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Marcus Griffith (Contributor) Posts

Infamous blind curve on I-5 Bridge poses safety hazard

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Where the I-5 bridge path ends.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

Despite the City of Vancouver’s efforts to redesign an adjacent parking lot in 2009, the blind corner at the northeast end of the I-5 Bridge continues to have frequent collisions between people bicycling and illegally parked cars.

The parking lot where the bridge path comes out belongs to Clark County Public Utilities, and it’s infamous for regular bridge riders.
[Read more…]

Heading to the ‘Couve? Don’t forget your helmet

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
Aloha Todd and Low Bar Tour - Pedalpalooza-4

Heading to the ‘Couve? Remember your helmet.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Back in 2008, Vancouver (WA) passed an all-ages, mandatory helmet law. While enforcement has been nearly nonexistent since then, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says that’s about to change.

Hoping to increase compliance with the law, VPD spokesperson Kim Kapp tells us new police patrols, will “focus increasingly on making sure all bicyclists are complying with a city ordinance requiring helmets be worn at all times.”

That’s something to keep in mind if you’re from Portland, where the law only requires helmets on children under 16 years of age.[Read more…]

Hayden Island incident highlights confusing path access issues

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

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.
[Read more…]

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

Monday, January 24th, 2011

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.[Read more…]

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

Friday, January 7th, 2011
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?
[Read more…]

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

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

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.[Read more…]

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

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

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.[Read more…]

Vancouver City Council passes TIP without Bike Program

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
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.[Read more…]

Filmmaker visits Portland and Vancouver to document ghost bikes

Monday, June 14th, 2010

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.”[Read more…]

Vancouver council hears concerns over bike program cut

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

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.
[Read more…]