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Updated: 19 weeks 4 days ago

Former Obama transpo secretary will headline Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 15:31

Charles Brown (L) and Anthony Foxx will deliver keynote speeches on April 25th.
(Photos: Brown, Rutgers University; Foxx, Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit will take place April 24th through the 26th at the Oregon Zoo. The annual conference is organized by The Street Trust and features a full slate of mobile workshops, plenary sessions, professional training, and networking opportunities.

Headlining the summit’s main day — Thursday, April 25th — will be a noted researcher and a Cabinet Secretary for former President Barack Obama.

Former Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx spent four years as Obama’s Transportation Secretary and as of last October works for Lyft as their chief policy officer. Foxx visited Portland in 2016 as part of the US Department of Transportation’s “Smart City” initiative.

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Charles Brown is a senior researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Mr. Brown will deliver the lunch keynote. In 2018 he was nominated for a “Streetsie Advocate of the Year” award by Streetsblog Los Angeles for his, “important work on the intersections of race and mobility.”

In a statement about the event, The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler said, “This year, many sessions address ways to achieve more equitable outcomes from our transportation system.”

Among the topics of Thursday’s breakout sessions are: Voices From Williams Avenue; Designing Safe Streets for Pedestrians of Color: The Intersection of Equity Engineering and Vision Zero; Inclusive Bike and Scooter Share; Creating Bike Networks; Let’s (Not) Talk About Congestion; and more.

After a day of interesting keynotes and sessions, The Street Trust will host a Pecha Kucha event at Rock Bottom Brewery. Unwind with friends old and new as you listen to a series of short and stimulating presentations on a variety of transportation-related presentations.

Register for the event and view the full schedule here.

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

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A bit of rain can’t dampen spirits at The Ladds 500

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 14:18


*All photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap on Instagram

Part race, party relay, part party: The Ladds 500 is quintessential Portland.

Back for its fourth edition after it was an instant hit in its inaugural running in 2016, the free and unsanctioned event drew hundreds to Ladd Circle Park on Saturday. Teams with names like Huffy The Vampire Slayer, Laddimir Putins, Scoot Along, and Aggressive Dolphins pedaled for hours in the rain to complete a century by riding 500 laps of the 0.2 mile circle.

Photographer Eric Thornburg (No.Lens.Cap on Instagram) was there to capture some of the magic. As I looked through his images and saw other posts about the event, it struck me that — while we grapple with how quickly Portland is changing and losing parts of its “weird” spirit — events like The Ladds 500 seem to take on even greater meaning.

After all the changes, we still have people who dream up and execute crazy biking ideas. And when free bike fun is done right, the community responds in a big way!

Just look at more of Eric’s images below and see the wide variety of people who came out to “do something stupid” in the middle of a usually quiet neighborhood on a rainy Saturday…

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Thanks David Robinson, Eric Ivy, and everyone else who came together and made this event happen.

For more coverage, see this video from KOIN-TV.

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

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Southeast Division bike shop ‘A Better Cycle’ will close next month

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:20

(Photo: A Better Cycle)

A neighborhood bike shop in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood will close its doors next month after over a decade in business. Owners of A Better Cycle announced their decision last week.

Six original co-owners in 2007: Aaron Truman, Tim Weeks, Clinton Garner, Ian Mitchell, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, and Ben “Sauce” Applebaum.
(Photo: A Better Cycle)

“We are so proud of our time here as your local, neighborhood bike shop,” the announcement states on the shop’s website. “Thank you all so much for the opportunity to live and work the way we wanted to for over a decade! We love you all.”

The small shop at 2324 SE Division opened in 2007 when six friends came together to share ownership. The shop has remained worker-owned and has been run as a collective ever since.

Christine Dakis is one of the shop’s workers. She told us the decision ultimately came down to money. “The last few years haven’t been great financially, and we (and most other bike shops we talk to) have been doing less and less business (money-wise) every year,” she shared. “It is down to the point where we can’t really cut costs any more and think it is time to close up before we can’t get out of the hole.”

