Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

DA won’t pursue charges against driver of truck that killed Tamar Monhait

By on October 30th, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Screen grab of video from the scene of the collision.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office will not pursue criminal charges against the man who was driving the garbage truck that ran over and killed Tamar Monhait on August 21st.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Jergovic, in a memo released on Thursday (PDF), wrote that, “After a complete and very thorough investigation by the Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team, it is apparent that Tamar Monhait’s death was an accident and the facts do not support a criminal homicide.”

This decision was reached despite the fact that a PPB investigator concluded Monhait had the legal right-of-way and that the garbage truck operator, Paul Thompson, did not use his turn signal (contrary to what he told PPB officers at the scene), admitted to trying to beat an oncoming train, cut the left turn sharply, and was described by a witness as taking the left turn “fast”.

In order to pursue charges, the DA would have to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Thompson’s actions were willfully negligent and reckless.
[Read more…]

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The Monday Roundup: What Amazon wants, street harrassment, overcoming eyerolls, and more

By on October 30th, 2017 at 9:55 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Showers Pass. Don’t miss their annual warehouse sale on November 11th.

Welcome to Monday. Here are the stories that caught our eyes last week…

Problematic panacea: Victoria Transport Policy Institute Founder Todd Litman shares his top reasons to be skeptical of autonomous vehicles, including the Zombie Kangaroo Costume Challenge and the Titanic Safety Dilemma.

Wolf Whistles and Creepy Compliments: The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has resources that will help decrease and prevent the all too common phenomenon on harrassment while biking and walking to school.
[Read more…]

Cyclocross Crusade will feature adaptive bike race on Saturday

By on October 27th, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Handcycle ride wth Ian Jaquiss

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s a big weekend for cyclocross as the River City Bicycles Cyclocross Crusade series heads to Bend for their annual Halloween festivities.

This year — in addition to the usual two full days of racing, legendary costume contest, and huge blowout party sponsored by Deschutes Brewery on Saturday night — organizers have something new up their sleeve: an adaptive bike race.

The Crusade’s Halloween party has been a benefit for the nonprofit Oregon Adaptive Sports for the past several years. According to Sherry Schwenderlauf with the Cyclocross Crusade, the Bend chapter of OAS reached out earlier this year in hopes of allowing its members to try their handcycling skills on the ‘cross course.

Schwenderlauf says about six people from Bend will take part in the event. Using handcycles, they’ll race for 30 minutes on a modified section of the course’s grassy bowl area near the brewery on Saturday afternoon after the other races have finished.
[Read more…]

Introducing the SaunaVelo: Portland’s mobile, bike-powered warming hut

By on October 27th, 2017 at 11:44 am

The SaunaVelo-7.jpg

Simon Lyle and his SaunaVelo.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Powered by leg muscles and fire, the SaunaVelo is the manifestation of many passions for southeast Portland resident Simon Lyle. At its core, the cedar wood structure that sits atop a bicycle trailer is simply a place to warm up. But it’s also a mobile community builder. After all, it’d be difficult to enjoy its warmth — usually done wearing only your skivvies — without getting to know the people huddled next to you.

For Lyle, the 37-year old builder who grew up near the Buckman neighborhood of inner southeast Portland where I met him yesterday, the SaunaVelo is a fun side-project. But it’s also much more than that.
[Read more…]

North Portland rising: Arbor Lodge and Overlook residents ready to fight for safe streets

By on October 26th, 2017 at 3:09 pm

At the N Greeley Traffic Safety Open House last night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Something’s happening in north Portland. And it will have a profound impact on street safety for years to come.

People in all 11 neighborhoods that make up our city’s northern peninsula are sick and tired of living next to unsafe streets. And they’re coming together to do something about it.

Last night about 60 people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder inside Madrona Hill Cafe on the corner of Ainsworth and Greeley for a “traffic safety open house”. The meeting came five days after 50 people donned raincoats and rallied for safer streets at an unrelated event in St. Johns.

At the open house last night there were babies and kids and senior citizens and young professionals. And everyone had a story to tell. By the end of the night there were well over 100 post-it notes stuck to two large maps where people had written things like, “dog hit” “car hit” and “son cannot cross street w/ bike in the morning”. The event came after months of planning from a nascent group of volunteers from the Arbor Lodge and Overlook neighborhoods who are focused on traffic safety issues. [Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Blazers Bike Night, costumed ‘cross, cemeteries, and haunted places

By on October 26th, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Cross Crusade in Bend-66.jpg

A weekend of cyclocross racing like no other: The Crusade heads to Bend!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like we’ll have a nice and dry Halloween weekend. And that’s great because for some reason there are a lot of spooky-themed rides to enjoy!

