Special gravel coverage

The Monday Roundup: Representation matters, road diet deniers, Green New Deal, and more

By on February 11th, 2019 at 10:25 am

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Bicycle riders are dangerous in Japan: This Japan News article says bicycle riders need more insurance because there are 2,500 collisions between bicycle riders and walkers each year and in 2017 there were 299 bicycle collisions where walkers were killed or severely wounded.
[Read more…]

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Winter storm open thread

By on February 9th, 2019 at 11:08 am

A Biketown rider opted for the sidewalk on N Killingsworth near Jefferson High School Saturday morning after snow fell across the city last night.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

🚨Welcome to BP StormTracker Central!🚨
[Read more…]

Don’t fear the frozen sunshine; embrace it! (Inspiration and tips for snowmageddon)

By on February 8th, 2019 at 2:04 pm

This man embraced the snow on a ride up North Williams Avenue during a storm in February 2014.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Snow is already falling in Seattle and it’s headed our way. The National Weather Service says we could get up to four inches by Saturday. And there’s more snow, ice and cold temps in the forecast all next week.
[Read more…]

Eager to end Matt Garrett era, advocates set expectations for new ODOT leader

By on February 8th, 2019 at 10:50 am

Advocacy groups aim to put their stamp on the selection of the next person to run ODOT.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

After 14 years at the helm, Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett resigned last month. For many reform-minded transportation advocates and professionals, he won’t be missed.
[Read more…]

Friday Profile: Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba leads with cycling and climate change

By 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.
[Read more…]

City announces new director of Portland Parks and Recreation

By on February 7th, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Adena Long.
(Photo: Commissioner Nick Fish’s office)

Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish has just announced Adena Long as new director of Portland Parks & Recreation.

Long replaces Mike Abbaté who resigned the position back in May.

According to Fish’s office, Long has over 20 years of experience with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and, “brings deep operational experience and a record of collaborative and innovative leadership.” Here’s more about Long:

A native New Yorker, Adena began her NYC Parks career as a seasonal Urban Park Ranger in 1997. She steadily moved up the ranks, and in 2010 became the first woman, and youngest-ever, to serve as Parks Borough Commissioner for Staten Island.

In 2018, she was recognized as manager of the year for New York City Parks. Adena has served as Deputy Commissioner for Urban Park Service and Public Programs since 2016.

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According to the NYC Parks website, Long is a native New Yorker who received her Bachelors degree from the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut and earned a Master of Science in Non-Profit Management from the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy at The New School.

The Director of Parks is an important position for advocates and all Portlanders who enjoy cycling. Parks manages places like Riverview Natural Area and Forest Park where off-road cycling access has been a hot-button issue. Also consider places like Gateway Green where Parks has put cycling front and center. Other areas where cycling intersects with the Parks bureau is on paths inside and adjacent to Parks-owned facilities like the Eastbank Esplanade, Waterfront Park, SW Terwiliger Blvd, the Springwater Corridor, and many others.

Long’s first day on the job will be February 19th. We look forward to getting to know more about Long and working with her to improve cycling in and around Portland parks. Welcome to the west coast Mrs. Long!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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In love with cycling, Carolyn Jen now wants to bring more women along for the ride

By on February 7th, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Carolyn Jen (middle) with her husband, Michael, (left) and friend, Janet, (right) at the finish line of her first
Cycle Oregon in 2011 .
(Photo: Courtesy Carolyn Jen)

This story is by Ashley Baker, a graduate student in Journalism at University of Oregon. This is her first contribution to BikePortland.

On a January morning in 2011, Carolyn Jen woke up terrified.
[Read more…]

Don’t laugh: ‘Worst Day of the Year Ride’ postponed due to weather

By on February 7th, 2019 at 9:32 am

These riders in the 2011 Worst Day Ride might want to get those penguin costumes out again.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Organizers of the Worst Day of the Year Ride once again find themselves in an ironic situation. Due to a winter weather forecast that includes snow and ice, they’ve decided to postpone their event to a later date. [Read more…]

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Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
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Weather conditions update: Icy patches abound, freezes temps continue, more snow on the way

By on February 6th, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Westbound bikeway on North Rosa Parks Way just before I-5.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

How’s the weather treating you? Are you still riding?

