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I want a new traffic lane

A J Zelada by on April 29th, 2019 at 9:02 am

I want a new traffic lane.
I want a new traffic lane for my birthday. Well not my birthday, but it would be great to have new lane to celebrate the Oregon Bike Bill. The lanes I want are on the Abernathy Bridge for bicycles, e-bikes, scooters, skateboarders, pedestrians and who are primarily human powered in some manner. We are traffic, too. It seems a fitting tribute to the Bike Bill considering we just dedicated a new sculpture at PSU funded by Oregon Economic Council on Friday, April 26, 2019. Of course, there is a darker side to the un-kept promises of the Bike Bill.

The issue is intertwined in choosing a new ODOT director, the present Active Transportation staff, Metro’s acquisition of Willamette Falls and e-bikes.

We want to increase the power of Active Transportation which has its basis in the promise of the Bike Bill. Sandbagging bike & pedestrian infrastructure doesn’t always come from the top. My concern is the Active Transportation second, third & fourth rungs of ODOT. We need a passion to push the Bicycle/Pedestrian philosophy of the Bike Bill further at all admin levels. A welcomed change would be to have a member of the Oregon Transportation Commission be charged with a specific Active Transportation portfolio of work. We need people in all ODOT positions to lift up people transportation issues in front of a new director and challenge her or him to spend money for moving people first not just single drivers in cars. Viewing ODOT from the outside of its behemoth size and population it is often difficult to know how decisions are crafted.

The Abernathy Example.
In 2016, considerations of bicycle/pedestrians in association with the Abernathy Bridge began to surface in the I-205 Stafford Road Evaluation to increase the seismic resiliency. The project included an extra lane of traffic. Research included facility improvements, consideration of multi-paths, and consideration of bridge options. This document outlines historical AT Plans from Metro, Clackamas, OR City, West Linn, etc. It details the bike – pedestrian assets inventory.

The context summary was “Based on the information summarized in Table 1, if it were feasible, a connection between Clackamette Park and the Arch Bridge in Oregon City to West Linn in the vicinity of the OR 43 /I-205 Interchange could provide an effective link to existing or planned facilities east and west of the existing I-205 Abernethy Bridge.” Presently Bicycles use sharrows only on Rte 43 and pedestrians use bilateral sidewalks.

The balance of the document details bicycle/pedestrian ideas & costs for 1) alternative Abernathy bridge south, 2) new bridge north, 3) Abernathy cantilevered bridges north and south, 4) suspended beneath Abernathy piers-e.g. the noisy I-205, 5) new bridge south of OR 43 and 6) new AT bridge only realigned with OR 43. Scoping costs were ranging from 20 million dollars (new bridge south) to 27 million (cantilever) to 40 million (Widening 205 with multipath), to the largest estimate of 53 million (widening including AT lanes through West Lynn, etc.)

The above shows the Bike Bill’s promise of ODOT’s potential to fulfill the Bike Bill’s directive.

Later in 2016 we jump to ODOT’s I-205 Fastlanes Grant Application: The idea of AT lanes was reduced from detailed solutions to glib opportunity: “Challenge: The Abernethy Bridge is a gap in the regional bicycle and pedestrian mobility network. Today, there are bike lanes on OR 43 to the I-205 on-/off-ramps in West Linn and striped buffered bike lanes on OR 99 in Oregon City, but no straightforward network connection. Solution: This project is an opportunity to provide the much-needed and regionally desired pedestrian and bicycle network connection over the Willamette River between West Linn and Oregon City. Ultimately, this new link will connect to the I-205 Multi-use Path/Clackamas River Trail in Oregon City, providing regional mobility and access to the greater regional trail system.”

A 3rd example of how the Abernathy Project including Active Transportation fell out of view is Clackamas County’s inheritance of information from ODOT. Their Five year Transportation Improvement Program mentions zero about Abernathy Bridge or additional spans across the river.

Back to ODOT. The next I-205 project step details ( mentions no bicycle or pedestrian facilities. The open house ( for I-205 has no details of AT lanes. This absence of any Active Transportation represents the silent tier of ODOT administration at this level in promoting bicycle-pedestrian follow through.

The Abernathy Bike Pedestrian issues became ghosted. I imagine documents entitled, “How to create projects eliminating Bike Bill’s requirements” being circulated at ODOT. This guts the Bike Bill.

Let’s remind ourselves what the second sentence of the bike bill is: Footpaths and bicycle trails, including curb cuts or ramps as part of the project, shall be provided wherever a highway, road or street is being constructed, reconstructed or relocated. ( Sounds like the Abernathy Bridge to me. Sounded like the St. Johns Bridge several years ago too.

My next two comments have to do with hope.

