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Guest post: Biking away (some of) my Amazon Prime guilt

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

The author on his Benno e-bike.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This story is by northwest Portland resident, Planning & Sustainability Commissioner and devoted civic activist, Chris Smith.

I confess, I’m a heavy user of Amazon Prime. Not in the “I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store” way, but more of a “there’s so much selection, I can get exactly the thing I’m looking for!” way. If I can buy what I need locally, I definitely do.

I’m aware of the potential negative impacts of this convenience: exploitation of workers at Amazon warehouses, impact on local retail and — especially given the focus of my activism — last mile impacts on the local transportation system.

I think I have an answer for that last point: Amazon Lockers.[Read more…]

‘Bike nooks’ concept part of major bike parking overhaul headed to city council

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

That’s a bike rack that meets our current in-unit code. Not great.
(Photos: Liz Hormann/City of Portland)

Story by Chris Smith, a member of the Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission. He previously wrote about how bicycles and streetcars can co-exist.

After a supportive vote from the Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission (PSC) at their meeting last month, the first full overhaul of Portland’s Bicycle Parking zoning code in two decades is now headed to City Council.

The package is largely similar to the output of a stakeholder committee last year, as refined in the proposed draft (PDF) sent to the PSC, with one big exception: something we’re calling “bike nooks”.

Our current parking code (from last century) allowed bike parking to be located in an apartment or condo, something no other major city allows. Despite efforts to refine this code in 2010, we still saw horror stories like bike racks above beds or couches (see photo).
[Read more…]

Guest Editorial: A city where bikes and streetcars coexist

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Chris Smith

[This article was written by Chris Smith. Chris is a multi-modal transportation advocate who writes regularly on PortlandTransport.com. In the late 1990s he helped win neighborhood approval of the NW Bikeways plan that established the bicycle network in NW Portland and the Pearl District. He currently serves as chair of the Streetcar Citizens Advisory Committee and on the board of Portland Streetcar, Inc.]


A City of Bikes and Streetcars

I’ve enjoyed Libby Tucker’s two part series on bikes and streetcars in Portland (Part OnePart Two). It’s a very accurate portrait of the history of interactions between bikes and streetcars in our city.[Read more…]