Support BikePortland

New ‘Friends of Safer Lincoln’ group hits the street to defend a greenway

By on February 9th, 2018 at 11:06 am

Doing something about the problem as the problem streams by.
(Photos: Betsy Reese)

Volunteer activism is alive and well in Portland.
[Read more…]

Advertise with BikePortland.

Community Cycling Center bringing back ‘Velotines’ delivery service

By on February 9th, 2018 at 9:05 am

Community Cycling Center staffers Lindy Walsh (L), Athena and Yashar Vasef model Velotines cards.
(Photos: Community Cycling Center)

When is the last time you sent someone a hand-written note? Maybe doing that more often was one of your new year’s resolutions that needs a nudge?

For the second year in a row the Community Cycling Center will set up a letter courier system in their retail bike shop on Northeast Alberta to commemorate St. Velotine’s Day — which they call, “an emerging tradition celebrating all-analog affection.” For one day the CCC will buck the growing digitization of our lives and encourage people to send hand-written notes to one another in a bid to boost positive community spirit.

Here’s more from the CCC:

Instead of jotting a quick email thanking a friend or coworker, imagine having that note manually typed on a mid-century Olympia typewriter, then couriered by bike within Portland city limits to surprise and delight its recipient on February 14th. That is precisely what Cycling Center staff and volunteers intend to do for hundreds of messages.


From now through February 14th (which is traditionally Valentine’s Day, if you haven’t realized yet), anyone can stop into the CCC Bike Shop (1700 NE Alberta) and order a velotine for a $10 suggested donation. Once typed up and sealed with a kiss, it will be queued for bike delivery on Valentine’s Day.

This would be a great way to tell your friends and special someones that you appreciate them!

— 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.

Grab a ’20 is Plenty’ yard sign and help PBOT change traffic culture

By on February 8th, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Hopefully it’s a sign of change.
(Photo: PBOT)

Changing America’s dysfunctional traffic culture begins on the street in front of where you live.

It will take a lot more than signs and paint to win the battle against traffic violence — but both of those things are part of the fight. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has a new way you can aid their “Vision Zero” efforts: They now offer free ’20 is Plenty’ yard signs. Their goal is to help educate us about speed and give everyone a bit of a fair warning before the new 20 mph citywide residential speed limit goes into effect on April 1st (no foolin’).

Here are the times and places you can pick up a free sign: [Read more…]

Beaverton City Council needs to hear about how auto parking decisions impact cycling

By on February 8th, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Lloyd northbound toward Millikan, where cars could soon line both sides of the street.
(Photos by Naomi Fast for BikePortland)

This story is from our Washington County correspondent, Naomi Fast.

We need to talk about on-street auto parking in Beaverton.

A big picture glance at Beaverton Traffic Commission meeting agendas shows that over the past couple years, on-street car parking is a consuming and intersectional problem. Residents have been asking the city to lower speed limits rather than rely on parked cars for traffic calming, as well as further restrict on-street car parking. But the parking restriction requests are coming in for two different reasons: some are concerned about safety while traveling on car-cluttered roads, while others are concerned about people sleeping overnight in vehicles on the street.

Biking as transportation is — thankfully — being acknowledged somewhat in the search for solutions. However, some advocates are concerned certain proposed bike lanes (on a section of 5th, specifically, which the Bicycle Advisory Committee endorsed) were being used by the city to justify a new ordinance that would, in effect, evict houseless people from staying overnight in vehicles on the street. Washington County just enacted their own ordinance prohibiting camping on-street in RVs. Like Portland, Beaverton is struggling to house all its residents. The city has even decided to apply for an Urban Growth Boundary expansion.

But today, I’d like to outline a seemingly small detail of the bigger parking problem. It’s an example of the kind of mundane traffic decision that should be considered from a carfree person’s perspective, as part of the equity consideration.

And I think it’s worth a call-to-action for people whose preferred or primary mode of travel in Beaverton is a bicycle.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Live the Revolution, Worst Day of the Year Ride, plant trees by bike, and more

By on February 8th, 2018 at 10:11 am

OMG so cute. You know you wanna do the Worst Day of the Year Ride on Sunday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The weekend is right around the corner and now is the time to tidy up your plans.

Our guide this week has two special “BP Picks!” — which means we’re working hard to feature these events because the organizers support BikePortland. If that’s not added reason to check them out I don’t know what is.

