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Jobs of the Week: CCC, Velo Cult, Lakeside, Pedal Bike Tours

By on April 14th, 2017 at 9:34 am

Looking for a new job? We’ve got four great opportunities for you to consider…

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bike Camp Instructor – Community Cycling Center

–> Bike Mechanic/Service Manager – Velo Cult Bike Shop

–> Bike Mechanic – Lakeside Bicycles

–> Bike Tour Guide – Pedal Bike Tours

[Read more…]

Please support BikePortland.

Weekend Event Guide: Classic races, Off-Road Plan, Ladd’s 500, Kidical Mass, and more

By on April 13th, 2017 at 10:51 am

Some of the art from this weekend’s events.

Our event guide is brought to you through a promotional partnership with Abus, makers of fine bike locks. Thank you Abus!

After being teased with spring sunshine, everyone is many of us are eager for more of it. And the weather gods seemed to have answered. There’s plenty of sun on tap for the weekend — so get your plans set and get your tires pumped.

Here’s our menu of rides and events for the weekend…

[Read more…]

‘Safe routes to school’ bill moves out of committee with 8-1 vote

By on April 12th, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Advocates in Salem today celebrated progress for their Safe Routes to School efforts.

The Street Trust celebrated a legislative victory this morning as the House Committee on Transportation Policy voted 8-1 in favor of House Bill 3230.

The bill, sponsored by House Representative John Lively (D-Springfield) and Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie), would take $12 million from the state’s General Fund and deposit it into a Safe Routes to Schools Fund that would be administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation and mandate that ODOT spends at least $20 million of their State Highway Fund allotment on the safe routes infrastructure projects. It would also prioritize the funding toward low-income Title I schools and require infrastructure projects to be coupled with educational and outreach components.
[Read more…]

Bike shop news roundup: Two moves, one stays, Breadwinner’s new cafe, and a heartwarming story

By on April 12th, 2017 at 11:58 am

Kenton Cycle Repair’s new location off Denver Ave.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Lots of news to get to so let’s jump right in shall we?

There’s been a lot of shuffling of bike shops in Portland in the past few years. There are several reasons we see bike shops move or go out of business. There’s always a pendulum swing and shake-out in a city whose enthusiasm for cycling sometimes outpaces its actual support of it. Rent increases are another major culprit. Bike shops aren’t exactly cash cows and most owners operate on very thin margins. Finding the right space with the right size at the right price is not easy — especially in a city where landlords and developers would rather own multi-story residential buildings.

With that, here are the updates we’ve got for you (scroll down to get all the details):

  • Upcycles moves out of Woodlawn
  • Kenton Cycle Repair moves into much larger space
  • Metropolis Cycles changes plans
  • Announcing the Breadwinner Cafe!
  • East Portland shops step up to help

[Read more…]

Get ready Portland, here comes the Ladd’s 500

By on April 11th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

All bikes are welcome.
(Photo: Josh Roppo)

As we predicted after last year’s inaugural edition, the Ladd’s 500 is back.

For the uninitiated, the event is a novel homage to one of Portland’s most beloved bike routes, neighborhoods and public spaces. Ladd Circle is a public park inside of a roundabout smack-dab in the middle of the historic Ladd’s Addition neighboorhood of inner southeast Portland. The idea behind the event — like many other events that make our local bike culture so interesting — is to simply have fun doing something silly on bikes with a bunch of other nice people.

With the 2017 edition coming this Saturday (4/15), we asked one of the event’s protagonists Eric Ivy to share more about it.

Here’s what he sent over: [Read more…]

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

By on April 11th, 2017 at 10:58 am

Biketown bike share -14.jpg

Biketown is popular with tourists, but the system needs more annual members if it wants to flourish.
(All photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s bike sharing system could have a bumpy road ahead even if political vandals decide to leave it be.

Annual members

A comparison of three bike share systems.

  • Biketown Portland: 2,837 (after nine months)
  • Pronto Seattle*: 2,878 (after nine months)
  • Capital Bikeshare Washington D.C.: 16,000 (after 12 months)

*Pronto has ceased operation.

