Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Taking a break: A few thoughts before I go on vacation

By on September 19th, 2017 at 6:56 am

Hi everyone. I want to share a quick programming note.

This morning I left Portland for a much-needed vacation. My wife Juli and I (without the kids!) are headed to do some sightseeing in and around Paris. We’ll also take a few days to soak up the culture in Amsterdam.

I won’t be back in Portland until October 5th, so you should expect things to feel a bit different here for the next few weeks: fewer posts, not as much commentary on social media, and a longer lag on emails.

That being said, those of you that know me well know it will be hard for me to make a clean break from BikePortland for a such a long time. This work is a big part of my life and I feel a responsibility to the community to stay on top of things. But I need time away with Juli and I need to remove myself from the day-to-day grind in order to recharge before taking a big step that will ensure an exciting future for BikePortland.
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An interview with Momoko Saunders, co-founder of Bike Farm

By on September 18th, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Momoko Saunders.

This is the second installment of our Women’s Bike Month interview series written by Steph Routh. Don’t miss her interview with Meeky Blizzard. This content is sponsored by the Community Cycling Center and Gladys Bikes.

Momoko Saunders is the quintessential behind-the-scenes creator. There are those who take their applause from a stage, and those who hear their work appreciated from the back of the room. Momoko has held a hallowed place in the latter category, and it’s time to shine a light on her work.

As co-founder of Bike Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to bike repair and education, Momoko developed the administrative back-end that makes or breaks any new enterprise. She volunteers on the Board of Portland Society and is an iOS developer by trade.

Momoko and I met up at the Community Cycling Center office, which happens to be right around the corner from Bike Farm.

How did you get started in biking?
I didn’t get into biking seriously until Bike Farm and then not seriously myself until my bike tour. And then I never looked back.
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The Monday Roundup: Montreal’s $150 million bikeway bet, reckless cycling, tinted windows and more

By on September 18th, 2017 at 11:01 am

Here are the best stories we came across in the past week…

$150 million for bikeways in Montreal: Montreal is planning to spend $50 million a year for the next five years to build the projects in their first citywide bike plan.

The Pedestrian’s Tale: Portland transportation engineer and planner Brian Davis performed this poignant and entertaining poem at a recent conference held at Portland State University.

A lot of miles: 24-year-old Amanda Coker rode a record-setting 86,573 miles in the past year. That’s an average of 237.19 miles per day for 365 straight days. Dang.
[Read more…]

In radio interview, Portland Mayor rebuts critics of I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on September 15th, 2017 at 11:10 am


(Photo: Jason Bernert/OPB)

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made his support for the I-5 Rose Quarter project very clear during a radio interview yesterday. He also pushed back rather strongly against the significant grassroots opposition to the project.

As a guest on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud show, Wheeler answered several questions about the project from host Geoff Norcross. The interview came just a few hours before Wheeler would hear more testimony on the project at yesterday’s City Council public hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan. (Also notable at the hearing was that Wheeler invited seven people to testify in favor of the project, including Governor Kate Brown’s top transportation policy advisor Karmen Fore and State Representative Susan McClain.)

Here’s a recap of the short interview:
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Today is Park(ing) Day, a celebratory reminder that streets are public space

By on September 15th, 2017 at 9:30 am

Visit them all!
(Click for larger PDF)

Today the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is using our streets to their fullest potential. Instead of cheap storage for private vehicles, they’ve handed out special permits for creative placemaking installations as part of our local observance of International Park(ing) Day.
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Thieves snatch four bikes from Metropolis Cycle Repair on N Williams

By on September 14th, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Metropolis on N Williams and Page.

Metropolis Cycle Repair owner Nathan Roll says thieves broke into his shop last night and took three mountain bikes — two of which belonged to customers. UPDATE: Roll says he just realized thieves took an additional bike — his own. See description and photo below.

Here’s more from Roll about how it happened along with a description of the bikes.

The thieves broke a pane in a window in the back of the shop and were able to unlatch the window. This situation will be remedied shortly. Interestingly, they were only interested in mountain bikes. They passed over numerous other bikes to select these 3. They also took a small amount of merchandise, including an Ortlieb backpack and a couple of sets of lights.

