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Rep. Blumenauer unveils ‘Bikeshare Transit Act’ to provide funding certainty

by on January 7th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Blumenauer at the Summit-2
It’s transit, so let’s fund it as
such says Blumenauer.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Not wanting to be left out of massive bike news in his hometown, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has just released details on his latest legislative idea: the Bikeshare Transit Act. The legislation is meant to provide stability and “additional flexibility to use federal funds for bikeshare programs.”

Blumenauer wants to make it easier for bike share systems to operate past their initial start-up funding. In Portland’s case, we received a $2 million federal grant for bike share back in 2011. But that money was only enough to start planning. To actually put a system on the ground would take millions more — not to mention an annual operating and maintenance budget of $1.5 to $2 million. With cities under pressure to not spend any local money on bike share, that means they’ve had to hope and pray for big private sponsors. Portland spent years trying to court a suitor before inking their $10 million deal with Nike.
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A congressman, ice-cream, fruitcake, and 1,000 bikes for kids

by on November 24th, 2015 at 11:57 am

Fruitcake challenge at Community Cycling Center-2.jpg
Rep. Blumenauer at the Community Cycling Center this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Looking to make his famous holiday fruitcake last even longer, Portland’s representative in the United States Congress, Earl Blumenauer, has issued a citywide challenge: He wants Portlanders to help provide 1,000 bikes for kids in the month of December.
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Congressmen Blumenauer and Buchanan introduce $30 million ‘vision zero’ grant programs

by on March 10th, 2015 at 10:34 am

My ride with Earl Blumenauer-1.jpg
Blumenauer would like to be safer on the road.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the same week that the nation’s bike advocates roll onto Capitol Hill for the National Bike Summit, U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) have introduced the Vision Zero Act of 2015 (H.R. 1274).

The bill would set aside grants worth $30 million for cities to plan and implement road safety projects.

In a statement, Blumenauer’s office said the bill is a recognition that “communities across the country are recognizing that there is only one number of acceptable deaths on our streets: zero.” The goal of the legislation is ambitious: “eliminating all transportation-related fatalities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers.”

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Q&A: Earl Blumenauer is a little bit worried for the city he helped build

by on December 23rd, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Blumenauer interview-1
Congressman Earl Blumenauer: on the inside looking out — and hoping for a generation of advocates to pass the torch to.
(Photos: J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The biggest problem in Earl Blumenauer’s professional life will never be holding onto his job. There aren’t many safer gigs in the country.

Instead, Blumenauer’s challenge is how to make his job count. And one way he’s done so has nothing to do with Congress.

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Congressman’s fruitcake ice cream will help buy gift bikes for Portland kids

by on November 26th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

This is definitely our favorite ice cream charity partnership ever.

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Blumenauer will ride to celebrate new path along Marine Drive

by on April 17th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Section of new path in Blue Lake Park adjacent to Marine Drive.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Biking continues to have bipartisan appeal, baffling D.C. media

by on November 21st, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Blumenauer opens Interbike-1
Republicans disagree with Rep. Earl Blumenauer on
plenty, but can find common ground with him on bikes.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last week we wrote that “biking and walking safety should be a bipartisan issue.” Today we got a reminder that it still is — and just how rare such issues are recently.

On the same day the Senate recut its rules to fit the current slash-and-burn politics of Washington, Politico published a profile of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), puzzling over how one of the House’s most liberal members got two Republicans to cosponsor his bill to ensure that bike safety is officially one of the ways to measure a federal road project’s success.

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Blumenauer, DeFazio team with GOP on Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act

by on November 15th, 2013 at 9:48 am

L to R: Earl Blumenauer (D), Mike McCaul (R), Peter DeFazio (D), Howard Coble (R).
(Images: Blumenauer by J. Maus/BikePortland. All others via Facebook)

On a day when we learned U.S. traffic fatalities in 2012 went up for the first time since 2005 — with notable spikes in bicycling and walking deaths — Oregon Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio joined with two of their Republican colleagues, Howard Coble (NC) and Mike McCaul (TX) to introduce the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (H.R. 3494). (more…)

Bill would make bike-sharing benefits tax-deductible (updated)

by on November 13th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Bike share demo-9-8
Not considered public transit by the IRS. Yet.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is cosponsoring a bill to officially recognize bike sharing as the newest category of public transit, at least in the eyes of the IRS.

Unfortunately, the bill is limited by a persistent oversight in tax policy that restricts its benefits to those who both live and work in areas that have bikesharing stations.

It’s a new goal for the city transportation commissioner turned Congressman, who spent years pushing for the IRS’s first bike commuting benefit. The $20-a-month deduction finally passed as part of the 2008 bank bailout (despite Blumenauer’s “no” vote on that package).

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Blumenauer urges Portland bike makers to forge new industry alliance

by on November 7th, 2013 at 10:06 am

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, top left, with local bike
makers at the United Bicycle Institute Wednesday.
(Photo by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

(Jonathan Maus contributed to this story.)

Portland is nationally known as the city with the highest number of bike riders. But when it comes to making bikes, our reputation is about quality, not quantity. We’re known for custom, handcrafted bikes, but not for producing them in large numbers. The city’s mature cluster of bike makers could change that if they teamed up, representatives of the local industry’s small businesses agreed at a roundtable discussion led by U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer on Wednesday.

The event was convened by Rep. Blumenauer, who said he’d “dedicated my life” to making biking a big part of the city and would happily look for ways to help the industry itself become “the next part of the Oregon identity” if they can offer a clear list of ideas within the next few months. The event was a more focused follow-up to a visit to the same location by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in September.

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