Biketown launched nine months ago next week with 1000 bikes and 100 stations. Thanks to title sponsorship from Nike, it was one of the country’s largest bike-share launches — double the station and bike count of Seattle’s Pronto system when it launched in 2014.

Pronto, which like Biketown was operated by New York-based Motivate Inc., turned into the country’s highest-profile bike-share failure to date. Plagued by low ridership and a series of financial missteps and miscommunications, it shut down at the end of last month.

And though Portland’s Biketown is a very different system with a different price structure, its annual membership numbers for year one are on a very similar trajectory to Pronto’s.

[Read more…]

Not so fast: Major compromise to speed limit bill ahead of possible House vote

By on April 11th, 2017 at 9:55 am

New 20 MPH Sign

(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A bill that would give cities across Oregon new powers to lower speed limits without first seeking permission from the State of Oregon has been significantly amended ahead of a hearing and possible vote tomorrow (Wednesday, 4/12).

House Bill 2682 seeks to change Oregon’s rules for setting maximum speeds (ORS 810.180). While the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) doesn’t manage or own most local streets, the agency still controls speed limits. As more cities adopt Vision Zero plans and struggle to respond to an increase in injuries and deaths to vulnerable road users, the City of Portland and local House Representative Rob Nosse led the charge to create this bill. When it was first introduced, the bill was devilishly simple and would have given broad new authority to all cities across Oregon to set their own speed limits without going through ODOT.

Now, as the legislative session heads into crunch time, a major amendment would reduce most of that authority, but also make the bill much more likely to pass.
[Read more…]

Guest post: Hopes and concerns for Forest Park loom over off-road cycling plan

By on April 10th, 2017 at 2:25 pm

The future of Forest Park is in our hands.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post was written by Daniel Greenstadt. Daniel last appeared on BikePortland for his testimony in favor of funding the off-road cycling plan at City Council in 2015. He’s a Portland-based hiker, bicycle rider, Girl Scout leader, and occasional equestrian trail user who also serves on the Board of Directors of the Concordia Neighborhood Association.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Bike share war, a bad ‘joke’, targeted ticketing, and more

By on April 10th, 2017 at 10:28 am

This week’s Monday Roundup has been made possible by Bike Index, bike registration that works.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Hello, Portland, are you there?: The city of Edmonton approved a $7.5 million network of downtown protected bike lanes six months ago and they have already broken ground. Meanwhile, it’s been four years since Portland said yes to a similar project and we are yet to put a line on a map.
[Read more…]

Comment of the Week: One person’s corporate takeover, another person’s mobility lifeline

By on April 7th, 2017 at 2:24 pm

“Having become chronically homeless, this [Biketown for All] program has empowered and enabled me to be able to enjoy bicycle events that otherwise I would have had a hardship of being able to find a bicycle.”
— Zed

According to the City of Portland, 244 Biketown bikes were vandalized in the past two weeks — rendering nearly a quarter of the entire system out of service. As the City of Portland struggles to get the bikes fixed and back out on the streets (sources say they don’t have enough spare parts on-hand to fix them all) and the police bureau works to track down the suspects, we’ve been following the community response.

The vast majority of people we’ve heard from here on the blog, and on Facebook and Instagram, have expressed anger and outrage. While the Biketown crew is crestfallen (having just recovered from crazy winter snow and ice storms), they must feel good about all the support that has poured in. It seems like most of you think of Biketown as a shared, common good: A sign that it has quickly become a respected pillar of our public transit system.

On that note, one comment in particular stood out to us. It came in yesterday afternoon from a reader named “Zed”:[Read more…]

Let’s help 15-year-old Aedin Valente open the Alpenrose Velodrome Snack Shack

By on April 7th, 2017 at 11:34 am

Aedin Valente, aspiring businessman and track racer.
(Photo: Norrene Godfrey)

Friends. I have a favor to ask.

A 15-year-old from Astoria named Aedin Valente wants to start his own business. When he heard that the Alpenrose Velodrome needed someone to run the snack this summer, he decided this was his big opportunity.

The only thing he needs to make the Alpenrose Snack Shack a reality is to raise another $1,000 or so via the GoFundMe campaign set up by his aunt Norrene Godfrey (who happens to be an awesome track racer and Alpenrose regular).

