snow 2017

City’s new snow and ice plan still doesn’t include greenway plowing

Avatar by on February 1st, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Whose streets?

No plows coming soon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

After severe storms unleashed havoc on our roads and heaps of criticism on the City of Portland’s response, Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman laid out a new plan at a city hall press conference a few hours ago.

PBOT Director Leah Treat told us last week the City was, “Specifically going to look at expanding our de-icing and plow routes to include neighborhood greenways.”

Unfortunately, this new plan doesn’t do that. Instead of plowing residential streets that are the backbone of our biking network, Commissioner Saltzman announced two other changes to the City’s storm response plan. After resisting the use of salt due to environmental concerns, PBOT now says they plan to use up to 100 tons of it on at least three major roads during upcoming storms. This “largest use of road salt in the modern history of Portland,” will be a test to see how effective salt is at keeping roads free of ice and snow. In addition, they’ve announced an 30 percent expansion in the number of lane miles that will be plowed.

We knew the salt decision was coming; but it’s the plow route we were most curious about going into today’s press conference. As we reported last week, not only were bike lanes and bikeways left piled with snow during the storm, they’ve been covered in gravel for weeks.
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Bike shop owners tell tales of survival during ‘most miserable’ winter

Avatar by on January 18th, 2017 at 9:19 am

Snow and ice storms made an already challenging time of the year even more difficult.
(Photo: 21st Avenue Bicycles)

It’s official: According to The Weather Channel, Portland’s winter has been “the most miserable” in the nation. The nearly complete shutdown of our city has been tough for many people. For small business owners, the lack of accessibility has led to some very lonely days.

Roads covered in ice and snow (and now slush) have led to a lack of stock on the shelves and — most importantly — a lack of customers coming through the doors.

Bikes shops are run on passion not profits and these storms added insult to injury because December and January are already the toughest months to survive.

Here’s what several local bike shop owners had to say when asked about how the weather has impacted their business:
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Road and path conditions open thread for Tuesday (1/17)

Avatar by on January 17th, 2017 at 8:36 am

The punches keep coming from this heavyweight winter. While Portland seems to have avoided torrential flood risks, now forecasters warn of a freezing rain/ice storm. Combined with all the ice and snow already covering our roads, this could lead to treacherous riding this morning (Tuesday, 1/17).

After requests by a few readers, we’ve decided to crowdsource the road conditions for those of us who choose to venture out on foot or bike or other non-motorized conveyence.

If you do need to use the roads, probably best to do it before noon as conditions are expected to worsen later in the day.[Read more…]