The snowmaggedon news coverage, business and school closures, and myriad warnings from local agencies have kept some people from driving. That’s created lower than usual auto traffic — a good thing for people on bikes. But, the conditions pose challenges for bike riders too. With several inches of new snow in the forecast, I thought it was a good time to check in about the weather.
[Read more…]

Families for Safe Streets lobbying for TriMet crash oversight, driver education bills

By 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.”
[Read more…]

Guest post: ‘Bicitaxis’ and the streets of Cuba

By on February 5th, 2019 at 2:05 pm


*Photos by Ryan Hashagen
[Read more…]

Family Biking: Learning to ride a pedal bike

By on February 5th, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Baby’s first pedal stroke!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Hey kids, how’s it going with those new Christmas bikes? For some of us, it takes a while to get pedaling — my younger brother started riding without training wheels long before I was able to. But fear not, I have some tips for you!

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Remove your pedals
Turn that bike temporarily into a balance bike! Even if — actually, especially if — you’re graduating from a balance bike, your new pedal bike is going to be bigger and heavier and you’ll appreciate getting used to its heft before you need to add a new skill.[Read more…]

Let PBOT know what you think of changes to Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway

By on February 5th, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Temporary diverter on SE 50th and Lincoln.
(Photo: Emily Guise)

The City of Portland has released a survey to garner your feedback on the infrastructure elements of the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Project.

The project, which launched in October 2017 and was subject of considerable debates among neighborhood residents and road users, is now mostly complete.

One of the big-ticket items is the new diverter on SE 50th, which seems to have significantly cut down on the number of people driving on the greenway.
[Read more…]

In surprise change, ODOT will extend I-5 Rose Quarter comment period to 45 days

By on February 5th, 2019 at 10:41 am

I-5 with Harriet Tubman Middle School in the background.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation announced this morning they’ll extend the public comment period on the Environmental Assessment (EA) of their I-5 Rose Quarter Project. The EA will be released February 15th.

The announcement comes a surprise. Less than a month ago ODOT said 30 days would be enough and the agency formally declined requests from the No More Freeways Coalition and Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly to extend it to 60 days.

In a January 11th letter to the coalition (PDF), ODOT Major Projects Manager Megan Channell, wrote,

“Given the range of opportunities that will be provided for the public to engage in the project and the environmental findings, we do not plan to extend the 30-day public comment period at this time. This is consistent with federal standards for an Environmental Assessment public review [*Which is why advocacy groups felt a more rigorous Environmental Impact Statement should have been conducted]. We plan to publish the EA and start the public comment period to allow the interested readers to first see and review the information and then assess the time needed for review. Once the comment period begins, we will consider if an extension is necessary based on feedback received after publication of the document.”

The 30-day comment period was also referenced by Commissioner Eudaly in her January 23rd blog post on the topic. “We are prioritizing public engagement because this project is one of the most significant transportation efforts in recent years,” she wrote. “I want to ensure that this project reflects our values, particularly our commitment to equity, sustainability, and safety.” According to Eudaly’s Chief of Staff Marshall Runkel, the Commissioner met with Windsheimer and other ODOT officials in early January.

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Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
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Instead of a longer comment period, ODOT touted the outreach they’d already done on the project and said they’d push back the release date of the EA to allow community groups to organize. They also agreed to host a public hearing on March 12th (something Eudaly’s office specifically requested).

This morning ODOT changed course and announced the EA will have a 45-day public comment period. “The additional 15 days will allow more time for the community to consider and provide meaningful comments on the environmental findings,” reads the statement.

An extra 15 days is just half of what Eudaly and the No More Freeways Coalition requested. And ODOT was already under pressure from the Audubon Society of Portland and OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon for doing an Environmental Assessment on this mega-project instead of the more rigorous analysis required under an Environmental Impact Statement.

In an email to BikePortland this morning, Aaron Brown from No More Freeways wrote, “In November, dozens of community groups joined us in asking ODOT for a two month extension to the public comment period. ODOT instead granted only two weeks, and only after ceding to political pressure from civic leaders. Given the catastrophic increase of neighborhood air pollution and regional carbon emissions that this project entails, it is crucially important that the community be given a meaningful opportunity to speak out about the concerns of ODOT’s freeway widening proposal.”

