Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

A new bike path into Mt. Tabor Park is coming into focus

By on October 20th, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Latest design drawing for changes to Mt. Tabor Yard (I added pink at location of new bike path).

Mt. Tabor Park is a gem of southeast Portland. But if you live south of the park you’re all but shutout from easy access. Now the parks bureau is zeroing in on a design for a new public access point from SE Division Street at 64th that will include a bike path.

Finally the South Tabor neighborhood will have convenient access to its namesake park.
[Read more…]

Advertise with BikePortland.

Bicycling stars in Portland’s Amazon HQ2 pitch

By on October 20th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Cover of Portland’s pitch to Amazon.

There can no longer be any doubt that bicycling is a major part of our region’s “value proposition” to businesses.

A reference to bicycling occurs on seven of the 23 pages that a local business group has sent to Amazon as our region’s pitch for the company’s second headquarters location. Among those references is a starring role on the cover of the pitch which shows a man bicycling down the corkscrew ramp from the Morrison Bridge to the Eastbank Esplanade with the Portland skyline in the background.[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Splendid Cycles, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Velotech

By on October 20th, 2017 at 9:50 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got three freshly listed job opportunities for you to peruse.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mechanic/sales – Splendid Cycles

–> Development Director for CF Cycle for Life – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

–> Shipping Specialist – Velotech

[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Freak Bike Fall, cyclocross, and some NOISE

By on October 19th, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Splash Dance Ride

Ridden by some, loved by all: It’s a freak bike weekend.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

It. Is. Wet. Out. There.

Hope you’ve got your fenders and jackets all sorted out because the rain will be here for a while.

But it won’t be enough to deter our freak bike-loving friends from a weekend of fun and rides. And it will only embolden cyclocross fans for the upcoming mudfest that will transpire Sunday’s Crusade race at PIR.

Here’s our selection of the best events this weekend, starting with a neighborhood rally tomorrow (Friday) in St. Johns..
[Read more…]

PBOT now has a manual for creating safer work zones

By on October 19th, 2017 at 11:36 am

Signage examples from the manual.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has published its first-ever manual for temporary traffic control designs. Wonky words aside, this new guide is an important tool that could lead to safer cycling (and walking and driving) through work zones.

The guide has been endorsed by Portland’s City Traffic Engineer Lewis Wardrip and is aimed at designers, engineers, utility and maintenance workers, and even astute tactical urbanists (wink wink). Chapters include comprehensive lists of pertinent laws and city code/permitting requirements, recommended devices and products to get the job done, and how to train flaggers and traffic control measures. There are also of examples of safe work zones across a variety of roadway types and conditions — from one-way streets to bike lanes.

Section 6.6 of the guide (starts on page 50) is devoted to “Bicycle Accomodations”. The over-arching rule described in the manual is essentially “do no harm.” “When an existing bicycle lane or path is disrupted or closed,” it states, “a temporary bicycle facility should include the features and characteristics present in the existing facility.”

Here’s an excerpt from that section:[Read more…]

In two separate events, north Portlanders will seek attention for dangerous streets

By on October 19th, 2017 at 10:45 am

Flyer for tomorrow’s rally.

North Portlanders are tired of waiting for the City or advocacy groups to save them from the deadly streets in their front yards. They’re taking matters into their own hands by elevating voices of vulnerable road users and demanding attention for their concerns.

Two events in the coming week — one from the Arbor Lodge and Overlook neighborhood associations and one from the St. Johns Neighborhood Association — will focus on dangerous streets where motor vehicle users cause daily environmental, safety and public health problems.

This Friday (10/20) a group of St. Johns residents calling themselves Citizens for a Safe and Attractive Fessenden/St Louis will hold a rally to demand that the Portland Bureau of Transportation follow through with promises. Fessenden/St.Louis is a neighborhood collector street between Columbia Boulevard (to the north) and Lombard (to the south). Residents PBOT to fully implement the St. Johns Truck Strategy Phase II project that was approved after a 17 month public process in 2013 (as part of the St. Johns Truck Strategy adopted by City Council in 2001).
[Read more…]

TriMet eyes ‘bicycle slowing measures’ for Division Transit Project stations

By on October 18th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

The bikeway will go through newly designed transit stations on Division, and that’s raising safety concerns about speedy cycling.

