Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Opinion: Helmets, sidewalks, Segways, other thoughts on e-scooters

By on August 3rd, 2018 at 12:43 pm

They’re already proving popular.
(Click to enlarge and read captions)
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

I was out of town when e-scooters launched in Portland last week, so yesterday was my first chance to observe them.
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Get on the bus with your bike

New rockslides delay reopening of Historic Columbia River Highway

By on August 3rd, 2018 at 9:06 am

Still from USFS video of rockslide above Historic Columbia River Highway in the Gorge.
(Watch video below)

Bummer news from the Oregon Department of Transportation: New rockslides have set back their plans to reopen six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway that have been closed since last fall due to the Eagle Creek Fire.

The slides happened on the section of highway between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park. As we reported last month, ODOT hoped to reopen that section of road with an experimental new lane configuration in September.

In a statement yesterday, ODOT Region 1 Manager Rian Windsheimer said, “This setback is a real disappointment to us. Our crews have been working hard to get these areas cleared. But there’s plenty to do before we can safely reopen the road.”

Video (below) of one of the slides near Horsetail Falls, taken by the US Forest Service, shows rocks rolling down a steep hill directly onto the highway.
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Jobs of the Week: Castelli, Portland Community College, Universal Cycles

By on August 3rd, 2018 at 7:53 am

Our freshest listings include two interesting opportunities from a local community college as well as spots available at an apparel company and a large retailer.

Learn more about each job via the links below…

–> Customer Service Representative – Castelli USA

–> Transportation Ambassador – Portland Community College

–> Active Transportation Coordinator – Portland Community College

–> Warehouse Worker – Castelli USA

–> Mechanic – Universal Cycles

–> Assistant Store Manager – Universal Cycles
[Read more…]

Bring on the Bird-funded protected bike lanes!

By on August 2nd, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Hand over the protected bike lanes and no one gets hurt.
(Photo: Juli Maus)

Curbed reported today that e-scooter startup Bird has pledged to donate $1 per day from each scooter they have in operation to fund the bikeways where their vehicles operate.

Sounds like an interesting idea. With Bird allowed to have nearly 700 scooters on the ground in Portland by the end of this week that would equal about $21,000 a month or $252,000 a year if the company sticks around after the initial pilot period. That’s a significant amount of funding given that the City of Portland can add buffers to 5.6 miles of bike lanes for $80,000 and their new protected bike lane design guide says the estimated cost of a basic, parking-protected bike lane is about $65,000 per mile.

And don’t forget, that voluntary contribution from Bird would be on top of the 25 cents per trip fee charged by the City of Portland. If the Bird scooters got 4 trips per day that would be another $8,400 per month — or about $101,000 a year — into city coffers from Bird alone.
[Read more…]

$16 million up for grabs statewide to build safer routes to schools

By on August 2nd, 2018 at 11:01 am

Getting to school in north Portland’s Overlook neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The State of Oregon has opened up a new grant program to fund projects that make it easier to walk, bike, and roll to schools.
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Weekend Event Guide: Welcome to (Bike) Portland, Fat Bike Fest, ‘cross clinic and more

By on August 2nd, 2018 at 9:21 am

Cyclocross clinics are starting all over town this time of year. Wenzel Coaching is leading one on Saturday at Gateway Green.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

Looks like we’ll get a reprieve from the heat this weekend. And it’s a good thing because we’ve got some great rides and events to tempt you with.

Here’s what we suggest…

Saturday, August 4th

**BP PICK!!** Banana Belt Fat Bike Festival – Gold Beach (Oregon Coast)
Escape the heat and head to the southern Oregon coast for a weekend of fat bikes, beaches, great beer and more. This affordable, family-friendly event is fully supported and a great opportunity to try fat biking and discover a beautiful part of our coastline. More info here.
[Read more…]

Portland firm releases free legal guidebook for electric bicycles

By on August 1st, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Cover

Electric scooters are hogging headlines right now; but e-bikes are Portland’s quiet transportation revolution. In the past few years the number of people riding with pedal-assisted motors has skyrocketed and local shops have seen a big increase in sales.

While e-bikes have carved out a safe space in Portland’s street culture, they — like their unmotorized brethren — still exist in somewhat of a legal Twilight Zone. Are they bicycles or “motorized vehicles”? Can they be ridden on sidewalks? Those are just some of the questions people often have about them.

A new legal guidebook by the law firm of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost aims to answer those questions.

