Portland should create Trick-or-Treat Streets for carfree candy-grabbing fun

by on November 2nd, 2018 at 9:27 am

The only thing they should fear on Halloween are monsters.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Halloween night gave many Portlanders a chance to understand how street design impacts our ability to enjoy our neighborhoods.

While some parts of the city were deserted, leaving would-be candy suppliers dejected — other places were teeming with kids. We’ve heard that some blocks of the posh Alameda neighborhood had toe-to-toe trick-or-treaters with residents saying they had 400-500 visits. We’ve heard from other people who, sadly, had zero or just a few visits.

My family went out with a few others in the Piedmont neighborhood where costumed traffic was pretty light. One family who joined us said they live in the Cully neighborhood east of 42nd. They drove closer-in because their neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks and they didn’t feel safe walking around at night. But even in our neighborhood with its full grid of sidewalks, we were always on lookout for drivers and on high-alert whenever a spooky porch beckoned on the other side of the street.

And if you were online at all this week you probably came across an article based on research that shows Halloween night is one of the deadliest of the year for people on foot.
[Read more…]

An unsanctioned carfree picnic on SW Montgomery today will remind people to connect

by on June 5th, 2018 at 10:00 am

People coming together in the streets is a time-honored Portland tradition.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Just yards away from the horrific hit-and-run last month, and in a society where we are building walls around each other instead of breaking them down, a group of Portlanders plans to reboot a 50-year-old idea: A free, “inclusive Portland picnic”.

“In the wake of intense discord, we’re gathering to connect,” reads a media alert sent out by organizers. “In recent weeks we’ve seen a spate of incidents that have deeply affected our community, including the shooting of John Elifritz; the suspicious circumstances around PSU student Aaron Salazar’s injuries; the vehicular assault of three women on PSU campus; and just this weekend, the conflict between alt-right and anti-fascist factions.”

The plan is to reclaim one block of SW Montgomery (an idea that really isn’t that radical) street between Broadway and 6th from 11:00 to 1:00 pm today. Organizers say they want to create a positive event. There will be invited guests to “collectively imagine what an inclusive Portland might look like and feel like.” There will also be an open mic. [Read more…]

Portlanders move from grief and shock, to activism following horrific hit-and-run

by on May 30th, 2018 at 7:46 am

Looking east toward PSU Urban Plaza from SW Montgomery.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Portlanders are still coming to grips with the traffic violence experienced downtown on Friday. While details about 61-year-old Greg Porter continue to trickle out and the women he hit still recover at an area hospital, leaders in the transportation reform community are moving from grief and shock into action.

Kiel Johnson and Sarah Iannarone (both familiar names to BikePortland readers) are organizing an event next Tuesday (June 5th) that aims to promote an inclusive Portland. Here’s the event description:[Read more…]

A carfree opportunity for SW Montgomery near PSU

by on September 13th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yellow square is the block in question.

Next week Portland State University will officially re-open their business school after a major renovation of the Karl Miller Center on SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th. The small street adjacent to it has been closed for nearly a year during construction and there’s an idea swirling around to keep it that way. Forever.

The blocks of Montgomery on both ends of this section adjacent to PSU’s business school are already carfree. To the west is the PSU Park Blocks — a designated “Clean air corridor” and “Pedestrian zone” that PSU proudly proclaims (via signs attached to bollards) as a “Space free of smoke, pollution, and emissions.” To the east is the PSU Urban Plaza, a legendary petri-dish of carfree urbanism bisected by the streetcar.

To Tim Davis, a Portland civic booster (his Facebook page is “PDXFan”) and author behind, this is a golden opportunity to create more carfree space downtown. Last week he posted the idea to the Bike Loud PDX Facebook page.[Read more…]

Commissioner Fritz floats another idea: Car-free streets

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 26th, 2016 at 10:32 am

Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

The day after she drew criticism for suggesting that biking should be deemphasized compared to transit in city planning, Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz went out of her way to put forth a different proposal.

It came Wednesday at the tail end of a report from Portland Streetcar Inc., the publicly chartered rail transit service that Fritz has become an enthusiastic supporter of. Discussion of one of Streetcar’s perennial problems — getting stuck behind cars, either in traffic or due to parking mishaps — seemed to prompt her to ask a question: do we really want cars to be able to use streetcar lanes at all?

And for that matter, she asked, do we really want cars to be able to use the major biking streets?

[Read more…]

PBOT director in full support of carfree SW Ankeny

by on March 25th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Portland Car Free Days (Day 2)

Carfree SW Ankeny, as seen during
a special event in 2006.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Director of PBOT Tom Miller told us today that he supports making a block of SW Ankeny Street carfree.

Miller said he met with business owner Dustin Knox yesterday and the two, “sketched out a potential pathway to success.” Knox owns a bar on the stretch of Ankeny between SW 2nd and 3rd and he was featured in a story in Willamette Week on Wednesday. In that article, Knox said he and other business owners wanted more space for tables and chairs for their customers, but that people on the street are too cramped by cars. (This stretch of Ankeny is very narrow (therein lies its charm) and has a parking lane and one through lane.)
[Read more…]

Downtown businesses push for carfree SW Ankeny street

by on March 24th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Portland Car Free Days (Day 2)

Business owners want this to be the norm on SW Ankeny Street, shown here during an event in 2006.
(Photo © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Opinion: Thinking about carfree space in downtown Portland

by on October 27th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

NW 13th during Sunday Parkways 2010.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

While riding from the South Park Blocks to Pioneer Courthouse Square with my daughters and several other families and kids on Saturday, a recurring thought popped up: Despite all our livability accolades, Portland lacks carfree streets — places where people can move around, shop, linger, and socialize without being harassed by the threat of cars, trucks, trains and streetcars running them over.[Read more…]

One year later, how could we solve the Transit Mall? A call for ideas

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 18th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

This guest post is by Michael Andersen of Portland Afoot, a new “10-minute newsmagazine” and wiki about low-car life in Portland.

Cars, bikes, buses (and MAX) share the transit mall.
(Photo © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Juggling work, life, and three kids — by bike

by on December 14th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Kidical Mass - August-11.jpg

Joe Hagedorn, with sons Cole
and Carter.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Publisher’s note: This family biking profile comes to you from our newest writer, Alaya Wyndham-Price. Stay tuned for a bike-friendly business profile and other stories from Ms. Wyndham-Price.]

“We bike whenever we can,” Hau Hagedorn said. I sat with her and her husband Joe discussing their family’s commitment to bike commuting over tea this week. Hau and Joe are both professionals with jobs in downtown Portland, and are also parents of three young boys; Carter, age six, Cole, age four, and Hendrik, just 9 months.

This is the story of how they became a biking family.

The couple began easing into bike commuting about two and a half years ago, after Hau decided to participate in the Low-Car Diet by giving up the keys to the family car for two weeks while Joe was on a business trip. At the time, it meant balancing the schedule of her two older sons, her job, and doing regular errands by bike. [Read more…]