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Oregon’s bike tax revenue is far below expectations, while admin overhead is going up

By on December 18th, 2018 at 10:37 am

Customers at Universal Cycles on SE Ankeny are greeted with these signs at the checkout counter.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Through three quarters of its first year in existence, Oregon’s $15 bicycle excise tax has added $489,000 into state coffers. That’s a lot lower than state economists expected. Overhead costs are also more than expected and are likely to climb even higher as officials beef up filing enforcement efforts.

As OPB reported last week, officials from the Department of Revenue, Oregon Department of Transportation and the Legislative Revenue Office have been updating lawmakers on receipts from the slew of new taxes and fees included in the $5.3 billion transportation package passed in 2017. Among them was the infamous $15 tax that applies to every new bicycle valued at $200 or higher sold in Oregon.
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Get on the bus with your bike

Oregon’s proposal to lift fourplex bans would be great for biking

By on December 18th, 2018 at 8:57 am

Protected bike lanes aren’t the only reason so many people bike in Amsterdam.
(Photo: M. Andersen)

An earlier version of this post was published by the Sightline Institute. It’s by former BikePortland news editor Michael Andersen.

The fight to strike down apartment bans has arrived in Oregon’s legislature.

Would re-legalizing fourplexes everywhere be good for bicycle transportation? It very much would be.

On Friday, Willamette Week broke some news: Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek has been working on a bill that’d require all but the smallest Oregon cities in urban areas to re-legalize up to four homes per lot—a lower-cost housing option that was quite common in the early 20th century but was gradually banned from most parts of most cities.

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Family biking profile: New(ish) rider Kaylen Boroff and her toddler take to the streets

By on December 18th, 2018 at 8:42 am

Kaylen and Casey are ready for the rain!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week we’re going to share a profile of a local family biker.

Kaylen Boroff is relatively new to Portland and has embraced bicycling for transportation with her toddler son in tow.
[Read more…]

Two week Rhine-Lafayette Overpass closure begins today

By on December 17th, 2018 at 9:11 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re one of the many people who rely on the carfree overpass that connects the neighborhoods of Brooklyn to Creston-Kenilworth, a repair project might impact your trips.
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A championship for Honsinger and a great Portland showing at Cyclocross Nationals

By on December 17th, 2018 at 8:09 am

Clara Honsinger (Team S & M CX) after winning the U23 race at Cyclocross Nationals.
(Photo: USA Cycling)

I’ll cut right to the big news of the weekend from the Cyclocross National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky: Portland’s Clara Honsinger nabbed a national title!
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The Monday Roundup: Convercycle, anti-speeding tech, a climate warning and more

By on December 17th, 2018 at 7:30 am

Happy Monday everyone. Are you ready for the “atmospheric river” on tap to hit Portland tonight?

If things get crazy outside, at least you’ll have some great stories to read. Here are the most notable items we came across in the past seven days…

A walking tipping point? This NY Times opinion piece about how cities are finally coming to their senses after decades of building only for cars is positively heartwarming.

More highway cops in Oregon: Looks like state lawmakers might reach a big deal to rebuild the depleted Oregon State Police this coming session.

Anti-people planters: No one is taking credit for a mysterious row of empty concrete planters on SW 1st under the Morrison Bridge that appear to be aimed at preventing people from sleeping there.

Getting rid of highway relics: Saying private cars in cities will be the “cigarettes of the 21st century,” NY Mag has some advice for how New York should deal with the aging Brooklyn-Queens Expressway: Demolish it and move on.

Nifty rig: The new “Convercycle” is a bike that converts from standard urban commuter into long-tail cargo bike.

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Climate change warning: Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown tells NPR that the threats from climate change are real and present and that most politicians are completely clueless about it.

Climate emergency: The mayor of London has declared an official emergency to battle climate change and is pressing other government officials for money and attention to deal with the issue.

Speed limiting tech: The EU is considering devices that would set the speed of cars to the posted limit and lobbyists for carmakers are fighting it.

