Video of the Week: Scenes from a New York City bike lane

Posted on September 27th, 2010 at 10:02 am.

Just finished watching My Commuted Commute, a video that I think everyone should spend five minutes to check out. A woman from New York City, Rachel Brown, shot helmet cam footage and offers commentary about what it’s like to ride in one of the new, green-painted, curbside bike lanes. For all the positive buzz NYC is getting lately, this video shows that it takes much more than paint to create a truly functional lane for bike traffic.

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In London, ’20’s plenty’ fast enough

Posted on September 1st, 2010 at 9:14 am.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Streetfilms has a new video on 20’s Plenty for us, a campaign in the U.K. working to make 20 mph the standard speed limit in residential areas. The campaign is catching on quickly, with more and more U.K. cities adopting the policy all the time. Given that PBOT might be considering a legislative fix to wrest greater control of speed limits from ODOT, and the fact that Mayor Sam Adams has already shown an interest in reducing speed limits and has made safety his number one transportation priority, this could be an idea that catches on here in Portland.[Read more…]

Boulder’s new way of building “a community of carlessness”

Posted on August 31st, 2010 at 1:10 pm.

Go carfree on the day that
corresponds to your car color
(mine would be Tuesday).

Here’s a interesting new campaign that would feel right at home in Portland. This Saturday, the City of Boulder Colorado will launch Driven to Drive Less, a new program to get people to go one day a week without their car. What’s refreshing is that they’re going about it in a creative way, by asking people to consider going carfree on a certain day of the week depending on the color of their vehicle. Here’s a snip from the campaign website:[Read more…]

The bikes of Lahania, Maui

Posted on May 14th, 2010 at 8:00 am.

Bikes of Lahaina, Maui-3

Rollin’ on Front Street.
-Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)

Just got back from a week in Maui. While there — besides swimming with dolphins and turtles and hanging with family and friends — I spent some time in the island’s most famous town, Lahaina.

As per usual when I explore a new town (see my reports from Guadalajara and Los Angeles), I kept a special eye out for bikes and the people who ride them.

On Lahaina’s main drag, Front Street, bikes are everywhere; and for both tourists and locals, the archetypal beach cruiser reigns supreme.

Besides one gear, big tires, and a laid back position (and attitude), most bikes in Lahaina have a patina of reddish colored dirt (it’s common in the area) and huge handlebars tilted nearly straight up. The riders themselves are much more varied — from “haoles” on rental bikes to local fisherman carrying spears and buckets. Even the urban fixie trend has taken hold.
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Introducing “Eugene’s version of BikePortland”

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 12:12 pm.

Screen grab from WeBikeEugene.org.

Got some great news from Eugene-based bike advocate (and juggler) Mike Seager the other day. He and a few other volunteer contributors have launched WeBikeEugene.org, “a site that could be described as Eugene’s version of BikePortland.”

Mike’s the editor of the site and he’s also a member of GreyMatter Jugglers, “Eugene’s only bicycle powered circus troupe.” He’s joined by his wife Kendra Seager, the site’s copy editor, and noted bike advocate Shane Rhodes. Rhodes is one of the founders of Kidical Mass who won an Alice Award last year for his work on Eugene’s Safe Routes to Schools program. Alexander Hongo, a teacher and mechanic at the University of Oregon’s Bicycle Program, is also on the staff roster.
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An idea from San Francisco: Sidewalk extensions

Posted on February 18th, 2010 at 1:44 pm.

A pilot project in San Francisco will replace two parking spaces with a patio.
(Photo: RG Construction)

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Portland’s “whiteness” cited as reason for bike-friendliness

Posted on December 15th, 2009 at 12:04 pm.

“…the City of Portland is 450,000 people. It’s a homogeneous community that is very white… We are a very diverse, disjointed city of 4 million people… So we’re a step behind Portland in what we’re trying to do.”
— Michelle Mowery, bicycle coordinator for the City of Los Angeles

We’ve discussed how race relates (or doesn’t) to bicycling on several occasions in the past here on BikePortland, but a story out of Los Angeles takes the conversation in an entirely new direction.

According to “LA’s hyper opinionated bicycle blog” Westside Bikeside, the bicycle coordinator for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation made some interesting comments at a City Council Transportation Committee meeting last week.
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Blumenauer takes a ride in New York City

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 at 10:18 am.

Blumenauer (in green jacket) avoids
a taxi while riding on Sixth Ave.
-Watch video below-

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer went for a ride with bike advocates in New York City over the weekend and Streetfilms was there to capture the action.

Blumenauer rolled down the bike lane on Sixth Ave, calling the experience “pretty grim”. However, when he turned onto the cycle track on Ninth, his feelings “changed completely”.

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, shared how far New York City has come in recent years:

“We started years ago aspiring to be Portland, looking to Portland for best practices, now we’re at the point in New York where Portland is actually borrowing from us.”

[Read more…]

Inspiration from Seoul: An ambitious plan to increase biking

Posted on October 23rd, 2008 at 10:20 am.

Bike elevators for bridges are just
one way Seoul, South Korea hopes
to reach 10% bike mode share by 2020.
(Graphic: Chosun Ilbo)

Seoul, South Korea, a city with just 1.6% of their population regularly using bikes (Portland is at 6% by comparison) has set an aggressive plan to bump that up to 10% by 2020.

They’ve launched several initiatives to reach that goal (like parking and shower facilities at subway stations, bike elevators to get to bridges, and more), but one of them in particular caught my eye because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot myself – re-allocating existing roadway space to bike traffic.
[Read more…]