Guest article: Why I perservere on the west side’s mean streets

Ride Along with Ali Reis-36

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Note: This article is by BikePortland subscriber and Beaverton resident Naomi Fast. Naomi’s perspective is formed in part by the fact that she doesn’t own a car and she’s lived and worked in both Portland and Beaverton.]

In my first subscriber post, I wrote about Beaverton, where I moved in 2013 after a decade in Portland. It occurs to me a few people might wonder how I live without a car in the suburbs. Sometimes it’s not easy! But living without a car is not all that rare, and bike commuting infrastructure is becoming a more vocal priority as Washington County looks to the future.

But challenges in the here-and-now are plentiful, and sometimes I feel frustrated.

For example: Recently, I was riding in dangerous gravel in the SW Murray Blvd bike lane near the Nike Woods, and had to move into the main traffic lane at times to avoid skidding. At the red light, a woman holding her phone in one hand, deep in conversation, drove up on my left. I motioned her to roll down her window. I let her know I was needing to take the lane at times, so please keep an eye out for me! She said she’d drive more to her left to give me room, so that was nice.

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Guest article: Want safer streets? Ask for them

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Memorial for 10-year-old boy who was struck and killed by someone driving on East Burnside at 162nd in Gresham yesterday.
(Photo: Cory Poole)

This essay was written by Portland resident Tony Jordan. He wrote it before yesterday’s tragic crash on East Burnside that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy.

Traffic violence is a big problem. More than 30,000 people die every year on American roadways with many many more injured or maimed. The cost of this carnage is tremendous, nearly a trillion dollars a year in social economic harms.

So what do we do about it?

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Why are they so angry? (A guest essay)

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Sarah Gilbert

This essay was written by local writer and bike tour guide Sarah Gilbert. Her last piece for us was Two moms, two cargo bikes, one big adventure.

Why are they so angry?

This was my first question. I told my story from the day a woman in a Mercedes pulled out from a side street onto Holgate, turning right, when I was riding up the sidewalk with my oldest son on the back of my longtail. But I could have told you about the man in a sports car who swung around a group of us, narrowly skirting my mama bike, as we rode laughing in the middle of a beautiful spring morning east on Everett Street. I said something like “watch it!” and I too was angry but not so much as the pedestrian walking beside us. He told us it was the law to ride single file.

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Guest Article: An update from ODOT on the Historic Columbia River Highway

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A tour of the Historic Columbia River Highway

The Historic Columbia River Highway is a bicycling gem.
And it just keeps getting better.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This guest article was written by ODOT’s Region 1 Transit and Active Transportation Liaison Jessica Horning and ODOT’s Historic Columbia River Highway project coordinator Kristen Stallman.

The Historic Columbia River Highway is one of Oregon’s most popular and scenic destinations regardless of your preferred mode of travel. The 73-mile route from Troutdale to The Dalles provides amazing views of the best the Columbia River Gorge has to offer, from waterfalls to windswept high plains. The highway was constructed in 1913 with a maximum 5 percent grade, making it an ideal route for a long distance bike ride. The Historic Highway is also a designated scenic byway, making it a popular shared route for motorists and bicyclists alike.

In 2013, the Historic Highway will see improvements that will make this scenic gem more accessible, with more opportunities for visitors to enjoy the Gorge by foot, bike, and car.

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Guest Article: Urban mountain biking in Portland – What it could be

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Typical “flow” singletrack on the Beginner Trail in
Lebanon Hills.
(Photo used with permission of
Dakota County Parks, Minnesota)

This article is written by Joshua Rebannack. Joshua contacted me after he read our recent coverage of mountain biking in Forest Park. As a way of helping Portland see a different vision for urban, off-road bicycling access, Joshua wanted to share how the issue has evolved in riding areas around Minneapolis, Minnesota. — Jonathan

My name is Joshua Rebennack. I’m a “Dirt Boss” at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails and a member of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. I am writing this guest article in response to some of the controversy surrounding the possible inclusion of mountain biking at Forest Park.

Below I’ll discuss an example trail in an urban setting, Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, Minnesota, and the lessons the citizens of Portland can learn from it.

While it might seem an odd choice comparing a West Coast location with Midwest, there are more similarities than one might think. Both Portland and Twin Cities (including Eagan) are at similar latitudes. While Portland prides itself on its rainfall, actually, the Twin Cities receives somewhat similar amounts of precipitation, though far more of it in snow. They both have similar political climates. And both are biking hot- spots.

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Guest Article: PBOT must guarantee sidewalk funding

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The street outside Morgan Maynard-Cook’s house.

This article was written by Steve Bozzone, Vice-President of the Oregon Walks board of directors.

Recently sidewalks and crosswalks are on everyone’s radar, but for a tragic reason. In a part of Portland that has precious few of either, 5-year old Morgan Maynard-Cook was struck down last week in the simple act of crossing a street.

Quite rightly, a lot of the public outcry surrounding Morgan’s death has to do with how much of her life would have been ahead of her. Regardless of our professional work, we are also mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Trying to imagine what Morgan’s family and friends are going through right now is almost beyond bearing.

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Guest Article: ‘Peer to peer’ car-sharing and its potential in Oregon

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— This article was written by Portlander Steve Gutmann. He works for the Portland Sustainability Institute and formerly worked for EcoSecurities and Flexcar.

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(Photo © J. Maus)

On September 29th, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that will — for the first time — allow individuals in California to have their personal cars become car-sharing vehicles without invalidating their personal auto insurance. This legislation clears the way for “peer to peer,” (P2P) or personal vehicle car-sharing in California, and a similar effort is underway here in Oregon. This could dramatically accelerate the already rapid growth of car-sharing nationwide.

But why should you (a bike-riding audience) care?

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