Joe Bike

With help from friends, our bike shop status spreadsheet has gone national

By on April 3rd, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Map of bike shop statuses during the COVID-19 outbreak created by Chris King Precision Components and Portland Design Works [Read more…]

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Concerns aside, Metro Council gives ODOT $129 million for I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on April 3rd, 2020 at 2:58 pm

I-5 from the Flint Avenue Bridge.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Despite a majority of Metro Council expressing concerns about the future of a nearly $800 million project that will expand the I-5 freeway through the Rose Quarter, only two out of seven members voted against giving the Oregon Department of Transportation $129 million to continue working on it.

The 5-2 vote came at a meeting just hours after the Oregon Transportation Commission gave ODOT permission to move forward with the project without the rigorous environmental analysis called for by hundreds of Portlanders, many organizations and key local elected officials including Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. On the Metro Council agenda was a resolution to greenlight funding that allows ODOT to do two things: Purchase “right-of-way” parcels in the Rose Quarter where they’ll stage future construction equipment; and continue to pay expenses related to project development, outreach and preliminary engineering, and so on. (It’s the same funding passed by a Metro advisory committee last week.[Read more…]

COVID-19 Small Bike Business Resource Guide: Part 2 – Maintaining Payroll

By on April 3rd, 2020 at 10:26 am

(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Part two of a three-part series written by Rebecca Small and Shawn Small. See full series here.

We continue with another timely article that’s tailor-made for Portland bike businesses. On Wednesday we explained how to navigate the system and find unemployment benefits. Today we’ll share the latest links and advice for how to manage cashflow and maintain your workforce.

Part 2: Resources to help maintain payroll

[Read more…]

Amid sea of closures, Forest Park remains open for business

By on April 3rd, 2020 at 8:23 am

It’s nearly impossible to ride the Newton Road trail right now without coming into close contact with other people.
(Note: Photo taken last year.)
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you think it’s hard to comply with social distancing guidelines on narrow sidewalks and bike lanes in Portland, you should try doing it on singletrack trails in Forest Park.

But that hasn’t stopped the City of Portland from keeping the much-loved urban park open.

While trails in the Columbia River Gorge and elsewhere throughout Oregon are closed — and the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau has opted to close basketball courts, skateparks and roads around 10 other local parks in an effort to discourage use and help people maintain their distance, Forest Park has avoided closures thus far.

I’ve biked through the park several times recently and the parking lots have been very crowded. It got me wondering; if the Parks Bureau has closed basketball courts and skateparks, why would they keep Forest Park trails open while they continue to attract such large crowds? I was also curious how it’s physically possible to maintain a six-foot passing distance on trails in heavily forested areas that are just 18 to 30-inches wide.

I put my questions to two people: Portland Parks Media Relations Director Mark Ross and Forest Park Conservancy Executive Director Renée Myers.[Read more…]

After OTC vote, Metro candidate Chris Smith calls for new highway governance model

By on April 2nd, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Chris Smith.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Chris Smith is outraged by what just happened.

The Portland Planning & Sustainability Commissioner member, transportation activist, and Metro Council candidate watched this morning as the unelected, five-member Oregon Transportation Commission brushed aside considerable concerns about the I-5 Rose Quarter project and voted unanimously to let the Oregon Department of Transportation move forward without any further objective analysis.

In response, Smith wants to strip the OTC of its powers to oversee urban highways. Here’s the statement he just shared with us:[Read more…]

Transportation commission says I-5 Rose Quarter project can move ahead without environmental statement

By on April 2nd, 2020 at 1:08 pm

The oversight body for the Oregon Department of Transportation has given the agency permission to move forward on their $715 million I-5 Rose Quarter project without doing more rigorous and independent analysis of its environmental and community impacts.

In a 5-0 vote taken on a meeting held over the phone today, Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Robert Van Brocklin said he was satisfied with steps taken by ODOT thus far and that, “I just don’t find the basis in the record to change to an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement].”