So don’t miss a night of great bicycle stories on Friday at Live the Revolution and then join hundreds of your fellow Portlanders for the traditional Worst Day of the Year Ride on Sunday. Here’s the full menu…
[Read more…]

After another death, community groups will press City for ’emergency’ on outer SE Stark

By on February 7th, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Looks like an emergency to me.

We’ve seen this sad movie before: After seemingly incessant traffic violence on our streets, people join together with tears in their eyes and frustration in their hearts to implore our government agencies to do more to make our streets safe.

This time Oregon Walks and the Rosewood Initiative will lead the way. They’re hosting a press conference Thursday morning to draw attention to terrible conditions on outer SE Stark Street after a woman was killed by an auto user at 148th Street last week. That was the third fatal traffic crash at or near that same intersection in less than a year. In a statement (below), Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry is calling on the City of Portland to declare an official emergency on SE Stark in order to immediately reduce the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph.

Mickelberry hopes the Portland Bureau of Transportation will take a similar approach to the emergency declaration they successfully pursued on SE Division last year.

Here’s more from the Oregon Walks press release:
[Read more…]

26th Avenue bike lanes in death throes as ODOT turns screws and advocates dig in

By on February 7th, 2018 at 1:46 pm

The bike lanes aren’t pretty, but they’re better than nothing (depending on who you ask).
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“PBOT believes there was evidence to justify the State Engineer to reconsider his decision and leave the bike lanes in place. ODOT has communicated to the City that they will not reconsider that decision.”
— Dylan Rivera, PBOT

The bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue approaching Powell Boulevard are on life support.

In a saga that has spanned nearly 30 months, PBOT appears to have finally acquiesced to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s demand that a pair of bike lanes that have been in use since the 1980s be removed in favor of the state’s preferred route for bicycle users two blocks east on SE 28th. It all comes back to a deal struck by PBOT and ODOT two years ago.

In order to build a new traffic signal and crossing at the intersection of SE 28th and SE Powell for their 20s Bikeway project, PBOT needed a special permit from ODOT and the blessing of State Traffic Engineer Bob Pappe. ODOT, who owns and manages Powell Boulevard, agreed to that permit only on the very specific condition that once the new signal was up and running, PBOT would remove the bike lanes on 26th.
[Read more…]

Portland’s latest neighborhood greenway will connect the Lloyd District to Woodlawn

By on February 7th, 2018 at 10:08 am

Streetview of NE 7th looking north toward NE Knott.

The Bureau of Transportation has kicked off a project that aims to make it safer to travel between the Lloyd District and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

The $552,000 Lloyd to Woodlawn (L2W for short) neighborhood greenway project will utilize either NE 7th or 9th and will stretch from Weidler in the south to Holman in the north. Once completed, the route would connect the buffered bike lanes in the Lloyd District to existing neighborhood greenways on Tillamook and Holman. It would also include a safer crossing of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

PBOT has scheduled the first open house for the project on February 27th.
[Read more…]

Introducing our new Family Biking column by Madi Carlson

By on February 6th, 2018 at 2:30 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Publisher’s note: Welcome to our Family Biking column! I’m thrilled to share Madi’s insights and experiences here on BP. Please give her a warm welcome and let’s thank Clever Cycles for helping bring this content to the community. — Jonathan]

Hi. I’m Madi.

I bike for all the typical reasons — it’s cheaper than driving, it’s safer than driving, it’s simpler than taking the bus, it’s healthy, it doesn’t pollute, it’s usually faster than all other modes of transportation — but mostly because it’s tremendously fun. Even with kids. Especially with kids. I love to share that sense of fun and ease with others in the hopes of encouraging more families and individuals to bike even just a little bit more often. I’ve found focusing on the fun stuff to be an effective way of promoting bicycling as transportation (but I also reserve the right to discuss statistics and badmouth car traffic).