Oregon E-Bike Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Bike Riders was written by Ray Thomas, Cynthia Newton, Jim Coon, and Chris Thomas. You might recognize that first name as the lawyer behind Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists, which is now in its 10th printing and is widely considered Oregon’s bike law bible. Thomas and Newton are also BikePortland contributors (and the firm is a major supporter of bike advocacy in Portland, including a sponsor of our work).

TCNF’s 49-page guide is a comprehensive look at laws that govern the use of electric bikes in Oregon. In addition to a rundown of the relevant Oregon Revised Statutes, the guide also covers insurance policy questions, advocacy efforts to change existing e-bike laws and create better ones, and offers a resource guide if you want to probe further.
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Final comment period open now for $42 billion Regional Transportation Plan

By on August 1st, 2018 at 9:20 am

Today’s dots are tomorrow’s streets. (Click to enlarge)

“While this plan isn’t the best we can do, it reflects the best we can do right now.”
— from Metro’s RTP Formal Comment Period Briefing Book

When it comes to major infrastructure projects, if it’s not in Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), it’s not going to be built. And as our region faces growing population pressure, a mobility revolution, and the impacts of climate change, it’s imperative that the projects listed in this plan reflect our highest values and priorities.

For the past three years Metro and their partners have been working to update the RTP and we’re now just five months away from formal adoption. But before that happens, councilors and policymakers need to hear what you think. An official public comment period is now open and runs through August 13th.
[Read more…]

Advertisement

Family biking profile: Elizabeth Decker has rediscovered the fun

By on August 1st, 2018 at 7:46 am

Elizabeth and Zaiden on their Yuba Boda Boda midtail cargo bike.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Thanks for all your comments on last week’s post. This week we’ve got another reader profile to share…

Elizabeth Decker is relatively new to family biking and she does it with an infectious glee that’s not uncommon. Because, as many of you already know, biking with a kid in tow really is one of the funnest things a mom can do.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.[Read more…]

Guest post: My Ride to Defeat ALS

By on July 26th, 2018 at 11:33 pm

A sampling of the route.
(Photos by Maria Schur)

Maria Schur, a.k.a. “Bicycle Kitty” is a Portland-based bike lover and ride leader. You might have sampled her handiwork if you did the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride. In this post she shares her experience as a volunteer at the Ride to Defeat ALS earlier this month.

I’m not sure whether to feel terrible for Lou Gehrig because he died young from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or because his name has become almost synonymous with this debilitating and often fatal disease instead of for his illustrious career as a talented professional baseball player.

I didn’t know much about ALS before joining the Ride to Defeat ALS last Saturday. 75 miles gave me a lot of time to think about the privilege of good health, and the struggle of the folks diagnosed with ALS and their families. ALS is a motor neurone disease, weakening the victim’s muscles until eventually they’re unable to breathe. It’s always fatal and a diagnosis usually means the patient will die within five years.[Read more…]

How’s the e-scooter launch going?

By on July 26th, 2018 at 11:09 pm

PBOT’s cute graphic about the scooter launch looks like it belongs in a preschool class.

(In case you haven’t noticed, BikePortland has been in vacation mode since last Friday and will continue to be until middle of next week. That means I’ve been out-of-the-loop on the e-scooter launch (and other things) and I’m up late posting while everyone else is asleep.)

How’s the e-scooter launch going so far Portland?

All I’ve heard so far is that someone at PBOT made a very poor decision about a Twitter post and that the Willamette Week is looking to cover how annoying and dangerous they expect the scooters to be. Oh, and it looks like our friends at TriMet are big fans.

I’ve been a believer in these things since the beginning, so I’m eager to see how it’s all shaking out once I get home next week.
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Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Yakima Products Inc., Castelli USA

By on July 26th, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Need a change? Or maybe you’re looking to get your foot in the door of Portland’s dynamic cycling industry? Check out our latest job listings.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bike Valet Attendants – Go By Bike

–> Warehouse Manager – Castelli USA

–> Consumer Service Representative – Yakima Products, Inc.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Velo Cult’s farewell, moonrise, slow pokes, and more

By on July 26th, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Saturday is the farewell party.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

If you’ve been meaning to swing by Velo Cult, this Saturday will be your last chance to soak up its legendary atmosphere. Let’s give Sky and Anthony a proper sendoff!

And if VC hanging isn’t your thing, we’ve got a few other rides to tempt you with.