As we reported earlier this month, TriMet is firming up designs for the 41 new stations they’ll build as part the Division Transit Project — a $175 million plan to improve bus service between the downtown transit mall and Mt. Hood Community College. (It started as a bus rapid transit project but has since morphed into just better bus service.)

At last night’s joint meeting of Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees in City Hall, TriMet planners shared even more recent and detailed station designs. They specifically wanted feedback on their “island stations,” where the bikeway (slated to be relatively robust and protected for the length of this project) runs directly adjacent to the bus stops. These island stations are “floating” in the roadway and separated from the sidewalk by the bikeway (see images).

TriMet is looking for “approaches to bicycle slowing” and they want feedback on “bicycle slowing measures” to potentially implement around these stations. The concern is that bicycle riders will come from the six-foot (plus buffer) bikeway and will enter the station areas too quickly and imperil people who are using the bus or otherwise walking in these crowded areas. One slide in their presentation listed a challenge of island stations as: “Requires added design applications to create safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.”[Read more…]

No more bike racks! Car2go phasing out Smart cars in favor of larger vehicle

By on October 18th, 2017 at 11:42 am

(Photo: Car2go)

Those cute blue and white cars that have become nearly ubiquitous on the streets of Portland in recent years are going away. Car2go, a carsharing company with 54,000 members in Portland, announced today they will phase out their compact, 2-seater Smart cars in favor of a larger vehicle.

The news is being received with some jeers from the many users of the service who liked not just the small size of the Smart cars but the fact that they came with a bike rack. A 2015 survey from the company found that sixty-eight percent of their Portland customers biked at least once per week, and 37 percent biked five to seven times a week. 76 percent of survey-takers said they wanted bike racks the local fleet.
[Read more…]

Advertise with BikePortland.

Rob Sadowsky, formerly of The Street Trust, is now executive director of Bark

By on October 18th, 2017 at 9:27 am

Historic Columbia River Hwy Centennial Celebration-26.jpg

Sadowsky in June 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Rob Sadowsky is the new executive director of Bark, a Portland-based nonprofit that works to protect and conserve the Mt. Hood National Forest.

It’s an interesting position for Sadowsky. While Bark supports some types mountain biking, they are co-plaintiffs (with Sierra Club) on a lawsuit to halt construction of the Timberline Mountain Bike Park (more on that below).

Many of you know Sadowsky for his work with The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance), where he was executive director from 2010 until being fired by the board of directors back in January.

Bark was founded in 1993 and currently has eight staffers and an email list that goes out to around 30,000 people (they are not a membership-based organization).

As I mentioned above, Bark is fighting a plan by Timberline Lodge to create a lift-assisted mountain biking resort on Mt. Hood. In 2013 we published an op-ed in opposition to the project from Bark board member Amy Harwood. Final oral arguments on the lawsuit were just heard on Monday (it was Sadowsky’s first day on the job and he was in the courtroom) and a decision is expected within the next month or so.

Asked about his opinion on mountain biking on National Forest land in a FAQ just posted to Bark’s website, Sadowsky didn’t mention Timberline:
[Read more…]

Brian Duncan, paralyzed in north Portland collision last year, is missing

By on October 17th, 2017 at 7:15 pm

Brian Duncan.
(Photo: Portland Police Bureau)

Portland Police are looking for Brian Duncan, whose family says he’s been missing since yesterday (10/16) at 2:30 pm. He was last seen on his motorized wheelchair near the Duckworth Dock on the floating portion of the Eastbank Esplanade south of the Steel Bridge.
[Read more…]

The Aerial Tram will close for 38 days next summer

By on October 17th, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Go By Bike shop in South Waterfront-9

The Tram reflected in an OHSU building as seen from the Go By Bike valet lot.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I know it’s eight months away, but I thought you might want to start saving up for an e-bike…

The Portland Aerial Tram will close for track maintenance from June 23rd through July 30th, 2018. That’s 38 days where you’ll have to find a different way up the hill. If you need or want to bike up to Marquam Hill for the campus and facilities of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), your ride will go from 180 seconds to about 30 minutes. Or maybe not (keep reading).

