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After year of tragedies, City returns to outer Division with an apology and a plan

By on February 24th, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Outer Division Safety Meeting-12.jpg

PBOT’s yard signs were very popular last night.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman apologized to residents of the Jade District in person last night for a spate of fatal traffic crashes on outer Division Street.

Speaking as the new commissioner-in-charge of the transportation bureau, Saltzman stood in front of a mostly Chinese-speaking crowd and said, “We’re sorry and we’re bound and determined to do something about that.”

18 months ago in the exact same room as the meeting Saltzman attended last night — the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space on the corner of 82nd and Division — the City of Portland launched their Vision Zero effort. The Bureau of Transportation didn’t plan on coming back, but since that celebratory launch five people have died and three others have suffered life-altering injuries on outer Division. When two Chinese immigrants died trying to cross the street in separate collisions within just hours of each other back in December, PBOT swung into action and has been listening and formulating plans ever since.

Last night in a meeting hosted by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, PBOT kicked off a community process slated to end with a plan adopted by City Council this fall.
[Read more…]

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City moves forward with plan to rent adaptive bikes as part of Biketown system

By on February 24th, 2017 at 9:37 am

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Biketown program manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth (right) at an Adaptive Bike Clinic in June 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland took another step today toward fulfilling a promise they made last summer: To make the Biketown bike share program more accessible to people who are unable to ride conventional bicycles.

If all goes according to plan, adaptive bikes should be available for use by this summer.

To refresh your memory, this issue caught the Portland Bureau of Transportation off-guard last summer, just weeks before the scheduled launch of the Biketown program, when a local advocate for people with disabilities began to question the equity of a bike share system that wasn’t accessible by all of Portland’s bicycle riders. That advocate was Chloe Eudaly, who notched a victory on this issue when PBOT promised to find a solution and then went on to earn a victory at the ballot box when she became a Portland City Commissioner.

Eudaly’s prodding set PBOT on the path toward researching options and gathering information from adaptive bike users.

Today PBOT launched a survey to garner focused feedback on their plan. According to a press statement, PBOT will make adaptive bicycle rentals available through existing bike rental businesses that located near popular bike paths. Once the system is up-and-running, people who ride hand-cycles, three-wheeled trikes, and side-by-side tandems, would be able to rent one of the bikes near paths like the Eastbank Esplanade or the Springwater Corridor through a City-subsidized program.
[Read more…]

Reward offered for Hawthorne Bridge hit-and-run caught on bike-cam

By on February 24th, 2017 at 7:58 am

Bike-cam footage nabbed this crazy driver seconds before impact. Watch the video below.

Portland Police are looking for a tan SUV after its driver was involved with a high-speed hit-and-run crash last month.

It happened about 2:30 pm on January 27th in the eastbound lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge just east of the Willamette River near the TriMet bus stop on the viaduct. Amazingly, so far the biggest lead the police have in the case is footage from a handlebar-mounted camera taken by a person who happened to be cycling nearby.

As you can see in the video below, the driver was going very fast and was unable to control his/her vehicle. They ran into two other vehicles, causing one to roll, which, according to police, “nearly struck a person riding a bicycle.” Luckly there were no injuries. The driver didn’t stop and is still on the loose. [Read more…]

Time to weigh in on designs for new entrance and nature center for Forest Park – UPDATED

By on February 23rd, 2017 at 2:01 pm

One of three options for a new Forest Park entrance and nature center.

The City of Portland is putting the finishing touches on designs for a major new nature center and “iconic” entrance to Forest Park. Now is the time to share your comments so that the resulting project is as welcoming as possible to people who arrive by bicycle.
[Read more…]

Gravel update: Progress in places and broom-wielding heroes

By on February 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 am

Progress!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How are things looking out there on the bike lanes you use the most?

Since our post last week there’s been big progress on some key bikeways we’ve been watching and I’m curious how the clean-up is going for you.

In particular, and since we helped make such a big deal out of it to begin with, I want to share the progress on Highway 30 and the St. Johns Bridge.

