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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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First look: Better Block re-imagines 3rd Ave with protected bike lane, new crosswalk

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 10:44 am

Better Block demonstration project on 3rd Ave-8
There’s a new protected bike lane on 3rd Ave!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Early this morning, Better Block PDX took the wraps off its largest project yet: They’ve transformed three blocks of 3rd Ave from Davis (in Old Town) to Ash (near Voodoo Doughnut) from a bloated, auto-centric thoroughfare into a a more humane street with a protected bike lane, on-street bike parking, a new crosswalk and ample plaza space for sitting and enjoying a doughnut or three.

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Five smart things our regional planning agency is doing to fight climate change

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 9:47 am

A parking lot in downtown Portland. Metro’s ‘Climate Smart’ plan
connects parking and climate policy.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Because its role in shaping transportation happens mostly behind the scenes, it’s sometimes easy to think that Metro is dedicated entirely to the distribution of nostrums.

But the truth is that Metro, the only directly elected regional government in the country, is a major force behind Portland’s success as a city. In much of the United States, the metropolitan planning organization — Metro’s peer — is the belly of the beast. These are the bodies that generate the obviously ridiculous traffic projections that are used to justify freeway construction and spend their federal Clean Air Act allowances on new turn lanes that supposedly reduce congestion but actually accelerate sprawl.

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Bike lane rumble strips on Hawthorne viaduct coming out next week

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:58 pm

New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-7
Changes coming and no more slow-down strips.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This Monday, October 6th, Multnomah county will remove the speed humps (a.k.a. rumble strips) in the bike lane of the westbound Hawthorne Bridge viaduct (technically SE Madison Ave).

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Blazers Bike Night updates: Signed helmet prize and Monday deadline

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:20 pm

blazers- sticker
Cool reflective pinwheel logo
sticker made just for us!

If you haven’t grabbed your tickets for Blazers Bike Night on November 2nd yet, now is the time to do it.

If you buy tickets through our special link — using promo code “bike” — through this Monday (10/6) you’ll be guaranteed to sit in one of the Bike Night sections. That is, our friends at the Trail Blazers have set aside a few sections of seats so we can sit together; but only if you get tickets by Monday.

Since our first announcement last week, we’ve made a few updates and some clarifications about what to expect the night of the event.

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Governor appoints OBRA Director Kenji Sugahara to Tourism Commission

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 1:35 pm

kenjilead
Sugahara spoke out during a community forum
on safety issues on Skyline Blvd in 2011.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Kenji Sugahara to a seat on the Oregon Tourism Commission. The nine-member commission, better known by its business name of Travel Oregon, manages the state’s $9.6 billion tourism industry.

Sugahara, 41, lives in West Salem and became the executive director of the 5,000 member Oregon Bicycle Racing Association in 2008. Sugahara is also a member of the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee and is a board member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

According to Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson, Sugahara was picked specifically because of his experience with cycling in Oregon (OBRA promotes and sanctions around 400 events annually in every corner of the state). “We are pleased to welcome Kenji to the Oregon Tourism Commission,” Davidson said in an official statement, “the Governor has selected someone who brings not only a cycling perspective to the commission, but experience with rural Oregon, international media and transportation issues.”

Travel Oregon takes cycling seriously in part because a recent study they commissioned showed bicycle-related travel accounts for $400 million in annual economic impacts to the state of Oregon.

[more...]

Weekend Event Guide: SuperSwap, Better Block, Artcrank, a big climb, and more

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 11:04 am

Artcrank Portland-13
Artcrank on Saturday is where art, friends and a love of bicycling comes together.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

This is one of those weekends that will take some serious planning to make sure you don’t miss anything awesome. We’ve got such a diverse selection — from mountain biking and cyclocross, to an art show and a big gear sale.

And adding to the excitement is what looks to be some seriously nice weather.

Have fun out there!

Friday, October 3rd

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On Michigan greenway, diverter reduces driving but biking boost is modest

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:12 am

Diverter at N Rosa Parks and Michigan -3
A full diverter was installed last October on
N Rosa Parks at Michigan.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new traffic diverter at North Michigan Avenue and Rosa Parks Way seems to be successfully preventing north-south car traffic from spilling onto Michigan from Interstate 5, recent city bike counts show.

That was the city’s intent when it agreed last year to install the diverter in order to hold down traffic on the neighborhood greenway there.

“From I guess Holman to Rosa Parks it has gotten a lot better,” said Noah Brimhall, a Piedmont neighborhood resident and an advocate for the diverter, in an interview Tuesday.

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State report shows Portland’s economic surge outpacing Washington County

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:05 am

Sunset riders-2
Sunset behind the hills and Portland’s Broadway Bridge.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Residential and office space is running short in Portland for a reason: the central city, not its more auto-oriented suburbs, has been leading the region’s charge out of the recession.

On one measure after another — job growth, median incomes for full-time workers, housing starts, working-age population growth — the City of Portland and Multnomah County have roared past Washington County over the last year as the site of most new economic activity in the metro area.

That’s the overarching finding of a statistical digest prepared by state workforce analyst Christian Kaylor and distributed Tuesday night.

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