Holiday Sale at Western Bikeworks

Oregon House Speaker will host meeting to plan new crossing of Columbia Blvd in St. Johns

By on November 17th, 2017 at 10:32 am

KPTV coverage from August 2016.

It’s been about 15 months since high school freshman Bradley Fortner was nearly killed while trying to walk across North Columbia Blvd on his way to his first day of school. He was hit by a pickup truck driver and spent a week in the ICU with swelling in his brain.

Fortner lives in a part of north Portland that is effectively walled off from George Middle School and Roosevelt High because of how dangerously people drive on Columbia Blvd. Prior to the collision, his family and neighbors said the road was so wide and so full of trucks and speeding drivers that they knew a tragedy like that was “inevitable”.

There’s a pedestrian overpass at this location, but it’s so unkempt and out of the way that most people opt not to use it.
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Mt. Tabor neighborhood votes 45-5 against diverters at 50th and Lincoln

By on November 16th, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Pretty clear where the Tabor Rising neighborhood group stands on the issue.

Remember that opposition to the City’s plans for traffic diversion as part of the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway project we we warned you about earlier this month? It hasn’t gone away. In fact, it appears to be getting stronger.

At the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s open house for the project just one day after our post was published, we heard that people against the diverters “swamped” people who support them. “By a lot,” our source said.

Then, at their monthly meeting last night, the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA) voted 45-5 against one specific part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s proposal: a semi-diverter on both sides of Lincoln at SE 50th. According to a BikePortland reader who was at the meeting, the vote was a motion to oppose the proposed diverter at 50th and Lincoln as currently designed and to request more information and a meeting with PBOT to ask questions and share concerns.
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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler breaks ribs in bicycle crash

By on November 16th, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sunday Parkways September 2015-7.jpg

Wheeler biking across the Tilikum Bridge in 2012.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is recovering after he fell while riding his bike on Sunday morning.

After a reader noticed a reference to the crash in an article posted by The Oregonian this morning, we followed up with his office to find out more.
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Weekend Event Guide: Better buses, ‘cross championships, Cranksgiving, and more

By on November 16th, 2017 at 9:05 am

Krugers Crossing-43

Whether you race, cheer, or just enjoy the bonfire and a beverage; the Kruger’s Crossing event on Sunday is sure to be great.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Time to map your plan of attack for the weekend. Check out our selections below and keep an eye on the BP Calendar for updates and even more ideas.

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

Friday, November 17th

Portland Bus Lane Project Planning Meeting – 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at Red Robe Tea House & Cafe (310 NW Davis St.)
Want better bus service in Portland? Get involved with the activism that is making it happen. More info here.

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Hoping to improve safety, PBOT will move Vancouver bikeway to left side

By on November 15th, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Detail of PBOT’s plans for transitioning bicycle users from right to left on Vancouver at Killingsworth.

After presenting a slew of options for improving safety and traffic flow on North Vancouver at Cook back in June, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has settled on an option they like.
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Kenji Sugahara will step down as leader of Oregon Bicycle Racing Association

By on November 15th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Kenji Sugahara.
(Photo courtesy Kenji Sugahara)

After a decade at the helm, Kenji Sugahara has announced plans to move on from his role as executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA).

OBRA is the statewide sanctioning body of competitive cycling and currently has around 3,700 members who compete in a variety of disciplines including cyclocross, track, road, and mountain bike racing.

Sugahara, 44, was chosen to lead OBRA in 2008. He plans to stay on for another six to nine months to help with a transition to a new executive director. Sugahara tells us his sights are set on the¶ leadership job at the new Office of Outdoor Recreation that was created by the legislature last session. It would be a natural fit for Sugahara, who currently sits on the Oregon Tourism Commission after being appointed by Governor Kate Brown in 2014.

In a letter emailed to OBRA members last night, Sugahara wrote: “I have had some amazing opportunities arise that I cannot pass up so I have decided that this is an opportune time to pass on the torch. Though we have faced headwinds that have been mirrored on the national level, we have a solid foundation with a great plan to move forward.”
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With offer of access through new Rothko Pavillion, museum asks for bike committee’s support

By on November 15th, 2017 at 11:28 am

This drawing of the proposed Rothko Pavillion as seen from Park Blocks is not new. The “Connections” branding is.

Nearly eight months after their initial request to change a public easement to make room for the new Rothko Pavillion was strongly rebuffed, the Portland Art Museum is trying again.
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Industry news: Urban Arrow in Portland, Framebuilder Supply’s grant, Velotech expands, Left Coast makes house calls

By on November 14th, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Who’s ready for some local industry news?

Here are the latest tidbits we’ve come across from Portland’s ever-changing bike business landscape.
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Meet the BikeCrafters: TiGr Lock, Orquidia Violeta, and piggyflowers

By on November 14th, 2017 at 12:54 pm

In case you haven’t heard, Portland’s bike-centric holiday gift fair is back! BikeCraft 2017 is December 15-17 at the Bike Farm (1810 NE 1st Ave.) and it’s powered by Microcosm Publishing.

