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Montréal’s amazing murals are a free street-level art gallery that’s always open

By on June 6th, 2017 at 3:59 pm

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Suddenly the wall comes alive with color and expression.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Public street murals are more than just pretty paintings on walls, they’re signs of a healthy city. By that measure, Montréal is full of life. The city is teeming with such a variety and volume of murals my head was literally spinning nearly as fast as my wheels as I cycled through its streets for the past four days.
[Read more…]

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The Street Trust: Oregon transpo bill falls short on Safe Routes to School

By on June 6th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Bike to School Day in NoPo-17

The current bill would only improve streets within one-quarter mile of schools.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Staff and supporters from The Street Trust are pedaling to Salem today with a message for legislators: The $8.2 billion transportation bill doesn’t do enough to fund Safe Routes to School. Not nearly enough.

While lawmakers want to fast-track nearly $2 billion for a few freeway expansion projects in the Portland region, they want to dedicate just $10 million a year to the Safe Routes to School program.

LeeAnne Fergason, who heads up The Street Trust’s For Every Kid Coalition, wrote in an email last week that $10 million per year “is not adequate.”

In House Bill 2017, lawmakers have proposed $10 million a year for 10 years to be spent to, “improve sidewalks; reduce vehicle speeds; improve pedestrian and bicycle crossings; create or improve bicycle lanes; or improve traffic diversion” within a quarter-mile of schools. The money would also only be available to agencies and organizations that could come up with a 40 percent match (meaning grant applicants would have to come up with 40% of the project cost from their own budgets in order to receive any state money).

The language in HB 2017 falls far short of what The Street Trust has been lobbying for. They want the bill to include provisions in House Bill 3230, which they helped write in collaboration with Portland House Representative Rob Nosse Representative John Lively from Springfield and Senator Kathleen Taylor from Milwaukie. That bill sailed through the House in April but hasn’t moved forward in the Senate. Here’s a chart created by The Street Trust that shows the difference between HB 3230 and HB 2017.
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Jobs of the Week: Veloguy, Splendid Cycles, Knight Composites, Cycle Portland, Cyclepath

By on June 6th, 2017 at 6:57 am

Five fresh opportunities have been posted this past week (or so).

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bike Tour Guide/ Rental Shop staff – Cycle Portland

–> Inside Sales Representative – Knight Composites (Bend)

–> Mechanic/sales – Cyclepath

–> Experienced Mechanic/Sales for Cargo & E-bike Shop – Spendid Cycles

–> Mobile Bicycle Business For Sale (Eugene) – Veloguy
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Vehicular terrorism, trackless streetcar, fashion police, and more

By on June 5th, 2017 at 10:59 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by The Weekender, a three-day event (July 7-9) by Cycle Oregon with rides, fun and friends.

While I’ve been in Montréal the past several days (headed home in a few minutes), I’ve continued to watch the news unfold. Things are getting heavy out there on our streets in more ways than one.

Here are the most memorable stories that came across my desk this week…
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Tour de l’Île: The largest ride I’ve ever done

By on June 4th, 2017 at 5:33 pm

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Start line of the 33rd annual Tour de l’Île on Avenue du Parc.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today I took part in the largest ride of my life: the 33rd annual Tour de l’Île in Montréal. I was one of 25,000 people to enjoy a completely carfree journey around this island city.
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Riding Montréal’s Tour la Nuit (photos)

By on June 2nd, 2017 at 11:01 pm

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Rolling down Rue Berri near the start.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you were in charge of a bicycle advocacy organization and needed to raise awareness about the importance of using lights at night, what would you do?

19 years ago Vélo Québec decided to have a night ride. They called it Tour la Nuit. The first year a few thousand people showed up. Tonight, under cool and rainy skies, I joined about 15,000 other people on the 12-mile route. We pedaled on gloriously carfree streets from the city center to an industrial area south of town, and then back again.
[Read more…]

2017 Oregon transportation bill: Here’s how to make your voice matter

By on June 2nd, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-9

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our elected representatives need to hear what you think of the $8.2 billion transportation package.

The Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization just released the full details for the upcoming hearings for House Bill 2017. And The Street Trust is riding to Salem for one of them.

Here are the details:
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Pioneer Century, Pedalpalooza, and more

By on June 2nd, 2017 at 6:32 am

Quite a variety of rides to choose from this weekend.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s June and every Portland calendar is absolutely jam-packed. Not only is everyone psyched for summer, but it’s also Pedalpalooza season!

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

There are 41 events on the Pedalpalooza calendar from now through Sunday. If you can’t find a ride you love this weekend you don’t love cycling.
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Oregon’s $8 billion transportation bill promises ‘congestion relief’ by doubling down on highways

By on June 2nd, 2017 at 4:57 am

Policymakers Ride-21

Too much of one, not enough of the other.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The speculations are over and now the debates can begin.

On Wednesday night a bipartisan committee of state legislators released the first draft of the transportation funding package. The 298-page House Bill 2017 aims to raise $8.2 billion over the next 10 years from a combination of increases to existing taxes and fees, and a few new ones.

The bill tilts heavily toward major new investments in roads and highways that will make driving more convenient. Local bus services get a boost, while investment in light rail is explicitly prohibited. Biking and walking see an amount of dedicated investment that’s unprecedented compared to past packages; but is still embarrassingly small relative to other priorities.

The broad outlines of the bill are similar to what has been discussed during recent meetings of the 14-member Joint Transportation Preservation and Modernization Committee. But there are several noteworthy new details to discuss.
[Read more…]

Headed to Canada to cover the Go Bike Montréal festival

By on June 1st, 2017 at 6:10 am

It feels strange heading to Montréal for a big bike festival on the first day of Portland’s big bike festival. But that’s exactly what I’m doing, thanks to an invite from advocacy group Vélo Québec.

From today through the weekend I’ll immerse myself in the street and bicycle culture of what has historically been considered one of North America’s most bike-friendly cities. Montreal built their first protected bike lane in the 1980s, making them a pioneer in prioritizing cycling. They also helped spark a global revolution by creating one of the earliest and most robust bike share systems from the ground up.

This summer Montréal celebrates its 375th birthday and Vélo Québec turns 50 years old. Those milestones will make the annual Go Bike Montréal festival — which is expected to attract over 50,000 people — even bigger this year. The event is a week of bike rides and events that aim to showcase the city and cycling.
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Heed this wisdom to be a Pedalpalooza pro

By on May 31st, 2017 at 5:07 pm

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It’s here. Hope you’ve been practicing your high-fives.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s epic month of bike rides and events starts tomorrow. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the annual Pedalpalooza festival. It’s the 16th year in a row Shift has helped us celebrate the social exhiliration and of bicycling with a slate of rides organized and led by people in the community like you and me. It’s a phenomenonal display of community connectedness unlike anything I’ve seen in the cycling world and we hope you plan to be a part of it

If you are going to join in any one of the 262 rides on the calendar (so far) this month, there are a few things you should know to make sure your experience reaches its full potential. And on a more serious note, there are a few things you should do to make sure your experience doesn’t end up making bad memories (or worse) for you, your friends, or the people around you.

For our annual Pedalalooza primer we once again turn to bike funnist and Shift volunteer Chris “Fool” McCraw. He recently shared some important pits of wisdom:

Tips for maximum Pedalpalooza enjoyment

Neighborhoods to Nature Ride-1

A well-stocked pannier is always a good idea.

Get that tune-up, stock up on spare tubes, and make sure your butt loves your saddle. It’s the last minute NOW because you want to have your bike ready before the fun really gets started on June 1st!

Now get yourself tuned up — do you know where your summer bike clothes are? Been putting off that doctor’s appt? Been to see the barber? Nobody wants to stop riding with a few thousand of their closest friends to take care of stuff that could happen anytime, and you know you wanna be in top shape to enjoy the rides and be looking sharp for the cutie you’re sure to meet on the happy streets. Might not be a bad idea to get caught up on laundry, too.