1) Metro. An improved change of ODOT’s internal vigilance of Active Transportation could happen at several levels by outside forces. I think Metro’s action to acquire the Willamette Falls Legacy Project and subsequent 7 million dollar donation this early April should change the ODOT inaction. This Oregon City incredible tourism resource represents a major regional change. The Willamette Falls is the 17th widest waterfall in the world. Multnomah Falls is the 434th tallest waterfall in the world. Redevelopment of the Oregon City tourism area could be a terrific draw for people coming to Portland. It might even help by drawing visitors away from Multnomah Falls and reducing that congestion due almost 3 million visitors. It is only 13 miles to the Willamette Falls from Portland.

2) The e-bike. An e-bike could easily be used at 15 miles an hour from downtown Portland to Willamette Falls across the Tilikum~down the Springwater~catching a bike lane over to the Abernathy. The return coming back could be on Hwy 43 Bridge~entering Sellwood and the industrial Eastside densely-packed breweries and pubs.

Contrast this great bike ride across several bridges and along a water front with sitting in a car on the Historic Columbia River Highway from 60-90 minutes midday plus waiting for a parking place at Multnomah Falls. The Willamette Falls could be an enormously great and attractive healthy adventure.

I have asked people why don’t they bike places all the past 3 decades. People talk about danger, traffic, deaths, etc. Range Anxiety is a new reason for drawbacks to using bicycles. I have not heard this reason much until lately. This newer reason means people are afraid they will use up all their energy if they bicycle too far away from their starting place. Surprising to me in several testimonials, I heard the solution to range anxiety is an e-bike. I heard this several times in the past two years at the many local and national hearings on e-bicycle use on state and national park trails. I had no idea that this was a hidden-quieter reason people do not bike. And removing the range anxiety unspoken barrier is allowing us to grow our cycling ranks.

It is fascinating to hear e-bike using people say, ‘now I can keep up with him,’ ‘I don’t have to worry about my knees giving out,’ ‘we are sisters meeting here for fun and we never ride bikes, but knew we could get back in time for the bridal rehearsal.’ And even this week I heard a friend who tried an ebike said, “I hate being last on a ride.” And to me this parlays exactly into an economic reason for adding a lane for bike/ped on the Abernathy Bridge. This arterial is long enough for a part of a day trip that a Portland tourist could see an incredible osprey view of the Willamette River and world class waterfall geography.

Metro’s action could wake the ODOT Active Transportation staff as much as we expect a new Director to bring an Active Transportation vision and incorporate the promise of the Bike Bill to all of ODOT. If we continue to have people who have a meek or nonexistent voice about Active Transportation, then no Director will ever engage them to think outside their present lane. The director and staff are a two way street to fulfill the Bike Bill from start to finish of any highway, road or street is being constructed, reconstructed or relocated project.

So Happy Birthday Bike Bill; I know it is a little early but don’t fade. My want is really I need another lane of traffic.

PS (Traffic comes from 16th century romance language variations –traffique-trafico-traffic -meaning merchandise/people transportation)

Grateful call-out to garbage truck driver

Avatar by on April 26th, 2019 at 10:41 am

I wish I had bothered to notice what company’s truck they were driving. Heading north on SE 16th this morning, I was behind a garbage truck. I never want to be anywhere near a garbage truck for painfully good historical reasons. It pulled up to the intersection with Burnside, put on the right hand turn signal and waited… and waited. I was a full truck length behind it, reading the large sign on the rear saying both verbally and graphically “vehicle makes wide turns.” Two bicyclists were less patient, and went around me to the right. One was not too foolish, as she was making a right turn.

The other tried to go around the truck, to the right. Directly into the turn the driver was trying to make. The driver stopped.

By the time I screamed at the oblivious bicyclist, she was across Burnside and out of hearing range. As often as I mutter “natural selection in action,” I really don’t want to be a witness to it. I’m shaking just thinking about it again.

I’m about to see what company has that area’s residential pickup and put in a commendation.

People, please don’t be stupid. Enough of us get killed while doing everything right.

Bike Share vs. Bike Rental — Which is Right for Me?

evoPortlandStore by on April 12th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

You’ve likely noticed all the orange bicycles scattered across Portland — some positioned conveniently on the sidewalks outside your office, some situated in parks and local green spaces, and unfortunately some carelessly thrown into ditches or halfway down the embankment of the Willamette River. Since launching officially on July 19th, 2016 Biketown’s bright orange bikes have become a common talking point for both locals and tourists alike. While some love the widespread availability and convenience of the Biketown program, others raise skepticism and concerns. To create clarity over which is right for you, we thought it’d be helpful to outline some of the legitimate pros and cons for tourists and casual recreators when deciding between a bike share or a local bike shop rental:
[Read more…]

How not to design an intersection

Avatar by on April 10th, 2019 at 6:32 am

This is not in Portland, but in Bellingham, but I want to point out the good news for you is that in the fourteen years I was in Portland, I have not seen anything as bad as this one. The location is Meridian and I/5 for those of you familiar with Bellingham, Washington.

