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Portland Police online crime reporting system now includes bike theft

By on February 20th, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Screen grab from PPB Citizen Online Reporting site.

In a bid to make crime reporting more convenient and free up officers for other calls, the Portland Police Bureau announced this week they’ve expanded the types of crimes that can be reported online.

Along with identity theft, telephone scams, shoplifting, and other crimes, you can now use the PPB’s Citizen Online Reporting System to report a bicycle theft. The new system can be used if the value of your bicycle is below $10,000 and there are no known suspects.

Officer Dave Sanders, founder of the PPB Bike Theft Task Force, says it’s a welcome step forward. “Hopefully this will encourage more folks to report their stolen bikes,” he shared with me earlier this week. Ofcr. Sanders added that he references police reports daily in his ongoing battle against Portland’s rampant bike theft problem (they’ve already recovered over 50 bikes so far this year). “We just got a bike back for a guy this morning in spite of an absent serial number,” he shared. [Read more…]

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First Look: Big changes to key crossing of NE Tillamook at 21st

By on February 20th, 2020 at 12:45 pm

View eastbound on NE Tillamook at 21st.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tillamook is a vital east-west link in Portland’s biking network. Established as a cycling-priority street over 20 years ago, it was one of our original “bicycle boulevards” (now known as neighborhood greenways) and it provides a lower stress alternative to Broadway between the Hollywood neighborhood and I-5.

Like many of our bikeway streets, in recent years Tillamook has fallen victim to the scourge of driving abuse. In their 2015 Neighborhood Greenways Assessment Report (PDF), the Portland Bureau of Transportation acknowledged that Tillamook lacked the traffic-calming features and safe crossings of a modern neighborhood greenway. Tillamook was recommended for interventions to bring down driving speeds and reduce the number of drivers overall.

Several recent updates have recently been completed. There are now green bike boxes and bike light indicators at the crossing of Martin Luther King Junior, fewer stop signs (not that those matter as much for bicycle users as of January 1st!), and speed bumps have been added throughout the corridor.

A big focus of the $150,000 investment was the off-set intersection of Tillamook and 21st. With high bicycle traffic volume on Tillamook and poor sightlines for people driving north-south on 21st, PBOT wanted to improve predictability, visibility, and safety.

I went out to see the changes earlier this week. Before we get to more photos, let’s recall what this intersection used to look like:

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The first thing I noticed was that bicycle riders now have a direct line across the intersection; instead of the winding striping of before. Heading east, the corner has opened up due to the removal of a large tree and installation of new curb ramps.

PBOT has also tilted the green blocks in the bike lane in an attempt (I think) to encourage bicycle users to swivel their heads and look both ways while going through.

Looking at Tillamook northbound from 21st.

Before the intersection PBOT has installed median islands and crosswalks setback several feet away from the bike lane. These are wonderful not only for non-drivers but because they also slow people down as they approach Tillamook. In addition to the medians, there’s bright new, yellow caution signs that warn of people crossing ahead.

On the down side, those new medians might make it harder for people biking north-south (a relatively popular movement because 21st has a protected bike lane over I-84 just a few blocks south) who want to turn left onto the Tillamook greenway. There’s no turn lane and the medians make the left turn movement a bit more awkward for bicycle users.

Overall I found this to be a good update in re-establishing Tillamook as a street where bicycle riders are respected and more protected.

Have you biked or driven this yet? Would like to hear your thoughts.

Next up: A look at the new protected bike lanes on NW Naito and the protected intersection on NW Thurman.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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$5.9 million lawsuit says City of Portland is negligent for allowing parking at intersections

By on February 20th, 2020 at 10:10 am

Graphic from lawsuit filed by Scott Kocher/Forum Law Group.

The idea of no-parking zones at intersections started with a state law. Then it became a point of contention for transportation activists, then a City of Portland policy, then a campaign from a walking advocacy group.

Now it has become the basis of a lawsuit.

Yesterday, Portland attorney Scott Kocher of Forum Law Group filed a $5.9 million lawsuit (PDF) against the City of Portland for negligence in the death of Elijah Coe, who was hit by a driver while riding his motorcycle on East Burnside in May 2019. [Read more…]

North Portland’s Revolver Bikes has closed its doors for good

By on February 19th, 2020 at 8:56 am

A bike shop no more.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I never thought I’d write this: Portland has lost another bike business to Arkansas.[Read more…]

Kasandra Griffin is leaving the Community Cycling Center

By on February 18th, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Incoming CCC Executive Director Jonnie Ling (left), Blaze the Trail Cat (center), and outgoing CCC ED Kasandra Griffin.
(Photo: Community Cycling Center)

Kasandra Griffin has decided to leave her job as Executive Director of the northeast Portland-based nonprofit Community Cycling Center.

