By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 1st, 2017 at 5:19 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 1st, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Did you know there’s a ride that’s 80 percent carfree and will take you from inner Portland to beaches on the Willamette and Columbia rivers on a mix of quiet residential roads, sidewalks, and paths?
We all know how Portland’s 90-mile network of neighborhood greenways are great at getting us across town; but they can also help us get away from town.
A Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer once referred to our neighborhood greenway network as a “bus system for biking and walking.” And similar to how some of us use light rail to expand the scope of rides (like taking MAX to Hillsboro to reach Stub Stewart State Park), our neighborhood greenways enable smaller journeys more suitable for riders of all ages and abilities but no less fun and adventurous.
This past weekend my six-year-old son Everett and I hopped on a borrowed tandem (thanks Peter!) and headed out to Kelley Point Park — an isolated, 100-acre stand of cottonweed trees and grassy meadows at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 1st, 2017 at 11:05 am
At this point the State of Oregon seems willing to try anything to change our dangerous culture of distracted driving.
To take a bite out of an alarming rise in traffic deaths last year — the 495 people who died was a 58 percent rise from 2013 — the Oregon Department of Transportation convened a task force and purchased unmarked patrol cars, published a report on the “epidemic”, and most recently the legislature acted to tighten a loophole in our existing distracted driving law.
Their latest effort will rely on friendly competition. Drive Healthy is the name of an initiative announced today that will pit individuals and organizations against each other to see who can be the safest driver. Similar to the Bike Commute Challenge, people will sign up online and have their results tracked via the Livesaver app and results will be posted on a public leaderboard. Once downloaded, the app runs in the background and automatically locks your phone when you drive (see screenshot at right). The fewer times you unlock the phone, the more points you get. The only functions available while driving are “Emergency Call” and “Passenger Unlock”.
Here’s more from ODOT and the DriveHealthy.org website:[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 31st, 2017 at 12:18 pm
It’s coming. A collective flip-out has begun because several days of triple-digit temperatures are about to hit Portland.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 31st, 2017 at 10:37 am
This week’s Monday Roundup is made possible by Treo Bike Tours, who reminds you to reserve a spot for their upcoming (August 25-27) three-day ‘Journey Through Time’ riding experience.
Welcome to the week. Everyone’s talking about the heat wave headed our way. Hope you can keep riding through it. Stay tuned for some tips and tricks to stay cool on the bike.
Before we get to last week’s best stories, remember to follow us on Facebook if you don’t already. We’ll be sharing more content there in the future.
Here are the best articles we came across last week…
NYC’s bike boom: What do you get when you combine the biggest bike share system in the U.S., a dense urban form, an aggressive DOT, and the nation’s best transportation reform advocates? More than 450,000 daily bike trips — and all the other immeasurablly positive benefits that come with them.
Hidden housing cost: The title of this piece says it all: “If you’re renting a US city apartment without a car, 16% of your rent pays for parking you don’t need.”
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 28th, 2017 at 1:46 pm
This is the first attempt at new thing I’ll be doing on Fridays: A look back into the BikePortland archives to see where we’ve been and how we have — or haven’t — changed.
It’s no coincidence that this also happens to be the 12th birthday of BikePortland. On this date in 2005 I bought the domain name, plugged in a free WordPress theme, and never looked back.
Actually, I have looked back. A few times. Luckily I never gave in to the temptation to give up. It hasn’t been easy surviving this long. But I’m very glad to still be here. I love this job more than ever and I’m committed to making this thing a true success once and for all (I’ll save what I mean by “true success” for another day). I think being around so long (relatively-speaking, for a blogger) gives me a greater appreciation for the value of longevity both to me personally and to the community-at-large. There’s a history of this place and its relationship to cycling that lives inside my head and on these pages. I hold a lot of different threads and I relish every opportunity to weave them together and try to expand the scope of understanding and provide historical context for our current decisions.
Which brings me to the “Flashback Friday” idea.
With 21,700 Front Page stories published so far, the BikePortland archives are like a real-time account of biking in this city since April 2005 (which is when I started doing the “Bike Fun” blog on OregonLive.com and before I transferred all those posts to BikePortland.org). It’s probably safe to say that I care about these archives more than anyone else on earth. They’re full of past friends and acquaintances, heartache and hope, fun and frustration.
