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Comment of the Week: One more Portland bike user for better pavement

Friday, August 21st, 2015
Neighborhood greenway conditions-1
North Michigan Avenue: tighten your bolts.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This time last year, it looked as if Portland’s city council was about to grit its teeth and start addressing two problems that Mayor Charlie Hales rode into office pledging to fix: the twin facts that our roads are both consistently unsafe and disintegrating beneath us.

Now, as Portland’s leaders get ready to file back in from vacation, all available signs point to both of those cans being kicked further down the road.

Meanwhile, as BikePortland reader Alex wrote in a comment on Tuesday, bike trips through this town keep getting bumpier.

(more…)

Commissioner Novick responds to ‘Day of Protests’ with diverter promise

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Safe Streets Rally Part 2 at City Hall -19.jpg
BikeLoudPDX volunteer Jessica Engelman
at a protest rally in front of City Hall
yesterday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

An unprecedented day of protests yesterday have yielded their first results.

BikeLoudPDX, Portland’s upstart bike advocacy group that has made lots of headlines in the past few months, started the day with a big rally in front of City Hall followed by several of the group’s leaders giving impassioned testimony in front of City Council. After that, they helped organize several rides and then held another rally on City Hall’s steps last night.

BikeLoud leaders and the people they have inspired to show up to these events share a similar feeling: frustration and anger that city leaders sit idly by while Portlanders risk their lives on unsafe streets. “It’s bullshit!” and “It’s unacceptable!” were just two of the phrases chanted at last night’s rally.

And now it appears those voices are having an impact on City Hall.

Last night City Commissioner Steve Novick, the man in charge of the Bureau of Transportation, penned a lengthy blog post in direct response to the protests. He titled it, “Working together to build safer streets.” (He also shared thoughts about biking and the Climate Action Plan in a separate post.) (more…)

City’s $8 million for 122nd Avenue will aid crossings and trigger new frequent bus line

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Jasz Morgan rides SE 122nd Avenue between Stark and Market.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

East Portland’s most important north-south street is about to get much easier to cross on bike or foot, and also its own frequent-service bus line.

TriMet is preparing to improve its No. 71 bus to run every 15 minutes or better almost all day, every day, between Parkrose and Lents, transit agency spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said this week. It’ll happen after an $8 million City of Portland investment in 122nd Avenue pavement, sidewalks and crosswalks that’s expected some time in the next year.

(more…)

Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick call ‘urgent meeting’ in wake of collisions

Friday, May 29th, 2015
DSC_5582
Coming to the table.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have just announced an “urgent meeting” that will take place next week at City Hall to discuss bike safety following a spate of collisions that has sparked widespread concerns.

Novick is the commissioner in charge of the transportation bureau, which has committed to the concept of “Vision Zero” which is a policy and set of actions that aims to eliminate traffic deaths.

Here’s the official word about the meeting that just came down from Novick’s Transportation Policy Advisor Timur Ender: (more…)

With pilot project, City will turn Naito Parkway into public space for all

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
naito-lead
It’s coming!
(Graphic: Better Block PDX)

Starting this Friday morning, the non-profit Better Block PDX, the Bureau of Transportation and its commissioner-in-charge Steve Novick will embark on perhaps the boldest experiment we’ve seen in years: the creation of public space on Naito Parkway in what are currently standard travel lanes.
(more…)

Support builds for walking and biking improvements on east side of Naito Parkway (updated)

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
busy walk path
Even where it isn’t blocked, Naito’s existing goatpath often spills over during festivals.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A week after Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s office called out Naito Parkway for failing to provide “a minimum level of safety for the traveling public” along Waterfront Park, other central-city institutions are weighing in.

(more…)

As festival season begins, Naito’s bike lanes are walkers’ only refuge

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
bike+passing+stroller
Not the best place for a stroller.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Another summer is on the way, and the story is familiar: Waterfront Park has become such a success that people on foot are spilling onto the bed of Naito Parkway, the five-lane street that runs beside it.

During festivals like the Cinco de Mayo event that wrapped up Tuesday, the park is fenced off by barriers that are typically dragged right up to the curb, forcing the many people walking to the festival to use the bike lane — and forcing the many people biking on Naito directly into car traffic.

But though the problem isn’t new, more people seem to be wondering this spring if something could be done about it.

(more…)

The Friday Profile: Steve Novick, the accidental Southwest Portlander

Friday, February 13th, 2015
novick
Portland city commissioner and Multnomah neighborhood resident Steve Novick, photographed at Baker & Spice in Hillsdale this morning.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Portland’s transportation commissioner arrived in town, he was almost a caricature of a newcomer to the Northwest.

(more…)

Comment of the Week: Commissioner Steve Novick on the virtues of taxes

Friday, January 16th, 2015
Bike Walk Vote candidate party-10
Steve Novick at a Bike Walk Vote
candidate party in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With friends like Joe Cortright, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick doesn’t need enemies.

That’s the case Novick made this morning in a sharp response in the comments beneath a widely circulated column we published by Cortright, a local urban economist.

Cortright, who like Novick comes from a generally leftish perspective, had made eight arguments about transportation revenue in the context of Portland’s effort to create a new, local street fund. In the comment below, Novick raises thoughtful objections to two of them.

I have two main problems with what my friend Joe Cortright said in his recent column. First, he’s using generic arguments against a specific proposal while largely ignoring what the proposal actually is. Second, he’s adopting the rhetoric of his political opponents to attack spending on projects that he actually isn’t opposed to.

(more…)

At Employers Bike Summit, Novick praises health benefits of bike investments

Friday, May 16th, 2014
Commissioner Steve Novick speaks Friday at
Regence headquarters.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland should be proud of its 6.1 percent bike commuting share, the highest of any large city, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick said at a summit Friday that gave local employers advice on supporting bike commuters.

“We beat Madison,” the city council member said. “We beat Minneapolis.”

The commissioner also returned to the subject he cites most frequently as a reason to support bike improvements: the local economy as a whole saves money through lower health costs when people build physical activity into their lives.

(more…)

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