news aggregator

Pro Cross-country, Dual Slalom highlight day 3 of MTB Nationals

USA Cycling News - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 20:27
It was a busy day on Mammoth Mountain with lots of cross-country, dual slalom, and downhill action.

First look: The City has finally bridged the the notorious Naito Gap

Bike Portland - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 13:04
We waited nine years for this!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The day has finally come: You can now ride your bike in legally-protected, cycling-only space between Davis and the Steel Bridge on Naito Parkway.

Nine years ago (nine!) I lamented this gap after the City of Portland celebrated a $10 million rehab of Naito. All that money and they couldn’t manage to stripe a few tenths of a mile to connect our waterfront bikeway! I wasn’t happy. Here’s what I wrote back then:

While I’m thrilled to see these new bike lanes, and it’s great to have an option off the crowded, multi-use waterfront path, PDOT and/or ODOT should put their heads together and find a way to connect this new bike lane with existing ones just north of the Steel Bridge.

This connection is imperative if the City wants to encourage cycling and it’s the type of thing that can add teeth to their claims of wanting to build a “world-class” bike-friendly city.

Once they close this gap, we’ll really have something to celebrate.

After riding the just-installed bikeway this morning I can finally say it’s time to celebrate. The design isn’t perfect and we’d still prefer physical protection — but this is a huge improvement (and the protection will come later).

As we reported last week, a repaving project helped the Bureau of Transportation finally get this project done. What we have now isn’t merely a narrow standard bike lane, it’s an entire lane that’s just as wide as the adjacent standard travel lane.

Check out the video below to see what it looks like from a bicycling point-of-view. (Keep in mind that the video is sped-up (for your viewing convenience) and there is a lot more auto traffic than usual because a train had just passed by.)

Dropout Ride – July

1e3)g=1e3;else if(200>~~g)g=200;f.height=g}if("link"===d.message)if(h=b.createElement("a"),i=b.createElement("a"),h.href=f.getAttribute("src"),i.href=d.value,}else;}},d)a.addEventListener("message",a.wp.receiveEmbedMessage,!1),b.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",c,!1),a.addEventListener("load",c,!1)}(window,document);//-->

And here are a few photos for closer inspection:

Southbound at the off-ramp for the Steel Bridge. Northbound crossing the on-ramp to the Steel Bridge (to the right) from Naito and NW Davis.

One question people have immediately asked is why there isn’t physical protection to separate car users from bicycle users. We haven’t got the official answer from PBOT yet, but recall that this bikeway was completed as part of a routine restriping that’s taking place after a repaving project. That means the budget and the outreach process is much more limited than if it were approached as a separate project on its own.

The right hook concerns we reported on last week will likely remain. At two locations (one in each direction) people driving on Naito have an option to take an off-ramp that crosses right over the new bikeway. For now these concerns are mitigated by a lot of green-colored paint and yellow caution signs. Given the width of the lanes the visibility of other road users is very high. This distance between users should decrease the chance of collisions.

It’s also worth noting that in addition to these new lanes through the gap, PBOT has widened and bufferized the bike lane on both sides of Naito from the Steel Bridge all the way north to NW 9th.

Looking north onto Naito from the top of the Broadway Bridge.

A few other thoughts:

– I’m still puzzled by PBOT’s reluctance to lay down more bike lane symbols in bike lanes. This is a citywide problem that leads to people driving and parking in bike lanes. With this project there’s only a few bike lane symbols the entire length of the restriping. I’d like to see them every 75 feet or so to really drive the point home that the lane is only for cycling — especially with the lack of physical protection.

– Even with this wide new lane, there’s unfortunately still no safe way to cross Naito (on foot or by bike). Many people make a risky dash across the street to connect from the popular Waterfront Park/Steel Bridge path to Flanders and Old Town. Having only one lane for driving vastly increases the crossing safety, but we must address this in a more comprehensive way someday.

– With people now used to the two-way bikeway “Better Naito” configuration to the south, the sudden one-way of this new section might be confusing. I can envision people dropping in from the Waterfront Park path at the Steel Bridge and going southbound (the wrong direction) in the northbound bike lane.

– Speaking of Better Naito, this improved bike lane should add to the political momentum to keep Better Naito beyond its demonstration phase. The quality of bike networks are only as good as their weakest link and to return Naito to its pre-Better Naito form would be a major step backwards.

Roll over and give it a try. We’d love to know what you think.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post First look: The City has finally bridged the the notorious Naito Gap appeared first on

Long-term plan for central-city bikeways moves toward council approval

Bike Portland - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 09:43
Future central-city bikeways in the city’s proposed Central City 2035 plan. Dark green lines are “major” city bikeways, light green are other city bikeways. Green shading indicates a “bicycle district.”

