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Police say man was drunk, “veered” out of bike lane before collision on SE 122nd

By on June 23rd, 2017 at 1:30 pm

“Omar veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”
— Portland Police Bureau

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Both people involved in Wednesday’s critical injury collision on SE 122nd Avenue appear to have been operating their vehicles illegaly.

According to an update just released by the Portland Police Bureau, the collision involved 35-year-old named Abdikadir Ahmed Omar and 33-year-old Nicolette Ivy Duffus. Omar was riding his bicycle southbound on 122nd Avenue approaching Division when police say he, “Veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”

This use of the word “veer” is interesting. It’s legal in Oregon to leave a bike lane due to a hazard in the roadway and for other reasons. Given Omar’s current physical state, it’s doubtful the police have been able to question him about the incident. Therefore the “veer” allegation most likely comes from Duffus’ perspective and/or that of witnesses — none of whom are likely to appreciate a cycling perspective. “Veer” is a very judgmental word and it creates a perception of blame in a case where clearly the investigation isn’t complete. I also mention this because I read a lot of police statements about motor vehicle crashes and whenever someone crosses over the centerline or drives off the road, the police say that it was done, “for an unknown reason” — which is a much more neutral and fair thing to say compared to “veered out of their lane into oncoming traffic.”

The PPB also notes that Omar was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and that he remains in the hospital in serious condition with head injuries. (Note: Adults are not required to wear helmets in Oregon.) The PPB also found that Omar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. Omar was not cited for any violations at the scene; but PPB says he might receive criminal punishment or traffic citations once their investigation is complete.

The driver in the case remained at the scene. She was given three traffic citations for: Driving While Suspended, Driving Uninsured, and Failure to Register a Vehicle.

This was one of three serious injury collisions involving vulnerable road users that happened in east Portland this week.

Early Tuesday morning a 70-year-old woman with a walking device was hit while in the crosswalk at SE 122nd and Division. She’s expected to survive her injuries and the man who hit her has been arrested after he fled the scene following the crash. Then on Thursday, 26-year-old Erin Brenneman was hit while crossing walking across SE Pine at 80th. She remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The person who hit Brenneman with their car fled the scene and has not been found.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Portland Police won’t bust naked riders, as long they go with the flow

By on June 23rd, 2017 at 11:48 am

Official graphic from Portland Police Bureau.

Our local version of the World Naked Bike Ride isn’t just an amazing cycling spectacle and one of the largest clothing-free rides on the planet, it’s also an illustration of what makes our city so great. That is, the level of coordination and respect between volunteer ride organizers and the Portland Police Bureau is something to be proud of.

For years now, ride organizers have worked very closely with Police staff on route selection and other details. Both are trying to strike a balance between free, unfettered fun and safe and civil behaviors that don’t cause too many issues for everyone involved. These negotiations and compromises are why we don’t see the route spend as much time downtown anymore and why there’s a big push to attend one of the many free after-parties instead of hanging out in a huge crowd at the finish line. Police and ride volunteers meet months in advance to trade concerns and hash out differences.

But there’s one compromise more important than any other: The fact that the police are willing to look the other way when they see fully nude adult bodies rolling gleefully down our public streets. Yes, technically it’s illegal to for adults to be naked in public if there’s someone of the opposite sex within view. Of course this law isn’t ironclad and there are court precedents around free speech and protest; but the police could make the Naked Bike Ride a lot less naked if they really wanted to (sort of like how they could have let Critical Mass continue if they would have permitted the illegal — but safe and entirely reasonable — practice of allowing large groups to roll through stop signs; but I digress).
[Read more…]

Guest Post: Tell PBA Members You Support Better Naito

By on June 23rd, 2017 at 8:06 am

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Portland commuters and business customers using Better Naito.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

(Publisher’s note: This article was submitted by BikePortland subscriber Joan. It comes the day after the Portland Business Alliance launched an email campaign against Better Naito. The campaign appears to have backfired as it has spurred dozens (if not hundreds) of emails to city council and social media comments in support of the project.

