Riders spin against the numbers at C-Velo Performance Cycling Training Center in Sellwood. (Photo: J. Maus)
Some of Portland’s toughest bike races don’t even happen on the road.
Over the past seven years, exercise physiologist Rick Cady has melded his love of cycling with the science of human performance to create an indoor training center unlike anything in Oregon.[Read more…]
Of the many bike parts and accessories I’ve had and loved over the years, my favorite has to be my double kickstand. My cargo bike sports a Rolling Jackass centerstand that makes it possible for the kids to clamber on and off the bike with no worry of tipping, I can load heavy cargo one side at a time with the bike staying upright, and we can even stand on the deck to reach high-up things.
Do you have a favorite accessory or a beloved piece of bike gear?
If left to their own devices, it’s very likely that any money raised by the Oregon Department of Transportation via decongestion pricing (also known as value pricing or congestion pricing) would be funneled right back into projects to make driving easier.
That would be a very bad move. Portland-based non-profit The Street Trust has launched a petition to encourage ODOT to do otherwise.
“Tell ODOT,” the petition headline reads, “Get Serious About Traffic and Invest in Transit, Biking, and Walking.”
Here’s the rest of The Street Trust’s call to action:
Building wider highways will not reduce traffic congestion. Instead, we can use congestion pricing as a method to reduce the number of cars on our streets and invest in better choices like walking, bicycling, and public transit. By following the example of cities like London, Stockholm, and Singapore, we can reduce traffic congestion and lead the nation in making it safe and easy to get around without a car. Congestion pricing must avoid negative impacts on low income people with options like rebates and increased transit.
We call on the Oregon Department of Transportation to use congestion pricing to reduce cars on our streets and fund a sustainable vision for the future of our city.
The Street Trust (whose Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky is on the Value Pricing Committee) has reason to be worried.
As per House Bill 2017, the transportation funding and policy package that passed last year, net proceeds from decongestion pricing must go into a newly established pot named the Congestion Relief Fund. While you might think the best way to relieve congestion is through better land-use, transit service, and good bikeway networks — ODOT and state legislators don’t. When they hear congestion relief, they think of wider freeways, more lanes on freeways, bigger ramps on and off freeways, and so on.
The largest expenditures in HB 2017 (which ODOT calls the Keep Oregon Moving program) are “congestion relief” projects that will widen Interstates 5, 205, and Highway 217. The I-5 Rose Quarter project itself will get $30 million per year starting in 2022.
If advocates have any hope of allowing decongestion pricing revenue to be spent on better bus service or bikeways, they’ll have to decouple the idea that “congestion relief” is synonymous with “freeway project.” This campaign by The Street Trust is likely just the start in a much larger battle that will unfold in the weeks and months to come as the Value Pricing Committee finalizes its recommendation to the Oregon Transportation Commission. That’s expected to happen this summer.
Learn more about ODOT’s decongestion relief policy and process here.
Spring fever has hit Biketown too. (Photo: J. Maus)
The City of Portland has launched a novel promotion to boost Biketown ridership next month: It’s completely free.
To celebrate National Bike Month, the bureau of transportation announced today that new and existing Biketown riders can use the bright orange bikes for up to 90 minutes without being charged. Annual members who’ve already paid will get a promo code worth $12 (the monthly price). Better yet, the free promotion extends to the system’s Adaptive Biketown program, and the Biketown for All program, which offers disounted memberships to people living on low-incomes.
But wait! There’s more! During the month of May, the entire Biketown service area will become a “super hub zone.” That is, you’ll be able to park the bikes anywhere without incurring a fee. This aspect of the promotion is also a way for the City of Portland to highlight the dockless capabilities of the system — at a moment when they’re feeling pressure from private firms who want to release dockless scooters and bikes in Portland. [Read more…]
The Canby Ferry is a fun and scenic respite on a long ride. (Photo: J. Maus)
If you’ve ever ventured south of Portland on your bike en route to Champoeg State Park or Salem, chances are you’ve used the Canby Ferry to cross the Willamette River. As the only (non-driving) way across the river between Oregon City and Newberg, the ferry is a part of some of Portland’s best road rides.
It used to be free until 2012 when Clackamas County commissioners adopted a $2 fee. With cities on all sides of the ferry growing, more changes could be afoot.
Clackamas County has launched a survey and feasibility study of new transportation options at the ferry location — some of which would end ferry service and replace it with a bridge. They’re considering the following six options:[Read more…]
Unlike many bike shops, River City Bicycles in southeast Portland has long had a reputation as a place where women feel safe and welcome. In 2008 the shop was named the most “female friendly” in the nation and they have sponsored many top women racers.
