metro

City launches ‘Bike to Books’ art contest to kick off Bike Month

by on May 1st, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Bike to Books launch at Hillsdale Library-6.jpg

Multnomah County Youth Librarian Barbara Head at Bike Storytime in Hillsdale this morning.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland and Multnomah County Library (with an assist from Metro) have teamed up on a novel way to promote National Bike Month: They’re hosting an art contest with a grand prize of having the winners’ design installed as a bike lane character.

Ever notice how some of the bike lane symbols around town have extra special flair? Some are subtle little twists and others are nothing short than a work of art. It’s a tradition that the Portland Bureau of Transportation started back in 1999. And now four lucky young Portlanders will get a chance to have their vision turned into a piece of infrastructure.

The “Bike to Books” program kicked off this morning at the Hillsdale Library. With the library’s book bike (more on that later) parked in the entrance, over a dozen pre-schoolers were treated to a special, bike-themed storytime. Youth Librarian Barbara Head kept the kids entertained (no easy task at that age) with bike books and bike-themed songs. It’s all part of an effort to get people of all ages to bike to the library during the month of May.

Any Multnomah County resident in kindergarten to 12th grade can grab a coloring contest flyer from a library or online and give it your best shot. The contest is open all month long and entrants must return the finished art to a library branch. Four grand prize winners (one for each age category) will get their bike lane art installed. The second place prize is four passes to The Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park and third place gets a Nutcase helmet.
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Metro’s new Vision Zero video is brilliant

by on April 20th, 2017 at 10:47 am

Still from new Metro video on Vision Zero. (Watch full video below)

Metro released a new video this morning that reveals why a different approach to traffic safety is so important.

Our regionally-elected planning organization is updating their Regional Transportation Safety Action Plan as part of their work on the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan. This morning a committee of elected leaders and policymakers gave Metro staff the go-ahead to move forward in setting a Vision Zero policy that reads: “By 2035 eliminate transportation related fatalities and serious injuries for all users of the region’s transportation system, with a 16% reduction by 2020 (as compared to the 2015 five year rolling average), and a 50% reduction by 2025.”

(The wonks among you will note that the 2014 RTP called for a fatal and serious crash reduction of 50 percent by 2030. The new timeline will put Metro’s policy in sync with the State of Oregon’s target adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission last year via ODOT’s Transportation Safety Action Plan.)

Policy is one thing; but without smart communications and marketing it doesn’t matter nearly as much. And that’s where Metro’s new video comes in. It starts as a standard, boring, government agency PSA. I almost tuned it out, but I’m glad I watched it all the way through. Metro asks people in the video (watch it below the jump) three simple questions.
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In unanimous letter, Metro council says they agree with coalition on regional spending priorities

by on March 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 am

(Photo: Metro)

Whatever transportation funding package emerges for the Portland region, it’ll include a lot more than three freeway expansion projects and one transit project. Why? Because all seven members of Metro Council — including president Tom Hughes, just said so.
[Read more…]

Troutdale follows Gresham and now a 40-Mile Loop trail extension is dead

by on March 15th, 2017 at 11:10 am

They said no.
(Photo: Metro)

Fears of crime and of “undesirables doing bad things” have fueled another city in the eastern part of our region to say no to a major multi-use path project.

After tallying public feedback from an open house late last month, Metro has decided to suspend all planning efforts for the Troutdale section of their 40-Mile Loop Master Plan because of local opposition. This is a carbon copy of concerns that fueled opposition from the City of Gresham to the same project back in January.

Now, after a year of planning, public events and committee meetings, Metro will pull the plug and put this project on the shelf.[Read more…]

Portland wins $10 million in federal grants for biking/walking projects

by on February 3rd, 2017 at 3:41 pm

This segment of NE 72nd in the Cully neighborhood will get a 12-foot wide walking/biking path.

Project locations.
(Graphic: Metro)

On Thursday the Metro Council unanimously adopted $30 million in grants for 12 transportation projects around the region. Portland won big by garnering $12.8 million of the total awarded. The funds will go toward five different projects — four of which ($10 million worth) are focused specifically on making it easier and safer to bike and walk.