Last week we shared our first in a series of vendor intros written up by Microcosm Co-owner and Marketing Director Elly Blue. Here are three more…
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Truck operator in Water Avenue fatality cited for dangerous turn, failure to signal

By on November 14th, 2017 at 11:26 am

The man driving the garbage truck that was involved in the collision that killed Tamar Monhait on August 21st has been issued two traffic citations.

The Portland Police Bureau has cited Paul Thompson for a Dangerous Left Turn and Failure to Signal a Turn. The former is a Class C traffic violation that comes with a presumptive fine of $260 and the latter is a Class D violation that has a presumptive fine of $110. If Thompson challenges the citations in court the fines could be dropped to $130 and $60 respectively.

After a fatal collision, it’s standard procedure for the PPB to defer any citation decisions until after the District Attorney completes their investigation. On October 26th the Multnomah County DA declined to pursue criminal charges against Thompson. The DA found no evidence that Thompson engaged in the behaviors required to reach the legal threshold to prove a criminal recklessness or negligence.
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One fatality, one serious injury collision on outer southeast roadways over the weekend

By on November 13th, 2017 at 3:16 pm

View of police flares from crash investigation at SE 148th and Division.
(Photo: Sarah Iannarone)

One person was killed and another person sustained life-threatening injuries in two separate crashes this weekend. Both of them happened about one mile apart in southeast Portland.

On Saturday evening around 5:40, Portland police responded to a collision near the intersection of SE 148th and Division. They discovered that a bicycle rider had been hit by a driver and was lying on the ground. “Based on preliminary information,” read their statement, “officers believe the motorist and bicyclist were both traveling south on Southeast 148th Avenue when the bicyclist was struck by the vehicle.”

The man was believed to have “serious life threatening injuries.”

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The Monday Roundup: Equiticity, beating bike theft, Montreal’s new mayor, and more

By on November 13th, 2017 at 11:49 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Urban Tribe cargo bikes, which are now 15 percent off for BikePortland readers.

Here are the best stories that came across our desks last week…
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Tamika Butler, racism, and the segregation of public space

By on November 13th, 2017 at 10:01 am

Tamika Butler after her talk at PSU Wednesday night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Why don’t more African-Americans ride bicycles?”

That headline from a national advocacy organization asks a question that’s common to many planners, policymakers, and advocates. It’s a question that helped spark a discussion about equity that has been a focus of many programs, studies and initiatives over the past decade.

For the most part the response to that question has centered around standard stuff like research and data, attempts to uncover the barriers to bicycling faced by people of color, and how organizations can be more inclusive. Those are important parts of the work; but what if we’ve been avoiding the root cause?

What if we aren’t making enough progress because we’re too uncomfortable to acknowledge the racist foundation of our land-use policies, transportation system and planning culture? What if the white privilege of many planning and advocacy professionals has led to the segregation of black people out of bike lanes? What if many black people do bike, but in places white people don’t usually associate with “cyclists” or “commuters”?

Those are just some of the questions that bounced around my head as I biked home from a talk given by Tamika Butler on Wednesday night. Butler was chosen by Portland State University’s Inititiave for Bicycle & Pedestrian Innovation to give the Anne Niles Active Transportation Lecture. She didn’t hold anything back.
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Who climbs over a train when they’re tired of waiting? These guys

By on November 10th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Today Portlander Mark Graves (who happens to be a photographer and reporter for The Oregonian) just happened to be waiting at a train crossing at SE Clinton and 12th.

You won’t believe what happened next. Or maybe you will. Heck, maybe you’ve done it?

As you can see in the video he posted to Twitter, several people — tired of waiting for the train to move along – picked up their bikes and then climbed up onto and then over the train!

This seems bonkers to me. I’ve been held behind a few trains in this area over the years and I have to admit I’ve let my mind consider doing this; but I’d be too scared. Scared of the potential injury consequences and scared of getting caught and/or shamed if someone saw me do it (can you imagine the field day on local media and Twitter if “the BikePortland guy” got caught doing this?!).

When I first saw Mark’s tweet, I figured a lot of people would use the video to confirm their bias against “those stupid bicyclists.” The reality is, behaviors like this are mode-agnostic. People do just as crazy things in their cars. Our friend Jessica Engelman said, “I’ve seen people in cars drive up onto the sidewalk, make a U-turn, then go the wrong way up a one-way street when stopped at that intersection by a long freight train in an attempt to drive around. So yes, some people in cars attempt to do the same thing.”

Long waits for trains is a big issue in the central eastside and inner southeast. The railroad companies still use manual switches, which means a human has to come outo and adjust the tracks by hand. We’ve heard TriMet is trying to get new, automatic switches paid for in their Division Transit Project so their new, “faster” buses, don’t get caught waiting.