Now the shop wants to use mountain biking as a vehicle to help women build confidence — both on and off the trails. Their “Low Pressure Women’s Mountain Bike Series” is described as, “A stress-free, female led mountain bike event, clinic, and ride series through which we hope to build, educate and inspire a supportive community of women in our sport.” The series will include weekly practice sessions at The Lumberyard’s indoor bike park, on-trail clinics and weekly rides. There’s a launch party at the shop tonight (4/20) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
With help from Elaine Bothe of Wenzel Coaching and shop staff, River City is opening this LGBTQ+ friendly initiative up to all levels and all ages (sixth grade and over) of riders.
River City’s Lisa Luna told me this week that she put this together to encourage “positive self-talk” and to build women up from the inside. [Read more…]
The Oregon Coast is a perfect place to ride a fat bike. And Cannon Beach — just 80 miles west of Portland on Highway 26 — is the closest place to do it.
I first heard about the Cannon Beach Fat Bike Festival from our friend Daniella Crowder at Oregon Rides & Events — who also happen to be the owners of Bike Newport, a shop that won the Adventure Cycling Bicycle Travel Award in 2010. Wanting to get more people on bikes on the coast, Daniella and her crew worked with the Cannon Beach Tourism & Arts Commission on a three-day event full of rides and activities.
Times are a changin’ in the central eastside. (Photo: City of Portland)
If Portland is to ever reach its transportation (and climate change and vision zero) goals, the Central Eastside Industrial District must evolve into a place where more people can safely and efficiently ride bicycles. Bordered by the Willamette River, SE Powell Blvd, 12th Avenue and I-84, this area is often avoided by bicycle riders. But now, after years of work by advocates and City of Portland staff, it appears there are some positive signs of change on the horizon. [Read more…]
The mighty Eastbank Esplanade is showing its age and needs a maintenance funding boost. (Photo: J. Maus)
The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau is bracing for budget cuts that could have a significant impact to marquee paths citywide.
The City Budget Office has recommended a reduction of $2.1 million from the Parks budget. “This level of cuts,” the Bureau said in a blog post last month, “will significantly impact our programs.”
There are two line items in the budget advocates are focusing on: One of them would slash funding for path maintenance; the other would offer a much-needed boost for the beloved Eastbank Esplanade. [Read more…]
The event brought in experts to explain how it all works. (Photo: Sarah Iannarone)
This story was written by Portlander Jim Labbe, a co-organizer of the event.
Last Saturday over 100 people from around the region gathered at the Rosewood Initiative in East Portland for an event that could have significant implications for government budgeting in the region — including the allocation of transportation funds.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is so convinced that the bike lanes on Southeast 26th Avenue are dangerous for bicycle riders that they’ve ordered the City of Portland to remove them as soon as possible.
Inexplicably, and despite evidence showing the bike lanes (even at a paltry three-feet wide) make the street safer, ODOT has cited no evidence or best practice standards for their decision. The only rationale offered so far is a concern that the intersection of 26th and Powell is too dangerous for bike riders and a new crossing two blocks east is much safer.
Everyone agrees the new signal and median at SE 28th (part of the new 20s Bikeway) is indeed much safer. But it’s up a hill and two blocks away. And since when is a safer crossing on one street, reason for the removal of bike infrastructure from another?
“ODOT’s reasons are a mystery to us,” a Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer told me recently.
Now there’s a new (to us) piece to the puzzle: A “road safety audit” report prepared for ODOT by Kittelson & Associates, Inc. in 2014. The audit (PDF) focused specifically on Powell between 20th and 33rd Avenue — a section with a crash rate over twice as high as the statewide average for similar roads. The stated purpose of the audit was to, “identify potential issues contributing to crashes and suggest treatments for addressing those issues.” [Read more…]
Rule 1: no matter the topic of the post, the comments are always about infrastructure.
I’d been lulled into complacency by the comparative awesomeness (compared to most the rest of the US, that is) of Portland’s bike infrastructure. I figured everyone was making-do and appreciative of what we have here, despite the obvious shortcomings. But apparently that’s my new-in-town, still-fresh-faced-and-rosy-cheeked bias showing. Turns out many of you are worried about infrastructure that does not make streets safe enough for you and your family.
But that’s not the only thing we heard. Here’s what else weighs on the minds of moms, dads, and the caregivers of Portland (as culled from our blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts)… [Read more…]
Pedal in the front, party in the back. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Ladd’s 500 is a continuation of a proud Portland legacy: Free fun on in the streets that’s open to all — and with bicycles as the thread stitching everyone together.
The “third first annual” relay drew a huge crowd to Ladd Circle Park on Saturday, which was the perfect base camp for the day’s activities. What is usually just a sleepy roundabout in a quiet residential neighborhood was enlivened with picnics, BBQ’s (by bike, of course), music, and Portlanders eager to shed winter, embrace a dry day, and enjoy each others’ company. [Read more…]