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The Monday Roundup: Election reactions, victim shaming response, Chicago’s Gateway Green, and more

Posted by on November 14th, 2016 at 11:27 am

A response to shaming.

A response to shaming.

Welcome to the first full week in what some are calling “The Trump Era.”

Deep breath.

The rise of the right means different things to different people. From our end, we’re staying vigilant to the real and potential changes that Trump’s access to power might bring to all aspects of our lives. While it’s hard to focus on anything but national news right now, there’s a lot of work to be done in our respective corners of the world.

Here are the stories that caught our attention this past week…

Bike comic in New Yorker: It’s not every week the New Yorker includes a multi-page comic from the perspective of a city-dwelling woman on a bike that deals with race and urban life.


- Huntco is the official sponsor of BikePortland's bike parking coverage.-
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New skills trail, major upgrades proposed for Sandy Ridge trailhead

Posted by on November 11th, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Velo Cult's party-barge parked at Sandy Ridge after an event last month. A major expansion to the parking lot will feature more room for tailgating and other uses.(Photo: Velo Cult Bike Shop)

Velo Cult’s party-barge parked at Sandy Ridge after an event last month. A major expansion to the parking lot will feature more room for tailgating and other uses.
(Photo: Velo Cult Bike Shop)

Since they first opened in 2010, the off-road cycling trails at Sandy Ridge have become such a resounding success that the Bureau of Land Management wants to double-down on its investment.

According to environmental assessment documents filed by the BLM, their Sandy Ridge Trailhead Access project is comprised of a slew of additions and upgrades that will add over four acres to the facility. The project includes: an expanded parking area with oversided stalls and “tailgate bumpouts,” a beginner skills trail loop and a bike demo area; a “bicycle hub” featuring a changing room, bike-wash station and a bus stop; a designated special events area; an upgraded entrace; and two short connecting trails.

Here’s a bit more info and a few images of the proposed improvements (taken from the BLM environmental assessment document):


St. Johns fatality fuels fire of neighborhood’s safe streets activism

Posted by on November 11th, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Riding in st johns
Riding in downtown St. Johns.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The death of an innocent man on the St. Johns Bridge last weekend has spurred — and renewed — activism around transportation reform on many fronts.

Tired of freight trucks and reckless driving holding their streets hostage, on Monday the St. Johns Neighborhood Association will host a forum to delve deeper into the issues of traffic and transportation safety. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and representatives from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation are slated to attend. Local residents passed out flyers for the event at last week’s protest ride; but SJNA Board Member and Chair of their Safety and Livability Team Travis Parker tells us the event was planned prior to the collision that killed Mitch York.


Weekly Video Roundup: Dream roads in Bali, a WTF moment, bagel slicing, local ‘cross, and more

Posted by on November 11th, 2016 at 10:17 am

Welcome to the weekly video roundup! Sorry for skipping a week of the roundup. Perhaps one of these weeks I’ll actually catch up on my video queue. This first video is the best thing I’ve seen in a while. I like pro bike racing, and the GCN crew did a fun and creative race on Majorca’s Sa Calobra (aka Col del Reis). What really clinched it as a great video to me is that Carlton Kirby did the commentary- he is probably the best-known voice on Eurosport for racing (not just cycling, also Paris-Dakar and more). Anyhow, enjoy.


Stakes have never been higher for upcoming National Bike Summit

Posted by on November 11th, 2016 at 10:02 am

DC bike scenes
You might want to consider showing up this year.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the reality settles in that we are just two months away all three branches of our federal government being controlled by Republicans, people who advocate for cycling need to take stock.

Yes I know, cycling isn’t always a purely partisan issue, but let’s not be naïve: The fact is a large majority of powerful, high-profile Republicans tend to strongly support transportation policies that favor the use of motorized vehicles.

Put another way, interest groups that don’t make cycling accessible infrastructure a priority see a friendly ear in President-elect Donald Trump. And early signs make it clear that automobile-centric interests are lining up to take advantage their new friend in the White House. To counter what could be a transformative era (to put it mildly) in national transportation politics, people who care about bicycling need to line up against — or figure out a way to align with — these forces.


Weekend Event Guide: Blazers, a bike show, ride for pickles, cyclocross, and more!

Posted by on November 10th, 2016 at 11:27 am

Blazer Bike Night-12.jpg
Let’s fill the bike parking at the Moda Center again! Join us for the game on Sunday!
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Hi Portland. Has this been a completely fucked-up week or what?!


Fact check: The St. Johns Bridge does not need 19-foot wide lanes for freight traffic

Posted by on November 9th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

The St. Johns Bridge looking west. (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

The St. Johns Bridge looking west.
(Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

Despite multiple demands over the years to improve bike access on the St. Johns Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation has used many different excuses for why the current lane configuration simply cannot change. And it turns out their latest excuse — that state design guidelines for freight traffic require 19-foot wide lanes in both directions — is untrue.


First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30

Posted by on November 9th, 2016 at 12:25 pm

New striping on Highway 30-2.jpg
Riding the shoulder bikeway through Linnton on Highway 30.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has completed a major repaving project on a key section of Highway 30 that’s a popular bike route between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island.

