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Updated: 19 weeks 4 days ago

The Monday Roundup: E-bike rebates, Major Taylor in the spotlight, a very long walk, and more

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 08:28

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Wheelhouse Lofts. Just steps away from the Springwater Corridor, you can live in a place that welcomes you and your bike with open arms.

Here are the most notable items we came across in the past week…

LPIs FTW: Seattle’s DOT has announced that leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs), which give crosswalk users get a head-start into an intersection, are now the preferred treatment whenever a signal is upgraded, maintained, or installed.

E-bike rebates: The province of British Columbia in Canada has a policy that Oregon should have passed this session: People can get an $850 rebate toward the purchase of a new electric bicycle when they scrap their toxic, gas-powered cars.

Ped-E-cabs: People who operate pedicabs hope the recently passed e-bike legislation in New York City gives them a chance to lift the existing ban on motors on their large, people-carrying vehicles.

Our road safety crisis: Streetsblog crunched the 2018 traffic fatality numbers and they paint a devastating picture of inequity: Biking and walking deaths are up; but fewer people inside cars were killed.

I-5 project is a boondoggle: OSPIRG, an environmental group, released their annual report on highway boondoggles and of course the I-5 Rose Quarter freeway expansion project made it on the list.

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Major Taylor gets his due: NPR’s venerable Fresh Air interview show featured author Michael Kranish who has written a new book on the race barrier-breaking-sports-superstar-cyclist Major Taylor.

Grand Tour on an e-bike: As electrified bicycles creep ever closer into mainstream acceptance, organizers offered an e-bike race on the same course as the legendary Giro d’Italia.

E-bike study: Recent research on people who switched to e-bikes from driving/transit or standard bikes revealed (among other things) that because they take longer trips on average, e-bikes users get the same net physical benefits as non-e-bike riders.

Manhattanites on bikes: An observational study of people riding bikes in Manhattan found that cell phone use while cycling has shot up in recent years.

City-killers: The reliable George Monbiot had me with his lede: “What is the best way of wrecking a city? Pour cars into it.”

Take a (looong) walk: The mind-boggling Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Race requires participants to walk around one block in Queens, New York 5,649 times. It’s like the Ladds 500 on steroids, times a thousand.

Dream a little dream: Check out these inspiring and lovely photos of the best bike infrastructure in the world that are part of the Bicycle Architecture Biennale competition being held in Amsterdam

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Bicycle rider dies in collision on SE Flavel – UPDATED

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 06:53

Looking eastbound on Flavel near 78th. Local residents say this is a popular route for cycling.

A man riding a bicycle was killed last night. Police say the man was involved in a collision with someone driving a sedan on SE Flavel near 78th.

Ghost bike at the scene.
(Photo: D. Gebhart)

Not many details are known at this point. Below is the police statement:

On Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 3:32 a.m., East Precinct officers responded to the area of Southeast Flavel Street and Southeast 79th Avenue on a report of a person injured in a crash involving a sedan. Portland Fire medics arrived and determined the injured adult male was deceased at the scene.

Preliminary information indicates the male was riding a bicycle and was struck by the sedan. The driver of the sedan remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team is responding to assume the investigation.

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Southeast Flavel Street is closed from 77-80th Avenues and is expected to remain so for several hours while the investigators conduct the investigation.

If anyone has information about this incident, please call the non-emergency dispatch at (503) 823-3333.

After the deceased is identified and next of kin are notified, his identity will be released.

This location is just a few blocks from where Lydia Johnson was killed in 2016. And another woman, Pamela Seidel, was killed in this area (SE Henderson and 82nd) while biking in October 2018.

This intersection is also part of the route of the forthcoming Seventies Neighborhood Greenway. That project was funded a year ago and is currently still in the planning stages.

In reply to our post about the crash on Twitter this morning, reader Gerik Kransky said, “This is deeply unsettling.” “I ride my bike through here on a regular basis. It’s within a mile of my home and I want to see some physical protection for people who ride bikes on SE Flavel.”

Matchu Williams, an advocate for better transportation in this neighborhood who co-wrote a BikePortland article about gaps in southeast Portland infrastructure last summer, said the lack of protected spaces for vulnerable users is, “a public safety crisis.” “Our most vulnerable community members are repeatedly being killed as a result of unsafe behaviors and missing, safer infrastructure. The street designs offer no protection to the people that need it most in an area that has little political clout to affect change with city, state, and county officials.”

This is the second fatality of a bicycle rider in 2019.

Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available.

UPDATE, 5:13pm 6/23: Police have arrested the driver in this collision. Here’s their latest statement:

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team continues to investigate the fatal crash from earlier this morning. Investigators arrested 21 year-old Nicholas P. Martinez, the driver of the involved sedan (PHOTO).

Martinez was charged with Manslaughter II, Reckless Driving, and DUII (alcohol). He was lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center. There is no there other information for release at this time.

UPDATE, 6/25 at 1:27pm: Portland Police have identified the victim as 32-year-old Lance T. Hart.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Climate rally shuts down SW 4th Avenue, includes call to end I-5 freeway expansion project

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 16:41


(Photos provided by Sunrise PDX)

Hundreds of concerned Portlanders shut down SW 4th Avenue outside City Hall today to raise awareness of climate change.

Led by Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise PDX (the Portland chapter of the national Sunrise Movement), activists called on Mayor Ted Wheeler to declare a citywide climate emergency.

In addition to a creative and colorful rally that took over the street, activists staged a sit-in in Wheeler’s office.

As we reported when Sunrise volunteers showed up at a Metro transportation funding hearing last month, the inclusion of the I-5 expansion project at today’s rally is just the latest evolution in the ever-closer integration between transportation reform activism and the rising climate change movement.

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Here’s the statement released by Sunrise PDX a few minutes ago:

It is far past time for words without meaningful action. We are tired of hearing about “environmental protection” in the abstract, while new projects are being built to facilitate the continued expansion of fossil fuel usage. The time is now to act boldly; to break cleanly from the status quo; to take the political risks necessary to secure the future of our planet and its inhabitants. To Mayor Wheeler and the City of Portland, we ask:

What is your plan?

We stand in opposition to the local expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure and call on our city officials to do the same.
Today, we sat in Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office in Portland, Oregon to demand that his administration:

1. Declare a climate emergency in the City of Portland.

2. Stop the current expansion of the Zenith Energy crude oil export terminal and develop a plan to shut it down entirely.

