Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Portland’s ‘Growing Transit Communities’ worth supporting for bikeways, bus upgrades

By on August 30th, 2017 at 2:40 pm

From PBOT’s Enhanced Transit Corridors plan.

If we don’t want these additional buses stuck in the same traffic, we need to provide dedicated space on our streets for them.

This post was written by Luke Norman, a BP subscriber and volunteer with Portland Bus Lane Project.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Growing Transit Communities Plan is slated for a hearing (and possible adoption) on September 6th. Now is the time to learn about it and consider sharing your feedback.

The plan is primarily focused on improving access to TriMet bus lines 20, 77, & 87, which include some great safety and connectivity projects for people walking and biking. However, hidden in the document are two corridor studies that have the potential to significantly increase transit connections for East Portland residents.
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The Ride: To the Oregon coast and back via Nestucca River Road

By on August 30th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Dirty Sellwood Ride-15.jpg
Nestucca River Road is a fantastic way to get from Portland to the coast.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Riding to the coast from the city is something of a rite of passage for many Portlanders. Getting there via Nestucca River Road is a privilege.

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to try it for the first time as part of the Dirty Sellwood ride. The ride was the fifth annual epic ride collaboration between two great bike shops and their owners: Erik Tonkin of Sellwood Cycle Repair in Portland and Mitchell Buck of Dirty Fingers Bikes in Hood River.
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With letter to City Council, new coalition launches fight against I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on August 30th, 2017 at 9:04 am

Screen grab from No More Freeways website.

A new coalition of Portland-area organizations and individuals have joined forces to oppose the Oregon Department of Transportation’s I-5/Broadway/Weidler Interchange project.

With support that includes the Audubon Society of Portland, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Community Cycling Center, Neighbors for Clean Air, the NAACP, and others, a group called No More Freeways launched a website and social media accounts today. Their target is a public hearing on the Central City Plan scheduled for Portland City Council on September 7th.

In advance of that hearing the group has sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four city commissioners outlining their opposition to the I-5 project. The goal of their campaign is to get three specific projects stripped from Portland’s Transportation System Plan (which could then trigger Metro to remove them from the all-powerful Regional Transportation Plan) and to hasten the implementation of a congestion pricing plan. Here are the three projects (and their estimated cost) as they appear today in the TSP (PDF):
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Planned widening of I-5 at the Rose Quarter is Portland’s next big freeway fight

By on August 29th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

I-5 at Rose Quarter

As the project moves forward, so to are efforts to stop it.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The initial draft of Oregon’s just-passed transportation bill was an audacious money-grab from misguided politicians and the freeway advocates that fuel them. Thankfully, the final version that Governor Kate Brown signed into law today in Portland dramatically scaled-back our investment in urban freeway widening projects; but not completely.

One of the winners in the bill was a project that will expand Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter — right through the heart of Portland’s central city. And with City Council poised for a vote to add the project into Portland’s Transportation System Plan on September 7th, activists are laying the groundwork for another freeway fight.
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A tour of Washington County’s new ‘bike infrastructure theme park’

By on August 29th, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Looking north toward Highway 26.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

– Words and photos by BP Subscriber and Washington County Correspondent Naomi Fast

I took a tour of some of Washington County’s hot-off-the-asphalt-truck bicycle infrastructure, and my verdict is in: it’s worthy of inviting guests from Portland to come check it out.

So come take a virtual ride with me!
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Subscriber Post: The Defensive Rider and the right hook

By on August 29th, 2017 at 8:08 am

Bike box at Broadway and Taylor from above-1
A near-right hook on Southwest Broadway.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This article was written by BP Subscriber John Liu.

This is the first of a series of planned Subscriber Posts on how to ride a bicycle defensively in the imperfect city.

Why read this post?

This post is meant to share riding skills for people who want to take extra precautions against drivers who are distracted, careless, aggressive, inexperienced, or simply fallible humans. And for responsible drivers who don’t ever want to hurt or kill a bicycle rider due to their driving.
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The Monday Roundup: Walking and biking while black, cars and climate change, HUD’s dud, and more

By on August 28th, 2017 at 9:30 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Urban Tribe, the affordable family cargo bike.

Welcome to the week! (Note: I’m out of the office today doing this. Please be patient if any issues or news arises. I’ll be back at my desk Monday evening.)

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

Injustice in Louisiana: A jaw-dropping combination of cultural dysfunction on display as three black men are cited for not wearing reflective clothing and blocking a public road — after they were hit and injured by a motor vehicle user on a road with no sidewalks. I don’t even know where to begin. Thankfully Streetsblog took a stab at explaining it.