We shop, patronize, attend, work for, and support the organizations that comprise the PBA. It’s time to talk to these businesses directly. Do they know about this campaign PBA is running in their name?

As Jonathan wrote in BikePortland last month, the Portland Business Alliance (PBA), which bills itself as the chamber of commerce for greater Portland, has an aggressive campaign against Better Naito, the temporary lane change to SW Naito Parkway along the Waterfront Park that makes bicycling and walking and visiting festivals safer and better during the summer months. As the Portland Mercury notes in the headline to a story about this very topic, the PBA ‘is weirdly obsessed with ‘Better Naito.'”

This campaign has taken several forms, including a misguided editorial in the Portland Tribune and multiple contacts with elected officials. The Mercury said, “PBA brings Better Naito up in meetings with elected officials, and earlier this month, the organization drafted a strongly worded letter to Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman attempting to bring its monied heft to bear on the issue.”
[Read more…]

Meet Armando Luna, Pedalpalooza’s #1 fun seeker

By on June 23rd, 2017 at 7:34 am

Armando (center) at the Photo Booth ride Thursday night.

Armando Luna is everywhere. From monthly advocacy meetings to late-night party rides — this guy soaks up the cycling scene.

During Pedalpalooza — the month-long, grassroots festival of creative bike rides and events — he kicks it up a notch. So far this month (we’re 21 days in), he’s attended 29 rides.

I recently asked a few questions to learn more about him and his impressive Pedalpalooza prowess…

What’s your background?

I moved to Portland in 1996, fell in love with it and then fell into a job at OHSU, where I still work. I commute by bike every workday from my home in Hollywood. I am grateful for being able commute by bike, for OHSU partnering with Go By Bike bike valet, and for my work paying bike riders to ride to work. (And the tram rides!)

How long have you been doing Pedalpalooza rides?

I don’t really know! I don’t remember the early years, mostly because I was a new dad, that sort of took everything over. When the kids were young they ended up attending a daycare downtown, so when they were old enough I’d pull them in a trailer to daycare, then ride to work.

[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Gateway Green opening day, Naked Bike Ride, Sunday Parkways and more

By on June 23rd, 2017 at 7:05 am

This is it folks. A huge weekend in Portland. Get your sunscreen and sun hats and get ready to roll.

Here’s our menu of must-do rides and events…
[Read more…]

Grab tickets to these guided bike tours for the ultimate total solar eclipse experience

By on June 22nd, 2017 at 12:28 pm

TREO Bike Ranch Day 1-7

Desolate eastern Oregon — the stomping grounds of Treo Bike Tours — will be an ideal place to view the eclipse.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Back in April we shared a post from BikePortland subscriber Tom Howe on how to plan a bike trip to see the total solar eclipse. With the Big Day — August 21st — just eight weeks away, it’s time to get serious if you want to make something happen.

If you’re looking for a bit more support and a guide to help you find your way to a viewing spot by bike, I’ve got some great news: Two trusted bike tour operators have just made tickets available for (nearly) all-inclusive experiences that will get you to a prime location, under your own power, and with all the comforts you could want.
[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: ‘Lucky Cat’ bottle cage, Framebuilder Supply acquisition, and a new jacket from Showers Pass

By on June 22nd, 2017 at 10:49 am

In Portland’s local bike industry, change is a constant. Companies come and go, they grow and scale back, they release new products and refine existing ones.

In our latest Industry Ticker we’ve got a bit of news on three companies: One has released something new, one has made its first acquisition, and the other has added a women’s version of a popular item.
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The Street Trust picks former TriMet planner and Charlie Hales staffer as new executive director

By on June 22nd, 2017 at 8:57 am

Jillian Detweiler.
(Photo: The Street Trust)

Jillian Detweiler is the new leader of The Street Trust.

The 51-year-old northeast Portland resident who lives on the Going Street Neighborhood Greenway and tells us she “cheered” when its sharrows appeared in front of her house, is a new kind of leader for an organization in the midst of transformation.

Detweiler is currently the interim development manager for Prosper Portland (formerly the Portland Development Commission). Before that she served three years as a policy director for former Mayor Charlie Hales — her second stint on Hales’ team after working with him out of college in the mid 1990s.

