DeFazio, Buttigieg tout electric cars, bikes, and warn of ‘existential threat’ of climate change at Eugene event

By on July 15th, 2021 at 2:56 pm

US DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaking in Eugene yesterday.

These are wild times for climate change in America. We have floods and droughts and fires and heat waves — scary, deadly, catastrophic events — unfolding in front of our eyes as policymakers scramble to satisfy an anxious public and activists increase the volume of their pleas.

Yesterday in Eugene, the Biden Administration’s top transportation leader, US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared at a press conference with U.S. Congressmen and Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio. They and other officials spent the day viewing safety challenges on Highway 99 in Corvallis and driving an all-electric bus. The high-profile visit was part of a tour to tout Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.

As the climate issue heats up, so too are calls to use transportation policy as a way to address it.[Read more…]

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A Unity Ride recap and thoughts on respecting bodies in public spaces

By on July 15th, 2021 at 9:21 am

Riders meet up prior to rolling out for a recent Unity Ride.
(Photos: Maritza Arango/@arango_mari)

Maritza Arango.

Publisher’s Note: Maritza Arango is BikePortland’s new events editor! This is her first (non Weekend Event Guide) post. Maritza moved to Portland from Bogotá, Colombia in January 2021. Stay tuned for a proper intro and more of her perspectives on Portland’s bike scene. – Jonathan

How hard is it for humans to understand that differences should be acknowledged and respected? It is not just a matter of thinking that we are all the same, because we are not. With that on my mind, I attended my first bike ride in Portland earlier this month. It was the Unity Ride; a ride only for women, trans and non-binary people.

“I want to get to know the community through the eyes of those who, like myself, believe their bodies are not welcome, appreciated, suitable, or even allowed on a bike.”

For centuries, the patriarchy has drawn a line between “them” – as the bodies that matter, the bodies that “can and should” occupy public space like it belonged to them – and “the others.” They feel entitled to comment, to look, to touch, to harass. It is unnecessary for me to explain (and honestly I don’t want to because it is exhausting) which bodies belong to that historical patriarchal status-quo and which don’t.

Now, you should be asking yourself: What does all this have to do with biking? Why should I make the decision to start writing about biking in Portland on such an uncomfortable topic? Well, I want to get to know the community through the eyes of those who, like myself, believe their bodies are not welcome, appreciated, suitable, or even allowed on a bike. This is how I want to introduce myself.

Some may think that bikes are just for sports, for fun, or for daily transportation. I was drawn to the Unity Ride for several reasons, in part because I think that bikes are so much more than that. I think riding a bike can be a political expression of individuals and communities.

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In Sellwood, on one of our stops along the Willamette River.

So let’s get to the ride recap!

Before I continue, I want to mention that I invited two friends to join me. Not only because I wanted to spend time with them, but also because I believed that I was not going to fit in. Why? Because I am a woman, I am overweight, I am Latina, and I have a disability and a service dog. Sounds like a perfect recipe for an entertaining conversation for a group of proud and drunk boys, right?

Amélie, my service dog, getting to know the community.

Here’s how it happened: First, I reached out to Sofie, one of the organizers, to let them know I wanted to join the ride and get to know them so I could write this report.

I arrived at Colonel Summers park, Friday July 3rd, at 7:00 pm. Around 15 people had already gathered, and were talking and waiting for something or someone. Everyone seemed to know each other except me. As I was waiting for Sofie, I felt like I was in an awkward blind date where I was waiting and looking for someone that should arrive “on a red bike.” My bike needed some adjustment so I decided to approach the group. People reached out to help and I even got a tool kit offered (thank you, PCC Active Transportation!). Everything seemed to have started from a good place. More people were showing up, and we quickly became a group of 20 or 30 bikers with so many different bodies and gender expressions.

Someone started talking to the group: “No homophobia allowed, no fatphobia allowed, no transphobia allowed, no misogynistic behavior allowed, no harassment allowed…” I can’t remember the exact words but I can summarize those with: No discrimination allowed. Turns out that person was Sofie. And that’s how I met her.