Next up it’s time to get stocked! Easy frozen meals to heat & eat when you get home exhausted and just wanna crawl into bed? Favorite hangover cure — available in quantity? Portable intoxicant of choice — need to hit costco or stumptown to get enough? Beer is easy on the fly, but if you’re more of a liquor is quicker, candy is dandy kinda person — do it in advance: visit your local dispensary, or anyway get the things you can’t make happen at a quickie mart mid-ride or en-route done on your schedule instead of missing the pre-party for Loud and Lit because you have to find the last liquor store in town still open.

Almost ready — but is your pedalpalooza survival kit all ready to go? Picnic blanket, hearty snacks, condoms, band-aids & aspirin, flat-fix kit, extra headlight batteries, and fliers for your ride to hand out to folks at other rides are all recommended. Got Costumes for the WNBR and beyond? Might as well figure all that out during the calm before the storm!

Help take care of yourself and others: These three steps go a long way toward creating inclusive, safe(r) bike fun!

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Pedalpalooza is a wild ride, with too little sleep and sometimes too much booze. While we’re out having fun, I want to ask YOU to help take care of yourself and others. These three steps go a long way toward creating inclusive, safe(r) bike fun!

1) Have a plan & Look out for your own well being

When you go on rides that may take you out of your comfort zone, know thyself – might you end up riding longer than expected without a food stop that fits your diet? Might you end up somewhere you’ve never been before? These are near-certainties, so make sure you’re prepared – have a spare inner tube, have a bike map, have a friend you can call if you get stranded (very few rides will leave the cell service area, and those that do are generally described as fairly long rides), and have some substantial snacks and water. Make friends on the ride so that even if you don’t have what you need – you now know someone who might let you borrow their phone or share their snack or patch kit.

2) Be aware of your situation

Both on and off the bike, be aware of your environment. We are traffic, but we are mortal, so watch out for anyone operating a vehicle erratically and be defensive about not getting creamed or even bumping someone else – on a bike or in a car! Having a dance party on the springwater? Cool! Just be aware of nearby residents and of wandering off by yourself to pass out or even make out – safety first (or third – but think about it as you go!)

3) Look out for each other

This one is a bit less obvious than the other two, but as a community of bike funnists, we have to take care of each other. Specifically, be on the lookout for folks who seem so intoxicated that they won’t be able to ride safely home, and try to help them figure out a remedy – be that getting them a ride buddy or an Uber. On a similar note, CONSENT IS SEXY. This goes for sexual stuff of course – be the person you want to wake up and see in the mirror tomorrow – but also goes for peer pressure and intoxication – if your new friend doesn’t want to drink another beer or take another toke, don’t shame them into it. We don’t need to make any more depressing statistics or have someone’s life get fucked up. Check out these resources on consent that I hope you’ll read – it’ll take 2 minutes and you’ll be an awesomer person for reading them and helping others who haven’t read them keep them in mind even when drunk.

Have fun out there Portland! I’ll miss the first few days (headed to Montréal tomorrow!) but I can’t wait to join you in the streets when I get back.

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Help make biking better in Beaverton via this online open house

By on May 31st, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Beaverton’s bike network will be better if you share your feedback.

The City of Beaverton has opened a virtual open house for their first-ever Active Transportation Plan. The plan, which also includes walking-related infrastructure of course, will help city staff implement the right facilities in the right places.
[Read more…]

New path in Waterfront Park part of Naito’s emerging role in bike network

By on May 31st, 2017 at 9:42 am

This new path is just one sign of Naito’s emerging significance in the downtown bikeway network.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sorry Portland Business Alliance, but the evolution of downtown streets will continue with or without your approval.

