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‘Better Red’ light rail project includes new bike paths near airport, Gateway

By on July 10th, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Screen grab from TriMet video (watch it below) shows new I-205 path section on new bridge to Gateway Green bike park.

A $206 million project that will improve service on TriMet’s Red light rail line will also come with significant benefits to bicycle riders.

The “Better Red” project will extend the Red Line further west in Washington County; but what we’re watching closely is how the improvements will impact the I-205 path in east Portland.

According to TriMet, the project will add a second track on two sections of existing single track between Gateway Transit Center and the Portland Airport. Adjacent to these new tracks and stations, TriMet plans to build multi-use paths. The project will also re-align the existing path.[Read more…]

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New volunteer program aims to recruit ‘Slow Streets Superheros’

By on July 9th, 2020 at 4:51 pm

(Photo: Axiom Event Productions)

After launching with a bang in early May, we haven’t heard much about the “Slow Streets” portion of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Streets Initiative. These are the 120 intersections where PBOT has installed “Local Access Only” and “Go Slow” signs along with barricades in a bid to reduce driving and improve conditions for people who need more space to walk and roll while maintaining a safe distance from each other.

Today a new volunteer program launched that wants to raise the profile of these streets and strengthen the impact of the program. [Read more…]

The Gorge is healing with less ‘invasive motor vehicle traffic’

By on July 9th, 2020 at 2:58 pm

The Historic Columbia River Highway could be amazing — forever.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Bike Loud to host Angie Schmitt, author of new book on race, class and pedestrian deaths

By on July 9th, 2020 at 12:23 pm

At an online meeting next week hosted by local activism group Bike Loud PDX you’ll get the chance to hear from a leading expert on the connection between America’s pervasive car culture and a startling rise in deaths of vulnerable road users.

Angie Schmitt’s new book, Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America (Island Press), is due to come out on August 27th and has already received an excellent review from Kirkus (a big deal in the publishing world).

In the book, Schmitt breaks down the policies and products that have contributed to a 50% rise in pedestrian deaths in the last decade.[Read more…]

Timberline Bike Park opens tomorrow

By on July 9th, 2020 at 10:48 am

After finally opening last summer following years of major lawsuits and then facing impacts of a viral pandemic, Timberline Bike Park has had a rough first year.

But with snow clearing from upper sections and thanks to many hours of trail maintenance, the mountain is ready to welcome customers starting tomorrow, July 10th. It’s perfect timing for everyone itching to ride their new bike and bust out of their neighborhood quarantine rut

An announcement yesterday said four trails will be rideable during this phased opening: Gravy Train (long green, beginner/flow trail), Re-Align (blue intermediate machine built flow trail), The Rock (blue hand built intermediate trail), and Camino de Michoacán from Norm’s down (black advanced trail). Timberline says more trails will open within the next few weeks.[Read more…]

Washington DOT will reallocate highway space as part of ‘Healthy, Active Streets’ program

By on July 8th, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Imagine if Portland could ask for a carfree lane on 82nd Ave. Then imagine if ODOT actually listened.

Unlike our Oregon Department of Transportation whose seems to be carrying out a policy to rid their highways of everything but people in cars, the Washington Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it’s getting on the open streets train.

Imagine that. A state DOT voluntarily banning automobile users from lanes and even complete roadways all in the name of safety and health.
[Read more…]

Riders ‘suffer’ to raise money, awareness for “BLMtoPDXBikes’ campaign

By on July 8th, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Portlander M. Blomberg (in the back) rode the PDX Gold route last week to raise awareness of the campaign.

Portlander Devin Bailly likes to suffer. He’s known in local cycling circles as that crazy guy who loves climbing and is one of the caretakers of the three toughest bike routes in Portland: Ronde PDX, La Doyenne, and Giro PDX. Those three routes rise an average of over 7,000 feet each in only about 50 miles (trust me, that’s tough).

But Bailly knows his suffering is a choice. The death of George Floyd and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has made him acutely aware that for too many Americans the lifelong suffering from racist actions and policies is never a choice.

To help support the movement Bailly has leveraged his social network, expert route-making skills, and passion for climbing hills into a campaign he calls “BLMtoPDXBikes”. In its first month the effort has raised over $25,000 and he’s looking for more people to get involved — whether that means hopping on a bike or hopping online to be a sponsor or donor.

Here’s how it works:
— Make a donation to a non-profit organization working to advance racial justice.
— Email the receipt(s) to BLMtoPDXbikes@gmail.com before 7/31/2020.
— Campaign sponsors will match your donation.
— BLMtoPDXBikes will email you back a receipt verifying the matching donation was made.[Read more…]

Steel Bridge to close for month-long TriMet project, but path will remain open

By on July 8th, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Steel Bridge upper deck during 2012 Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride.