So let’s dive into this first edition. What were we talking about in July 2007?
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 28th, 2017 at 10:22 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 27th, 2017 at 3:55 pm
Bicycle users will have to endure stressful and dangerous conditions on North Greeley Avenue for another year because the City’s plans for a physically protected bike lane have been delayed.
Back in February we reported that the Bureau of Transportation planned to update this stretch of Greeley between Going and Interstate by adding a 10-foot wide, bi-directional path separated from motor vehicle traffic by a two-foot wide concrete barrier (see proposed cross-section below). The barrier is needed because a recent PBOT speed analysis showed the 25,000 motor vehicles on the road every day are driven at freeway speeds — about 56-59 miles per hour on average.
Greeley makes an important connection between downtown and north Portland neighborhoods from Arbor Lodge to St. Johns.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 27th, 2017 at 2:10 pm
Note: This post is part of a paid promotional partnership between BikePortland and Treo Bike Tours.
Imagine following in the tracks of Oregon Trail pioneers and ancient dinosaurs from the perfect perch of your bicycle. Now imagine doing it in a weekend with all-inclusive support from one of Oregon’s premier bike tour operators.
Treo Bike Tours has put together a “Journey Through Time” ride that departs from Portland on August 25th and they have a limited number of spaces available.
For $565, you’ll get an all-inclusive ride that includes, lodging, food and snacks, full ride support, and door-to-door shuttle service (via a fully-stocked bus with nice big windows) from Portland to the dream-worthy roads of eastern Oregon. I’m not just promoting this trip because Treo is paying me. I’ve done these rides and can vouch not only for the excellent routes and mind-blowing landscapes they roll through; but also for the world-class hospitality of Treo proprietors Phil and Cathy Carlson. To get a better sense of what to expect, check out the photos and reports I did from a trip on these same routes back in 2014.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 27th, 2017 at 12:02 pm
A week from today three politicians will come together to learn more about transportation issues facing east Portland. And there’s a lot to talk about.
On August 3rd, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, State Representative Janelle Bynum and Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega-Pederson will be joined by staff from the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other organizations for a Public Forum on Transportation.
The event was spurred in part by a flurry of legislative and planning activity on two of east Portland’s most infamous and important arterials: Powell and Division. The passage of a new statewide transportation law earlier this month included $110 million in funding for outer SE Powell Boulevard and a mandate to transfer its management from the state to the city. Advocates with the East Portland Action Plan have already started organizing to make sure these funds are spent in accordance with the Outer Powell Conceptual Design Plan which calls for creation of an “urban main street” with separated bikeways throughout.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 27th, 2017 at 10:09 am
*Publisher’s note: You might notice this week’s guide looks a little different. That’s because we’re trying some new things with our event offerings… including a new weekly event email to BP Supporters (stay tuned) and the just-launched @PDXBikeEvents Twitter account.
Looks like the stellar weather we’ve been having shows no signs of letting up. Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy it. If you need ideas for things to do on your bike, look no further than this guide and our always-improving Event Calendar.
Here are the best events coming your way this weekend, starting with Portland’s best free breakfast…
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 26th, 2017 at 2:30 pm
On July 1st, David Yarber was riding his three-wheeled bicycle across Southeast Foster Road at 60th when he was hit by an auto user. The person who struck him with their car didn’t stop and was later arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Endangerment.
Now friends of Yarber have turned to GoFundMe to help raise money for his recovery.
Yarber’s recovery is even more complicated because he was born with cerebral palsy. Friends of his who reached out to BikePortland to share word of his fundraising campaign said that he was still unable to walk by himself two weeks after the collision. He’ll require a live-in physical therapist in order to regain his ability to walk and the independence that comes with it.
According to his GoFundMe page Yarber’s medical bills have already exceeded the Medicaid allowance and the government won’t pay for a live-in therapist. He has no immediate family to take care of him.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 26th, 2017 at 9:28 am
One way to change the culture at an out-of-touch government agency is to fill its ranks with people who “get it”. In the case of the Oregon Department of Transportation, they need more staff with fresh perspectives on our state’s mobility problems and potential solutions.
