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Distracted driving, Vision Zero, speed limits and more: Checking in on the Oregon legislative session

By on May 5th, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Distracted driver being distracted.jpg

Lawmakers are poised overhaul Oregon’s cell phone/distracted driving law.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier to hunt animals with your car (seriously), but they want to make it harder to use your phone while doing so.

We’re just over half-way through the 2017 legislative session and it’s time to see how the bills we’ve been tracking are holding up.

As you might recall, back in February we flagged nine House bills and nine Senate bills. (We’re also watching the Joint Transportation Preservation and Modernization Committee. They’re set to unveil the big transportation funding package very soon. It could even happen at their meeting this Monday.)

Some are dead, some are on life support, and some are flourishing and are likely to become law. Here’s the full rundown:

House Bills Still Alive

[Read more…]

Please support BikePortland.

Why did you buy an e-bike? PSU (and the bike industry) wants to know

By on May 5th, 2017 at 10:27 am

Family Bicycle Transportation Day - Oregon Manifest-15

E-bikes help regular people do amazing things.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

E-bikes are everywhere in Portland. Dealers report strong sales, they scored great press in the Willamette Week’s latest bike issue, and I have a feeling that in a few years we won’t remember what our bikeways looked like without them.

Like many trends in the U.S. bike scene, Portland is leading the way. We have a cottage industry of sellers, makers, and tinkerers who are pushing e-bikes into the mainstream. We also have an academic brain trust at Portland State University that has become one of the nations leading places for e-bike research. Portland State University has been researching e-bikes since at least 2011.

Now they’ve inked a partnership with national nonprofits People for Bikes (an advocacy group funded by the bicycle industry) and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association to learn even more about the e-bike market and push it further along into the American mainstream.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Joe Bike and Stages Cycling

By on May 5th, 2017 at 8:16 am

Two more great job opportunities were listed this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Custom-Build Specialist – Joe Bike

–> Accounting Clerk – Stages Cycling
[Read more…]

Free and easy: Portland loosens rules for carfree block parties

By on May 4th, 2017 at 5:18 pm

From a PBOT email sent out yesterday.

Streets are not just for driving on. This is a fact that the City of Portland’s transportation bureau is embracing wholeheartedly these days. A few new tweaks to the City’s rules for neighborhood block parties is the most recent example.

With spring weather finally here after one of the darkest and wettest and coldest winters on record, Portlanders are ready to party in the street — and PBOT just made it much easier and cheaper to do it officially and safely.

Starting this year PBOT no longer requires block party permit applicants to get signatures from all the residents on the block. All you have to do is share a flyer about the event with your neighbors. Also new this year is the ability to do the entire application online.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Filmed by Bike, tulip farm race, b-ball art, and more

By on May 4th, 2017 at 11:21 am

Filmed by Bike kicks off Friday night and there are 80 films on the schedule.
(Photo: Filmed by Bike)

Our Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus bike locks.

Welcome to (almost) the weekend. It goes without saying that it will be amazing because, well, as I’m sure you know already, the weather has finally turned to dry and warm.[Read more…]

Outside Mag shares tough talk about cars and other ways to make U.S. better for biking

By on May 3rd, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Outside Magazine isn’t usually the place we turn to for the latest perspectives on transportation reform. But an article they published online last week, The bike industry’s sharpest minds on how to make roads safer for cyclists, is worth your attention.

And I don’t say just because it features a bit of a rant by yours truly.

Reporter Jeff Foss asked 11 people for their insights on how to make roads in America nicer to cycle on. I decided to share some of my thoughts about cars and car culture. Below is my blurb, followed by a brief outline of what the other 10 folks said:

The United States has fallen way behind in cycling and traffic safety because we don’t do enough to curtail and regulate automobile use. The auto lobby is kicking our butts, and too many of us don’t seem to mind. Far too often, we settle for incremental progress—a new bike lane here, a new bike law there—when what’s needed are big, bold changes in both culture and infrastructure.
[Read more…]

First look: The tiny (yet important) cycle-track on SW Terwilliger at Capitol Highway

By on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:17 am

New bikeway SW Terwilliger and Cap Hwy-1.jpg

It might not look like much, but it makes a big difference.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The changes are a big improvement.”
— Barbara Stedman, southwest Portland resident

Slowly but surely, the City of Portland is improving bikeways in southwest. Case in point are the recently completed changes to the intersection of SW Capitol Highway and Terwilliger (a.k.a the “teardrop”).