There’s good news and bad news about TriMet’s upcoming project that will close the upper deck of the Steel Bridge for four weeks in August.[Read more…]

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Swan Island’s riverfront is a fun place to explore, just be careful getting there

By on July 8th, 2020 at 11:07 am

Great views of Northwest Portland and Forest Park from the beach on Swan Island.
(Photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

PBOT work crews on North Flint not connected to I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on July 7th, 2020 at 12:44 pm

PBOT crews on N Flint last night.
(Photo: Betsy Reese)

Note and correction, 7/8: I originally reported this yesterday as PBOT crews defying the City Council work stoppage order issued by Mayor Ted Wheeler on July 6th. I made an assumption after seeing a large work crew in the same general at the same time and on the same date that ODOT had planned to do I-5 Rose Quarter work. That assumption turned out to be wrong. I have since confirmed the PBOT crews were not working on the I-5 project and were doing unrelated pavement maintenance work. I regret the confusion this post has caused. — Jonathan Maus.

Yesterday (July 6th) at 2:52 pm, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler emailed his three City Council colleagues and every city bureau director with a clear message:

“Effectively immediately, we are directing all City Bureaus to suspend all operations until further notice related to the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. This includes attending meetings, providing technical support or responding to project emails. Any resumption of City staff services will be at the direction of the Portland City Council.”

Six hours later Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) crews began working on the pavement on North Flint Avenue.

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(Photos from the scene last night by Betsy Reese.)

According to local property owner Betsy Reese, there were about 10 employees, 10 trucks, and other heavy equipment at the site. Reese said they were there from just before 9:00 pm to 9:40 pm. The work is scheduled to take place again tonight (7/7).

The work stoppage order from Mayor Wheeler came after Albina Vision Trust withdrew support for the project on June 30th. Wheeler is following the lead of PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who unequivocally opposes the project.

We’ve asked PBOT and Commissioner Eudaly to respond and will update this story when we hear back.

UPDATE, 1:07 pm on 7/7: PBOT says the work was unrelated to the I-5 project:

“Last night our swing paving crew was on N Flint making a fix to the road in response to a complaint received by a concerned cyclist as part of our ongoing, regular maintenance work. Since N Flint is very busy during the day, our crews opted to do this work in the evening to cause less disturbance to commuters. The work had absolutely nothing to do with the I-5 project.”

UPDATE, 2:09 pm on 7/7: It appears that it might have just been a big coincidence that PBOT crews were in this same general area working on pavement on the same date and time as ODOT was scheduled to work. I am still hoping to confirm with ODOT. In the meantime, I’ve edited the headline and the story and I regret any confusion this post has caused.

Note and correction, 7/8: I originally reported this yesterday as PBOT crews defying the City Council work stoppage order issued by Mayor Ted Wheeler on July 6th. After seeing a large work crew in the same general at the same time and on the same date that ODOT had planned to do I-5 Rose Quarter work, I made an assumption. That assumption turned out to be wrong. I have since confirmed the PBOT crews were not working on the I-5 project and were doing unrelated pavement maintenance work. I regret the confusion this post has caused. — Jonathan Maus.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Former Portlander and bike fun creator, Zed Bailey, has died

By on July 7th, 2020 at 11:49 am

Zed Bailey at Velo Cult in 2013.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Zed Bailey beamed into Portland in 2012 and wanted to take our already legendary bike fun scene to the next level. They were bursting with creativity and volunteered to lead rides and help galvanize the spirit of other bike-loving Portlanders.

Sonder, who was also known as Cory or Zed Bailey, died last month in Hilo, Hawaii at the age of 41. According to sources who confirmed the details with family and the Hilo Police Department, Zed died by suicide.

Zed moved to Portland from Salt Lake City Utah where they lived for eight years. While in Utah, Zed created the “SaltCycle” blog and built a community around cycling. The blog is now defunct but the SaltCycle Facebook Group is still active and has over 2,600 members.

While in Portland, Zed was a regular attendee of Zoobomb and in 2013 took a leading volunteer role with Shift, a local nonprofit that promotes free bike fun and hosts events like Breakfast on the Bridges, Midnight Mystery Rides, and Pedalpalooza.[Read more…]

ODOT is removing those dangerous guardrails on the Historic Highway

By on July 6th, 2020 at 4:49 pm

“That was the wrong decision and we are in the process of removing two stretches of that guardrail now.”
— Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Region 1 director

New guardrails on Historic Columbia River Highway along Sandy River.
(Photos by BikePortland Forum user amadeusb4)

[Read more…]

I-5 Rose Quarter project updates: City of Portland pulls all support, The Columbian weighs in, what comes next

By on July 6th, 2020 at 4:14 pm

[Read more…]

County project will mean more traffic on Newberry, Skyline (again) this summer

By on July 6th, 2020 at 3:04 pm

(Graphic: Multnomah County)

Remember last summer when Multnomah County closed NW Cornelius Pass Road for a major project and the detour sent thousands of drivers onto popular and usually quiet roads like Newberry?

