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Sauvie Island loop on Mult Co chip sealing list

by on July 17th, 2017 at 2:02 pm

This link has the latest updates on Mult Co chip seal paving in west and east county for July/August. Note that mile one on NW Gillihan Rd of the popular Sauvie Island loop will be having paving on July 17-28, 21 and 25. You may want to avoid this stretch if you don’t want oiled gravel in your chain and derailleur.

Riding ODOT’s Columbia Gorge “Not-So” Express Bus

Adam by on July 10th, 2017 at 4:26 pm

“The new service has potential but unfortunately misses the mark at nearly every step of the way.”

This past weekend, my family and I decided to try out ODOT’s new Columbia Gorge Express bus and spend a few hours at Multnomah Falls. After our experience, I unfortunately cannot personally recommend this service.

We decided to take the 12:55 pm bus from Gateway TC. Getting to Gateway car-free already meant a bus and a train from where we live. Unfortunately, our Columbia Gorge Express bus was 20 minutes late – not arriving until 1:15 and departing around 1:20. Tickets are purchased pre-paid but don’t actually guarantee you a spot on the bus. After a minor hassle with the ticket checker about the tickets being purchased for the wrong day (the website makes you pick a day, but specifies the ticket is in fact good for any day in the current season), we were aboard.

The bus first made a stop at Rooster Rock park to pick up and drop off passengers. There was not room for everyone, so many were left waiting for the next bus. After this ten minute stop, we were finally on our way to the falls. Upon coming up to the falls, our bus driver informed us that since the parking lot at Multnomah Falls was full, that we would not be able to exit the highway here, as there would be no room for the bus to turn around. We instead had to make a 20 minute detour to the next exit, get off the highway, then get back on the highway so that we were facing the correct direction.

Boarding the bus back was a confusing mess. We headed to the bus stop area, only to be informed by an ODOT employee that the line was further back. Schedules are posted at the stop but don’t bother using them, since the bus was nowhere near on any semblance of a schedule all day. We waited for 15 minutes before boarding the bus (that was either 15 minutes early or 35 minutes late, depending on how you read the schedule). Again, you are not guaranteed a spot on the bus back, so on busy days you might have to wait a good hour before getting on a bus. On the way back we predictably got stuck in traffic on I-84. Overall, we spent a total of four hours in transit, door-to-door, due to the bus’ lateness and detour, and TriMet’s infrequent Sunday schedule. Perhaps if you are staying somewhere overnight, the hassles might be worth it, but for a day trip, the bus was not very convenient.

The new service has potential but unfortunately misses the mark at nearly every step of the way. It was late, slow, and not well signed. If ODOT is serious about continuing this popular service, they should make the following changes:

    1. Adhere to the damn schedule. 20 minutes late is completely unacceptable for a bus that runs every 30 minutes. Either build in traffic time to the timetables or find some way to improve on-time performance.
    2. Add a dedicated bus turnaround area. The fact that a full parking lot at the falls caused the bus to make a 20 minute detour is unacceptable. This is not going to convince people not to drive and is yet another example of caving to auto interests over all else. Just remove a few parking spaces if needed. Or maybe start charging for parking to better manage demand.
    3. Better signage and waiting area at Multnomah Falls. The waiting area is a dingey pedestrian underpass under I-84. A higher-quality shelter with daylight visible would be welcome here.
    4. Integrate Hop Fastpass. Having to purchase your tickets separately just seems so arcane. We now have a really nice unified transit account for our region. This should be a priority in the next year not just for ODOT, but for all agencies operating in the Portland metro area. This should especially apply to the agencies that opted to secede from TriMet: SMART, SAM, etc.

While I welcome this forward-thinking idea (for a highway building department, anyway) to address traffic concerns at Oregon’s most popular destination, it seems to me that this service is still very much an afterthought by ODOT. If we are serious about getting people out of their cars, then this service falls flat. Unfortunately, the drawbacks don’t outweigh the benefits. When the service expands to Hood River next year (in my opinion, a far more useful destination that I do plan on taking advantage of) I hope that ODOT will take the time to make these simple improvements to this service.

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good of Bike accident economics

A J Zelada by on June 16th, 2017 at 8:48 am

I only have week to go before I can get on my bicycles. I am not just looking forward to the naked bike ride but really looking forward to rolling through the air on my two wheels. The Why: the accident, the surgery, the recovery are my personal equivalent to the good, the bad, and the ugly in reverse order. I had shoulder surgery on Mar 24 and my orthopedist-surgeon told me multiple times you cannot bicycle for three months.

The cost of a bicycle accident triggers many thoughts about dollars, aging, and attitudes. The top muscle (supraspinatus) was completely torn from the bone. With age, this muscle (as well as many other ones) develops micro-tears. As one ages, more tears become larger, pain increases, and accidents have greater consequences pushing up the cost of medical treatments. For me it was simply a fall-over with a cargo bicycle caused this big rip.

Citylab.com published an article by John Metcalf at the beginning of June describing the increasing costs of bike injuries. He stated that there has been an increment of a 120% ‘bump’ in hospital visits featuring bicycle crashes since 1990. More than 800 deaths from car-on-bike crashes occurred in 2015 in the US. He reported that a serious non fatal ‘accident’ in 1997 cost an average of $52,495 which included medical expenses, missed work, and reduced quality of life. This figure jumped to $77K in 2013.