The business lobbying group (known around here as “the PBA”) that used to have considerable sway over downtown decision-making, made their opposition to the Better Naito project clear last week. And while the PBA might feel better when the temporary biking and walking-only lane gets removed in September, they’ll soon realize it’s just one of many moves the Portland Bureau of Transportation is making to update downtown streets. And those updates are all aimed at doing the same thing as Better Naito: create more space for biking so it becomes safer and more convenient for more people.

With Better Naito, a new (permanent) path to connect to the Steel Bridge, and several other recent developments, the future of Portland’s downtown bike network is taking shape and Naito Parkway plays a leading role.

Here’s how just a few parts of this emerging bike network figure into that future…
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Street art celebrating ‘Black Williams’ to be unveiled Saturday

By on May 30th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Two of the signs that will be erected as part of the project.
(Project art samples: City of Portland)

Hank’s Dairy, Les Femmes, House of Sound, Fred Hampton’s Health Clinic — these are all important parts of the history of North Williams Avenue that have been all but erased today.

The ‘Black Williams Project‘ — which will be unveiled this Saturday June 3rd — aims to re-insert these places and the people who made them, back into our consciousness.

The project is one of the many tangible outcomes of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s North Williams Traffic Safety Project. This project began in January 2011 as an attempt to improve the busy bikeway on Williams Avenue; but after concerns of racism from some people in the community and a lack of black voices involved in the planning process, it morphed into a citywide debate about the role bicycles play in gentrification and systemic discrimination. 18 months later a PBOT stakeholder committee decided on a major redesign of the street. In addition, stakeholders felt that users of the street should have a permanent reminder about the vibrant black culture that existed there long before the new high-rise apartments, breweries, and thousands of daily bicycle commuters.

PBOT committed $100,000 of the project’s $1.5 million budget to the Black Williams Project in July 2013. As we reported last year, the project will include interpretations of the neighborhood’s cultural past through a series of sidewalk tiles, signs, sculptures and kiosks created by local artists Cleo Davis and Kayon Talton Davis. There are 40 art pieces in total.

Now the work is ready and PBOT is hosting a “community celebration” for its unveiling. Here’s a snip from the invitation:

Williams Ave. was once the vibrant heart of Portland’s Black community. Formerly known as the “Black Broadway,” the corridor included a concentration of Black churches, businesses, social service organizations and nightclubs that were thriving and active community institutions.

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This series of tiles related to the Black Panther Party will be embedded into the sidewalk.

Although the landscape has changed, there is much to remember, celebrate and build upon. In 2012, the Williams Ave. Safety Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee recommended to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that these stories be honored through an art history project that would have a prominent place on the corridor. Thus, the community-led Honoring History of Williams Ave. Committee and the Historic Black Williams Project were born.

Since then, local artists Cleo Davis and Kayin Talton Davis have been collecting stories, memories and histories from Black community members… We hope that this project will serve as both a visual archive and an inspiration for future community efforts.

At Saturday’s event you can expect to hear from the artists and neighborhood leaders and there will be group and self-guided walks.

For more on the art, the artists, and the important context around this project, read this story from The Skanner.

Saturday’s event begins at 12:00 pm at Dawson Park. Check out the event listing for more details.

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The Monday Roundup: A note on MAX attacks, Seattle bike share, fast toddlers and more

By on May 30th, 2017 at 10:13 am

This is not a normal week. I’m not sure when normal will ever return.

While we move on with covering bicycling and related news, my thoughts remain heavy with the many issues surrounding the hate-fueled attacks on innocent people that happened Friday on a light rail train in northeast Portland. I’m not sure what form the incident and its aftermath will take here on BikePortland, but it will have an impact — both on the stories we cover and how we cover them, as well as the content and tone of the daily discussions we have in the comments. On that note, please be extra mindful of other peoples’ feelings and perspectives as we all struggle to cope with the many layers of outrage and newly exposed (for some) reality of these stressful times.[Read more…]

‘Gorge Express’ bus service returns with major upgrades

By on May 26th, 2017 at 9:35 am

The new and improved buses. You can stow your bike down below and get a $5 ride to the Gorge!