The Tram is a crucial link between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill for 7,000 daily commuters. OHSU data shows that of the 10,000 employees who work on the hill, about one-fourth of those who take the tram use a bike to get to campus. The Go By Bike valet at the base of the Tram averages over 328 bikes in its parking lot every day.

If a bunch of people decide to hop in a car during the closure this summer, it could be a mess. Not only are the roads leading to Marquam Hill relatively narrow, parking is extremely limited (Metro has reported an eight-year waiting list and an average monthly fee of $128) and spots must be maintained for patients and their visitors. Hopefully a large percentage of people will continue to bike. But it won’t be easy…
[Read more…]

To boost business, Beaverton will build separated bikeways on Western Ave

By on October 17th, 2017 at 10:36 am

The new and improved Western Avenue will look much different.

This seems like a big deal.

In order to spur economic growth and help businesses keep and attract employees, the City of Beaverton is set to begin work on a complete rebuild of Western Avenue between 5th Street to Allen (about two-thirds of a mile). The location of the project is an industrial zone southeast of the downtown core.[Read more…]

More bike capacity among possible upgrades for ODOT’s Gorge Express bus service

By on October 16th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Riders board the Columbia Gorge Express.
(Photos: ODOT)

Despite an early end to the season due to the Eagle Creek Fire, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Columbia Gorge Express bus service was a hit once again this past summer season.

Jake Warr from ODOT’s Rail & Public Transit Division manages the program. He got in touch with us to share an update on this year’s usage stats and a photo of the newly upgraded buses.

“The second season of ODOT’s Columbia Gorge Express pilot service further confirmed that public transit to the Gorge is in high demand,” Warr said. “In fact, before the Eagle Creek Fire forced an early end to the season, the service was on pace to beat last year’s ridership totals. A few tweaks from the 2016 season helped accommodate and support this ridership growth, including the use of larger buses and the option to pay fares with cash.”

Here are the stats based on ticket sales and rider survey:[Read more…]

What you should know about Oregon’s new distracted driving law

By on October 16th, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Distracted driver being distracted.jpg

Scofflaw.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our legal contributor Ray Thomas is an author and lawyer based in Portland.

On October 1, 2017, Oregon’s new distracted driving law went into effect. The law has an expanded scope and raises the penalties for violations. Here are a few things every Oregon bicycle rider should know about it.

People who walk and bike know all too well the risks drivers pose as they stare into screens and attempt to drive around us. Since we are not encapsulated inside a steel compartment looking at the world through safety glass, we see the shocking number of people who try to maneuver their cars and trucks down the streets while completely tuned out to anything but what is on the screen in front of them.

And the statistics confirm how deadly this behavior is: More than 4,000 crashes were caused by distraction in Oregon in 2014. And between 2011 and 2015 there were 54 fatalities and 15,150 injuries in Oregon caused by distracted drivers (see the Oregon Department of Transportation 2014 Oregon Traffic Crash Summary).
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Shameless pathlete, Skid Row’s low-riders, e-bike subsidies and more

By on October 16th, 2017 at 11:11 am

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

Here are the best stories that came across our desks this week…

Homeless activism with bikes: I can’t decide what’s more awesome, General Dogon’s life story of criminal-turned-activist, or the fact that he uses tricked out low-rider bikes to help gain attention for his causes.

Inanimate victim-blaming: When drivers failed to control their vehicles and drove up onto cement barriers protecting new bikeways in Queens, critics of the bikeways said it was the barrier’s fault.
[Read more…]

Undercover distracted driving sting leads to 107 stops in just 5 hours

By on October 13th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Like shooting fish in a barrel.
(Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Just how rampant is dangerous driving and law-breaking among drivers? Our latest example comes from Washington County where sheriff deputies in Aloha went undercover to help educate the public about Oregon’s new hands-free driving law.