3. Prevent the proposed expansion of the I-5 freeway and any future freeway expansion projects within the City of Portland.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Climate rally shuts down SW 4th Avenue, includes call to end I-5 freeway expansion project

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 16:41

(Photos by: Amit Zinman)

Hundreds of concerned Portlanders shut down SW 4th Avenue outside City Hall today to raise awareness of climate change.

Led by Extinction Rebellion PDX and 350PDX, activists called on Mayor Ted Wheeler to declare a citywide climate emergency. In addition to a creative and colorful rally that took over the street, activists from Sunrise Movement staged a sit-in in Wheeler’s office.

As we reported when Sunrise volunteers showed up at a Metro transportation funding hearing last month, the inclusion of the I-5 expansion project at today’s rally is just the latest evolution in the ever-closer integration between transportation reform activism and the rising climate change movement.

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Here’s the statement released by Sunrise PDX a few minutes ago:

It is far past time for words without meaningful action. We are tired of hearing about “environmental protection” in the abstract, while new projects are being built to facilitate the continued expansion of fossil fuel usage. The time is now to act boldly; to break cleanly from the status quo; to take the political risks necessary to secure the future of our planet and its inhabitants. To Mayor Wheeler and the City of Portland, we ask:

What is your plan?

We stand in opposition to the local expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure and call on our city officials to do the same.
Today, we sat in Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office in Portland, Oregon to demand that his administration:

1. Declare a climate emergency in the City of Portland.

2. Stop the current expansion of the Zenith Energy crude oil export terminal and develop a plan to shut it down entirely.

3. Prevent the proposed expansion of the I-5 freeway and any future freeway expansion projects within the City of Portland.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Oregon’s Idaho Stop bill needs your help – this weekend! – to get over the finish line

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 14:32

Sen. Floyd Prozanski testifying at the House Rules Committee yesterday.

As we’ve been reporting, Oregon is tantalizingly close to passing a version of the Idaho Stop law. Now its chief sponsor says the bill needs your help to get over the final hurdle.

Senate Bill 998 would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields. Because it makes so much sense and would make our roads safer and more efficient for all Oregonians, it breezed through the Senate earlier this week with bipartisan support by a vote of 21 to 8.

With just days left in the legislative session, the bill now sits in the House Rules Committee — its final stop before a vote on the House floor. The committee gave the bill a public hearing yesterday, but there was no vote taken. A majority of the representatives seemed open to supporting the bill, but they were tentative and expressed a need to learn more and see more public support for it.

Committee member Rep. Sherrie Sprenger said, “I’m looking for data in the testimony and I only see three letters from cyclists; but i’d like some further information.” Committee Chair Rep. Paul Holvey wondered whether or not ODOT and the police were supportive.

The bill’s sponsor Senator Floyd Prozanski, was in attendance responded well to all the concerns. But since no vote was taken the clock continues to tick on this bill and we could run out of time if it doesn’t get voted on as soon as possible.

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“I’d like to have a little momentum, especially going uphill. Just sayin’!”
— Rep. Paul Holvey, Chair, House Rules Committee

Thankfully there’s a possible work session for the bill scheduled for Monday (6/24) at 1:00 pm.

According to sources in Salem, the committee needs to hear more support to feel comfortable voting in favor of the bill and passing it through to the House floor.

That means if you want this bill to become law, you need to email the House Rules Committee this weekend and let them know why you support it. The email is hrules.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.

If you are still undecided or unaware of why this law is needed, check out this 2010 study that analyzed the impacts of the law after it was implemented in Idaho. According to researcher Jason Meggs from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, “There is no evidence of any long-term increase in injury or fatality rates as a result of the adoption of the original Idaho Law in 1982.” You might also want to share this excellent animated video from Spencer Boomhower that explains why stops-as-yields is so important to bicycle users.

We have a great chance with this committee, they just need a bit more confidence to do the right thing.

At the end of yesterday’s meeting, Chair Holvey said he’s a new bicycle rider and that, “I’d like to have a little momentum, especially going uphill. Just sayin’!”

Let’s give SB 998 a bit more momentum to make Chair Holvey — and all of our — rides a bit more easy and efficient. Here’s that email again – hrules.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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PBOT gets council support for Vision Zero, except from Commissioner Hardesty

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 07:46

Cover of PBOT’s Vision Zero 2-Year Update.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is making steady progress on their march toward safer streets. They’ve queued up an impressive slate of capital projects, worked the legislature to gain authority for speed limits and enforcement cameras, and have passed important plans with the policy backbone that enables them to do things like remove auto parking from corners (a.k.a. “intersection daylighting”), install crossing treatments in more places, and so on.

Last week PBOT brought their annual Vision Zero 2-Year Update (PDF) to city council. They don’t have to get council’s official blessing for reports like this, but PBOT often takes this step to burnish council relationships, lay political groundwork for funding requests, and get explicit support for what might be controversial Vision Zero-related moves down the road.

Things like this usually get unanimous support because PBOT doesn’t bring half-baked ideas to council and they brief each commissioner beforehand to make sure they are up-to-speed with the issues and information. So it was a big surprise when Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no.

“…When every other street has a different speed limit, you’re not changing behavior, you’re making people lose their minds because they don’t know how to legally operate on the street.”
— Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Here’s what happened…

City council passed a commitment to Vision Zero in 2015. By the end of 2017 they’d passed an “Action Plan” aimed at achieving it, and by spring of that year Vision Zero had become the bureau’s chief organizing principle.

Last Thursday’s presentation to council was expected to be non-controversial. PBOT Director Chris Warner and his Active Transportation and Safety Division Manager Catherine Ciarlo updated commissioners on planned capital projects (they have eight projects on major streets planned to be completed by 2020), new policy approaches, and near-term actions they’re taking to improve road safety (including the left-turn calming initiative we reported on earlier today).

“I’m very disappointed to hear your concerns with this report. If those are your takeaways — which are virtually unfounded — I don’t think my bureau has done a good enough job briefing you on this program.”
— Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

In one of his first major council appearances since being named PBOT director less than a month ago, Chris Warner spent some of his time explaining why the bureau now erects electronic signs for two weeks at the location where someone was killed in traffic. It’s part of a “culture of shared responsibility,” which is one of PBOT’s Vision Zero priorities. “Sometimes there will be a fatality and a few hours later everything will be cleaned up and people won’t really know what happened,” Warner explained. “So we really want to raise the focus and awareness for Portlanders to know that was a dangerous spot, that someone died there, and for them to really reflect on how they’re driving.”