Portland’s problem with race: An ex-Portlander penned a must-read about why he — and other people of color — are leaving our fair city. One person quoted in the piece said she’s afraid to bike at night. “No way. I’m Black. Even Black people are shocked to see Black people ride their bikes here.” (Note: I’m working on a follow-up to my post about white supremacy. Thank you for all your amazing comments!)

Driving is the problem: Love this piece from Vox that lays out an inconvenient truth for many enviros and progressives who are afraid to aggressively discourage driving (or who don’t see that it’s imperative). Say it with me (and replace “California” with your state): “California has a climate problem, and its name is cars.”
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At vigil, Tamar Monhait’s family remembers their ‘angel’ while activists demand changes

By on August 26th, 2017 at 6:15 am

Tamar Monhait rally and vigil-1.jpg

Mourners gathered at the cramped intersection where Tamar Monhait’s life was cut short.
(Photos by Pat Rafferty for BikePortland)

Story by Patrick Rafferty

Dozens gathered on the cramped corner of SE Taylor Street and Water Avenue to mourn the loss of Tamar Monhait on Friday evening.

Vans full of Hood-to-Coast runners breezed through the intersection throughout the vigil, which only further hammered home the recurring theme of the evening: infrastructure pushed past its limits in a growing city.
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Cyclocross season is upon us: Here’s a guide to the action

By on August 25th, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Cross Crusade in Bend-55.jpg

Time to start planning your practicing, racing, spectating, and costumes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Believe it or not, it’s time to start think about cyclocross.
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Every day she chalks ‘Black Lives Matter’ in a bike lane, and every day someone erases it

By on August 25th, 2017 at 10:15 am

Chalk on NW 2nd Avenue bike lane in Old Town.
(Photos: Maria Cahill)

Maria Cahill has taken her fight against racism to a bike lane in Old Town. As an organizer with Irene’s Circle, a nonprofit that supports families impacted by police violence and hate crimes, it’s just one of the ways she exercises her commitment to justice.

Every day for nearly a month now, Cahill has chalked a message into the protected bike lane on NW 2nd Avenue right outside the Japanese American History Museum. Sometimes she’ll write, “All lives will matter when Black Lives Matter” and other times simply, “Black Lives Matter.”

Portlander John Russell leads free walking tours in downtown Portland. He has seen the chalked message many times — and he’s also noticed that it gets washed away each time. “Who cleans it off each day?” he wrote in a Facebook post yesterday. “A white guy who works for Portland’s Downtown Clean and Safe crew goes out of his way to clean it off. He doesn’t bother with other chalk in the neighborhood. Just this one.”[Read more…]

County says NW Newberry road will be fixed by summer/fall 2018

By on August 25th, 2017 at 8:43 am

Landslide and damage to NW Newberry.
(Photo: Multnomah Countyu)

Multnomah County issued advisories for two roads in the west hills that are popular with local riders.

They’ve released a date for when NW Newberry will be fixed and re-opened. And they’ve announced a new, upcoming closure of the west side of NW Germantown.

Winter storms pummeled NW Newberry Road into submission, causing a major landslide about a half-mile up from Highway 30. The landslide caused the pavement of the northern (uphill) lane to completely split apart and fall down a hill. As a result, Multnomah County closed the road on January 18th. Concrete jersey barriers were placed across the road in both directions. While the road is technically closed, bicycle riders have continued to use it by going around the barriers to enjoy a quiet and safe, carfree road.

At a recent public meeting, County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson said a federal grant has helped with the repair project. Yesterday, the County issued a statement saying they’ve begun working on a retaining wall needed to support the new road. Construction is set to begin in late spring 2018 and the road should reopen to all users by late summer/early fall of the same year.
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Video of Water Avenue collision provides vital evidence

By on August 24th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Arrow points to Tamar Monhait just before the collision. Note that she is more than half-way through.
(Image taken from video of collision)

The Portland Police Bureau are now have clear video evidence of the collision that resulted in the death of Tamar Monhait early Monday morning.

A camera facing southwest from Water Avenue Coffee caught the tragic incident and owner Matt Milletto has forwarded the video to the PPB investigator working on the case.

I watched the video today. I’m not going to share it out of respect for how it might impact people’s emotions; but I will attempt to explain what I saw.
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Water Avenue business owner wants safety improvements, and PBOT already has some planned

By on August 24th, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Matt Milletto of Water Avenue Coffee-2.jpg

Matt Milletto of Water Avenue Coffee, standing in the intersection where Tamar Monhait was hit Monday morning, is tired of the dangerous driving in his neighborhood.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Matt Milletto, the owner of Water Avenue Coffee, has seen enough. The death of 41-year-old Tamar Monhait just steps away from his front door has spurred him into action.