Asked for comment this morning, Runkel from Commissioner Eudaly’s office said, “The commissioner recognizes that it is unlikely that the community will reach consensus about the project, but is committed to a full and fair public process to consider it.”

Upcoming opportunities for feedback include a drop-in open house on March 7th (5:30 to 8:00 pm at Leftbank Annex), a public hearing on March 12th (4:30 to 6:00 pm at Oregon Convention Center), and an online open house which will begin February 15th (the EA release date) and run through April 1st.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Off-road advocates prep for first-ever legislative day

By on February 4th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Oregon is ripe for more — and better — off-road cycling access. But it won’t happen unless we ask for it.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

On February 27th the Oregon Mountain Biking Coalition (OMBC) will host its first annual lobbying day in Salem.

The OMBC launched in October of last year with a mission to, “Advocate for, create, enhance, and protect mountain biking experiences in the state of Oregon.”
[Read more…]

Opinion: Why words matter in police statements about traffic crashes

By on February 4th, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Scottie Graser died after a collision with a truck driver while he was riding on Highway 30 on January 13th.

Most people think it was his fault.

The truth is, we don’t yet know exactly what happened. So why do most people blame Graser? Because the Oregon State Police said so.

The official crash statement released by the OSP a mere six hours after the collision read, “Preliminary investigation reveals… Graser… entered the eastbound right lane and a collision occurred.”
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Major Taylor recognized, cycling’s bro culture, campus car culture, and more

By on February 4th, 2019 at 10:33 am

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Remembered: Cycling legend and pioneer Major Taylor finally got some of the respect he deserves from America’s newspaper of record as he was featured in their special “Overlooked” series of obituaries.

Cycling bros strike again: Discrimination against women is rife in the Outdoor industry and the bike industry is the worst, with 55% of women surveyed saying they’ve been victims of bias. A group led by people of color has been pushing for diversity in the industry long before this recent survey received attention.

As we were saying: A pro racer is in hot water after he made a lewd gesture toward a woman in an informal photograph.
[Read more…]

Tubman Middle School parents meet school and city staff to discuss traffic safety issues

By on February 1st, 2019 at 10:53 am

Tubman Middle School Vice Principal Lavell Wood speaking to parents.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“We believe kids coming to this school need an elevated skillset to navigate these streets.”
— Dana Dickman, PBOT

This is the meeting that should have taken place before two students where hit.

On Tuesday, Harriet Tubman Middle School officials and bureau of transportation staff met with parents who are concerned that their children will be run over by automobile users while walking and biking to class. Tubman sits on Flint Avenue, a busy driving route that’s the main access to the Broadway Bridge. One block northeast is the wide and fast intersection of North Russell Avenue and Vancouver. Interstate 5 — and all its associated hazards — is literally in the school’s backyard.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Cyclepath, Bike Gallery, Oregon E-Bikes

By on February 1st, 2019 at 7:11 am

Need a new job? We’ve got three fresh opportunities for you to consider.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Retail Sales – CyclepathPDX

–> Bike Mechanic wanted – Bike Gallery

–> Retail Sales – Hood River – Oregon E-Bikes

[Read more…]

PPB Traffic Division Sgt. on Ladd Circle: ‘We don’t want to do more enforcement’

By on January 31st, 2019 at 1:28 pm

GIF made from Sgt. Engstrom’s video.

I want to clear a few things up about the recent kerfluffle around Ladd Circle.

Turns out the Portland Police Bureau is anything but eager to do more enforcement. That’s what Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom shared with me in a phone conversation today.

First, let’s recap: On Tuesday, the PPB issued a statement and shared a video about the lack of stop sign compliance by people who ride and drive through Ladd Circle. The statement included a video of people blowing dangerously through the stop signs (as you can see above, one person rides through just as another person steps into the crosswalk). The behaviors were taking place at intersections where we’ve covered the exact same problem several times since 2007. The statement also said, in response to multiple complaints from nearby residents, that the PPB plans to do enforcement missions. A mention of last year’s fatality statistics and the city’s Vision Zero efforts further tied Ladd Circle to the PPB’s ongoing safety concerns.

Unfortunately, the statement didn’t fully capture the agency’s thoughts and intentions on this sensitive issue.
[Read more…]