Some recent updates to a map of future bikeways in Portland’s central city have advocates talking.

The map of “city bikeways” and “major city bikeways” (the difference between the two is that on “major city bikeways,” biking is relatively more important compared to other modes) is the latest sign of which streets will be candidates for protected bike lanes in the $8.4 million Central City Multimodal Safety Project that’s supposed to begin public outreach this summer.

The central city bikeway map has been refined since we covered an earlier version of it in February, but it’s not yet finished. The current draft is the one being “proposed” by city staff, before approval by the Planning and Sustainability Commission or the City Council.

Feedback to the planning commission is due Aug. 9.

Among the notable details here:

• SW Alder Street, a useful connection between Northwest Portland and the Morrison Bridge, will be upgraded to a major city bikeway across Interstate 405, but only as far east as Broadway. Between Broadway and the river it would no longer be a designated bikeway.

• SW Washington Street would be upgraded to a major city bikeway between Broadway and I-405, so Alder/Washington would echo the existing Oak/Stark couplet closer to the river.

• SW Yamhill, where the westbound MAX tracks run, is no longer marked as a potential bikeway. Neither is Morrison, one block to its north, where the eastbound MAX tracks run. But Taylor, just south of Yamill, is now seen as a future bikeway. So is Salmon, the one-way eastbound street one block south of Taylor.

• As previously proposed, SW Jefferson and Columbia streets would become a major city bikeway couplet between SW 19th and Naito Parkway, making them major connections across Interstate 405 and almost to the Hawthorne Bridge.

• SW Harrison Street would be upgraded to major city bikeway as far west as the Park Blocks, creating a link between the South Waterfront (including Tilikum Crossing) and Portland State University.

• The city continues to pull back from the idea of Fourth Avenue, with its many garages, as a major northbound bike route through downtown. It’s no longer marked as a major city bikeway north of Madison.

• SW Second and Third avenues, both of which are getting bike lanes in the Old Town area already, are now a major city bikeway couplet between SW Market and NW Flanders. This sets up two future routes to bike north or east from the PSU area: the Park Blocks to the Broadway Bridge or Columbia/Second to the Morrison, Burnside and Steel bridges.

• East of the river, SE 11th and 12th Avenues have been upgraded to major city bikeways (a change that was “literally applauded” when city staffers mentioned it to the Bicycle Advisory Committee on Tuesday, according to Jessica Engelman of BikeLoudPDX). And the city now envisions a direct north-south biking-walking bridge across Interstate 84 at 7th Avenue rather than cutting the angle to 8th and then jogging back to 7th.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
--> ODOT approves “multimodal mixed-use area,” giving downtown permission to evolve away from cars More and more lanes: not a long-term solution for a downtown.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This is essentially a way of locking in the idea that as new buildings arrive in the area, the city will simply let nearby auto congestion increase.

Another significant change for the central city, embedded in the proposed Central City 2035 plan, is the fact that downtown is becoming the first “multimodal mixed-use area” in the city of Portland. This is essentially a way of locking in the idea that as new buildings arrive in the area, the city will simply let nearby auto congestion increase.

In many other cities, developers are required to pay to increase the automotive capacity of nearby intersections, an expensive requirement that effectively shuts down new development in denser areas. In central Portland, this will only be necessary if the additional congestion causes a safety problem — for example, traffic won’t be allowed to back up all the way onto a freeway offramp.

Because the Oregon Department of Transportation controls several freeway intersections in the area, it had to sign off on the city’s proposal. It did.

“The concept is that if you have downtown and you have other modes — bike as well as ped as well as transit — and you have a mix of land uses that makes it possible to get around by those modes — that’s good, that’s something the State of Oregon supports,” said Lidwien Rahman, a principal planner for ODOT’s Portland regional office. “So you shouldn’t have to worry about vehicle mobility because you can get around at those other modes.”

Rahman said ODOT’s only condition for signing off was that the city vet this plan with interest groups such as its freight committee and the Portland Business Alliance, which it has.

“As long as everybody knows that this is the choice you’re making, it’s all good,” Rahman said.

In a somewhat related change, most of the central city will also be designated as a “bicycle district.” This is another concept from the city’s Bike Plan for 2030, defined as an area “with a dense concentration of commercial, cultural, institutional and/or recreational destinations
where the City intends to make bicycle travel more attractive than driving.”

