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City hires project manager for high-profile downtown protected bike lane project

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The project management gig that one local planning pro has referred to as the “job of the year” has been filled.

Rick Browning, an architect and urban designer with a long history in Portland, will start work May 28 on a federally funded project that’s widely expected to implement the first substantial protected bike lanes in downtown Portland — indeed, some of the only low-stress bike infrastructure in downtown, which has by far the city’s highest concentration of bike commuters.

The $6.6 million Central City Multimodal Safety Project might also look for ways to improve the awkward bike connections to bridges like the Burnside, Steel and Hawthorne or even crossings of Interstate 405 to the west.

As it has been in other U.S. cities over the last few years, the downtown protected bike lanes would be a companion project to a planned bike sharing system that the city continues to say will launch in 2016.

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As Obama visits, three words of advice for Thursday and Friday trips downtown

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Click the two areas of the map above for information on each street closure.

To paraphrase the city’s official news release only slightly:

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Proposed plaza outside Voodoo Doughnut could be permanent by year’s end

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
ankeny alley rendering
Removable bollards would pedestrianize the road bed on 3rd Avenue outside Voodoo Doughnut.
(Image: Ankeny Alley Association grant application)

One of Portland’s top tourist attractions seems poised to become dramatically less car-oriented by the start of 2016.

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Meetup Thursday kicks off new push for land bridge over I-405

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
freeway cap
(Image via ProspectPDX)

A downtown consulting firm is hosting a conversation tomorrow morning about one of Portland’s most persistent ideas: a cap over the Interstate 405 freeway.

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After success of 3rd Avenue demonstration in Old Town, real changes are coming

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Better Block
A temporary crosswalk across 3rd Avenue, crossing one lane of mixed traffic and one protected bike lane, on Oct. 4.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)

Two months after a three-day demo of a human-oriented 3rd Avenue captured many visitors’ imaginations, permanent changes are afoot.

The city is proposing to spend $10,000 next spring to add paint to 14 unmarked crosswalks on NW 2nd, 3rd and 4th between Burnside and Glisan. Several nearby properties have just changed hands. And Howard Weiner, chair of the Old Town Community Association, is working on plans that could bring much larger changes to the area.

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James Beard Market plans could be chance to fix Morrison Bridge bike access issues

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
beard market birdseye sketch

An indoor food market planned for the west side of the Morrison Bridge might bring the money needed to improve Portland’s newest and arguably most awkward downtown bridge landing.

At an open house and design forum on Saturday, Dec. 13, the public will get its first big chance to review and weigh in on the proposal to convert the little-used parking lots inside the bridge’s cloverleafs to a space inspired by Vancouver BC’s Granville Island or Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne. A local biking advocate, who identified the opportunity, is urging people who care about the area to join him in attending.

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Rave reviews roll in for temporary ‘Better Block’ on 3rd Ave

Monday, October 6th, 2014
3rd Avenue Better Block PDX
The temporary plaza in front of Ankeny Alley and Voodoo Doughnut was bustling with commerce and enjoyment for most of the weekend.
(Photos: Greg Raisman unless noted)

This weekend in downtown Portland’s slightly seedy north side, a citizen group temporarily converted two lanes of auto parking, a big expanse of empty pavement and two traditional travel lanes into a huge new pedestrian plaza, rows of street seats and ping-pong tables and a protected bike lane.

And it was, more or less, a huge hit.

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Student biking to Portland State is down by a third over two years

Friday, September 12th, 2014
empty racks
PSU’s bike parking will be more crowded once the fall term starts, but student biking rates have leveled off and started to drop even as employee biking has kept climbing.
(Photos: M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

Bike transportation among Portland State University students peaked at 12 percent in 2010-2011 and has since fallen to 8 percent, newly released student surveys show.

And in a development its transportation director called “alarming,” the popularity of driving to PSU classes rose last year for the first time since 2000.

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The $60 million map: Here’s what a street fee’s ‘safety’ money might pay for

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
street fee map
Green for new sidewalks, yellow for neighborhood greenways, teal for protected bike lanes, red for painted bike lanes, blue dots for crossing improvements and purple for other improvements like lighting or frequent buses.
(Graphic by BikePortland using Transitmix.net. Click for an interactive version.)

So far, the public debate about a per-household and per-business street fee has been mostly about the costs: who would pay how much.

While that debate rages on, the city has finally floated some specifics about the possible benefits.

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BTA looks to revive plan for protected bike lanes through downtown

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
downtown pbl map annotated
Four possible routes for north-south protected bike lanes through downtown.
(Graphic: BikePortland)

Third in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

With almost every street project that isn’t happening in Portland, the city’s stated reason is that it doesn’t have the money. A long-discussed couplet of north/south protected bike lanes through downtown is the exception.

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