Sweeping has happened on the bridge sidewalk. It’s not perfectly clean; but it’s a vast improvement. I got some video the day it was swept (2/17):
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Adventures galore, advocacy, architecture, and more

By on February 23rd, 2017 at 9:35 am

Check out the Baja Divide slideshow and storytelling sesh from Limberlost tomorrow.

The weekend is right around the corner and we’ve got some great ride and event ideas to tempt you with. But before we get to them…

Have you noticed our events calendar yet? It gets better every day and in our biased opinion it has become the most comprehensive bicycling and transportation advocacy calendar in Oregon. We listed over 70 events this month alone (and it’s only February!). It features a wide array of events — from advocacy meetings and town halls, to weekly group rides and special events.

It’s easy to keep up with all the events: you can read this weekly event guide; check out the calendar pages in monthly, weekly, or daily views; and if you follow @bikeportland on Twitter you’ll get an update each morning with a link to7 the day’s events. If you want to help keep this resource strong, please support us via a financial contribution, subscribe or become a business partner (we offer weekly sponsorship of this Weekend Event Guide, and a whole lot more).

OK, now let’s get to the events this weekend…

[Read more…]

PBOT’s ‘Patch-a-thon’ promises pothole relief

By on February 22nd, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Double-whammy. A pothole on N Willamette deposits gravel into the bike lane.
(Photo: @Dcay via Twitter)

As if the snow and ice and gravel wasn’t enough — now we are dealing with the scourge of potholes.

Potholes are nothing new, but this winter’s storm has created an alarming amount of new ones. They’re everywhere! Old ones are bigger and more treacherous, while new ones creep up where and when you’re not expecting them. For people using a car, a pothole can damage your wheels and rims. But for people on a bike the risk is greater. In addition to equipment damage, potholes can lead to crashes and injuries.

Today the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced what we hope will be a salve for our wounded streets: “Patch-a-thon” is the city’s new initiative that will aim to attack potholes with more maintenance crews. Here’s more from the official statement:

“Starting tomorrow, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will launch Patch-a-thon, a new initiative to fill the numerous potholes caused by this season’s many winter storms.
[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: New ‘Atlas’ jacket from Showers Pass; Islabikes launches ‘cross tires for adults

By on February 22nd, 2017 at 12:07 pm

New offerings from Portland-based Islabikes and Showerspass.

We love seeing local bike companies expand their product lines. It demonstrates that our bike economy is strong and that the spirit of innovation from our local bikey brain trust is alive and well.

Today we’ve got words and pictures of two new products now available from two Portland companies: Showers Pass and Islabikes USA.
[Read more…]


TriMet lobbies for more freeways in a misguided ‘fix’ for Portland congestion

By on February 22nd, 2017 at 9:25 am

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Don’t believe the hype.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is a guest post from former news editor Michael Andersen.

The top executive of Portland’s mass transit agency said this week that the Portland region has four top transportation priorities, and three of them are to expand capacity of urban freeways.

[Read more…]

Get hip to the STIP: ODOT needs your input on next batch of projects in our region

By on February 21st, 2017 at 3:46 pm

ODOT map of “STIP” projects in the hopper for the Portland area.

The Oregon Department of Transportation needs your comments on the 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) — a list of capital projects the agency will move forward with over the next four years. There are 170 projects currently on the list and 70 of them are in Multnomah County.

ODOT estimates they’ll have about $32.5 million to spend in Region 1. Before the shovels start turning, you can still influence the details of these projects and ODOT makes commenting very easy.

What do I mean by influencing details of projects? Here’s an example: One of the projects will spend $3.3 million on “safety improvements” on the northbound and southbound I-205 exit ramps at SE Division Street. ODOT will make “lane adjustments”, widen the ramps, adjust signal timing, add new signage, and so on. Given that Division has relatively well-used bike lanes in this location that connect directly to the I-205 path, are there elements of this project that could improve bike safety? Do you think ODOT planners are thinking about how bike cross-traffic might be improved with this project? If you ride that section of Division, you can share your concerns and insights directly on this project at the ODOT STIP website.
[Read more…]

Here are the Oregon House bills we’re following this session (Part 2 of 2)

By on February 21st, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-1

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session is well underway and we’re following as many bills as humanly possible (in a one-person newsroom).

