TriMet wants to build protected intersections at three locations in east Portland

By on May 24th, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Graphic of proposed design for SE Division and 162nd shown by TriMet this week.

Staff working on TriMet’s Division Transit Project dropped a bit of a bombshell at the end of an advisory committee meeting earlier this week: They plan to build protected intersections at SE 122nd, 148th, and 162nd.

Protected intersections are a big deal. They are considered the safest way to handle bicycle traffic at what’s typically considered the weakest link in a safe facility. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43% of urban cycling fatalities occur at intersections.
[Read more…]

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Route advisory: River View Cemetery closed to bicycle riders this weekend

By on May 24th, 2019 at 9:04 am

Stay out please.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In case you forgot (we mentioned it back in March), the annual Memorial Day closure of River View Cemetery starts tomorrow (5/25) and runs through Monday (5/27).

This closure is done to maintain calm and order on the streets through the cemetery on their busiest weekend of the year.

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Please respect this closure. The cemetery is a private enterprise that graciously allows bicycle riders through its property because the optional routes are dangerous and highly stressful. Let’s not abuse this privilege and/or give the River View board of directors any reason to change their current policy.

Spread the word to friends and feel free to use the roads again starting on Tuesday (5/28). Thanks.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Otto’s Ski and MTB, Velotech, RecumbentPDX, Bike Clark County

By on May 24th, 2019 at 7:29 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve had four new job opportunities posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mountain Bike Mechanic – Otto’s Ski and Mountain Bike

–> E-Commerce Category Manager – Velotech

–> Full-time Mechanic Position – RecumbentPDX

–> Bike 101 Summer Camp Counselor – Bike Clark County
[Read more…]

He was worried about bike share’s impact on his business, now he profits from it

By on May 23rd, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Evan Ross, owner of Cycle Portland bike shop, tours, and rentals on SW 2nd Avenue.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Evan Ross is a serial cycling entrepreneur who understands the local bike scene and how to create a viable business around it. That intuition served him well when the idea of cheap bike rentals available in seconds from a mobile app was first pondered in Portland.

“I started my business to get more people riding bikes. Biketown works toward that same goal, so it’s hard for me to be a hater.”
— Evan Ross, Cycle Portland

Ross founded his bike shop and tour business in 2008. That’s right around the time the City of Portland’s efforts to start a bike share program were heating up. Lucky for Ross he had a bit of time before any bike share system would hit the ground. Portland infamously stalled on the program several times before finally launching Biketown in 2016.

From the get-go, Ross knew it would impact his business. “I was scared; but I saw it coming and I had time to adapt my fleet,” he said during a chat with him outside his retail showroom on SW 2nd Avenue in Old Town yesterday. I’ve known Ross for years and can recall being a bit surprised when he didn’t share my enthusiasm for bike share. A dedicated bike advocate and former member of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, Ross wasn’t as excited about the idea as other advocates I knew.

“I knew my rental numbers would go down. That was always the threat with Biketown,” he shared.

And Ross was right. His revenue did go down. But he didn’t let that stop him from turning it into a positive.

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Earlier this week, Ross announced an official partnership with the City of Portland to lead “Biketown Tours”. “Using public bikeshare you’ll cruise the waterfront bike path, discover Portland’s past and present, and ease into city riding with our experienced guides in America’s bike capital,” reads the copy on his new BiketownTours.com website.

For Ross, the third time was indeed the charm. The tours come after two previous attempts to work with Biketown fizzled out. He first hoped to get the maintenance contract for the fleet, then he tried to position his shop as the official helmet and map supplier for Biketown users. Neither of those came to fruition, but Ross maintained a working relationship with bike share program staff. And he remained optimistic.

I asked Ross how he went from seeing Biketown as a threat, to embracing it as a partner. “I realized bike share companies are really good at supplying bikes, but not in curating routes and building a connection to the local community,” he said. “Then I had this epiphany when I realized I spend a lot of time maintaining my fleet, and if I can outsource the maintenance of the bikes, but still provide the tour, it would be a bit advantage to me. I’d save wear-and-tear on my bikes — and not have to store, fix, or buy them in the first place.”

And there were also philosophical reasons for the partnership. “I started my business to get more people riding bikes,” Ross said. “Biketown works toward that same goal, so it’s hard for me to be a hater.”

Biketown (which is operated by Motivate, Inc., a Lyft company) loves the tours because Cycle Portland’s guide staff acts as a concierge to their system. The guides helps riders with rental checkout (including how to push the buttons on the keypad so they respond), offer tips and advice on how to stay comfortable on the bike (saddle adjustment is key), and they educate new riders about safety and rules of the road.

