amanda fritz

Commissioner Fritz questions city plan to legalize tiny homes near property lines, a perk currently given to auto storage

by on November 20th, 2015 at 10:55 am

Sally Spear, right, lives in a backyard home in Northeast Portland with her daughter’s family.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Until this week, Portland seemed poised to eliminate one of the many ways it prioritizes housing for cars over housing for people.

For decades, there’s been exactly one way to build a 15-foot-tall structure up to the edge of most Portland property lines: put a car in it.

Want an accessory dwelling unit the same size as a garage? Sorry, that’ll have to be set back five feet from the property line, even if it has no windows or doors facing the property edge.

Bike sheds currently face the same restriction: unlike garages that were designed for cars, bike sheds must be at least five feet away from the property line in all single-family residential zones.


Portland City Council passes Vision Zero resolution

by on June 17th, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Vision Zero’s big day.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A few hours ago Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution that reads, “No loss of life is acceptable on our city streets,” a phrase that’s part of the city’s larger goal of Vision Zero.

Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick introduced the resolution by calling out naysayers: “I think there are people who assume it’s not possible, people might think accidents happen,” he said. “That is not true.”

Mayor Charlie Hales said the city’s official embrace of Vision Zero isn’t just a soundbite. “This is a serious commitment by the city to say ‘This is our goal and we meant it.'” However, despite requests from advocacy groups, the city did not amend the resolution to set a firm target date to achieve Vision Zero and they didn’t dedicate any specific funding to implement the new policy. (One amendment pursued by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance was passed. It requires the city to take specific steps to prevent racial profiling as new enforcement measures are rolled out.)

In letter to Mayor Hales and commissioners, national orgs ‘object’ to River View decision

by on March 19th, 2015 at 9:58 am

Download PDF

Three of America’s largest and most influential bicycle advocacy organizations are not happy with Portland’s decision to prohibit bicycle access at River View Natural Area.

International Mountain Bicycling Association President and US Executive Director Michael Van Abel, People for Bikes VP of Government Affairs Jenn Dice, and League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke all signed their names to a letter (PDF) dated March 18th that was sent to Mayor Charlie Hales and all four city commissioners.

Here’s the text of the letter (emphases mine):

We are writing to express our concern with the recent decision to prohibit bicycle use in the River View Natural Area. Any decision to exclude bicycles is disappointing to our organizations as we truly believe that bicycles are an amazing tool for progress. They provide efficient and cost effective transportation, a family friendly form of recreation, and in the case of off road bicycling, a valuable connection to the natural environment. Yet despite that passion we know that sometimes other priorities for funding or even land use take precedence and bicycles are not given priority. We can generally accept those decisions. However, when those decisions are made in an arbitrary and capricious manner that cuts off due process, we must object. (more…)

Oregonian editorial calls on city to ‘reconsider its bike ban’ in River View

by on March 5th, 2015 at 12:22 am

river view natural area
River View Natural Area, looking north.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland’s defensive legal move to ban mountain biking in Southwest Portland’s River View Natural Area is an unfair breach of trust with mountain bikers, according to The Oregonian’s editorial board.

“River View, where cycling has occurred for years, remained the best city option for serious, if limited, mountain bike trails,” the newspaper wrote in a scathing editorial published online Wednesday. “To that end, cyclists attended meetings, participated enthusiastically in the public process upon which Portland places so much emphasis and trusted the city to act in good faith. The city did not.”


Amanda Fritz touts street funding plan and hopes for third term

by on January 29th, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Commissioner Amanda Fritz in 2011.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The 2016 election cycle is revving up all over the country, Portland City Hall included.

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz surprised many local political pundits yesterday when she announced her plans to seek a third term. The announcement came the same day that the once-marginalized city council member won a 4-1 vote to dedicate 50 percent of surplus money over the next four years to “infrastructure maintenance and replacement” for roads, parks and emergency services.

The Oregonian reports that Fritz’s proposal will apply to “one-time funding identified during the annual budget process or excess money carried from one budget to the next.” It’s apparently intended as a sort of make-up call for the city’s infamous failure to follow through on a 1988 plan to dedicate 28 percent of utility license fees for transportation.

Opposing Fritz’s measure was her colleague Dan Saltzman, who said the council was “setting ourselves up to be criticized” by attempting to tie the hands of future councils.


MTB advocates will deliver petition, request planning funds at Parks budget hearing

by on January 6th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Ventura Park Pump Track grand opening-19
Portland kids deserve more places to ride off-road.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Almost one year after Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz quietly destroyed hopes of new singletrack bicycling opportunities in Forest Park (at least in the short-term), off-road advocates plan to deliver a strong message to her at an upcoming budget hearing.

Their request? Find the money to fund a citywide mountain bike master plan that would address Forest Park trails and other cycling opportunities like family-friendly pump tracks in local parks.

Sunday vigil set to honor and remember Steve Fritz

by on September 25th, 2014 at 9:41 am

CRC Rally-104
Commissioner Amanda Fritz at an
anti-Columbia River Crossing
rally in 2009.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

All of Portland is hurting for Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s family this week.

Carpooling to his job in Salem, Steve Fritz was killed in a traffic collision Wednesday after a northbound pickup crossed the freeway barrier and collided with Fritz’s Nissan. The husband of the city council member died at the scene.

A vigil for Steve Fritz is planned this Sunday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m. in Terry Schrunk Plaza, across the street from City Hall at 1221 SW 4th Avenue.

“We will have an open mic and will be collecting letters to be given to the family at a better time,” wrote Cameron Whitten, a local human rghts activist who got to know Fritz during Occupy Portland’s 2011 encampment and his subsequent hunger strike outside City Hall for housing justice, in an email. Whitten, who later supported Fritz’s reelection campaign, is among the organizers of Sunday’s event.

For her part, Commissioner Fritz wrote on Wednesday that her family would be suggesting charitable donations in lieu of flowers or cards:

Business coalition asks candidates about transportation

by on September 12th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Amanda Fritz-1.jpg
Active Transportation Debate at PSU-6Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith ride-12
Top: Fritz (L), Nolan. Bottom: Hales (L), Smith.

The Value of Jobs“, a coalition of Portland-area business groups that includes the Portland Business Alliance, has published its http://www.valueofjobs.com/candidate_ques/index.html for the City Council race between incumbent Amanda Fritz and her challenger Mary Nolan; and the mayoral race between Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith. (more…)

Commissioner Fritz: No to bike share until “dangerous” bicycling subsides

by on August 16th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Commissioner Amanda Fritz
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz plans to vote against a PBOT request for federal funds that includes a bike share system when it comes in front of Council tomorrow.

Since her winning campaign back in 2008, Fritz has championed “basic services for all 95 neighborhoods” as the pillar of her policy making. Given that, when it was reported yesterday that she would vote no on bike share, I wasn’t completely surprised.

What I am surprised about is that the “basic services first” mantra isn’t the only reason she objects to the bike share project. (more…)

Commissioner Fritz in full support of $20 million kickstart

by on March 17th, 2010 at 9:29 am

Amanda Fritz-1.jpg
Commissioner Fritz
(Photo © J. Maus)

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, known as a watchdog of the City’s coffers, especially when proposals have potential to impact citizen’s pocketbooks, has published a blog post stating her support for Mayor Adams’ $20 million plan to fund bike-boulevard specific components of green streets.

Fritz points out that the average residential sewer ratepayer in Portland would save just 7.5 cents per month, or 90 cents per year if the $20 million was given back to them instead of being used for this purpose. “The alternative of returning about one dollar to each ratepayer does not seem wise to me.” (more…)