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Portland is absolutely covered in snow: Let’s go ride (and walk and play)!

Posted by on January 11th, 2017 at 8:25 am

Time to ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here we go again.

A record amount of snow has fallen in Portland. There’s over a foot in some places, it’s still falling, and forecasters say it’s not going anywhere.

Most of the city has shut down. Schools, government offices, and many businesses can’t stay open because driving is so hazardous that people simply can’t reach destinations (imagine if more of us lived closer to where we work!). This means our streets are mostly quiet and calm — perfect for us to enjoy as should always be the case.

What does all this mean for you? Are you still biking? What are your plans for today?[Read more…]

- Huntco is the official sponsor of BikePortland's bike parking coverage.-
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New York’s high court says city’s unsafe street design makes them liable for injuries and deaths

Posted by on January 10th, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Advocates in New York City are all abuzz about the ruling.

It happens way too often: Someone is seriously injured or killed at a location that’s a known traffic safety hot-spot. As an activist, it’s infuriating. I can only imagine what it’s like for the family and friends of victims.

After years of assuming cities had blanket immunity from liability when it came to street design decisions, a recent decision by New York’s highest court has thrown that into question. The court found that the City of New York can be held partly liable for a man’s death because they knew the road encouraged speeding and unsafe driving but they failed to study and implement measures to mitigate the risk.

The ruling is being hailed as a “landmark” and “game-changing” decision by New York City nonprofit organization Transportation Alternatives. Here’s what they said in a statement last week:

“The New York high court just ruled that the City can be held liable for failing to study and implement traffic calming measures, which the jury determined were a major factor contributing to the crash. In a 2004 incident, the driver was traveling at 54 mph on Gerritsen Avenue, which had a speed limit of 30 mph. Prior to the incident, the City had been advised by local residents, elected officials, and the Department of Transportation that speeding was common on the street, but that no sufficient speed study or traffic calming review was performed. The Court found the City liable for failing to adequately study and mitigate the road conditions that contributed to the speeding, stating that “an unjustifiable delay in implementing a remedial plan constitutes a breach of the municipality’s duty to the public.”[Read more…]

Ted’s Video Roundup: Bikes on Amtrak, Zwift HQ tour, Powertap factory, and more

Posted by on January 10th, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Welcome to the first Video Roundup of 2017! Since I missed a few weeks there are a lot of videos. I watched about 150 videos this week so we can show you the best.

First up is this video from Giant/Liv. I usually shy away from featuring a promo/marketing video, but this is low-key with beautiful footage.

[Read more…]

Rob Sadowsky let go by board of The Street Trust (formerly known as the BTA)

Posted by on January 10th, 2017 at 10:39 am

Sadowsky this past summer.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Board of Directors of The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) just announced that Executive Director Rob Sadowsky is stepping down has been relieved of his duties effective immediately.

The former deputy director of the organization, Stephanie Noll, will take his place as an interim leader until a new director is found. Noll left The Street Trust back in July.

Here’s the full statement from The Street Trust:

The Board of Directors of The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) announced today that Rob Sadowsky will be stepping down as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board has asked Stephanie Noll, the former Deputy Executive Director of The Street Trust, to step in as interim head of the organization and has launched a national search for the organization’s next executive director.
[Read more…]

Goodbye BTA, hello The Street Trust

Posted by on January 9th, 2017 at 1:26 pm

New logo.

After 26 years as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Portland-based advocacy organization is now officially known as The Street Trust.

Actually, according new Communications Director Kate Walker, the name is now, “The Street Trust, formerly The Bicycle Transportation Alliance.” That “formerly” part will remain for the rest of this year.

You might recall that the name change was ratified by the organization’s board and members back in August. But the new name wasn’t fully integrated into the brand until the new year. “With a new year, we’re finally ready to reveal our new brand,” reads a blog post about the change posted on January 4th.[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Math, danger in safety, transit in Seattle, and more

Posted by on January 9th, 2017 at 10:32 am

What could possibly go wrong?!