Have you ever done this? Any ideas on a better solution than portaging bikes cyclocross-style or doing dangerous things in our cars to get through?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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“Outrageous” to repeal tax break for 850,000 U.S. bicycle commuters, Rep. Blumenauer says

By on November 10th, 2017 at 11:56 am

There is no more staunch defender of the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit, a current federal provision that allows people to exclude (a whopping) $20 a month from taxable income for “expenses related to regular bicycle commuting.”

So when emerged that the Senate GOP’s tax plan would kill it, while retaining a $255 monthly commute benefit for parking cars, we knew Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer would have something to say about it. After all, he authored the current benefit and championed its passage in 2008. To Blumenauer, it’s a simple matter of equity.
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Plastic wands installed to protect bicycle users on NE Multnomah, NE 1st, and N Greeley

By on November 10th, 2017 at 11:21 am

Greeley protected bike lanes-9.jpg

Newly installed plastic wands create some physical protection for a bike lane on North Greeley Avenue just south of the Adidas campus.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is on a bit of a plastic wand binge.

In the past week we’ve learned of white wands (a.k.a. delineators, plastic bollards, candlesticks) going up in the Lloyd District, near the Convention Center, and on Greeley near the Adidas campus in north Portland.
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Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, ECHOS Communications, Trek Travel, Portland Pedal Power

By on November 10th, 2017 at 8:35 am

Want to work on your bike or work in the bike industry? We’ve got four great job opportunities for you to consider

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Cycle, Deliver + Cater Food in Downtown Portland – Portland Pedal Power

–> Bike Tour Guide – Trek Travel

–> Outdoor / Lifestyle / Bike PR Agency Seeks Intern – ECHOS Communications

–> PT morning bike valet attendant – Go By Bike

[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Showers Pass sale, trail work, Crusade finale, and more

By on November 9th, 2017 at 12:55 pm

The Big Dig at Gateway Green-19.jpg

Trail work should be a part of everyone’s healthy trail riding diet.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

What’s on your list this weekend? The weather looks a bit iffy, but you never know how it’ll end up so you might as well plan to ride.

If the national news has dampened your mood, let me make two suggestions: Evalyn Parry’s SPIN, a show about the bicycle’s impact on women; and the two trail work days on Saturday where you can do something to improve your community. And please support the Showers Pass Warehouse Sale on Saturday. They advertised it with us and we’re grateful for their business!

Check out our selections below. And don’t forget to check the full calendar for the latest updates…
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Portland Art Museum to unveil new plans for Rothko Pavillion expansion

By on November 9th, 2017 at 11:43 am

Current view of Madison Plaza with green line showing the public easement.

After it faced stiff opposition at a City Council hearing in April, the Portland Art Museum has revised plans for their $50 million Rothko Pavillion expansion.

Seven months later they’re ready to share a new one.

At issue is how the plans will impact Madision Plaza, a public easement between existing museum buildings. Madison Plaza is considered an important link in downtown bicycling and walking connectivity.

Earlier this year, PAM asked the City of Portland to amend the existing easement for SW Madison Street between Park and 10th. Initial plans for the new pavillion would have created a new structure to display art, host events, and serve as the museum’s main entrance. The pavillion would be open to the public for free, but access would be limited to museum hours (10:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday through Wednesday and 10:00 to 8:00 pm Thursday and Friday) and people riding bicycles or walking dogs would be completely prohibited.

That plan proved highly controversial. Following a large outcry from nearby residents and other people who use the plaza, PAM put the plans on hold.
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One year after we mourned Mitch York on the St. Johns Bridge, another person has died at the same intersection

By on November 9th, 2017 at 9:56 am

ODOT traffic cam view of the crash. Arrow points to Ford pick-up hit by speeding Kia driver.

A 71-year-old man died Saturday night while driving on the St. Johns Bridge. Keizer resident John Crook was the 41st person to die on Portland roads this year (we had 35 deaths at this time last year).

Crook’s death comes one year after hundreds of Portlanders biked onto the bridge and held a vigil for Mitch York, who was killed by a reckless driver at the same intersection.

In Saturday’s collision, police say Crook was driving a Kia Optima westbound on the bridge “at a high rate of speed” and failed to stop for the red light at Bridge Avenue. Crook ran into someone driving a Ford F-150. The impact from the collision was so powerful that the truck — at nearly twice the size of the small Kia — flipped over and landed off the roadway on its roof. The two people inside the truck sustained what police call “non life-threatening injuries” (a term that bothers me, because it glosses over what could be horrific, life-altering injuries).

This crash underscores that the design of the St. Johns Bridge, that advocates have been concerned about for many years, is unsafe for everyone. People drive dangerously on the bridge in part because the design lets them. The Oregon Department of Transportation, who ignored recommendations (from the City of Portland, advocates, Metro, and engineering consultants) for a safer cross-section in 2005, has kept the bridge as a four-lane thoroughfare. The wide-open design gives drivers a false sense of security and encourages dangerous behaviors that put human lives at risk.
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