I ride with my two sons, aged 10 and 8, and our conveniently-basket-sized dog. I’ve been family biking since my first son was one year old and have gone through several bike iterations along the way. I like to think there are a lot of different right answers and very few wrong answers when it comes to choosing a family bike.
[Read more…]

Metro Council president candidate Lynn Peterson is doing a 24-city bike tour

By on February 6th, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Lynn Peterson imitating public art during a bike tour of Gresham.
(Photo: Lynn Peterson for Metro President)

If you want to lead the agency that oversees the entire Portland metro region, you need an intimate understanding of the cities within it. What better way to gain that knowledge than from the seat of a bicycle?
[Read more…]

A former Portlander wants to know what ‘women led’ cities would look like

By on February 6th, 2018 at 9:53 am

Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman at Portland’s Parking Day event in 2013.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman is putting what she learned in Portland to very good use: addressing the sexism in urban planning and helping women take leadership roles in how our cities are designed.

“The city, as we know it today, has been designed and shaped primarily by men,” she wrote in a recent email, “By bringing women’s voices to the forefront of the urban discussion, the Women Led Cities Initiative aims to achieve a greater level of equity in urban planning and design – both bottom-up and top-down – and start conversations about developing feminist city policy towards greater equality for all people in our cities.”

Johnston-Zimmerman, an urban anthropologist with a Master of Urban Studies degree from Portland State University (and who shared a guest article here on BikePortland in 2013), moved to Philadelphia a few years ago; but not before cutting her teeth on local activism efforts like Better Block and Parking Day. Back in 2012 I worked with Johnston-Zimmerman (and two others) on a project for GOOD Magazine where we envisioned a Portland where bicycling was just as easy as driving or taking transit.

Those projects were just the start for Johnston-Zimmerman. She’s also founder of the THINK.urban consulting firm, part of the tandem (along with fellow urbanist Kirsten Jeffers) that hosts the Third Wave Urbanism podcast, and one of the driving forces behind the Women Led Cities initiative.
[Read more…]

After outcry, City changes plans and makes stronger case for Lincoln-Harrison greenway update

By on February 5th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Cover of PBOT’s new presentation.

After hundreds of comments, dueling online petitions, and a now-legendary open house that devolved into a “mob scene” takeover, the City of Portland has emerged with a new approach to the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement Project.

They have altered their initial plans and — in an effort to assuage naysayers of certain elements of the old plan — have redoubled their efforts to effectively communicate the need for the project in general.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Myopic marketing, wheelchair biking, pedaling protest, and more

By on February 5th, 2018 at 9:45 am

Welcome to the week. Looks like the rain is gone for a bit and we’ve warmed up a bit. I might even try riding without gloves today. I know, right!

You might notice something new this week: I’ve started giving credit to sources of links we use in the roundup. Giving credit is one of the most important tenets of the web, and it’s always bothered me that I didn’t do this in the past. I also hope you’ll discover new and smart people to follow on Twitter.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Unsafe at any level of nudity: A man is suing the City of Portland for $566,000 after he hit a median curb on SE Morrison and suffered injuries on his way home from the World Naked Bike Ride in 2016. (via The Oregonian)

On a related note: Los Angeles paid out $19 million last year to bicycle riders and their families to settle lawsuits related to crashes caused by unsafe road conditions. (via @bikinginorange)
[Read more…]

Comment of the Week: How to fix east Portland’s scary streets

By on February 2nd, 2018 at 11:54 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Welcome to our Comment of the Week. We do this post not only to highlight a useful or funny or creative insight, but also to help educate you about what makes a good comment. It’s part of our effort to improve the quality of the discussion here on BikePortland. We get hundreds of comments each week, so you can help us find the best ones by replying to one with “Comment of the week.” Thanks.]


Many people are overwhelmed by the scale of changes needed to significantly tame auto traffic on east Portland’s fast and wide arterials. When we talk about how to fix this persistent problem, the discussion swings between everything from lower speed limits and road diets — to land-use and demographic patterns.

The death yesterday morning of yet another person walking on outer Southeast Stark had commenters once again sharing ideas on what can be done to make meaningful progress on safer streets in that part of our city.
[Read more…]

Monday is last day to visit ODOT’s online congestion pricing open house

By on February 2nd, 2018 at 10:09 am

Freeway space is both a finite resource and one that comes with many negative externalities. It should cost much more to use.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

For most other services, when demand soars, the price increases. But not with our freeways. Is it time for us to pay more for using our limited road resources?

The Oregon Department of Transportation has started a process that will help them decide if, when, where and how to implement congestion pricing — which they refer to as value pricing.

