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After 3-day demo, city council moves to ‘next phase’ of rethinking 3rd Avenue

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Sped-up version of a video of Northwest 3rd Avenue just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 5.
(Original video: Better Block PDX)

The widely praised experiment that created a temporary protected bike lane and big new pedestrian areas on 3rd Avenue in Old Town this month seems to be reshaping the way the city sees the street.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve noticed the extraordinary width at that point on 3rd and I should have noticed an obvious use for all that space was ping pong tables,” Commissioner Steve Novick, who had enjoyed a game of table tennis during the demonstration, joked at a city council hearing on the subject Wednesday.

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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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First look: Better Block re-imagines 3rd Ave with protected bike lane, new crosswalk

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Better Block demonstration project on 3rd Ave-8
There’s a new protected bike lane on 3rd Ave!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Early this morning, Better Block PDX took the wraps off its largest project yet: They’ve transformed three blocks of 3rd Ave from Davis (in Old Town) to Ash (near Voodoo Doughnut) from a bloated, auto-centric thoroughfare into a a more humane street with a protected bike lane, on-street bike parking, a new crosswalk and ample plaza space for sitting and enjoying a doughnut or three. (more…)

Volunteers prep for Friday’s three-day ‘Better Block’ demonstration on 3rd Ave

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
boris in hallway
Boris Kaganovich of Better Block PDX with a half-built planter in the rooms where he and other volunteers have been preparing for a “pop-up” plaza and protected bike lanes on 3rd Avenue.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Working every evening for two weeks in a warren of unfinished rooms three stories above Old Town, more than a dozen enthusiastic volunteers have almost finished building the street features that will remake 3rd Avenue for one weekend, starting Friday morning.
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For one weekend, Old Town will test a huge plaza, bike lanes and cafes along 3rd Avenue

Friday, September 19th, 2014
dan and boris
Dixie Tavern owner Dan Lenzen, right, with Boris Kaganovich of Better Block PDX.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Frustrated by city officials’ estimates that it’d take several years to even consider a major redesign of 3rd Avenue through Old Town, a group of neighborhood businesses is teaming up with a team of livable streets advocates to create their own three-day demo of what a better street could look like — two weeks from today.

Inspired in part by the “pop-up” street projects that have helped reshape New York City in the last five years, organizers say Old Town’s three-block project will be one of the country’s largest such projects ever.

It’ll use wooden planters in the street to create more than a thousand square feet of new pedestrianized space between NW Davis an SW Ash, a protected bike lane, a series of new sidewalk cafes, a marked crosswalk and a huge new public plaza in front of Voodoo Doughnut adjoining Old Town’s thriving Ankeny Alley.

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Seeing business upsides, Old Town retailers propose protected bike lanes on 2nd, 3rd

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Old Town Chinatown-2
Inspired by the changes on NE Multnomah in the Lloyd District, a new proposal would transform SW 2nd and 3rd avenues.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A coalition of 30 Old Town bars, restaurants and entertainment venues is proposing adding a quarter-mile of planter-protected bike lanes and street cafe seating to 2nd and/or 3rd avenues.

Inspired by nearby projects on SW Ankeny and NE Multnomah, the six-month-old Old Town Hospitality Group sees their experimental road diet concept, which could narrow the streets’ car-oriented area from three travel lanes to one or two and might remove some on-street auto parking, as a way to make the neighborhood safer, more comfortable and better to do business in.

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18 stolen bikes seized during Old Town drug bust

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Stolen bikes at drug bust in Old Town-5
Officers look for a serial number before loading a stolen
bike into a truck in Old Town this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police Bureau served a search warrant early this morning in Old Town and among the confiscated property was 18 stolen bicycles. The bust happened at 211 NW 3rd Avenue. I was able to snap several photos of the bikes before they left the scene (see if you spot your bike below).

According to a PPB statement, the search warrant is part of an ongoing Federal drug trafficking investigation being conducted by the Metro Gang Task Force. Several arrests were made this morning.

According to Officer Terry Colbert, whom I spoke to at the scene. This is just one of several recent busts where the police have confiscated multiple stolen bikes. A recent sweep of a homeless camp near the Hawthorne Bridge and Eastbank Esplanade (near the Vera Katz statue) resulted in 20 stolen bikes in what the PPB believes was a mini chop-shop operation. (more…)

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