After earning a Masters degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina in 1992, Detweiler worked on planning and permit issues for then Commissioner Hales from 1995 to 2002. After that she spent 12 years at TriMet — first as a planner and then as director of real estate. In that position she oversaw $240 million in property acquisitions as part of the MAX Orange Line project.

With her background of city hall politics, transit planning, and high-profile development work, the selection of Detweiler reflects The Street Trust’s goal of becoming a political powerhouse with an expansive portfolio and the funding streams to make it all possible. She has no experience in professional bicycle activism, and that’s likely part of the reason she was hired (we heard from sources that The Street Trust favored candidates with more political experience).
[Read more…]

A bicycle rider has been hit and critically injured on SE 122nd north of Division

By on June 21st, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Portland Police are responding to a serious injury collision that happened at the 2300 block of SE 122nd Avenue tonight.

The collision was between someone driving a car and a bicycle rider. The injuries to the bicycle rider have been described by police as “critical” and “traumatic.” The driver remained at the scene. No other details have been released.
[Read more…]

Latest bike lane art is a nod to Portland’s love of cycling and soccer

By on June 21st, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Coming to a bike lane near you.
(Graphic: PBOT)

One of our beloved cycling culture quirks around here is that our transportation bureau adds creative flair to bike lane symbols. It’s been going on since 1999 and the fact that it has survived as an official tradition for this long is a testament to the City of Portland.

It’s gone from being something that started organically at the maintenance bureau to becoming much more official. Case in point is a press release just sent out about an event tomorrow where a member of the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer team will help PBOT crews install a soccer-themed character on SW Naito Parkway.
[Read more…]

Buses at forefront as PBOT unveils “Enhanced Transit Corridors” plan tonight

By on June 21st, 2017 at 12:59 pm

PBOT staff have already identified several transit lines they’d like to enhance.

While Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and his four commissioner colleagues try to justify plans to spend half a billion to widen I-5 through the Rose Quarter in an attempt to “fix congestion”, staff at the Portland Bureau of Transportation are looking at a much more sensible approach. They want to make buses work better.
[Read more…]

Fallon Smart’s family wants justice as escaped killer remains on the loose

By on June 21st, 2017 at 10:59 am

The Saudi Arabian government, Oregon’s bail laws, and a young man scared to face consequences for his actions have left the family of Fallon Smart reeling. Again.
[Read more…]

Washington Park shuttle drivers concerned about unsafe behaviors from bicycle riders

By on June 20th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

When you see purple, slow down and chill out.

It’s peak season at Washington Park. That means about 1.2 million people will visit the Oregon Zoo, the Rose Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, the Japanese Garden and many other attractions between now and September.

The good news is that about one-quarter of visitors opt to get around the park via the free shuttle. The bad news is that according to shuttle operators, some people who ride bicycles in the park are not being as safe as they should be.

Washington Park’s free shuttle service is the fastest growing mode of transportation in the park. 120,000 people used it last season, a 40 percent increase from 2015. This year the park is encouraging even more people to take the shuttle due to the reservoir construction project.
[Read more…]

Portland will celebrate 10th year of Sunday Parkways: Here’s what the first one looked like

By on June 20th, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Official proclamation will be passed by city council Wednesday.

This weekend Portland will celebrate the 10th year of Sunday Parkways with an official proclamation making June 25th “Portland Sunday Parkways Day”.

The beloved community event began on June 22nd 2008. Staff from the Bureau of Transportation were inspired by “Ciclovia” events in Bogota, Colombia and began planning for a Portland version in July 2007.

With no experience in doing such a large open street event, they weren’t sure how it would translate. After a few hours they got their answer: It was a resounding success. Over 15,000 people flocked to north Portland streets and a new tradition was born.

Since 2008, PBOT and their partners (most notably Kaiser Permanente, who has sponsored the event from the start), have hosted 39 events that have drawn nearly 700,000 people out of their homes and cars and into our streets — which PBOT rightly likes to refer to as “our largest public space.”