Analysis from BikeLoud’s Engelman BikeLoudPDX co-chair Jessica Engelman, right, testifies at Portland City Council with Soren Impey in 2015.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

City transportation planners Mauricio LeClerc and Zef Wagner visited the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee Tuesday to discuss the changes.

Engelman, who is a co-chair of advocacy group BikeLoudPDX, was one of those who attended. Below are passages from her report about the meeting.

On the “bicycle district” designation:

Does this mean putting sharrows and “bikes may use full lane” signs on every street? Re-time the lights to be at more of a bicycle pace? Minimum bicycle parking requirements? etc. These are the types of specifics that need to be determined for “bicycle district” to actually mean anything.

On reaction from the advisory committee:

A few BAC members had comments regarding specific streets: one thought was that SW 4th would be a better major city bikeway than SW 2nd because it could serve as a couplet with Broadway. There was also a call to attention regarding the lack of bike connections on the west side of the Morrison Bridge (considered an important issue because the Hawthorne Bridge is already over capacity during rush hour). There was support from a few members for a city bikeway designation on NE Davis east of 7th. And the room literally applauded the major city bikeway designation on SE 11th and 12th (something BikeLoudPDX strongly recommended in our testimony).

On the Central City Multimodal Safety Project:

The multimodal project is for ALL of Central City, not just downtown, although there is an expectation that most of the funds will go there, but with public support, a project or two from Lloyd or Central Eastside may also be able to draw from that pot of money.

And on the effectiveness of BikeLoud’s testimony so far:

Fortunately they incorporated so much of what BikeLoudPDX requested last time that there’s not as much to testify on this time around, except to again highlight which specific projects we think should be a priority, re-recommend the few things we didn’t get in this draft, and maybe comment on a few streets’ MCB vs CB classifications.

Correction 1:40 pm: An earlier version of this post confused Yamhill, Taylor and Morrison at one point, and gave the wrong name for a “multimodal mixed-use area.”

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post Long-term plan for central-city bikeways moves toward council approval appeared first on

Oregonian: Mayor Hales plans complete removal of camps along Springwater path

Bike Portland - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 08:10
“Mohawk Craig,” a resident of a Springwater Corridor camp, in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

“You can’t stay here any more.”

After months of telling park rangers and police to avoid issuing that order to people living in tents along the major Portland biking path, Willamette Week and The Oregonian are reporting that Mayor Charlie Hales plans to order a sweep of the length of the corridor within city of Portland boundaries (the eastern border is SE Jenne Rd/174th).

Here’s more from Hales in a video created by The Oregonian:

Dropout Ride – July

1e3)g=1e3;else if(200>~~g)g=200;f.height=g}if("link"===d.message)if(h=b.createElement("a"),i=b.createElement("a"),h.href=f.getAttribute("src"),i.href=d.value,}else;}},d)a.addEventListener("message",a.wp.receiveEmbedMessage,!1),b.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",c,!1),a.addEventListener("load",c,!1)}(window,document);//-->

Hales tells The Oregonian that, “The Springwater is going to have to be off limits. We’re going to try to accommodate homeless people in the short term here and there.” Pressure to remove people from the lands around the Springwater has built in the past year as business owners, other residents, and environmental advocates have raised concerns about the impacts of the camps.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

“Unfortunately, for people on the streets, our public parks are one of the only places left to go,” Street Roots editor Israel Bayer tells Willamette Week. “Until we have massive investments in affordable housing stock I don’t see the situation changing.”

Yesterday we excerpted a recent article on the local poverty news site Poor for a Minute. A modified version of that article also ran yesterday in Willamette Week, observing that the camp may have become the largest in the United States. Those articles also observed that camps of more than six people are forbidden under the urban camping policy brokered over the last year by Hales and his staff.

This major announcement comes as the camp on the Springwater has swelled significantly in recent months. This is due in part to an increase in police resources that have been spent to drive the camps outside of the downtown core.

Asked what will happen if people try to camp on the Springwater area to camp after the sweeps are completed (around August 1st), Hales told The Oregonian, “That’s the last resort. Criminalizing homelessness and sending people to jail because they’re camping in the wrong place is not our first, second or third choice.”

Read more in The Oregonian.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post Oregonian: Mayor Hales plans complete removal of camps along Springwater path appeared first on

1990 Pinarello - Campagnolo Victory

Velospace - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 00:05
Frame / Size / Year:
Pinarello, 58, 1990

Twenty-three national titles awarded on day 2 of MTB Nationals

USA Cycling News - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 18:35
More amateur cross country was on tap for Thursday, as well as dual slalom qualifying and cat 2 and 3 downhill.

