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Marcus Griffith (Contributor) Post Archive

Clark County bike/walk plan earns national award for fighting obesity

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Cover of the plan.

While Vancouver isn’t the same cycling utopia as Portland; bit by bit, the area is striving to embrace two-wheeled transportation. Those efforts just got a head nod from the Active Living Research (ALR), an organization that promotes walking and biking as means to fight childhood obesity.

In a press release, Clark County Public Health announced it received ALR’s 2012 Translating Research to Policy Award for its Health Impact Assessment (PDF) of the Clark County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The annual award, given to one organization each year, recognizes exceptional use of research in making policies affecting youth physical activity levels, according to ALR Research Coordinator Chad Spoon.[Read more…]

Woman hit, killed by bus while walking across street in downtown Vancouver

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Photo from the scene.
(Photo: Marcus Griffith)

An “elderly woman” was struck and killed by a C-TRAN bus today while walking across the street in downtown Vancouver. The collision occurred a few blocks from the bike route across the I-5 Bridge, according to witnesses.

The Route 4 bus was in the process of turning left from 8th Street to Washington Street when it collided with a unidentified woman in the marked cross walk, according to passengers on the bus. “Everyone on the bus was yelling at [the driver] to stop… and than the bus hit her and we started yelling [at the driver] ‘you just hit someone’ and everyone got off the bus,” said Taryn Park, who was on the bus at the time of the collision.[Read more…]

Portland “Bicyclist with a capital B” leads Vancouver Bike Club

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Maria Schur
(Self portrait)

In many ways, Portland resident Maria Schur epitomizes the die-hard Portland bike lover. She averages 120 miles a week in the saddle, commutes by bike to her job at BikeTiresDirect, spent two years as a bike messenger in San Francisco, participated in the first ever Critical Mass ride in 1992, operates a bike-centric blog and has a grandfather who traded his car for a bike in 1942.

What makes the 45-year old Schur stand out from her Rose City peers is her position as president of the 500-member Vancouver Bike Club (VBC), Clark County’s oldest and most active cycling organization.
[Read more…]

Alta project will promote biking, walking in downtown Vancouver

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Vancouver hopes to see more
of this downtown.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Vancouver has awarded a $70,000 contract to Alta Planning and Design to promote biking, walking, ride-sharing and transit into downtown Vancouver. The project is set to officially roll out in January.

According to Vancouver Senior Planner Jennifer Campos, the purpose of the pilot project, which was paid for through a combination of two federal grants, is to garner support for creating a Business Improvement District (BID) to fund a proposed Transportation Management Association (TMA). The pilot project would attempt to demonstrate that outreach programs can be successful in reducing single occupancy automobile trips in downtown Vancouver, according to Campos.[Read more…]

In Vancouver, Mia Birk rallies members of local bike club

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Mia Birk
(Photo © J. Maus)

Author and CEO Mia Birk presented her book, Joy Ride, to the Vancouver Bicycle Club (VBC) on Wednesday at the new downtown Vancouver library.

Introduced by Portland’s own Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie, Birk informed the crowd of about 60 VBC members that Portland’s famous bicycling atmosphere didn’t happen overnight. [Read more…]

Vancouver gets its first artistic bike rack

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Vancouver’s first ever art racks.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

In the latest act of Portland’s bike love spreading to Vancouver, a Portland resident is opening Clark County’s first fully dedicated climbing center in downtown Vancouver, complete with Vancouver’s first artistic bicycle rack (a.k.a. “art racks“).

The Source is co-owned by Portland resident Hanz Kroesen and former Portland resident Michael Lary. According to Lary, the mountain peak shaped bicycle racks at The Source were designed and built by Kroesen, along with “most of the metal work” in the building. [Read more…]

When it comes to helmet laws, language matters

Monday, October 24th, 2011
Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-134

Mandatory helmet laws say
the little guy should wear one.
(Photos © J. Maus)

After reading about the helmet survey launched by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance last week, I wanted to share a cautionary tale about helmet laws. I live in Vancouver, Washington where we’ve been living with a mandatory, all-ages helmet law since 2008.

If you’re of the persuasion that mandatory helmet laws are a good thing, keep in mind that not all mandatory helmet laws are created equal and — as Vancouver is finding out with its 2008 ordinance — subtle wording can have a profound effect on the scope of the law.

Sidestepping the seemingly non-existent impact Vancouver’s law has had on helmet use, bike ridership and injury rates, it contains a few real-world complications that highlight why it’s important to pay attention to subtle wording. [Read more…]

Vancouver job fair turns I-5 bridge access into a parking lot

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

As if the I-5 Bridge needed any more safety issues, yesterday’s job fair hosted by Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler at the Red Lion Hotel turned the biking and walking bridge crossing route into a parking lot…

View of biking and walking path to I-5 bridge.
(Photo: Marcus Griffith)

[Read more…]

Another unauthorized road sign; this time in Vancouver

Monday, September 19th, 2011

This sign was posted on NW Lower River Road in Vancouver. It has since been removed.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

For the third time this month, an unauthorized road sign has been discovered in the greater Portland metro area; and the trend has now hopped across the Columbia River into Vancouver. [Read more…]

New bike advocacy group for Clark County nears non-profit status

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Clark County Cycling Coalition
founder Eric Giacchino.
(Photo: Marcus Griffith)

The greater Portland metropolitan area is one step closer to having another regional non-profit bike education and advocacy organization.

The necessary paperwork to receive official non-profit status for the Clark County Cycling Coalition (C-4), southwest Washington’s newest bike organization, is complete and ready to be mailed, according to C-4 president Eric Giacchino.

Giacchino, a Vancouver fire fighter and Air Force veteran (profiled in The Oregonian earlier this year), explained that he has “tremendous” respect for the efforts of local volunteer bike projects (there’s a few), but he wants the Clark County area to have its own “umbrella” organization that promotes “polite, safe, cycling.”[Read more…]