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Dakis added that in addition to the financial pinch, it was just time to move on. She pointed to the “vast” neighborhood change in the past decade. This part of southeast has seen transformational commercial and residential real estate development, with thousands of new residents looking for a slice of the famous (or infamous, depending on your values) Portland lifestyle. Unfortunately for Dakis and her fellow workers, that lifestyle didn’t include shopping at a place like A Better Cycle. “It seems there aren’t as many people nearby looking for the kind of business that we are,” she said.

“It seems like our core customers are slowly being driven away from here. The weird side of Portland is getting smaller and smaller.”
— Christine Dakis, co-owner/worker

“It feels like there are more and more people moving here, but that they are moving here with cars, and either prefer online shopping or big shop convenience, which doesn’t bode well for us,” Dakis added. “Even with folks we do know — it is hard not to go for what are, or may seem like, better deals online or elsewhere when you are squeezed between rising rents and stagnating wages with increasing costs for healthcare.”

Since A Better Cycle has been open, inner southeast Portland has experienced an exodus of sorts. A place that used to house many lower-income activists, artists, and entrepreneurs has lost its affordability. People have moved further north and east, or even out of the city altogether.

“It seems like our core customers are slowly being driven away from here,” is how Dakis put it. “The weird side of Portland is getting smaller and smaller.”

As for the future of the shop, the plan is to continue taking service orders until May 1st. All new stock is currently 20% off and you can expect deeper discounts as the days go by. Dakis says if you’re looking for cool older frames and parts, new rims and hubs (that were stocked for wheelbuilding), and other bike shop supplies, roll on over and take a look. The shop is expected to close sometime next month.

Thank you Christine and all the workers at A Better Cycle for all your service and dedication to our community over the years!

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

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The Monday Roundup: Protected by law, speed research, Walmart’s new bikes, and more

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:09

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Ride Like a Girl Cycling, who invites you to their ‘Coastal Delight’, all-inclusive training camp for beginner riders: May 20-22 in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast.

Welcome to the week!

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

Where protection is the law: Big news from Massachusetts where the city of Cambridge passed a city council ordinance that mandates physical protection for bike lanes. City Lab says the law makes new bikeways “bikelash proof”.

Paint not enough: Why did Cambridge take such a drastic step to ensure physical protection? Easy: Because paint-only bikeways — like the ones the City of Portland has deemed sufficient for much of our network — are woefully inadequate.

Walmart to sell high-end bikes: We are watching very closely as news of Walmart’s high-quality carbon MTB and gravel “Viathon” bikes ripple through the bike industry.

Time to pay up: The reason so many people feel entitled to using public roads for free is because government has always subsidized it. That is finally changing as congestion pricing moves to the forefront.

Death of Kelly Catlin: The NY Times takes a closer look at why an aspiring, Olympic-level track racer enrolled at Stanford University killed herself?

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Mayor Pederson? Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson has started to make a name for herself as a transportation reformer. Now she’s reportedly interested in being Portland’s mayor.

E-bikes on tour: Another facet of the impending shift toward e-bike acceptance is multi-day tours. Imagine being able to travel almost anywhere by bike, for several days, without having to worry about your fitness!

Moving the needle: Writing in Curbed, Alissa Walker updates us on new policies from London, Sacramento, New York City, and Cambridge (more on that later) intended to discourage people from driving.

High speeds kill: New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that a 5 mph increase in the maximum speed limit was associated with an 8 percent increase in the fatality rate on interstates and freeways and that about 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to driving too fast.

Specialized recall: If you have a new Roubaix, Roubaix, Ruby, Diverge, or Sirrus model bicycle, it might be susceptible to cracks in the steerer tube according to a safety recall notice.