The $20 tours last about an hour and depart from the plaza in front of Voodoo Donuts on SW 3rd Avenue and Burnside. Riders get a $5 discount on their Biketown rental when they sign up. Learn more at BiketownTours.com.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Sandy Ridge, local architecture, burgers in Sellwood, and more

By on May 23rd, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Join the Intro to Sandy Ridge ride and you’ll be flowing down the trails like this in no time.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Weekend Event Guide is made possible by support from readers like you. Please subscribe today.

I feel like things are eerily quiet on the calendar this weekend. There are things to do, but my senses tell me this is the calm before the storm of Pedalpalooza which starts next Saturday (June 1st). But as I like to say, “Tis better to take one in hand then two in the bush,” (pretty sure that’s an old hunting maxim) so you should get out there now because you never know what will happen by next weekend.

[Read more…]

Editorial: The tragedy of North Greeley Avenue

By on May 23rd, 2019 at 11:33 am

The Greeley Freeway. Yesterday’s collision occurred near the rear of that white truck on the left.
(Note: Red line is where concrete jersey-barrier protected lane is slated to be built.)
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday morning around 9:00 am two people died in a collision on North Greeley Avenue. Police say one of the victims, the driver of a sedan, crossed the centerline. That person’s car was hit by another driver and both people in the sedan died as a result of the impact.

While no bicycle user was involved in this crash, I can’t stop thinking about what happened (see aftermath below).
[Read more…]

Ask BikePortland: What’s the best way to carry a dog on my bike?

By on May 23rd, 2019 at 9:19 am

There are many ways to carry dogs. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With summer in the air and June just a few days away, it’s officially biking-with-your-dog season in Portland.
[Read more…]

World Naked Bike Ride coming to Laurelhurst Park June 29th

By on May 23rd, 2019 at 7:36 am

Riders mass on SE Water Avenue prior to the 2012 edition of the ride.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The local edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, Portland’s annual clothing-optional gathering that celebrates human-powered transport and the vulnerability of people who do it, will start from Laurelhurst Park. The 16th edition of the ride happens on June 29th at 8:00 pm.[Read more…]

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Elevated Green Loop path emerges from latest Broadway Corridor plans

By on May 22nd, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Rendering of Green Loop path through Broadway Corridor site. Broadway Bridge in upper right.
(ZGF Architects)

The flyover lives.

New renderings and details for the Green Loop through the Broadway Corridor project site have been made available by architects working on the project. They include our most detailed view yet of how the path will navigate from the Parks Blocks, through the site, and up to the 30-foot high junction at NW Lovejoy and the Broadway Bridge.[Read more…]

Injuries mount as Portland fails to fix dangerous potholes

By on May 22nd, 2019 at 10:59 am

I slid 145 feet. I was lucky to escape with just road rash.

(Written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based pedestrian and bicycle lawyer at Forum Law Group LLC and safe streets advocate advocate. We recently highlighted his efforts to improve Highway 30. Note: Kocher’s law firm is also a financial contributor to BikePortland, but that had no influence on editorial decisions.)

I love to ride in the West Hills. From the central city, they’re the closest place to escape stop-and-go traffic. On weekends, people enjoying Northwest Skyline on bikes seem to outnumber people in cars. On weekdays, commuters zip between Portland and the west side. It feels like a world apart from Highway 26 gridlock.

Which brings me to March 16th. I was riding down NW Cornell from Skyline. There were bad potholes below the upper tunnel. Not just bumps, these were the kind that could easily cause a person on a bicycle to crash — which could be catastrophic at downhill speeds. Hoping to get them filled, I stopped and reported the potholes using the City of Portland’s PDX Reporter web app.

I noted in the report that the holes were a hazard for people on bikes. On March 28th, those potholes weren’t fixed, so I reported them again. On May 1st, I took a day off to go check on the route of a popular group bike ride that typically draws 100s of people. The potholes on Cornell were still there. I marked them with yellow paint, and reported them, for the third time.
[Read more…]

TriMet has begun construction of new carfree Gideon Overcrossing

By on May 22nd, 2019 at 9:25 am

Latest rendering of the bridge. View is looking south from 14th. Koerner Camera Systems, whose owner opposed the project, is in upper left.

TriMet shared an update on their Gideon Overcrossing project at a joint meeting of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees last night.

