A record amount of snow has fallen in Portland. There’s over a foot in some places, it’s still falling, and forecasters say it’s not going anywhere.
Most of the city has shut down. Schools, government offices, and many businesses can’t stay open because driving is so hazardous that people simply can’t reach destinations (imagine if more of us lived closer to where we work!). This means our streets are mostly quiet and calm — perfect for us to enjoy as should always be the case.
What does all this mean for you? Are you still biking? What are your plans for today?[Read more…]
Portland made national news last night — and this image told quite a story.
Welcome to the morning after.
After a few inches of snow fell on Wednesday afternoon, our region’s transportation system ground to a halt. Major freeways, arterials, and even many neighborhood streets were either completely gridlocked or impassable due to abandoned cars left in scrap heaps of twisted metal and broken dreams. Thousands of people were stranded for hours and backups continued on Highway 26 until midnight (midnight!). Thanks to an Associated Press story, the insanity of it all has brought us national attention.
Now we’ve entered the autopsy stage where everyone is trying to figure out how it happened.
The Oregonian broke it down to five reasons: We don’t use salt on our roads; people don’t carry chains; people don’t know how to drive in the snow; Portland doesn’t have enough snow plows, and transit is, “not equipped for hilly Portland.”
Sigh. Of course they forgot to mention something.
Here’s the inconvenient truth: Our over-reliance on single-occupancy motor vehicle use has real consequences. It leads to lots of injuries and deaths, it poisons our lungs, and it makes our transportation system extremely fragile and inefficient. [Read more…]
I have never seen anything like what happened on tonight’s evening commute. A few inches of snow has led to utter chaos on roads throughout the Portland region.
Schoolkids trapped in buses until way past their bed times, multiple car pile-ups, dozens of cars just abandoned on the side of the road, people hitch-hiking or giving up on their cars and walking several miles to get home, standstill traffic on I-5 and Highway 26, five to seven hour commutes with people passing out survival snacks to strangers. You know those traffic maps news stations show every night? Almost every major highway was deep red until about 10:00 pm. Like a traffic blood bath.
My social media timelines were an amazing contrast — full of complete and utter misery for people inside motor vehicles, and then sheer joy and glee from people who were lucky enough to be on a bike. [Read more…]
Portlanders woke up to the first real snowfall of the season this morning. The white powdery stuff was sticking to streets and beckoning us out into before most of us had finished our first cup of coffee. [Read more…]
With the worst of the snow and ice storms behind us, the roads are slowly returning to normal. That is, unless you are trying to walk or bike.
As auto traffic volumes return to normal, people are finding that the conditions of bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and off-street bike paths are full of a dangerous mix of slush, snow, and ice. This isn’t a surprise given that it’s the current policy of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to only plow major roads and arterials. [Read more…]
The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter on Friday, in a lull between the storms. (Photo by Roger Geller.)
Mother Nature finally found a way to keep Portlanders off their bikes on Sunday: a foot of fresh snow followed by a dangerous ice storm.
The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter (which was donated by Cycle Oregon) detected only 32 pairs of wheels crossing in both directions during the entire day. It’s by far the lowest total recorded since the counter was installed in August 2012.
As we enter the fifth day of a major storm here in Portland, the snow that has accumulated since last week is now beginning to melt. Over the weekend, temperatures stayed below freezing and the metro area was covered in a layer of ice. Those conditions presented a set of challenges on their own. Now, with temps climbing just a bit above freezing, the Great Thaw has begun in earnest.
I rode from north Portland to downtown this morning and here’s what I experienced…
Residential streets remain a big challenge to ride on. It’s easier with larger, aggressively treaded tires; but for the most part a lot of snow and ice still remains. PBOT does not plow residential streets, and they don’t get much auto traffic, so they will be the last ones to be clear of snow and become easier to ride. Neighborhood collector streets, like N Ainsworth shown below, are a bit better as long as you take the lane and ride in the wheel rut created by auto traffic. [Read more…]
With the City of Portland and other agencies telling everyone to stay indoors due to the sheet of ice that has blanketed our town, I couldn’t wait to leave the house this morning and see if I could still ride a bike.
So, I went out to my shed, pulled down my mountain bike and headed out. Turns out it’s not as bad as I expected. That being said, if you do plan to play around the neighborhood on your bike today, here are a few tips to consider.
The bike I’m using is a 29-inch mountain bike with 2.2-inch knobby tires. Either a similar mountain bike or a fat bike is highly recommended.
Lower your tire pressure to get more traction. Less air means more of the rubber and knobs on your tires will come in contact with the ground. More contact the better.
NOTE: Meeting held virtually until further notice. The twenty-member volunteer Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meets monthly to review projects and discuss bike issues. The committee advises City Council and bureaus Read More »
Full agenda here ODOT's bosses will hear them ask for $10 million in pedestrian safety projects statewide, including $3.4 million on 82nd Avenue. The agency announced this tranche of investment Read More »
According to Beaverton Code 2.03.560 (Powers and Duties), the purpose of the committee is: To focus on the promotion, education and safety of bicycling and related modes of active transportation Read More »
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