Postcard from Austin: curb extensions that don’t block bikes

by on October 30th, 2015 at 8:52 am

curb extension bumps 1000
A quick, cheap crosswalk enhancement on 3rd Street in Austin, Tex.
(Photos: M.Andersen)

Austin, where I spent a few days this week, is not yet a great city to bike in. But some of the ideas it’s developed in its bid to become one are useful, and here’s one.


Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says

by on October 28th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Rosa Parks Way -3
Rosa Parks Way.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland has a long way to go, but it’s one of the country’s best cities to bike in. Sad to say, it isn’t yet one of the country’s best cities to walk in.

So why do so many people, here and elsewhere, speak as if there’s an activity called “bikingandwalking” that can be encouraged all at once?

Some new research from a recent Portland State University engineering grad helps to disentangle the science of these two awesome activities.


‘Sidewalk closed’: Portlanders fend for themselves amid building boom

by on October 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 am

brian rod
Rod Yoder, left, and Brian Davis are both looking for long-term solutions.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s official policy is that when push comes to shove, making it safe and efficient to walk is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to bike, which is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to drive.

So why is it that when construction closes part of a street, sidewalks are so often the first to go?

On Thursday, a local engineering consultant led a walk through downtown Portland to show that it doesn’t have to work this way.


With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes

by on July 30th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

livable streets fb
The Facebook page for the new “subgroup”
Livable Streets Action.

A new group called Livable Streets Action is taking the tactics that have won a string of victories for local biking this spring and summer and applying them to other modes, too.

Organizer Dan Kaufman, a videographer and longtime local social justice advocate who has helped organize demonstrations for transportation activism group BikeLoudPDX and the bike-based but non-transportation-focused group Bike Swarm, referred to Livable Streets Action as a “subgroup” of those other groups.

Livable Streets Action’s first event is tomorrow, a Friday afternoon commemoration for Marlene Popps, a woman who was hit by a car and left for dead on the evening of July 4 at the corner of SE 60th and Holgate. She died of her injuries July 21.


Comment of the Week: The case for organized running advocacy in Portland

by on April 10th, 2015 at 4:21 pm

I'm too clean-cut to be here in Portland with all these hippies. I think I should be in Kansas. Or maybe Salt Lake City.
Shared interests.
(Photo: Ed Yourdon)

Here on BikePortland, we love to switch focus around the many ways to enjoy bikes, from dirt-trails or the daily commute. And if you ask me, Jonathan’s inspired combination of sport, fun and policy is the special recipe that has made this site a viable business as well as a work of love for everyone involved.

So as reader Adam wrote this week, isn’t it time for someone to apply a similar approach to athleticism on foot?

Here’s what Adam wrote this afternoon beneath our post about the appeal of gravel paths to people running:


Cops cite 61 people in 4 hours at a single unmarked 82nd Ave crosswalk

by on April 7th, 2015 at 8:39 am

82nd cooper
The enforcement action was one of the few that the city has conducted at unmarked crosswalks.
(Image: Google Street View)

In Oregon and Washington as in many states, every corner is a legal crosswalk, and all vehicles are supposed to stop for someone trying to use it.

But good luck getting people to stop for you at corners like Southeast 82nd Avenue and Cooper Street.

A preannounced police enforcement action at the crosswalk on March 25 resulted in 61 citations and four warnings, the most ever issued during one of Portland’s periodic crosswalk enforcement events.


In sidewalkless Southwest, neighborhood greenways are made for walking

by on February 13th, 2015 at 1:52 am

A SW Illinois Street piggyback ride,
brought to you in part by speed bumps.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Part of Portland’s big idea of renaming “bike boulevards” as “neighborhood greenways” was that they’re not just bikeways; they’re spaces for street play, sports and other fun. And they’re also, the line goes, good for walking.

It’s easy to laugh that last part off on the east side of Portland, where almost every greenway is lined with sidewalks.

Not so in Southwest Portland, where neighborhood greenways are few but sidewalks are nearly as rare.


Five Walktober ambles worth checking out

by on October 8th, 2014 at 9:58 am

In the 2012 Situationist Walk, attendees concocted
bizarre rules to govern their own behavior as they
strolled through Southeast Portland.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

Portland’s annual three-week festival of fun on foot, inspired by PedalPalooza, has its first big burst of action this Saturday.

Walktober is run by advocacy group Oregon Walks. Like PedalPalooza, anyone can create an event online; the most interesting will survive.

With lots of good contenders for people interested in exploring, learning more about the city or just sampling many kinds of beer without worrying about the bike home, we thought we’d pull a few highlights from this month’s calendar of walking events.


State’s $1.9 million gift says it: flashing beacons are the safety tool of the moment

by on April 24th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

Two state legislators’ announcement this week that $1.9 million from the state’s general fund would pay for new flashing beacons and traffic islands at 18 East Portland crosswalks communicated two things about Portland streets.

First: that street safety is one of State Rep. Shemia Fagan’s core issues, something she’s consistently putting political capital behind. Second: that rectangular rapid-flash beacons, which communicate a person’s desire to cross without using red lights to stop traffic completely, have become one of the city’s go-to safety tools.


Novick wants $1 million from general fund for beacons at 15 crosswalks

by on April 18th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland’s general fund has a few million dollars to spare, and Commissioner Steve Novick is mounting an unusual campaign to spend some of it on safer street crossings.

In a city where you’re twice as likely to die from traffic as from homicide, Novick and other backers say making roads safer is the most cost-effective way to improve public safety.

In an interview Friday, Novick called out a few police operations in particular as having lower returns on investment.