In a statement to be released later today, the CCC says Griffin will leave at the end of February to spend more time with her family (Griffin and her wife are expecting a baby in early March). Taking her place will be longtime staffer Jonnie Ling, who’s been with the organization since being hired as a seasonal mechanic in 2008. Ling has worked his way up to Director of Programs and Enterprise, which means he supervises the managers of the CCC’s retail shop (Northeast Alberta Street), summer camps, and community programs.

Griffin began her tenure with the CCC in summer of 2017 and had previously worked for Upstream Public Health and served many years as a board member of The Street Trust. At the CCC, Griffin was a strong voice for cycling and active transportation activism. She spoke recently at the 2030 Bike Plan rally and was a member of the Getting There Together Coalition that’s pushing for a greener Metro transportation bond measure.

[Read more…]

Becky Jo’s Carfree Life: Getting deeper into community activism

By on February 18th, 2020 at 10:37 am

Parental unit on school drop-off duty.
(Photos by Becky Jo)

Communities revolving around shared interests are a funny thing, aren’t they? Online communities more so.

I come to you, wide-eyed, and with the joy of learning something new. You know that feeling. It’s almost like a teen-spring crush. It’s thrilling, exciting, full of awkward moments, triumphs, and failures. I have that annoying energy and “whywhywhy” of a toddler. You are an established community with well-worn hats. Many of you have seen it all, and have seen people like me come and go. People like me haven’t yet proven our mettle, and some of you may be wary of sharing your precious good energy. I get you. I do. I’m a more seasoned person in sewing communities, and while I love nothing more than to bring new people to the fold, it can be exhausting, and at times even soul-crushing.

So I just want to say:

I owe you a thank you. Thank you for giving me your time, energy, and kindness. Thank you to those of you that have reached out and invited me to be social. Time is your most precious resource and I am grateful on behalf of both myself and any other new cyclists lurking in here with me
[Read more…]

Cameron Whitten: Why I’m running for Metro District 5

By on February 18th, 2020 at 9:40 am

Cameron Whitten.
(Photo: Whitten For Oregon)

This post was written by Cameron Whitten. You might also be interested in a similar post from another candidate in this race, Chris Smith.
[Read more…]

Man riding a bicycle dies after collision with a truck driver in Goose Hollow

By on February 18th, 2020 at 9:07 am

Looking southbound on SW Vista at SW Park (direction truck driver was traveling).

Portland Police just announced that a male bicycle rider died after he was involved in a collision with the driver of a truck in southwest Portland early Monday (2/17) morning.

Here are the details from the PPB:

On Monday, February 17, 2020 at 12:28am, Central Precinct officers were dispatched to a crash at Southwest Vista Avenue and Southwest Park Place. When officers arrived they discovered a vehicle struck a bicycle. The bicyclist suffered a head injury and was transported to an area hospital and was listed to be in critical care. Later in the day, the medical examiner notified the police bureau the bicyclist did not survive.

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Officers from the Traffic Division investigated the crash. The investigation preliminarily determined the driver of the truck was driving southbound through the intersection on a green light. The bicyclist entered the intersection with neither a helmet nor a light on. The driver of the vehicle was traveling at an estimated 25-30 miles per hour and was unable to stop before hitting the bicyclist. The driver of the vehicle was cooperative with police and was not determined to be impaired.

We will update this post when we get more details.

The intersection of SW Vista and Park is relatively straightforward. Driving southbound on Vista however, you can see that a large concrete wall creates a bad sightline with traffic coming from the right. Also worth noting here is that SW Park is very steep just before Vista. Park is the street that heads downhill and is often used by bicycle riders as an exit from Washington Park (which is just three blocks away from this intersection).

Given the time and day of this crash, I am curious if the person riding was taking part in the weekly Zoobomb ride. I’ve contacted someone who was on the main Zoobomb ride at that hour and they’ve confirmed the group was not on this route at that time.

If anyone has any information, please get in touch.

This is the first fatal crash involving a bicycle rider so far this year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

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Mayhem on mini bikes at 13th annual Chariot Wars competition (Photo Gallery)

By on February 17th, 2020 at 11:22 am

Water cannons, beer, smoke bombs, rotten bananas and a whole lot of mayhem.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The 13th annual Mini Bike Winter Ben Hurt Chariot Wars had all the mayhem and merriment we’ve come to expect from this uniquely Portland spectacle.[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Nailer jailed, bike shop survey, Paris’ latest, and more

By on February 17th, 2020 at 9:33 am

[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Fat Tire Farm, WashCo Bikes, Kerr Bikes, Holy Spokes, Showers Pass, Everybody’s Bike Rentals

By on February 17th, 2020 at 8:32 am

Usually we don’t see such a flurry of new job listings until later in spring. Perhaps this is a sign of a boom bike year? If you’re looking for a new start or a fresh start, check out the latest jobs below…

Mechanic – Fat Tire Farm (Hood River)

Kerr Bikes Employees – Albertina Kerr

Mechanic (Full Time) – WashCo Bikes

Mechanic (Part Time) – WashCo Bikes

Full Time Bike Share Position – Holy Spokes

Bike Mechanic/Shop Staff – Everybody’s Bike Rentals & Tours

Customer Service – Showers Pass
[Read more…]

Oregon lawmakers vote to give cities authority to set speed limits

By on February 14th, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Rep. Rob Nosse speaking at a Joint Transportation Committee hearing on February 4th.