People who ride in this area know the intersection well because it was a common place for close-calls. I experienced this first-hand during a ride-along with a southwest Portland family in 2012 (see photo below). The curvature of the road, mixed with the unprotected bike lane was a bad combination. Fortunately a Portland Water Bureau project provided the impetus to finally fix the bikeway and make something much safer (and we were fortunate that a volunteer advocate spoke up to make sure it happened – thanks Keith Liden!).

Before I share more photos of the new bikeway, here’s how it used to look (note the pinch-point and how the younger rider opts wisely for the sidewalk):[Read more…]

470 bollards not enough to protect ‘Better Naito’ bikeway

By on May 2nd, 2017 at 4:40 pm

seriously man_.jpg

This is supposed to be a carfree lane.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Let me make this as clear as possible: If Portland wants to get more people cycling, we must provide a network of high-quality, physically protected routes that are connected to destinations. Any bikeway that does not provide physical protection from “A to B” that’s both real and perceived is a gap in the network.

I bring this up because of the fanfare that launched Better Naito last week. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fanfare is justified. The volunteers who advocated for the project initially and the city staff that have embraced it have many reasons to be proud. But let us not forget that this is still second-rate infrastructure designed on the cheap.[Read more…]

Alberta, Swan Island and more: City preps Biketown expansion plans

By on May 2nd, 2017 at 1:05 pm

It’s growing.

Coming up on the one-year anniversary of its launch, the City of Portland is set to announce a proposal to expand the Biketown bike share system.
[Read more…]

PBOT wants to crowdsource bike corral usage data with eye on improvements

By on May 2nd, 2017 at 8:54 am

Ex Novo Brewing

Bike corrals have become a common feature of Portland’s streets. Looks like they could use a larger one at Ex Novo on North Flint Ave.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

From St. Johns to Lents, and all points in between, the City of Portland has 145 bike parking corrals. The groupings of blue staple racks have become a standard piece of street furniture and a symbol of Portland’s commitment to cycling.

But how often are they used? Are some overcrowded? Should they be larger? Smaller? And how does Biketown figure into the equation?

These are just some of the questions the Bureau of Transportation hopes to answer with a new, crowdsourced bike corral reporting project. Using a short online form, PBOT wants to know three basic pieces of information: How many bikes are parked at the corral, if they include Biketown bikes, and the date/time of the observation.
[Read more…]

City launches ‘Bike to Books’ art contest to kick off Bike Month

By on May 1st, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Bike to Books launch at Hillsdale Library-6.jpg

Multnomah County Youth Librarian Barbara Head at Bike Storytime in Hillsdale this morning.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland and Multnomah County Library (with an assist from Metro) have teamed up on a novel way to promote National Bike Month: They’re hosting an art contest with a grand prize of having the winners’ design installed as a bike lane character.

Ever notice how some of the bike lane symbols around town have extra special flair? Some are subtle little twists and others are nothing short than a work of art. It’s a tradition that the Portland Bureau of Transportation started back in 1999. And now four lucky young Portlanders will get a chance to have their vision turned into a piece of infrastructure.

The “Bike to Books” program kicked off this morning at the Hillsdale Library. With the library’s book bike (more on that later) parked in the entrance, over a dozen pre-schoolers were treated to a special, bike-themed storytime. Youth Librarian Barbara Head kept the kids entertained (no easy task at that age) with bike books and bike-themed songs. It’s all part of an effort to get people of all ages to bike to the library during the month of May.

Any Multnomah County resident in kindergarten to 12th grade can grab a coloring contest flyer from a library or online and give it your best shot. The contest is open all month long and entrants must return the finished art to a library branch. Four grand prize winners (one for each age category) will get their bike lane art installed. The second place prize is four passes to The Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park and third place gets a Nutcase helmet.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Textalyzer, dooring in Chicago, e-bike surge, and more

By on May 1st, 2017 at 8:18 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the Weekender, Cycle Oregon’s two-day bike bash based in McMinnville July 7th-9th.

Welcome to another Monday in paradise. Hope you enjoyed the sun this past weekend and are rested and ready for another week of news, views, and other fun stuff.

Here are the most noteworthy stories we came across last week…

Vancouver tops in Cascadia: Sightline crunches the numbers (and several other factors) and finds that of the Big Three bike cities in Cascadia, Vancouver tops Portland and a rising Seattle.