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

If you’re not headed to Bend for the cyclocross racing like a few thousand other Portlanders, don’t miss the Crosstoberfest down in Lake Oswego on Saturday. There’s also a fun alleycat and Blazers Bike Night if that’s more your style. Then on Sunday we’ve got three scary rides to choose from. See the selections below and remember to check the full calendar for events not listed here.

Trick or treat!

Friday, October 27th

Breakfast on the Bridges Halloween Edition – 7:00 to 9:00 am on Steel, Hawthorne and Tilikum
Come for the free coffee and snacks, stay for the friends and conversation. Watch for the big gorilla on the Steel Bridge. Be nice and it’ll give you a banana!
More info here.
[Read more…]

Neighbors see Willamette Blvd paving project as golden opportunity for better bikeway

By on October 26th, 2017 at 10:57 am

Current cross-section of Willamette. Lane on the left is used by residents to park cars.
(Image: Friends of Willamette Blvd)

Volunteers from several north Portland neighborhoods are seizing on a paving project as an opportunity for the City of Portland to make long-awaited changes to Willamette Blvd that would improve bicycle access on a key link in the network.

The Friends of Willamette Blvd have set up a website and are urging people to call Mayor Ted Wheeler, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and PBOT Director Leah Treat. They also have an online petition to gather as many signatures as they can by the end of this week.
[Read more…]

OMSI wants to realign Water Ave and build a two-way cycle track

By on October 26th, 2017 at 8:05 am

Slide from a PBOT presentation made to City Council on October 18th. The yellow line is the realigned Water Avenue.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is located in a prime location transportation-wise. It sits at the confluence of the Eastbank Esplanade path, the carfree Tilikum Bridge, a streetcar and MAX station, and there’s even a submarine dock and a major railroad line nearby!

When their latest plans come together it’ll be even more impressive.
[Read more…]

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Let’s talk about bike boxes

By on October 25th, 2017 at 3:21 pm

On a ride into downtown this morning I came across a common sight: People on bikes waiting for a red light in a single-file line at an intersection that has a bike box. The bulk of the bike box — a large green space at the front of the intersection intended to make auto users to stop further back — was empty.

This has always puzzled me for several reasons. Whenever I come upon a bike box at a red light I’ve always thought it best to fill the box. That’s why it’s there right? So, in an effort to spread the word, I posted a photo and message about it to Twitter.
[Read more…]

Council session reveals City’s commitment to I-5 congestion pricing

By on October 25th, 2017 at 11:35 am

I-5 north of Weidler overpass.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“I’m fully cognizant of the fact that [congestion pricing] may not happen before this project and I certainly don’t want to see this project fall by the wayside because of that.”
— Dan Saltzman, City Commissioner

As the Oregon Department of Transportation tries their best to move forward with a project to widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter, there remains broad support from experts, activists, insiders — and even politicians — that charging a toll to drive on the freeway is the most sensible way to respond to congestion concerns.

But until last week it had been all talk and posturing. That was before City Commissioner Dan Saltzman (who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation) drafted an amendment to an action item on the project in the Central City 2035 Plan. At their October 18th work session on the plan, Portland City Council agreed with Saltzman on an idea we first reported on back in September: That ODOT must implement congestion pricing on I-5.

But the devil is in the details. When would the tolls start? Would they be legal? How committed is the City of Portland to congestion pricing on I-5? Are they willing to risk the entire project if it doesn’t happen? [Read more…]

Product Review: Cool weather, USA made kit from Ornot

By on October 24th, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Socks, Bib shorts and jersey colourways sync up for a put together look.
(Photos: James Buckroyd)

Pretty psyched for a change of season, I ordered up some new gear.

I needed some new colder weather kit and wanted to try something different, so I grabbed a few things from Ornot, a smaller San Fransisco company that has been around for about four years. Ornot’s brand stuck in my mind from the play on words in their clever marketing campaign: “You can be a rolling billboard, Ornot.” The whole point being that their kit has no logos, no sponsors, no massive branding. In the cycling world we’ve all been subjected to logos everywhere on cycling kit — some tastefully done, some not. Browsing through the website you see an array of products all with minimal branding and really nice patterns and designs.

I ordered up some winter bib shorts, a winter jersey and socks for the full matchy-match look.

Here are my impressions…
[Read more…]

City launches Lincoln-Harrison neighorhood greenway project

By on October 24th, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Overview of the project.
(Images: PBOT)

After shopping the idea around to neighborhood associations and various advisory committees, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has begun their $170,000 Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway project in earnest. They launched the official website for the project last week and have announced two open houses in the coming months.
[Read more…]

Four-month closure of Stub Stewart trails starts November 1st

By on October 24th, 2017 at 11:33 am

Vernonia Stub Singletrack Century-17.jpg

We’ll miss you. But it’s for the best.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You have about one more week to enjoy the awesome off-road biking trails at Stub Stewart State Park before they close for the winter.

