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City Auditor wants to know more about how PBOT projects impact neighborhoods

By on March 15th, 2018 at 9:40 am

Cover of the report.

Projects completed by Portland’s transportation bureau are making streets safer, but the agency should do more to assess how surrounding neighborhoods are impacted by changes to traffic patterns.

That’s the key takeaway from a report released today by the Portland City Auditor.

The audit looked at 14 recently completed Portland Bureau of Transportation projects and selected two for closer analysis. They looked at safety projects on East Burnside (SE 15th to Laurelhurst Place) and on SE Division (from 60th to 80th). In both projects PBOT applied standard safety upgrades like lane reconfigurations, improved crossings and lower speed limits.

In both projects the City Auditor found that PBOT met their stated goals of safety and maintaining access to businesses.

However, the report says PBOT needs to take a closer look at what happens to adjacent streets and business patterns after projects are completed.
[Read more…]

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While we wait for safety fixes, another person has died trying to cross Southeast Division

By on March 14th, 2018 at 12:36 pm

SE Division just west of 115th. Note the store on the right, the bus stop on the left.

KATU news screengrab.

Outer Division. Again.

Around 8:30 pm on Sunday night 74-year-old Portland resident Fuk Chan tried to walk across Southeast Division Street near 115th. He was struck and severely injured by a man driving a Nissan Quest minivan. Mr. Chan died in the hospital yesterday.

Based on the Police narrative released so far and from a photograph in a KATU story, it appears the collision happened near a TriMet bust stop on the north side of the street, just west of 115th. There’s a small market on the south side of the street.
[Read more…]

Cleveland High principal worried about traffic violence on National Walkout Day

By on March 14th, 2018 at 9:55 am

Sign from a protest outside Cleveland High in May 2015.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today across America school students are walking out of class to bring attention to gun violence, the need for comprehensive reform of gun laws, and to say “Never again!” when it comes to school shootings.

Most Portland Public Schools administrators support the walkout. As a parent of kids in three PPS schools, we’ve gotten detailed emails and notices from each one in preparation of today’s actions.

Last night I heard from a parent of a student at Cleveland High School that the email sent by Principal Ayesha Freeman included a strong warning about a major safety concern that has nothing to do with gun violence. Freeman shared four specific items in her email aimed at getting parents and students ready. One of them was about SE Powell Boulevard — the state-controlled arterial road that runs outside the school on its southern side.

Here’s what Freeman wrote in her email:[Read more…]

Bicycle rider involved in collision with a MAX train in southeast

By on March 13th, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Looking north on SE 17th at Rhine.

We’ve received preliminary details about a collision this afternoon between a bicycle rider and a MAX operator.
[Read more…]

The ODOT Files: Caving to pressure, a bridge sidewalk in Grants Pass will be three inches wider

By on March 13th, 2018 at 3:42 pm

A wheelchair user tries to squeeze through the pinch point on the Caveman Bridge.
(Screengrab from a video made for HASL Center for Independent Living.)

The ODOT Files is a collection of stories that illustrate how the Oregon Department of Transportation prioritizes auto and trucks users at the expense of everyone — and everything — else.

The Oregon Deparment of Transportation is spending $5.3 million to update and make seismic retrofits to the historic Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass. The project goal is to bring the bridge back to is “Depression era beauty” by repairing cracks, broken concrete, exposed rebar, and delamination of the deck. But for people who use the bridge sidewalk — especially those who use wheelchairs and other vehicles — there’s nothing beautiful about narrow pinch points.

And there was nothing in the plans to widen them until the agency’s hand was forced.
[Read more…]

PBOT unveils new design for greenway update at SE Lincoln/Harrison and 30th

By on March 13th, 2018 at 11:48 am

PBOT’s new design for SE Lincoln/Harrison at 30th.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced changes to a key intersection on the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway yesterday. They also announced a delay for the infamous traffic diverter planned at 50th and Lincoln.
[Read more…]

Where to buy used kids’ bikes in Portland

By on March 13th, 2018 at 10:21 am

This Lil’ Honey was new in 2012, but is ready for a new owner now.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Six years ago I scored a free 12-inch kids bike from my neighborhood mom group. It was the start of a journey — not just of riding, but of figuring out how and where to get bikes that work and that fit my constantly growing boys.
[Read more…]

City Council candidate transportation forum set for April 5th

By on March 12th, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Six council candidates confirmed for the panel. Left to right: (top) Felicia Williams, Loretta Smith, Jo Ann Hardesty; (bottom) Stuart Emmons, Andrea Valderrama, Julia DeGraw.