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

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County says NW Newberry Road could re-open in a few weeks

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 16:16

Crews install a manhole on NW Newberry Road on April 3rd.
(Photo: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County’s latest update on the NW Newberry Road repair project has good news for those of you who miss this popular route up to (or down from) Skyline Blvd.

The project is several months ahead of schedule and instead of waiting until summer, the road is now expected to reopen by later this month!

Here’s the latest word from the County:

The slide-damaged road section has been excavated, a rock basket retaining wall built, the road has been rebuilt and paved. Remaining work includes installation of guardrail on the outside curve of the road, lane striping and various final “punch list” items. The road is expected to reopen in mid to late April 2019. Multnomah County appreciates the public’s patience during this road closure.

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A major landslide in January 2017 caused about half of the road near the lower section to fall away. When it reopens in the next few weeks, the road will have drivers on it for the first time in over two years.

And keep in mind that starting July 8th, a project will close NW Cornelius Pass Road and will divert over 11,000 car and truck trips onto NW Newberry Road for an estimated 13 weeks.

My advice: Get on it as much as you can before July! See you out there.

For more information, see the official project website.

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

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Comments of the Week: Perspectives on more law enforcement

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 15:51

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As our community continues to grapple with a spate of deadly and serious injury collisions, much of the discussion in the past few days has focused on enforcement.

It’s an important topic that deserves a productive debate.

Out of around 260 comments in this shortened week (I was out of town Monday-Tuesday), here are three that stood out:

Reader MTW had this to say in response to our story about North Fessenden:

“Even if I thought a city could “enforce” their way to road safety, Portland quite clearly can’t. We’re broke (currently proposing to close parks and community centers) and already under-staffed at PPB. Designing unsafe road conditions and then trying to use police man hours to ticket their way out of the problem is ineffective, wasteful and almost certainly inequitable.

The streets need to be re-designed in a way that forces compliance (with or without agents of the state being there to drive compliance rates.) Unfortunately, people will drive as fast as THEY feel safe and that high threshold for personal safety (particularly in an SUV) is incompatible with a safe and welcoming environment for VRUs [vulnerable roadway users].

2 people have died in 24 hours, treat this like the emergency it is. Until we can afford to re-engineer these streets properly (with concrete, diverters, re-painting, etc.,) break out the orange cones and take some lanes out. Tactical urbanism and traffic calming.”

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Scott Kocher added this comment to our story about Police Chief Outlaw’s calls for more enforcement:

“In the past PPB has not supported automated enforcement. A PPB Sergeant once told me we didn’t have enough officers but he opposed automated enforcement because it ‘lacks the human touch.’ I hope in the current climate we can free up officers so they’re not doing tasks a camera can do, placement can be reviewed for equity and safety need, fines can be graduated based on income as elsewhere, and revenue (if there is any) can go to infrastructure.”

And reader SD had an opinion about the PPB’s communications:

“One immediate improvement would be for all communications from the Portland Police and all other city agencies to stop “both-siding” their street safety message. Across the board, the data show that driver behavior contributes to pedestrian injury and fatality far more than that of pedestrians. Despite this, many people as well as many media outlets believe that the cause is distracted pedestrians. If there is any point to making a public statement like the one from Outlaw, it is to give drivers pause to consider if they are driving in a way that is more dangerous than it needs to be. When the PPB calls out pedestrian behavior, it is interpreted by many drivers to mean that their windshield-biased notion that it’s the victim’s fault is true. And, since they already consider their driving habits safe, regardless of whether they speed or drive while looking at their cell phones, this message just reinforces their idea that every thing they do is fine, because nothing bad has happened to them yet, or if it has it was just once or twice.

Statements like these show that very few in Portland government have taken the very first baby steps of understanding Vision Zero that include, at the least, making statements that target the most harmful factors in road safety.”

I’m grateful for these perspectives. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. And remember, I rely on you to nominate great comments by leaving a reply that includes “comment of the week” so I can more easily find them via search.

