This morning’s death on TV Highway underscores need for reform, investment

Another dangerous ODOT highway that runs through our cities. Another tragic consequence.
(Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Policymaking can often feel far-removed from our everyday lives. Then there are times when we can connect current policy debates with matters of life-and-death with a short, straight line. This is one of those times.

Read more

Livability coalition to Metro: T2020 funding list ‘doesn’t go far enough’

The Getting There Together Coalition, a group of 50+ member organizations that was formed in 2017 to influence the Metro transportation investment package that will be sent to voters in 2020, says the recommendation by Metro staff on how to spend the first $3.1 billion in new revenue is too timid.

“If the Task Force and Metro Council really wants to see transformational impacts through this measure (to be clear: we do), the Coalition recommends turning T2020 into a transformative first step in addressing our region’s transportation needs by doubling down on the corridors where the needs are greatest, and removing from consideration projects where the needs and impact do not match the values above,” wrote the Coalition’s lead organizer Walter Robinson II in a copy of written testimony to be submitted to the Transportation Funding Task Force for their meeting Wednesday night.

Read more

Climate concerns dominate Metro ‘T2020’ task force meeting

“We will be watching,” was the warning from Sunrise PDX activists.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Concerns about climate change were made loud and clear to Metro’s Transportation Funding Task Force at their meeting last night. Metro is leading an effort to raise what some say could be as much as $20 billion for transportation infrastructure around the regional via a bond measure that could go to voters in November.

As lines are drawn on maps, lines are being drawn in the sand by electeds and advocates looking to stake out positions for debates to come.

Read more

Checking in on ‘T2020,’ Metro’s transportation funding measure

Metro’s map of highest scoring investment corridors.

We’re now three months since the official launch of Metro’s effort to raise funds for transportation infrastructure via a bond measure that could go to voters in 2020.

This is likely to be the most consequential transportation funding decision in our region’s history. With activism heating up and outlines of the measure being drawn, it’s time to put T2020 on your radar.

Read more

Here are the Oregon House bills we’re following this session (Part 2 of 2)

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-1

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session is well underway and we’re following as many bills as humanly possible (in a one-person newsroom).

Out of the thousands of bills swirling around the halls and meeting rooms of the state capitol building in Salem, there are few of particular importance to transportation reform advocates. Last week we shared the Senate bills we’re following and below are the House bills we’ve got an eye on…

House Bill 2355

Summary: “Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to develop method for recording data concerning officer-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops” (Official overview)

Read more

Federal trial lined up for police who Tasered Hillsboro man after bike infraction

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
robinson in dirt

A Hillsboro police photo from the aftermath.

Two police officers and the City of Hillsboro are on course to defend themselves in a jury trial over their choice to Taser a man who they’d stopped for biking illegally beside Tualatin Valley Highway.

The man who was tackled and Tasered in the 2012 incident, Jermaine Robinson, had been riding after dark without a front light on his bike, and the officer who stopped him says Robinson had been crossing the Southeast 13th Avenue crosswalk against a “don’t walk” light.

After the officer, William Blood, pulled his car over to confront Robinson, Robinson refused to give his name and (according to Blood, but not Robinson) seemed to be preparing to pedal away. Blood’s colleague Brian Wilber then shot him with a Taser twice.

Read more

McMenamins Grand Lodge as a base camp for biking adventures around Forest Grove

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Forest Grove - Barney Reservoir loop-1.jpg

Grand Lodge’s main entrance makes for
a classy way to start a ride.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just a quick trip on the MAX blue line west of Portland (about 25 miles) lies Forest Grove, a small town rich in history that just so happens to make a great launching pad for cycling adventures.

I’m out here thanks to McMenamins Grand Lodge, a hotel and resort looking to establish its bike-friendly credentials. McMenamins invited me here to spend a few nights and ride and photograph local roads and backroads. I eagerly accepted for two simple reasons: I was happy to hear that McMenamins, owners and operators of 56 establishments throughout Oregon and Washington, wanted to be more bike-friendly; and I really like riding bikes — especially in new (to me) places.

McMenamins and Forest Grove are a perfect match. One has a rich history and the other specializes in highlighting it. Forest Grove was incorporated in 1872, making it the first city in Washington County (thanks Wikipedia). It’s nestled at the western-most edge of urban development and there’s no civilization (except farms) between it and the Oregon Coast.

Read more

Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
13th tv highway

This is the Tualatin Valley Highway intersection where Jermaine Robinson biked, from right to left, immediately before a police stop that rapidly escalated into a Tasering and takedown.
(Image: Google Street View)

The City of Hillsboro and two of its police officers may head to trial this fall over a largely unreported 2012 incident in which the officers Tasered a 39-year-old Hillsboro man and kneed him into the ground after he allegedly rolled through a “don’t walk” light on his bike and then refused to give his name.

The interaction escalated over the course of three minutes from an evening traffic stop to a Taser-assisted takedown of a man who by all accounts had never attempted to physically harm the officers, though he did pull away from them when they tried to restrain and tackle him without warning.

Read more