It’s time to educate ourselves about the candidates running for Portland City Council.
[Read more…]


In nod to off-road cycling, Mayor Wheeler urges Parks Bureau to stay relevant

By on March 12th, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Mayor Wheeler at the Parks Board meeting last Tuesday. (Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

As they prep for its big day at City Council this spring, the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is in the final stages of their Off-road Cycling Master Plan.

The plan has already been over two years in the making and Portlanders have made nearly 900 individual public comments about what type of trails they want and where new trails should go.

Now comes the politics and last-minute lobbying.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Transit’s tech gap, changing speeds, virtual racing, and more

By on March 12th, 2018 at 9:46 am

Welcome to the week. Here are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…

Stop killing kids: A horrible and preventable traffic tragedy on a street in Park Slope, Brooklyn has spurred outrage that some are comparing to the “Kindermoord” movement in Amsterdam. Thousands are expected at the Kids March for Safe Streets today.
[Read more…]

Petition presses Commissioner Saltzman for immediate help on deadly outer SE Stark Street

By on March 9th, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Advocates are joining forces to create urgency for safety fixes to outer Southeast Stark Street.

After a woman was killed while walking on Stark around 148th last month, a coalition of community groups and residents being led by Oregon Walks and The Rosewood Initiative have started an online petition they hope will result in help from Commissioner Dan Saltzman. Saltzman oversees the transportation bureau and has shown a willingness to act quickly in the face of tragedy. Last year when a similar spate of tragedies befell another outer east Portland arterial, Saltzman attended a meeting where his PBOT staff presented a plan to tame traffic on Division. “We’re sorry,” the commissioner said, “and we’re bound and determined to do something about that.”

As we reported last month, outer SE Stark has become a repeat location of traffic violence. Three people have died in traffic crashes at or near that same intersection in less than a year and a total of five people have died on Stark between SE 122nd and 162nd since November 2016. Kem Marks with the Rosewood Initiative told us today that, “I just hope people come to realize that Stark is becoming what Division has been, and some of the fixes to Division have moved the problem north.”
[Read more…]

“Everybody in the industry thought I was mad”: An interview with Islabikes founder Isla Rowntree

By on March 9th, 2018 at 11:05 am

Isla Rowntree at her Portland facility in June 2017.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Shops are typically run by conservative, not that young — and dare I say male — shop owners in the industry. That would be the profile who just thought I was mad. So I wouldn’t have persuaded them to buy anything from me.”
— Isla Rowntree on why she decided to sell customer-direct

You’ve probably seen them: Young kids zipping around on great-looking (usually red) bikes with the Islabikes name on the downtube. Isla Rowntree is the woman behind this business. She founded the company in 2005 in the picturesque town of Ludlow in the United Kingdom, about 155 miles northwest of London. In 2013 Islabikes came to North America and planted their headquarters in Portland’s Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood.

Last summer Rowntree paid a visit to her bustling U.S. outpost and I met up with her for a chat. We sat in the upper floor of their warehouse and showroom on SE 7th Avenue and she shared a brief history of children’s bikes, her passion for making good ones, the challenges she faced as a start-up, and how Islabikes almost never ended up in Portland.

The Q & A is below, edited slightly for clarity (for full effect, read her words in a proper British accent)…

I was intrigued to learn you started a children’s bike company, but that children weren’t your inspiration?

“No. It wasn’t through my own children. I’ve been in the bike industry pretty much all my working life. I started in a bike shop when I was still in school and experienced my own personal challenges with fit and ergonomics because I’m fairly physically small. I came up with some solutions for those challenges and tinkered about with them throughout my twenties. Then, 11 or 12 years ago, I got to an age when my friends — and my sister in particular — had started families. They were all asking me what bikes to get for their kids. And that really drew my attention to the details of children’s bikes as they were available at the time. I was expecting to make a recommendation, do a bit of research and say, “OK get this one for your child.” But they were all so awful.