Friday, July 27th

Sunset Moonrise Ride – 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at P’s & Q’s Market (NE)
The Urban Adventure League wants to show you the fun of that special time when the full moon rises the same time the sun sets. Expect an easy five-mile ride to a good viewing spot. More info here.[Read more…]

Velo Cult will close retail shop to focus solely on e-commerce

By on July 25th, 2018 at 7:26 pm

Velo Cult was a central meeting place for bike lovers of all types.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Velo Cult owner Sky Boyer in February 2018.

Velo Cult — a bike shop, bar and community gathering and event space in the Hollywood Neighborhood — will throw one final party this Saturday. Owner Sky Boyer has decided to close the brick-and-mortar space to focus his efforts online.

Boyer moved his business from San Diego to Portland in 2012 and quickly became a major cog in the local bike scene. Velo Cult has hosted all types of events and meetings and the shop changed the bike retail landscape locally and nationally. In 2013, Outside Magazine named Velo Cult one of the top 10 bike shops in America.

In the end, it appears the complexities of running a brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce business, mixed with requirements for running a bar in a 10,000 square-foot space, proved too big of a challenge.
[Read more…]

Chill reads for new urbanist needs

By on July 25th, 2018 at 9:13 am

Our co-editor Emily Guise models proper reading form.
(Photo: Catie Gould)

This summer reading list was created by Catie Gould and Emily Guise, BikeLoud PDX volunteers and co-editors of our Adventures in Activism column.

Summer is a great time to relax by the pool (fountain, river, lake, sprinkler, or whatever) and still get nerdy about transportation and land-use. What could be better?

Here’s our list of favorite urbanist classics and a few newer ones for good measure…
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Let’s keep the Green Loop rolling

By on July 25th, 2018 at 8:23 am

“Will the Green Loop have the bitterness of a bureaucrat’s utilitarianism and timeline, or will it be a place that embodies the slightly anarchistic spirit of Portland?”

“What is the Green Loop”?

That’s the question I got asked the most while tabling for the Friends of the Green Loop at the last Sunday Parkway as thousands of people streamed by. I always responded, “It is this, but all the time.”

Connecting the downtown park blocks across the Broadway Bridge through the Lloyd and over the soon to be built I-84 crossing on 7th through the Central Eastside and finally looping over the Tilikum crossing. It is a connected loop for walking, biking, reflecting, and enjoying our city. This past Sunday, tens of thousands of Portlanders got a taste of what that feels like on the Green Loop edition of Sunday Parkways. For me, it was a quiet exploration of the city full of the diverse faces of my neighbors.

[Read more…]

Family biking: What type of infrastructure is important to you?

By on July 24th, 2018 at 10:55 am

We love this leaning rail with a footrest we found in Seattle.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

Let’s talk infrastructure! When I think about infrastructure I think about everywhere we use our bikes; streets, bike lanes, trails, paths, sidewalks and even things like signals, signage, and bike racks.
[Read more…]

Son’s death sparks crusade for safer light rail crossings

By on July 23rd, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Darla Sturdy and her children.
(Photo: Sturdy family)

Greg Spencer is a writer and editor who volunteers with the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets.

Eighty crosswalks and 45 light-rail stations made safer. That’s how Darla Sturdy sums up her proudest accomplishment to date.

Sturdy, a Gresham mother and member of Families for Safe Streets Oregon and SW Washington, never imagined a second life as a transportation engineer, much less as a lobbyist. But this is the work she threw herself into after her boy was run over and killed by a MAX light rail train.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Pro cycling’s gender problem, bike parking arms race, carfree school zones, and more

By on July 23rd, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Welcome to the week.

Before we get started let’s say thanks to our sponsor: The Banana Belt Fat Bike Festival. Celebrate the Southern Oregon Coast at this family-friendly event that promises fat bikes, great beaches, and great beer. Get registered at BikeGoldBeach.com.

Here are the most notable stories we came across in the past seven days…
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ODOT on defensive about I-5 Rose Quarter project at Metro meeting

By on July 20th, 2018 at 11:38 am

ODOT Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer at Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) meeting yesterday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

At a meeting of a high-powered Metro policy committee yesterday, the Oregon Department of Transportation was put in the hot seat over their plans to widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter. Peppered with questions from Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, the regional director of ODOT Rian Windsheimer, was forced to came to the aid of an ODOT staff member who was presenting on the project.

Windsheimer’s move demonstrated that sharp criticisms from a gathering storm of activists are gaining strength from elected leaders like Stacey, testing ODOT’s nerves and putting the agency on the defensive. The meeting also made it clear that, while initially sold by ODOT to the public and politicians as a “bottleneck elimination” project, the agency is now reluctant to claim it will lead to any capacity increase.
[Read more…]