When cautioned by Commissioner Nick Fish about promising the public such a lofty goal as zero deaths, Warner was unfazed. “Unless we have that goal I don’t think our job is ever complete. And I don’t think we can stop doing what we can to make sure there are no deaths or injuries on our streets,” he said.

Sitting alongside Warner, Ciarlo spoke about PBOT’s commitment to the “Safe Systems” approach. “If Vision Zero is the performance measure, then Safe Systems is the approach that will get us there,” she explained. Ciarlo shared a slide (below) outlining the basic tenets of the approach, which call for (among other things) city staff to be proactive, instead of reactive to problems. It also says road designers and policymakers — not just users of the system — share responsibility for safety outcomes.

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PBOT slide outlines basic tenets of Safe Systems approach.

When it came time to vote and comment on the report, Commissioner Amanda Fritz had effusive praise for Commissioner Eudaly and the Vision Zero program in general. She urged PBOT to move even more quickly in their effort to remove parking at corners and offered tips on how to fund the work. Commissioner Nick Fish also strongly supported it, saying “This is a fine piece of work and I’m proud to support it.” (Mayor Ted Wheeler was absent.)

Commissioner Hardesty at the 6/13 meeting.

Then there was Commissioner Hardesty. As we reported yesterday, she had expressed concerns early in the presentation about the “big issue” of people who walk while using their phones. Turns out that wasn’t her only concern.

Hardesty said in her comments before her vote, “I think it’s a good vision. I just think it could be a better vision.” “It looks like the responsibility we’re putting is primarily on the drivers of automobiles as compared to us taking responsibility for the roads we haven’t built, the sidewalks we haven’t built, the lighting we haven’t put in,” she added. “There are reasons why there are a lot more crashes in east Portland. The primary reason is there’s been a lack of investment in east Portland.”

Hardesty’s comments touched on several issues she’s uncomfortable about.

Hardesty called out PBOT’s speed limit reduction efforts – not because she wants people to drive faster, but because she feels they’ve created a patchwork of different speed limits that make it too hard to follow the law. “You could be going a couple of blocks, and it’s [the speed limit is] up another 10 miles, then you turn to the left and it’s down 20 more miles [an hour], then you turn to the right and it’s up another 10 miles [an hour]. It’s very confusing if your goal is to change behavior, when every other street has a different speed limit,” Hardesty said. “You can imagine how frustrating it is for people who live in the community who are trying to do the right thing and yet there’s no commonality or consistency from one major arterial to the next. I just don’t think that’s a good way to change behavior. You’re not changing behavior, you’re making people lose their minds because they don’t know how to legally operate on the street.”

PBOT’s Ciarlo explained that since the City of Portland doesn’t have control over the speed limit on all streets (ODOT does), they’ve had to go “section by section”.

Then Hardesty said she believes PBOT is focused too much on individual behaviors when the system itself isn’t a level playing field. “I continue to have the concern that we are over-criminalizing one segment of our community and using them as the reason why people are dying rather than the poor conditions of our roads. The lack of lighting, the lack of sidewalks in many places. I think it all works together.”

PBOT slide on enforcement cameras.

Earlier in the meeting there was a discussion about speed reader boards (signs that show speed limit compared to actual driving speed) and automated enforcement cameras. Hardesty expressed discomfort with cameras due to privacy and racial concerns. Despite stats presented by PBOT that show a clear reduction in speeding in locations where cameras have been installed, Hardesty seems to prefer reader boards which don’t have a built-in enforcement and citation mechanism (“90% of people look down and check their speeds when they pass those reader boards,” she said). Hardesty pressed PBOT to share demographic data from the speed and red light camera citations. That data isn’t currently collected and PBOT said it would be challenging to determine people’s race based on the photos taken by the system — not to mention the potential pitfalls of having a staff person make racial determinations based on appearance.

Eudaly said she likes the reader boards too and would welcome more demographic data, but she defended the enforcement cameras as an important tool. “I’m not so interested in being punitive as I am in changing behavior. However, because there’s such inadequate enforcement on the street… If there’s no ultimate consequence I think we lose that effect over time.”

In the end, Hardesty remained skeptical and the presentation didn’t allay her concerns. “I guess until I know whether or not we’re penalizing folks, and whether we’re still using speed readers or whether we’re actually going to start giving people tickets, and what that process will be, I will vote no.”

“I’m very disappointed to hear your concerns with this report,” Eudaly replied. “If those are your takeaways — which are virtually unfounded — I don’t think my bureau has done a good enough job briefing you on this program.” (Note that this tension between Hardesty and Eudaly around enforcement is not new.)

Yesterday I asked Eudaly’s Chief of Staff Marshall Runkell if the two commissioners had spoken since that exchange. He said they’re trying to set up a meeting but haven’t had a chance to debrief in person. “Commissioner Eudaly is sympathetic with Commissioner Hardesty’s concerns about over-policing low-income neighborhoods and the surveillance state, but she did a good job of explaining why PBOT’s approach allayed her concerns from the dais during the hearing.” (I reached out to Hardesty’s office as well but the commissioner and her chief of staff are out until next week.)

While PBOT’s Vision Zero Report and 2-Year Strategy was ultimately adopted 3-1 last week, a renewal of the photographic traffic enforcement contract will return to council on Wednesday, June 26th.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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PBOT installing ‘left turn calming’ treatments at 29 intersections

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 13:53

Armed with data, plans, and support from city council, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is moving forward with a pilot program to install “left turn calming” at 29 intersections.

Using a mix of rubber speed bumps and centerline delineator wands, PBOT’s aim is to slow drivers down, prevent them from “cutting corners”, and make it easier for them to see people crossing the street.

New bumps installed on Burnside at 55th where Charles McCarthy was hit and killed in October 2018.
(Photo: Terry Dublinski-Milton)

This type of basic and relatively cheap infrastructure might have saved the life of Charles McCarthy. In October 2018 McCarthy was walking across East Burnside at 55th when he was struck and killed by someone driving a truck. The truck operator was turning left from 55th onto Burnside. (See animated GIF below the jump.)

With the the safety of walkers a top priority in their Vision Zero program and in the recently adopted PedPDX Plan, PBOT has installed rubber speed bumps at the intersection where McCarthy died. The move is also part of PBOT’s new “crash response protocol” released by PBOT back in April. That directive, spearheaded by new Bureau Director Chris Warner, says that PBOT will evaluate fatal crashes and implement, “targeted rapid response safety fixes” whenever possible.