Setback in Seattle: A judge has thrown up yet another roadblock on the path to closing the infamous “Missing Link” segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail, saying a recent study of the project didn’t do enough to analyze economic impacts.

Drinking and homicide: Utah wants to lower the legal BAC threshold to .05 instead of the national level of .08. The state also plans to introduce a new felony of “automobile homicide” if you drive recklessly while drunk.

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

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How Portlanders handled a wet, dark, stormy bike commute

By on December 14th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Tuesday afternoon was a doozy, weather-wise.

It’s not often I’ll opt out of a bike ride, but I hopped on light rail to make it to a meeting downtown. Why? The conditions were: dark, windy, wet, and cool (just cool enough to need a jacket, just warm enough to make you sweat in it). I can handle each of those variable by themselves, or even two or three of them at once. But when all those factors get together I look for non-biking options if I’m able.
[Read more…]

The Little Things: Stripes on stop sign poles in Seattle

By on December 14th, 2018 at 12:00 pm

A stop sign in Seattle with white and red striping on the pole.
(Photos: Mike Dowd)

This post was written by reader Mike Dowd.

When I grew up in Seattle, stop signs had wood posts with red-and-white, candy cane-like stripes. Now they have metal poles, but they’re still striped. When I moved to Portland, I really missed them! It seemed dangerous without them.

When you approach an intersection in Seattle, the stripes immediately show you whether people entering the intersection from other directions must stop. In Portland, you have to look for the octagonal sign shape — not easy to see when you’re looking at the back of a sign across the intersection (maybe with a telephone or light pole in front of it), and almost impossible when looking at the narrow edge of a sign regulating cross traffic.
[Read more…]

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New diverters on Ankeny and Lincoln part of plan to keep drivers off side streets

By on December 14th, 2018 at 10:46 am

New driving discouragers on SE Ankeny at 15th.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)


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Disability rights activists to TriMet: Let us take trikes on MAX

By on December 13th, 2018 at 10:04 am

Serenity Ebert (left), Christine Watts (center), and Dawn Cohoe (right) in front of the TriMet board meeting yesterday. They are part of Civil Unrest Bicycle Club, a disability rights advocacy group.
(Photo courtesy Christine Watts)

TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey and the agency’s Board of Directors heard from two cycling activists during the open public comment period of their meeting yesterday.
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Bird rallies with The Street Trust to get e-scooters back “as soon as possible”

By on December 12th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Bird, the fastest company to ever reach a $1 billion valuation, set up shop on the steps of Portland City Hall today in a bid to get their product back out on the streets. Joining them were leaders from active transportation advocacy group The Street Trust and Forth Mobility, a nonprofit that promotes electric vehicles.
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“Cut in 2 seconds!” Is the Ottolock really that easy to snip?

By on December 12th, 2018 at 11:05 am

Screen shot of LockPickingLawyer video. Watch it below.

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BikeCraft vendor spotlights: Velo Gioielli, Orquidia Violeta, White Noyes Crafts

By on December 11th, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Welcome to the final installment of our 2018 BikeCraft vendor spotlights, brought to you by our friend Elly Blue from Microcosm Publishing. The big event is this weekend, and if you’ve been following along you know that organizers have put together something special. They’ve got a new, larger space (Taborspace!), great vendors — many of whom you won’t find anywhere else, and lots of merry surprises in store. I look forward to seeing you there! – Jonathan

Take it away Elly…[Read more…]

Family Biking: Beyond mama bear rage and toward healthier responses to bad drivers

By on December 11th, 2018 at 11:51 am

Try “Wow, someone’s in a hurry” in place of “Slow the f— down!”
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

As the days get shorter, wetter, and colder it feels like more people are driving faster, less predictably, and more assholishly.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I used to get all heated-up about people driving unsafely around me and my kids. You know, like a protective mama bear. Grrr. I once angrily pantomimed hanging up a phone at a woman talking on her cell while running a stop sign in front of us and I’ve even thumped the trunk of a car after its driver barreled into the crosswalk against a red light, coming within an inch of my front wheel.

