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What a difference the sun makes: Hawthorne bike traffic up 46% over last February

Posted by on March 12th, 2015 at 9:01 am

Summer bike traffic-4-4

You might call this winter the September that never ended.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For all the freakishness of the warmest February in Portland history — forget the wildfires and snowpack, think of where housing prices are headed if we turn gradually into San Diego — we’ve all enjoyed the benefits.

At least 37,571 more times than last year, anyway.

That’s the number of additional bike trips taken over the Hawthorne Bridge (in both directions) as captured last month by Cycle Oregon’s bike counter, compared to February 2014.

hawthorne with circles

February 2014 wasn’t a normal one, either. Its multi-day snow and ice storms led to some of the lowest one-day bike counts ever. Compared to February 2013, bike traffic last month was up just over 10 percent.

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21 Comments
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    Rick March 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

    How about the people walking their bikes on that bridge during the snow storm in February 2014?

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    Lester Burnham March 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Is that Lycra Fred speeding so fast he’s blurred?

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      Pete March 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      And OMG no helmet!!! Gasp!! /s

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      Fast Freddy March 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      That was me after a really wonderful and pleasant ride. Then I figured I’d mosey on over across the bridge to sit in the sun for a bit. I think right there I was riding < 5 mph, casually pedaling behind another couple.

      Thanks for judging though! I forgot about the memo that I need to change back into my street clothes before crossing any Portland bridges on a sunny day.

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    SW March 12, 2015 at 9:23 am

    >>For all the freakishness of the warmest February in Portland history — forget the wildfires and snowpack, think of where housing prices are headed if we turn gradually into San Diego — we’ve all enjoyed the benefits.

    think of where housing prices are headed if we turn gradually into San Diego

    Have you ever been to Sandy Eggo Michael ?

    You and I will be long in the ground before PDX “turns gradually into San Diego”. I’ve lived here since ’72, after moving from S.D. There are snowy/cold years & there are warm years in Portland. Takes more than one to make a trend.
    This was a temporary anomaly , just like low gas prices.

    OT
    Hilarious how the big pickup boys ran out to buy a new one, cause ..ya know , with cheap prices now you can afford to run one. 🙂 yeah, that didn’t last long.

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      9watts March 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

      “This was a temporary anomaly… ”

      And you say this on what authority? I’ve lived here, on and off, since ’73 myself. NOAA has been keeping records since 1941 (Portland) and 1893 (Salem).

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        soren March 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

        Snow pack at all Mt Hood stations except for one is essentially zero.

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          9watts March 12, 2015 at 11:07 am

          It’s all fun when the sun shines in February. But it is less fun when we run out of water and hydropower in August, and the farmers who are counting on it can’t irrigate.

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            Pete March 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm

            Welcome to our current reality here in CA – yet water rates are about to rise 30% “because people are conserving too much water” (which you wouldn’t know by watching my neighbors wash their cars and driveways).

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              Chris I March 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

              And the farmers still pay basically nothing for the water they use (which is 80% of the clean water in the state).

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      middle of the road guy March 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Or it could be that people were replacing one pickup/SUV with another (that gets better mileage).

      I’d wager that the number of people going from an economy car to a large truck is very small.

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        Pete March 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

        Seems likely, but I did happen across one report showing Prius sales in particular were at an all-time low last October while pickup sales were at an all-time high. Here in CA today’s news headlines are that gas prices have risen $0.75 in the last few months (gasp!!).

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    Champs March 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Should this be taken to mean that the tack situation is over? They were there, they were gone, they came back again, etc. I’ve got better things to do than fix flats, but alternate routes are adding up. Some miles are more “bonus” than others.

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    Brian March 12, 2015 at 9:45 am

    IMO, people have been more courteous to one another on the bridge this Spring, as well. Maybe it’s the increase in riders, maybe it’s the sun, maybe it’s the fact that people are getting better at this commuting together thing. Whatever the reason(s), it’s great.

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      Rob March 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

      I have to agree, people do seem to be a little more coordinated/mellow while riding the Hawthorne… Really hope this trend continues. I’m guessing that the soon-to-open Tillicum will help with the situation.

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      gutterbunnybikes March 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Or perhaps everyone too busy looking for tacks.

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    rachel b March 12, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I am dreading this summer. Really hoping it doesn’t start in April and run to November again this year. Shudder.

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    rain waters March 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Rode along Lake Mead today. Shoreline is moving way out past what was obviously ever expected. If it loses another 78 feet of water level the turbines stop in Boulder dam so California can continue to recieve its allotment of the Colorado river. Sure the constant 72 degrees is nice. I doubt the wells in Las Vegas will support the millions of socal refugees. They don’t care about speed cameras and they’re not goin back to socal when this dream dries up in the next five years. You might pray for cold rain and snow or prepare to welcome some new neighbors.

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    Rick March 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    What? More people ride bikes when the sun is out? *gasp*!

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      mh March 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Yesterday’s rain gave me a good excuse to (finally) clean my rims. I have a hard time making myself do that on/for a dry bike.

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    Marysue March 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Awesome picture, so many cyclists and pedestrians on the move in Portland. In east Tucson AZ, I feel like an anomaly riding my bike to and from work a few miles, hoping high-speed traffic won’t veer onto the shoulder. I don’t see the status quo changing here any time soon regarding auto use.

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