A key part of the City of Portland’s 2020 legislative agenda and traffic safety efforts got a boost in Salem yesterday when the Joint Committee on Transportation voted 10-2 in favor of House Bill 4103 which authorizes the Oregon Department of Transportation to delegate authority to set speed limits to cities and counties.

HB 4103 is a continuation of work that began last session by House Representative Rob Nosse, a Democrat who represents southeast Portland. Urged by the Portland Bureau of Transportation in their ongoing quest to lower speed limits and make roads safer, Nosse proposed a bill last year (HB 2702) that would have given Portland the ability to set speeds on certain streets in its jurisdiction. That bill didn’t make it out of committee, so Nosse continued discussions with ODOT and lawmakers and brought back a revised version this session.
[Read more…]

Portland City Council passes ‘Rose Lane’ transit priority plan

By on February 14th, 2020 at 10:40 am

Coming very soon!

With existing plans as a foundation, buoyed by success of three initial projects, and — most importantly — with the full support of City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and her staff, Portland City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to endorse the Rose Lane Project. [Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Green Zebra Party, Mini Bike Winter, Love Your Fit, and more

By on February 14th, 2020 at 8:19 am

Mini Bike Winter never disappoints. Join the opening event tonight and plug into a full weekend of thrills, chills, and spills.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Mayor Wheeler wants your feedback on his ‘Climate Emergency’ declaration

By on February 13th, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Time to make some hard choices about “fossil fuel infrastructure.”
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released a draft version of his Climate Emergency Declaration (PDF) yesterday. The document sets new goals for carbon emission reduction and it issues a call-to-arms for actions to address climate change impacts with an emphasis on a just transition for “frontline communities” (which are defined as, “Black and Indigenous people, communities of color”.)

Wheeler’s cover letter to the official declaration takes on an urgent tone: “We must make the right decisions now to bend the curve to protect our communities and save our planet,” he writes. “2020 is our year for putting the policies, strategies and actions in place that will aggressively reduce our carbon emissions.”

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in our region and Wheeler’s declaration mentions transportation-related policies several times. Later today, Wheeler and his council colleagues will consider the Rose Lane Project, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s plan to allocate more road space to transit vehicles which in many ways perfectly embodies the type of actions he calls for in the declaration. [Read more…]

Slow then go: Checking in on Oregon’s new stop sign law

By on February 13th, 2020 at 11:04 am

Should we call them slow signs? Bicycle riders no longer have to stop if they have the right-of-way.
(Photo and terrible Photoshopping by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I don’t want to jinx it, but we’re 44 days into being an “Idaho Stop” state and the sky hasn’t fallen. I haven’t heard of any crashes caused by confusion over Oregon’s new law, and there have been (remarkably) zero biased news stories or crazy op-eds about it.[Read more…]

Will Portland’s ‘Rose Lanes’ be safe for cycling? New research offers clues

By on February 12th, 2020 at 12:29 pm

More coming soon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

How safe is it for bicycle riders to share a “transit only” lane with bus and streetcar operators?
[Read more…]

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is ready to focus on cycling

By on February 12th, 2020 at 11:10 am

“As our population booms and we have smaller and smaller right-of-way to share, biking really needs to have a lot more direct focus from the Commissioner.”
— Jamey Duhamel, policy director for Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Duhamel at Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting last night.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A big thing happened at last night’s Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting: A current City Commissioner (via a staff person) expressed a direct interest in bicycling and said they want to make it a bigger part of their portfolio.[Read more…]

Did you get hit by driver of this red pick-up while crossing Martin Luther King Jr Blvd last night?

By on February 12th, 2020 at 9:46 am

The driver of this truck hit someone riding a bicycle, then kept driving. UPDATE: The plate number is obscured because we’re looking for the victim, not the driver at this point. The police know the plate number.
(Photo sent in by a reader)

If so, a reader witnessed the crash, snapped a photo of the driver’s license plate, and wants to help you get justice.[Read more…]

Bike Plan birthday rally celebrates past with eye toward future

By on February 11th, 2020 at 4:00 pm

The crowd at City Hall plaza today.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]