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

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Portland Parks eyes closures as river levels rise

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:23

Willamette River Greenway path south of downtown Portland.
(Photo by pdxwheeler)

If your bicycling plans involve any paths, bikeways, or roads around the Willamette River, be on the lookout for water.

National Weather Service flood level chart for Willamette River in Portland.

A BikePortland reader sent in the photo above of the Willamette Greenway Trail south of the South Waterfront area this morning. “The trail has been getting progressively worse this week,” he said. “It’s starting to get fairly bad in a couple sections. In one of the pictures you can see a gentleman avoiding the water up on the rocks.”

Asked about the situation, a Portland Parks & Recreation spokesperson told us staff plan to visit the location today. Signs will be posted to warn users of flooded sections.

Earlier this week we heard from PP&R that they were considering a closure of the floating ramps section of the Eastbank Esplanade. The last time high water led to a closure of the Esplanade was 2011. Back then, we reached just over 17 feet as per official gauges.

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On Wednesday of this week the Willamette was at 13.2 feet. PP&R says they seriously consider closing the ramps at 13.5 feet (give or take a few inches). As of right now the National Weather Service shows the river at 15.7 feet. Since the water level is predicted to decrease substantially over the coming days, PPB says they don’t plan to take any action at this time.

According to the Willamette Week, water from other parts of the state are affecting Portland area rivers. The Corvallis area has seen major flooding and a state of emergency has been declared in 10 counties so far.

Whatever your weekend riding plans are, be aware that flooding could impact your route. If you are venture onto unpaved roads, be advised that mud could seriously alter your ability to roll.

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

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Portland’s oldest riding club drops ‘Wheelmen’ from name

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 07:03

Scene from Clapshaw Hill Road in Washington County during a club ride last October.
(Photo: Portland Bicycling Club)

After 48 years as the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club, a local riding organization has decided to change its name to Portland Bicycling Club.

“We will no longer appear to potential members as an exclusive club comprised of elite aggressive, high-speed riders who manage bike tours.”
— Pat McManus, club president

The decision was made at the club’s April 4th meeting after months of debate among its 600 members. As we reported back in December, leaders of the club felt the old name wasn’t inclusive enough and that it was time to evolve to attract more diverse, younger riders.

Portland Bicycling Club President Pat McManus shared via email with BikePortland yesterday that, “Rebranding our club will not change the club… But the name will at once be simple and at the same time represent complexity, in that we will no longer (incorrectly) appear to potential members as an exclusive club comprised of elite aggressive, high-speed riders who manage bike tours.”

McManus supports the new name because she believes it will help the club “Morph into a more contemporary organization” and become one that, “Pulls in the diverse types of riders we see in the Portland area.” In a recent club newsletter McManus wrote that the club has been, “Feeling pressure to re-examine our place in Portland’s active cycling community.”

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The club’s new ad created for the upcoming Filmed By Bike festival.

The club also recently decided to end the Pioneer Century ride after 44 consecutive editions in part because of dwindling participation.

Like other parts of the cycling scene, the Portland Bicycling Club is dominated by older white men. Out of their eight regular ride leaders, none of them are women.

Pat McManus.

Club surveys showed a strong majority in support of the change. At the April 4th meeting, 71% of the 90 members present voted in support of the new name. McManus said the members who voted against the new name felt it was too ordinary, bland and dull.

Looking ahead, McManus wants everyone to know you don’t have to be a member to ride with the club. She personally loves to lead themed rides (like their annual Halloween Ride and Heritage Tree Ride) and would love to have new members lead more of them. She’s also hoping to see more gravel rides and family-oriented rides on the calendar in the future.

“Our diversity of rides and simple love of bicycling is one of the messages that I hope the new name reflects,” McManus said.

Graphic released by club in official public announcement made today.