Tools for the trail: What You Should Have in Your Mountain Bike Trail Pack

evoPortlandStore by on March 8th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Article by Asa Redfield, evo Portland. evo Portland is a BikePortland Business Subscriber. We offer free article postings as part of that program! Sign up to today to take advantage of this great benefit.

Mountain bikers have a tendency to do things their own way, personalizing all aspects of their participation from their cars, to their bikes, to their riding kits. With that said, one thing that all mountain bikers can unanimously agree on is that there are a handful of essentials that you ought to bring along on every ride. Mountain bikes are great machines, but things happen out there on the trail, these items will help you to be prepared no matter what happens. Thus, without further ado we’ve compiled a comprehensive collection of tools for the trail. Run through the list, gear up, and make sure you don’t leave the trailhead without ‘em.

Trail Pack
Whether you prefer a mountain bike backpack or a biking fanny pack or waistpack, you’re going to need a pack of some sorts to haul everything efficiently and effortlessly from Point A to Point B. Do you need a special mountain bike specific pack? Not necessarily, but having something that cinches down securely against your body and also allows your back to breathe is imperative.

A good bike multi-tool is absolutely essential. Whether you need to tighten up your bike’s hardware, fix a broken chain, or perform any number of on-the-go bike maintenance, your multi-tool will likely have you covered. A couple key characteristics to ensure your multi-tool has are: a chain tool, 4 / 5 / 6mm hex keys, T25 Torx, and screw drivers (flat head & Phillips).

Portable Pump
There are a couple important things to consider when choosing a mini/portable bike pump. First, is the valve connection compatible with your tires? Most modern mountain bike tires use Presta valves, but this is something you’ll want to verify before purchasing and pedaling off. Second, is the maximum pressure enough to adequately inflate your tire? Different pumps have different psi capabilities and whether you’re running tubeless or not will dictate your needs.

Spare Bike Tube
This one doesn’t need much explanation other than this; sometimes tubeless tire seals fail and for those of you who are still running with bike tubes, pinch flats are still the most common repair. Pushing your bike out isn’t fun — pack an extra tube.

Tire Levers
Ever tried to fix a flat without tire levers? If you have, you won’t forget to bring tire levers ever again.

Chain Quick Link
Whether you crash, experience a wonky shift, or just haven’t lubed your chain in months, your bike chain can break and it tends to do so at a single point (hence the term “weakest link”). Having a multi-tool with a chain tool and a spare link that you can replace the break with might just save you from a 14-mile hike-a-bike push back to the trailhead.

Stay hydrated. Over 50% of our bodies are water… Need we say more? Fill up a water bottle or bike hydration pack and bring it along!

After water, snacks are both literally and figuratively a lifesaver. Whether it’s a classic PB&J, a snackbar, trail mix, or something else, you’ll never be upset that you brought snacks.

Extra Layer(s)
This one is a bit arbitrary but it never hurts to be prepared, especially when you’re riding somewhere where the weather can be a bit fickle. With modern bike jackets, windbreakers and rain shells being as lightweight and packable as they are nowadays, you’d be wise to stash one of these in your pack too.

About evo
We are evo Portland. We are a bike shop, ski shop, snowboard shop, wake shop, skate shop, surf shop, and clothing retailer all under one roof in Portland, Oregon. In addition to retail, we provide bike repairs, bike rentals, ski/snowboard waxes & tunes, and ski/snowboard rentals. Visit our store in the Central Eastside neighborhood where our knowledgeable staff will happily assist you with all of your outdoor gear and action sports needs.

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Winter Wonderland “Bike the Lights” is now in its 10th Year

Avatar by on November 19th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Back in 2009 Portland International Raceway (PIR) decided to create a special night when only bicycle riders would be allowed to circle the 2-mile track to take in the extensive Winter Wonderland display. This event is called Bike the Lights, and it has been held every year since. I’ve been to all nine of the previous occurrences and thought a recap would be nice for this 10th anniversary coming up on November 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

For me, the most memorable year happens to be the first, when the temperature was 25 degrees with a 15 mph wind blowing. But even under those conditions a huge crowd showed up. Portland bike ride leaders Carye Bye and Ester Harlow had a group ride up to PIR for the well-publicized event. And Pedal Bike Tours also had a group ride to the event that same year, thus starting another new holiday tradition. Every year since there has been at least one group bike ride to Bike the Lights where Portlanders are greeted by a parade of holiday decorated bikes and sound systems on their way to the lights. It’s like a Pedalpalooza ride, just six months later.