In yet another example of the wondrous potential of bus transit, the State of Oregon is starting up their Columbia Gorge Express service starting today.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Metro, Yakima Products, Santiam Bicycle

By on May 26th, 2017 at 8:36 am

Start summer off right with a new job!

Learn more about our latest listings via the links below…

–> Deputy Director – Planning and Development – Metro

–> Consumer Service Rep – Yakima Products

–> Mechanic/sales – Santiam Bicycle

[Read more…]

What does the Portland Business Alliance really think about Better Naito?

By on May 25th, 2017 at 4:28 pm

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Make way for the job creators!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

What does the Portland Business Alliance think about Better Naito; the city’s reconfiguration of Naito Parkway to include a two-way protected bike lane and sidewalk? It depends on who you ask. Or more precisely, it depends on which of their positions will face more public scrutiny.

The PBA, Portland’s most well-established business lobby group with over 1,800 member companies, has issued two official statements on Better Naito. One came in the form of an op-ed from PBA Board of Directors Chair Jim Mark published in the Portland Tribune on Tuesday; the other came from PBA President and CEO Sandra McDonough in the form of a letter dated May 9th and addressed to Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. I obtained that letter (PDF) via a public records request along with 12 other emails sent to Saltzman’s office regarding Better Naito over the past month.
[Read more…]

Killingsworth gets two-way protected bike lanes in Cully neighborhood

By on May 25th, 2017 at 12:11 pm

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An opportunistic move by the Portland Bureau of Transportation has given us a glimpse into the future of biking and walking in the Cully neighborhood.

PBOT recently took advantage of a repaving project on Northeast Killingsworth to build a new striping and crossing treatment that connects NE 55th and 54th Avenues. It’s all part of the $3.3 million “Connected Cully” project that PBOT won funding for via a State of Oregon grant (the 2015-2018 STIP to be exact). I took a closer look at it yesterday.

PBOT has built a two-way bike lane for one block that’s separated from motor vehicle traffic with rubber curbs and plastic wands. Mid-way between 55th and 54th a bicycle rider has the choice to either continue straight or use a crosswalk. The crosswalk has a standard zebra-striped walking area and an additional green cross-bike treatment on both sides (to handle two-way bike traffic). There’s also a new signal with an activation button at the mid-block crossing.

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As you can see in the images, this area gets a lot of walking traffic. I was only there for a few minutes and saw three separate families come by — each of whom had toddlers in tow and were pushing a stroller. And they all used the new bike lane because there are no sidewalks.

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Why here?

The only major destination adjacent to this new bikeway is Trinity Lutheran Christian School. Since that’s a private institution, the changes to Killingsworth wouldn’t have been done as part of the City’s Safe Routes to School program (which focuses on public schools). I asked PBOT Communications Director John Brady about it and he said the new striping and crossing treatment was built as part of a future neighborhood greenway that will run along 55th and 54th Avenues. When PBOT got wind of a paving project on Killingsworth, they re-striped for the future instead of putting things back like they were. Way to go PBOT!

The Connected Cully project includes lots of other changes intended to make it more pleasant to walk and bike in this area. The info below was taken from the PBOT project description included in the ODOT grant application:

What’s in store from the Connected Cully project.

This is just one of several safe streets and active transportation initiatives in the Cully area. As we reported in February, Cully won over $2 million in infrastructure investments that will include a new “biking and walking parkway” on NE 72nd Avenue between Lombard and Fremont.

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Weekend Event Guide: LapQuest, gentrification education, wine country adventure, and more

By on May 25th, 2017 at 10:24 am

Fourth of July party-8

A weekend to fly our flag.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend feels like the calm before the storm. There are noticeably fewer events happening because it seems as though everyone is resting up a bit for the bike-riding, fun-having onslaught of June when Pedalpalooza — and a whole lot of other stuff — starts in earnest.[Read more…]