ODOT is acting on a directive from House Bill 2017 that passed the Oregon Legislature last year. It directs the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC, the governor-appointed body that controls ODOT pursestrings) to seek approval from the Federal Highway Administration by December 2018 to implement pricing on I-5 and I-205. The bill specifically called out the sections of both freeways in the Portland metro region.

At this stage in the process, ODOT is conducting a “feasibility analysis” to determine the best location(s) to implement pricing and what the impact of doing so would be. Late last month they held three open houses around the region and since January 23rd they’ve had an online open house where anyone can learn more about the issue and share their experiences and feedback. That online open house is only open until this Monday, February 5th. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please try and make some time before it’s too late.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Velotech, Metropolis Cycle Repair, Ride with GPS

By on February 2nd, 2018 at 8:38 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got two great job opportunities that just went up this week, and one that we’re re-listing as a favor to one of our favorite local companies.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Shipping Specialist – Velotech

–> Bike Mechanic/Sales Person – Metropolis Cycle Repair

–> Customer Advocate – Ride with GPS

[Read more…]

An auto user killed a woman who was walking legally across SE Stark and 148th today

By on February 1st, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Overhead view of the intersection. Yellow arrow is the path of the victim.

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a collision that happened just after midnight this morning at SE Stark and 148th. A driver hit and killed a person crossing the street on foot; then the driver fled the scene.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Illuminated Bike Parade, Caddyshack Ride, Breadwinner Cafe grand opening, and more

By on February 1st, 2018 at 10:17 am

LIght that bike and join the parade!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bike. Love. Stories.

Don’t miss The Street Trust’s Live the Revolution bicycle-themed storytelling event on Friday, February 9th. Tickets and more info here.
*Advertisement

Is all the grey weather getting you down? Do you get unexpectedly happy when the sky turns bright? If so (or if not), you should check out the Portland Winter Light Festival. This year bike-related events are featured prominently. Biketown will place specially-lit bikes at stations near the start of the big parade near OMSI, Filmed by Bike will host an installation, you can get half-off a day-use bike share pass, and there’s a big bike parade!

We’ve got all the Winter Light Fest details and much more in this week’s guide…
[Read more…]

Cycle Oregon goes ‘Gravel’ and heads to eastern Oregon in 2018

By on January 31st, 2018 at 7:36 pm

The Hells Canyon Overlook will be one of many highlights in Cycle Oregon’s 2018 Classic ride.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Like a phoenix from the ashes of forest fires that caused the cancellation of last year’s ride, Cycle Oregon announced their 2018 season to much fanfare in front of hundreds of fans at the Portland Art Museum tonight.

Big crowd at tonight’s kickoff party at the Portland Art Museum seemed eager to get riding after a year off.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Before the meat of the presentation began, Executive Director Steve Schulz addressed the controversy around last year’s abrupt cancellation. Schulz humbly and fully apologized. “We learned we can always make improvements on how we do things and how we say things,” he said.

Then, as he appeared to choke up with emotion, he thanked the Cycle Oregon community for their support. Last year alone, in large part through riders who opted to donate $500 (half) of their entry fee, over $128,000 was donated to the Cycle Oregon Fund. “The money went back to those communities who suffered — not just from Cycle Oregon not being there, but from an entire season of wildfires.” “It reinforced to us,” he continued, “That you care about your fellow riders, you care about this state, you care about the communities, you care that we can continue to explore this state every year from the seat of a bicycle. This is your brand; and this brand is strong.”
[Read more…]

City unveils 11 winners of $100,000 in placemaking grants

By on January 31st, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Remember that grant program we told you about back in June? The one where the Bureau of Transportation was giving free money to anyone with a great idea on making streets better?

They received 63 applications and decided to award 11 of them.

Here are the winners (with project descriptions via PBOT):

Bridlemile Walkway $3,368

This project will transform a walkway in the Bridlemile neighborhood of SW Portland. The walkway is used by neighbors to access area schools, bus stops and grocery stores and is a part of the SW Trails network.

“Dia de las Niñas y los Niños” Parade and Celebration $3,625

This community event is hosted annually by the Rigler Elementary School PTA to celebrate the Latin American holiday. This year’s event will include a Safe Routes to School theme and promote active transportation options for students and families in the Cully neighborhood.

Heritage Tree Trail $1,200

The University of Portland Neighborhood Association will use this project to promote the use of urban trails and neighborhood greenways, while also increasing awareness of the heritage trees network in their North Portland community.

[Read more…]