Here are some photos from that first event:

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Sunday Parkways-25.jpg

Sunday Parkways-46.jpg

Sunday Parkways-59.jpg

Sunday Parkways-75.jpg

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Sunday Parkways-1-2.jpg

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Sunday Parkways-31.jpg

I also made this short video…

Through all the budget debates, elections, and myriad changes to our city, to have a program like this so solidly institutionalized and all but unassailable to political whims is no small feat. The fact that Sunday Parkways is still around and stronger than ever is a testament to PBOT and the people of Portland who support it.

My only complaint about the events is that there aren’t enough of them.

Congratulations Portland! Long live Sunday Parkways!

Learn more about the route and all the fun activities planned for this weekend’s event at the city’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Portland’s newest and smallest street is also carfree

By on June 20th, 2017 at 8:54 am

Couch Court at Burnside Bridgehead-5.jpg

Carfree Couch Court. Because it just makes sense, that’s why.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

To improve circulation of vehicle traffic through a very fast-growing part of the central city, the Portland Bureau of Transportation decided to expand the road network. With two new lanes, people can now travel on a new road between NE 3rd Avenue and Couch Street.

Typically we’d be skeptical — possibly outraged — if PBOT added new lane-miles in the urban core; but in this case it’s fine because the new street is carfree. It’s the most efficient and humane way to utilize this important space adjacent to three new buildings that tower over the east end of the Burnside Bridge and have a combined 300 residential units and over 100,000 square feet of office and retail space.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Lessons from Oslo, TNC impacts, a forgotten bike boom, and more

By on June 19th, 2017 at 10:35 am

Cars are weapons: There’s been another intentional attack using a motor vehicle in a crowded city. It will be interesting to see if governments respond by limiting auto access and/or creating more protected areas for vulnerable users (both of which have been encouraged by transportation reformers for many years).

Bike-share’s latest boom continues: We continue to track the explosive growth in next-gen bike share systems taking over Chinese streets. Check the latest data from private companies operating the largest systems China. One of them is manufacturing 100,000 bikes per day to keep up with demand.
[Read more…]

With acceptance of grant, City can finally build the Flanders Crossing Bridge

By on June 16th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

On Wednesday Portland City Council accepted a $2.8 million grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to build a new carfree bridge over Interstate 405 at Flanders Street.

It was the final funding hurdle for a project that has been hoped-for in Portland planning documents for over 20 years. At the council meeting, PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman said, “This has been a long time coming.”[Read more…]

Biketown and Baptists will team up for record ride attempt

By on June 16th, 2017 at 9:45 am

On June 30th Portland will add another notch to its bike culture belt: An attempt at the world record for most clergy on bikes.

It’s an idea hatched by 42-year-old G. Travis Norvell, an American Baptist pastor of a church in Minneapolis and self-described, “gospel-centered liberal.” Rev. Norvell will be in Portland later this month for the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit and will use the occasion to spread the gospel about one of his favorite topics: How bicycles can help connect communities, improve public health, save the planet and further the church’s mission all in one fell swoop.

Norvell isn’t shy about his love of cycling. In a Medium post titled, Bicycling Toward Justice, he drew inspiration from the Montgomery bus boycott and Civil Rights Movement to implore his fellow clergy to ride bikes more often. On his Pedaling Pastor blog, Norvell mixes biking tips with passages from the bible. In one post he shared the text of a bike blessing he gave fellow riders at the start of the 30 Days of Biking challenge in April:[Read more…]

Governor Brown signs bills to reduce speeding, increase penalties for negligent drivers

By on June 15th, 2017 at 4:51 pm

A day in Salem-6

Three bills signed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown this week will enact new regulations on motor vehicle use.

Two of the bills focus on speeding and one aims to get justice for victims of negligent automobile use.
[Read more…]

Sneak peek at Gateway Green, east Portland’s off-road biking oasis

By on June 15th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Gateway Green will offer an impressive array of off-road riding experiences.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Believe it or not the opening of new bike trails at Gateway Green is just over one week away. Dubbed the “Dirt Lab,” the new park’s skills area, jump lines, and single-track trails will offer an enticing combination of riding experiences unlike anything Portland has ever seen before.
[Read more…]