Out of the thousands of bills swirling around the halls and meeting rooms of the state capitol building in Salem, there are few of particular importance to transportation reform advocates. Last week we shared the Senate bills we’re following and below are the House bills we’ve got an eye on…

House Bill 2355

Summary: “Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to develop method for recording data concerning officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops” (Official overview)
[Read more…]

Guest article: Why I perservere on the west side’s mean streets

By on February 21st, 2017 at 9:47 am

Ride Along with Ali Reis-36

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Note: This article is by BikePortland subscriber and Beaverton resident Naomi Fast. Naomi’s perspective is formed in part by the fact that she doesn’t own a car and she’s lived and worked in both Portland and Beaverton.]

In my first subscriber post, I wrote about Beaverton, where I moved in 2013 after a decade in Portland. It occurs to me a few people might wonder how I live without a car in the suburbs. Sometimes it’s not easy! But living without a car is not all that rare, and bike commuting infrastructure is becoming a more vocal priority as Washington County looks to the future.

But challenges in the here-and-now are plentiful, and sometimes I feel frustrated.

For example: Recently, I was riding in dangerous gravel in the SW Murray Blvd bike lane near the Nike Woods, and had to move into the main traffic lane at times to avoid skidding. At the red light, a woman holding her phone in one hand, deep in conversation, drove up on my left. I motioned her to roll down her window. I let her know I was needing to take the lane at times, so please keep an eye out for me! She said she’d drive more to her left to give me room, so that was nice.
[Read more…]

TriMet’s Lafayette Bridge elevator in Brooklyn neighborhood closed for repairs

By on February 20th, 2017 at 5:06 pm

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The bridge is a vital biking and walking link in southeast Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The elevator of the carfree Rhine-Lafayette Bridge in southeast Portland is out of order and TriMet says they aren’t sure when it will be back online.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Lego hair helmet, riding against the wind, L.A.’s next ‘great street’, and more

By on February 20th, 2017 at 9:35 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by no one. Please contact our sales manager if you’d like to promote your organization or event in this space.

Welcome to Monday.

Here are the most noteworthy links and tidbits that came across our desks last week…

LA’s next “Great Street”: What was standing in the way of the City of Los Angeles’ exciting vision for updating Venice Blvd from car-centric thoroughfare to a modern, world-class street? It used to be owned by their state DOT. Now in City control, the project can begin. (Sound familiar?)

Thanks, Trump: The United States House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s new director of outreach and coalitions is the former director of federal relations for the American Petroleum Institute.

Now what? The numbers are in. And just as we suspected, road deaths have taken a striking spike in the U.S. Now the question is: What are we going to do about it?
[Read more…]

Here are the Oregon Senate bills we’re following this session (Part 1 of 2)

By on February 17th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-1

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The 2017 Oregon legislative session is well underway. Votes have already taken place and bills are moving up and dying off as I type this.

I’ve combed through hundreds of bills to find ones that matter to people who care about transportation safety and the culture of our streets. Since there are so many bills I want to bring to your attention, I’ve decided to do this in two parts. First I’ll share a list of the Senate bills I’m following. Then in a separate post, I’ll share the House bills.

Here we go…
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Left Coast Bicycles and The eBike Store

By on February 17th, 2017 at 8:57 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got two great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mechanic, Part Time – Left Coast Bicycles Mobile Repair

–> Mechanic w/ Sales Backup – The eBike Store
[Read more…]

Review: The Iota – a tiny bike tracker with huge potential

By on February 17th, 2017 at 7:54 am

Size is just one reason this product has potential.
(Photos: Bryan Hance/The Bike Index)

BikePortland subscriber and resident bike theft expert Bryan Hance from The Bike Index checked out the Iota Tracker with an eye towards bike tracking, DIY hacking, and more.

