Hayden Island incident highlights confusing path access issues

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It can be hard to know whether or not
the public has the legal right to
ride a bike on paths like this one
on Hayden Island.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

The sometimes complicated rules that govern public use of private pathways is at the heart of a recent incident between a group of people cycling and a resident of Hayden Island, community situated in the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

North Portland resident James Wota and two friends were out for bike ride into Vancouver when they opted to stop for lunch at Lotus Isle City Park. After lunch, they noticed some enticing paths and started to explore them on their bike.

“We got on the trail by the [Red Lion] hotel and were biking east when we got stopped by a woman who told us we couldn’t bike on the path because it was private property,” said Wota.

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Biking, walking, and NHTSA’s latest Traffic Safety Facts data

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With Oregon lawmakers set to get down to business in the coming weeks, it’s a good time to prepare for the upcoming debates by brushing up on the latest traffic safety data.

The early edition of the 2009 Traffic Safety Facts is a 232 page compilation of national traffic collision data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and General Estimate System (GES) published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF here). This is an early report (2010 data is not expected to be available until early 2012), but it still contains several gems of information.

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Washington’s proposed safe passing law; and how it differs from ours

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Bike lane in action

This year, Washington State lawmakers will consider a new safe passing law. The bill, House Bill 1018 (PDF), is just one part of what’s been dubbed as the “Mutual Responsibility Bill.” It appears to have support from both sides of the aisle (in total, eight democrats and three republicans support it) and seems to stand a better chance of passage than a similar attempt in 2008.

What’s in Washington’s bill, and how does it compare with Oregon’s existing safe passing law?

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Do all-ages helmet laws work? An update from Vancouver, WA

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What happens in places that have a mandatory, all-ages helmet law on the books? Do injury rates decline? Does bike ridership go down? That’s the conventional wisdom; but is it true? Nearly three years after passing such an ordinance, the effect of Vancouver’s helmet law is difficult to ascertain. Our Vancouver correspondent Marcus Griffith took a closer look and found some surprising results.

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Vancouver gets two more on-street bike corrals, but businesses thwart a third

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New bike parking across
from Esther Short Park.
(Photos by Marcus Griffith

Earlier this week, the City of Vancouver installed two more on-street bike parking corrals, raising the city’s total to three. The new racks were installed Tuesday morning at Esther Short Park and on the corner of Broadway and McLoughlin Blvd in downtown Vancouver.

As reported online in The Vancouver Voice last week, the projects were approved by the Parking Advisory Committee in July, but were not expected to be installed until late summer due to a back log of city pavement projects.

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Vancouver City Council passes TIP without Bike Program

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Vancouver City Council passes helmet law-11.jpg

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.
(File photo/2008 © J. Maus)

Despite pressure from citizens, business owners (including the CEO of Burgerville), and advocacy groups from around the region and the country, last night the Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to pass their six-year Transportation Improvement Program plan with no dedicated funding for the Bike Program.

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Filmmaker visits Portland and Vancouver to document ghost bikes

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Filmmaker Meaghan Wilbur
(Photo: Marcus Griffith)

New York City independent film maker and bike enthusiast Meaghan Wilbur is in Portland and Vancouver this week filming interviews for her ghost bike documentary, a project she says is about “exploring the intersection of street art, activism, and mourning on the streets of cities around the world.”

In an interview Friday night, the gregarious 27 year-old talked about her project and her motivations. “I hope to expand people’s horizons; I want everyone to understand what a ghost bike stands for.” However, in her quest, Wilbur is being mindful of the inherent sensitivity surrounding the subject. “When I started [the ghost bike project], I didn’t want to be in people’s face while they were grieving… Right now, I am focusing on connecting with people and letting them share their stories.”

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Vancouver council hears concerns over bike program cut

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Gerik Kransky (BTA) and Leah
Jackson (Bike Me! Vancouver) at
last night’s council meeting.
(Photo: Marcus Griffith)

Vancouver City Council heard testimony regarding the proposed elimination of Vancouver’s Bike Program from more than twenty bike advocates from both sides of the river during last night’s city council meeting.

Although, the full public hearing and final vote on the draft Transportation Improvement Plan is not until June 21st, advocates seized the opportunity to express overwhelming support for the Bike Program during the general public comment portion of the meeting.

Representatives of Bike Me! Vancouver, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), Clark County Bicycle Advisory Committee, Clark College Bike Club and numerous citizens and business owners made positive, community-centric, fact-savvy statements in support of the Bike Program.

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