Metcalf went on to report that the total bike injuries costs have increased nearly $789 million per year from the late 1990s and to near total of $24 billion in 2013 (yes 24 billion). Additionally, there are more older-cyclists. There were nearly 2 million bicyclists in 2001 over the age 45 and in 2009 this number reached 3.6 million. I could not find the number of these riders in this decade. Federal data shows biking rates among people between the ages of 60 and 79 are soaring. ‘New trips by seniors account for 22 percent of the nation’s growth in adult biking,’ according to People for Bikes. Growth rates of older bicyclists are larger than younger age groups of new bicyclists.
[Read more…]

Greater Portland, on the move: A Regional Snapshot

Metro by on June 14th, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Every day, millions of people move throughout greater Portland’s communities. This is a journey we share: Shoulder to shoulder on transit, lane by lane on streets and highways. Wheels turning, feet stepping, we go many miles — or just down the block.

Our ability to get around -– to cross bridges, travel highways and streets, catch a bus or MAX, walk or bike to our destinations -– is something we often take for granted.

But every mile we travel depends on the decisions and investments of past generations of Oregonians. Those investments have shaped the community we’ve become.

As we grow and greet a changing world, how can we ensure the region’s streets, roads, transit and bridges still work for everyone? What are the top challenges we face? What can we learn from elsewhere?

Metro’s latest Regional Snapshot takes a look at the transportation system we’ve built together, and the future we could create next. With stats, maps, videos, personal stories and more, it’s a detailed exploration of the connections that knit the region together and the people who use them. Take a look at http://oregonmetro.gov/snapshot.

Mult Co summer paving projects includes popular road in Sauvie Island

by on June 13th, 2017 at 10:21 am

Paving on Multnomah County rural roads

A contractor has begun paving several rural roads in east and west parts of Multnomah County. When one lane is being paved, flaggers will alternate two-way traffic in the open lane. There will be a one-day close of SE Stark Street on Wednesday, June 14 between SE Kerslake Road and the Stark Street Bridge.

The road sections being paved are:

SE Orient Drive (from Gresham City limit to the Clackamas County line): June 12-15, 8 am to 7 pm. Highway 26 is an alternate route.
SE Stark Street (from SE Kerslake Road to the Stark Street Bridge over the Sandy River): June 14-19, 8 am to 7 pm. This work will require a one-day closure of Stark Street on Wednesday, June 14. The Historic Columbia River Highway is an alternate route.
SE 172nd Ave. (from SE Foster Road to north of SE 170th Ave.): June 19-20, 8 am to 4 pm. SE Foster Road is an alternate route.
NW Sauvie Island Road(a 400 foot long section north of NW Lucy Reeder Road): June 21, 7 am to 7 pm. Flaggers will direct two-way traffic. No nearby alternate route.
Dates are subject to change due to weather or other factors.

Travelers should use alternate routes when possible to avoid delays on these roads during work days (Monday to Friday). Traffic using side streets and driveways adjacent to the paving may experience brief delays during a rolling closure.

Multnomah County maintains 300 miles of roads and bridges. For information, visit www.multco.us/roads or follow us on Twitter @MultCoRoads.

Shop Warming Party @ Kenton Cycle Repair

by on June 12th, 2017 at 9:24 am

Shop Warming Party to celebrate our new space!

Sunday, June 25th from 5-9pm at 1926 N Kilpatrick St.
Music/Snacks/Drinks/Party/Prizes!

The North Portland Sunday Parkways is that day from 11am-4pm. We’ll be on site at Kenton Park doing small repairs for bicycles in need! Join us after!

Calling all Cornell Road Users

by on June 9th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Hello west side hill riders out there. I have ridden many different routes up and down the west hills over the past 7 or so years and I have come to the conclusion that there are 2 main routes for transportation purposes that should be given priority: a Path parallel to US 26 connecting the zoo to downtown and NW Cornell Road between NW Portland and Cedar Hills. This northern route is direct enough that many bicyclists find themselves riding on it. With more electric bicycles coming into use this route will become even more popular in the coming months and years. However, the complete lack of cycling infrastructure is a turn-off to many riders, especially in the uphill direction. I have been riding Cornell 20-50 times per year for many years and I am convinced that we need some collective effort to get this route improved.

I have created a google form to collect contact information for interested folks who want to be involved in this advocacy effort. This route is designated as a Major City Bikeway in the Bicycle Master Plan. In my opinion, this is my first step in a potentially long process to improve this critical route.

https://goo.gl/forms/gKRwb8sYY6IwiCD12

STP 2017 lodging

by on June 7th, 2017 at 3:28 pm

#bikestp

4 rooms just opened up at McMenamins Olympic Club for Saturday night of STP 2017.

“Bike for Change” program seeks participants

by on June 1st, 2017 at 5:34 am

One World Center is seeking participants for their “Bike for Change” program. This is a 9 month program that involves 4 months biking Central America while exploring the consequences of Climate Change.

I am hoping to participate eventually but they are interested in creating a team to start the program this September.

for more information check out this link:

https://oneworldcenter.org/our-programs/bikeforchange/

5 Things I learned parenting (mostly) by bike

by on May 31st, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I spent the past year and a half parenting one, then two kids (now 1.5 and 3 years) mostly by bike. Here are some of my takeaways:

1) It’s totally doable for many people (depending on where you live and work, and other complications).

2) You may end up wanting to be more car-lite than you were before kids (many/most young kids hate car seats in various phases of their lives and scream while in them, and love box-bikes and buses and trains; also, biking may well be your only reliable way to get exercise)

3) You may end up wanting to be less car-lite than you were before kids (the tyranny of naps cuts up your day so much, it’s nice to get from A to B faster. Plus, getting car rides from friends when you have kids is pretty much impossible, and installing/uninstalling car seats in rental cars is a pain, and your time is at a premium)

4) Think through contingency plans. What if it’s too icy to bike but your work and daycare are still open? What if you’re sick? What if you’re sick like half the winter? (You may well be sick like half the winter)

5) Rewarding children is good parenting and preserves your sanity. Keep rewards at the ready.