Discount ends tomorrow for the International Open Streets Summit in Portland

Bike Portland - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 14:20
Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways, 2014.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The biggest conference about open-streets events (like Sunday Parkways) and tactical urbanism (like Better Block) is coming to Portland next month.

The International Open Streets Summit will bring many people who work to humanize street space to Portland State University from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Saturday, Aug. 20. The draft program includes speakers from Philadelphia; Dallas; Los Angeles; Missoula; Toronto; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile, among others.

The “tactical urbanism” thread is newly added to this conference, reflecting the fact that fast, flexible changes and demos on city streets are a growing trend among community groups and city governments alike. Mike Lydon, a planning consultant helping produce this conference, literally wrote the book on that subject.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

We reported last fall that Portland won its bid to host this year’s conference.

This is the event’s third year. The first was in Los Angeles in 2014 and last year’s was in Atlanta. (It drew about 125 people.) Portland’s Sunday Parkways program and Better Block PDX have both been national innovators in these areas, so it’s great for our city to show off the wealth of local expertise.

Early-bird registration is available until tomorrow; it’s $295 and includes off-site tours. Starting Saturday, the price goes up to $350 without tours or $375 with them. There’s also a service fee of $11 to $14. The fee includes lunch on Thursday through Saturday.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post Discount ends tomorrow for the International Open Streets Summit in Portland appeared first on

Pokemon Go is a boon for biking

Bike Portland - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 12:19

Pokemon Go has gamified cycling. The new app that’s taking the world by storm also happens to be great to play by bike. As more and more people realize this, the game could do more to encourage biking — especially among young people — than decades of advocacy.

I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve been monitoring chatter about bikes on the internet long enough to know when something big has happened. And it has.

The game itself is really interesting. It uses a combination of your smartphone’s map and camera to “augment reality” by placing the game’s features right on the streets where you live, work, and play. When it first hit the news all the reports were about people playing it on foot. We then started hearing about people playing while driving (bad idea!). And now it appears that a bicycle is the secret Pokemon Go weapon.

Here’s Bicycling Magazine writer (and Portland resident) Caitlin Giddings explaining why bikes and Pokemon go so well together:

Not only has my bike allowed me to access Pokéstops more quickly—so it’s easy to stock up on Pokéballs and other items—but it’s also proved invaluable in hatching eggs. Eggs are items you can find at Pokéstops. To hatch them into Pokémon, you have to walk (or even better, ride) a certain distance—between two to 10 km, as measured by your phone’s accelerometer. Eggs won’t hatch if you’re traveling that distance in a car—so you essentially have to get outside and use your own body to get the job done. On foot, this can take a while because you have to leave the app open the entire time for your steps to count. But on a bike? I think you know where I’m going with this.

Although not really a cycling app, Pokémon Go is the first cycling-adjacent app I’ve ever given a damn about

Giddings has written a great primer about how to do Pokemon by bike.

Lifehacker also a post up about how to turn your bike into a “PokeBike.” The author of that piece said, “The first time I hopped on my PokéBike, I felt the same giddiness I had when I was a kid pretending to chase imaginary monsters in my neighborhood. I hope you get the same kind of joy out of yours.”

Making biking fun is one of the most powerful ways to get people riding.

Like $5 gasoline or the Naked Bike Ride, Pokemon Go has people who haven’t ridden in years suddenly dusting off their saddles and filling up the air in their tires to go for a spin.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

For the last day or so I’ve been watching the Pokemon bike Twitter stream

"Ashley we're going for a bike ride I need more Pokémon"

— Amber Schneider (@aschneidie) July 14, 2016

Never thought I'd be spending an hour trying to fix my bike so I could catch Pokemon…

— noah mcmurrin (@Nmicky22) July 14, 2016

My grandparents are really mad bc I asked them to blow up my bike tires to go get Pokemon. Like last week you bitched bc I'm always inside?

— The Lioness (@Manda_IsNoJoke) July 14, 2016

My friend is trying to buy a bike to go Pokemon hunting

Froome Runs Up Ventoux (really)

Bike Hugger - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 03:25

Seriously, the year I decided to NOT COVER THE TOUR. Well, see for yourself! The BBC is covering it live.

Photo: Reuters

The events so far
  • Froome runs up Mont Ventoux after damaging bike
  • Froome caught up in crash with motorbike
  • Incident late in stage causes chaos
  • Froome loses yellow jersey in provisional standings
  • Yates moves into provisional lead; Froome +53secs
  • Thomas de Gendt wins shortened stage
  • Montpellier to Mont Ventoux (178km)

Recaps to follow.