During the monthly meeting of the Central Eastside Industrial Council last night, Milletto stepped forward during the public comment period to share his concerns about the intersection of Water Avenue and Taylor. I wasn’t there but heard from a source in the room that he spoke forcefully about the need for something to be done. I met Milletto today to hear his perspective first-hand.
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A chance to tell ODOT what their spending priorities should be

By on August 24th, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Current STIP project map showing projects that are in design (blue), under construction (orange), or completed (green).
(See full, interactive map here.)


Track it, comment on it, learn about it.

If left to their own devices the Oregon Department of Transportation would spend all our money on infrastructure that puts the needs of motor vehicle operators above all else. That’s because despite high-minded claims to the contrary, ODOT is still a motor-first agency at its core with a few reform-minded projects, staffers, and policies around the edges.

Take the “performance report” they released earlier this month. While billed as a serious analysis of a major problem, independent economist Joe Cortright with City Observatory saw it more as propoganda. “While packaged as a ‘performance report’ on the region’s highways,” Cortright wrote in a sharp rebuke published on August 8th, “this document is really a sales brochure for upcoming ODOT investments to widen three Portland area freeways.”
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PBOT officially opens the nine-mile, $4.5 million, 20s Bikeway

By on August 24th, 2017 at 11:07 am

28th-Powell bike signal.jpg

One of the centerpieces of the new 20s Bikeway is this updated crossing of SE Powell Blvd at 28th that includes median islands and a bike-only traffic signal.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Four years after planning work got underway and seven years after it was funded, the City of Portland will officially open the 20s Bikeway today.
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Weekend Event Guide: Cross Crusade kickoff, Giro PDX, Bike Scout scavenger hunt, and more

By on August 24th, 2017 at 8:38 am

Bike games are the best games. Sunday’s Bike Scout Scavenger Hunt is a must-try.
(Photo: Filmed by Bike/Bike Scout)

Can you believe it? Cross is almost here.

This Sunday the venerable Cross Crusade holds its kickoff bash. Now’s the time to commit to a season pass and prep your body, mind, and bike for the upcoming season.

Of course there’s also a few fun options for more laid-back riders. Roll southeast for a chill ride with our friends from Bike Milwaukie or grab some friends and do the Bike Scout Scavenger Hunt.

Here’s the guide to all the goodness…

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Tamar Monhait: Photos from the intersection and remembrances from those who knew her

By on August 22nd, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Tamar Monhait.
(Image by DANAVA)

As we wait to learn more about what happened in Monday morning’s fatal collision, I’ve tried to learn more about Tamar Monhait, the 41-year-old artist whose life was cut tragically short.

I went to Southeast Water and Taylor this morning to get a better sense of the intersection and have reached out to those who knew her.

The collision happened just a few feet from a bike corral, a Biketown station, and the street seats of Water Avenue Coffee Company. During the day this intersection is bustling with a mix of industrial truck traffic, walkers and bikers headed to and from the Eastbank Esplanade, patrons of the many popular cafes and bars in the area, and professionals headed to any one of the newly sprouted office buildings that are transforming the central eastside.

Little is known about precisely what happened, but from initial statements by the Portland Police Bureau, we know that Monhait was riding northbound on Water Avenue prior to the collision. She was probably in the freshly-painted bike lane as she approached the intersection with Taylor. It’s a standard, 5-foot wide, unprotected bike lane with no buffer and the striping ends before the intersection. There’s an auto parking lane to the right of the bike lane and a vehicle lane to the left. This is a major city bike route as evidenced by the bikeway signage telling riders to turn east on Taylor to reach northeast and southeast Portland.
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The Ride: One century to rule them all

By on August 22nd, 2017 at 11:56 am

There’s more than one way to get to Vernonia – if you don’t mind getting dirty.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is sponsored by River City Bicycles.

You know I have a soft-spot for Columbia County. A ride I did this weekend made it even softer: A 100-mile loop that pulls together adventurous riding that’s relatively close to Portland and offers everything from expertly crafted singletrack and primitive logging roads to carfree paths and smooth country roads.

I call it the Scappoose Vernonia Singletrack Century.
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Biking to the eclipse was a totality awesome experience

By on August 22nd, 2017 at 8:17 am

Onward to the path for Portlander Sarah Vee.

To all of you who pedaled south from Portland to the path of totality — welcome home!
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The Monday Roundup: Stationless in Seattle, future of bike racing, fixies on trial, and more

By on August 21st, 2017 at 12:56 pm

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by no one. We need advertisers! Text me at (503) 706-8804 or email for more details.

We hope you enjoyed the eclipse. Wasn’t it cool?!

Here are the best stories we came across last week…
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