At issue was whether ODOT should be required to perform an EIS or stick with their already completed Environmental Assessment. Both processes are part of the US Federal Highway Administration National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). ODOT completed an EA last February, a step required to determine whether or not a project will have significant impacts.

With their vote today, the OTC has swept aside serious concerns and calls for an EIS by many regional elected leaders and organizations, and thousands of Portlanders who oppose the project. In the past two weeks alone, the group No More Freeways says over 350 people submitted public comment calling for an EIS. Last spring a comment period led to over 2,000 public omments, 89% of which were in opposition to the project. [Read more…]

Oregon set to endorse agreement with Washington on CRC 2.0

By on April 2nd, 2020 at 9:02 am

Concept drawing of CRC in Washington.

While all the attention at today’s Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) meeting will be on the I-5 Rose Quarter Project, there’s another highway expansion mega-project that will take an important step forward.

The OTC is expected to give the Oregon Department of Transportation permission to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Washington Department of Transportation that will lay the groundwork for cooperation on a project to replace the I-5 bridges over the Columbia River. This is a resurrection of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project that came crashing down in 2013 after the Washington legislature backed out of their funding commitments.

But since massive highway expansion projects are the air that keep state transportation agencies alive, after spending eight years and over $200 million the first time around, Oregon and Washington are eager to try again.[Read more…]

COVID-19 Small Bike Business Resource Guide: Part 2 – Unemployment

By on April 1st, 2020 at 4:52 pm

A machine operator at Chris King Precision Components, one of Portland’s many small bike businesses.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A three-part series written by Rebecca Small and Shawn Small

Uncertainty is hardly a new sensation for small business owners. Throw in a pandemic, a statewide lockdown, and implosion of the national economy and our local entrepreneurs find themselves facing previously unknown levels of apprehension and sleepless nights. Lately it may seem like there are a million possible wrong choices.

Every one of the nearly 100 different bike-related business in Portland, from the biggest bike shop in town to a self-employed bike fitter, falls into the category of a “small business” – by definition, a company with fewer than 500 people. Most are much smaller: 9 out of 10 businesses in Oregon have fewer than 20 employees. Despite their size, they employ 55% of the state’s workers. They are critical economic engines of our community.[Read more…]

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Biketown use has declined 75% amid virus outbreak

By on April 1st, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Biketown station on North Williams Ave.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Guest article: Consider a practice bike ride to school on calmer streets

By on March 31st, 2020 at 2:30 pm

A family leaves for a ride in Sellwood.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The coronavirus has changed our lives forever. From here on out, we will think of life before coronavirus, and after. While these are very scary times, we are seeing some positive things appear. With calmer streets and less people driving, there’s been a surge of children and families riding bikes together.

If you’re one of them, it might be a good time to do a practice run to school (if you don’t bike there already).

As a Physical Education teacher at a K-8 school in north Portland I see daily the impacts physical activity — or lack thereof — has on my students’ well-being. In PE class we work to give children the skills they need to be a physically literate person. We are building students’ competence and confidence so they can live a healthy life.

I tell my students that doctors have studied why being physically active is important for children. The closer children are to the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the Center for Disease Control, I tell them, the better health outcomes they’ll see. Children who are more active do better in school, get in less trouble, have better relationships with friends, get sick less and live longer lives.
[Read more…]

Becky Jo’s Carfree Life: But did you name it?

By on March 31st, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Adult and child’s bike on grass

Spring bike rides with Miata and the mini-me’s bike yet to be named (photos by Becky Jo)

When I started this car-free adventure at the beginning of winter, I thought for sure my bike was not going to cut it. I thought it was a matter of time when I’d have to admit my little road bike just wasn’t the right bike for hauling groceries or getting me around town. I was 99% convinced I’d have to trade it in when I first started my daughter behind me on her little tag-a-long, and her lack of experience balancing nearly caused us a few bike dumps.