Welcome to Monday.

We’ve got another great week in store. But before we get started let’s take a look at the most noteworthy stories we came across last week…

Cities liable for unsafe streets: In what advocates are calling a “landmark” decision, a state court has found that New York City is party liable for a fatal traffic crash because the street where it happened was dangerous by design.

Jar-gone: “Road diet”, “pedestrian”, “smart cities” — these are just a few bits of jargon that many transpo advocates and experts would like to toss into the wastebin.

Ask him anything: Outgoing US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx did a Reddit AMA where he called for a “fundamental redesign” of transportation funding and a whole lot more.[Read more…]

Do you know who your child’s Safe Routes to School coordinator is?

Posted by on January 6th, 2017 at 11:50 am

(Graphic: City of Portland)

If you are new to Portland or new to taking care of a little one, you might not realize how awesome our city’s Safe Routes to School program is. Working with partner nonprofits like The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance), the Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks, and others, the program serves 180 schools citywide. And it works.

The schools with the best programs are the ones where caregivers, parents, and teachers have built a relationship with staff from city’s transportation bureau. PBOT is the place that can set you up with maps and lots of other resources that will get more of your school biking, walking, and rolling to school. But many people aren’t sure where to begin and don’t know who to talk to to get things rolling.

PBOT has just made that much easier. [Read more…]

In SF, Uber’s robot cars follow Oregon law and bike advocates are very afraid

Posted by on January 6th, 2017 at 9:51 am

Graphic from the SF Bicycle Coalition. In Oregon, the opposite is true — the image on the left is “correct” and the right is “wrong.”

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is so afraid of how Uber’s autonomous vehicles take right turns at intersections that they’ve posted a warning for bike riders and have started a petition to force the company to end the practice.

Interestingly, the dangerous maneuver being made by Uber-bots is exactly what Oregon law requires — and what Portland’s chief bike planner prefers.

Here’s the deal:
[Read more…]

Where some see historic trail connection, others fear a home for urban campers

Posted by on January 5th, 2017 at 11:36 am

Metro map with location of proposed trail and a concept drawing of how it might look near Kelly Creek in Gresham.

Filling a six-mile gap between Troutdale and Gresham would put a serious dent in the “40-mile Loop” — a trail concept that’s been in regional planning dreams for well over a century. And Metro is creating a plan to do just that.

But where some see an historic opportunity for a new, low-stress place to walk and roll, others see a perfect place for people who live outside to pitch tents and build encampments. [Read more…]

Chrome Industries will relocate from San Francisco to Portland

Posted by on January 5th, 2017 at 9:32 am

New Chrome store in downtown Portland-23

The Chrome retail store at 420 SW 10th Ave in downtown Portland.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We just gained another iconic cycling brand: Chrome Industries announced this morning that they plan to relocate to Portland in early April.

Chrome is well-known in the bike world for its messenger bags, shoes and apparel. Closely tied to the messenger scene since its start in Denver, Colorado in 1995. Chrome had been based in San Francisco since 2002 and the company opened a retail store in downtown Portland in 2012. The company makes custom bags in its retail stores and they make about 60 percent of all their products in the USA (bags are made in Chico and apparel is cut and sewn in San Francisco). A rep for the company said there are no immediate plans to bring production jobs to Portland.

In a press release, Chrome explained why they decided to move their head office here:[Read more…]

Portland steps up safety resolve following a deadly December on Division

Posted by on January 4th, 2017 at 2:08 pm

PBOT shared this graphic of their current plan to tame traffic on outer SE Division Street.

At a city council meeting on December 21st PBOT shared their current plan to tame traffic on outer SE Division Street after a spate of fatalities.

Emotions around street safety issues ran high at the end of 2016. Not only did we have the most road fatalities (45) since 2003, but we lost six Portlanders to traffic violence in the final month alone.