Eight national titles awarded to junior cross-country racers in Mammoth

USA Cycling News - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 18:49
The Volkswagen USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships returned to Mammoth, Calif. this week and junior racers kicked things off on Wednesday.

One week left to apply for two important city funding committees

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 14:41
The city’s bicycle advisory committee is different, but you get the idea.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Not everybody loved the local gas tax that Portland voters approved in May. But most Portlanders can probably agree that now that it exists, it ought to be spent as promised.

There’s a strong possibility that the tax might bring in more or less money than expected, or that the city might eventually consider changing the project list in ways that violate the implicit promise to voters that it made when it created the list.

If either of those things were to happen, the main watchdog institution will be a volunteer oversight committee that’s currently recruiting members.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Given the amount of vitriol expressed by some opponents of the tax, it wouldn’t be surprising if many people interested in joining the oversight committee were opponents of the tax for one reason or another. Which is why the application deadline for the committee — this coming Tuesday — is something biking advocates might want to know about.

It requires a sixteen-hour commitment over two years: quarterly meetings of two hours each. Here’s the application. If you have questions, you can email

Also Tuesday, the city will close applications for its general transportation budget advisory committee. This group meets monthly, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on third Thursdays, and in addition to giving some influence over staff who make budgetary decisions, it’s a way to become a more effective advocate by learning the nuts and bolts of where the city’s money is. If you’re interested in that position, you can apply for it here.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post One week left to apply for two important city funding committees appeared first on

Thanks for voting us Best Local Blog!

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 14:36

The Willamette Week’s Best of Portland issue hit the streets today and if you turn to page 60 you’ll see something pretty cool: BikePortland has been voted Best Local Blog!

Thanks to everyone who voted for us!

We all put so much into this site that it feels really nice to be recognized and appreciated. And by “we” I don’t just mean Michael and I and our other contributors. I mean everyone in our community. Without your inspiring work as leaders, activists, creators, and so on, we wouldn’t have anything to report on. BikePortland has always been — and always will be — merely a reflection of this vibrant and inspiring community. Warts and all.

This month (July 29th) is our 11th anniversary of bringing you daily bike news. Can you believe it?

If you like what we do, please consider becoming a subscriber and/or donor.

Running this blog is my passion. I’m an activist and a journalist, not a businessman. And while we’ve managed to survive all these years it’s a constant struggle to make the financial end of things pencil out.

On a related note, BikePortland will be going through a major transition in the next couple of months. I’m not ready to lay it all out just yet, but you’ve been forewarned.

— Jonathan Maus – @jonathan_maus – (503) 706-8804

The post Thanks for voting us Best Local Blog! appeared first on

Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 11:03

BMC Demo Day and Shop Ride

1e3)g=1e3;else if(200>~~g)g=200;f.height=g}if("link"===d.message)if(h=b.createElement("a"),i=b.createElement("a"),h.href=f.getAttribute("src"),i.href=d.value,}else;}},d)a.addEventListener("message",a.wp.receiveEmbedMessage,!1),b.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",c,!1),a.addEventListener("load",c,!1)}(window,document);//-->

Tucked into Nike’s exclusive $10 million bike share contract with the City of Portland is a clause that allows the company to put its considerable marketing prowess on display.

Nike has the right to place occasional “wraps” on 100 of the 1,000 Biketown bikes. This means they can change the color scheme of the usually bright orange machines in order to promote whatever they please. Today they announced their first wrap scheme.

Say hello to “sneaker bikes.”

When Biketown launches next week some of the bikes will echo the stylings of three historically significant Nike sneakers.

Here’s the announcement from Nike:

When the first verifiable bicycle made its debut in 1819, it was deemed a “running machine.” When the City of Portland Bike Share Program, BIKETOWN, launches July 19, this old moniker takes on new relevance, as 10% of the program’s bikes will feature a limited-edition bike-wrap design inspired by one of three beloved Nike sneakers: the Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Trainer 1 and Nike Air Safari. And while only one of the silhouettes was explicitly designed for running, all were made to move.

The Air Trainer 1 and Air Safari, creations of the renowned Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, both released in 1987. The Air Trainer 1, famously worn by John McEnroe, redefined cross-training shoes, while the Air Safari has become a cult classic thanks to unmistakable print detailing on its toe and heel. Meanwhile, Sergio Lozano’s Air Max 95 broke new ground in 1995 with Nike’s first black midsole, forefoot air and its immediately recognizable gradient upper.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

They also released the three different colorways along with the video. Behold, sneakerheads!