Some safety instructions were given to the group and we were ready to go. The ride was smooth, sunny, and beautiful. People were happy and it felt like a place where I could show any weakness with no judgment. During the ride some people approached me to check in, some to have a short talk and some were just sharing music and chillness – I know, it sounds too much like a unicorn safety fairytale, but it was real.

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We arrived at Sellwood park for a swim and a picnic after a 10-mile ride across a couple of bridges. (I wouldn’t recommend the ride to beginners that are just learning how to ride; I’d say it required a minimum set of skills.)

At the picnic I talked to some of the organizers of the ride; here is a little bit of what they shared with me:

“The ride has been going on for about a year now. It started biweekly but now is weekly. We have two rides: One that goes at a pace that’s inclusive to all riders, and one that’s faster for more experienced riders. We strive to include women, transgender and non-binary people that have felt excluded or intimidated to forming community around bikes. We want the community to be as involved in the ride as they want to be! We aim to create an inclusive environment where no one person is the sole leader. We prioritize safety and inclusion while having fun!”

What is my conclusion after riding and talking with them? Everyone is invited except the ones that have a privilege that allows them to be respected, accepted and safe in any or every other ride. Why? Because women and other bodies that are non-dominant need spaces to feel safe and to…. just be. Don’t take my word as the Unity Ride’s word, this is just me asking the world to give women and others more spaces where we can take care of each other, be vulnerable, learn and especially, not be harassed!

I promise that you’ll read from me a lot more reasons why women belong on bikes and why public space is in debt to us, “the others.” Thank you for reading!

— Maritza Arango, @arango_mari on Instagram and Twitter.
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Portland’s bike advisory committee will apologize to Commissioner Hardesty for conduct ‘endemic of systemic racism’

By on July 14th, 2021 at 2:26 pm

“We want to apologize for our conduct at that meeting. It was unprofessional, endemic of systemic racism, and unacceptable. We will be holding ourselves accountable.”
— PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee letter

Two months after a heated meeting with Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, members of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee have penned an apology letter.

The meeting on May 11th was Hardesty’s first visit to the BAC since she was named PBOT Commissioner in December 2020. During a Q & A session following remarks to the committee, Hardesty, the first Black woman on Portland City Council, made some statements that left many veteran bike advocates shocked and frustrated. One BAC member, Clint Culpepper, become animated in his pushback against some of Hardesty’s comments — especially when she appeared to dismiss bike advocates’ demands because she doesn’t feel “the bike community” is an effective lobby group.[Read more…]

Starting July 20th, bicycle riders will be required to have tickets, reservations to visit Multnomah Falls

By on July 14th, 2021 at 11:47 am

They’ll all need tickets starting July 20th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Video: Ride the carfree Shark Valley Loop Road in Everglades National Park

By on July 14th, 2021 at 10:13 am


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Youth climate activists will take demands to Governor’s front door

By on July 13th, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Activists with Sunrise PDX protesting in front of ODOT’s regional headquarters on June 9th, 2021.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Portland City Council to consider carfree South Park Blocks plan

By on July 13th, 2021 at 2:25 pm

Riding the South Park Blocks.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

At their weekly meeting this Thursday, Portland City Council will consider adoption of the South Parks Blocks Master Plan. Like myriad other planning documents, this plan is an unfunded mandate that identifies a vision for how the South Park Blocks could grow in the years to come.

These plans are usually passed without much drama because they’re the result of years of painstaking public outreach and don’t come with specific, required actions and timelines. But this plan might be different: Tucked into Appendix B of the plan is a joint proposal from Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that would create a carfree space on several blocks of Park Avenue West. The “Connected Cultural District” concept would expand the existing pedestrian plaza of Portland State University by six blocks near the Portland Art Museum and create a world-class segment of the Green Loop — a central city greenway corridor that was adopted by council in 2018.[Read more…]

Key stretch of Willamette Blvd poised for 10-foot protected bike lanes, $6 million in upgrades

By on July 13th, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Initial project recommendations. (Source: PBOT)

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Pedalpalooza ride retraces route of first train to St. Johns

By on July 12th, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Train History Ride participants stand on the former route on N Commercial Avenue and Cook. Inset: The St. Johns Motor Line train.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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U.S. House-approved ‘INVEST in America Act’ includes $18 million for Portland road projects

By on July 12th, 2021 at 2:09 pm

U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer on 82nd Avenue, Friday July 9th, 2021.
(Photo: City of Portland)

U.S. Congressman and former Portland city commissioner Earl Blumenauer took a walk on Southeast 82nd Avenue on Friday to highlight a $5 million federal investment into the beleaguered road. The visit came a week after Blumenauer and his colleagues in the House of Representatives voted 221 to 201 to pass the INVEST in America Act, a bill that would inject $715 billion into transportation infrastructure nationwide.

