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What do you think? Encouraging high-vis gear

Friday, December 12th, 2014
People on Bikes - Copenhagen Edition-48-48
Can’t miss this guy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: “What do you think?” is a new series we’re trying out where we gauge your opinion and ask for feedback on a specific topic. Think of it as our version of those ridiculous and annoying reader polls you see on other sites so often. — Jonathan

It seems innocent enough: When days get shorter and people are commuting in the dark, transportation agencies will often encourage people to wear bright-colored and reflective clothing, use lights, and so on. That might sound like important, common sense information to some of you; but to others it’s a cringe-worthy offense. To them it’s a form of victim blaming that actually results in ever more dangerous streets.

This week, both TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation promoted high-visibility cycling.

TriMet did it as part of their annual “Be Seen. Be Safe.” campaign. I got an email yesterday asking me to enter a contest to win a “bike visibility kit”. The $135 kit includes a flourescent yellow helmet cover, a reflective safety patch, hi-vis gloves, and a rear light. “Make yourself visible to drivers and cyclists around you!” the promotion urged. (more…)

TriMet lengthens transfers to 2.5 hours, a long-awaited victory for riders’ group

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
OPAL organizer Orlando Lopez talks to a TriMet rider
in 2010, gathering support for what became a
successful campaign for longer-lasting transit tickets.
(Photo: Michael Schoenholtz/Portland Afoot)

On March 1, the lifespan of a TriMet ticket will rise 25 percent.

Raising the transfer duration from two hours to two and a half hours is effectively a price cut for anyone who takes round trips on the Portland region’s transit system one ticket at a time — either because they’re only an occasional rider or because they don’t have the cash or fancy job to have a monthly pass.

(more…)

Comment of the Week: Nike’s self-inflicted recruitment challenge

Friday, December 5th, 2014
Nike World Campus
Gilded cage? Inside the berm of Nike World
Headquarters near Beaverton.
(Photo: Tracy Lee Carroll)

Is one of the region’s most important companies turning its back on talent by locking its campus off from biking and transit?

It’s hard not to feel that way after reading a series of comments this week from reader s30t. Here’s what s30t wrote in response to last week’s post about the potential for Nike’s planned expansion to finally upgrade nearby bikeways:

Interesting reading through all the comments here. I recently joined Nike, despite having heavy concerns about the commute. One year in I can say my concerns are justified. I try my best to commute by bike (or at least a bike/max combo) – but the time investment is huge. I’ve tried multiple different routes, but I live in NE Portland and it is almost impossible to keep the round trip commute less than 2-2.5 hours via bike or combo bike/public transit combo. if you work with Asia and Europe (which I do) you end up with many early a.m/late calls…that means hopping on my bike at 5 am and not getting back home until 7pm or later. I can see why commuting by bike is not an option for anyone with children (or even a dog for that matter!)

(more…)

TriMet bus kills man who had been walking bike in bike lane (UPDATED)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
bus stop
The bus stop on 82nd Avenue near Clackamas Town Center where the incident reportedly took place.
(Image from 2011: Google Street View)

A man who had been walking his bike in the bike lane down 82nd Avenue at SE Causey Wednesday night was killed beneath the back wheel of a TriMet bus, Oregon State Police said.

The man, a 60-year-old whose name has not yet been released, had apparently been passed by the bus while walking in the lane, caught up with it, and was beating on the back of the bus before his death.

(more…)

First look: New bike facilities open along MAX Orange Line

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Update on PMLR bikeway progress-46
New multi-use path goes east-west just south of MAX line/UPRR tracks between SE 7th and 17th.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s less than one year to go until TriMet takes the wraps off the Orange Line, a 7.3 mile extension of the MAX light rail system that will connect downtown Portland to Milwaukie in northern Clackamas County. While the marquee component of the $1.5 billion project, the Tillikum Crossing Bridge, won’t open until next fall, many parts of the new project are already open for business. (more…)

TriMet scores grant to study the world’s best bike + transit ideas

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
TriMet bus with rack
One possibility: a system for tracking
bike rack capacity on buses.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

TriMet is a few months away from what its lead bike planner called a “pretty major” year-long review of the ways its transit system interacts with bikes.

“This effort will really help us in future years to make sure that we’re prioritizing the right projects at the right locations,” Active Transportation Planner Jeff Owen said in an interview Tuesday.

A $108,000 state grant awarded in August and $19,000 from TriMet will let the regional transit agency hire a consultant to gather best practices from around the world and make recommendations to TriMet about bike parking, how best to carry bikes on trains and buses, how to build transit lines with bike access in mind and other issues.

“We can’t think of everything ourselves, and outside ideas are really beneficial and powerful,” Owen said. “A lot of it might be things that we’re aware of, of course, but they could really bring some new ideas and creative thinking into it.”

(more…)

TriMet track work gives bikers one less reason to avoid the Lloyd

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
biking to train
Smooth cruising: looking west across 11th at Holladay.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A key bike connection between Southeast and inner North/Northeast Portland keeps getting a bit better.

The latest improvement to Northeast 11th Avenue and Holladay comes courtesy of track work last week by TriMet at its Lloyd Center MAX turnaround. The transit agency prioritized repairs to the track there in part because the crumbling pavement around the tracks had been increasingly dangerous for biking.

(more…)

Good excuse to try biking: TriMet’s week-long MAX detour next month

Monday, July 28th, 2014
rose quarter max
Not rolling west from the Rose Quarter for a week.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

It’s likely to be one of the hottest weeks of the year, but Monday, Aug. 11 through Friday, Aug. 15 is looking like a good time for east-side MAX riders to test non-air-conditioned alternatives.

The 10-block light rail connection between the Rose Quarter Transit Center and Lloyd Center, probably the highest-ridership stretch of rails in the TriMet system, will close for track and switch improvements that week, adding an estimated 15 to 30 minutes to trips in or out of the central city.

TriMet has full details about the temporary shuttle-buses that will connect the two stops through the week. But it doesn’t mention the fact that for everyone going to or from much of the east side, a bicycle will probably become the fastest link to the Rose Quarter and downtown during rush hour.

(more…)

‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
ebikelead

A few employers own bicycles that they can loan to their workers as an introduction to bike commuting, but a Kaiser Permanente Northwest pilot program this year is taking that to the next level.

The health company is loaning folding e-bikes to 180 of its employees.

The goal is, in part, to increase active commutes by introducing more commuters to the transit-friendly vehicles that can address one of the biggest reasons workers neither bike or bus to work: they live too far away to bike, and too far from a bus stop to take transit.

(more…)

TriMet adds new Beaverton Creek bike parking after Nike bike share takes off

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Beaverton Creek - staple bike racks
Quite a lineup of bike parking near the platform.
(Photos courtesy TriMet)

TriMet has doubled its public bike racks at Beaverton Creek MAX Station after the popularity of Nike’s new corporate bike share system swamped the station’s staples.

In May, we shared the news that bike parking at the light rail stop was sometimes being overwhelmed by the red bikes now being used by the sportswear maker’s workers as they headed to and from the company’s nearby headquarters.

(more…)

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