It will be interesting to see how Nike’s march into Portland neighborhoods is accepted by locals. After all this is a town famous for its disdain of global corporate juggernauts. There’s already this one person on SE Taylor and Cesar Chavez Blvd. who’s making his/her feelings widely known with signs that say, “Don’t Brand my Block!” and “Urban Blight” with an upside-down Nike swoosh. Check out these photos sent in by a reader:

CORRECTION: This post originally used the old name of Cesar Chavez Blvd. We regret the error.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes appeared first on

City responds after bike share station locations spur complaints

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:01

Biketown station on North Mississippi and Skidmore where an on-street bike corral used to be.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Besides the bikes themselves, the stations are the most visible part of the Biketown bike share system that’s set to launch six days from today. And not surprisingly, as the bright orange stations are installed on streets and sidewalks throughout Portland, their presence has stoked anger and confusion.

We’ve already covered the confusion: People are locking their own bikes to the racks which are intended solely for Biketown bikes. That issue is likely to disappear once the Biketown bikes show up next week.

Then just as that story died down a bit, we heard concerns from readers via comments that the City of Portland has torn out existing bike parking corrals in front of businesses and replaced them with bike share stations. Also yesterday, I fielded a call from a southeast Portland resident who was angry when she woke up, looked outside her house and saw that the space where she used to park her car was now a row of 18 Biketown racks.

What’s going on? Here’s what the city says…

Portland now has four fewer bike parking corrals

The new station in front of Widmer on North Russell at Interstate has replaced a bike corral.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve confirmed that the Bureau of Transportation has removed four bike corrals in order to make room for Biketown stations. The locations are: North Mississippi and Skidmore (at Prost); North Russell and Interstate (at Widmer Brothers Pub); NW 21st and Johnson (at City Market); and NW Thurman and 24th (at Dragonfly Coffeehouse).

According to PBOT Communications Director John Brady the decision to remove the corrals was based on conversations with business owners and an analysis of demand at the corrals and availability of nearby bike parking options. “In removing the corrals, our overall goal was to balance the needs of all users,” Brady said via email yesterday. “We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will revisit our decision if we find that it is warranted by the demand for bike parking.” If one of the businesses wants more standard bike racks on the sidewalk, PBOT is ready and willing to install them (note the the removed corrals and the new bike share stations were located in the street, not on the sidewalk).

Brady went on to say that the city still has over 3,000 bike racks within the Biketown service area map and more than 6,000 bike racks citywide. And for people who feel like the city should have kept the corrals and added the bike share stations alongside them, Brady added, “It is important to note that the demand on the public right of way in each of these locations is high. Our challenge was to balance the need for good parking with the need for Biketown stations and car parking.”

Want more bike parking? Brady says there’s an email address for that:

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
--> Welcome to the neighborhood, Biketown!

Image of residential Biketown station posted to Twitter by @twjpdx23. (The number is the city’s Biketown hotline).

We’ve also heard directly from one Portland resident who says she and her neighbors are not pleased (at all) with the bright orange bike racks in the street in front of their houses. KGW-TV ran a story this week about a similar complaint.

As you might guess, residents of inner Portland who have seen tremendous growth in nearby commercial districts and lots of infill development are already highly stressed when it comes to parking spaces. Now they’re waking up and seeing strange orange bike racks where they used to park their cars.

We asked Brady to respond to these concerns. He stressed that all 100 bike share stations are being installed in the public right-of-way “which is shared space.” When PBOT and their contractor, Motivate Inc., chose station locations Brady said their goal was to, “balance the needs of the different types of travelers who use this shared space.”

As for the claim that Anderson and her neighbors were never notified, Brady pointed to the extensive public process PBOT started last spring. “We received over 4,600 comments on the station locations between the online interactive map and five open houses. In addition, we presented at over 40 stakeholder meetings and events,” he said. And while he acknowledges PBOT did not notify individual households, he says they did email every neighborhood association, district coalition, and business association about the project’s open houses. “We then hand walked a postcard to every business along all the main street corridors on the east side of the river,” Brady continued, “along with NW 23rd and NW 21st. To further communicate with the public, we issued a news release about the station siting process and the open houses. As a result, the planning process received widespread media coverage.”

A station on SE 7th at Burnside that one of our readers says negatively impacts walking and wheelchair access space.
(Photo: David G.)

Despite PBOT’s defenses, these stations are likely to continue to be unloved and highly scrutinized by some Portlanders. We’ve also heard from people concerned about stations placed on sidewalks where the bikes are likely to impact the walking and rolling (for wheelchair uses) space.

