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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.

(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.
(more…)

Portlander’s ‘protected intersection’ concept gets first on-street demo (in Minneapolis)

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
PopUp Protected Intersection Event 04

A temporary “protected intersection” at Open Streets MPLS June 8.
(Photos courtesy Alta Planning and Design)

A Portland planner’s concept for a way to almost completely eliminate bike-car conflicts from American intersections got its first road test in Minneapolis this month.

Bikeways for Everyone,” a Blue Cross Blue Shield-funded, Minneapolis-based advocacy coalition with a goal to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes by 2020, invited Nick Falbo of Alta Planning and Design to create a one-day demo at Open Streets MPLS, the city’s version of Sunday Parkways.

(more…)

‘Groundbreaking’ new study gives big thumbs up to U.S. protected bike lanes

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Screen grab from the study’s video analysis.

A new study released today, which is being touted by its funders as “groundbreaking,” shows that a sampling of protected bike lanes in American cities have been a resounding success.

The facilities included in the sample — hand-picked bikeways from Austin, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and Portland — showed a massive increase in bike traffic, received high marks for improving safety of all road users, and have won over the hearts and minds of people whether they use them or not.

Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S. (PDF) was funded in part by People for Bikes and the research was completed at Portland State University’s National Institute of Transportation and Communities (here’s more background on the study). (more…)

Washington County proposes protected bike lane outside Nike HQ

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
The new bike lane would be similar to this one in
Toronto, Washington County Bicycle-Pedestrian
Coordinator Shelley Oylear said.
(Image courtesy Washington County)

The main drag outside Nike’s Washington County headquarters could soon be home to one of the region’s first curb-protected bike lanes.

At an open house tomorrow, the county will present plans to widen 1.8 miles of Walker Road north and west of the fast-growing sportswear giant, making it a five-lane thoroughfare throughout the stretch and adding better sidewalks, storm drainage, street lighting and a low, rounded curb separating bike and auto traffic.

Washington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Shelley Oylear said the project is part of a growing understanding in county government that it’s impossible to build wider and wider roads forever — as the county gets more dense, there simply won’t be space for almost all trips to involve a car.

“People are going to have to expect that if we build a four or five lane road, that’s it,” Oylear said in an interview last month.

(more…)

Guess who didn’t make list of America’s top 10 protected bikeways?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

In the latest sign that Portland’s lead as America’s best cycling city is dwindling, we were completely left out of a list of the year’s top 10 protected bikeways published by People for Bikes yesterday.

People for Bikes (formerly known as Bikes Belong) is an industry-funded advocacy group that also runs the Green Lane Project, an effort to hasten the development of protected bikeways across the country. Portland was one of five cities selected to be part of that program when it launched in May 2012; but despite our long-held reputation as a bikeway innovator, we lag behind other cities when it comes to protected bikeways (loosely defined as bike lanes with some sort of protection from other lanes of traffic). According to a Green Lane Project inventory, Portland has managed to build just 3 miles of protected bikeways in the last four years.

Portland’s absence from the top 10 isn’t because our protected bikeway designs are bad, it’s because we didn’t even build any new ones in 2013. The one Portland project listed in the Green Lane Project’s inventory for 2013, SW Multnomah Blvd, has been delayed and is yet to be built. (more…)

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