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Mayor Hales will commute by bike to experience real-world conditions

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
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Hales riding on the Esplanade last year.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is most powerful elected official in a city that’s widely considered to be one of the country’s best for cycling. However, despite living just over four miles and a pleasant half-hour bike ride away from City Hall, Hales doesn’t commute by bike.

Sure, Hales is seen on a bike now and then; but those rides are organized events like Sunday Parkways. As anyone who has been in a bike parade or open streets event can tell you, that experience is much different than real-life, everyday, weekday rush-hour conditions.

With Portland in a biking funk there has been a growing chorus of whispers pressuring Hales to get on a bike and see what it’s like on Portland streets — without a police escort and cozy coterie.

I’m happy to report that Hales heard the whispers and has decided to ride his bike into work this coming Monday.
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Comment of the Week: One more Portland bike user for better pavement

Friday, August 21st, 2015
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North Michigan Avenue: tighten your bolts.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This time last year, it looked as if Portland’s city council was about to grit its teeth and start addressing two problems that Mayor Charlie Hales rode into office pledging to fix: the twin facts that our roads are both consistently unsafe and disintegrating beneath us.

Now, as Portland’s leaders get ready to file back in from vacation, all available signs point to both of those cans being kicked further down the road.

Meanwhile, as BikePortland reader Alex wrote in a comment on Tuesday, bike trips through this town keep getting bumpier.

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Portland City Council passes Vision Zero resolution

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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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.)
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Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick call ‘urgent meeting’ in wake of collisions

Friday, May 29th, 2015
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Coming to the table.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have just announced an “urgent meeting” that will take place next week at City Hall to discuss bike safety following a spate of collisions that has sparked widespread concerns.

Novick is the commissioner in charge of the transportation bureau, which has committed to the concept of “Vision Zero” which is a policy and set of actions that aims to eliminate traffic deaths.

Here’s the official word about the meeting that just came down from Novick’s Transportation Policy Advisor Timur Ender: (more…)

Update on SE Powell collision: Driver has 2 careless driving convictions and Mayor mentions protest

Monday, May 11th, 2015
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On the mayor’s radar.

A few updates to our top story:

The man who was driving the truck that collided with Alistair Corkett on Sunday has two prior convictions for Careless Driving. According to our legal sources, 42-year-old Barry Allen was charged with Careless Driving in November 2013 and Careless Driving and Unsafe Operation of a Vehicle in May 2009. Allen was convicted on both charges after failing to appear. He has two other prior run-ins with the law, including convictions in 1998 for driving without insurance and failure to renew his automobile registration.

Allen has not been cited for a traffic violation. As per standard procedure, the Portland Police Bureau will complete their investigation than hand the case over to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. After the DA makes a decision about criminal charges, the police would then decide whether or not to issue a citation.
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Off-Road Cycling Plan gets Council nod, Bureau of Planning will take the lead

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
ntwacityhall
Daniel Greenstadt and his daughter Gigi
testified in support of the plan at
City Hall this morning.

A few minutes ago at their weekly meeting, Portland City Council voted in favor of a motion to fund the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan. During a discussion of an agenda item about the City’s Spring Budget Monitoring Process — known as the “spring bump”, Mayor Charlie Hales put forth a motion to split the plan’s $350,000 price tag between the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau and the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.

The mayor’s proposal uses $50,000 from Parks’ budget and $300,000 from BPS. The motion was passed with Commissioners Saltzman and Amanda Fritz both voting in support (Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick are out of town and were not present). With Fritz on board, all five commissioners are in support of the plan is it’s ultimate passage is all but assured when Council votes on the budget adjustments sometime in the next few weeks.
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Mayor Hales wants to start ‘ASAP’ on $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan – UPDATED

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
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(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like Mayor Hales is willing to put money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing Portland’s extreme lack of trail riding opportunities.
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Industry Ticker: Rapha founder meets Portland mayor at company’s North American HQ

Friday, February 27th, 2015
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Rapha founder Simon Mottram, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and Rapha North American GM Hillary Benjamin.
(Photo: Rapha)

Simon Mottram, the founder of Rapha Performance Roadwear, was in Portland on Tuesday and he met with Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Hales paid a visit to Rapha’s North American Headquarters in northwest Portland. (more…)

The Friday Profile: Jackie Dingfelder, the lawmaker who biked away

Friday, August 1st, 2014
city hall
One of the best friends bicycling has ever had in Salem, Jackie Dingfelder, left the state senate last year to become one of the biggest fans of biking in Portland City Hall.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

There is no particular reason to doubt the former chair of the Oregon Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee when she says she was just ready for a change.

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Mayor Hales floats city takeover of Powell, Barbur, 82nd, Lombard

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
Lombard Ave-5
Lombard Avenue, a state “highway”
turned city street.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Mayor Charlie Hales seems to be advancing an idea that’s been on advocates’ wish list for years: putting the City of Portland, not state government, in charge of the city’s biggest streets.

In an interview with The Oregonian editorial board last week, the paper reported, Hales said he “will formally propose local management” for “what are now state highways like Powell Boulevard.”

Other state-run roads in the city include the busy corridors of Southwest Barbur Boulevard, 82nd Avenue, Lombard Street, Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard and Southwest Macadam Avenue.

If that happens, it’d set a new direction for these onetime highways enveloped by the city.

(more…)

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