Has Portland’s Lack of Gated Communities Contributed to Its Cycling Success?

Recently I was planning the route for a Puddlecycle ride called “The Two Bridges” that goes over both the I-5 and I-205 bridges staying on the Vancouver side of the Columbia River. The goal was to stay as close to the river as possible. This was initially easy, as Vancouver has the Renaissance Trail that you can hop on right after coming off the Interstate (I-5) Bridge. The trail seemingly ends a mile later at the Kaiser Shipyard where they built Liberty ships during World War II. But you can ride to the North around that yard on a wide sidewalk, and the trail picks up again on the other side.

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Vancouver plans its first raised bike lane

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Screenshot 2015-08-31 at 8.42.29 AM

Portland’s neighbors to the north are planning a project that could set an important precedent in Clark County: a street rebuild that’s currently set to include a raised, protected bike lane.

It’s part of the planned expansion of SE 1st Street between 164th and 177th avenues, which is currently a two-lane street. The changes would add six-foot-wide sidewalks, raised five-foot-wide bike lanes and six-foot wide drainage swales to each side of the street, plus a center turn lane.

This neighborhood is north and a bit east from 122nd Avenue in Portland, and the context is somewhat similar: the auto-oriented residential neighborhoods that cover most of the area don’t offer a connected grid, so 1st Street is one of the only ways to get east and west, on a bike or otherwise.

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Vancouver toasts second year sucesses of Bike Clark County

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Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-27

Bike Clark County founder
Eric Giacchino.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bike Clark County celebrated its second anniversary with a party Friday night in Vancouver attended by bike activists and enthusiasts from all over the county. And there was also one notable attendee from Portland, author and journalist Jeff Mapes, who journeyed up by bike over the Columbia River via the Interstate Bridge (and had something to say about it later).

The founder of Bike Clark County, Eric Giacchino opened the event. “I had no idea when I hatched this organization,” he shared with the crowd, “that it would grow like this.” Among the accomplishments Giacchino cited for the year were the 600 elementary and middle school kids who attended the group’s bike safety and education programs, the 50 bikes repaired and donated to lower income children and the group’s role in organizing the first Open Streets event in Vancouver and advocating for the addition of bike lanes along a major bicycle corridor. “And we could do a lot more,” he added, “if we had more volunteers.”

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In Washington state, two election results worth watching

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Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, pictured here last year,
went down hard in Tuesday’s elections.
(Photo: Seattle DOT)

In Portland, voters mostly take odd-numbered years off. But two races to Portland’s north ended last night in interesting ways, for better or worse.

In Seattle, the deeply bike-friendly incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn lost in a 56-43 rout. And closer to home in Vancouver, Wash, the bike-and-transit-friendly but also Columbia River Crossing-supporting incumbent Mayor Tim Leavitt is headed to a second term.

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Clark County Bike/Ped Advisory Committee seeks two new members

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Clark County residents take note:

September 30, 2013

Contact: Laurie Lebowsky, Community Planning
(360) 397-2280 ext. 4544, laurie.lebowsky@clark.wa.gov

Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee seeks two members

Vancouver, WA – The Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants to fill two vacancies on the Clark Communities Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

The committee serves as an advisory group to the commissioners on matters relating to bicycle and pedestrian planning, funding and implementation of the county’s bicycle and pedestrian master plan. The group reviews future road construction and private development projects to ensure safety for people who travel on foot or by bicycle.

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Vancouver residents, speak up for bicycling at Washington State Senate listening sessions

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If you think projects like this new buffered bike lane in
Vancouver are the right direction for Washington,
it’s time to make your voice heard.
(Photo: Dan Packard)

Do you like the new buffered bike lanes along MacArthur in Vancouver? Want a multi-use path out to Vancouver Lake? How about a 33 mile trail through the county near Battle Ground? Face dangerous conditions biking to work or can’t find a safe way to get around your neighborhood? Worried that your kid may be injured biking to school?

Residents of SW Washington will have a chance next week to tell legislators that we want and need more bicycle and pedestrian facilities in our communities and that they should be part of a statewide transportation package.

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In Vancouver, bike lovers celebrate restriping of an overbuilt arterial

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Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, center, joined
the crowd trying out a newly right-sized
MacArthur Boulevard Saturday.
(Photos: Dan Packard)

“Like it a lot.” “Love it!” “Feels a lot safer!” “Freakin’ FANTASTIC!”

These were some of the comments from people on a bike ride Saturday along the newly restriped, right-sized MacArthur Boulevard in Vancouver, Wash. After months of advocacy and activism, people who use bikes finally have a model transportation corridor along a portion of the major east/west bicycle route across the southern part of Vancouver.

Mayor Tim Leavitt was one of the approximately 35 people who joined the ride of the new buffered bike lanes. Speaking afterward, he said, “I’m very pleased with the outcome of all the public involvement and advocacy. This new configuration really improves connectivity and safety for everyone who uses the road. And this is just the beginning for this community and will be an example of a smart, safe transportation corridor.”

As part of a restriping project along MacArthur, the city had initially proposed sharrows as a way to appease both people concerned about a sub-standard shoulder for bikes and people who wanted to keep two lanes of auto traffic in each direction, even though the road is very lightly traveled.

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