[Read more…]

Keep it waterproof: A guide to getting more out of your gear

By on March 9th, 2018 at 9:20 am

You know the feeling: It’s nice when it beads, but it doesn’t last forever.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland and James Buckroyd/

James Buckroyd is our Product Geek. See his previous stories here and delve deeper via his website

We spend a lot of time choosing our gear carefully and as we know cycling gear is expensive! Especially when it comes to all-weather wear. But do you know how to keep your Rapha softshell going strong? Your Castelli Gabba still stretchy, or your favorite Showers Pass shedding through the spring? With a little investment in care you can keep your gear performing well.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Community Cycling Center, Cynergy E-Bikes, Velotech, Vancouver Cyclery

By on March 9th, 2018 at 7:31 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got five great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Community Cycling Center

–> Experienced Mechanic – Vancouver Cyclery

–> Bike Camp Instructor – Community Cycling Center

–> Bike Mechanic – Cynergy E-Bikes

–> Customer Experience Specialist Full Time – Velotech
[Read more…]

University of Portland campus expansion puts greenway advocates on edge

By on March 8th, 2018 at 3:43 pm

University of Portland’s new campus. Advocates are asking, “Where’s the greenway?”

When the University of Portland announced a big campus expansion late last month, the question we immediately heard was: Where’s the trail?
[Read more…]

An interview with Safe Routes to School policy advocate Kari Schlosshauer

By on March 8th, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Mom, bike commuter, advocate — it’s all in a day’s work for Kari Schlosshauer.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Even if you don’t know Kari (it rhymes with “safari”) Schlosshauer, chances are you’re familiar with her work.

As the Pacific Northwest Senior Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Schlosshauer has spent the last five years making our neighborhoods safer for walking and biking. Her position puts here at the center of discussions and deals about how and where our city, region, and state spend money for school-related transportation projects.

Schlosshauer lives in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood near Powell and 25th. Earlier this week I sat down with her around her kitchen table before riding downtown where she attended a meeting of the Vision Zero Task Force (she’s a member) at City Hall.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Womxn’s Ride, Timber Logjam, The Evelyn Hamilton Story, and more

By on March 8th, 2018 at 9:40 am

Where will your bike take you this weekend?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

The signs of spring are popping up everywhere: There are buds on the trees, flowers in the streets, and our bike event calendar is filling up quickly.

Today is also International Women’s Day and March is Women’s Month, so we’re proud to feature several events led by — and about — women in this week’s guide.

Here’s our full menu of special selections sure to satiate your appetite for cycling and socializing…

[Read more…]

Racial bias concerns and staffing shortage present enforcement challenges for Portland Police

By on March 7th, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Vision Zero Task Force member Karis Stoudamire-Phillips speaks at a meeting in City Hall yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We hear from many of you that it feels like streets in Portland are getting more lawless by the day. One reason is a severe lack of police presence due to a staffing shortage that’s been years in the making. The flip side of that is a concern among traffic safety advocates and the Police Bureau that too much presence in certain parts of the city might lead to unfair or over-policing.
[Read more…]

It’s time to comment on final design plan for Gateway Green

By on March 7th, 2018 at 2:32 pm

The current design.

Yes Gateway Green has been open for nearly nine months now, but it’s still very much a work in progress. In the next few months the City of Portland will finalize the design plan and they want your help to make it as good as possible.
[Read more…]

The ODOT Files: Portland Mercury checks in on freeway tolling efforts

By on March 7th, 2018 at 2:01 pm

“Significant congestion will exist in 2027 on the I-5 and I-205 study corridors, even with all the improvements listed in the Regional Transportation Plan.”
— from a report published by ODOT as part of their Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis

The ODOT Files is our attempt to keep you informed of stories from around the web that illustrate how our state transportation agency is falling down on the job.

The latest entry into the ODOT Files is a story by Dirk VanderHart published today in the Portland Mercury: A New Report Shows Highway Widening Won’t Solve Portland’s Congestion Woes.

The piece centers around ODOT’s Value Pricing Advisory Committee, a group of advocates, electeds, and transportation leaders tasked with determining whether or not we should toll highways — and if so, how exactly it should be implemented. The central tension here is that ODOT wants to build lots of new highways (including an expansion of I-5 through the Rose Quarter) and there’s increasing political and public demand to consider tolling them before — or instead of — building them.

Then there’s the fact that expanding highways does not relieve congestion. And based on the Mercury story, even ODOT’s own analysts are trying to tell them that:
[Read more…]