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GIF by PBOT

PBOT says they hope to address 40 intersections with the new left-turn treatments this year and expand the program in 2020 if it has a positive impact. In their 2-Year Vision Zero update adopted by city council last week, PBOT cited a similar program in New York City (who has implemented them at 300 intersections so far) that has resulted in a decrease in average speeds of left-turning drivers from 7.7 mph to 4.3 mph.

Funding for this program comes from the local sales tax on recreational cannabis. That tax amounted to $4.6 million in Fiscal Year 2019, 79% of which was spent on “public safety” programs including Vision Zero safety projects.

According to State of Oregon data, 20% of crashes involving walkers (between 2006 and 2015) were the result of left-turning drivers failing to yield to people in crosswalks at signalized intersections.

Learn more about the type of intersections that qualify for this treatment and see the list of the first 29 locations on PBOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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During Vision Zero presentation, Commissioner Hardesty says distracted walkers are ‘huge issue’

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 11:02

In the past five years, people walking have accounted for nearly 40% of Portland’s traffic fatalities.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty wants the transportation bureau to do more about distracted walking.

Commissioner Hardesty.
(Photo: City of Portlnd)

During a City Council presentation on the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s two-year update on its Vision Zero efforts last week, Hardesty said the problem of people staring into phones while they use sidewalks and streets needs to be taken more seriously.

Hardesty’s comments set off a notable exchange with Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees PBOT.

The exchange came as PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division Manager Catherine Ciarlo presented the bureau’s “safe systems” approach to road safety. One of the key tenets of that approach is a shared responsibility for safety that takes into account road design and engineering — as well as individual choices. “Safety is the responsibility of the user of the system; but it is it also the responsibility of the owner of the system, the manager of the system, and the designer of the system,” Ciarlo said.

“So the implication is that it’s the peoples’ fault?” Hardesty asked. “If they acted right, the streets would be safer?”

“If anything, the safe systems approach says it’s not the user’s responsibility because all people make mistakes,” Ciarlo answered. “We’re all going to make mistakes and a safe system designs things, manages things, and educates people in a way that assumes those mistakes will be made and looks to protect against them.”

Then Ciarlo shared PBOT’s four Vision Zero priorities for the next two years. “Protect pedestrians” and “create a culture of shared responsibility” were among them. “And just to be clear, Commissioner Hardesty,” Ciarlo said, “That culture of safety isn’t about assigning blame to people injured by the system, but to create a culture in this city of moving more slowly, of looking out for vulnerable people in the roadway, and of making decisions that result in a safe system.”

At that point Hardesty interjected again:

“I have noticed there are lot of individuals who move through streets and sidewalks never actually looking up. They are on some electronic device that apparently is more important than whether or not they survive crossing the street. To me, I’ve noticed that is a huge issue. Is there any local data on it? I know we’re not talking about blame. But I think we should have the expectation that people actually look where they’re going when they cross the street and not be on their device.”

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Portland traffic deaths, 2009 – 2018. Source: PBOT.

Ciarlo responded by saying “distracted walking” wasn’t called out as a specific risk factor when the Vision Zero plan was finalized tow years ago. She said the focus has been on things like lowering driving speeds, “Because if people are making that mistake of walking around distracted — which we don’t want them to do — we also don’t want them to get killed doing it.”

“I can tell you from personal anecdotal data there are way, way, way too many people walking with their eyes in their electronic stuff — whether a light is red or green — I’ve observed that over and over again… it scared me when I was driving.”
— Commissioner Hardesty

Then Eudaly chimed in. She called distracted walking, “a chronic problem for sure.” “But in reality,” she added, “With our pedestrian crashes, the majority of people were obeying the law and not doing anything wrong and they were still hit and killed.”

Hardesty then expressed concern that PBOT was collecting data on and enforcing distracted driving, but not distracted walking. “We need a full set of data to not just assume it’s one causation to the outcomes we’re getting,” she said. “Because I can tell you from personal anecdotal data there are way, way, way too many people walking with their eyes in their electronic stuff — whether a light is red or green — I’ve observed that over and over again… it scared me when I was driving.”

With her transportation background, and perhaps a sense that Hardesty’s comments needed a more forceful retort, Eudaly went a bit deeper with her final response. “I share your belief there’s a shared responsibility,” she said to Hardesty. “We have a very auto-centric culture. We tend to blame the victims in these crashes when in fact the stats show they are following the laws. So my pushback on responsibility isn’t a denial that pedestrians or cyclists need to follow laws or be more responsible, it’s more of the false narrative among car advocates who don’t want to take responsibility for their role, who don’t want us to inconvenience them by making our transportation system safer for pedestrians and cyclists
— and despite the fact vehicles have only been on the road 120 years while roads have been here for millennia — think roads should be sole conduits for automobiles.”

This isn’t the first time Hardesty has shared her opinion on this topic. During a candidate forum in April 2018, she responded to a question about traffic safety in east Portland by saying, “I can tell you there are pedestrians that walk out in front of cars because they think they have bumpers and no one will hit them.”

Stay tuned for a closer look at PBOT’s two-year Vision Zero/Safe Systems update.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Weekend Event Guide: Pedalpalooza picks, climate emergency rally, CCC ride, and more

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 07:34

Get out there. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The weekend is almost here and it’s time to map out your plan of attack. Check out my suggestions below. And as always when it’s June, consult the Official Pedalpalooza Calendar for more rides.

Friday, June 21st

Climate Emergency Rally – 12:00 pm at Schrunk Plaza (SW)
A group called Extinction Rebellion will host a rally to organize the fight against an, “unprecedented global emergency.” Show up to get plugged-in and join forces. More info here.

Critical Mass 2.0: New Mobility Edition – 4:30 pm at Salmon Springs Fountain (SW)
Community leader Sarah Iannarone wants to boost the profile and respect of low-impact transportation vehicles like e-scooters, e-bikes, one-wheels, etc… Show up early for the Lime-sponsored e-scooter demo then roll in the group ride to take over the streets. More info here.

Dropout Prom – 9:00 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE)
The Droupouts are a friendly, local bike club that hosts amazing parties. The Prom is one of the biggest and this year’s theme — Cosmic Space Invaders — should bring out the best among them and their many fans. More info here.

Saturday, June 22nd

Community Cycling Center Quarter Century Celebration Ride – 10:00 am at the CCC Bike Shop (NE)
This beloved nonprofit has been at it for 25 years. Show up and share your respect and appreciation for their work in broadening access to bicycling. More info here.

Portland Maker Ride – 12:00 pm at Toast, Inc (SE)
Go behind-the-scenes at four Portland-based companies that are making cool stuff right here in our backyard. Tour ends at North St. Bags where the crew will be sewing ride souvenir pouches available for $20. More info here.