The $10.5 million project officially broke ground on Monday.
[Read more…]

A closer look at the new bus/bike lane on SW Madison

By on May 21st, 2019 at 12:25 pm

The new treatment — meant to speed up buses and make cycling safer — starts at 4th and lasts two blocks. (Scroll down for full gallery and video)
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When the Portland Bureau of Transportation revealed their plans for SW Madison last week, there was at first rejoicing. Many of us are desperate for any change to our streets that makes bicycling and transit safer and more efficient. Dedicating a wide lane solely for transit and bike riders on a major downtown corridor is an exciting step in the right direction.

But almost as soon as we posted about the project, there were concerns about how this new lane would be shared by people operating such dramatically different vehicles. [Read more…]

Family Biking: We all fall down

By on May 21st, 2019 at 10:48 am

Staged photo of a bike crash.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Last week I took the corner into my backyard too slowly, caught my front wheel on a flagstone, and slowly tipped sideways against the side of my house. As time slowed down and/or my brain sped up in the heat of the moment, I thought about my crashes of years past.
[Read more…]

Cycle Oregon’s ‘Gravel’ goes east into wide open Wasco County

By on May 21st, 2019 at 7:24 am

Once home to the Molalla Tribe before white immigrants forced them out, this area east of Dufur is now dotted by large farms and ranches — and perfectly groomed gravel roads. This view is from Roberts Market Road looking northwest toward the Columbia Hills that rise above the Columbia River in Washington.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Dufur City Park was our host.

With its second year in the books, it feels like the Gravel event has found a home with Cycle Oregon. After three decades of their signature, 7-day “Classic” event, the nonprofit has found a sweet spot around one of cycling biggest trends: riding unpaved backroads, a.k.a. gravel grinding.

The tiny eastern Oregon town of Dufur (est. 1893, pop. 604) was home base for two full days of riding. The routes traversed land where the Molalla Tribe lived for generations before being banished to a reservation by the U.S. government in 1851. Today the land around Dufur is wide open country dotted by farms that raise livestock, wheat, and other crops.
[Read more…]

Weird but true: His bike commute inspired a series of album cover parodies

By on May 20th, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Hillsboro resident Aaron Harrison (he goes by Rambo) has a commuting style all his own. Rambo has worked in Portland bike shops for decades and he’s also a decorated track racer.

I’ve known about him for years now (I can recall he and his Orange bike flying past me with whooosh during Cycle Oregon years ago); but I had no idea about his love for music and artistic flair on Instagram. Let me explain…[Read more…]

Photo gallery and recap: Oakridge and Westfir host ‘Sasquatch Duro’ gravel event

By on May 20th, 2019 at 11:19 am

Click for captions. (Photos: Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)
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The Monday Roundup: Behind the lines, say “pannier”, climate crisis framing, and more

By on May 20th, 2019 at 9:03 am

Welcome to the week. Lots to get to. But first: We must know our history.

This week’s edition is sponsored by Rack Attack, where you go to figure out what bike rack is right for your car.
[Read more…]

PBOT will install a bus/bike only lane on SW Madison this weekend

By on May 17th, 2019 at 1:51 pm

Coming soon to SW Madison!

The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced the construction of its first Central City in Motion (CCIM) project today: SW Madison – one of the busiest bikeways in Portland — will get a dedicated bus operation and bicycling lane that will be separated from other traffic. The project aims to speed up bus trips, make it safer to ride a bike, and lower the the stress of drivers by giving them clear separation from other road users.
[Read more…]

New shop in southeast caters to fixed gear fans

By on May 17th, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Retrogression’s home page.

Portland has a new bike shop whose owners hope to be a part of the local fixed-gear and track riding scene.

Retrogression (2315 SE 11th Ave, just north of Division) is owned and operated by Dave Gattinella and Angie Beaulieu. Fixed-gear riders themselves, Gattinella and Beaulieu couldn’t find track-related parts and gear at local bike shops, so they started sourcing their own.

Retrogression started as an online-only shop in 2009 and opened a brick-and-mortar location in Massachusetts shortly thereafter (they are both from New England). They moved the business to San Diego a few years later; but quickly outgrew their space and went on the hunt to find a new location that would offer them a combination of warehouse (for the online business) and retail shop. [Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: eBike Store, Forum Law Group, Showers Pass, Castelli, Joe Bike, Universal Cycles

By on May 17th, 2019 at 10:53 am

Portland’s spring hiring boom continued this past week with several great new listings.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Full Time Mechanic – The eBike Store, Inc

–> Legal Assistant – Forum Law Group LLC

–> Customer Care Specialist – Showers Pass

–> Warehouse Worker – Castelli US

–> Seasonal Mechanic – Joe Bike

–> Mechanic/Wheel Builder/Bike Builder – Universal Cycles

[Read more…]