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Guest post: Time to design streets with the ‘Worst Portlander’ in mind

Avatar by on September 7th, 2018 at 10:40 am

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We received this open letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler via email yesterday. The source is a longtime Portlander and former land-use planner who requested to remain anonymous.
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Guest post: The death of Flint Street, one of Portland’s major bike routes

Avatar by on December 18th, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Xs mark the spot of Flint Street. White lines show location of proposed lids over I-5. (View is looking south with Moda Center/Memorial Coliseum in the background.)

(Courtesy, Jim Howell, AORTA)

A proposed freeway widening project will tear out one of Portland’s most used bike routes,

This story is by Portland writer and economist Joe Cortright. It first appeared on City Observatory.

We’re putting the I-5 Rose Quarter project under a microscope, in part because we think it reveals some deep-seated biases in the way transportation planning takes place, not just in Portland, but in many cities. Today we turn our attention to plans to tear out a key local street which serves as a major bikeway in north Portland.

A quick refresher: I-5 is the main north-south route through Portland, and the Oregon Department of Transportation is proposing to spend at least $450 million to widen it with new lanes on a one-mile stretch just north of downtown. A growing coalition of community groups has organized to fight the project as wasteful, ineffective and at odds with the region’s climate change and Vision Zero goals.
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Guest post: Embracing fear (and tips to feel it less often)

Avatar by on December 12th, 2017 at 10:08 am

Happiness is a new bike. 1990.
(Photos courtesy Eva Frazier)

This post was written by Eva Frazier, co-owner of Clever Cycles.

“I’m tired of being told to be safe/ride safe/stay safe. I want to have fun.”

I grew up in a quaint little town called Rhinebeck, about 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley. I started riding a bike as a little girl, somewhere around 3 years old. As soon as my folks let me, I started riding my bike to school. Most days I could beat the school bus, though, in the winter, my freshly washed hair would freeze on the way in. The bicycle was my ticket to freedom. Because I was living in a small town, I was allowed a wide territory to roam by myself, no questions asked. As long as I made it home by dinner, I could ride my bike anywhere I pleased. Most summer days I would go to the pool. Some days my dad, brother and I would take an 8 mile loop out to Rhinecliff and back. Sometimes I would ride up the Knollwood hill and then come flying back down, seeing how far I could coast before pedaling. I didn’t wear a helmet and all I carried was a puny little chain lock wrapped around my seatpost. Perhaps I was naive, or maybe I lived in some sort of paradise, but I never felt unsafe or scared.
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Guest post: My day as a Portland Public Schools bus driver

Avatar by on October 4th, 2017 at 8:30 am

Brock Dittus.
(Photo courtesy Brock Dittus)

This essay was written by Brock Dittus.

I pull my 2007 Jamis Coda out of the basement and get ready for my ride into work on a dark and slightly rainy Monday morning. It’s been ten years now since I first started working as a school bus driver, and while I spring awake at an early hour, I’m not bothered by riding in the dark.

I run a dynamo lighting system that brightly illuminates the road in front of me on my way into work, and got used to wearing a reflective vest so that unsuspecting drivers in the industrial areas (north of Columbia Boulevard in northeast) approaching my workplace can easily see me. On days when it pours I wear my rain pants and rubber galoshes, but this morning I’m just a little damp when I check in with my dispatcher and get the key to my vehicle.
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