Big transportation ideas highlight Portland mayoral candidate’s ‘Green New Deal’ plan

Posted on October 2nd, 2019 at 10:46 am.

Iannarone campaigned on the Hawthorne Bridge during the recent Climate Strike march.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone is no stranger to bold ideas. She spent years working at Portland State University leading educational tours for visiting leaders that focused on our city’s legacy of transformative urban planning decisions.

Now, as Iannarone campaigns to unseat Mayor Ted Wheeler, she’s unveiled a “Climate Justice” policy plan that would be transformative in its own right. Iannarone’s “Green New Deal” plan (PDF) comes out just two weeks after a City of Portland report found that carbon emissions from the transportation sector are “increasing dramatically.” [Read more…]

Interview with Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: Vision Zero, enforcement, distracted walkers, and more

Posted on July 11th, 2019 at 8:31 am.

Commissioner Hardesty at city council yesterday.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty made headlines last month when she said distracted walkers are a “huge issue” and voted “no” on what was expected to be a non-controversial update to Portland’s Vision Zero program. Her vote and comments raised the ire of the commissioner in charge of that program, Chloe Eudaly.

Eudaly called Hardesty’s views, “Virtually unfounded” and said Hardesty must not have been briefed on the topic properly.

Nearly three weeks after that exchange, I spoke with Hardesty and asked about her views on Vision Zero, traffic enforcement, distracted walkers, and more.

Commissioner Hardesty wanted to set things straight from the outset. “I share the values of making our streets safe for everyone,” she said. “If I left you with the impression that that was not my goal I don’t want you to have that impression.”
[Read more…]

Transportation reformer Sarah Iannarone announces bid for Portland mayor

Posted on July 9th, 2019 at 10:39 am.

Sarah Iannarone made it official today: She wants to be mayor of Portland.
[Read more…]

Oregon passes version of “Idaho Stop” law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields

Posted on June 25th, 2019 at 4:37 pm.

Closer than expected.

The Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 998 today by a vote of 31 to 28. From here the bill will go to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for signing.

This is a huge victory for bike advocates who have worked for years to get this legislation through. Once it becomes law, every bicycle rider in Oregon will be able to legally treat every stop sign and flashing red signal as a yield sign. That is, you will no longer have to come to a complete stop at every frickin’ stop sign!

Here’s the official summary of the bill (PDF below):

Permits person operating bicycle to enter intersection controlled by specified traffic control devices without stopping. Permits person operating bicycle to turn without stopping at intersection with specified traffic control devices. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by stop sign. Punishes by maximum fine of $250. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by flashing red signal. Punishes by maximum fine of $250.

[Read more…]

Big weekend push helps Oregon’s ‘Idaho Stop’ bill pass final committee

Posted on June 24th, 2019 at 2:45 pm.

“Hey, did you hear we might not have to stop at these anymore?”.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s attempt to decriminalize rolling stops for bicycle riders took a giant leap forward today when it was voted out of the House Rules Committee 5 to 2.

At Senate Bill 998‘s first House hearing on Thursday, committee members voiced several concerns with the idea of allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields. One member noticed there were only three pieces of testimony in the official record. So on Friday we put out a call to get more people to email the committee.

By today’s meeting there were 183 emails filed on the State legislative website — the vast majority of which were in strong support of the bill.[Read more…]

Stops-as-yields bill up for possible vote in House committee

Posted on June 19th, 2019 at 2:52 pm.

We might have to remove this marking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Senate Bill 998 — Oregon’s version of the “Idaho Stop” law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals like yields — has finally made it to the House.

Since our report on this bill last week, the bill passed the full Oregon Senate yesterday by a vote of 21 to 8. It was then referred to the House Rules Committee where it will receive a public hearing and possible vote tomorrow (6/20).

The House Rules Committee has seven members. Among them are Portland-area Democrats Barbara Smith-Warner (District 45), Rob Nosse (District 42), and Vice-Chair Jennifer Williamson (District 36).
[Read more…]

Bill that could make rural roads safer on its way to Governor’s desk

Posted on June 18th, 2019 at 5:18 pm.

Two people died on Sunday and a 4-year old was injured in this crash on McKay Road in the Willamette Valley.

A bill that has received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate will give counties throughout Oregon a new tool to improve safety on rural roads.

House Bill 3213 creates a pilot program that will allow five counties to designate a dangerous stretch of road as a “safety corridor”. The legislation is meant to stem the tide of serious and fatal crashes that plague rural roads throughout the state. During committee hearings for the bill, lawmakers heard that many of Oregon’s once quiet farming roads now see increased levels of driving due to population growth and people who want to avoid congested interstates.

Some of these rural, county-owned roads also happen to be popular for bicycle riding.
[Read more…]

Oregon’s version of ‘Idaho stop’ rolls closer to passage

Posted on June 13th, 2019 at 11:43 am.

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not the Idaho Stop, but a law that would allow bicycle users to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields (when safe, of course) would be a major step forward for bicycle users in Oregon. And it just moved one major step closer to passage as the 2019 session rolls into its final few weeks.

Senate Bill 998 passed the Senate Rules Committee yesterday by a vote of 4-1. This comes two months after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Lane County Senator Floyd Prozanski — who introduced a bill inspired by Idaho’s law in 2003 — was the sole person to testify at the committee hearing yesterday. “What Idaho has is much broader than what’s been introduced here, he explained to the committee. “It [Idaho’s law] also allows bicycle riders to do the same [yield] at red lights. I believe that’s too far to go at this stage and that’s why we should follow what would be more the Delaware model.”

Delaware passed their law, which they call the “Delaware yield”, in 2017.

According to Prozanski, the main benefit of this law is that it would allow people on bicycles to maintain momentum at intersections and therefore be less likely to suffer from a collision or close-call. When bicycle riders come to a complete stop, the act of starting up again can make them vulnerable to being hit by other road users who can increase speed more quickly and easily.
[Read more…]

No paint, no problem: Oregon passes bike lane clarification bill

Posted on May 6th, 2019 at 4:28 pm.

This language will now exist in Oregon law.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The rules of the road just got clearer today.”

That’s the statement from The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler upon hearing House Bill 2682 passed the Senate today by a vote of 20-0 (with 8 absent and 2 excused), clearing its last hurdle before being signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.

The bill adds language to Oregon’s definition of a bicycle lane (ORS 801.155) to clarify that a lane still legally exists in an intersection even when the paint striping does not. It sounds like a no-brainer right? After all, no one would assume intersections are a legal free-for-all for other road users just because there’s no lane striping.
[Read more…]

Oregon’s ‘Idaho Stop’ bill faces headwinds in Senate

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:20 am.

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We knew it wouldn’t be easy.

Senate Bill 998 — affectionately known as the Idaho Stop bill because it would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs (and flashing red signals) as yields — is floundering.

Even though it sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 9th, the bill has stalled out and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. Asked for a status update on the bill, its chief sponsor, Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) said, “A preliminary assessment shows that I do not have the necessary votes with in the caucus to move it to the floor.”
[Read more…]