Back in March we said this was a “golden opportunity” to make the highway better for bicycling. Unfortunately ODOT didn’t make any major improvements to bike access; but the shoulder is now a more consistent width throughout the project’s seven-miles (between the bridge and McNamee Road). We were also disappointed that the shoulder wasn’t striped until a few days ago — well over a week after all the lanes for auto use were completed and striped.

Portlander Ira Ryan (co-founder of Breadwinner Cycles) pointed out the lack of striping in a post on Instagram:


Trump in, Novick out: Recap and thoughts on the election

Posted by on November 9th, 2016 at 9:51 am

Eudaly scores upset win for council spot while Clinton's win in Oregon wasn't enough to carry her to victory.

Eudaly scores upset win for council spot while Clinton’s win in Oregon wasn’t enough to carry her to victory.

Last night’s election was full of surprises both nationally and locally. And that’s a huge understatement.

Donald Trump was elected president with 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228 (so far). She becomes just the fifth candidate to lose after winning the overall vote count (her national popular vote margin over Trump was 166,443 as of 7:45 am this morning). His win comes despite — or more likely because of — the fact he was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan, was dismissed by the political and media establishment, is an unabashed misogynist, told blatant lies throughout his campaign and repeatedly hurled vulgar and dangerous insults at a long list of public figures. Trump also connected strongly with a large voting block of rural white Americans who are fed-up with business as usual in Washington and he offered them a clear and simple choice.

Since last night, Trump and his staff have moderated the fiery tone they had on the campaign trail and both President Obama and Clinton have given respectful and hopeful concession speeches. “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” Clinton said this morning. “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”


Election Day Open Thread

Posted by on November 8th, 2016 at 9:09 am

Fourth of July party-11
Everyone is a superhero when they use our democracy.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The big day is finally here.


City of Portland will deploy ‘Be Seen Be Safe’ street teams as dark season begins

Posted by on November 7th, 2016 at 4:17 pm

PBOT's 'Street Team.'(Photo: City of Portland)

PBOT’s ‘Street Team.’
(Photo: City of Portland)

With the sun now setting well before the evening rush-hour, the City of Portland wants everyone to step-up their vigilance and visibility while using the roads.

In a statement released today the bureau of transportation (PBOT) shared tips about how to safely operate a motor vehicle and how to increase your chance of being seen if you are walking or rolling. They also announced that all this week “street teams” made up of PBOT volunteers and staff will be stationed at danger hot-spots throughout the city. These teams will pass out lights and reflective stickers to people who walk and roll by.

PR efforts like this are typical for transportation agencies this time of year, and they often put most of the onus of responsibility for being seen on vulnerable users. But PBOT is not your typical city transportation agency. They know better.


One year in, how’s the Lafayette Street bridge elevator treating you?

Posted by on November 7th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Lafayette Street Bridge-6.jpg
The bridge has been in operation for just over a year now.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I used the Lafayette Street Bridge for the first time last week. And I liked it.

The bridge was completed by TriMet in 2015 as part of the Orange Line MAX project and creates a connection over railroad tracks in the Brooklyn neighborhood between SE Lafayette and Rhine streets. It’s the only crossing of the tracks between Holgate and Powell (major arterials).


The Monday Roundup: Freeway removals, car abuse costs, bike use savings, transit haters, and more

Posted by on November 7th, 2016 at 10:51 am

Copenhagen Day 2
Bikes now outnumber cars in Copenhagen.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland))

I know all you can think about is the election. But you should probably take a break and get caught up on the best bike-related stories we came across last week…

Hales sees the light: Remember that no good, horrible, very bad decision Mayor Charlie Hales made in 2013 to enact parking minimums on new residential development? Now he wants to remove them.

Seattleites are over I-5: This article about removing I-5 through Seattle could be — should be! — written about Portland. That freeway sucks and has no business bisecting our central city.

More freeway removal: The city of Rochester in upstate New York filled in a central city freeway with dirt, “to focus on pedestrians and establish vital neighborhoods for housing, expanding businesses and producing jobs.”

As goes Los Angeles, so goes…: A ballot measure in Los Angeles would raise big money ($42 Billion) for light rail. The LA Times has a great rundown on that and a general overview of the non-driving transportation mix in the driving capital of America.


Oregon State Police blames vulnerable victims while driving deaths spin out of control

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Don't pay attention to this, but please make sure you wear hi-viz clothing next time you take the dog for walk.(Photos: Oregon State Police)

Just some of the Oregon driving carnage of the past two weeks.
(Photos: Oregon State Police)

This is an editorial.

The Oregon State Police issued a relatively rare safety message to the media today. In light of three collisions in the past nine days that resulted in the death of someone trying to walk or roll across a state highway, they included the following message in a press statement (emphasis theirs):

***This is the third fatal crash involving pedestrians that OSP has investigated in the past week***


Collision Chronicles: Road rage on NE 16th between Tillamook and Thompson

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 3:07 pm

“The woman driving the car proceeds to call me a ‘faggot’ and to ‘ride on the sidewalk.'”
— Reader email about a road rage incident in northeast yesterday

This story is part of our Collision Chronicles, an ongoing series to shine a light on the steady stream of street interactions we hear about but that you probably won’t see covered in the news.