In my opinion, this debate is reasonable, worthy and completely expected. Make no mistake about it: Biketown is a new transit system that’s being overlayed onto existing infrastructure. It represents major changes to our city on many levels — both physical and mental. Add to that its hi-viz orange color and Nike branding (remember that just 12 years ago Portland residents firebombed Starbucks when it moved into inner southeast) and we shouldn’t be surprised that these changes will be uncomfortable for some people.

The good news is that Portland isn’t the first city to experience these bike share growing pains. In fact where the 66th city to go through it. And the wisdom of experience tells us that usually the pains subside dramatically once the system is actually launched and we have that collective “a-ha!” moment as happy people start pedaling around on shared bikes.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post City responds after bike share station locations spur complaints appeared first on

Views from campers about the future of the tent city on Springwater path

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 08:56
The Springwater Corridor near SE 82nd.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

It’s been a week since someone living on the Springwater Corridor survived a gunshot and months since it became maybe the largest single tent camp — tent suburb? — in Oregon.

Consciously tolerated by the city government under an uneasy compromise brokered by Mayor Charlie Hales and his (now former) chief of staff Josh Alpert, the encampment has gotten more and more complicated as it’s become a more common place for people without a roof to look for refuge. It’s also gotten harder for people biking on the Springwater to ignore. With Alpert gone from the city as of July 1, the camp’s future is newly uncertain.

Thacher Schmid (who I should disclose is also a personal friend of mine) is a freelance reporter based in Portland, writing in this case for his own website. He rode his bike to the camp last week and spent a few hours talking to people there about their lives and the city’s efforts to reduce, manage and regulate homelessness.

We found the post full of surprising details and definitely worth a read.

Depending on how you define a “camp,” the bicycle trail and footpath area between SE 82nd Ave. and the Beggar’s Tick wildlife refuge at 111th Ave. is possibly the largest homeless camp in the city of Portland, perhaps even all of Oregon.

It promises enormous challenges for any police officers, park rangers, advocates, officials or neighbors who would try to “sweep,” relocate or re-house these hundreds of campers.

It also suggests that the geography of poverty is a crucial aspect of the situation: for all intents and purposes, in Summer 2016, along the Springwater Corridor, the place is the people and the people are the place.

The people, Schmid writes, have definitely been affecting the place.

Furniture, including heavy items like dressers, are set to within inches of the Springwater Corridor itself in some places, suggesting how much work campers have put into their homes. Soccer ball sized rocks delineate pathways filled with wood bark leading to shared campsites, and some tents are lovingly cared for, with immaculate gardens featuring five-foot sunflowers nearing bloom.

Among other people, Schmid interviews the camp’s “self-appointed spokesperson,” a “highly intelligent, 34-year-old, self-described ‘hipster’ and laid-off aerospace steelworker” who goes by “Crash Anarchy,” identifies their gender as “your answers may vary” and wears a Guy Fawkes mask during the interview.

“We’re going to get kicked out next week,” Crash said. “They will lock people up when they come.”

Tom Alvarado, a customer at Cartlandia and local who often bikes down the corridor at perhaps a slower rate than the constant stream of Spandex-clad flyers, is sure the Springwater situation is becoming more precarious. Alvarado says recently he’s had to stop and basically ask permission from campers to bike through crowds blocking the path. He’s seen piles of feces on the trail itself for the first time in the last few days.

“It’s crazy,” Alvarado says. “It’s apocalyptic down there. It sucks all around: it sucks to be homeless, but it sucks to be someone who pays rent and deals with it.”

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Several other people talk about how they landed there.

“It all started with a little vacation,” Blaga explained, sober as a judge and munching on a burrito. “It,” as in: car accident, lower back pain, lost job, waiting for an insurance settlement, car thefts, wallet stolen.

Schmid, who recently went deep into Hales and Alpert’s new policy for legalizing and regulating small tent camps in an article for the Northwest Examiner, asks people there what they think.

Asked about Alpert and Hales’ Safe Sleep policy, and the possibility that Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler will be less tolerant of camping, Crash said that would be “awful.”

“The only reason we don’t have to be afraid to fall asleep is because we have each other,” Crash said. “Shuffling people up and down the bike trail and giving them exclusions is not fixing the problem.”

Safe Sleep allows for a maximum of 8 structures or individuals in a single campsite, so Camplandia is certainly not allowed under Safe Sleep or any other city policies, past or future.

Schmid’s report about people living on the Springwater is the first on his new Medium site about local poverty, called “Poor for a Minute.” If the subject interests you, check it out.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post Views from campers about the future of the tent city on Springwater path appeared first on

BTA will ask members to ratify name change at annual meeting

Bike Portland - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 08:00
BTA head Rob Sadowsky at the member’s meeting in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland-based biking advocacy group that is transitioning into a biking-walking-transit advocacy group plans to unveil its proposed new name on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

It’ll happen at the organization’s annual members meeting, which will be 5:30 to 7:30 at Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said Monday that the organization’s board and staff will then ask members present for an up-or-down vote on the name proposal.

