470 bollards not enough to protect ‘Better Naito’ bikeway

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 4:40 pm.

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This is supposed to be a carfree lane.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Let me make this as clear as possible: If Portland wants to get more people cycling, we must provide a network of high-quality, physically protected routes that are connected to destinations. Any bikeway that does not provide physical protection from “A to B” that’s both real and perceived is a gap in the network.

I bring this up because of the fanfare that launched Better Naito last week. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fanfare is justified. The volunteers who advocated for the project initially and the city staff that have embraced it have many reasons to be proud. But let us not forget that this is still second-rate infrastructure designed on the cheap.[Read more…]

Alberta, Swan Island and more: City preps Biketown expansion plans

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 1:05 pm.

It’s growing.

Coming up on the one-year anniversary of its launch, the City of Portland is set to announce a proposal to expand the Biketown bike share system.
[Read more…]

PBOT wants to crowdsource bike corral usage data with eye on improvements

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 8:54 am.

Ex Novo Brewing

Bike corrals have become a common feature of Portland’s streets. Looks like they could use a larger one at Ex Novo on North Flint Ave.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

From St. Johns to Lents, and all points in between, the City of Portland has 145 bike parking corrals. The groupings of blue staple racks have become a standard piece of street furniture and a symbol of Portland’s commitment to cycling.

But how often are they used? Are some overcrowded? Should they be larger? Smaller? And how does Biketown figure into the equation?

These are just some of the questions the Bureau of Transportation hopes to answer with a new, crowdsourced bike corral reporting project. Using a short online form, PBOT wants to know three basic pieces of information: How many bikes are parked at the corral, if they include Biketown bikes, and the date/time of the observation.
[Read more…]

Route advisory: MAX and sewer repair will have major impacts on SW Morrison/Yamhill

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 12:25 pm.

(Map: Bureau of Environmental Services)

If you live, work or play downtown, you need to get prep yourself for significant projects that will have a big impact on the transit couplet of SW Morrison and Yamhill. This corridor runs through the heart of Portland — from the waterfront to west of Pioneer Square.

TriMet is fixing and upgrading its MAX light rail tracks and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is taking the opportunity to make repairs to sewer pipes that run under them.

The takeaway? For three weeks between Sunday April 30th to May 20th, the MAX Blue, Red and Green lines will be disrupted, streets in the area will be closed, and there will be active work zones all over the place. TriMet will use shuttle buses to help keep people moving, but the route closures will lead to heavy traffic (both on roads and on transit) and strange traffic patterns downtown. [Read more…]

Sorry bike thieves, PBOT’s new — more secure — staple racks are finally hitting the streets

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 11:34 am.

New PBOT bike rack-4.jpg

The first of a new generation — and hopefully a new era of bike theft prevention.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland just raised their game when it comes to providing people with a secure place to park a bicycle.
[Read more…]

With City’s embrace, an ‘Even Better Naito’ returns to the waterfront

Posted on April 27th, 2017 at 2:36 pm.

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Naito will never be the same.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2015 it was just a wild idea by a few ambitious urban planning activists: What if we reconfigured Naito Parkway so that there was more room for biking and walking?
[Read more…]

A protected bike lane is born: ‘Better Naito’ is being installed right now

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 5:02 pm.

Posts were erected today on Naito. They’ll be in place (barring destruction by careless drivers) through the end of September.
(Photo: Timur Ender)

From now until the end of September, all Portlanders will benefit from a much more humane Naito Parkway. Along a busy section of our marquee riverfront street usually held hostage by speeding motor vehicles spewing toxic fumes into the air we breathe, people will drive more slowly and there will be much more room to walk and bike and roll.

As I type this, transportation bureau crews are installing the plastic wands and other elements that will help re-allocate space on the northbound (east) side of Naito for about 3/4 of a mile between SW Main and NW Couch. The $350,000 project was supported by City Council last October. Former Mayor Charlie Hales was an ardent supporter of improving vehicle access on Naito. Prior to voting on it last fall he said, “Expanding the public realm for bicycles in this city, and is something we’re still committed to.”
[Read more…]

First look: The Willamette riverfront path that Tesla built

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 12:12 pm.

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A section of paved path built adjacent to the (in-progress) Tesla showroom on the Willamette River with South Waterfront’s residential towers in the background.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

When Tesla Motors revealed plans for a showroom in Portland last May we feared the worst. The location of the showroom (4330 SW Macadam Avenue) on the west side of the Willamette River just south of Portland’s burgeoning South Waterfront district, was smack-dab in the middle of an annoying gap in a key multi-use path.
[Read more…]

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 10:58 am.

Biketown bike share -14.jpg

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…]

ODOT hosts open house for inner Powell Blvd project tonight

Posted on April 5th, 2017 at 12:19 pm.

ODOT’s current plans.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is in the final design phases of a project that aims to make it safer to bike and walk on and across SE Powell Blvd beteeen 20th and 34th Avenue. They’re hosting an open house tonight (4/5) to answer questions, hear feedback, and share more information about the project.

This section of Powell is important for several reasons. The intersection with 26th is where two serious bicycle crashes — and one major protest — happened in 2015. It’s also the location of a very busy crossing due to the presence of Cleveland High School on the northeast corner. ODOT has also come under scrutinty for their decision to force the City of Portland to remove the existing bike lane on 26th as a condition of them adding a new signal and crossing at 28th (which ODOT says is a safer place to cross). Adding to the mix is the news that Target will build a new store at 30th and Powell (in the place of an old bowling alley).
[Read more…]