To see if Portland Bicycling Club is the place for you, check out their website, Facebook page, and on Instagram.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Kenton Cycle, Rack Attack, Western Bikeworks, Ti Cycles, The eBike Store

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 05:47

If the amount of listings is any indications, it appears as though Portland’s local bike industry is alive and well.

Learn more about each new opportunity via the links below…

Customer Experience Champion – Kenton Cycle Repair

Keyholder/Sales and Installation Associate – Rack Attack Portland

Mechanic- Full Time – Western Bikeworks

Service Writer- Full Time – Western Bikeworks

General shop assistant – Ti Cycles Fabrication

Sales / Customer Care – The eBike Store

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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Amid spate of collisions, Portland Police Chief calls for more enforcement

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 15:55

6 fatal crashes in 5 days! 27 people have died on our streets this year. I am directing officers to increase enforcement, but this is everyone's responsibility. Drivers slow down, don't drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution—don’t assume drivers see you.

— Chief Danielle Outlaw (@ChiefDOutlaw) April 11, 2019

With 14 fatal traffic crashes so far this year and six in the past four days, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw.

Since she was hired in October 2017, Chief Outlaw has had many intense issues to focus on: from a crisis-level officer shortage to violent protests. She hasn’t engaged on transportation safety issues. Until now.

In a tweet posted today, Chief Outlaw wrote:

“6 fatal crashes in 5 days! 27 people have died on our streets this year. I am directing officers to increase enforcement, but this is everyone’s responsibility. Drivers slow down, don’t drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution—don’t assume drivers see you.”

(Note: It’s unclear where she got the 27 deaths figure. To be clear, there have been 14 traffic-related fatalities so far this year and the PPB’s Major Crash Team has been called out 23 times.)

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Asked for specifics about the increased enforcement, Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Brad Yakots wrote in an email to BikePortland, “Our Traffic Division and precincts are providing extra patrols in high trafficked areas. Our focus is education and outreach.”

“I want to make sure your support of Vision Zero is Vision Zero as it is now, which is not enhanced law enforcement.”
— Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland City Commissioner

Chief Outlaw’s call for enforcement puts her in the middle of an ongoing debate about how best to use police officers in Portland’s quest for safer streets. More enforcement is a common request when traffic crashes are in the news; but fears of racial profiling put it on shaky political ground in Portland.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan passed in 2016 with a host of recommendations from PBOT’s Vision Zero Task Force. Among them was a specific intention to limit enforcement, “In order to reduce the possibility of racial profiling and disparate economic impacts.”

This recommendation was not without its detractors on the Task Force. Newly elected City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has also expressed concerns about increased enforcement.

In a debate prior to her election last year, Hardesty said she’s “absolutely terrified of more enforcement.” “When I hear public leaders talk about enhancing police presence…we know African-Americans and Latinos are targeted for more enforcement than anyone else.”

And Hardesty repeated this concern at a City Council Budget Work Session on March 12th. During a presentation about PBOT’s budget, Hardesty said, “I want to make sure your support of Vision Zero is Vision Zero as it is now, which is not enhanced law enforcement, but more about notifying speeders to slow down.”

Hardesty’s colleague, PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, had a much different tone at the same work session. In her introduction to the PBOT presentation, Eudaly lamented the lack of more enforcement funding in the budget. “I’m really disappointed to see there’s no request for an increase in traffic enforcement,” she said. “In 2018 we had 27 murders in Portland. We had 34 people die in traffic deaths. We are seeing rampant disregard for the law and human life on our streets and the Traffic Division is seriously understaffed. Our city has adopted Vision Zero and we’re diligently working on that. We can’t accomplish our goal without support of Police Bureau.”

With Chief Outlaw now engaged on the issue, Commissioner Eudaly has momentum to push for more enforcement; but it’s unlikely to happen without a debate.

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

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Another person hit and killed while crossing North Fessenden

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:28

Crisis.

Another person has been killed by a driver while trying to walk across North Fessenden Street.