Unfortunately they weren’t able to finish the project as planned and it’s about to start up again for round two. Fortunately, the County says things might not be as bad this time around.

From July 19th through the end of September, the County plans to close Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 30 and Skyline in order to complete a road safety project. No one rides Cornelius Pass Road because it’s such a busy highway and there are much better options nearby. Unfortunately, all the car and truck drivers need to find options too — which means rural roads in the general area are likely to see extra motorized traffic the closure. (Last year the detoured traffic on Newberry was especially hard to swallow because it came right after it was carfree for many months due to a landslide repair.)

The good news is this project shouldn’t create as many hazards and headaches for bicycle riders as last year.[Read more…]

Thief rams northeast Portland bike shop with truck, makes off with prototype bicycle

By on July 6th, 2020 at 11:49 am

The damage. The bike.
(Photos: Nomad Cycles PDX)

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Seattle tragedy, defund traffic police, VanMoof’s ad, and more

By on July 6th, 2020 at 10:39 am

[Read more…]

Blumenauer’s bike-related bills move forward in $1.5 trillion House transportation bill

By on July 3rd, 2020 at 11:12 am

The bill would change U.S. law so that transit agencies can more easily fund bikeshare systems.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

When we interviewed U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election he said, “If four years from now the places that can make the most advantage of transportation investments don’t get that help, that’s going to be not just a missed opportunity in terms of safety and economic benefits of transportation — it’s going to be a lost political opportunity as well.”

Yesterday, just four months before that four-year deadline, Rep. Blumenauer and his colleagues in the House of Representatives (led by fellow Oregon congressman Peter DeFazio) seized that political opportunity and successfully passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

The bill invests $1.5 trillion in infrastructure projects and programs including $500 billion for transportation-related needs. The League of American Bicyclists has heaped praise on the legislation, saying, “This bill is transformative – it’s the first bill to approach real reform in almost 30 years… and will move the country forward in building a safer, cleaner, more equitable transportation system that better meets the needs of everyone.”

Among the highlights are several of Blumenauer’s top priorities that he’s been pushing for years including a stronger tax benefit for people who ride a bicycle to work, a policy tweak that would allow transit agencies to invest in bikeshare systems, and funding for Vision Zero plans. Blumenauer introduced a total of nine bills that were included in the Moving Forward Act and five of them are related to transportation:
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Velotech, Vancouver Cyclery, West End Bikes, The eBike Store

By on July 3rd, 2020 at 8:46 am

In case you haven’t heard there’s a bike boom going on around here. Lots of bike buyers and bike riders and the same amount of bike shops means places are slammed with business and need help.

If you want a new job in the bike biz, now is a good time to start poking around. Check out our most recent listings below.

Accounts Payable Specialist – Velotech, Inc.

Bike Mechanic – Vancouver Cyclery

Sales Associate – West End Bikes

Full Time Mechanic – The eBike Store, Inc

[Read more…]

Homeowners along Sandy River defend ODOT’s bike-unfriendly guardrails

By on July 2nd, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Former biking space on Historic Highway.
(Photo: Forum user amadeusb4)

We’re still trying to learn more about why the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) installed three sections of guardrails in the paved shoulder of the Historic Columbia River Highway south of Interstate 84 last week. These guardrails narrow valuable space used by many bicycle riders and their dangerous placement increases odds of stressful passes and collisions.

The fact that ODOT did this without any public notice and on one of the most important and valuable cycling routes in the state is unconscionable and just the latest example of the agency’s negligent stewardship of our transportation system. We’ve reached out to ODOT leadership for further comment and clarification but haven’t heard back.

Since our story posted on Monday, we’ve read dozens of comments expressing grave concerns and outrage. Now homeowners who live along the road where the guardrails were installed are defending the project, saying the guardrails are necessary to thwart illegal campers and to make the road safer for drivers.[Read more…]

Local riders create ‘Bike Corking for Social Justice’ how-to guide

By on July 2nd, 2020 at 2:06 pm

For the past month bike riders have put themselves between protestors and road users. Now there’s a guide to do it right.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/bikePortland)

For over a month now, Portlanders have been taking to the streets every night to protest the killing of Black people and the racist policies and police brutality that contribute to it.

At almost every march there’s been a cadre of two-wheeled escorts patrolling intersections, directing traffic, and doing whatever is necessary to keep protestors safe. “Corking,” the act of placing your bicycle and body in an intersection in front of crossing road users so that a large group of people can go through without stopping at signals and stop signs, has been a part of protests many years.

But not everyone knows the drills. And when tensions mount in the street, it’s good to know some basic ground rules — especially if you’re white.[Read more…]