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Riding in the Snow

Portland has had its share of snow over the years… And it doesn’t stop people from biking. Check out the coverage of past storms and snow commutes below

Is the bike shop open? Are the bike lanes icy? An open thread for post-storm intel

by on January 12th, 2017 at 1:58 pm

I-205 path at SE Foster Road.
(Photo: Patrick F.)

It looks like the worst of the snow and and ice and cold is finally behind us. According to my weather app we should be back to the normal 50s and rain by next week.

But with a foot of snow still on the ground and cold temps sticking around, our roads and paths will be a mess for quite a while. That means it will be tricky getting around town and some of our favorite destinations won’t be open for business. With that in mind, it’s time to share what you know about local routes and destinations.
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Biketown bike share vs. Snowmaggedon

by on January 11th, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Riding bike share in the snow

Bike-skiing down the North Interstate Avenue hill was the highlight of the ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How does Biketown, Portland’s bike share system, stack up against other modes of travel during extreme weather? How would it work — or would it work at all — during a major snowstorm?

Those were the questions that have been on my mind after my brief foray on a Biketown bike late last night.

This morning I wanted to give it a real test. With twice as much snow on the ground as there was last night, I rolled over to my local Biketown station. My goal was to get downtown and back. Here’s what I learned… (more…)

Portland is absolutely covered in snow: Let’s go ride (and walk and play)!

by on January 11th, 2017 at 8:25 am

Time to ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here we go again.

A record amount of snow has fallen in Portland. There’s over a foot in some places, it’s still falling, and forecasters say it’s not going anywhere.

Most of the city has shut down. Schools, government offices, and many businesses can’t stay open because driving is so hazardous that people simply can’t reach destinations (imagine if more of us lived closer to where we work!). This means our streets are mostly quiet and calm — perfect for us to enjoy as should always be the case.

What does all this mean for you? Are you still biking? What are your plans for today? (more…)

It’s a nice day for a bike ride

by on December 15th, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Saw lots of smiles (and a lot of MTBs) out on the streets this morning.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Saw lots of smiles (and a lot of MTBs) out on the streets this morning.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland is still covered in a layer of snow after a storm last night.

If you can manage it, the biking is quite nice. Roads are much quieter than usual because people are driving slower and schools and many businesses are closed.
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Don’t blame the weather for this mess (or snow plows, or bad drivers, or…)

by on December 15th, 2016 at 9:58 am

Portland made national news last night — and this image told quite a story.

Portland made national news last night — and this image told quite a story.

Welcome to the morning after.

After a few inches of snow fell on Wednesday afternoon, our region’s transportation system ground to a halt. Major freeways, arterials, and even many neighborhood streets were either completely gridlocked or impassable due to abandoned cars left in scrap heaps of twisted metal and broken dreams. Thousands of people were stranded for hours and backups continued on Highway 26 until midnight (midnight!). Thanks to an Associated Press story, the insanity of it all has brought us national attention.

Now we’ve entered the autopsy stage where everyone is trying to figure out how it happened.

The Oregonian broke it down to five reasons: We don’t use salt on our roads; people don’t carry chains; people don’t know how to drive in the snow; Portland doesn’t have enough snow plows, and transit is, “not equipped for hilly Portland.”

Sigh. Of course they forgot to mention something.

Here’s the inconvenient truth: Our over-reliance on single-occupancy motor vehicle use has real consequences. It leads to lots of injuries and deaths, it poisons our lungs, and it makes our transportation system extremely fragile and inefficient.
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The Commute From Hell (was heaven on a bike)

by on December 14th, 2016 at 11:16 pm

A bike rider finds a good line between traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd this evening. Photo shared by  River City Bicycles on Instagram.

A bike rider finds a good line between traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd this evening. Photo shared by River City Bicycles on Instagram.

I have never seen anything like what happened on tonight’s evening commute. A few inches of snow has led to utter chaos on roads throughout the Portland region.

Schoolkids trapped in buses until way past their bed times, multiple car pile-ups, dozens of cars just abandoned on the side of the road, people hitch-hiking or giving up on their cars and walking several miles to get home, standstill traffic on I-5 and Highway 26, five to seven hour commutes with people passing out survival snacks to strangers. You know those traffic maps news stations show every night? Almost every major highway was deep red until about 10:00 pm. Like a traffic blood bath.

My social media timelines were an amazing contrast — full of complete and utter misery for people inside motor vehicles, and then sheer joy and glee from people who were lucky enough to be on a bike.
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Ted’s snow pictures and movies

by on January 3rd, 2016 at 5:05 pm

When I saw the weather was snowy this morning I tortured my indoor-only kitties and then geared up to go bicycling with my cycling friend Jeremy, aka @kitchen.

We met down by Voodoo donuts. The lack of a line meant we actually went in to buy a few to fuel ourselves. I had a tiny cruller but Jeremy went for one of the largest donuts they have.
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Snow day means biking bliss in Portland

by on January 3rd, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Snow Day 2016-7.jpg

Peninsula Park.
(Photo by James Rohl)

Portlanders woke up to the first real snowfall of the season this morning. The white powdery stuff was sticking to streets and beckoning us out into before most of us had finished our first cup of coffee.
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Mix of snow, slush and ice make for tricky biking conditions

by on February 11th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Bad biking conditions made the evening news.

With the worst of the snow and ice storms behind us, the roads are slowly returning to normal. That is, unless you are trying to walk or bike.

As auto traffic volumes return to normal, people are finding that the conditions of bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and off-street bike paths are full of a dangerous mix of slush, snow, and ice. This isn’t a surprise given that it’s the current policy of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to only plow major roads and arterials. (more…)

Only 32 bikes crossed the Hawthorne Bridge Sunday, counter says

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 10th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter on
Friday, in a lull between the storms.
(Photo by Roger Geller.)

Mother Nature finally found a way to keep Portlanders off their bikes on Sunday: a foot of fresh snow followed by a dangerous ice storm.

The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter (which was donated by Cycle Oregon) detected only 32 pairs of wheels crossing in both directions during the entire day. It’s by far the lowest total recorded since the counter was installed in August 2012.

On Friday, the counter picked up 308 bikers, the second-lowest weekday traffic to date after Christmas Day, 2013. On Thursday, when the storm hit midday, 1,773 people made it across the bridge westbound.

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