The Newswire

If you have news to share, send your ideas and press releases to us via our contact page.

Closures of Rhine-Lafayette overpass begin November 26th

Posted on November 9th, 2018 at 9:35 am.

UPDATE: The closure of the Rhine-Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in southeast Portland that had been planned for Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, has been postponed. The elevator improvement project will now begin Monday, Nov. 26, with elevators closing Monday, Dec. 17 through Friday, Jan. 4. Full closures of the overpass will be necessary at times. We will install HVAC equipment inside the elevator towers to regulate the temperature and humidity year-round. We also will be installing canopies over both elevator towers and adding drainage at the base of the towers to prevent rain from getting into the elevator mechanisms. More.

Be advised that TriMet is doing work on the Rhine-Lafayette bridge elevators that will close it to bicycle users for three days this month and then again for two weeks in December. Check the official statement below for more info:

Three-day closure begins Monday, Nov. 19 with intermittent closures of elevators through Jan. 4

The Rhine-Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in southeast Portland will close Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, as TriMet makes improvements to increase the reliability of the bridge’s elevators. The pedestrian overpass spans railroad tracks in the Brooklyn neighborhood, and connects SE Lafayette Street with SE Rhine Street. It provides connections to TriMet’s MAX Orange Line at the SE 17th Ave & Rhine St Station as well as to the Line 17-Holgate/Broadway, Line 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave and Line 291-Orange Night Bus. We will install HVAC equipment inside the elevator towers to regulate the temperature and humidity year-round. We also will be installing canopies over both elevator towers and adding drainage at the base of the towers to prevent rain from getting into the elevator mechanisms.

Construction closure schedule
The improvements will take about seven weeks and require the full closure of the Rhine-Lafayette overpass at times. The first full closure of the bridge comes at the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday week.

Full closure of the pedestrian overpass:
– Monday, Nov. 19 – Wednesday, Nov. 21

Construction continues with no impact to users:
– Monday, Nov. 26 – Friday, Dec. 14

Elevators closed and intermittent closures of the overpass possible:
– Monday, Dec. 17 – Friday, Jan. 4

Also, SE Rhine Street east of SE 18th Avenue and SE Lafayette Street west of SE 20th Avenue will be closed Monday, Nov. 19 through Friday, Jan. 4.

Plan extra time for detour
During the closures, a detour will guide pedestrians and cyclists north to SE Powell Boulevard to cross under the railroad tracks. Those who use the Rhine-Lafayette overpass should plan an extra 10 to 15 minutes to navigate the detour between both sides of the bridge.

From the east side of the bridge, proceed north on SE 20th Avenue about 0.2 mile, then go west on SE Powell Boulevard another 0.2 mile. Cross SE Powell Boulevard Frontage Road and proceed south about 0.15 mile to SE Rhine Street.

From the west side of the bridge, proceed north on SE 17th Avenue about 0.15 mile and cross SE Powell Boulevard Frontage Road to SE Powell Boulevard. Go east on SE Powell Boulevard for another 0.2 mile and turn south on SE 20th Avenue for 0.2 mile to reach SE Lafayette Street.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

In bid to self-regulate, scooter company Bird unveils new data dashboard

Posted on August 29th, 2018 at 9:59 am.

Bird just announced they have launched a new data dashboard to, “help cities incorporate and manage e-scooters into their transportation mix.”

A company spokesman tells us, “For starters, the platform will include: A data dashboard of Bird usage; Geo-fencing capabilities to tell Bird riders not to ride or park somewhere; Community mode so anyone can report unsafe riding or parking; Rider education — ability to customize messages to a city’s rider base (such as “no riding on Main Street today because of the big parade.”).”

Bird is one of three scooter companies participating in the City of Portland’s Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program which will run through the end of September.

Here’s the full announcement of the new features:[Read more…]

Washington County advocacy group changes name to WashCo Bikes

Posted on May 31st, 2018 at 2:54 pm.

Take note of changes to the main bike advocacy group in Washington County:

Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition Announces Name Change

The Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition (WashCo BTC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose members have been a consistent voice for the bicycling community in Washington
County, Oregon.

While the roots of the organization can be traced back to the late 1990’s, WashCo BTC officially became an independent non-profit agency in 2005. The mission of the organization is to promote bicycle transportation, protect bicyclists’ rights and improve bicycling conditions throughout Washington County, Oregon through education, advocacy and community. In short, WashCo BTC makes bicyclists and bicycling better in Washington County.

