coronavirus 2020

Former Mayor, now council candidate Sam Adams thinks time is now to create more safe street space

Avatar by on April 20th, 2020 at 3:18 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the debate rages about whether or not Portland should add space and safety to streets for vulnerable people, a former mayor thinks it’s time to move forward.

Sam Adams was on Portland City Council from 2005 to 2012 — first as a commissioner, then as mayor. Throughout his tenure he was in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the agency was one of this top priorities. Adams now finds himself on the outside looking in as he eyes the council seat occupied by the current PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. [Read more…]

Bike Loud PDX, The Street Trust speak out on pandemic response

Avatar by on April 17th, 2020 at 3:20 pm

“Pilot extended sidewalks using temporary materials along Civic Corridors, Pedestrian Districts, parks, grocery stores and other essential services.”
— Bike Loud PDX

[Read more…]

Forums Friday: Please cover your faces. Please

Avatar by on April 17th, 2020 at 2:05 pm

A bit of fog on my lenses during a ride in Forest Park early this morning.

Welcome to the first edition of Forums Friday, a new thing we’re doing to highlight notable posts from the BikePortland Forums (you should grab a log-in and join us!).

We know. It’s a bummer. Wearing a mask while riding a bike isn’t great — especially when it’s above 50-degrees. They cause glasses to fog up, they make you breathe your own warm breathe, they fill with sweat and snot, they make it impossible to eat and drink on-the-fly.

But they also might save your life or the life another person. And you should be wearing one.

As we adjust to this new normal, I felt the post from Forum member “amandaSEPDX” deserved more attention. Here’s (a slightly edited version of) what she posted:[Read more…]

Equity, safety, lack of density among reasons PBOT Commissioner remains ‘nervous’ about street changes

Avatar by on April 17th, 2020 at 11:07 am

“I understand people see this as an amazing opportunity… but I’m nervous about the consequences and I’m questioning whether this is the right time to re-allocate resources.”

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

“We cannot afford to go back to the way things were”: An open letter to PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) by on April 16th, 2020 at 12:06 pm

“Portland’s transportation advocacy ecosystem has never been stronger. What we’re missing is leadership from city hall.”

Publisher’s note: While we’ve made a lot of noise in the past month about the need for immediate street changes to reflect new behaviors, another big part of this conversation is how best to transition our streets when quarantine is lifted. Kiel Johnson, a BikePortland contributor and owner of Go By Bike Shop & Valet under the Aerial Tram, reflects on that issue in his letter below.

Dear Commissioner Eudaly,[Read more…]

Coronavirus updates: North St. Bags making PPE, OBRA benefit jersey, Sarah’s latest plan

Avatar by on April 15th, 2020 at 9:51 am

North St. Bags owner Curtis Williams models his latest creations.
(Photo: North St. Bags)

As Portland settles into life during a public health crisis, local businesses, organizations, and community leaders continue to step up and adapt.

Here’s a roundup of local coronavirus-related news…

North St. Bags Makes the Switch

Portland-based bag maker North St. Bags has joined the list of local companies making personal protective equipment. The company has suspended production of its popular backpacks and panniers to help protect frontline medical workers.

North St. owner Curtis Williams said, “We wanted to be able to put our expertise to use and help the situation, and we think this is the best way to do that.”

Face shields and surgical masks are already shipping out to hospitals and government agencies. Most are being sold, but North St. also has a donation program where people can “buy” a mask via their online store to help cover their production costs and allow the company to donate some items.[Read more…]

Have extra new or used water bottles? Homeless Portlanders need them

Avatar by on April 13th, 2020 at 4:00 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortlanD)

We’re nearly a month into this virus outbreak and we’re still learning about the many different ways it impacts our community. Especially people who were more vulnerable going into it.

Today I heard from Portlander Mia Matusow. She’s a volunteer with Blanchet House, a local nonprofit that has served millions of free meals and provided other essential services to our homeless neighbors since 1952.

Mia said access to water is harder than ever for people who live outside. That’s because they usually depend on public water sources like Benson Bubblers and drinking fountains and faucets inside parks. But those have been closed to stop the virus from spreading. Cafes and coffee shops that people might have received water from are also closed. [Read more…]

First look at #OaklandSlowStreets plan and how Portland could emulate it

Avatar by on April 13th, 2020 at 1:42 pm

A City of Oakland employee installs barricades on one of four streets that have been adapted for safe social distancing.
(Photo: City of Oakland)

[Read more…]

Portland Mayor fears more people in the street, Oakland Mayor embraces them

Avatar by on April 10th, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Runners using the street to avoid other sidewalk users has become a common practice in Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been a rip-roaring 24 hours in the streets activism world.

We’ve seen Portland’s Mayor say “no” to adapting streets to be in line with Covid-19-induced behaviors. We’ve seen the City of Oakland become a national sensation for saying the opposite. We’ve had some important chats about how groups that work with people of color see the issue. And we’ve had our first dose of tactical urbanism from someone who’s tired of waiting for changes.

It started when Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler took to Twitter to answer a question about giving more street space to give people on foot and bikes. Wheeler deferred to Portland’s transportation bureau and said, “If we close a street, we potentially make it more attractive and create a destination where large groups can congregate. This is exactly the opposite of what we want to do.” [Read more…]

Covid-19 news roundup: ‘Locals only’, Historic Hwy closure, slipstream science, and more

Avatar by on April 10th, 2020 at 11:58 am

I was up at 4:09 am to be alone up on Skyline Road this morning.

It’s sort of amazing to me that it’s been about a month since we got serious about this pandemic and there’s still a major split in local cycling circles about whether it’s a good idea to ride outside and how/where to ride if you do.

Mask or no mask? Are rural routes OK? Or should we stay close-to-home? How far can the virus fly in the air?

We’ve published six stories on biking and Covid-19 since March 12th and there’s still new information coming out — and even more confusion as it does. With amazing weather on tap for the weekend, it’s time to make sure you have the best info to help you make informed decisions about riding (or not).

Here’s some of the latest news and my thoughts on the situation… [Read more…]