About Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

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


Michael Andersen (Contributor) Posts

A little big shift: Portland can restripe 2% of roads for 60% more capacity

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

There could be a lot more buses and bikes in our future.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This is crossposted from the Sightline Institute. Michael Andersen is a former BikePortland news editor.

Central City in Motion hearing

2:00 pm today at City Hall

The proposal going before Portland City Council at 2 pm today would be the city’s most important biking infrastructure investment in 20 years, and its most important bus infrastructure investment in 40.

Just as importantly, it’d also make our streets work better, permanently.

The Central City in Motion plan avoids the false promise of bigger roads: 39 percent of the central city is already dedicated to street space, it notes. So, as Jonathan reported last month, it’s planning to dedicate an additional 1 percent of those central streets to bike lanes and another 1 percent to bus lanes.

That little shift in urban space, which would take the form of 18 street projects over the next 10 years, would boost the people-moving capacity of the affected streets by an average of 60 percent.
[Read more…]

Bike commute numbers ebb nationwide; in Portland, they’re flat

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

American bike commuting rates seem to have entered a post-recession skid in 2017. Here in Portland, meanwhile, they once again stayed about the same, according to Census estimates released this month.
[Read more…]

Planning Commission finds ‘missing middle,’ votes for more housing citywide

Monday, September 17th, 2018

A 1905 duplex on SE 33rd Avenue in Portland. Like many other cities, Portland made these illegal on most lots in the mid 20th century. Photo by Portland for Everyone.

“What do the neighbors have to be afraid of? It’s buildings, people or cars.”
— Chris Smith, Planning Commissioner

An earlier version of this post was published by the Sightline Institute. It’s by BikePortland’s former news editor, Michael Andersen, who started covering the need for “missing middle” housing — especially in Portland’s most bikeable neighborhoods — for us in 2015. We last covered this issue in May, just before the crucial public hearings described here.

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The most provocative housing policy event of this week in the Pacific Northwest started happening four months ago.
[Read more…]

Speak up or sprawl out: “Missing middle” housing proposal hits the planning commission tonight

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

The “safety in numbers” phenomenon works in housing too.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

This is a guest post by Michael Andersen, BikePortland’s news editor from 2013 to 2016. He’s a writer for 1000 Friends of Oregon’s pro-housing campaign Portland for Everyone.

There are two ways for more Portlanders to live in bikeable neighborhoods.

One way is to add good bike infrastructure to neighborhoods without it. The other way is to let more people live in neighborhoods that have it already. Portland should be doing both.[Read more…]

Beyond freeway expansion, here’s how local streets would change with I-5 Rose Quarter project

Friday, October 6th, 2017

A visual summary by ODOT of the surface-street changes proposed in the I-5 Rose Quarter Project.
(Images: ODOT and Google Street View)

When they explain their support for spending hundreds of millions to add two new on/off freeway lanes and freeway shoulders to Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter, Portland city leaders have a go-to answer: better surface streets.

It’s true, Mayor Ted Wheeler conceded last month, that more freeway throughput at this interchange would do “very little to arrest congestion.” Instead, more driving is likely to fill any new space that might open up on the freeway, ultimately leaving cars and trucks as jammed as before (though possibly elsewhere on the road system).

But from Portland’s perspective, Wheeler said, the $450 million Rose Quarter project is “mostly a bicycle and pedestrian play.”

OK. So we wanted to know what, exactly, are taxpayers getting in this location that would improve biking and walking?

[Read more…]

Portland’s BikeCraft fair is back for the 2017 holidays

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
BikeCraft 2012-2

BikeCraft 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

After a year on hiatus, Portland’s only bike-specific craft fair will ride again this December.

The simple idea, as phrased by co-producer Elly Blue of Microcosm Publishing: “Anyone who makes something bike-centric can pay a small tabling fee and come sell their stuff to a crowd of happy cyclists. It’s informal, fun, and all about building community and supporting the kitchen table and small business economy.”

This year’s event happens the weekend of Dec. 15-17 at the Bike Farm, 1810 NE 1st Ave. just north of Broadway. It’s free to attend Saturday and Sunday; this year there’ll also be a paid preview party on Friday night to benefit the Bike Farm’s mission (a cheap place to crank on your bike and/or learn how) and to let people “shop early in a festive but less busy setting,” Blue says.

[Read more…]

TriMet is firming up its designs for outer Division bus stations

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
The latest rendering of future bikeway-bus interaction on outer Division Street.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency is hoping to raise $175 million for bigger, faster-moving buses on Southeast Division Street, and some major bikeway upgrades would be in store.

From SE 82nd Avenue to the Gresham city limits near 174th Avenue, the agency is planning to pay for a vertical barrier, mostly a series of concrete curbs, to protect the bike lanes that will have been recently widened and buffered by a separate City of Portland project. And when the Division bike lanes pass bus stops — as they would at 87th, I-205, 101st, 112th, 122nd, 130th, 135th, 143rd, 148th, 156th, 162nd, 168th and 174th — they’ll often be wrapping to the sidewalk side in order to reduce bike-bus conflicts.

[Read more…]

Tilikum passing: Which side is right for faster bikes?

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
Sunday Parkways September 2015-5.jpg

Ride right, pass left? Or the other way around?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

I got a call this week from Portland resident Alec Boehm, who’s looking for advice on a question many Portlanders have grappled with over the years.

When people biking and walking have dedicated spaces on a relatively narrow multi-use path, should faster bikes pass slower bikes on the right, or on the left? And (by the same token) should people who expect to be passed keep to the left of the biking lane, or to the right?

You can see the same situation constantly on the Hawthorne Bridge, and sometimes the Broadway, too. Until this week, you could sometimes see it for northbound bike traffic on Naito Parkway’s temporary protected biking and walking lanes, too.

[Read more…]

Here’s a handy guide to which Gorge trails have reopened after the fire

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Still from a KGW video assessing damage to the Columbia Gorge.

You’ve probably heard by now that despite last month’s conflagration in the Columbia River Gorge, Portlanders’ worst fears about the destruction didn’t come true.

But keeping track of where you can and can’t hike and bike through the Gorge right now is more complicated than usual. That’s where the Friends of the Columbia Gorge come in.

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Paris’s car-free day, SF’s chop shop ban and more

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Lots of kids and families took advantage of (relatively) carfree streets throughout Paris yesterday. This is a scene from the Quai des Tuilieries along the Seine River.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Car-free Paris: For one day, the City of Light banned non-local private cars from all its streets Sunday for the first time ever. Related news: Car trips from one location within city limits to another are down 30 percent in the last decade.

Outlawing chop shops: San Francisco may be close to banning sales or distribution on public land of bikes and bike parts.

Delaware stops: The Eastern state is posed to become the second (after Idaho) to make it officially legal for people biking to treat stop signs like yield signs.

Suspended licenses:  In most of the United States, losing the ability to drive sends anyone who needs income into a “hellhole of desperation.” Maybe that’s why three in four Americans with suspended licenses choose to keep driving, even though that can lead to a crushing debt burden if they’re caught.

[Read more…]