Here’s what Aedin said when Norrene asked him why he wants to do this job. “I want to run the Alpenrose snack shack so I can gain experience in the business world, plus it is super fun to do. I want to raise funds so people will work hard and try and win the races. It’s fun to watch. I like that the people are super nice to me and very supportive.”
[Read more…]

Highway building bill gets sharp rebuke at first public hearing – UPDATED

By on April 7th, 2017 at 11:03 am

A lawmaker who wants to give cities broad authority to design and construct major new highways learned in a public hearing yesterday that there’s a good reason why our region hasn’t built one since the 1980s: Strong opposition from people who actually understand transportation planning amd the vast negative consequences of highways and the motor vehicle trips they encourage.

Republican house respresentative Rich Vial, who represents a rural district west of Tigard in Washington County, testified on behalf of House Bill 3231 on Tuesday. Rep. Vial’s bill has raised eyebrows because it would mark a significant departure from how transportation projects are typically planned, funded and built in Oregon. HB 3231 would allow cities and counties to form autonomous districts that would be able to create “limited access publicy highways” by excercising eminent domain if necessary and paying for the projects through private gifts, donations, tolls, new property taxes, and/or revenue bonds.
[Read more…]

Thoughts on car culture, truck side guards, and the “cyclist community”

By on April 6th, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Just over two months ago 53-year-old Alan Marsan was killed while bicycling on North Interstate Avenue. He was going north and a large commercial truck turned right across his path.

Based on observations from the scene it was a classic right hook. The truck was stopped a few dozen feet from the intersection and Marsan and his bike were lodged just in front of the rear wheels.

That collision was just the latest in a long line of right hooks that have left bicycle riders dead in Portland over the years. As I stood at the scene of Marsan’s death, the names of other people who’ve died in fatal right hook collisions with trucks flashed through my head: Tracey Sparling, Brett Jarolimek, Kathryn Rickson, Kirke Johnson, Lydia Johnson (no relation).

Bicycles, large trucks and right hooks is one of Portland’s most vexing traffic safety problems. It’s maddening that we haven’t made more progress on it in the past decade.
[Read more…]

The Street Trust: Why we’re pushing for safe routes to school for every kid in Oregon

By on April 6th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Bike to School Day in NoPo-6

The upcoming legislative proposal is likely to include dedicated funding for safe routes to school.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is the third and final post in a series about the 2017 legislative session published in partnership with The Street Trust. Read the other installments here and here.

— by LeeAnne Fergason, The Street Trust campaign director

The change I’d like to see in the world starts with a great compassion for kids and intersects with transportation choices, aimed at freedom and independence.

Ten years ago, I began working at the Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance), as a Safe Routes to School coordinator. I joined a dream team of organizers and partners, including: Stephanie Noll (The Street Trust’s Interim Executive Director), Carl Larson (we miss you!), Scott Lieuallen (local bike hero), Steph Routh (then Executive Director of Oregon Walks, now Communications and Marketing Manager at the Community Cycling Center), Susan Peithman (then with ALTA Planning + Design, now Oregon Department of Transportation Active Transportation Policy Lead), and many others who are still working to make our streets safe for kids. All of us were pretty young back then and learned much of our transportation nerdiness and enthusiasm by being a part of a Safe Routes to School program.
[Read more…]

The Long Road Back

By on April 6th, 2017 at 1:12 pm

A few days ago, I was sitting at the Laurelthirst Pub, a neighborhood watering hole that is on my bike route from work to home. When I pass the ‘Thirst, I’m most of the way home, so I will often stop for a pint.

But this time at the ‘Thirst was different, because my legs were limp, my chest hurt, and I was a little shell-shocked. None of which usually describes my state after riding a few miles. It was different because . . . that day was my first bicycle commute in well over a year. And that morning, when I got on my bike, was to be the first time I’d ridden more than half a mile in, at least, six months.

Yes, I’ve become a non-rider and now I’ve started on the long road back. With rotund belly, spindly legs, atrophied lungs and somnolent heart, I’ve resumed riding bicycles.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Forest Park ramble, remembering Mike Hall, Tweed Ride, and more

By on April 6th, 2017 at 10:39 am

An assortment of this week’s event posters. Tweed ride illustration by Shawn Granton.

