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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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Ask BikePortland: What if all of Portland’s bikers decided to drive for one day?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Summer bike traffic-1
Let’s do the math.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This post is sort of inspired by Randall Munroe.

It’s an idea that pops up now and then in the bike world: What if, one morning, we all drove cars instead?

That’d teach the naysayers a lesson.

Or would it?

Well, let’s find out.

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Don’t despair, there’s hope for better bike access downtown

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
elk squeeze
The Hawthorne Bridge is a fine place to ride a bike. The downtown street it leads to is not.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As I write this, Portland police have just started a one-day enforcement of the city’s law against biking on downtown sidewalks north of Jefferson and south of Hoyt.

Here’s what a reader had to say about this on Facebook today:

mia baldwin

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Dispatch from downtown on sidewalk biking enforcement day

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Crowded sidewalk where we should create a plaza-4
Things got crowded earlier today at the food carts on SW 5th and Oak.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With today’s police enforcement action targeting bicycling on downtown sidewalks, I took a few minutes to check out the action for myself.

Here are some of my thoughts… (more…)

City of Portland orders removal of ‘America’s bike capital’ mural from downtown wall

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Pedal Bike Tours owner Todd Roll and two tourists with the mural his company created in 2012. The lettering is due to be taken down Thursday due to a city code enforcement decision.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A city whose sign code is intended to prevent advertising eyesores and a local shop owner who’s developed “mixed feelings” about his project have settled on the removal, this Thursday, of one of downtown Portland’s newest icons.

That’s when workers are scheduled to remove the two-year-old, 45-foot-tall declaration that the city is “America’s bicycle capital.” Pedal Bike Tours, the local rental and tour company that painted the mural in 2012 based on one of their T-shirt designs, hired them after conceding a compromise in a long negotiation with the city’s code enforcement office.

“Photograph it while you can,” Pedal Bike Tours owner Todd Roll said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s out of here.”

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