Here are pics of the 3 bikes.
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Two reports of tripwires this week including one at Gateway Green bike park

By on September 14th, 2017 at 1:51 pm


Photo of rope tied across trail at Gateway Green today.
(Photo: Source not yet known)

We’re trying to find out more information about two incidents of tripwires placed across public right-of-way in Portland this week.

The first one was on Monday at NE 16th and Irving. The @pdxalerts Twitter account reported, “Police to NE 16/Irving, someone strung fishing line across the street, caller was clothes-lined by it.”

And the second one was reported by a bicycle rider at Gateway Green this morning. Brent Wick posted the image above to a local email list with the message, “Just a friendly reminder/heads up. there have been some trip wires spotted at the Gateway Green recently. Please be careful over there, Recommend a slow pass thru there before you hit the shred button.”
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East Portland advocates raise equity concerns over ‘Green Loop’ project

By on September 14th, 2017 at 1:23 pm

(Image: Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability: Central City 2035)

The Green Loop, one of the the city’s “Big Ideas” in the Central City 2035 plan, has been singled out by a coalition of activists who say it’s yet another sign east Portland is being left behind.

In a letter (PDF) sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and city council members on September 6th as testimony on the Central City plan, the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC) said they are, “disappointed in the City’s numerous efforts to elevate the Green Loop concept while failing to elevate similar efforts in areas outside the city core.”
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Weekend Event Guide: Kidical Massive, Zaaldercross, Maya Pedal, Ripplebrook, and more

By on September 14th, 2017 at 10:49 am

Kidical Mass - Zombie Edition-20
Join the Kidical Massive ride on Saturday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

There’s a lot of rain in the forecast for next week so you better get in some rides before everything gets wet and muddy (not that you’ll stop riding when it does of course).

Thankfully the air quality has improved over much of Oregon in the past week. Speaking of which, word on the street is that Crater Lake is nice right now, so if you missed the Rim Ride last week, there’s another chance to enjoy it carfree on Saturday.

Take a look at our event suggestions below and have fun out there!
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Bike commuting growth slips and Portland adds 11,000 more commutes by car

By on September 14th, 2017 at 1:19 am

Hawthorne Bridge traffic observations-5.jpg

Auto congestion is one problem that isn’t able to solve itself.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not your imagination: auto traffic got worse in Portland last year.

One of the main reasons: it looks like almost none of the additional commutes that originated in Portland in 2016 happened on bikes, foot or public transit. Instead, of the 12,000 additional commutes Portland added in 2016, 11,000 happened in cars.

That’s according to the latest commuting estimates from the Census Bureau, at least. The citywide bike commuting rate slipped from an estimated 7 percent of commuters to 6.3 percent, the same biking rate estimated in 2011.

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Bicycle rider issued citation for DUII from hospital bed following collision in north Portland

By on September 13th, 2017 at 1:46 pm

View looking west from Tillamook approaching Vancouver.

A serious injury collision Tuesday evening has resulted in a citation for the bicycle rider. Police say the rider was under the influence of alcohol when the collision occurred.

It happened around 6:15 pm on North Vancouver and Tillamook. We first saw it reported via Twitter and then got an email from a reader who lives and rides nearby.

“I was getting off the bus when it happened,” the reader shared with us. “The guy was not moving at all although he seemed to be alive… I heard the driver saying she didn’t see him. It’s possible the bus blocked his view of traffic and he tried to dart across Vancouver.”

Tillamook is an east-west neighborhood greenway that is a busy feeder route onto Vancouver — especially during peak commute hours. There is no traffic signal at the intersection. Users of Tillamook have a stop sign and people going south on Vancouver (a one-way street) have the right-of-way. Vancouver also has yellow “Bikes XING” caution signs on both sides of the street at this location.
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A carfree opportunity for SW Montgomery near PSU

By on September 13th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yellow square is the block in question.

Next week Portland State University will officially re-open their business school after a major renovation of the Karl Miller Center on SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th. The small street adjacent to it has been closed for nearly a year during construction and there’s an idea swirling around to keep it that way. Forever.