Before we share this week’s event guide, we want to introduce Abus as the new sponsor of the BP Event Calendar and Weekend Event Guide.

Abus makes the finest locks in the business and we’re excited to have them on board as a partner!

Also, don’t forget there’s an important open house meeting for the Off-road Cycling Plan tonight in southwest.

And now we present this weekend’s best events…
[Read more…]

ODOT hosts open house for inner Powell Blvd project tonight

By on April 5th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

ODOT’s current plans.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is in the final design phases of a project that aims to make it safer to bike and walk on and across SE Powell Blvd beteeen 20th and 34th Avenue. They’re hosting an open house tonight (4/5) to answer questions, hear feedback, and share more information about the project.

This section of Powell is important for several reasons. The intersection with 26th is where two serious bicycle crashes — and one major protest — happened in 2015. It’s also the location of a very busy crossing due to the presence of Cleveland High School on the northeast corner. ODOT has also come under scrutinty for their decision to force the City of Portland to remove the existing bike lane on 26th as a condition of them adding a new signal and crossing at 28th (which ODOT says is a safer place to cross). Adding to the mix is the news that Target will build a new store at 30th and Powell (in the place of an old bowling alley).
[Read more…]

This is what it looks like when the sun comes out in Portland (Photos)

By on April 5th, 2017 at 10:31 am

Waterfront Park in spring-4.jpg

Cherry blossoms are in bloom in Waterfront Park.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One reason Portland has such a great street culture (by American standards) is that we cherish the sun. Unlike places where it hardly ever rains, we do not take the presence of that life-giving orb for granted.

So it’s no surprise that after months of record-setting (even for us!) rain and cold and darkness, Portland streets came alive when the sun came out last week. A sunny Friday coincided with the emergence of blossoms on thousands of trees throughout the city. As per tradition, I grabbed my camera, hopped on my bike and set out to see how Portlanders responded.
[Read more…]

Vandals hit at least 11 Biketown stations, over 200 bikes – UPDATED

By on April 4th, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Biketown station at SE 14th and Stark is one of 12 that have been hit.
(Photo: Kiran Limaye)

(*See update below: PBOT says over 200 bikes have been hit. That’s 20 percent of the total system.)

Vandals have hit several Biketown bike share stations in the past week.

So far we’ve heard of 12 locations where vandals have damaged bikes and rendered them useless. The City of Portland is aware of some of the damage and has crews responding to fix the bikes and return the stations into operational status.

At least two of the incidents appear to be the work of the same suspect: A flyer has been posted on the stations that says the damage was inflicted by Rose City Saboteurs.

“This Biketown is now closed,” reads the sign. “Our city is not a corporate amusement park.”

Here are the station locations where readers have reported vandalism so far:

NE 24th and Glisan
SE Water and Taylor
N Interstate and Willamette
N Williams and Fremont (New Seasons)
33rd and Belmont
14th and Stark
12th and Division
30th and Division
36th and Hawthorne
SE 12th and Gideon (on Orane Line MAX)
SE Pine and 28th
Couch and 28th

[Read more…]

Thieves steal bikes, new inventory from Kenton Cycle Repair

By on April 4th, 2017 at 9:07 am

The shop is in the process of moving to a larger location.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Kenton Cycle Repair has had a very rough start to the week. Around 6:00 am Monday morning two men broke into the shop and stole nine bikes and a large amount of new inventory off the shelves.

The shop is located at 2020 N McClellan Street, just off Denver Avenue in downtown Kenton. According to @pdxalerts (not official) the suspects were driving a blue Chevrolet pickup.

The shop’s owner Rich Walker confirmed the details of eight of the stolen bikes with us yesterday. The total retail value of the bikes is around $4,750. Walker said the thieves also made out with “all our lights and locks and a large amount of repair parts.”

Walker said the thieves busted out the front door. When he arrived around 8:15 there was glass all over the floor. A witness from the Kenton Hotel Apartments across the street saw two men in a truck loaded with bikes and called 911; but they drove away before police arrived. The witness was able to share a description of the men and a partial license plate number.
[Read more…]