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With 40% rise in roadway deaths, activists plan to target ODOT

Monday, June 29th, 2015
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A man died in this collision on Saturday
on Highway 6 near Tillamook.
(Photo: Oregon State Police)

As long as roadway fatalities and injuries keep piling up, local activists plan to keep protesting.

Fresh of last week’s rally and demonstrations at City Hall, volunteers with BikeLoudPDX will continue their actions with a Death Toll Memorial event tomorrow at the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Transportation in downtown Portland.

“Several of us feel the need to publicly acknowledge that 30 people lost their lives in June on Oregon roads in preventable wrecks,” wrote event organizer Dan Kaufman. Kaufman, the same man who organized the protest on SE Powell Blvd back in May, is fed up with the loss of life and injury on our roads.
(more…)

Commissioner Novick responds to ‘Day of Protests’ with diverter promise

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Safe Streets Rally Part 2 at City Hall -19.jpg
BikeLoudPDX volunteer Jessica Engelman
at a protest rally in front of City Hall
yesterday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

An unprecedented day of protests yesterday have yielded their first results.

BikeLoudPDX, Portland’s upstart bike advocacy group that has made lots of headlines in the past few months, started the day with a big rally in front of City Hall followed by several of the group’s leaders giving impassioned testimony in front of City Council. After that, they helped organize several rides and then held another rally on City Hall’s steps last night.

BikeLoud leaders and the people they have inspired to show up to these events share a similar feeling: frustration and anger that city leaders sit idly by while Portlanders risk their lives on unsafe streets. “It’s bullshit!” and “It’s unacceptable!” were just two of the phrases chanted at last night’s rally.

And now it appears those voices are having an impact on City Hall.

Last night City Commissioner Steve Novick, the man in charge of the Bureau of Transportation, penned a lengthy blog post in direct response to the protests. He titled it, “Working together to build safer streets.” (He also shared thoughts about biking and the Climate Action Plan in a separate post.) (more…)

At City Hall rally, demonstrators demand action for safer streets

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
aaron brown wide angle
City Council members heard calls for safer streets loud and clear this morning.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Brittany Gratreak

If the 75 or so Portlanders who came to City Hall this morning to kick off a full day of protests could be said to be speaking for any single person, it might as well have been one of the people there: Brittany Gratreak.

On April 8, the 22-year-old Portland State University student was riding her bike to school in Northeast Broadway’s bike lane when a man driving to work accelerated across Broadway from the south, seizing a gap in auto traffic but not considering the fact that he might run into something more fragile than metal. He did.

Gratreak was hit at a 90-degree angle, thrown from her bicycle and knocked unconscious. Once she woke up and received insurance information from the man who’d hit her, she decided to save money by calling a friend, rather than an ambulance, for a ride to the hospital.

She didn’t know at the time that by not paying for an ambulance ride, she was avoiding Portland’s little-known trigger for a police investigation. Two months later, Gratreak remains in physical therapy.

(more…)

Portlanders plan safe streets rally at City Hall on Wednesday (6/24)

Friday, June 19th, 2015
Build It - Bike Plan Rally-23
A scene from the “Build It” rally at City Hall back in February 2010.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Saying Portland already knows how to increase safety on its streets and can get to work immediately without further study, the advocacy group BikeLoudPDX is organizing what looks like Portland City Hall’s first rally in five years on behalf of bicycling improvements.

“It doesn’t take money, it just takes political will. And the rally is to give them the political will to do it now.”
— Ted Buehler, BikeLoudPDX

So far, more than 100 people say they’re planning to attend the Wednesday morning event.

“There’s a real danger that Vision Zero can just be prolonged indefinitely if they keep on studying it,” BikeLoud organizer Ted Buehler said Friday. “But really, they have the tools in their toolbox to do it now. And it doesn’t take money, it just takes political will. And the rally is to give them the political will to do it now.”

(more…)

Bikelash backlash: Richmond neighborhood ousts board chair, elects growth advocates

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
ice cream hands
Southeast Division Street has rapidly shifted from an auto-oriented corridor to one designed for more walking and biking, including four-story apartment buildings with sidewalk shops. Some residents support the changes; others don’t.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

One of the neighborhood groups that has been a focus of opposition to denser development in Southeast Portland has three new leaders.

But the board chair thrown out in Monday’s election is calling foul play, saying that many Richmond residents showed up and voted against him without getting to know him. (more…)

Protected bike lanes on east Powell? Meeting Monday could sway plan

Friday, June 5th, 2015
outer powell street view
Google Street View of Powell near 149th.

If the four-mile stretch of Powell Boulevard east of Interstate 205 is completely rebuilt in a few years, it could get some of Portland’s highest-quality bike lanes.

Some advocates say a meeting this Monday evening is the best chance yet to support Dutch-style raised bike lanes on outer Southeast Portland’s most important east-west arterial.

(more…)

14 Clinton Street businesses celebrate bikeway birthday with discounts this week

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Neighborhood advocates have teamed up with local businesses to celebrate the huge role bikes play in Clinton Street’s commercial prosperity and the huge role small businesses play in making Clinton Street such a great destination.

The event happens as the City of Portland continues to express concern that businesses and residents would oppose adding one or more traffic diverters to Clinton Street to reduce cut-through car traffic and make the neighborhood greenway a bike route that people of all ages would feel comfortable using.

The organizations Safer Clinton and BikeLoudPDX have joined up to produce the event Bike to Shop Clinton, which kicked off yesterday and continues through Thursday night.

(more…)

At die-in, ODOT says it’s already doing its best to improve street safety

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
odoti
The protest was organized after a man biking across Powell Boulevard lost a leg in a collision with a turning pickup truck.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

About two dozen people lay in the one-way street outside the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Portland regional headquarters Wednesday afternoon in a mostly silent demonstration in support of safety improvements on Portland’s urban highways.

Most had biked to the spot; some lay their bicycles beside them. Others had walked; one said he’d walked downtown from North Portland.

Some were children. Some wore fake blood made from ketchup. One had brought a stack of signs: “Oregon Department of Traumatic Injury.”

(more…)

BikeLoud’s “die-in” this afternoon aims to keep safety pressure on ODOT

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
odothq
ODOT’s regional headquarters in northwest Portland.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The advocacy group BikeLoudPDX plans to follow Monday’s safety demonstration on Powell Boulevard by taking on what it sees as the underlying issue: city roads managed by the state’s transportation agency.

At 4 p.m. the volunteer-driven organization plans to host a “die-in” at the Oregon Department of Transportation headquarters, 123 NW Flanders St., complete with fake blood.

Here’s the group’s description of its agenda:

(more…)

Random acts of bikiness: Free balloons kick off Clinton Street celebration month (photos)

Monday, May 4th, 2015
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The Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway, in some ways a national model for the neighborhood greenway concept, has been an official bike route since 1985.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

With shouts of “Happy Birthday, Clinton Street,” a group of grinning volunteers distributed about 225 balloons to passing pedalers Friday.

(more…)

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