If you’re a transportation professional — or have always dreamed of being one — now is a good time to take a look at ODOT jobs. With a statewide hiring freeze just lifted, the agency has a massive backlog of positions to fill.
Last week I received several emails from ODOT sources encouraging people who are “multimodal savvy” (a.k.a. those who think biking, walking and transit deserve respect and priority over single-occupancy motorized vehicles) to consider applying for a long list of job openings (see them below).
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 26th, 2017 at 8:47 am
A new program being run by the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force is showing early returns.
Yesterday in Old Town a man was arrested after stealing a bicycle that was equipped with a tracking device. The bike is just one in a growing fleet of bait bikes being deployed by the Task Force. It’s all part of the PPB’s ongoing effort to discourage bike theft.
As GPS devices have improved and become more accessible in recent years, the technology is finally becoming more common with law enforcement agencies. As we reported in 2015, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office arrested thieves who nabbed a bait bike from Reed College. And just last week the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was featured in a KGW-TV news story about their bait bike program.
A Washington County Sheriff told KGW, “We hope the word gets out that if you try to steal a bike… we’re going to catch you. We want the public to know that, bicycle owners to know that, as well as potential bike thieves.” (Note: I’ve been in touch with Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett to connect his officers with Portland officers for a bit of knowledge-sharing about their respective programs.)
Officer David Sanders leads the PPB Bike Theft Task Force unit. For him, using bait bikes is an important step to keep up with thieves — some of whom are now taking the unusual step of modifying serial numbers to avoid being tracked down.
I spoke with Sanders yesterday about the new bait bike program.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 25th, 2017 at 4:48 pm
Last week we roared past our 1,000th job listing!
And the best part is that we’ve successfully filled over 400 of them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at an event and had someone tell me, “I got my job through BikePortland! Thanks!”. I love when that happens.
Our job listings work because have a quality audience of smart and engaged readers and we an excellent pool of local businesses. It’s a testament to the community we’ve built and we’re honored to play a role in making it even stronger. Connecting the right people to the right job is a building block of what makes Portland’s bike scene tick.
OK enough navel-gazing… We’ve got a few new jobs to share. Whether you’re looking for a foot in the door or a shift in your career, we’ve got several opportunities that might pique your interest…
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 25th, 2017 at 2:08 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 25th, 2017 at 10:14 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 24th, 2017 at 2:11 pm
While there’s been a bit of a shakeout since the artisan bike maker heyday of years past, Portland is still home to many great builders. One of them is hardwood bike specialist Renovo. Under the tutelage of Ken Wheeler, the company (celebrating their 10th anniversary this year) has found a solid niche.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 24th, 2017 at 1:38 pm
Ever since Better Block PDX popped onto the scene in 2013, this all-volunteer group of tactical urbanists has captured our imagination. Their daring and creative street transformation projects have had a real impact on how we experience transportation. And more importantly, their projects have influenced hearts and minds of thousands of Portlanders, including many of whom work at 1221 SW Fourth Avenue.
Long before Better Naito became a City Hall darling, the idea was hatched by Better Block volunteers over beers and pizza. In years past, the group would choose its projects based on an internal and informal process.
Now for the first time they’ve opened up the decision-making to the public. If you have an idea for how to make a section of streetscape better, Better Block wants to hear from you.
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 24th, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Until last week, I probably expressed more of my thoughts about Oregon’s new bike tax on Twitter than I had here on the blog.
Sometimes when I have a lot to say about a complicated, or sensitive, or generally unwieldy issue, it’s hard for me to organize all my thoughts into coherent sentences (I know, a bad trait for a writer).
So when a KATU (local ABC affiliate) producer reached out last week and asked if I’d be on their Your Voice, Your Vote show, I was happy to oblige. I was on the Sunday morning news show five years ago and had a great experience. Back then the topic was a proposal to license bicycle riders. After both myself and the man proposing the idea had a chance to explain our views in a neutral setting, the proposal went away and was never heard about again (hmm, I wonder why?).
Then and now, I relished the opportunity to explain my views in a calm and professional format with an experienced broadcast journalist as moderator. It’s the opposite of arguing on the Internet.