(Photos: J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Traffic diverters: back by popular demand.
Traffic diverters: back by popular demand.
“We’re a Platinum-level city because of the outcomes we’ve achieved.”— Roger Geller, PBOT Bike Coordinator
The Bureau of Transportation wants to remind everyone that Portland still deserves to be Platinum.
As local activist Will Vanlue continues to gain traction and headlines for his petition (it’s up to 550 signatures) to have Portland’s Platinum bicycle-friendly status downgraded by the League of American Bicyclists, PBOT has gone on the defensive.
The agency has put together a seven-page document outlining their case and they reached out to us for a conference call this morning to talk about it. On the call was PBOT Bike Coordinator Roger Geller, spokesman Dylan Rivera, and Margi Bradway the manager of PBOT’s Active Transportation division.
Geller opened up the conversation with a spirited defense of PBOT’s bike legacy which he delivered as if he were speaking to supporters at a political rally: (more…)
The side-street bikeways are known in Portland as neighborhood greenways to capture their appeal as places to walk, jog, shoot hoops and so on. But the City of Portland’s project shows that six — inner SE Clinton, SE Lincoln near 53rd, NE Tillamook near Grant High School, SE 86th near Powell, inner Northwest Johnson and upper NW 24th — clearly fail national standards for auto counts on bike boulevards.
Tuesday night I took part in the annual bike facility tour led by Portland Bureau of Transportation bike coordinator Roger Geller. Once a year, instead of sitting around a table on the second floor of City Hall discussing projects and policies, members of PBOT’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) get on their bikes. The goal of the tours is to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of current conditions and discuss how things might look in the future.
Roger Geller, one of the most respected bicycle professionals in North America, was not having a terrific afternoon. His baritone had slid up to a tenor.
“This is beneficial,” he said to the roomful of owners of retail businesses along 28th Avenue near Burnside, gathered at Coalition Brewing Wednesday afternoon. “This is a good thing for your business district.”
Portland’s bicycle coordinator for the last 14 years — a confident and amiable man, but always known more for his groundbreaking analyses and head for numbers than for a silver tongue — was pitching the benefits of replacing auto parking on one side of the street (including a couple blocks in each direction, it’s maybe one-eighth of the district’s auto parking) with a buffered bike lane. Geller made one argument after another as to why there was no reason to think the district would suffer. But for each fact he cited, someone had an immediate rebuttal.
“While business and political support is strong it could be stronger, especially in key constituent groups.”
— Roger Geller, PBOT Bicycle Coordinator in a League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community award application
Back in 2008 Portland became the first major U.S. city to be given a “Platinum” level Bicycle Friendly Community award by the League of American Bicyclists. Now, as per League policy, the Portland Bureau of Transportation must re-apply every 2-3 years in order keep its Platinum designation. (If you’re wondering, the League says the Diamond-level designation isn’t available yet.)
I recently got a glimpse of the current application and two questions stood out: “What are the three primary reasons your community deserves to be designated a Bicycle Friendly Community?” and “What are the three aspects of your community most in need of improvement in order to accommodate bicyclists?”
It’s been six-and-a-half years since Portland Bureau of Transportation bicycle coordinator Roger Geller first defined the “Four types of cyclists”. Geller’s insights proved to be groundbreaking and his definitions have stood the test of time. I frequently hear references about the need to attract more “Interested but concerned” riders at conferences all over the country and I read about them in articles in media large and small.
Now a noted bicycle researcher at Portland State University, Jennifer Dill, is working to learn more about the various types of riders. At the recent Velo-City conference in Vancouver B.C., she shared her research, Categorizing Cyclists: What Do We Know? Insights from Portland, OR (PDF). Now her work has been made public.
Crosswalks are standard engineering treatments designed to help people get across streets with a bit more safety; now the City of Portland is looking to do something similar for bike traffic with bicycle crosswalk markings, a.k.a. the “cross-bike”.
The concept itself has been floating around PBOT since about 2007, but the idea has yet to gain real traction. The other night, while looking over plans for an upcoming road project, I was surprised to see them as prominent features. Turns out that PBOT hasn’t forgotten about them.
PBOT bicycle coordinator Roger Geller shared a bit more about bicycle crosswalks via email today. Check out the Q & A below for more… (more…)
The 10-minute segment (watch it below) is a good primer on the current state of Portland’s bike network. It’s also a window into where Portland is heading in the future and how the city plans to reach their goal of 25% bike mode share by 2030. (more…)