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In sidewalkless Southwest, neighborhood greenways are made for walking

Posted by on February 13th, 2015 at 1:52 am

A SW Illinois Street piggyback ride,
brought to you in part by speed bumps.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Part of Portland’s big idea of renaming “bike boulevards” as “neighborhood greenways” was that they’re not just bikeways; they’re spaces for street play, sports and other fun. And they’re also, the line goes, good for walking.

It’s easy to laugh that last part off on the east side of Portland, where almost every greenway is lined with sidewalks.

Not so in Southwest Portland, where neighborhood greenways are few but sidewalks are nearly as rare.


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Weekend Event Guide: Mini Bike Winter, gravel, stories, love, and more

Posted by on February 12th, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Mini Bike Winter 2012 - Chariot Wars-52
Mini Bike Winter is here… let the games begin!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

If you’ve got energy saved up from all the rain we’ve had, this weekend is the time to use it! The forecast looks very promising, and there just happens to be a ton of cool bikey things to do.

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of love among this week’s events. The BTA will share stories of bike love, the Portland Wheelmen (and Women) will ride to the roses, and even the folks at Puddlecycle have a heart-themed ride. Make sure your outfit has some red in it and enjoy the ride(s)!

Friday, February 13th


A closer look at southwest Portland’s ‘highest priority project’

Posted by on February 12th, 2015 at 1:25 pm

SW Capitol Hwy-44
With 36-feet of unused right-of-way, advocates like Roger Averbeck say this portion of SW Capitol Hwy should have a dedicated bikeway.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our Southwest Portland Week.

For a quarter-century now, neighborhood activists have been pushing to make SW Capitol Highway a nicer place to live, walk, and bike. Yesterday I joined up with local resident and Southwest Neighborhoods Inc Transportation Committee Chair Roger Averbeck for a closer look.


Southwest Portland Week photo essay: Day 2

Posted by on February 12th, 2015 at 10:38 am

The Fanno Creek Trail near Garden Home is not too shabby.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our Southwest Portland Week.

It’s been a great week out here in southwest Portland. We’re learning a lot and enjoying the experience of being in a new place with new roads to explore and unique bicycling issues at play. I’ve gotten behind on my daily photo essays, so here’s the one from my ride on Tuesday.


What it feels like to ride Barbur Blvd for the first time (photos)

Posted by on February 11th, 2015 at 5:06 pm

to barbur
Seems easy enough.
(Photos Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Here’s a confession: though I’ve driven on Southwest Barbur, ridden the bus on it, and walked along it to reach a vigil for a woman killed while she crossed it, in four years of reporting on the street and its problems I’ve never actually ridden a bike on it.

Until this week.


City’s new 2-year transportation ‘workplan’ steps up to Vision Zero

Posted by on February 11th, 2015 at 2:04 pm

This is PBOT’s biggest Vision Zero commitment to date.
(Detail from PBOT’s Portland Progress: A 2-Year Workplan.

The City of Portland has released a new plan aimed at re-energizing their Bureau of Transportation.


Industry Ticker: Showers Pass launches Double Century RTX jacket

Posted by on February 11th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Women’s plum color on the left, men’s white on the right.
(Images: Showers Pass)_

Industry Ticker

Showers Pass, a riding apparel company based in southeast Portland, continues to push the boundary on innovative bike apparel that works in wet weather. Their latest is a jacket that packs up small and packs a high-tech rain-busting punch. I’ve got one to try out so stay tuned for a proper review.

For now, check out the press release below…


The SW Portland schools with the most walking and biking

Posted by on February 11th, 2015 at 11:01 am

Bike racks at Rieke Elementary School this morning.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

If you want a foot-friendly family neighborhood in Southwest, it’s hard to beat Hillsdale or Hayhurst.


Iconic climb is center of SW Portland’s riding ecosystem

Posted by on February 10th, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Iconic Council Crest-downtown loop-7
Mere minutes from downtown Portland. The view of
Washington County from SW Fairmount Blvd.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Council Crest: If you live in Portland and like to ride bikes, chances are you’ve heard of this legendary destination. When I first heard about it, I recall how it garnered mythical status — as if its summit would rise above downtown Portland like a snow-capped Himalayan peak.


SW Portland mini-profile: Bobby Tower and Michael Black, musicians

Posted by on February 10th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

wide angle buskers
“There’s not a lot of gathering places in the urban environment, you know,” said vocalist Michael Black, right.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Part of the reason you don’t expect to encounter Bobby Tower and Michael Black at the bus stop outside the Burlingame Fred Meyer is that you basically can’t hear them until you’re within a couple yards of them.

Even midday, their music is almost completely drowned out by the constant roar of traffic on Southwest Barbur Boulevard and, about a block away, the gully of Interstate 5.


SW Portland Week photo diary: Day 1

Posted by on February 10th, 2015 at 9:55 am

SW Portland Week - Day 1-4
Finding my way around southwest Portland.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Yesterday was an epic day to kick off our SW Portland Week coverage. Riding in the area is challenging enough in nice weather, throw in strong winds and sheets of rain and things get very interesting. Despite the storm, it didn’t keep us from exploring the area’s bikeways.


Understanding SW Portland: What the numbers say

Posted by on February 10th, 2015 at 9:50 am

SW Portland bikeways-2
Who rides? Who drives? And what do residents think?
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Though you can’t truly understand any community from numbers alone, you can’t fully understand it without them, either. As we get into our week in this quadrant, we wanted to ground ourselves in the hard facts behind the photos we’re taking and the people we’re meeting.