Commissioner Eudaly expedited installation of new speed limit signs last month.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

According to the Portland Police Bureau a woman was hit while crossing near North Polk Street at around 10:30 pm last night. The driver of a red sedan sped away and is still on the loose.

This brings the toll to two deaths and two serious injuries in the past 15 months.

Just over one month ago we reported that Fessenden was in crisis. Five days later, on March 1st, Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly stepped in. “This latest tragedy has shaken the community,” she wrote on Facebook, “and I understand why.”

Eudaly took action by expediting a change to the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph. She had city crews install the signs immediately. Speed reader boards have also popped up on the street.

But it’s clearly not enough.

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PBOT knows this. They’ve been harangued by local residents and activists like Donna Cohen, leader of the Citizens for a Safe and Attractive Fessenden/St Louis/Lombard Facebook page.

Cohen and others have clamored for long-promised safety upgrades like median islands, flashing beacons, curbs extensions, a new lane configuration, and more. PBOT’s St. Johns Truck Strategy Phase 2 project will deliver these upgrades; but it has taken what feels like an eternity to materialize. The plan itself was adopted by council in 2001. The grant to build Phase 2 was accepted in 2010 2013 and engineering and design recommendations were completed in 2013.

PBOT finally received FHWA approval to proceed with the $5 million project in October of last year and construction is finally underway.

From, St. Johns Transportation Concept Development Project, 2013 prepared by T-Y-Lin International for PBOT. North Polk is on the left.

For Cohen and other residents, it didn’t come soon enough. On her group’s Facebook page today, Cohen pointed out that PBOT’s plans call for a new median island and crossing on N Tioga Street — just one block from where the woman was killed last night (see graphic above). “If PBOT had not dragged their feet on this project this is what would be at Tioga now – a 16′-wide median island. You cannot go nearly as fast around a 16′ median island as on a narrow island or a straight-away.”

This is the third traffic fatality in Portland in less than 24 hours and the sixth in the past four days. So far this year 14 people have died on our roads, eight of them were walking.

UPDATE, 5:01 pm:

Family identifies 82yo Sandy Bosch as woman killed in hit & run Wednesday night. It happened at North Fessenden & Polk. Sandy was a mother & grandmother. The suspect vehicle is a red sedan & it should have damage. pic.twitter.com/pTyTaPPz3q

— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) April 11, 2019

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Ladds 500, Sandy Ridge, Alpenrose Clean-up and more

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:30

Everyone — and everything! — is welcome at the Ladds 500 on Saturday.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve been teased with dry and sunny weather and the roads are filling up with new faces. Let’s keep the momentum going (despite the forecast) by getting out there on two wheels!

Check out our event recommendations for the next three days below…

Friday, April 12th

Midnight Mystery Ride – 11:45 am at location TBA
Portland’s monthly night ride is on. Watch the official website tomorrow for location announcement. More info here.

Saturday, April 13th

Sandy Ridge Adventures – 9:30 am at Sandy Ridge Trailhead
West Coast Women’s Cycling Team and NW Trail Sisters are co-hosting this ride at the popular Sandy River Trail system. Please note this ride is for women/trans/femme and gender non-conforming people only. More info here.

Free Adult Riding Lessons – 10:00 am at Portland Community College Southeast (SE)
Come one! Come all! This event is geared to anyone who wants to learn to ride and feel more confident on two wheels. More info here.

First Timer’s Ride – 10:00 am at River City Bicycles (SE)
Let the friendly and knowledgable staff from River City guide you on a neighborhood cruise that will build your confidence for urban riding. More info here.

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The Ladds 500 – 10:00 am at Ladd Circle Park (SE)
This epic and fun, team-oriented event is back! Party in the park while you and your crew ride in circles for hours. It’s the perfect way to welcome the spring riding season. Curious? Check our 2018 coverage. More info here.

