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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.
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Get on the bus with your bike

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.
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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…]

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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.
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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.
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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.”
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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)

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Adventures in Activism: Tools of the trade

By on December 7th, 2018 at 10:51 am

Portland transportation activist Ted Buehler uses his trusty measuring devices (in his bike basket) to uncover the dangers of rail tracks.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Who’s running Portland right now? You. Pick a problem that really matters to you. Seek organizations addressing it and give them anything you’ve got: time, money, intellect, energy, even tweets. But don’t sit this out. You must engage.”

That’s what Portland activist and former city council candidate Sarah Iannarone posted Wednesday in response to a Willamette Week cover story on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s first two years in office.

How can you “engage” in transportation advocacy? You’re in the right place, since one of our missions here at BikePortland is to get you inspired and informed enough to have a valuable role in local policy and project decisions. But you need tools. Our activism editors Catie Gould and Emily Guise of BikeLoudPDX have put together a list tools they use to sharpen their activism skills.

Take it away Catie and Emily….
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ODOT tolling plan off to feds with support from Oregon Transportation Commission

By on December 6th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

On the left, the cover of ODOT’s 48-page application to the FHWA. On the right are the proposed tolling locations.

Before the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) can begin any kind of congestion pricing on existing freeways, they must first submit a proposal to the Federal Highway Administration. At their monthly meeting in Salem today, ODOT’s governing body voted 5-0 in favor of that 48-page plan, marking a major step in the future of tolling in the Portland region.
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A tragic realization about a BikePortland reader and supporter

By on December 6th, 2018 at 11:49 am

Not just another headline.

Two days ago I received a strange email. It was simultaneously matter-of-fact and tragic.

“Hi folks,” it read. “My dad was killed by a truck (he was walking at a crosswalk). I would like to stop his autopay subscription of $10/month.”

It only took me a few minutes to realize this man’s father was 82-year-old Charles McCarthy, who was hit and killed by a truck driver as he walked in the crosswalk of East Burnside and 55th on October 11th.

I wish it wasn’t true, but when people die while walking I don’t usually pay as much attention to the case as I would if they were cycling. That’s an intentional editorial and mental health decision. (Reacting to traffic deaths takes a toll and I have limited professional and personal capacity to do it. I also don’t want to set the expectation that I will cover walking deaths with the same attention and depth as cycling deaths).

Even though I didn’t look too deeply into this case initially, I now wanted to know more about Mr. McCarthy. So I did what I often do in situations like this: I emailed the District Attorney’s office to find out if there were any updates on the case, I looked up his subscriber information, entered his email address in the “search comments” field of BikePortland’s admin dashboard, and checked to see if he’d ever emailed me.
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Weekend Event Guide: Sales, Christmas spirit, KimmyCross, a cyclocross party, and more

By on December 6th, 2018 at 9:56 am

What this season lacks in light and warmth it more than makes up for in holiday spirit.

Time to make plans for the weekend. There’s so much to do among our wonderful community of fellow bike lovers that you shouldn’t let the cold and dark keep you from joining in the fun.

(Please note: We’re looking for a sponsor of this weekly feature and the BP Calendar. It’s a great opportunity for a company that wants to get valuable exposure, support our community, and support BikePortland! Please contact me if interested. jonathan@bikeportland.org*)

Friday, December 7th

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BikeCraft vendor spotlights: Becky Morton, Hippy Thread, ANTHM Collective

By on December 5th, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Welcome to the latest installment of our 2018 BikeCraft vendor spotlights thanks to our friend Elly Blue from Microcosm Publishing. Below are just a few of the folks and fineries you’ll get to meet at the big event. Don’t miss our other vendor spotlights here, here, and here. And save those pennies!
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Portland ponders pilot of powerful transportation data tool – UPDATED

By on December 5th, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Screenshot of Replica showing origin of streetcar trips.

A powerful new data collection tool has local transportation agencies salivating.

Replica by Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet, the company that owns Google) bills itself as a “next-generation urban planning tool.” Using location data gleaned from cell phones and other sources, Replica creates a “synthetic population” based on aggregate U.S. Census data. The promise of this tool is that it can give planners and engineers unprecedented insights into the traffic patterns and mobility behaviors of urban residents.

From regional trends to fine-grain analysis of travel to-and-from specific destinations, this data has vast potential. But it also requires trust from a wary public fearful of privacy breaches and government/corporate overreach.

At this morning’s Portland City Council meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation urged Mayor Ted Wheeler and his colleagues to approve an intergovernmental agreement (PDF) between PBOT, Metro and TriMet that would enable the agencies to enter into a 12-month pilot with Sidewalk Labs. Here’s more from the official city ordinance under consideration:[Read more…]