When two of those six happened within just a few hours of each other and on the same, notoriously dangerous section of Southeast Division Street where three other people died last year, the pressure to do something intensified. (Now former) Mayor Charlie Hales and his four commissioners took steps to address the situation at a meeting on December 21st.
[Read more…]

Former Mayor Hales rips ODOT and car culture in final transpo speech

Posted by on January 4th, 2017 at 11:48 am

2013 BTA Alice Awards-34

Hales in 2013.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You might have missed it due to the holiday break, but Portland’s former mayor Charlie Hales had sort of a mic-drop moment at the final City Council meeting of 2016.

It came four days before Christmas and just before Hales voted yes on an ordinance that gives the transportation bureau permission to spend $300,000 on outer Southeast Division (stay tuned for a story about that). Before recessing council, Hales took the opportunity to give a five-minute speech about what he said are, “The things I’ll be committed to when I’m a private citizen and activists again.” He talked about the scourge of our urban arterial highways in east Portland, his annoyance with ODOT, the urgency to stop planning streets solely for driving, the role of transportation reform activists, and more.

The speech is below, followed by the YouTube clip.[Read more…]

Concepts come into focus for ‘North Reach’ of South Waterfront Greenway path

Posted by on January 3rd, 2017 at 2:11 pm

LEAD-sowa-braided-islandspaths

Artist’s rendition of how biking and walking paths could intersect with a public plaza on the Willamette riverfront as part of the South Waterfront Greenway’s North Reach.
(Graphics: Sasaki via Portland Parks & Recreation)

The City of Portland is in the latter stages of a master plan update process that will decide the fate of the northernmost section of the South Waterfront Greenway path. Last week Portland Parks & Recreation released three of the design concepts in a presentation given by project consultants and now they want to hear your feedback.
[Read more…]

Portland’s new mayor biked to work in freezing temps for his first day on the job

Posted by on January 3rd, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Sunday Parkways September 2015-7.jpg

Wheeler in September 2015.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Ted Wheeler has started his tenure as Portland’s 53rd mayor with a bang. Or should we say, with a brrrrr.

Wheeler revealed on Twitter today (after being asked about it) that he rode his bike to work for his first day on the job. “This is Portland!” you might say, “That’s no big deal!” But consider this: When Wheeler left his home in the West Hills the mercury rose to only about 25 degrees. And there was a serious wind chill. And it was dark.

When we asked him how it went he said, “Cold, but the roads were dry and the stars were out.”

Riding a bike in an urban environment on a regular basis isn’t a pre-requisite for success as the leader of a major city; but it is certainly important. Given that nearly all policymakers have an automobile-centric perspective, it’s imperative that a non-driving worldview has a chance to work its way into our planning, policies, and priorities.
[Read more…]

Mayor Wheeler gives transportation bureau oversight to Saltzman

Posted by on January 3rd, 2017 at 11:30 am

Bike Share passage press conference-5.jpg

Commissioner Saltzman at a press conference for Portland Bike Share in September 2015.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman has been given a new assignment by Mayor Ted Wheeler: the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Wheeler announced the bureau assignments via executive order this morning.

Saltzman has had his council seat since 1999 — the longest of any other member — and this is his first time having control of PBOT. The bureau was previously led by Steve Novick, who lost his re-election bid to Chloe Eudaly in November. In Portland’s form of government, each commissioner (and the Mayor) are given oversight of city bureaus. They then advocate for policies and funding plans that are advantageous to their bureaus.

Also as commissioner of PBOT Saltzman will represent the City of Portland on Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, a body made up of elected officials that sets transportation policy and priorities for the entire region.

With PBOT in his portfolio, Saltzman can now guide one of the city’s largest bureaus and one that has a vast impact on people’s everyday lives. It’s unclear where exactly Saltzman stands on major transportation policies since he hasn’t played a pivotal role on the topic for many years.