As an organization, we take pride in what WashCo BTC has accomplished to date, but recognize there is much opportunity for future growth. Over the past several months the board and staff have closely examined what we must do to take WashCo BTC to the next level.

As a part of this effort, we have looked at the name of the group itself. Although long-time members of the cycling community are familiar with the name and associated mission of WashCo BTC, we feel it may not effectively communicate what the organization is all about to those who are new to our area.

It is with this thought in mind that we want to share with you our new name: WashCo Bikes.

In choosing this name, we are putting the emphasis on what our organization is all about – Bikes. We are all about the noun – Bikes. We teach people how to ride bikes safely and how to repair their bikes too. Our shop refurbishes, repairs, and sells affordable bikes. This means more people who need or want a bike can buy one.

We are also equally about the verb – Bike. Our summer camps introduce kids to the freedom and joy of riding a bike, and strive to instill in them a lifelong love of biking. By encouraging our members to be the voice of advocacy for those who ride bikes, we help make Washington County a friendlier, safer, and more enjoyable place to bike. And by promoting community rides, we help create opportunities for all county citizens to get out on their bikes and bike!

The change in of name also reflects our overall commitment to further organizational growth and doing things differently. As we move forward, we plan to expand the organization’s programs to more fully meet the Bike needs of everyone who lives in Washington County. Ours is an organization that has historically relied on volunteers for leadership and staffing. As we take this next step in our organization’s growth, we plan to hire additional professional staff who can provide strong leadership and vision, bring fresh perspectives, and offer expertise in areas like program development and program management.

While these changes are going to help take the organization to the next level, they will never diminish our need for dedicated volunteers and supportive members who are committed to making bicyclists and bicycling better here in Washington County.

New multi-county committee will focus on development of Crown-Zellerbach Trail

Posted on February 9th, 2018 at 1:00 pm.

The press release from Columbia County below is related to a recent influx of funding and interest in making improvements to the Crown-Zellerbach Trail.

Columbia County creates new advisory committee; seeks members from neighboring cities and counties

Committee to focus on development of Crown-Zellerbach Trail

Columbia County is gearing up to focus on development of the CZ Trail, and is forming a committee to advise county leaders and work on specific projects along the 23-mile route.

“This is the county’s newest committee,” said County Chair Margaret Magruder, “and unlike our other advisory committees, we’re including people from nearby counties and cities to help us. The CZ Trail is a regionally significant part of a larger trail system in northwest Oregon, so we need voices from surrounding communities to make certain we consider a variety of users.”

The new committee was formalized by county ordinance in January 2018.

The CZ Trail is an historic route that runs from Vernonia to Scappoose. It was created in the early 1800s as a logging trail to move timber from the upper hills of the county to docks on the Multnomah Channel. In the 1950s, the trail was purchased by the Crown Zellerbach Corp. and converted to a road. Later, Hancock Timber Resources maintained the road for access and fire suppression. Columbia County purchased the land in 2004.

The new advisory committee will assist the Columbia County Commission in further developing the trail. Magruder said a wide range of representatives are needed, including people who live along or own property near the trail; leaders of cycling, hiking and equestrian groups; members of local watershed councils; representatives from local logging companies; and representatives of federal, state and local organizations involved in park, trail or recreation facilities, roads or forest management. Terms run from two to four years.

The county wants to improve the trail for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. The new committee will work on a variety of projects, including reviewing a Concept Plan developed in the 2000s, possible acquisition or right-of-way of part of the trail in Vernonia connecting to the Banks-Vernonia Trail, and the use of a former logging camp as an equestrian camp.

The county was also recently approved for a matching grant from the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. Funds will go towards adding signage, safety and several visitor amenities.

Those interested in serving on the new CZ Trail Advisory Committee should complete a Volunteer Application Form. The form can be found online or at the County Courthouse, 230 Strand St. in St. Helens. For more information, email Jan Greenhalgh at jan.greenhalgh@co.columbia.or.us or call her at 503-397-4322.

February Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee agenda

Posted on February 8th, 2018 at 3:24 pm.

Every second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 to 8:00 pm in City Hall Lovejoy Room (1221 SW 4th Ave)

Introductions/Announcements

Committee orientation
Chair Rithy Khut and Vice-Chair Elliot Scott will provide a brief welcome and orientation to new members.

