About Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)
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Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.

Michael Andersen (Contributor) Post Archive

Bike commuting growth slips and Portland adds 11,000 more commutes by car

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Hawthorne Bridge traffic observations-5.jpg

Auto congestion is one problem that isn’t able to solve itself.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not your imagination: auto traffic got worse in Portland last year.

One of the main reasons: it looks like almost none of the additional commutes that originated in Portland in 2016 happened on bikes, foot or public transit. Instead, of the 12,000 additional commutes Portland added in 2016, 11,000 happened in cars.

That’s according to the latest commuting estimates from the Census Bureau, at least. The citywide bike commuting rate slipped from an estimated 7 percent of commuters to 6.3 percent, the same biking rate estimated in 2011.

[Read more…]

The future of Portland housing depends on biking, and vice versa

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
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The bikeways in Montreal inspire people to give cycling a try; but it’s their proximity to ample and affordable residential housing that seals the deal.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When BikePortland reported last week that the city may slash its goal for increasing biking, the eighth paragraph contained a twist.

The obstacle to advancing our city to 25 percent of trips by bike by 2030 wasn’t actually the biking, city staff said. It was real estate.
[Read more…]

25% of Portland metro residents say congestion could make them switch to biking

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Traffic leading onto the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown Portland yesterday afternoon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2009, the City of Portland set a goal that many people considered fanciful: one in four trips by bike citywide by 2030.

Eight years later, that’s exactly the ratio of car-owners in the Portland metro area who claim they’d swap their car trips for bike trips “if traffic congestion gets bad enough.”

That ratio held across racial and ideological lines, and was only slightly lower in Clark County, Wash., than on the Oregon side of the metro area. But it wasn’t consistent by gender, age, income or education: women, older people, higher-income people and more educated people were less likely to say they’d switch to biking.

[Read more…]

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
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Biketown is popular with tourists, but the system needs more annual members if it wants to flourish.
(All photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s bike sharing system could have a bumpy road ahead even if political vandals decide to leave it be.

Annual members

A comparison of three bike share systems.

  • Biketown Portland: 2,837 (after nine months)
  • Pronto Seattle*: 2,878 (after nine months)
  • Capital Bikeshare Washington D.C.: 16,000 (after 12 months)

*Pronto has ceased operation.

Biketown launched nine months ago next week with 1000 bikes and 100 stations. Thanks to title sponsorship from Nike, it was one of the country’s largest bike-share launches — double the station and bike count of Seattle’s Pronto system when it launched in 2014.

Pronto, which like Biketown was operated by New York-based Motivate Inc., turned into the country’s highest-profile bike-share failure to date. Plagued by low ridership and a series of financial missteps and miscommunications, it shut down at the end of last month.

And though Portland’s Biketown is a very different system with a different price structure, its annual membership numbers for year one are on a very similar trajectory to Pronto’s.

[Read more…]

TriMet lobbies for more freeways in a misguided ‘fix’ for Portland congestion

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
I-5 traffic from N Skidmore.jpg

Don’t believe the hype.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is a guest post from former news editor Michael Andersen.

The top executive of Portland’s mass transit agency said this week that the Portland region has four top transportation priorities, and three of them are to expand capacity of urban freeways.

[Read more…]

Portland’s new surge in bike commuting is real – and it’s gas-price proof

Thursday, September 15th, 2016
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Rush hour on Williams Avenue in May. Once again in 2015, 7 percent of Portlanders said their main commute to work is by bike.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Gas prices? What gas prices?

The great gasoline plunge of late 2014 hasn’t cut the rate of Portlanders biking to work, at least not in 2015.

In fact, drive-alone commuting among Portland residents hit a modern-day low last year — the fifth such record in six years — and public transit commuting jumped to a modern high of 13.4 percent.

[Read more…]

Four things I learned by working for the world’s best bike blog

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
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Not included in this listicle: always listen to Jim Howell.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Three years ago, when Jonathan and I were drafting the blog posts in which we’d talk about my joining BikePortland, he offered one of his many lessons that have stuck with me.

Don’t write about BikePortland as if it’s a thing I control, he said. Write about it like it’s a community.

My boss for the last three years isn’t always right. (Just ask him.) But that was one of the many times when he is.

[Read more…]

Who’s mad and who’s glad about ‘Better Naito’?

Friday, July 29th, 2016
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Naito Parkway on Thursday afternoon as seen looking north from the Morrison Bridge.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend, the City of Portland plans to remove the temporary multi-use path from the eastern side of Naito Parkway so the space can be used by cars instead.

[Read more…]

Bike and Build team rolls through Portland, changing lives all around

Friday, July 29th, 2016
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2016 Bike and Build riders Carmen Kuan and Kelsey Oesmann with local Habitat for Humanity worker Jake Antles at their work site in Cully Thursday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

For the 15th year in a row, a crew of young adults on bikes pulled into Portland Wednesday almost ready to finish a cross-country bike trip designed to change the way they see their country.

Thursday’s time painting part of a new Habitat for Humanity house in the Cully neighborhood was one of 10 “build days” for the 24-person crew affiliated with the national organization Bike and Build. Part charity bike tour and part Americorps, Bike and Build’s mission is to “benefit affordable housing and empower young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement.”

[Read more…]

East Portland advocates say they won’t take no for an answer on Powell bikeway

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
outer powell street view

SE Powell near 125th. The state’s current plan is to add sidewalks and a center turn lane but potentially no vertical separation between bike and car traffic.
(Image: Google Street View)

East Portland’s most prominent advocacy group is unanimously opposed to the state’s current plan for outer Powell Boulevard, its top staffer said Thursday.

“Every one of our transportation advocates — from pedestrian to bicycle to transit to overall transportation — was in disagreement with their decision and they want a separated bike lane on Powell,” said Lore Wintergreen, advocate for the East Portland Action Plan.

[Read more…]