A quick look at the BikePortland archives however does give us some clues.[Read more…]

Survive winter riding with these 30 pearls of wisdom

Posted by on January 2nd, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Sandy Ridge in the snow-6

The weather outside is frightful, but with the right gear and wisdom it can be delightful. This treasure trove of winter weather riding advice was inspired by an email thread from the hardy folks of “Unpaved” — a Google Group and Ride With GPS club that share and ride adventurous routes. It was originally posted in this form by Our Mother The Mountain and has been reprinted here with their permission. (Keep in mind, this advice is mostly tailored toward for big adventure rides, as opposed to commuting a short distance to work.)
___

Winter riding in the Pacific Northwest can be a uniquely challenging affair. Whether exploring deep National Forest gravel roads, churning out paved base mileage, pounding grimy singletrack, or simply commuting — there are a few universal truths that will hopefully take a bit of the adversity out of the season. Initially compiled by Ryan Francesconi, the following list reflects the cumulative wisdom of the Unpaved community.
[Read more…]

Our ten most popular stories of 2016

Posted by on January 2nd, 2017 at 2:13 pm

bestoflead

BikePortland’s mission has never been to publish stories for clicks and pageviews alone. That being said, it’s always fun to see which posts do the best at encouraging them.

In our end-of-year card mailing out to our advertisers and supporters (watch your mailboxes!) I said 2016 was our best year yet. And it’s true: From our award-winning original reporting to breaking news and profiles of interesting Portlanders — we produced an exciting array of content. And it just so happens that this year’s top 10 represents a solid sampling of the diverse range of stories we cover.

We had about 5 million visits and 9 million pageviews in 2016. And of the 993 stories we posted, here are the ones you read most (according to Google Analytics)…
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Wi-fi bike share, safe driving, making parking pay, and more

Posted by on January 2nd, 2017 at 11:15 am

No.

No.

Happy New Year everyone! After a good and long break I am back and ready for action. There’s a lot of catching up to do, but let’s start with a few good links you might have missed over the holidays…

Here’s how to not kill people: This would have been a good safety primer to share with auto-centric family members over the holidays. Better late than never!

Wi-fi bike share: Vancouver’s Mobi bike share system has a new injection of cash — and free wi-fi — thanks to a sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Shaw.

Widening freeways doesn’t help: The freeway widening debate will be strong in the Portland region this year so let’s bookmark this cautionary tale from Los Angeles where they just threw $1.6 billion down the toilet.

“Impairment starts with the first drink”: The state of Utah is considering dropping the legal limit for drunk driving to .05, which would make just a few drinks of alcohol grounds for a violation.
[Read more…]

In brief: Mt. Scott traffic violence fatality has neighbors concerned

Posted by on December 27th, 2016 at 7:41 am

Jonathan is on a well-earned family vacation. He may cover this in more depth later.

Photo of Samuel Chiriac from his gofundme memorial.

Photo of Samuel Chiriac from his gofundme memorial.

There was a traffic violence fatality on Mt. Scott over the holiday- Samuel Chiriac, 16, was a passenger in a car being driven by Seba Pop, 17. Seba Pop was driving in a three-car caravan, and “passed one of his friends in the oncoming lane and missed a sharp turn, driving off of the roadway and crashing. Dense fog may have played a factor in the crash.” (source: Portland Police)

This was a half mile away from where Karla DeBaillie was killed in August by Mary Dieter while DeBaillie was on a bicycle.
[Read more…]

Ted’s Video Roundup, Special Gift Edition

Posted by on December 21st, 2016 at 2:10 pm

This is my Gift Guide Video Roundup! Sure, it’s getting to be late for Christmas, but many of these videos were recently posted. I’m still a few dozen entries behind on videos for the Weekly Roundup, but I came across these that made sense to post together. I’m starting with GCN’s gift list (above). Enjoy!
[Read more…]