Because the BTA is a member-led nonprofit under Oregon law and section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code, the vote will be binding. State law requires two-thirds of members present to vote “yes.”

Sadowsky said he’s pretty confident that the new name will be approved.

“Those that show up create a quorum,” Sadowsky said. “If we can’t get 2/3 of people there excited about it, then what are we doing?”

The up-or-down vote will be binding. Sadowsky said the organization’s leaders are currently down to a “No. 1 choice” and a “No. 2 choice.”

Sadowsky said the organization’s leaders are currently down to a “No. 1 choice” and a “No. 2 choice,” both of which are available as corporate names in the state of Oregon. He said an intellectual property lawyer is currently working pro bono to make sure the names aren’t under trademark somewhere else.

Why not announce the name ahead of time, or conduct a mail-in vote? Sadowsky said it’s to make sure nobody squats on the relevant URLs and social media handles while the organization is waiting to see if members approve.

“The No. 1 name right now would cost us $2,000 to buy,” he said.

He also said the BTA “may have a new logo for the annual meeting, if it is done in time.” If not, he said, the new logo will be unveiled at the BTA’s Alice Awards fundraiser Sept. 24.

Also at the members’ meeting, the BTA will recognize people for its annual volunteer awards:

• Rookie Volunteer of the Year
• Under the Radar
• Advocacy Volunteer of the Year
• Scott Lieuallen Award
• Volunteer of the Year

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The BTA has some recent experience with brand transitions. Since 2014, it’s been using the name “Healthy Streets” and the URL to refer to “multimodal work that engage[s] partners in deep collaboration,” as Sadowsky put it in a February email. For example, the BTA’s Vision Zero traffic safety advocacy, the Active Transportation Summit event and the For Every Kid Coalition that has pushed for regional Safe Routes to School funding were all done under that sub-brand.

Once the name is changed, the BTA will also be wrapping more direct political work into its mission by forming a 501(c)4 organization, which is allowed to spend more money on political lobbying, and maybe subsequently a political action committee that could directly endorse candidates and raise money for them.

The BTA also plans to reorganize into a 501(c)3 arm, focused on education and organizing, and a 501(c)4 arm focused on political advocacy.

Sadowsky said there’s a possibility of merging with another existing PAC, but that he couldn’t legally discuss details because he’s employed by a c(3). That’s a good example of why the BTA wants to create a c(4), he said.

Terry Dublinski-Milton, a volunteer for Portland’s existing Bike Walk Vote PAC, wrote in an email “there is an ongoing conversation” about merging with the new BTA.

“No decision has been made at this time,” Dublinski-Milton said.

There are various other complications to having both a 501(c)3 arm, focused on education and organizing, and a 501(c)4 focused on political advocacy. For example, the BTA will need to recruit a separate board for each with no more than three shared members.

For the BTA’s existing (c)3, it isn’t currently planning to change its member-led structure that requires members to vote on board members, name changes and so forth.

Tomorrow, he said, BTA staff are traveling to Seattle to meet with the Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes, two organizations that merged in December. Today, Cascade Bicycle Club is the name of the group’s (c)3, with Washington Bikes as the name of the group’s (c)4.

Sadowsky added that they’ll also meet with Rob Johnson, the former executive director of the Seattle-based multimodal Transportation Choices Coalition 501(c)3 organization. Johnson was elected to city council last year.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


The post BTA will ask members to ratify name change at annual meeting appeared first on

Zipp Cognition Hubset with Axial Clutch Technology

Bike Hugger - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:48

Huh, Zipp is a secretive company, but perhaps with new competition from Mavic owning ENVE, they’ve decided to be more open? Don’t know, but this video shows off more of their tech that I’ve seen before.

The Best Prime Day Deals on Bicycles

Bike Hugger - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 06:44

Not sure if the mood of the country is into a faux shopping holiday, but if you want to try Prime, now is the time. The best Prime day deals we’ve seen are on SanDisk memory cards at up to 40% off and a Sigma Zoom Lens. For bicycle accessories, shop this page for hundreds of items on sale; including Brooks Perforated Leather Tape with Cork Plugs for 29% off.


Bicycle Tutor - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 06:10
Does anyone know if the rubber inserts in 'red cleats' can be purchased separately and if they can, where?  My cleats are like new, but the rubber has worn down to where the plastic cleat touches the...

Syndicate content