Blast from the past: BikeTV visits Pedalpalooza in 2005

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 13th, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Live from 2005.
(Image: BikeTV)

These days, many people know Clarence Eckerson as the guy behind Streetfilms, the beautifully produced series of web videos about livable streets and transportation reform.

But back in 2005, he was honing those skills as the creator of BikeTV, a local cable show in New York City — and he happened to stop in Portland for the Multnomah County Bike Fair that closed the fourth annual Pedalpalooza festival. Eckerson wrote us today to mention that he was recently uploading some old DVDs, came across the footage below and thought we’d enjoy it.


Portland’s 10-year quest for transportation revenue: A short historical recap

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 19th, 2016 at 8:34 am

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Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams makes the case for local transportation funding in 2008. Ted Wheeler, then the Multnomah County chairman, is in the background.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Tuesday’s vote to create a local gas tax, coupled with the previous week’s new fee on large trucks, marks a milestone for the City of Portland.


Should the I-205 path be named after onetime Portlander Woody Guthrie?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 9th, 2016 at 4:11 pm

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The not-so-memorably named I-205 Multi-use Path.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There’s an intriguing idea at the bottom of The Oregonian’s nicely written piece today about folksinger Woody Guthrie’s ties to Portland.

The article (which is actually the last from former transportation reporter Joseph Rose, who’s headed to a job on the East Coast) focuses on the 30 intensely creative days the Oklahoma-born folksinger spent in a 400-square-foot apartment in Lents in spring 1941. It’s two blocks from the trail, and still available for rent today.

Guthrie was visiting for a one-month gig with the Bonneville Power Authority, which paid him $266.66 to write 26 songs promoting hydroelectric power on the Columbia. They turned out to include some of his enduring classics about the people who helped win World War II by industrializing the West Coast: “Roll On, Columbia,” “Grand Coulee Dam,” “Oregon Trail” and “Pastures of Plenty.”


Join us Monday to learn about the history of Portland bicycling

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 22nd, 2016 at 2:23 pm

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Bike transportation is essential to the future of Portland. But every year it also becomes more and more a part of Portland’s history.

At a free event next week, a local biking writer and three Oregon biking advocates will meet up at a brewpub to talk about the history of biking in Portland — both its early heyday in the 1890s and the modern renaissance that began around 1970.

First, Portland author April Streeter (of Women on Wheels and Treehugger) will talk about seven “unforgettable characters who have shaped Portland’s bike culture,” going back to the 1800s.

Then Mychal Tetteh of the Community Cycling Center, Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Steve Schulz of Cycle Oregon will join a panel about the movement’s modern history. I’ll be moderating.


A lost scrap of NW Portland history: How a fortune cookie helped save Thurman Street

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 15th, 2016 at 9:52 am

Outside the Dragonfly Coffee House Thursday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Part of NW Portland Week.

Thurman Street is the last neighborhood north where you can find the sort of stuff that, for a lot of people, make Portland Portland.

One block north of the Food Front Cooperative Grocery and the gluten-free bakery Dessert Labs, you hit the Holiday Inn Express. Then come the railroad tracks, warehouses, gravel distributors, floodplains and eventually just trees to the end of the earth, or at least to Scappoose.

Walking down Thurman Street itself is so rewarding that one of Portland’s most famous residents wrote a whole book about it. They keep a copy behind the reference desk at the branch library on NW 23rd and Thurman: Blue Moon over Thurman Street, published in 1993 by the novelist Ursula K. Le Guin and the photographer Roger Dorband.


Unearthed: 1975 City of Portland “From here to there by bicycle” map

by on March 15th, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Map cover. Design by Donna Ryan and Steve Wilson.

What did cycling routes in Portland look like over 40 years ago? That’s something we’d never known until coming across this “From here to there by bicycle” map.

Guest post: Advocate and bike scene veteran Carl Larson says goodbye

by on January 15th, 2016 at 3:23 pm

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Carl Larson at the 2014 Multnomah County Bike Fair.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This is a guest post from Carl Larson, a Portland bike advocate and all-around bicycle culture Renaissance man. Amid many other bike-related activities including bike polo, World Naked Bike Ride, Mini Bike Winter, Zoobomb and Pedalpalooza, he’s worked for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance since 2008, currently as its engagement manager. The BTA is eliminating the job on Jan. 31.

“I feel sheepish about suggesting anyone would care about my memories but they’re not just mine,” Larson writes. “These highlights remind me of what a ride so many of us have been on and it’s been really fun to look back at some of them. It has helped me, and will hopefully help others, recognize the BTA at its best.”


The secret history of Portland’s weirdest neighborhood

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 21st, 2015 at 10:15 am

(Image: Oregon Historical Society)

This is the second in a three-part series. Read the first installment here.

For most of Portland’s history, the land we know today as the Lloyd District was best known for failure.

Holladay Park: named for a scoundrel who planted its trees and then gambled away his fortune. The state and federal buildings along Lloyd Boulevard: advance outposts of a government center that never arrived. And Lloyd himself: an oil multimillionaire who died all but cursing the city he’d fallen in love with 40 years before.


Why are these 11 buildings illegal in most of Portland?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 19th, 2015 at 10:53 am

2314-16 se salmon duplex built 1927
2314 and 2316 SE Salmon: built in 1927, illegal to build today. A ride this week took a closer look at “The Missing Middle.”
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Most of Portland’s conversation about ways to create enough new homes to defuse our deep and ongoing housing shortage has focused on the four-story apartment buildings rising along a few main streets.

But there’s a growing awareness in Portland’s housing policy community that low-rise apartment buildings — let alone the taller buildings rising in the Lloyd, Burnside Bridgehead and Pearl — aren’t the only buildings that can increase the supply of housing in the walkable, bikeable parts of Portland. In fact, the other options might be more popular with neighbors, too.

The only problem: in almost all of Portland, creating such buildings is forbidden.


In 1934, The Oregonian’s ‘Let’s Quit Killing’ campaign declared a war on traffic deaths

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 17th, 2015 at 8:55 am

drive safely
The citywide campaign, which asked residents to pledge to drive safely and recruited citizens to report illegal driving behavior to the police, was created by The Oregonian and the Oregon State Motor association.
(Newspaper images: Oregonian archives at Multnomah County Library)

Slow-moving, prosperous and desirable arterial streets are nothing new; they’re just a return to the traditional ideas of our great-grandparents.

And here in Portland, a citywide goal to take public responsibility for traffic fatalities isn’t new, either. In the 1930s, as they felt their city changing fast, our great-grandparents’ generation responded with what became a nationally-known campaign that was strikingly similar to Vision Zero or the Dutch Stop de Kindermoord movement of the 1970s.