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Multnomah County seeking bike/walk advisory committee members

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Check it out. Good opportunity to play a role in local bike policy/project/planning. Press release is below and you can find more info here.

Members sought for Multnomah County Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee

Multnomah County is seeking to fill three vacancies on its Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee with new members who live, work or recreate in Multnomah County. Preference will be given for applicants who live in east county or rural unincorporated areas. New members will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2015.

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Dear everywhere else: This is how to do a detour. Sincerely, Multnomah County

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
detour done right fb2
Service work on the Burnside Bridge Thursday, perfectly executed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

With a few dozen orange cones and minimal fuss, a team of bridge inspectors and a county traffic safety specialist assembled a perfect Portland-quality detour on the Burnside Bridge Thursday.

It might seem like a small matter, but anyone who’s ridden a bike or walked near many construction detours knows how frequent it is for them to push people into mixed-traffic lanes rather than meddle with the flow of cars — even on streets that are far wider than they need to be for cars to keep flowing freely.

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Turnover of top traffic engineers will shake up city and county

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Cycletrack on SW Broadway-2
Rob Burchfield, who spent 16 years as Portland’s city traffic engineer, is moving to the private sector.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Two people whose judgment calls have shaped Portland’s streets for years — in one case, for decades — are stepping into jobs elsewhere.

Rob Burchfield, Portland’s top traffic engineer since 1999 and a nationally respected innovator on bike-friendly street designs, will leave the city on Friday after almost 30 years. He’s becoming the regional engineering director for Toole Design Group, a national engineering and design firm that specializes in biking and walking projects.

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Multnomah County car registration is down 8% since 2007, and isn’t rebounding

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
Sunday Parkways Northeast 2011-31-40
Why look back?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Great Recession has left plenty of marks on the Portland area. Here’s one of the happier ones: so far, at least, a lot of the cars aren’t coming back.

The number of registered passenger vehicles in Multnomah County peaked in 2007, a review of 16 years of state records shows. After the economy began shrinking in early 2008, passenger vehicles per resident started a rapid slide, landing 9 percent lower by 2012. Finally, in 2013 and 2014, the local economy began a relatively rapid rebound out of one of the sharpest local downturns in the country.

But in those two years, the number of vehicles the average Multnomah County resident registers has edged back up just 1 percent.

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Comment of the Week: The slow, possible work of progress

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Morrison Bridge bike-walk path dedication event-24
Ahh – can you feel that? That’s a successful
postcard campaign from 15 years ago.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There’s nothing new under the sun, but effective political tactics have a way of staying effective.

That’s what reader and legendary bike advocate Phil Goff observed this week in a comment beneath Tuesday’s post about a series of postcard campaigns by activist group Bike Loud PDX:

This is exactly what I did 15-16 years ago to create the political pressure to bring in funding for the Morrison Bridge sidepath project. On two occasions, I had 300-400 signed postcards mailed to Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein (to get the County’s attention) and then 6 mo later to Metro Council chair Rod Monroe during the MTIP process. In the age of e-mail, Twitter and FB, a simple postcard campaign can pack a lot of punch. Its great to hear that advocates are reviving the tactic for other projects. Good luck BikeLoudPDX!

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Bike lane rumble strips on Hawthorne viaduct coming out next week

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-7
Changes coming and no more slow-down strips.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This Monday, October 6th, Multnomah county will remove the speed humps (a.k.a. rumble strips) in the bike lane of the westbound Hawthorne Bridge viaduct (technically SE Madison Ave).
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Portland’s worst bike detour will be around for at least one more year

Friday, July 18th, 2014
narrow sidewalk
Of all the problems with the sidewalk along SW Macadam that’s served as a detour for part of the Willamette Greenway for the last year, this might be the silliest.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A 0.7-mile bike detour between Willamette Park and the west landing of the Sellwood Bridge that steers people from a riverside trail to an unbuffered sidewalk along a four-lane state highway will probably stick around until late 2015, county communications show.

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County says Hawthorne Bridge bike lane speed bumps will be removed in 2015

Monday, April 21st, 2014
New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-11
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Multnomah County has confirmed that they plan to remove a set of bicycle speed bumps on SE Madison Avenue. The bumps were installed in November of last year with the goal of slowing people down as they transitioned from the bike lane onto a sidewalk near a TriMet bus stop (see larger photo below). However, despite these good intentions, the bumps were instantly panned as being ineffective and potentially dangerous in their own right.

The County’s own Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee (BPCAC) voted unanimously to remove the thermoplastic strips at their meeting on November 13th. In the minutes of that meeting, the committee said that, “BPCAC members felt that while the raised bumps are not terrible, the bumps do not serve the intended desire of slowing down the speeding cyclists either.” The BPCAC also pointed out that County engineering staff did no public process before installing the strips. (more…)

County will host ‘Bridge Summit’ to help prioritize future upgrades

Friday, March 14th, 2014
Hawthorne Bridge scenes-4
Bike traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge as it goes under I-5.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With well over 15,000 bicycle trips daily (according to 2012 counts), Multnomah County’s bridges play a major role in central Portland’s bicycle transportation network. You might not realize it, but the County owns, operates and manages six of the seven major downtown bridges: the Sauvie Island, Broadway, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne and Sellwood spans. Three (soon to be four) of those six bridges have a separated path for bicycle traffic and the Hawthorne is widely considered one of the busiest bicycle bridges in America. (more…)

County chair candidates Kafoury and Francesconi talk transportation at debate

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Kafoury, left, is a five-year county commissioner.
Francesconi, right, is a former city commissioner.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Transportation is rarely the biggest issue for Multnomah County chairs, but that didn’t stop candidates Deborah Kafoury and Jim Francesconi from gamely finding some modest differences at a debate on the subject Tuesday.

Though neither politician has been known as particularly passionate on transportation issues, both contenders for the county’s top elected position endorsed the concept of a “multimodal” county and shared a few ideas for making it better.

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