The blocks of Montgomery on both ends of this section adjacent to PSU’s business school are already carfree. To the west is the PSU Park Blocks — a designated “Clean air corridor” and “Pedestrian zone” that PSU proudly proclaims (via signs attached to bollards) as a “Space free of smoke, pollution, and emissions.” To the east is the PSU Urban Plaza, a legendary petri-dish of carfree urbanism bisected by the streetcar.

To Tim Davis, a Portland civic booster (his Facebook page is “PDXFan”) and author behind PlacesforEveryone.com, this is a golden opportunity to create more carfree space downtown. Last week he posted the idea to the Bike Loud PDX Facebook page.[Read more…]

An interview with Meeky Blizzard, one of Portland’s original freeway fighters

By on September 13th, 2017 at 10:16 am

Meeky Blizzard.
(Photo: Matt Giraud)

Written by Steph Routh, this is the first in our Women’s Bike Month interview series sponsored by the Community Cycling Center and Gladys Bikes.

Every day we travel past, on, or under structures and streets named for the people who had some relationship to its construction. Ladd’s Circle. Flanders Street. Naito Parkway. The Glenn Jackson Bridge.

Meeky Blizzard’s name is not attributed to a structure, because she made her mark on transportation and land use planning with the structure that was never constructed — the Western Bypass. Instead, the planned Western Bypass corridor from Tualatin to Hillsboro remains largely agricultural land, thanks to Meeky and other activists who started the group Sensible Transportation Options for People, also known by its apt acronym STOP. Meeky and other STOP members opposed the project and instead proposed alternate solutions that were eventually codified in the Land Use, Transportation, Air Quality (LUTRAQ) study.

After the demise of the Western Bypass in 1996 (which briefly re-emerged in the recent legislative session), Meeky went on to serve as Livable Communities Advisor to U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer until her retirement in 2012. Now living in rural Washington County, she still advocates for livable communities. Meeky testified against a freeway proposal in April, telling legislators that building freeways is “simply a waste of money.”

I recently sat down with Meeky in Portland City Hall to learn more about that fateful freeway fight and what lessons it might hold for today’s activists…
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Bike box, green lane and smooth pavement coming to SW Main

By on September 13th, 2017 at 7:43 am

Detail of SW Main paving project striping plan.
(Images: PBOT)

Last night at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shared an update on their SW Main paving project.
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‘Maya Pedal’ bike drive coming to Portland Saturday

By on September 12th, 2017 at 11:27 am

A coffee depulper (left) and a reliable vehicle are just two of the creations Maya Pedal can build with your old bike parts.
(Photos: Maya Pedal)

A nonprofit based in Guatemala that builds pedal-powered machines for farm laborers is making a supply run in Portland this weekend. Maya Pedal builds a variety of “bicimaquinas” (bicycle machines) that can do everything from pump water, thresh corn, shell nuts and blend soaps and shampoos.

The Central American farming villages served by Maya Pedal have no electricity and they typically earn less than $6 per day. These families rely on bikes and parts from the United States and Canada to keep their programs running. This Saturday (9/16), volunteers with Maya Pedal USA (a support group based stateside) will be at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd Ave) from 6:00 to 8:00 pm accepting donations. [Read more…]

Subscriber Post: The Defensive Rider and dooring

By on September 12th, 2017 at 10:08 am

Sketch by John Liu for BikePortland.

This is BP subscriber John Liu’s second article. The first one was about right-hooks.

This series of posts is meant to share riding skills for people who want to take extra precautions against drivers who are distracted, careless, aggressive, inexperienced, or simply fallible humans and for drivers who don’t ever want to hurt or kill a cyclist through poor driving.

Don’t read this post if you want to know a cyclist’s or driver’s “legal responsibility” or you want to know what cycling “should be” like in an ideal world. As bicycle operators, we can ignore everything I write about here, and we may still be legally “in the right”. And dead.

