Kathleen Youell, her kids, and my suitcase, in her bakfiets. (Photo: Madi Carlson)
This week on the column we’re going to share a profile of one of our readers.
Kathleen Youell has been a fixture in the Portland family biking scene for a long time. I met her seven years ago — three days after I got my first cargo bike — and have been riding with her ever since. I caught up with her recently to learn more about her family and how cycling fits into it. [Read more…]
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 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…]
This week is usually about the time we get to share the news that the McKenzie Highway (OR 242) is open only for biking, walking, and rolling. It’s a carfree wonderland on one of Oregon’s most scenic byways that usually happens in the period after crews have done their first pass of plowing, and before the road can open to cars and trucks.
But this year is different. And if you’re planning to head out there to knock this classic ride of your bucket list (it is an official Oregon Scenic Bikeway after all), be advised: The Oregon Department of Transportation announced today that the management of McKenzie Pass will have some key changes this year. [Read more…]
Imagine a carfree Historic Columbia River Highway… like Dave Wechner did almost 30 years ago. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
There’s been a steady trickle of news here on BikePortland in recent years from agencies and advocates who see a future for carfree traveling in the Columbia River Gorge. But it turns out the idea isn’t as futuristic as you might think. [Read more…]
As the Portland region grows, so too has the popularity of the Columbia River Gorge. That’s a good thing; but not if too many people visit it by car.
Thankfully, Oregon’s tourism and transportation agencies understand this. Two summers ago, faced with congestion and overflowing parking lots, the Department of Transportation launched the Columbia Gorge Express bus service to encourage people to experience the Gorge without a car. That’s been such a huge success they’ve upgraded service and features each year.
Now comes another piece of the puzzle: ColumbiaGorgeCarfree.com, a website funded in part by a grant from Travel Oregon.
The site (still partly under construction) features carfree itineraries for popular Gorge destinations. As of now, there’s a turn-by-turn guide to hiking the popular Dog Mountain trail without a car. The itinerary comes with a detailed map and is based on biking and walking the four miles from Cascade Locks to the West End Transit (WET) shuttle bus stop on the Washington side of the river. If you can wait until May 25th, the Columbia Gorge Express will carry you and your bike from the Gateway Transit Center in east Portland to Cascade Locks.
This new website is the work of Heidi Beirle and a, “geeky team of transportation professionals.” Beirle is a carfree tourism consultant who also works with the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.
If you’re keen on going to the Gorge carfree this season, keep this website handy. And if you want to make bus service to the Gorge even better, please take the latest Columbia Gorge Express survey.
Defunct Zoo Train tracks as seen from SW Kingston. There’s strong interest in converting this into a paved path. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
The updated Washington Park Master Plan that passed unanimously by Portland City Council on March 15th is the plan we need for our central city.
Its transportation elements include a vision to: keep cars on the periphery, reduce access for drivers, aggressively encourage transit use, create plaza and green spaces, and build protected paths for cycling and walking.
Washington Park is the “jewel in the crown” of our parks system (to quote Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz) and it had been operating under a master plan that was passed in 1981. Because of smart management by Explore Washington Park (a city-funded Transportation Management Association, or TMA), auto use has declined considerably in the park in the past five years. In 2014, 80 percent of park visitors arrived by car. Last year that number was down to just 63 percent.
The updated master plan will hasten that curve. [Read more…]
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 PlacesforEveryone.com, 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…]
Six neighborhood associations in southeast Portland have come together to lobby for construction of a new bridge that would close a glaring gap between Sellwood and Westmoreland near Reed College. [Read more…]