swan island

Portland truck factory replaces electric carts with pedal-powered trikes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 4th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Always nice to see bikes and freight getting along.
(Image: Daimler Trucks North America)

When you run the numbers, human-powered machines often make good sense on city streets. Leave it to the logistics experts at Daimler Trucks North America to calculate that they make good sense on the floor of a truck factory, too.

At Daimler’s Western Star truck plant on North Portland’s Swan Island, utility trikes are taking over for electric carts in moving truck parts to the manufacturing line. Workers at the plant are putting 18 of the trikes to use. They are Torker HD models and have a cargo capacity of 300 pounds. The bikes were purchased from and assembled by Crank Bicycles in southeast Portland, which customized the gears for the plant’s 5 mph speed limit.

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Driver in Interstate Avenue crash cited on two violations

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 4th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Curtis Crothers crash aftermath

The aftermath of last week’s crash on North Interstate
Avenue. Photo by Neighborhood Notes.

The driver of a pickup truck whose illegal right turn led to a bike/truck crash last Wednesday has been cited for two traffic violations typically associated with $695 in fines, Portland police said Tuesday.

The man whose bicycle hit the side of the truck, meanwhile, remains in the hospital but continues to recover from eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and other injuries.

Here’s what police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson wrote in an email, confirming the summary of the commuter on the bike, Curtis Crothers:

The vehicle was southbound on Interstate and made an illegal right turn onto Greeley Avenue. Sign posted “No Right Turn.” Bicycle rider was coming downhill on Interstate in the bike lane and was unable to stop in time and was hit by the car making the illegal right. Rider was injured but not traumatic injuries. Car driver was not impaired. Cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device and Careless Driving.

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Man severely injured after bike/pickup crash on Interstate Avenue

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 31st, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Curtis Crothers

Daimler Trucks engineer Curtis
Crothers, who suffered extensive
injuries from a crash on
Interstate Avenue Wednesday.

An engineer biking home from his job on Swan Island was severely injured by colliding with a pickup truck after its driver allegedly made an illegal 135-degree turn onto Greeley Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

Curtis Crothers, 53, was in good condition at Legacy Emanuel hospital Friday after suffering eight broken ribs, a broken scapula, a punctured lung, internal bleeding, a dislocated shoulder and 24 hours in intensive care.

Crothers is a regular bike commuter to Daimler Trucks North America, which employs 3,000 workers in the North Portland industrial park. The bike commuting route to Swan Island has been subject to controversy; many of the area’s hundreds of bike commuters avoid the area where Crothers was hit by illegally using the Ash Grove Cement Road, a private path owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

Crothers, however, had stopped using the Cement Road after concluding it was itself unsafe due to train tracks that curve across it and after a run-in with railroad security.

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Mayor Hales in Union Pacific/Cement Road access talks: “Going very well”

Avatar by on May 24th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

The Ash Grove Cement Road

The Cement Road with Fremont Bridge
in the background..
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a renewed effort afoot that could result in something most observers thought would never happen: legal public access to the “Cement Road” that runs through Union Pacific’s Albina Yards along the Willamette River between Swan Island and the Fremont Bridge.

Union Pacific Railroad owns the road and they don’t allow public use. There are “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs posted at its northern entrance (at the end of N Portland Center Way); but many of Swan Island’s 10,000 employees who ride bikes to work still use the road because it’s the only flat and safe way to get to work. As recently as December 2012, UP spokesman Brock Nelson said they were, “Not interested in either selling or allowing public access to this property.”

However, it now appears UP’s position on this idea might be softening up a bit. [Read more…]

Daimler Trucks North America opens new bike parking facility on Swan Island

Avatar by on April 30th, 2013 at 10:07 am

Daimler bike shelter opening-24

A large crowd gathered to celebrate the opening
of a bike shelter at Daimler Trucks HQ
this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Daimler Trucks North America, a commercial truck manufacturer based on Swan Island, celebrated a decidedly non-motorized achievement this morning: They opened a bike parking shelter near the main entrance of their corporate headquarters.

The new shelter can fit up to 53 bicycles in a space previously used to park just five cars. Daimler project manager Rich Wipf said demand for bike parking from Daimler’s 3,000 Swan Island employees (1,500 at corporate HQ) has increased significantly in recent years. “Some of our employees remember when just one rack was enough. Now we’ve got racks near all the entrances and they’re all filling up.”

Erik Weeman, a mechanical engineer, said there were only “a handful” of riders when he started working at Daimler two years ago. Now the existing bike racks quickly fill up in the morning. “Unless you get here early, your bike would be left out in the rain if you could even find a spot.”
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First Look: New Waud Bluff Trail connects North Portland to Swan Island

Avatar by on March 15th, 2013 at 10:57 am

Waud Bluff Trail opening day-7

The Waud Bluff Trail is finally open for business.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Mayoral candidates to debate on Swan Island: Could bicycling be a sleeper issue?

Avatar by on October 8th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Bike commuters at Daimler Trucks North America on Swan Island-7

This is where the candidates will debate economic
development on Wednesday.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland

The issue of bicycling on and around Swan Island is enjoying a major surge lately and it could take center stage during a debate on Wednesday between mayoral hopefuls Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales. The topic of the debate is “the city’s role in economic development.” But if you think that means bicycling won’t merit a mention; think again.

First, the debate will be held at Daimler Trucks North America, which is not only one of the economic and employment powerhouses on Swan Island, it also happens to be home to a growing and active nucleus of dedicated bike commuters. [Read more…]

Work set to begin on long-awaited Waud Bluff Trail to Swan Island

Avatar by on September 15th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Drawing of the future Waud Bluff Trail, which could open as early as spring 2012.
Download PDF

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New art rack at Daimler Trucks North America HQ

Avatar by on April 6th, 2011 at 9:15 am

The new bike rack at the Daimler Trucks North America headquarters on Swan Island.
(Photo: Daimler Trucks North America)

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It’s official, Portland nabs nearly $3 million for biking/walking projects

Avatar by on February 18th, 2011 at 9:21 am

The great news we reported last month is now official: The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced yesterday that they’ve received $2.96 million from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for two projects that will vastly improve biking and walking conditions in North and East Portland.

The Portland projects are two out of 27 that the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) has decided to fund from a $20 million pot of federal “flexible funds” set aside specifically for non-highway projects. PBOT has received $2,090,372 for the Going to the River project and $870,000 for a project on SE 122nd Avenue.
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