In five hours of work they stopped 73 people for violating the new law, passing out 11 citations and 62 warnings.

The Sheriff’s office called it a “non-traditional enforcement mission” (they prefer “mission” instead of sting) because they used undercover deputies. The plainclothes deputies stood on the sidewalk at intersections as “spotters” and would then tip-off other deputies when they saw violations.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law (HB 2597) went into effect October 1st (we have an in-depth post about it from our legal expert Ray Thomas coming Monday). It covers many more behaviors than the old law (which only focused on cell phones) and also applies when you are stopped in traffic.
[Read more…]

An opportunity to push the City of Portland forward on truck safety

By on October 13th, 2017 at 12:38 pm

side underrun guards on PDOT truck-1.jpg

A Portland Water Bureau vehicle with side underrun guards (from 2008).
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A proposed City of Portland administrative rule change is giving street safety advocates a chance to lobby for side guards and other equipment that could make commercial trucks safer.

Given their size, height, and weight, trucks used to haul garbage, cement and other goods on city streets pose a very high risk to other road users. According to the US Department of Transportation, nearly half of all the bikers and walkers killed in collisions with large trucks first impact the side of the truck. Many of the fatalities we’ve reported about here in BikePortland over the years have involved trucks. After the death of Tamar Monhait (that involved a man driving a garbage truck whose operator is now being sued by Monhait’s family), we shared an editorial local lawyer Cynthia Newton who’s “deeply concerned” about truck safety.

That concern is shared by at least one City of Portland Planning Commissioner. Chris Smith has been working on this issue through the Planning and Sustainability Commission for over two years. The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) directly regulates residential solid waste haulers and also permits all the trucks for commercial solid waste in the city. As such, they have the authority to require safety equipment — like sideguards and special mirrors — on contractors’ vehicles. [Read more…]

Postcards from Paris: Mixtes, street scenes, and a budding bike network

By on October 13th, 2017 at 11:12 am

Paris bikes and street scenes-55.jpg

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a reason so many Americans have written books and poems and songs about Paris: It’s a mind-bendingly fascinating cultural, historic, and architectural contrast to the United States. On more than one ocassion on each of the five days I recently spent there I found myself whispering to my wife Juli, mouth agape in awe during one of our many marathon walks, “I have never seen anything like this before.”
[Read more…]

PBOT’s Active Transpo Division Manager takes job with Metro

By on October 12th, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Bradway at the launch of Biketown bike share in July 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Margi Bradway, head of Active Transportation & Safety Division at the Portland Bureau of Transportation, plans to leave that role for a job at Metro, our region’s metropolitan planning organization.

Bradway will be Metro’s new Deputy Director for Transportation Planning (see the job listing here). She begins her new job November 13th. “I love my job at the city,” Bradway shared with us today, “but I could not pass up the opportunity to have a greater impact on the region.”

Bradway is a former environmental and land use lawyer who previously worked at the Oregon Department of Transportation where she headed up their sustainability program. When she left ODOT she was a policy advisor to ODOT Director Matt Garrett.

PBOT hired Bradway in 2014 to lead their Active Transportation Division, the part of the agency that includes many of the programs we cover often here on BikePortland: Safe Routes to School, Sunday Parkways, Vision Zero, and more. During her tenure at PBOT, Bradway played a key role in inking the deal with Nike that led to the launch of Biketown bike share, helped pass traffic safety laws (including a reduced speed limit and expanded authority for photo radar cameras), negotiated the deal with Strava to utilize the company’s dataset for planning purposes, helped make Vision Zero a top city priority, and much more.
[Read more…]

First look: New protected bikeway on SE Morrison

By on October 12th, 2017 at 12:04 pm

New bikeway on SE Morrison-59.jpg

A spacious new place to ride on SE Morrison!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has installed a new bikeway on SE Morrison between Grand and 11th (about one-third of a mile). It’s part of their SE Morrison Configuration Project that we shared details about back in August.

I rolled over to take a closer look at it yesterday.[Read more…]