About me: 40+ years of riding bikes in cities, 30+ years of driving in cities, 10 years year-round bike commuting in Portland, licensed driver with motorcycle endorsement, zero bicycle-car collisions as either a cyclist or a driver.
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Everyone 18 and under races for free at the Portland Trophy Cup series

By on September 12th, 2017 at 9:23 am

Krugers Crossing-44
Race young man! Race free!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here on BikePortland we often talk about removing barriers to bicycling. When it comes to racing, the barrier is often a finanical one as equipment costs and race entry fees can quickly make the sport inaccessible too all but the most well-heeled.

That’s why we were happy to see that the Portland Trophy Cup, a five race series that starts tonight at Portland International Raceway (just north of the Kenton neighborhood), is letting everyone 18 years and under race for free. For everyone else each race entry costs $18 a week. That might not seem like a big deal, but for some young racers it might be the difference between staying at home or showing up.
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City reverses course, will maintain 25% bike mode share goal

By on September 11th, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Better Naito observations -39.jpg

We can do this Portland.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A funny thing happened on the way to the City of Portland’s Transportation System Plan update: The Bureau of Transportation proposed to downgrade their goal for the percentage of commute trips made by bicycle users from 25 to 15 percent.

Huh? Aren’t we a “Platinum” bike-friendly city? Shouldn’t we embrace this challenge and not cower away from it?

That “target mode share” is a key performance measure that helps city planners set priorities. The “25 percent by 2035” mantra has been a rallying principle for bike advocates since it was formally adopted as the goal for all bicycle trips (not just work trips) in the Bike Plan and subsequently in the Climate Action Plan. Drafters of the TSP update initially copy-pasted the number. Then the city’s Planning Commission asked PBOT to analyze a new “work from home” mode share target which had never been used before. This spurred a new analysis of the biking mode share targets and PBOT began to feel the 25 percent goal was unattainable and proposed the downgrade as a result of a new “evidenced-based approach” that would be more “realistic and achievable.”

But many bike policy insiders and advocates cringed at the idea. Regardless of the details and policy underpinnings, on the surface it seemed like a capitulation — especially for an agency that continues to struggle with complacency and stagnation.

We’re happy to report that they’ve reversed course and the 25 percent goal is back. That might be because PBOT’s own advisory committee opposed the change.

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‘Albina Vision’ would restore historic Rose Quarter neighborhood, put biking and walking first

By on September 11th, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Aerial view of Albina Vision looking south (scroll down for more detailed view).

Rukaiyah Adams sharing the Albina Vision on Friday at the plaza in front of Memorial Coliseum.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the early 1950s, the Rose Quarter was a neighborhood of homes, churches and stores. It was a thriving part of our city where many people lived and worked. But by 1958 all the houses were razed to make way for the Memorial Coliseum and eventually the Moda Center. Within the same decade hundreds more homes would see the same fate as city planners gave Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Interstate 5 priority over housing and businesses. These “urban renewal” projects in the Albina corridor had a devastating impact to the community and many of the scars — on human lives and infrastructure — remain unhealed.

A bold new plan unveiled for the first time on Friday seeks to restore that neighborhood — and ideally, the community that went along with it. The “Albina Vision” would develop the 30-acre Rose Quarter with housing and businesses that respects history and embraces the future.

On Friday two of the project’s main backers — Rukaiyah Adams, chief investment officer with the Meyer Memorial Trust and Zari Santner, a former Portland Parks Bureau director — laid out their vision to a crowd of about 70 electeds, planners, advocates and government staffers during a stop on the annual Policymakers Ride.
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The Monday Roundup: Froome’s double, drivers trapped in Florida, cycling ‘magic’, and more

By on September 11th, 2017 at 9:34 am

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most noteworthy stories we came across over the past seven days…

Pothole leads to payout: The City of Los Angeles will pay a man $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit that blamed them for a pothole that caused him to crash his bicycle and sustain serious injuries.

Smarter bikes = safer bikes: A Michigan tech company wants to build software into bikes and bike parts that allows them to “talk” to computer systems inside cars in order to warn of the presence of bicycle riders (and vice versa presumably). Trek is a partner in the venture.

Froome does the double: Professional road racer Chris Froome cemented his legacy as an all-time great by winning the Vuelta de Espana and the Tour de France in the same season.

Bikes save the day: Look what transportation mode people are turning to in Houston when all else has failed.
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