many other towns along the incredible segregated bike lanes that simply connect everything. [Publisher's note: Follow Jerry's adventures here.]

What struck me was that Americans have a missing childhood developmental stage of being an infant, a toddler, and a child on a bike before they get on a bike independently. And even though little Americans are propped up in a baby trailer or behind the rider’s seat, they still miss what parents in Belgium and the Netherlands teach their kids.

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Why Portland’s new Chief of Police is good news for bicycling

Posted by on October 7th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Platinum celebration at City Hall-61.jpg
New Chief of Police Larry O’Dea outside City Hall in 2008. He’s standing with former Bicycle Liaison Officer Robert Pickett.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese announced his retirement today, and when the new chief steps in to replace him in January, his name might sound familiar to some BikePortland readers.

Larry O’Dea, a former captain of the bureau’s Traffic Division, is the new Chief of Police.

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BikePortland Podcast: Pedaling the urban/rural divide with Cycle Oregon

Posted by on October 7th, 2014 at 11:31 am

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 6-19
In our latest episode, we talk about biking’s role in bridging the urban/rural divide.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Can cycling really make a difference to help close the yawning gap that exists between Oregon’s cities and its small, rural towns?

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Rave reviews roll in for temporary ‘Better Block’ on 3rd Ave

Posted by on October 6th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

3rd Avenue Better Block PDX
The temporary plaza in front of Ankeny Alley and Voodoo Doughnut was bustling with commerce and enjoyment for most of the weekend.
(Photos: Greg Raisman unless noted)

This weekend in downtown Portland’s slightly seedy north side, a citizen group temporarily converted two lanes of auto parking, a big expanse of empty pavement and two traditional travel lanes into a huge new pedestrian plaza, rows of street seats and ping-pong tables and a protected bike lane.

And it was, more or less, a huge hit.

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The Monday Roundup: Essential rain gear, Madrid’s downtown car ban and more

Posted by on October 6th, 2014 at 8:51 am

cool-bike-gadgets-hand-rain-covers-680x346
“Gloves are no longer needed when you use
these handlebar sleeves.”
(Photo: Bike Cap)

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

Rain gear: Your bike definitely needs handlebar sleeves and a built-in umbrella.

Car-lite downtown: Madrid is completely banning cars from its 1.36-square-mile downtown (about the size of Portland’s) unless they have a reserved space in one of 13 official parking lots.

After theft: “To the prepared thief, every bike rack is a buffet,” writes Seattle Met in a great look at what happens to your bike after it’s stolen.

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Comment of the Week: How to fight bike theft

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 3:21 pm

A “Cash for Bicycles” offer posted at St. Francis Park in
SE Portland, modified to remove its number.
(Photo: Bryan Hance)

Bryan Hance might know more about bike theft than anybody in the country.

So it’s always a treat when the Portland resident and founder of StolenBicycleRegistry.com, now BikeIndex.org, drops some knowledge here. (Note: Hance is also creator of the Stolen Bike Listings tool we use here on BikePortland — which will be relaunched very very soon!)

Here’s what Hance had to say on our post about our new Bike Theft Chronicles feature. Hance is working on a similar problem to local startup Project 529 — make it free and easy for everyone to register their bikes before thefts and to track them after thefts — but he’s tackling it from an open-source angle.

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Local bike industry roundup: Ecospeed, Vanilla, Renovo, Circa, North St and some Zen

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 3:02 pm

In the shop with North St. Bags-3
North St. Bags owner Curtis Williams hopes to take out a “community sourced to keep his expansion on track.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been gathering news tidbits about local bike companies for several weeks now and since today is National Manufacturing Day, I decided it was time to put it all together into a roundup.

So get comfortable and read the latest news about Portland’s always-changing bike-related industry…

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