The thing is, reacting angrily just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention doesn’t set the best example for my kids. So I’ve drastically changed my reactions. I’m not perfect and slip from time-to-time (mama bears gonna mama bear), but keeping my cool has vastly improved my quality of life despite still sharing some roads with people misusing two-ton battering rams.[Read more…]

Tell PBOT what 122nd Avenue should look and feel like

By on December 11th, 2018 at 10:05 am

One of the projects under consideration would swap one of these existing lanes that go under I-84 for a two-way protected bikeway and sidewalk.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has opened the online open house and survey for their 122nd Avenue Plan. If you missed the November 7th open house event, this is your chance to weigh in on the project. They have funding to make changes and our voices can help them make the most informed decisions on how to spend it.
[Read more…]

Bird to host e-scooter rally and press conference Wednesday

By on December 10th, 2018 at 1:24 pm

From the press conference invite.

A leading electric scooter company will host a rally at City Hall on Wednesday at 12 noon. Bird says the event will feature speakers from nonprofits Forth Mobility (formerly Drive Oregon, an EV advocacy group) and The Street Trust. The event is billed as a way to, “Unify in demand for immediate end to ban on sustainable transportation alternatives.”

Bird was one of three companies that participated in the City of Portland’s e-scooter pilot program. Despite what appeared to be a successful experiment, Portland decided to take all scooters off the streets about one month ago.

Now Bird and The Street Trust want to get scooters back in the news. Here’s the text of an invite Bird is sending around:

Join us on Wednesday, December 12 at noon at City Hall for a press conference in support of bringing scooters back to Portland! We’ll have speakers from Bird, The Street Trust, and more.

Portland’s e-scooter pilot program was a huge success in giving Portlanders new convenient, sustainable alternatives to car travel and the city’s leaders have shown tremendous foresight as they plan to incorporate these new modes of transportation into the city’s streets.

Let’s show them how much we appreciate their work making Portland a leader in sustainability and that we hope we can get scooters back on the road as soon as possible so we can continue to have more convenient, environmentally-friendly, and affordable transportation options!

Word has it that representatives from Lime will also speak at the event.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Winter biking tips, Merkley’s EV dreams, deadly trucks, Rapha woes, and more

By on December 10th, 2018 at 10:14 am

Welcome to the week! Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

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PPB Captain gets driver’s license suspended as part of reckless driving, DUI charges

By on December 7th, 2018 at 1:38 pm

(Image: KATU)

On June 28th just before 2:00 am, off-duty Portland Police Bureau Captain Steven Jones was arrested for DUI after crashing his city-issued SUV in the Lair Hill neighborhood. A witness reported that Jones was driving “at a high rate of speed” on SW 3rd Avenue near Arthur when he lost control and veered onto the median, crashing into a light pole and a tree.

Cpt. Jones, a 23-year veteran of the bureau who was in charge of the Professional Standard Division, was driving with a blood alcohol content of .10.

“As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard,” PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement after the incident. “This will be thoroughly investigated.”
[Read more…]

Bankruptcy leads to closure of all three Performance Bicycle stores in Portland region

By on December 7th, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Signs are up at the Beaverton store.
(Photo: Andy Kutansky)

Some people hoped a bankruptcy filing last month by the parent company of the Performance Bicycle might not result in the closure of all stores across the country.

But today the list is out and the news isn’t good: Advanced Sports Enterprises says it will close all 102 of its stores in the United States. That includes locations in Portland (Mall 205, 9988 SE Washington St.), Tualatin (7690 Montgomery Rd.) and Beaverton (3850 SW Hall Blvd.). The closure leaves Portland with just one bike shop (Outer Rim Bicycles) east of I-205.[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Lakeside Bicycles, Community Arts and Recreation Alliance

By on December 7th, 2018 at 11:08 am

We had two new jobs listed this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Lakeside Bicycles

–> Executive Director – Community Arts and Recreation Alliance (Portland Townsend, WA)

[Read more…]