Street Sprint Drag Races – 7:30 pm at BlaqPacks New HQ (SW)
Local fixed-gear crew Still Pour will host bicycle drag races. $5 to enter the bracket competition with cash and prizes for the winners. More info here.

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Northeast Playground Ride – 10:00 am at Fernhill Park (NE)
Grab the kiddos and join a merry crew of moms and dads and other caregivers as they explore a few of the fun playgrounds in northeast. Just a few miles to ride so it shouldn’t interfere with naptime. More info here.

Swim Across Portland – 11:30 am at Water Ave Coffee (SE)
Bicycle Kitty (a.k.a. Maria Schur) will lead this jaunt to several outdoor pools, beaches, and other swimming spots. Load up on nachos from the concession stands and get ready to ride about 20 miles for what is sure to be a fun adventure. More info here.

Grilled by Bike – 12:00 pm at Ladds Circle (SE)
The sixth annual ode to cooking stuff on bikes. These folks do it right, with grilling set-ups and positive vibes that will warm your heart and your meats (or tofus or vegetables or whatever). More info here.

St. Johns Dirty Ride – 4:15 at Block Bikes (N)
Block Bikes owner Ben Helgren will share his secret singletracks, greatest gravels and other dirt delights. All bikes and bikers welcome! More info here.

Heavy Bike Hillclimb Challenge – 7:00 pm at Dawson Park (N)
Local legend Patrick Loftus once again blesses us with this fun ride where only 40+ lb bikes need apply. After a weigh-in, you’ll bike your beast way up to Pittock Mansion in the West Hills to soak in the view. Various shenanigans likely to follow (not to mention a helluva bomb down the hill!). More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Stops-as-yields bill up for possible vote in House committee

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:52

We might have to remove this marking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Senate Bill 998 — Oregon’s version of the “Idaho Stop” law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals like yields — has finally made it to the House.

Since our report on this bill last week, the bill passed the full Oregon Senate yesterday by a vote of 21 to 8. It was then referred to the House Rules Committee where it will receive a public hearing and possible vote tomorrow (6/20).

The House Rules Committee has seven members. Among them are Portland-area Democrats Barbara Smith-Warner (District 45), Rob Nosse (District 42), and Vice-Chair Jennifer Williamson (District 36).

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If these are your representatives, please consider a quick email or phone call to their office to let them know your opinion on the bill.

The public hearing and possible work session is scheduled for 4:00 pm tomorrow (6/20).

From here the bill would go to the full House for a vote. If it passes the House it would move to Governor Brown’s desk where she’d be expected to sign it. Stay tuned!

In other legislative news, Senate Bill 558 has passed both chambers and will likely be signed into law. The bill gives cities across the state the authority to reduce speed limits on residential streets by 5 mph without asking permission from ODOT. It passed the House yesterday by a vote of 57 to 3.

CORRECTION: This story incorrectly stated the committee hearing on SB 998 was today (6/19). That was a mistake. The hearing and possible vote is tomorrow (6/20). I regret the confusion.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Advocates will ride with policymakers to urge Off-road Cycling Master Plan completion

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 12:00

People turned out in large numbers for a 2015 rally to protest the lack of cycling access in River View Natural Area.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been over four years since the City of Portland embarked on an effort to create a master plan for off-road cycling. The draft of the Off-road Cycling Master Plan came out in November 2017.

“We need the plan to be passed so we have a roadmap for how we can help.”
— Andy Jansky, NW Trail Alliance

Despite all this time, the plan remains unfinished and continues to languish on someone’s desk at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Friday morning, advocates with Northwest Trail Alliance will renew their campaign to get it finished. They’ve spent months planning a ride with local and regional electeds and policymakers that they hope will lead to more urgency around the plan.

“We need the plan to be passed so we have a roadmap for how we can help,” veteran NWTA volunteer Andy Jansky shared with me today. Jansky has been working behind-the-scenes to get agency and city hall staffers to show up for Friday’s ride. He says NWTA has a large and willing community of members who would love to help the City of Portland work toward better off-road cycling access in parks and other greenspaces throughout the city.

People who want more opportunities to ride bikes on singletrack and other types of natural surface trails within city limits have been working on this issue for well over a decade now — and they have very little trail mileage to show for it. The last time a piece of cycling-specific singletrack was built in Forest Park (to cite just one example) was 2006 when advocates helped build less than a mile of trail off of Firelane 5.

Since then, progress has been painfully slow.

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Jansky has been a stalwart advocate for years and remains optimistic that his efforts will soon bear fruit.

Tomorrow will mark the 12th anniversary of the last time mountain bike advocates took electeds and city staffers on a ride to highlight their issues and concerns. Friday’s ride will have the same goal; but hopefully it won’t take another 12 years before we open up new off-road cycling access.

City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability Project Manager Tom Armstrong is heading up the Off-road Cycling Master Plan. He’ll be on Friday’s ride. Asked for an update on the plan today, Armstrong said he’s been busy working on other priorities (like manufactured dwelling parks rezoning and fossil fuel terminal zoning), “But will be getting back to finalizing the plan later this year.”

Armstrong says BPS has three large sets of comments to reconcile before moving forward: those from the project’s advisory committee, the Portland Parks Board and the public. Once those comments have been analyzed, he says they’ll make final adjustments to the existing recommendations in order to inform future projects.

“Provide experiences across the city so that all residents can access close-to-home riding opportunities.”
— from the Off-road Cycling Master Plan discussion draft

The draft as it exists today recommends a system of off-road paths and trails with a goal to, “Provide experiences across the city so that all residents can access close-to-home riding opportunities.” The vision is to develop a few large “anchor sites” citywide (like Gateway Green, Forest Park, and so on), mid-sized opportunities at the district level, and smaller facilities in neighborhoods. Once identified, the plan says the projects should create, “A connected system of well-distributed trails and bike parks, accessible by bike and transit, to offer urban experiences and access to nature for all.”

During Friday’s ride, NWTA’s Jansky hopes to share a few of his ideas with decision-makers. Among them are: better integration on trails between Parks and the Bureau of Transportation, an off-road cycling corridor in southwest (the draft plan has nothing for that quadrant), and using undeveloped right-of-way to create connector trails between neighborhoods.

