bikes and disasters

Disaster Relief Trials back (and bigger) for second year

Avatar by on May 7th, 2013 at 9:41 am

Disaster Relief Trials -84

Joe Partridge competing in the 2012 event.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Disaster Relief Trials, an event that showcases the capabilities of cargo bikes in disaster response, will be bigger and better and this year. After a successful inaugural event last year (which has already spawned similar events in Boulder and Seattle), organizers have loaded up the event with new sponsors, new events, a larger expo area, a new location, and much more.

The idea behind the DRT is to put cargo bikes and their riders through a series of tasks that simulate how the bikes would function in response to a major natural disaster (such as an earthquake) when fuel is rationed and roads and bridges are impassible by motor vehicles. Last year, 30 competitors participated while a HAM radio-powered command center tracked their movements via a home base at Velo Cult bicycles in Hollywood.
[Read more…]

Emergency expert now consultant for using bikes during disasters

Avatar by on April 25th, 2013 at 9:55 am

Joe Partridge at OATS

Joe Partridge at the Oregon Active
Transportation Summit yesterday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Following the tsunami in Japan in 2011, the idea of using bicycles in response to major disasters has quickly gained momentum around the country. Now the former Deputy for Planning and Preparedness for Multnomah County’s Emergency Management Disivion, Joe Partridge, has left his job at the County to launch Genevieve Consulting. One of the main focus areas of Partridge’s new company is, “integrating bikes and active transportation into emergency management”

You might recall Partridge’s perspective on bikes and disasters from an interview we published with him back in May 2011. Now Partridge is combining his expertise from 15 years of working in emergency management with his respect and appreciation of bicycles to take his ideas to the next level. Partridge had a booth at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit yesterday and is already making connections with government agencies and advocates throughout the state.

Here’s more about his new business:[Read more…]

More from the bikes/disaster front

Avatar by on December 13th, 2012 at 11:53 am

Disaster Relief Trials -77

Ready for the apocalypse.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Along with women on bikes, another major biking theme that has gone from trend to full-fledged movement in 2012 is the connection between bicycles and disasters. From our local efforts here in Portland, to national attention thanks to hurricane Sandy, this is an idea whose time has come.

Check out the developments below, all of which underscore the momentum the bikes/disaster connection has going for it.

Local filmmaker Joe Biel of Cantakerous Titles is working on a documentary about last summer’s Disaster Relief Trials event. Joe filmed the event while being pulled in a cargo trailer and earlier this week he released a trailer of the forthcoming documentary:[Read more…]

City of Portland releases video about bikes in New York City after Sandy

Avatar by on November 29th, 2012 at 11:57 am

“Bikes prove useful in Sandy aftermath,”
reads PBEM home page.

The idea that bicycles can play a large role in how cities respond to natural disasters continues to gain momentum. What started as something of a niche curiosity here in Portland, has matured into a serious topic of discussion among bike advocates and the national media (thanks in large part to superstorm Sandy). Now it seems city governments are taking note. And again, Portland is taking the lead.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has just released a video about the role bicycles played in Sandy. I thought they were making a more general video about bikes and disasters; but it turned out to focus entirely on my post-Sandy experiences in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was happy to share my perspectives on the topic and I’m excited that PBEM has taken such a keen interest. Watch the video below…[Read more…]

National spotlight shines on role of bikes in disaster response

Avatar by on November 20th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Screen grab of The Rachel Maddow Show last night.

It’s been a good year for the idea that bikes are the ultimate disaster response vehicles.

What started as a niche thing here in Portland (promoted by a few emergency preparedness hobbyists with a penchant for cargo bikes), spread east to New York after superstorm Sandy; and then last night the idea made its big, prime-time national cable TV debut.
[Read more…]

KGW TV: “Bikes can be a lifeline” after disaster strikes

Avatar by on November 6th, 2012 at 10:23 am

Screen grab of Woodlawn’s cargo bike disaster response unit.
– Watch video below –

KGW TV (Portland’s NBC affiliate station) ran a feature segment last night about how cargo bikes will play a role in our disaster response plans. It’s a story we shared back in March, and after superstorm Sandy proved once again that bikes are the most reliable and resilient form of transportation after a major natural disaster, the story is even more timely.

“When roads are wiped out, and supplies scarce,” noted KGW reporter Abbey Gibb, “bikes can be a lifeline… Cargo bikes, and bikes in general, are the simplest answer.”[Read more…]

Tales from a post-Sandy bus commute

Avatar by on November 3rd, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Bikes next to bus line

Huge lines formed for subway replacement buses, while bike traffic streamed by.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

While Sandy recovery continues, signs of hope on two wheels

Avatar by on November 1st, 2012 at 4:27 pm

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East Village residents happily hop onto a free bike-powered charging station provided by activist group Times Up.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Biking and walking rule in a city sans subway

Avatar by on October 31st, 2012 at 12:33 pm

NYC sans subway-11

While the subway tracks sat empty, the path on the Queensboro Bridge was at capacity this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Biking Brooklyn after Sandy

Avatar by on October 30th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Cycling the aftermath of Sandy-29

Bushwick resident Avery Brooks rides past piles of bricks that fell of a building near Kent Ave. in Williamsburg.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

After last night’s dramatic storm, New Yorkers woke up this morning to see what Sandy had left behind. She made a mess. A big mess.[Read more…]