Archive for March, 2015

Oregon lawmakers try (again) to raise speed limits

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
SW Portland bikeways-3

It might get faster down there.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Despite a clear connection between speed and fatal and serious injury crashes, ten Oregon lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would raise our state’s freeway speed limit to 75 miles per hour.

According to the text of House Bill 3094, it would increase the speed limit from 65 to 75 miles per hour on interstate highways (only for cars, large trucks and buses will stay at their current max of 55 mph). The bill also establishes a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour on state highways and limits the Department of Transportation’s authority to decrease freeway speed limits, except in work zones.[Read more…]

Bike/walk advocates unveil plan for Oregon to zero out road deaths

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
vz cover

The cover of the new report.

Two Portland-based advocacy organizations have released Oregon’s first detailed proposal for a “Vision Zero” policy that they say could completely eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

The plan from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance describes itself as “A Unifying Vision for Street Safety for Oregon.”

The two groups assembled the report with input from officials at various government agencies, including the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation. It’s the first big component of a coordinated campaign by the two organizations, part of a national effort to spread the Vision Zero concept.

What’s inside? Maybe the most significant ingredient here is the five-page list of specific recommendations at the end. Here are nine particularly interesting selections from that list.

[Read more…]

Bike Theft Task Force launched: Now let’s get to work!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

A local blogger speaking at today’s press conference.
(Photo by Caesar Ursic)

Today we officially launched the Portland Bike Theft Task Force.

It’s been quite a journey to get to this point…[Read more…]

Weak links: City finds traffic hot spots on neighborhood greenway system

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
auto count map

The first numbers are rolling in from the first comprehensive analysis of the country’s first connected bicycle boulevard network, and they show some clear problem spots.

SE Clinton at 22nd.

The side-street bikeways are known in Portland as neighborhood greenways to capture their appeal as places to walk, jog, shoot hoops and so on. But the City of Portland’s project shows that six — inner SE Clinton, SE Lincoln near 53rd, NE Tillamook near Grant High School, SE 86th near Powell, inner Northwest Johnson and upper NW 24th — clearly fail national standards for auto counts on bike boulevards.

[Read more…]

Newswire: Grimm TV show to feature local bike brands

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Watch for this bike made by Portland-based Circa Cycles on this Friday’s episode of Grimm on NBC.

Sources say this Friday’s episode of the hit NBC TV show Grimm, which is filmed here in Portland, will be very bike-centric.
[Read more…]

The Ride: Scappoose to the Banks-Vernonia Trail via logging roads

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Scappoose to Buxton on dirt-17

Pisgah Road near Gunners Lakes Mainline was a wrong turn that turned out right.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Note: Welcome to the first in a series of posts sponsored by 21st Avenue Bicycles. They’ve stepped up to bring you more coverage of bikepacking and adventure rides. Stay tuned all year as we explore the best backroads and bike-camping spots in Portland and beyond.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with finally doing a route that has been in the back of your mind for a few years.

That’s what I did on Sunday by finally connecting dirt roads from Scappoose to the Banks-Vernonia Trail (at Buxton trailhead). In all it was just under 80 miles, with 21 of them on beautiful, often rugged, and remote backroads that I’m still day-dreaming about. Here’s how it went down…[Read more…]

Milwaukie and Tigard call for regional Safe Routes to School funding

Monday, March 30th, 2015

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s campaign to get walking and biking education and infrastructure to public schools across the Portland metro area got two strong boosts this month.

In successive unanimous council resolutions, the suburban cities of Milwaukie and Tigard voted on March 17 and 24 to ask the Metro regional government to dedicate funding to programs like the ones currently enjoyed by many Portland elementary and middle schools.

“Our goal is for Tigard to be the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities live healthy, interconnected lives,” Tigard Mayor John Cook said in a BTA news release. “Providing a safe route to school for every kid is essential to the health and safety of our community.”

Various Milwaukie and Tigard residents had more to say in the BTA’s release:[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Distracted driving in action, reflective spraypaint & more

Monday, March 30th, 2015
teen texting

A still from a video of a teen driver just before a crash.
(Image: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Laughing Planet, where you can now get food delivered by bike in downtown Portland.

Here are the bike-related links that caught our eyes this week:

Distracted driving: A AAA study put video cameras into teen drivers’ cars to study the moments just before 1,700 collisions. More than half of drivers were distracted just before moderate and severe crashes, but only 12 percent by telephones.

Reflective spraypaint: With bike safety in mind, Volvo has created a spray-on substance that is “completely invisible until it’s hit by the glare of a car’s headlights.”

[Read more…]

Comments of the Week: Two readers’ concepts for fixing SE Ankeny at 11th

Friday, March 27th, 2015
ankeny 11th sandy DUAL MINI RAB_zpsoy5utvec

Full size below the jump.
(Image by reader Paikiala)

One of the great joys of BikePortland comments is that they make very clear how rich and deep our city’s transportation expertise has become over the last decade.

After we wrote on Thursday about a small tweak the city made recently to the strange six-way intersection of SE Ankeny, 11th and Sandy, not one but two readers created full-color overhead mockups of alternative ways to design this awkward interchange.

The first, by reader sean, is a sort of linear park that would remove auto access for one block (immediately south of what is today a billboard) in order to reimagine “Ankeny as a destination”:

[Read more…]

Q&A: NYC’s top biking advocate wants you to talk more about death

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Paul Steely White at the 2010
National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Talking about “livable streets” is out; talking about “safe streets” is in.

That’s the advice from Paul Steely White, executive director of the country’s largest local transportation advocacy group. The executive director of New York City-based Transportation Alternatives since 2004, White was a major force behind the city’s emergence as a national leader in reimagining streets as pleasant public spaces.

But as he heads to Portland for a keynote address Monday to the Oregon Active Transportation Summit, White is urging his fellow believers in livable streets to readjust their message when talking to politicians and the public. We spoke by phone on Thursday about why and how his organization has put Vision Zero, the campaign to completely eliminate road deaths, at the middle of their message.

Are you on a national Vision Zero tour, or is this a one-off thing?

[Read more…]