Fortunately, the City of Portland does a project every year that goes a long way to understanding the culture of each quadrant.


SW rider mini-profile: Jim Anderson and the power of shortcuts

Posted by on February 9th, 2015 at 4:55 pm

SW Portland Week - Day 1-10
Jim Anderson
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Jim Anderson is like many southwest Portland residents who like to ride bikes: He’s a master at finding alternates routes.

“I know all the ways to avoid the major streets,” he shared with me during a chat at Baker & Spice Bakery in Hillsdale today. The bakery overlooks a sea of auto activity: a strip mall parking lot, then two-way traffic on SW Capitol Highway (a.k.a. State Route 10, which in this location carries the combined traffic of two highways — Capitol and Beaverton-Hillsdale), then more auto parking from a strip mall across the street.

It’s a daunting place to ride a bike.

Anderson — a 37-year-old freelance graphic designer, cycling event organizer, and president of the Team Oregon cycling club — says he never rides on the area’s highway streets unless he’s very late, or very tired. That’s because out here in southwest Portland, the flattest and most direct routes also happen to be the worst to ride on.


Will SW Corridor bring millions for biking, too? It might depend on the route

Posted by on February 9th, 2015 at 4:48 pm

biking walking projects further sw
Possible biking and walking projects that might accompany a transit line through Southwest Portland.
(Maps: Metro)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Interstate Avenue owes its bike lanes to the Yellow Line MAX. The new Tilikum Crossing wouldn’t be standing without the Orange Line.


It’s SW Portland Week: Here’s what to expect

Posted by on February 9th, 2015 at 12:43 pm

SW Portland bikeways-3
Overlooking I-5 in southwest Portland.
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

As promised last month, all this week, Michael Andersen and I will be working and riding in Southwest Portland. The goal is to gain a better understanding of that part of our city (its people and places), and share what we learn and see with all of you.

The weather, topography, and distance from both of our houses (I live in north Portland, Michael lives in northeast) will make things a bit more challenging, but that’s all part of the experience.


The Monday Roundup: Brain-stress maps, disembowled by a bike thief & more

Posted by on February 9th, 2015 at 10:05 am

A bike map built from brain waves.
(Image: MindRider)

Welcome to the first day of BikePortland’s first Southwest Portland Week! All this week, Jonathan and I will be reporting (and usually writing) from west of the hills, sharing the stories of biking here.

But while we get things rolling, we’ll start, as always, with a roundup of great bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week.

Stress maps: A bike helmet set up to monitor brainwaves for signs of stress has created a unique bike map of Manhattan.

Bike-thief knife attack: A Southeast Portland man was disemboweled by a would-be bike thief at his home last June, he testified last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.


Comment of the Week: 43 words that perfectly define good bike parking

Posted by on February 6th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Bike parking at Franklin High School-2
Dear America: It’s not actually that hard.
Just ask Franklin High School.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Good bike parking: it’s not that hard but it’s not that common, at least in North America. Except in Portland, where we really do know how it’s done.

The explanations don’t get any shorter and sweeter than this one from BikePortland reader Jessica Roberts, who shared it beneath our story Tuesday about the city enforcing its bike parking code on a North Portland Home Depot in response to a resident’s complaint. (As we wrote, anybody can report potentially out-of-compliance bike parking in Portland by calling (503) 823-CODE (2633) or using the BDS online form.)

Here’s Roberts’ simple definition, plus a couple examples of rack designs that don’t cut it:


Parks bureau adds $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan to budget

Posted by on February 6th, 2015 at 11:44 am

Newton Rd in Forest Park
Plan now, ride later.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

2015 is shaping up to be a great year for off-road cycling in Portland.

We have just learned that the PP&R requested budget for 2015/2016 (PDF) includes $350,000 for an “Off-Road Cycling Master Plan.”

This is nothing short of huge news for mountain biking advocates in Portland who see the lack of such a plan as the last remaining hurdle to more local trails, building more pump tracks, and so on. Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz called for the plan one year ago and just last November the NW Trail Alliance started an online petition to persuade Parks to fund it.


Define ‘compatibility’: Ben Ross on the evasive language of zoning

Posted by on February 6th, 2015 at 10:18 am

N-NE-SE Portland Good-Bad-Ugly Houses 84
Which is incompatible with which, and why?
(Photo: Mark McClure)

Why does Portland require every new house to have a driveway big enough to fit two cars?

Why do we forbid most lots from having two separate dwelling structures unless one is 25 percent smaller than the other and has a roof with an identical slope?

Why do we ban second kitchens within a single home unless the owner essentially pinky-swears that only one household will be living in the building?

In a city where a chronic shortage of housing in walkable and bikeable areas has driven prices up and up, driving major changes in the culture, these aren’t trivial questions.

The most familiar answer to all of them is one of the most-used words in urban zoning: “compatibility.” But what exactly does that mean?


Weekend Event Guide: Worst Day, Powell, King Kong and more

Posted by on February 6th, 2015 at 10:14 am

Worst Day of the Year Ride 2011-24
“Worst” ride, best costumes.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

Once again it looks like the “Worst Day” ride will have pretty OK weather — but at least there’s no risk of cancellation like last year! There are some great rides this weekend, no matter if you want to get zany or dirty, or just ride fast on beautiful country roads.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 7th

Stub Stewart Park Freeride Trail Work Party – 8:45 am at Park Welcome Center Parking Lot
Join the NW Trail Alliance for this great volunteer opportunity. They’ll supply you with tools and instruction so you can help maintain and shape one of the areas best mountain biking areas. Learn more here.


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