This Portlandia themed rack is all that’s left of bike parking at City Hall’s main entrance. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
You’d think a city with a storied bike-friendly legacy and arguably the best bike parking facilities and policies in North America would make the main entrance to its City Hall a testament to those values. But that’s not the case. In fact, for some reason the bike parking at Portland City Hall’s SW 4th Street entrance has gotten much worse in the past several months.
They “put a bird on it,” but they also removed the racks that actually worked. [Read more…]
City Council members heard calls for safer streets loud and clear this morning. (Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
If the 75 or so Portlanders who came to City Hall this morning to kick off a full day of protests could be said to be speaking for any single person, it might as well have been one of the people there: Brittany Gratreak.
On April 8, the 22-year-old Portland State University student was riding her bike to school in Northeast Broadway’s bike lane when a man driving to work accelerated across Broadway from the south, seizing a gap in auto traffic but not considering the fact that he might run into something more fragile than metal. He did.
Gratreak was hit at a 90-degree angle, thrown from her bicycle and knocked unconscious. Once she woke up and received insurance information from the man who’d hit her, she decided to save money by calling a friend, rather than an ambulance, for a ride to the hospital.
She didn’t know at the time that by not paying for an ambulance ride, she was avoiding Portland’s little-known trigger for a police investigation. Two months later, Gratreak remains in physical therapy.
Saying Portland already knows how to increase safety on its streets and can get to work immediately without further study, the advocacy group BikeLoudPDX is organizing what looks like Portland City Hall’s first rally in five years on behalf of bicycling improvements.
“It doesn’t take money, it just takes political will. And the rally is to give them the political will to do it now.” — Ted Buehler, BikeLoudPDX
“There’s a real danger that Vision Zero can just be prolonged indefinitely if they keep on studying it,” BikeLoud organizer Ted Buehler said Friday. “But really, they have the tools in their toolbox to do it now. And it doesn’t take money, it just takes political will. And the rally is to give them the political will to do it now.”
Commissioner Amanda Fritz in 2011. (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
The 2016 election cycle is revving up all over the country, Portland City Hall included.
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz surprised many local political pundits yesterday when she announced her plans to seek a third term. The announcement came the same day that the once-marginalized city council member won a 4-1 vote to dedicate 50 percent of surplus money over the next four years to “infrastructure maintenance and replacement” for roads, parks and emergency services.
The Oregonian reports that Fritz’s proposal will apply to “one-time funding identified during the annual budget process or excess money carried from one budget to the next.” It’s apparently intended as a sort of make-up call for the city’s infamous failure to follow through on a 1988 plan to dedicate 28 percent of utility license fees for transportation.
Opposing Fritz’s measure was her colleague Dan Saltzman, who said the council was “setting ourselves up to be criticized” by attempting to tie the hands of future councils.
One of the best friends bicycling has ever had in Salem, Jackie Dingfelder, left the state senate last year to become one of the biggest fans of biking in Portland City Hall. (Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
There is no particular reason to doubt the former chair of the Oregon Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee when she says she was just ready for a change.
Last night at City Hall was the big, public welcome party for Portland’s new mayor Sam Adams. There was lots of food and free beer and by all accounts it was a wild and zany night.
Before things really started getting crazy, Adams and each of the four commissioners addressed the crowd briefly. Adams said he feels Portland’s authenticity and quirkiness (that was on display all night) will help us stave off economic hard times and that he has “faith in Portland’s willingness to take on challenges”.
With a broad grin, Randy Leonard told the crowd he’s been holding himself back for the last few years (a joke, given his outspoken demeanor) and that, “Now Sam’s going to let me go.”[Read more…]