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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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‘America’s Bicycle Capital’? A visitor is unimpressed – and worried for us

Monday, May 5th, 2014
Portland!
Truth or dare?
(Photo: Matt Haughey/Flickr)

It was a strong claim and a proud one — though, at the time, it hardly even seemed controversial.

But two years later, the Pedal Bike Tours mural that welcomes Portland visitors to “America’s Bicycle Capital” strikes one visitor as a sign of something else: the paralyzing complacency of a city that has ridden its bike-friendly reputation to nationwide fame, wave after wave of highly educated young people and, within a few years, surging central-city job growth.

The problem, as Vancouver BC-based writer Chris Bruntlett describes it in a piece published this afternoon, isn’t that Portland doesn’t like bikes any more. It’s that the city doesn’t seem to feel that being bike-friendly requires any “difficult decisions.”

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An annotated map to the future of bicycling in downtown Portland

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Map 5d from the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability’s West Quadrant Plan “Transportation Modal Concepts” series. (Modified with numbers by BikePortland)

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A preview of Portland? Vancouver BC’s new downtown bike network (photos)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
bikers crossing
Vancouver’s three-year-old downtown bike lane network.
(Photos © M. Andersen.)

Lots of people know you can go to Copenhagen or Manhattan to see grids of protected bike lanes in action. But there’s another set of them 300 miles north of Portland — and they run right through a city so similar to Portland that they could be siblings.
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City Council backs $21 million for better walking and biking, citing boost to economy

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Commissioner Steve Novick at Green Lane Project event
Commissioner Steve Novick speaking at a
Green Lane Project event earlier this week.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The ways people talk about active transportation seems to be changing in Portland, both inside and outside of government.

At a unanimous City Council vote Wednesday in favor of $20.7 million in federally backed walking and biking improvements throughout the city, including $9.1 million to enact parts of the East Portland in Motion plan and $6.6 million for what promises to be a historic upgrade of central Portland bike facilities, people on both sides of the council dais were repeating an idea that isn’t always common: Improving biking improves the city for people who don’t.

Leading the shift: new Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, who echoed and rephrased some of the observations we shared from his speech two nights before.

“It should be obvious to everybody that the freight improvements are connected to economic development,” Novick said Wednesday, referring to $4.1 million dedicated to efficient truck movement. “But the things that make it easier to walk and bike are economic investments. … There’s a couple of ways to improve your family’s economic position. One is to make more money, and one is to reduce your expenses. Active transportation investments help people reduce their expenses.”

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Open house next week shows off five grants that promise street fixes

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
cool bike rack in downtown Portland oregon
Downtown is one of several neighborhoods that
could benefit from these grants.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A fleet of major projects to improve bike and foot travel in downtown Portland, East Portland, SE Foster Road, SW Barbur Boulevard and Southwest Portland’s neighborhoods will be competing for dollars and attention with freight projects each other at an open house next week.

The five projects are among many jostling for $95 million from Metro’s regional flexible fund allocation, one of the few channels of federal support for bike and walking transportation.

“Your feedback can help decide which projects get recommended to receive funding,” Metro says on its website. The open house is 6-8 pm on Aug. 15, one week from tonight, in the Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Ave (PDF).

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