One remarkable occurrence (at least for Portland) is that it has not rained during the event over the past nine years. But there were times when it rained earlier in the day, so the track was still wet. And one year it started drizzling just after the event was over. In 2013 Portland had a good snow the Friday before, but it was gone by the Monday evening of Bike the Lights. And there was another year (2015) where it would have been raining, but it had been raining so hard that the racetrack was flooded. PIR thus canceled the early December date and rescheduled Bike the Lights for December 28 of 2015. That made for a pretty light attendance, perhaps because fewer people were interested in taking in holiday lights after December 25. We’ll have to see if the rain-free weather holds out for another year! For reference, here are the weather conditions on each of the previous nine years. Thanks to Jonathan’s extensive archives, you can click on the year link for information pertinent to that particular year.

Year Date Weather – Temp, Wind, Conditions
Mon, Dec 7 25 F, 15 mph, Clear
Mon, Dec 6 44 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 5 32 F, 5 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 3 50 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 9 28 F, 5 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 8 47 F, 15 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 28 39 F, Calm, Mostly Cloudy
Tue, Nov 29 47 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Tue, Nov 28 46 F, 1 mph, Mostly Cloudy

A substantial change in Bike the Lights took place in 2016 when the event was moved backward in time to be in late November rather than in December. This meant that it was over with before a lot of people even had it on their radar. And this happened the year after it had been rescheduled to December 28. So that pent-up demand over two years’ time caused a lot of people to come to Bike the Light in 2017. It was the biggest crowd I remember seeing since 2009.

This year Puddlecycle is leading a group ride to Winter Wonderland that will follow a flat/downhill 4-mile route to PIR using quiet streets and the Columbia Slough Trail. Meet us in Dawson Park at 6 pm if you’d like to ride along!

Will Trade Bandannas For Socks

Rivelo by on November 11th, 2018 at 6:05 am

‘Tis the season, again. Bring us new or nearly new socks, and we will give you one of our current all-cotton/USA-made bandannas in exchange.

During the fall & winter, we make regular runs to the local homeless shelter to deliver socks, gloves, scarves, knitwear, and ANY articles of clothing that might help keep people warm during the coldest, wettest months in Portland, Oregon.

Springwater Corridor open a week early!

Avatar by on October 21st, 2018 at 4:19 pm

The Springwater Corridor was open this afternoon (Sunday, Oct. 21), one week early. The work, which had closed that section since July 9, isn’t finished (cabling the posts and fencing in the bumpout), but a lot of people were walking and riding it. Don’t know if it will remain open this week while they finish.

Get Joel a Tooth!

Rivelo by on October 20th, 2018 at 10:14 am

Friend and Rivelo shop regular Joel needs a new front tooth, and we’re hoping to raise the necessary funds to make that happen. If you’ve been to Rivelo, you may have met Joel.

When Joel was still a teenager in Florida, he crashed his VW Microbus and sustained a closed head injury that left him in a coma for almost a month. After he emerged from the coma, the trauma to his brain had unfortunate and lasting consequences. Joel’s memory and ability to concentrate were severely impacted, and he has not been able to maintain regular employment because of it. The State of Oregon awarded him permanent disability status a few years ago.

Joel is a friendly and helpful guy who has spent the last 15 years volunteering in Portland at The Friends of Trees; The Street Trust/Bicycle Transportation Alliance (where he was named Volunteer of the Year); Food Not Bombs; and Cycle Oregon…to name but a few.

Joel’s volunteer work continued through a period of homelessness, during which he was living in his van. He now has his own studio apartment, but he has not forgotten this time in his life. I recently saw him on a well-traveled bike path with his portable repair stand set up, fixing bicycles for homeless cyclists. Classic Joel.

His monthly disability check takes care of most of his basic expenses, but it doesn’t begin to cover something like a dental implant.

We’re hoping that if all of our regular Instagram and Facebook friends and followers make a donation, even a small one, the cumulative cash will mean we can send Joel to the dentist’s office.

Dental procedures like the one that Joel requires are expensive, and we’ve set a goal of $6,000 to cover all aspects of the surgery and replacing his tooth.

Please consider chipping in. This is one time when even a few dollars can go a long way toward improving someone’s life.

And feel free to share this!

Casting for PDW Fall Photoshoot 10-8-2018

Portland Design Works by on September 26th, 2018 at 7:06 am

Portland Design Works is looking for some fresh faces for our fall photoshoot!

The shoot will take place in various neighborhoods around Portland on Monday October 8th from 10-6pm. We are seeking members of the bike community who are interested in modeling for the shoot. All ages genders and ethnicities are encouraged to apply! The entire day will not be required for all models.

This is a paid gig. Use of your personal bike is not required.

If you’re interested and would like more details please shoot us an e-mail at: with the subject line: Model for PDW Fall Photoshoot

Feel free to share this post, we look forward to hearing from you!