Portland business finds niche building book bikes

Icicle Tricycle’s book bike has found a solid place in the line-up next to the company’s ice cream and coffee trikes.
(All photos courtesy Icicle Tricycles)

Books and bikes are powerful tools that have helped improve people’s lives for ages. A local company combines them in way that makes the sum greater than its parts.

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Better Naito organizers urge patience as lane gets used as loading zone

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Trucks blocking Better Naito-12.jpg

Acceptable trade-off for a “Better Naito”?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Having a reduced speed limit and 15 feet of space dedicated to biking and walking on Naito Parkway for three full months is a welcome improvement. But it comes with a trade-off: In order to get full support for the project from Waterfront Park event organizers, the City of Portland is allowing trucks to use the lane as a loading zone.

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Better Block volunteers prep for Broadway and Burnside demos in May and June

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3rd Avenue Better Block PDX

A protected bike lane on SE 3rd Avenue in 2014.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)

Dozens of volunteers are now meeting weekly to plan temporary human-friendly makeovers of Northeast Broadway and the Burnside Bridge this spring and summer.

Better Block PDX’s next “work party” is tonight at Pizza Schmizza at NE 7th and Broadway, from 6-7:30 p.m. Next Wednesday it’s the same time at Black Water Bar, NE 9th and Broadway.

The Broadway demo will create a protected bike lane for one week, from May 9-15.

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Better Block PDX will team with PSU to create annual street demos around town

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Better Naito demo

Fun on a better Naito, 2015.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

One of Portland’s most interesting annual traditions just got a little more official.

After three years of doing short-term demos themselves, the volunteer-led street reinvention group Better Block PDX has struck a formal partnership with Portland State University’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. With the help of PSU planning and engineering students, this new partnership means Better Block will constantly churn out a pipeline of projects that temporarily re-envision public spaces around Portland.

The new agreement will create one of the only academic programs in the country to integrate hands-on uses of “tactical urbanism,” as these lightweight, flexible projects are often called, directly into a student curriculum.

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Looking beyond city core, Better Block PDX wants your ideas for 2016

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Better Naito pilot project-15.jpg

Naito Parkway last summer.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The volunteer organizers of Portland’s three-year-old team of street rethinkers say they’re in the “off season” but getting ready to scale up.

Better Block PDX is the group behind a much-praised temporary redesign of NW/SW 3rd Avenue that led to rapid installation of crosswalks and a buffered bike lane and (more recently) a two-week test of walking and biking lanes on SW Naito Parkway that has some in the city talking about permanent changes.

They’re about to begin considering temporary street demos for 2016, and plan to hold a public meeting this February to start the selection process.

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With pilot project, City will turn Naito Parkway into public space for all

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

It’s coming!
(Graphic: Better Block PDX)

Starting this Friday morning, the non-profit Better Block PDX, the Bureau of Transportation and its commissioner-in-charge Steve Novick will embark on perhaps the boldest experiment we’ve seen in years: the creation of public space on Naito Parkway in what are currently standard travel lanes.

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Pedicab business owner concerned about proposed regulations

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Ryan Hashagen, owner of
Portland Cascadia Pedicabs, is
concerned about new regulations.
(Photo © J. Maus)
-Video below-

The City of Portland is currently in the process of updating their “private for hire transportation” policies. As part of this update, and partially at the request of local pedicab operators, they will also be regulating pedicabs for the first time.

The growth of pedicabs has skyrocketed in Portland in recent years in large part due to new businesses like PDX Pedicabs and Portland Cascadia Pedicabs.

Ryan Hashagen, owner of Portland Cascadia Pedicabs, is all for new regulations. He wants pedicabs to be treated as legitimate businesses and he wants customers to know they’ll be assured a safe ride. Hashagen knows all to well about the importance of safety. In August of 2008 one of his Seattle-based pedicabs was involved in a crash that left a 60-year old man dead.

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