Greetings to new members
Leah Treat, Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, will provide remarks to this newly formed iteration of the Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Portland’s bicycling efforts: an orientation for new BAC members
Roger Geller, Portland’s bicycle coordinator, will present an overview of Portland’s efforts to “create conditions that make bicycling more attractive than driving…” (Comprehensive Plan Policy 9.20).

New bicycle-pedestrian bridges
Dan Layden and Nicole Pierce with PBOT will present current design considerations and timelines for the Sullivan’s Gulch and Flanders Street bridges. They are seeking committee input on cross-section design.

Support for Build Portland
Emily Tritsch, with PBOT, will seek committee support for dedicated Build Portland funding for a range of transportation projects.

Committee Business

Adjourn

Comment now: What should the transportation system do for greater Portland?

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 at 9:16 am.

Now through Feb. 17, tell leaders what or how you would focus investments in our transportation system.

We all use our system of throughways, roads, bridges, sidewalks, bikeways, and transit and freight routes. So, we should all get a say in how we create a transportation system that is safe, healthy, reliable and affordable. Regional leaders want to know how you would prioritize the next 20 years of transportation investments.

With 500,000 more people – more than half from growing families – and 350,000 more jobs in greater Portland by 2040, we’ll see more economic activity and more people and goods traveling on the region’s transportation system than today. This means more traffic and congestion, busy buses, and more people walking and biking.

The 2018 Regional Transportation Plan will establish priorities for state, federal and regional funding and help set the stage for the new and expanded options for people and products to get where they need to go. Projects are submitted by city, county, regional and state partners and evaluated for what they will do for the people and businesses of greater Portland.

What things are most important to you?

Comment now through Feb. 17
• Take 5-7 minutes to share your thoughts through the online survey. Go to the survey at 2018rtp.metroquest.com.
• Find out more and explore an interactive map projects at oregonmetro.gov/2018projects.
• Send comments by email to transportation@oregonmetro.gov or mail to Planning and Development, 600 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR 97232.

Velocirque Custom & Vintage Bike Show February 24

Posted on January 22nd, 2018 at 5:04 pm.

Bikes are fun, bikes are cool, bikes have soul, bikes have history.

Welcome to the world of bike geekery, of fascination with frames and componentry, clever design and sublime craftsmanship, fillets and lugs, gear-inches and effective rim diameters, shiny bling and soulful patina.

Our winter celebration of bike geekery will on Saturday February 24, at the “Velocirque” weekend at Velocult. This is the fourth Velocirque; Velocult started doing these shows in 2016 and if you have even a little bit of bike geek in you, its well worth a visit.

We’ll oogle over old-school “classic and vintage” bicycles and newer “custom” bikes with old-world workmanship. 1960s Italian city bikes to 1980s racebikes, English three-speeds to kitted-out randos, from Weigle to Merz, Cinelli to Mercxx, if it is cool and full of soul – it is welcome in this DIY bike show. Bring a bike stand if you have one.

Yes, DIY. This is the people’s bike show. YOUR bike show. Bring your cool ride and show it off.

Special call for three-speeds and randonneur/touring/bikepacker bikes! Bring ’em!

VELOCIRQUE BY VELOCULT
Velocult, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue
Saturday February 24 – ride 10:00 am, show 3:00 pm

BikePortland Event Calendar listing

Oh, and there’s beer, too.

ODOT congestion pricing open houses begin January 23rd

Posted on January 17th, 2018 at 7:10 am.

This just in from the Oregon Department of Transportation:

ODOT plans community conversations on congestion pricing for I-5 and I-205

The Oregon Department of Transportation invites public input on the use of congestion pricing to help improve travel times and reliability on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 in the Portland metro area.

The public is invited to share their experiences with congestion and views on congestion pricing at three upcoming open houses in Clackamas, Multnomah and Clark counties as well as an online open house that will be available for nearly three weeks, Jan. 17 to Feb. 5.

Congestion pricing, also known as value pricing or variable rate tolling, refers to tolling options that are specifically designed to improve traffic flow. Congestion pricing systems charge higher prices for driving on a road when demand is greater, in the morning and evening rush hours, for example. Some drivers choose to travel on other routes, at different times of the day or on other modes of transportation. Communities across the US have found these tools effective in improving traffic conditions and enhancing travel time reliability.