The $5 million earmarked for 82nd comes amid unprecedented momentum for the state highway (OR 213) to finally be transferred into local hands after years of advocacy from safe streets activists and elected officials who are fed up with the State of Oregon’s management style. After years of pushing for the transfer, two more deaths on the street back in April pushed the issue to the front-burner. State lawmakers then teamed up with the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation to hammer out a “historic” agreement that would allow the transfer to take place — but only if all the parties cough up the requisite funds — totalling nearly $200 million — to bring the road up to a state of good repair. [Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Protected bike lanes work, Amazon commute benefits, bike rider packing heat, and more

By on July 12th, 2021 at 11:29 am

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Portland will donate 650 original Biketown bikes to Hamilton (Ontario) Bike Share

By on July 12th, 2021 at 9:39 am

New (old) Biketown bikes lined up in South Waterfront in July 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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People on Bikes – Miami and Key West

By on July 9th, 2021 at 4:35 pm

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
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Climate anxiety leads to action for Portland bike shop owners and freeway fighters

By on July 9th, 2021 at 10:55 am

Look for it at your local bike shop.

The recent heat wave, looming wildfire risks, and lawmakers’ tone deaf support of freeway expansions are fueling high anxiety about climate change in the Portland region. And as you might expect, many people are organizing and taking action to do something about it.

There’s now a “Bike Action Team” that has formed under the local chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nationwide effort to boost awareness and support for the federal Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. The legislation would put a price on carbon and send taxpayers a carbon dividend check. We first reported about local support for this effort back in March. Since then, six more local bike shops have signed onto the Business Climate Leaders Bicycle Industry Climate Declaration. Backpedal Cycleworks, Block Bikes PDX, Gladys Bikes, Joe Bike, Kenton Cycle Repair, and New Age Bike Works are the six new shops on the list. They join Clever Cycles, Cyclepath, Cynergy E-Bikes, The eBike Store, Inc., Fat Tire Farm, Go By Bike, Nomad Cycles, Recumbent PDX, River City Bicycles, Rose City Recumbent Cycles and West End Bikes.

You’ll likely see this poster (right) at these shops next time you stop in. The poster has QR codes where you can learn about the legislation and send your congressional representative a note to urge their support. [Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Community Cycling Center, Velotech

By on July 9th, 2021 at 10:07 am

It’s never too late to jump on the bike industry train.

Get your foot in the door or jump to a different car by checking out the opportunities below…

Community Programs Manager – Community Cycling Center

Bicycle Mechanic FT/PT – Community Cycling Center

Shipping Specialist – Velotech, Inc.
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Weekend Event Guide: Unity Ride, Goth Night, Wonder Woman, Spice Girls and more!

By on July 8th, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Everyone is out riding these days.

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Pedestrian fatality on 33rd happened near massive homeless encampment

By on July 7th, 2021 at 11:38 am

NE 33rd Drive, looking south. Portlanders live in vehicles parked on the side of the road. (Photo: Lisa Caballero/BikePortland)

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Person walking struck and killed by a driver on NE 33rd Drive

By on July 6th, 2021 at 2:01 pm

A person walking was struck by a car and killed on NE 33rd Drive, just west of the airport.

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On cognitive dissonance and climate change in Cascadia

By on July 3rd, 2021 at 6:04 am

Wildfire smoke in Portland on September 10th, 2020.
(Photo: BikePortland)

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Capping Freeways: An Interview with Architect Rick Potestio

By on July 2nd, 2021 at 10:51 am

Corner of SW Broadway and 5th Avenue looking east. I-405 and the surface street route of Hwy 26 to the Ross Island Bridge create a no-man’s-land for people walking and on bicycles. (photo: Lisa Caballero/BikePortland)


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