Word from our friends at the Northwest Trail Alliance is that a logging project is set to begin in November and continue to the end of February. In addition, Oregon State Parks says that the paved Banks-Vernonia path will be closed between Buxton and Tophill for the month of January. The BV will be closed Monday through Friday from January 8th through the end of that month due to helicopter operations.

The purpose of the Stub Stewart closures is a logging and forest management project. NWTA trail builder Joe Rykowski says crews will use helicopters to thin the forest — a project aimed at improving the overall health of the forest that will have the added benefit of making biking better. Helicopters will be used (instead of trucks and tractors) in order to limit erosion and other environmental impacts to the trail system. This also allow crews to lift each tree out of the forest without it ever touching the ground. About 560 acres will be logged and about 25 to 40 percent of trees will be removed depending on the area.
[Read more…]

Niner Bikes founder, now a Portlander, hopes to crowdfund children’s book

By on October 24th, 2017 at 10:43 am

Cover of Domahidy’s book.

Go to any bike race or adventure ride these days and you’re almost sure to see “Niner” on the downtube of at least one of the bikes. Niner Bikes, as their name suggests, is respected in the bike industry as a pioneer of the 29-inch wheel size, having launched their first model in 2004.

Steve Domahidy co-founded Niner and was head of its R & D department until 2011. He recently moved to Portland where he’s put his design and engineering prowess behind a new brand (Viral Bikes) and a new project that’s a departure from anything he’s worked on in his 30-year career in the bike industry: a children’s book.

Domahidy is currently in the final stretch of a Kickstarter campaign for A Bike For You, a book he wrote in tandem with illustrator Rob Snow. The book is a fun tale that uses animals to explore many different types of bikes and styles of riding. Here’s an excerpt:[Read more…]

Cyclocross roundup: Epic flooding at Crossword, photos from Heron Lakes, and more

By on October 23rd, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Cyclocross Crusade - Heron Lakes PIR-30.jpg

That smile, that strawberry helmet, those sweatpants: This kid is pure Portland cyclocross spirit.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’re right in the thick of this year’s cyclcross season. And from what I’ve seen and heard it’s been a good one.

First things first though. Have you seen the River City Bicycles recap video of the Cyclocross Crusade race at Alpenrose a few weekends ago? It’s hilarious and it’s not what you’re expecting (scroll down to watch).
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Cars are bad (but still popular), eMTB racing, Google knows, and more

By on October 23rd, 2017 at 10:27 am

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

Future city: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has signed a contract to develop a “city of the future” in Toronto and the plan doesn’t include private cars.

A 3-D printed bike bridge: The world’s first bike bridge to come from a printer opened in the Netherlands (of course!).
[Read more…]

A new bike path into Mt. Tabor Park is coming into focus

By on October 20th, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Latest design drawing for changes to Mt. Tabor Yard (I added pink at location of new bike path).

Mt. Tabor Park is a gem of southeast Portland. But if you live south of the park you’re all but shutout from easy access. Now the parks bureau is zeroing in on a design for a new public access point from SE Division Street at 64th that will include a bike path.

Finally the South Tabor neighborhood will have convenient access to its namesake park.
[Read more…]

Bicycling stars in Portland’s Amazon HQ2 pitch

By on October 20th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Cover of Portland’s pitch to Amazon.

There can no longer be any doubt that bicycling is a major part of our region’s “value proposition” to businesses.

A reference to bicycling occurs on seven of the 23 pages that a local business group has sent to Amazon as our region’s pitch for the company’s second headquarters location. Among those references is a starring role on the cover of the pitch which shows a man bicycling down the corkscrew ramp from the Morrison Bridge to the Eastbank Esplanade with the Portland skyline in the background.[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Splendid Cycles, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Velotech

By on October 20th, 2017 at 9:50 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got three freshly listed job opportunities for you to peruse.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mechanic/sales – Splendid Cycles

–> Development Director for CF Cycle for Life – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

–> Shipping Specialist – Velotech

[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Freak Bike Fall, cyclocross, and some NOISE

By on October 19th, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Splash Dance Ride

Ridden by some, loved by all: It’s a freak bike weekend.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

It. Is. Wet. Out. There.

Hope you’ve got your fenders and jackets all sorted out because the rain will be here for a while.

But it won’t be enough to deter our freak bike-loving friends from a weekend of fun and rides. And it will only embolden cyclocross fans for the upcoming mudfest that will transpire Sunday’s Crusade race at PIR.

Here’s our selection of the best events this weekend, starting with a neighborhood rally tomorrow (Friday) in St. Johns..
[Read more…]