Here is the schedule for the community conversations and the online open house.

— Tuesday, Jan. 23, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Clackamas Town Center Community Room (Level 1 near Buckle and across from Macy’s), 12000 S.E. 82nd Avenue, Happy Valley
— Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lloyd Center (Level 1 between Ross and the ice rink), 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland
— Tuesday, Jan. 30, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street, Vancouver.

The Online Open House will be active at odotvaluepricing.org. The public can see materials, view video recordings of the project Policy Advisory Committee meetings and leave comments for the project team.

The open houses will be informal, drop-in events with ODOT project team members stationed throughout the room to provide materials, discuss the options and answer questions.

During the open houses, the public will get a chance to:

— Share their concerns about congestion on I-5 and I-205 in the region and its effects on people and freight movement
— Learn about the types of congestion pricing concepts that are being considered
— Provide feedback on the potential benefits and also challenges associated with congestion pricing.

ODOT’s community conversations will help to inform the Policy Advisory Committee in its work to prepare a recommendation for the OTC. On Feb. 28, the PAC will hold the third of six planned meetings. The project team will present the feedback received through Feb. 5 via the website, associated questionnaire and in-person community conversations to help inform the PAC’s consideration of congestion pricing concepts for further analysis.

A second phase of public input will take place in March, which will focus on specific concepts being considered for development of congestion pricing on I-5 and I-205.

Background

The Oregon Legislature last year approved HB 2017, Keep Oregon Moving, which committed $5.3 billion to a wide range of transportation investments, and also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to pursue federal approval for value pricing along Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 from the state line in the north to where the two roads meet south of Tualatin.

The OTC established a Policy Advisory Committee to help inform their implementation of congestion pricing. The PAC includes representatives of local governments in Oregon and Washington, the business community, highway users, equity and environmental justice interests, and public transportation and environmental advocates. It is scheduled to prepare a recommendation for the OTC this summer. By Dec. 31, 2018, the OTC will submit its value pricing proposal to the Federal Highway Administration.

PBOT Bureau Budget Advisory Committee meeting 1/18

Posted on January 16th, 2018 at 1:53 pm.

Via PBOT:

MEETING NOTICE
PBOT Bureau and Budget Advisory Committee (BBAC)

4:00-6:00 PM
Congress Building, Room 513, 5th Floor
1001 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
This will be a working meeting for BBAC members to deliberate on the group’s budget letter. Conversations and table discussions will be limited to BBAC members, but there will still be time for public comments on the agenda. Staff will also present and provide update on previously discussed topics.

AGENDA TOPICS
– Budget Equity Tool
– PBOT Budget Update
– BBAC Budget Letter Discussion

Public Comment: Please note that we will invite public comment towards the end of the meeting. To submit your comments in advance, please contact Tosin Abiodun, PBOT Constituent Services Coordinator, Tosin.Abiodun@portlandoregon.gov; (502) 823-5080.
Future Meetings: The BBAC meeting is held on the third Thursday of each month from 4:00-6:00 PM.

Venue Information: There are two entrances to the Congress building. The first is located on 6th Avenue and it leads to the lobby area on the first floor and the second is located on 5th Avenue and leads to the second floor. Once you enter the building, please take the elevator marked “3 to 12” to the fifth floor.

Materials: Previous meeting materials are available here. Materials will be posted online after each meeting.

Meeting Reminders: Sign up here to receive committee meeting reminders.

Oregon Transportation Commission to meet in Salem Jan. 18

Posted on January 16th, 2018 at 1:50 pm.

Via ODOT:

Transportation Commission to meet in Salem Jan. 18

(SALEM) — The Oregon Transportation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, in the Gail Achterman Conference Room of the Transportation Building, 355 Capitol Street N.E., in Salem.

The agenda includes a presentation on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan for implementing HB 2017 (Transportation Funding), a report on ConnectOregon funding decisions, a report on the cost to complete the Abernethy Bridge and Interstate 205 widening, a request for approval of the initial phase of the ODOT Strategic Business Plan, a request to give permission to negotiate a public-private partnership to convert highway lighting to LED, and amendments to the 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

The meeting will be live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonDOT/live.

Meetings of the OTC are open to the public and time will be available to hear public comments. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities, and alternate formats of printed materials are available upon request. Please call (503) 986-3450 (or statewide relay 711) for accommodations.