I had been looking up more “upright” and heavier/sturdier bikes, what I came to find out are called “mixte” bikes, when to my surprise, we all adapted rather quickly. My daughter started riding on her own, I got into a cadence with groceries, and I do really love having a super light and maneuverable bike when I want to go from North Portland to Montavilla.[Read more…]

Portland pandemic news roundup: Free media, Free Hot Soup needs our help, free stickers, and more

By on March 30th, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Now available for free via snail mail from Portland Design Works.

It’s strange that while many things have slowed down or paused during these virus-impacted times, there seems to be more news than ever coming toward us. Even as owner of a niche transportation media outlet, I’m working overtime to keep up with everything.

In an effort keep you informed and entertained in your at-home existence, here’s a roundup of coronavirus-related news tidbits and other fun things I’ve collected in the past few days.

Free Hot Soup needs bicycle delivery volunteers

Free Hot Soup is an all-volunteer, grassroots community group that feeds hungry people. Since they’ve been barred from distributing meals at all but one local park, the group has made their operation mobile. We heard from an FHS volunteer that this means they need a lot more people to make deliveries — especially folks with bikes that have cargo capacity. Here’s the message:

Free Hot Soup needs more volunteers. We’re looking for bikers with trailers, who can team up to deliver along the I-205 corridor. We will have vehicles to transport meals to trailheads, to be taken from there to camps along the trail by bike.[Read more…]

PBOT Commissioner Eudaly: ‘Now is not the time’ to make street changes

By on March 30th, 2020 at 2:17 pm

SW Broadway and Oak at 5:12 pm on Thursday March 26th.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Congestion eradicated, respect for bicycling, spreading cheer, and more

By on March 30th, 2020 at 10:13 am

[Read more…]

The weekend is here. Please ride responsibly

By on March 27th, 2020 at 3:19 pm

My view from NW Rock Creek Road last weekend.

I never thought I’d say this; but I’m happy the forecast calls for clouds and rain this weekend.

With virus outbreak mode at an all-time high in Oregon and nightmarish scenes unfolding across the country, it’s absolutely essential that we stay home and stay isolated as much as possible right now. (If you do head out, scroll down for my advice.)

Last weekend we had dreamy weather. Unfortunately it led to nightmarish scenes of overcrowding all over the the state as people fled to the outdoors. That decision came at the expense of public health and it increased fear and anxiety among residents of many smaller towns where our favorite trails, beaches and roads exist. It also led to a loss of open spaces as park and forest agencies have now opted to close everything down due to crowding fears.[Read more…]

80-year-old ‘super-retiree’ Alan Koch finds a way to ride

By on March 27th, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Alan Koch in 2012.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Cycling entrepreneurs add delivery by bike as demand soars

By on March 27th, 2020 at 11:33 am

Sarah Gilbert and Edwin Skaug of A Convenient Cycle.

[Read more…]

How are you doing?

By on March 27th, 2020 at 9:41 am

Selfie from a pre-dawn, Tuesday morning ride up on Rocky Butte.

Hi everyone.

I wanted to take a minute and hear how you’re holding up amid these crazy times.

Are you riding? If so, what has your experience been out there? (Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to ride inside.)

If you’re not riding, how has that impacted you? [Read more…]

Regional leaders greenlight $129 million for I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on March 26th, 2020 at 3:59 pm

PBOT Director Chris Warner re-affirmed his agency’s support of the project.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’re at that awkward stage in a highway mega-project when the agency in charge is under a cloud of controversy and still (after years of planning) doesn’t have an official endorsement to start construction, but still wants money to keep the project moving forward.

Of course I’m talking about the Oregon Department of Transportation and the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. And it seems whenever I do, there’s growing skepticism and concern from regional leaders about it.

Here’s the latest…
[Read more…]

With $10 million in new venture funding, Ride Report CEO optimistic amid challenges

By on March 26th, 2020 at 11:08 am

Ride Report works with cities and scooter/bike share operators.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]