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Today is Park(ing) Day, a celebratory reminder that streets are public space

by on September 15th, 2017 at 9:30 am

Visit them all!
(Click for larger PDF)

Today the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is using our streets to their fullest potential. Instead of cheap storage for private vehicles, they’ve handed out special permits for creative placemaking installations as part of our local observance of International Park(ing) Day.
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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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One week left to apply for two important city funding committees

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 13th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Bike Advisory Cmte Meeting-1.jpg

The city’s bicycle advisory committee is different, but you get the idea.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Not everybody loved the local gas tax that Portland voters approved in May. But most Portlanders can probably agree that now that it exists, it ought to be spent as promised.

There’s a strong possibility that the tax might bring in more or less money than expected, or that the city might eventually consider changing the project list in ways that violate the implicit promise to voters that it made when it created the list.

If either of those things were to happen, the main watchdog institution will be a volunteer oversight committee that’s currently recruiting members.

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City of Portland’s 823-SAFE hotline now offered online

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 2nd, 2016 at 8:27 am

traffic safety form

The new web form.
(PortlandOregon.gov)

There’s now a keyboard-ready alternative to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s excellent 823-SAFE hotline.

The city’s hotline has a great reputation among those in the know, who use it for things as diverse as a poorly timed traffic signal or a low-hanging branch. Even on issues that can’t be fixed immediately, a history of reports about a given location can alert city staffers to a bigger project worth tackling.

The phone hotline has been around for over a decade (at least), and many people also use the safe@portlandoregon.gov email version. Now the City of Portland offers a web-based version.

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City has two years to make the case to save 26th Avenue bike lanes, it says

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 7th, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Protest on SE Powell-1.jpg

The bike lanes on SE 26th run in front of Cleveland High School and carry about 600 to 800 people daily.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Because 26th Avenue won’t be repaved for another year or two, the city will have time and data to try to persuade the Oregon Department of Transportation to reverse its decision.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation confirmed Thursday that it has agreed to remove the bike lanes from SE 26th Avenue near Powell in order to get the state’s approval for a new signal at 28th.

A city spokesman said that because 26th Avenue won’t be repaved for another year or two, the city will have time and data to try to persuade the Oregon Department of Transportation to reverse its decision. But an ODOT spokesman said the state can’t say what data it might or might not find persuasive.

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State and city fast-track closure of extra offramp near east end of Broadway Bridge

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 11th, 2015 at 10:55 am

i-5lead

The extra “slip ramp” from
I-5 onto Broadway would close.

Here’s some good news about one of the most dangerous spots on one of Portland’s most popular bike routes.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and City of Portland are planning to break ground this spring on much-anticipated changes to the area where a southbound Interstate 5 offramp drops people fresh off the freeway into a slip lane that curves across the North Broadway bike lane.

This project had previously been scheduled to start next summer.

The changes planned will mean that when someone exits I-5 to head across the Broadway Bridge, instead of seeing this (a “slip lane” that is all but begging people to roll through it, right into a bike lane)…

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Portland will require cab and Uber drivers to take Vision Zero safety training

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 5th, 2015 at 8:33 am

Riding Portland's urban highways-8

Eyes on the street?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

At their best, Lyft and Uber are better cab companies, one more piece of a system that enables low-car life.

At their worst, they’re a system for subsidizing an army of people driving around town with their eyes glued to GPS screens.

Portland’s new regulations of for-hire transportation companies, released last week, include an interesting change that’s supposed to target the problem: the city’s first mandatory safety training for drivers of taxis and “transportation network companies” like Uber or Lyft.

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Full speed ahead: City’s new transportation dashboard tracks progress

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 13th, 2015 at 8:40 am

Last week at the Ann Niles Transportation Lecture, Los Angeles Transportation Director Seleta Reynolds said the overwhelming majority of her job is good management, not the clever policymaking that everybody usually wants to talk about.

Here at BikePortland, we’re guilty of talking a lot about clever (or not so clever) policymaking. But this year, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is also going through some operational changes that are worth knowing about.

Under Director Leah Treat, PBOT is working to be more precise and public about the status of its many projects. And a new tool on its website looks a lot like a gimmick but is actually a pretty good new way to keep track of everything the city is up to.

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State says there’s not enough proof that bike lanes boost safety, so 26th Ave lanes should go

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 26th, 2015 at 11:37 am

26th powell bike box

The City of Portland wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing of Powell at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless bike lanes and bike boxes at 26th (shown here) are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Three weeks after being asked if it can cite any evidence supporting its claim that removing a bike lane can sometimes increase bike safety, the State of Oregon has come up empty.

Moreover, a state spokeswoman wrote in an email Tuesday that four studies cited by the City of Portland that document safety benefits of bike lanes are inadequate, though the state did not say in what way the studies fall short.

“More research needs to be done,” the Oregon Department of Transportation said in its statement.

Research notwithstanding, the Oregon Department of Transportation is continuing to deny the City of Portland’s request to install a new stoplight at 28th Avenue and Powell (which would let the city create a new north-south neighborhood greenway on 28th) unless the city agrees to first remove the narrow bike lanes from nearby 26th Avenue.

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Council vote today would allow more diverters on neighborhood greenways

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 26th, 2015 at 8:18 am

A family ride from NoPo to Sellwood-18

A traffic diverter allowing biking and walking traffic but blocking auto traffic.
(Photos: J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Traffic diverters: back by popular demand.
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