Scooter company reps scolded by Oregon legislators over helmet law proposal

Posted on February 20th, 2019 at 1:43 pm.

Matthew Kopko with Bird Rides (L), and Jonathan Hopkins from Lime.

Senators Lew Frederick (L) and Cliff Bentz.

What was expected to be just another ho-hum hearing on one of thousands of bills working their way through Oregon’s 2019 legislative session, turned out to be anything but.
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Here are the bills we’re tracking this legislative session

Posted on February 20th, 2019 at 7:51 am.

Capitol building in Salem.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We’re about one month into Oregon’s 80th legislative session. And while no blockbuster bike-related bills have emerged yet, there are still a number of things we’re keeping our eyes on.

Here’s our list and a few notes about all the bills we’re tracking this session…

Senate Bills

SB 7 – Lower BAC Level – Overview
Senate President Peter Courtney wants to lower the legal level of alcohol a person can have in their blood while operating a vehicle. Currently at .08 percent, this bill would make it .05 percent. I interviewed Senator Courtney about this bill back in December. Status: Referred to Judiciary Committee.
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Friday Profile: Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba leads with cycling and climate change

Posted on February 8th, 2019 at 8:54 am.

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba headed to a meeting.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Surprisingly, the loudest political voice for bicycling in our region doesn’t come from Portland City Hall. It comes from a city hall six miles south of Portland in Milwaukie, in the office of Mayor Mark Gamba.
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Families for Safe Streets lobbying for TriMet crash oversight, driver education bills

Posted on February 6th, 2019 at 11:12 am.

David Sale’s daughter was killed by a TriMet bus operator in 2010. Now he’s pushing for independent oversight of the agency.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A group of road safety activists led by family members of traffic crash victims and backed by The Street Trust has thrown their weight behind two bills this legislative session.

According to Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, Senate Bill 746 would, “Encourage greater mutual expectations between all road users by combining the official state manuals for driving and bicycling and require drivers to retake a written test every eight years when they renew their licenses.” Senate Bill 747 would, “Close a gap in Oregon law that allows TriMet to lead investigations of crashes involving its own vehicles… a process that creates a conflict of interest and undermines efforts to improve system safety.”
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In push to save lives, Oregon Senator wants to lower DUI limit to .05

Posted on December 27th, 2018 at 12:44 pm.

In 1983, Utah was the first state to lower the level of blood alcohol content that would qualify for a DUI arrest when they went from .10 to .08. Then Oregon followed suit.

Now we’re poised to follow Utah again as the second state to reduce the DUI limit even further to .05.
[Read more…]

Portland’s new commissioner-elect sees a carfree future with fareless and fast transit

Posted on November 7th, 2018 at 2:37 pm.

One of the biggest local consequences of last night’s election is that Jo Ann Hardesty will be sworn-in as a Portland city commissioner in January.

Her presence on the five-member council could have far-reaching implications as we debate and consider major transportation-related issues in the coming years. Hardesty and her new colleagues on Portland City Council will have a say on key issues ranging from mega-projects to micromobility. Since we haven’t sat down with her for an extended conversation yet, I thought I’d share what she’s said on the record thus far.
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In Oregon, election night was great for Democrats and progressive policies

Posted on November 7th, 2018 at 7:56 am.

Parking reform activist Tony Jordan at a campaign event for Jo Ann Hardesty (center).
(Photo: Tony Jordan)

In the first national election since Donald Trump assumed the presidency — and despite gerrymandered districts, voter suppressions efforts, and racist campaigning by some Republicans — America tilted to the left last night. Here in the Portland region, the swing toward Democrats and progressive policies was even more pronounced.

In the race to replace longtime Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Jo Ann Hardesty cruised to an easy win over Loretta Smith. Hardesty becomes the first black woman to hold a council seat. Hardesty was endorsed by The Street Trust and nearly every transportation reformer in the BikePortland orbit was a major supporter.
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Subscriber opinion: Governor Brown should lose ODOT leadership to win reelection

Posted on October 11th, 2018 at 9:49 am.

What is Kate Brown’s transportation vision?
(Photo: ODOT)

This post comes from BikePortland subscriber and contributor Kiel Johnson. He previously wrote about his grassroots effort to garner neighborhood support for the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project.

In the latest Oregon Governor’s race poll Kate Brown is ahead by 4% with a margin of error of 5%. There have been alarms going off that Governor Brown is in trouble and many commentators are pointing to a lack of a compelling vision. Last year she helped push through HB 2017, one of the largest transportation budgets in Oregon’s history. Yet this additional money is not doing her many favors for saving her job. She has hardly mentioned her victory on the campaign trail. As people who spend time reading about the importance of transportation, it is crucial for us to figure out why transportation is not a topic of interest in this race.

I encourage you to leave your ideas in the comments below. Here are a few of my thoughts:

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The Street Trust makes first ever political endorsements

Posted on August 29th, 2018 at 4:13 pm.

Hardesty (left) via Twitter bio image; Harrington image by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.

Since their start in 1990, the local nonprofit advocacy group The Street Trust (formerly known as The Bicycle Transportation Alliance) was prohibited by law from endorsing candidates for elected office. That changed earlier this year when they announced the formation of a spin-off 501(c)4 entity known as the Street Trust Action Fund.

Now the group has released its first-ever endorsements in two local races: Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council and Kathryn Harrington for Washington County Chair. [Read more…]

Chloe Eudaly is our new transportation commissioner

Posted on August 8th, 2018 at 10:03 am.

Commissioner Eudaly spoke at the launch of Adaptive Biketown, a program she pushed for, in July 2017.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“She is excited about the assignment and ready for a new challenge.”
— Marshall Runkel, chief of staff for Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has chosen City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly to oversee the transportation bureau. Eudaly’s office confirmed the news to us yesterday after a “major bureau shakeup” was reported by The Oregonian. She’ll take over the agency from outgoing commissioner Dan Saltzman.

Eudaly is a relative newcomer to City Hall who unseated Steve Novick in a runoff election in 2016. A former bookstore owner and activist who has lived in Portland since 1988, Eudaly will take the reins of an agency with 850 employees and an annual budget of around $320 million. PBOT will be the largest bureau in her portfolio by far. With Wheeler taking over her current assignment of the Bureau of Development Services, the only other agency in Eudaly’s portfolio is the Office of Community and Civic Life (formerly the Office of Neighborhood Involvement).
[Read more…]