Yesterday’s decision comes after a year of public feedback and analysis of dozens of projects that vied for the money. It’s part of Metro’s regional flexible funding process that happens every three years. Out of this pot of around $130 million, $33 was up for grabs in a suballocation that Metro decided to split 75/25 between “active transportation/complete streets” projects and freight projects respectively.

Although one of Portland’s projects was in the freight category, it also includes several elements that will improve biking and overall traffic safety.
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Metro hits pause after crime fears fuel Gresham’s opposition to 40-Mile Loop trail project

by on January 13th, 2017 at 11:29 am

Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.

The City of Gresham is more worried about the potential impacts of illegal camping along a path than they are about the benefits of closing a major gap in the 40-Mile Loop.

After Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis* announced his opposition to the Troutdale to Gresham Master Plan last week, Metro has decided to postpone a scheduled planning meeting for the project and they will not move forward with planning in Gresham. The news was first reported by the Gresham Outlook.

“While I have always been a fan of recreational amenities and I enjoy running regularly on the trail, I cannot in good conscience support this proposal at this point in time,” Bemis shared on his Facebook page last week. “There are far too many chronic issues currently extending along the entire trail alignment.”
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Where some see historic trail connection, others fear a home for urban campers

by on January 5th, 2017 at 11:36 am

Metro map with location of proposed trail and a concept drawing of how it might look near Kelly Creek in Gresham.

Filling a six-mile gap between Troutdale and Gresham would put a serious dent in the “40-mile Loop” — a trail concept that’s been in regional planning dreams for well over a century. And Metro is creating a plan to do just that.

But where some see an historic opportunity for a new, low-stress place to walk and roll, others see a perfect place for people who live outside to pitch tents and build encampments. [Read more…]

Biking and Safe Routes to School programs come up big in $2.5 million worth of regional grants

by on November 30th, 2016 at 10:15 am

Bike to School Day in NoPo-17

About a quarter of the grants went to Safe Routes to School programs.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s some good news: Metro just announced grants to 17 agencies and organizations throughout the region that will make it easier to get around without driving alone. The grants are worth a total of $2.5 million — money that comes from the federal government and is doled out by Metro via their Regional Travel Options (RTO) program.

Metro spokesman Craig Beebe said, “This cycle’s awardees continue the program’s trend of focusing on youth and underserved communities.”

On that note, a $178,000 grant to the Community Cycling Center will allow the nonprofit to implement a “community centered” Safe Routes to School program at Title I schools (where students come from low-income families). And the Bicycle Transportation Alliance won $203,000 for an “Access to Bicycling initiative” that will include a continuation of their Women Bike program and hands-on bike repair and riding clinics at workplaces and in communities around the region. In Washington County, the Westside Transportation Alliance will use its $196,000 grant to encourage biking, walking and transit use in areas with a high percentage of low-wage and shift workers.
[Read more…]

Metro gives east Portland bikeway and safety projects highest rankings for federal funding

by on October 20th, 2016 at 11:09 am

map-halsey-safety-access

The top-ranked project would make walking and rolling to 82nd Avenue and Gateway much easier.

The Cully neighborhood would get a new biking and walking “parkway” and big roads that run through two major commercial districts in east Portland near I-205 could be updated and vastly improved for people on bikes and foot if the City of Portland is able to convince Metro to give them the cash to do it.
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Imagining an inner Powell that would actually solve the street’s problems

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 26th, 2016 at 2:46 pm

powell vision

When more people use cars on a street, it becomes less and less efficient. When more people use mass transit, it becomes more and more efficient.
(Image: Nick Falbo)

The City of Portland and the State of Oregon both say they want to free more of their constituents from traffic congestion and to reduce planet-killing pollution.

There’s no mystery at all about what this would look like on inner Powell Boulevard. Everyone with some measure of power who has considered the issue knows the answer. But for some reason, the millions of public dollars spent talking about that possible answer have never resulted in a street-level picture of it.

[Read more…]