We field a lot of questions about ‘bike trackers’ at the Bike Index – everybody wants a small, affordable GPS tracker for their bike. Sounds like a simple request; but many people are surprised to learn a product like this doesn’t exist yet.

There are a few basic reasons why trackers aren’t as great as you think:

Size/hideability — It is hard to disguise a tracker so thieves can’t instantly find it. And having something that uses several antennas (GPS and cellular) means they aren’t easily hidden – nor are they very small.

Reliance on cellular — Most trackers use the cellular network to report their location, which means most trackers are 50% cell phone parts – and means paying for cell data, supporting a SIM card, having a hefty battery, etc.
[Read more…]

PBOT will use little-known “emergency” law to rein in speeding drivers

By on February 16th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

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PBOT Director Leah Treat at a meeting of the Vision Zero Task Force in City Hall this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When a city says traffic safety is their top priority, it should be willing to do whatever it takes to make people drive more slowly.

In Portland that means taking a very close look at the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat announced today that her bureau will seek permission to enact section nine of ORS 810.180 which gives the city the power to set an “emergency speed” without going through the often onerous process of asking for permission from the State of Oregon. (Note: Another section of this same law gives cities the power to reduce speeds on certain residential streets, thanks to a lobbying effort by PBOT in 2011.)

Treat said they’ve decided to take this very rare step in order to keep people safer on outer Southeast Division Street. Back in December two people were killed while trying to walk crossing Division Street in two separate crashes just hours apart. The tragedies sparked outrage from local residents, activists and even top PBOT staff. One day after the deaths, PBOT Active Transportation Group Manager Margi Bradway called neighborhood leaders to talk about the city’s response. Those conversations led to the passage of $300,000 in emergency funding to do outreach and education in adjacent neighborhoods (which are populated by many people of Chinese and other descents who don’t read or speak English).

To continue their focus on taming Division Street, Treat said PBOT will bring an ordinance to Portland City Council on March 2nd asking them to support the move. The existing state law gives PBOT the ability to make this move, but we’ve never heard of it actually being done. [Read more…]

On live TV, reporter shovels gravel off St. Johns Bridge sidewalk – UPDATED

By on February 16th, 2017 at 1:06 pm

KATU reporter Reed Andrews shoveled gravel on sidewalk of St. Johns Bridge last night. (Watch video of the story below.)

With a shovel in his hand to drive the point home, Portland reporter Reed Andrews with KATU (our ABC affiliate) highlighted the problem of gravel in the bike lanes on their news broadcast last night.

Andrews focused his story on the layer of gravel on the St. Johns Bridge sidewalk we reported on Tuesday. He interviewed the owner of Block Bikes, a bike shop just steps away from the east end of the bridge who vouched for the problems it causes for his customers. The story also included an interview with a bicycle rider who said he often rides miles out of his way just to avoid riding the bridge sidewalk.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: It’s all about Mini Bike Winter

By on February 16th, 2017 at 7:12 am

From Chariot Wars (left) to The Sprockettes (right) and the Cupcake Challenge (middle) — the 14th annual Mini Bike Winter gets top billing this weekend.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

photo caption
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Hard to believe this weekend marks the 14th annual Mini Bike Winter.

The event sprung to life during the Golden Age of Portland Bike Fun Culture in the early 2000s. The traveling Bike Summer event hit our shores in 2002 and went so well that locals wanted to keep it going. That led to the formation of Shift and “Mini” Bike Summer in 2003. By 2004, Mini Bike Summer had morphed into what we now know as Pedalpalooza and our friends at Zoobomb kept the “Mini” part alive by launching the first Mini Bike Winter that same year*.

None of that history really matters (unless you’re a cultural anthropologist or bike fun history nerd); but what does matter is that we continue to have fun on our bikes — even in winter. And Zoobomb is here to help us do just that. Check out the full slate of events below and have a great weekend…

[Read more…]