Of course it all comes down to politics. And NWTA’s Jansky says the off-road cycling issue, “Doesn’t appear to be a priority with some people in city hall.” He hopes Friday’s ride — which should have about 45 attendees — will change that. “We’re trying to turn up the heat on this issue a few degrees,” he said.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Bill that could make rural roads safer on its way to Governor’s desk

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 16:18

Two people died on Sunday and a 4-year old was injured in this crash on McKay Road in the Willamette Valley.

A bill that has received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate will give counties throughout Oregon a new tool to improve safety on rural roads.

House Bill 3213 creates a pilot program that will allow five counties to designate a dangerous stretch of road as a “safety corridor”. The legislation is meant to stem the tide of serious and fatal crashes that plague rural roads throughout the state. During committee hearings for the bill, lawmakers heard that many of Oregon’s once quiet farming roads now see increased levels of driving due to population growth and people who want to avoid congested interstates.

Some of these rural, county-owned roads also happen to be popular for bicycle riding.

“While Oregon backroads are some of the most beautiful drives in Oregon, they can be some of the most dangerous.”
— Shelly Boshart Davis, state rep who sponsored the bill

The first I heard of this bill came in a story published yesterday by KATU about McKay Road, south of Champoeg State Park in the Willamette Valley. The headline, “A dozen fatalities plagued Marion County’s McKay Road in past year,” caught my eye. I’ve ridden on McKay Road and it crosses the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway route.

Dennis and Sylvia Melcher are farmers who’ve lived in St. Paul near McKay Road for 60 years. “We have witnessed this road being transformed from a country road to a major highway thoroughfare,” they wrote in committee testimony, “Drivers are traveling on this road at 70 MPH or faster!”

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The bill’s chief sponsor was State Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, a Republican who represents the rural farming district around Albany south of Salem. In a letter of support for her bill, Boshart Davis wrote, “While Oregon backroads are some of the most beautiful drives in Oregon, they can be some of the most dangerous… Law enforcement and county governments around the state are looking for ways to make these roads safer… By allowing county governments the power to bring awareness of the dangers of backroad driving, we give them another tool in their toolbox to save lives.”

The county version will be modeled after the existing program already in place at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Once a safety corridor is identified (must be 2 to 10 miles long and have a documented history of serious and fatal crashes), the transportation department can install caution signage and fines for traffic violations are doubled.

The bill also calls for the establishment of an advisory committee made of up county representatives. While this new program would be modeled after ODOT’s existing program, it’s likely to give county governments more flexibility to address safety concerns.

I asked a Multnomah County if they were aware of the bill and/or if they had any plans to take part in the program. Spokesman Mike Pullen said they haven’t identified any safety corridors as of yet, but they recognize it could be another tool to address safety.

This is an interesting development. I’ve personally been dreaming of a “bicycle safety corridor” designation for a few years now that would be modeled on the same program. Along with increased fines and caution signage, I’d like the designation to come with things like a “move over” passing law when a bicycle rider is present, implementation of bicycle turnouts, a speed limit reduction, and so on. Perhaps next session!

Learn more about HB 3213 here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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ODOT is shrinking the bike lanes on North Rosa Parks Way

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 10:40

Looking eastbound on North Rosa Parks Way where it crossing I-5.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

10 months after the City of Portland widened the bike lanes on North Rosa Parks Way (where it crossing Interstate 5) the Oregon Department of Transportation wants to narrow them.

Note the lane width changes looking westbound across N Missouri/I-5 on-ramp intersection.

A few days ago I noticed the outside buffer stripe of the new bike lane and one of the other lanes had been ground off by work crews. A new, preliminary line has been laid down. Once fully re-striped, the bike lane will be 1.5 feet narrower. The width of the old bike lane (not counting buffer stripe) was 6.5 feet. The new one will be just five feet wide.

“There was a miscommunication between ODOT and PBOT.”
— Don Hamilton, ODOT

What’s going on here?

When PBOT crews striped the Rosa Parks Way project, they continued the lane widths on the section that goes over I-5. This is noteworthy because ODOT and PBOT have different ideas about how wide lanes should be. And ODOT has jurisdiction to all streets and intersections that cross interstates and interstate access ramps. Several weeks ago I heard a rumor from a source at the City of Portland that ODOT was no on board with PBOT’s striping.

As you might guess, PBOT is much more comfortable striping wider bike lanes and narrower general purpose lanes that ODOT is. Broadly speaking, ODOT prefers wider lanes for drivers and narrower lanes for bicycle users — especially around freeways.

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According to ODOT’s Highway Design Manual (Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter), the standard width for bike lanes is 6 feet and the minimum is 4. If the bike lane is next to a curb, as is the case on this section of Rosa Parks, an additional foot is required.

Asked for comment, ODOT Region 1 Public Information Officer Don Hamilton said: “When PBOT did their paving and restripe last summer there was a miscommunication between ODOT and PBOT, resulting in lane widths that could not be approved by ODOT for a freeway interchange being installed. PBOT is now changing the lane widths to ODOT standards.”

Hamilton confirmed with me today that ODOT will reduce the bike lane width to five feet and will maintain the two-foot buffer. By comparison, PBOT had striped a 6.5-foot bike lane with a two foot buffer (which was even narrower than the 7-foot wide lane with 3-foot buffer that initially proposed).

PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s Chief of Staff Marshall Runkel told me he’s aware of the situation (it came up at the recent PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting). “It’s a tough situation,” he shared via email today, “[we’re] working on a systemic fix.”

This isn’t be the first time the city and state have disagreed about a bike lane. Recall the SE 26th Avenue Bike Lane Saga that culminated last year. In that case, ODOT felt the bike lane was unsafe and wanted to remove it entirely in exchange for granting PBOT the right to create a bikeway and safer crossing of SE Powell two blocks over.

UPDATE, 3:24 pm: Asked for a rationale to re-stripe this section of the street, ODOT’s Hamilton said: “This is not some bureaucratic exercise done to annoy bicyclists. We follow ODOT standards set for freeways that will make the road safer for people who choose to drive. And let’s remember that the result is an improvement from a 5-foot bike lane less than a year ago to a 5-foot bike lane with a 2-foot buffer.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Family Biking: Join Kidical Mass for a weekend camping trip to Oxbow Park

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 08:20

Kidical Mass PDX rides to camp, 2014.
(Photo: Andy Schmidt)

Who doesn’t love a last-minute weekend adventure? We’ve got a few spots left for our annual Kidical Mass PDX family group camping trip this weekend and we’d love to have you come along. There are even still some scholarships available (email kmasspdx[at]gmail[dot]com for scholarship information). Keep reading for all the details!