Uber’s flying taxis: It’s absolutely amazing that entrepreneurs and rocket scientists will try anything to solve our transportation problems — instead of actually solving our transportation problems.

Musk’s latest: See above.
[Read more…]

Police on the lookout for three suspects in Biketown vandalism case

By on April 28th, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Damage to Biketown station-1.jpg

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police Bureau has a lead on the suspects in the Biketown vandalism case.

As many as 260 bike share bikes — about one quarter of the entire system — at 32 different Biketown stations were vandalized. Through camera footage, the police have obtained images of the vehicle and three of the suspects and they need the public’s help to further the case.

Below is the official statement, followed by images of the suspects and their car:

[Read more…]

Route advisory: MAX and sewer repair will have major impacts on SW Morrison/Yamhill

By on April 28th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

(Map: Bureau of Environmental Services)

If you live, work or play downtown, you need to get prep yourself for significant projects that will have a big impact on the transit couplet of SW Morrison and Yamhill. This corridor runs through the heart of Portland — from the waterfront to west of Pioneer Square.

TriMet is fixing and upgrading its MAX light rail tracks and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is taking the opportunity to make repairs to sewer pipes that run under them.

The takeaway? For three weeks between Sunday April 30th to May 20th, the MAX Blue, Red and Green lines will be disrupted, streets in the area will be closed, and there will be active work zones all over the place. TriMet will use shuttle buses to help keep people moving, but the route closures will lead to heavy traffic (both on roads and on transit) and strange traffic patterns downtown. [Read more…]

Sorry bike thieves, PBOT’s new — more secure — staple racks are finally hitting the streets

By on April 28th, 2017 at 11:34 am

New PBOT bike rack-4.jpg

The first of a new generation — and hopefully a new era of bike theft prevention.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland just raised their game when it comes to providing people with a secure place to park a bicycle.
[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: Norther’s Klickitat, limited edition Breadwinner, and Western Bikeworks big remodel

By on April 28th, 2017 at 9:40 am

The latest from Norther, Western Bikeworks, and Breadwinner.
(Photos by Anthony Bareno (left), Western Bikeworks (middle), Breadwinner Cycles (right).

Portland’s local bike industry is always in flux: coming, going, making it, and breaking it. Because business is a key part of our local scene, we try to keep an eye on it all. Here are three bits of news from local makers and sellers that you should know about.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Community Cycling Center, Western Bikeworks, Cynergy E-Bikes

By on April 28th, 2017 at 9:23 am

Spring hiring season is sell underway at our local bike businesses. Get in on the action by perusing our freshest job listings.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bike Builder & Sales (E-Bikes) – Cynergy E-Bikes

–> New Inventory Coordinator – The Community Cycling Center

–> Assistant Manager – Western Bikeworks (Lovejoy)

[Read more…]

With City’s embrace, an ‘Even Better Naito’ returns to the waterfront

By on April 27th, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Better Naito launch-19.jpg

Naito will never be the same.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2015 it was just a wild idea by a few ambitious urban planning activists: What if we reconfigured Naito Parkway so that there was more room for biking and walking?
[Read more…]

Today: Meet the man riding 2,000 miles with a 350-pound rhino (statue) named Lunar

By on April 27th, 2017 at 9:28 am

Matt Meyer and Lunar the rhino in Portland yesterday. You can meet up with him today at Irving Park.
(Photo: Joe Rowe)

I’ve seen a lot of people use bicycles to raise awareness for various causes over the years, but this one just might take the cake for its combination of eye-catching stunt and serious issue.

Matt Meyer was born and raised in the wilds of the South African bush — but now he’s doing something that’s in many ways even more adventurous: Riding 2,000 of the west coast pulling a life-sized rhinocerous sculpture. Matt’s “Rhino Ride” aims to raise awareness and funding to save wild rhinos from exctinction. And he’s in Portland today for a meet-and-greet.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Ronde/Doyenne double, track clinic, Kelley Point, a poker ride, and more

By on April 27th, 2017 at 7:31 am

2013 De Ronde -7

Get high this weekend on the Ronde and/or Doyenne.
(Photo by J Maus/BikePortland)

Our event guide is brought to you by Abus, makers of fine bike locks. Thank you Abus!

Ready to shed that workday stress and escape into bike adventures? Good. Because we’ve got some fun rides on the menu this week — especially if you’ve been training those legs.
[Read more…]