The incident below was sent in by a reader via email and it happened Thursday, November 3rd:

Hi there. I had a crazy incident occur earlier today…

So I’m riding my bike on NE 16th between Tillamook and Thompson. To give you backdrop, this is a designated bike route that is usually spare of vehicles and the type of road where I often see people running on the street. It’s a very calm, residential side-street with friendly drivers. Most of the time.

In any case, I’m approaching the stop sign at NE Thompson and while I’m within 10 feet of the sign a speeding vehicle tries to pass me. Like at the intersection. She brakes HARD and slides uncontrollably for around 5 feet. This was a roughly 2000 green Dodge Caravan with the front passenger side window busted out.


Mailbag: People have lots to say about maintaining status quo on the St. Johns Bridge

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 12:51 pm

“I understand you’re upset, but don’t make my long commute worse by backing up traffic… You don’t have the right to impede my way home on a public street. Try standing on the sidewalk with signs regarding your concerns.”
— Email to BikePortland about last night’s protest ride on the St. Johns Bridge.

It happens every time there’s a high profile fatality involving a bicycle in Portland: People who never read BikePortland see me talking on the news or read my quotes in articles and they can’t resist giving me a piece of their mind. They will sometimes leave voicemails on our tipline; but they usually email.

The recent fatal collision on the St. Johns Bridge has spurred a lot of local media coverage and as a result my inbox was full of several such emails. It’s one thing when people spout of hate-filled screeds in The Oregonian/OregonLive comments section (a vile place); but it’s much different when they take the time to share their opinion with the local bike blog.

I want to share a few of these emails with you because I feel it’s important that we have a clear understanding where people are coming from when it comes to transportation culture in Portland. Keep in mind, the views expressed from the people below are relatively reasonable compared to anonymous online comments. Also keep in mind that these are the same people who are very likely to take the time to write their elected leaders when a bike-related infrastructure investment or policy is being debated.


Photos and memories of the 2016 N.O.I.S.E. Ride – an urban singlespeed rally

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 10:57 am

One of the stops in the competition involved racing around a mini-velodrome that was constructed by visitors from Seattle and installed at a picnic area in Peninsula Park.
(Photos by Christopher San Agustin)


On night of protest, police stop 43 people for driving violations on St. Johns Bridge

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 9:57 am

Portland Police Sgt. Ty Engstrom on the St. Johns Bridge last night.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Police Sgt. Ty Engstrom on the St. Johns Bridge last night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the same night hundreds of community members took over the lanes on the St. Johns Bridge for a solemn memorial and protest event, the Portland Police Bureau was doing their part to raise awareness of safety issues.

The Traffic Division is stationed right at the eastern end of the bridge and they took advantage of their presence on last night’s ride to conduct an enforcement action — a.k.a. “traffic safety mission”. The bureau also said the recent death of Mitch York was a key motivator of this action.

The result: According to a police bureau statement they made 43 stops in just two hours. 30 citations were written and they made 13 warnings. The violations were “numerous” but predominantly for speeding. One person was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

Imagine if we did more enforcement like this and Joel Schrantz — the man driving with a suspended license who lost control of his vehicle and killed Mitch York on Saturday — was arrested before he had a chance to commit that tragic act of violence?


Weekend Event Guide: Cross, book release party, shoe drive, rain gear sale, and more

Posted by on November 4th, 2016 at 9:23 am

Chris King Gourmet Century-19
Blumenauer will lead a ride to the ballot box Sunday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the days get shorter and cooler, it’s a great time to snuggle up with a book and get inspired for spring and summer adventures. If you have discovered it yet, check out the Boneshaker Almanac, a series of 10 pocket-sized periodicals that read like a cross between Mark Twain and an old army manual. There’s a reading to celebrate the tenth issue tonight.

We’ve also got another cyclocross doubleheader in store. Whether your choose to partake Saturday or Sunday (or both!), you’ll be guaranteed top-notch venues for both watching and racing.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 4th

Boneshaker #10 Release Party – 6:00 pm at Boy’s Fort (902 SW Morrison)
Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac is one of the most enjoyable “pocket-sized periodicals” (according to Esquire) I’ve ever owned. It’s tales of adventure transport me to magical places and its presentation and tone takes me a bygone era of literary journalism. Let’s help them celebrate the 10th issue as part of the Lit Crawl Portland event. Author readings will be moderated by Boneshaker’s founder and former Portlander Evan P. Schneider. Learn more here.


At protest ride, St. Johns Bridge carries weight of hundreds, and of recent tragedy

Posted by on November 3rd, 2016 at 9:17 pm

St Johns Bridge protest ride-28.jpg

Hundreds of people came together in St. Johns tonight to remember Mitch York, the 55-year-old northeast Portland man who was killed while bicycling on the St. Johns Bridge six days ago.