Kidical Mass PDX lunch stop at Gresham Main City Park, 2013.
(Photo: Andy Schmidt)

It’s happening this weekend. Here’s the gist from Kidical Mass PDX:

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

We’ll leave from Woodstock Park (at the play structure by SE 47th Ave and SE Harold St) in Southeast Portland at 10am Saturday morning and ride approximately 20 miles (picnic lunch stop halfway in Gresham’s Main City Park) to beautiful Oxbow Regional Park, where we’ll camp, swim, and sit around by the fire. The ride will be at a leisurely pace suited to family biking, and will mostly be on off road trails and quiet country roads.

We’ll ride back together the next day. There’s a big hill coming out of Oxbow, and we will have a truck and trailer to pull bikes and gear up the hill. There will also be several carseats installed in the truck, so we can haul families as well.

Each site is $20, and please bring cash to give to the ride leader day of. Please bring extra for firewood while we camp.

Oxbow Park play structure.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

The campground

I took a day trip out to Oxbow in March and found it to be spectacular! It’s enormous and has everything one could want when camping with kids: play structure, visitor center, lots of paths, restrooms, a refreshing river, a paper kids’ activity guide, and trees galore. But note: no pets or alcohol allowed.

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The route

Why do campgrounds always involve a big hill?! I used my road bike for my test run and needed to stop and rest early in the climb back up the hill. Some families will probably bike the hill in the morning, but for those who don’t want to we’ll have vehicle support. I think I’ll personally send my reasonable kid and all the gear up in the truck and pedal up with my more adventurous kid.

Other than the pesky hill, our only other tricky spot is an uncontrolled crossing of Highway 26 at mile 14.5 (I’ve got it marked with a caution icon on our route map) which might take a long time while waiting for a break in traffic. Much of the trip is along the Springwater Corridor Trail and the country roads are quiet ones.

Food
Most of us will bring all our food from home, stopping for a picnic lunch in Gresham’s Main City Park halfway along. However, there’s a bagel place close to Main City Park and for bagel needs even before reaching Gresham, we’ll pass by Cartlandia three miles into our trip. And at the other end of the ride, Weece’s Market is three miles before Oxbow Park. It’s small, but it’ll do the trick!

Camping tips
Next year we’ll be organized enough to finally do that family bike camping workshop/meetup we wanted to organize last year, but this year will be the usual: make new friends on the day of the trip, remember how to use our camping gear since it’s our only trip of the year, and share snacks, hot water, books, and toys with our new friends. Check out my packing list and family bike camping tips on my Family Ride blog.

If you’re able to join us this weekend, check out the details below:

KMPDX Camping Trip 2019
Saturday, June 22 10:00 a.m. – Sunday, June 23
Meet at Woodstock Park Playground
Camp at Oxbow Regional Park in Gresham, OR
Facebook event page
Eventbrite registration page **Registration required
Route on Ride with GPS

Thanks for reading. Have you been bike camping? With kids? At Oxbow Park? Please share your advice!

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Pedalpalooza: Photos from Cosplay and Plaid To Plaid rides

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:56

Clad in plaid at Plaid.
(Photos: Eric Thornburg/no.lens.cap on IG)

We hope you’ve been enjoying Pedalpalooza. From the looks of streets and social media it seems like the rides and events are going very well.

To keep you inspired and updated, we’ve got a few photos to share from two rides that happened on Saturday: The Cosplay Ride and the Plaid to Plaid Ride…

Cosplay Ride

Official description:

“Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone between! Come one, come all, come slither with Womanimal and her pet dragon! Please wear attire inspired from all things fantasy: kings, queens, orks, wizards, goblins, hobbitzes, gelflings, skeksis, unicorns, GOT, xmen and women, super heros, super villians, make it up, be your own creation! Having a story to tell will add to the allure!”

Ride leader Abbey Wan Dracoon led just over a dozen people on the inaugural edition of this ride. Our photographer Eric Thornburg said the outfits drew inspiration from the entire gamut of fantasy and relied heavily on Goodwill and Craigslist finds. What makes cosplay more fun? Getting on a bike and parading around town!

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Plaid To Plaid Ride
A healthy crowd showed up wearing as much plaid as they had and took a tour of a few local Plaid Pantry stores with some general bikey shenanigans thrown in for good fun. Here’s what it looked like…

Check the Pedalpalooza Calendar for more great rides!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The Monday Roundup: Separation for seniors, friendly shops, corruption, and more

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:02

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Gorge Pedal. You will not want to miss this event and ride on July 20th that will share the best of what the Gorge has to offer!

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Oh Canada: Montreal’s network of physically protected bike lanes already makes it arguably the best biking city in North America. Now they plan to add 16 more miles of bikeways in the next two years by removing parking and reconfiguring lanes.

Friendly shops FTW: Portland’s River City Bicycles gets a well-deserved spotlight for is welcoming and inclusive vibe in this article from Bicycling Magazine on how bike shops need to “lose the attitude”.

NIMBY-speak: If you’ve attended a public meeting about a controversial issue you will definitely relate to this brilliant satire of how status-quo keepers like to talk.

How the Highway Industrial Complex rolls: US DOT Secretary Elaine Chao finally sold stock in a major road paving company after media coverage and public pressure forced her to.

More neighbors = more cycling: The NY Times editorial board says more cities should follow the lead of Minneapolis and outlaw single-family zoning.

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Say it louder for the folks in the back: “Make life easier for pedestrians, bikers, and mass transit users and encourage more commuters to shift modes and abandon their cars, and roads start to become unclogged.” That’s the takeaway from Curbed on a new report on urban congestion.

Paint is not protection: Britain’s cycling and walking commissioners tell policymakers that paint-only bike lanes are a waste of money. (If that’s true, Portland has thrown away a lot of money.)

Beyond bikeways: A bike advocacy group in Silicon Valley shares their realization that on some streets, pushing for a new bike lane might actually go against their stated mission.

Seniors will cycle with separation: A new study shows that having a physically protected space to ride is the top priority for older adults who want to use a bicycle for transportation.

Anti-bike political shenanigans: After they inexplicably scrubbed much of the pro-cycling language out of a transportation bill, a Minnesota lawmaker said his Republican colleagues, “Have a hostility to the bicycle as a mode of transportation. I don’t understand it.”

Tweet of the Week: There was a lot of competition this week. I decided to go with something light and fun…

Het #Fietsorkest #Haarlemmerdijk #Amsterdam pic.twitter.com/EDMlGqHBCW

— Peter Wildenbeest (@AmsterAdam) June 15, 2019

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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In bid for more accessibility, Portland OKs 725 electric scooters with seats

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:11

One of the 500 new Razor scooters to hit Portland streets.
(Photo: Bryn Dearborn)

The City of Portland has granted a permit for a new type of electric vehicle: a scooter with a seat.

According to a Bureau of Transportation statement, two companies — Razor and Shared — have been granted permits as part of the City’s e-scooter pilot program. Between them 725 of these scooters have the right to be deployed on Portland streets as of today.

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“We prioritized accessibility in this second Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program, and I am pleased to say that both Razor and Shared delivered with these seated e-scooters,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “There is still a significant amount of work to be done to achieve equity in transportation, but the addition of seated e-scooters to our local fleet opens up this mode of transport to many more Portlanders.”

PBOT says this move comes in response to feedback from the community that many people didn’t feel comfortable or weren’t able to use the more traditional, stand-up scooters. These new scooters not only have a place to sit, they also have larger and wider tires — which means they’ll also appeal to people who are concerned about hitting potholes/bumps or just tipping over on the existing scooters.

Combined with what’s already on the streets, these new offerings from Razor and Shared bring the total number of permitted scooters to 1,975.

According to Razor’s website, their sit-down scooters have a thumb throttle, rear disc brake, and front and rear lights.

Like the stand-up scooters, these new sit-down versions will be allowed in what we typically refer to as bicycle lanes.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Weekend Event Guide: Bookstore crawl, fountain splashing, Multnomah County Bike Fair, and more

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 08:46

Put on your bathing suits and get ready to splash around!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s the middle of June, the middle of Pedalpalooza, and the middle of a warm weather trend. This weekend is likely to be truly epic.

To help you make plans, we’ve got a selection of rides and events below. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 14th

Diablo’s Wild Ride – 8:00 pm at Devil’s Point (SE)
The 10th annual party ride led by the inimitable Diablo is sure to press all your fun buttons. More info here.

Midnight Mystery Ride – 11:30 pm at Hopworks Pub & Beergarden (N)
It’s June, so it’ll be the biggest MMR of the year. More info here.

Saturday, June 15th

Skull 120/60/30 – All day in Burns
I’m headed east to Burns for the annual Skull 120, what organizers say is the toughest gravel race in the country. I can’t wait! More info here.

Group Ride! – 10:00 am at Tough Luck (N)
Meet and train with fellow Cycle Oregon fans at this monthly series of rides sponsored by Bike Gallery and Nossa Famlia Coffee. More info here.

Read and Roll Bookstore Crawl – 12:00 pm at Sewallcrest Park (SE)
Join Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie for a leisurely, 8-mile loop that will stop at six independent bookstore to browse and learn about the history of each one. More info here.

Splish! Splash! Wet Portland Ride – 2:00 pm at Jamison Square (NW)
A proud local tradition, this ride will visit several of our best fountains to sample the water. Wear your bathing suit! More info here.

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Milwaukie to Oregon City on the Trolley Trail – 10:00 am at Milwaukie Bay Park
If you’ve been wanting to ride south of the city and discover this gem of a path, here’s your opportunity. 20-mile loop and no one will be left behind. Includes a ride on the municipal elevator in Oregon City! More info here.

Live Freeways Ride – 11:00 am at Goose Hollow MAX Station (SW)
Join a knowledgable ride leader John Russell and ride on 25 miles of local freeways from Portland to Oregon City. More info here.

Storytime Ride – 11:00 am at Woodlawn Elementary School (N)
Local artist (and Pedalpalooza poster creator!) Cat Odell will lead this family-friendly event in the park. She’ll share her new children’s book and then the kiddos can ride the fun paths in the park. More info here.

Multnomah County Bike Fair – 12:00 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE)
A day of silly and fun bike events and camaraderie with fellow bike funnists. Come say goodbye to the Sprockettes and delight in the antics of Olive & Dingo. More info here.

Photo Ride – 6:00 pm at Salmon Street Springs (SW)
Photographer Eric Thornburg will lead this gathering of camera and cycling enthusiasts. Come geek out on lenses and accessories or just show up and be a willing subject for all the photogs. Ride will visit prime photo locations and have a prize for best image taken. More info here.

Full Moon Naked Ride – 8:30 pm at Coe Circle (NE)
Because not everyone can wait for the World Naked Bike Ride. And for what it’s worth, I can vouch for the leaders. They’re good and fun-loving folks! More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Jobs of the Week: Bike Friday, Ride Report

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 08:10

Two new jobs posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Technical & Customer Support Team Member – Bike Friday (Eugene)

–> Office Administrator – Ride Report

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For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

Be the first to know about new job opportunities by signing up for our daily Job Listings email or by following @BikePortland on Twitter.

These are paid listings. And they work! If you’d like to post a job on the Portland region’s “Best Local Blog” two years running, you can purchase a listing online for just $75. Learn more at our Job Listings page.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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This Pedalpalooza ride paid homage to the color teal, and nearly 100 people showed up

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 08:02

The teal is strong with this one.
(Photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap)

Some of the best Pedalpalooza rides are often the ones with the simplest theme. Case in point: Last night’s Teal Ride.

“Teal for Real! Who doesn’t love the color teal… it’s a little green… it’s a little blue. It’s perfect,” read the ride description. “Bring your teal bikes, helmets or dress in teal for this fun and short ride.”

Why a teal ride? Here’s what ride leader Andrea Chin said when we asked her that question:

”It started on the 2017 Pedalpalooza kickoff ride with a few of us pointing out teal bikes, and chatting with those who had teal bikes. We all connected over the love of teal, and by the end of the night, we had teal catchphrases, and had made up a teal squad vest, slightly a parody of bike clubs. Last year, someone proposed getting a teal ride on the Pedalpalooza calendar (because why not?) and it was a success! With all of the previous year’s hype we decided it should be an annual installment. It shows that even a seemingly simple thing as a color can bring people together.”

Our Pedalpalooza embed Eric Thornburg was there to capture it. He said there were at least 80 people by the time the ride left Laurelhurst Park. Ride leaders made it clear that everyone was welcome — teal or no teal — “As long as they had teal spirit.” And judging from his photos, there was plenty of it.

Eric said riders rang bells at every teal-colored object; be it construction pipes on the side of the road, a teal vehicle, or teal paint on a house. The group photo was in front of a teal-colored building at SE 10th and Taylor. Scroll down for the gallery…

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Check the Pedalpalooza Calendar for more great events and browse more of Eric’s photos here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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