Sunday, April 14th

Sauvie Shootout – 9:00 am at Ovation Coffee & Tea (NW)
Roll out with Portland’s premier road training ride. Explore Sauvie Island and the West Hills while getting great experience riding in a group. More info here.

Alpenrose Velodrome Clean-up Day – 10:00 am at Alpenrose Velodrome (SW)
The recent threat of closure revealed how much our community supports this facility. What better way to demonstrate that by coming out to the annual clean-up as race organizers get ready for the best track season ever. Wear work clothes! 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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Unpaved road fans raise red flag over Clackamas County forest project

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:13

Roads and trees like these could be forever altered.
(Photo: Ron Lewis/Our Mother the Mountain)

The US Forest Service is eyeing 4,000 acres of land near the Clackamas River for a major project and local unpaved road enthusiasts are concerned about how it will impact riding conditions and the environment.

Location of project in red.
(Map: Bark)

Ron Lewis, one of the leaders of the popular Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) riding group, sent a message to the 700 members of the Unpaved email list yesterday encouraging them to comment on the North Clack Integrated Resource Project.

The USFS says the project would, “Improve forest conditions, provide wood products, manage recreation, enhance aquatic/riparian habitat, manage wildlife habitats, reduce fire hazards, and make changes to the transportation system within the project area.” But Lewis with OMTM isn’t buying it.

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“[The project] would effectively destroy the entire lower section of our Tumala Tank Trap route, which navigates some of the deeper, least-traveled zones in the Mount Hood National Forest, including the rugged and beautiful Abbott Road climb,” Lewis wrote. He’s also worried about the USFS plans to construct 20 new miles of roads and introduce logging on 200 acres of forest.

Lewis says this section of the Mt. Hood National Forest is already under pressure from OHV users, illegal motorcycle trails and unsanctioned target shooting. “Clearcutting and commercial logging will not only decimate this beautiful remote area, but as almost always happens, expand the proliferation of shooting pits, trash dumping and illegal moto activity in the area.”

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OMTM is piggybacking on advocacy from local conservation nonprofit Bark, who’s following this project closely. In addition to sensitive streams and animal nesting areas, Bark claims that around 1,200 acres of the proposed logging is in mature forest that has trees over 80 years old.

“Logging has been shown by OSU and the Oregon Global Warming Commission to be a top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, so it’s important that the Forest Service hear from the public that they want their forests to be a carbon sink, not source,” Bark writes on their website. “We believe the Forest Service should be working to restore the forest in this area by decommissioning old logging roads, rehabilitating illegally-created motorized trails, and improving habitat for species like salmon and beaver.”

For a trail conservation perspective that disagree with Bark, check out TrailAdvocate.org.

The USFS is taking public comment through April 15th. You can comment and learn more about the project on the USFS website.

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

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Parks budget cuts loom over Gateway Green bike park

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 16:22

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As you might have already heard, Portland Parks & Recreation is facing a budget gap of $6.3 million. To right the ship, the bureau has proposed eliminating over 50 full-time employees, reducing admin costs, closing community centers, and more.

One element of the Parks budget we’re watching closely is how operations and maintenance dollars will be allocated. Or whether they’ll be allocated at all.

Big crowds at inaugural Gateway Green MTB Festival in June 2018.

Parks has requested $891,694 in discretionary, General Fund revenue to pay for operations and maintenance of 38 assets that are either planned or under construction. The largest item on that list is $173,656 for the continued development of Gateway Green.

Gateway Green opened two years ago after its first phase — a bike park that includes trails, a pump track, and jumps — was completed.

Longtime east Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson spent over a decade to make that possible and now she’s concerned that vital funding for Gateway Green’s continued development will be cut. She testified in front Mayor Ted Wheeler and Parks Commissioner Nick Fish at the budget hearing held at David Douglas High School last night.

In her testimony, Robinson pointed out that in her three decades of parks advocacy, ongoing maintenance funding for newly opened parks facilities has always been somewhat assured. “While there may be some negotiation as to how much operations and maintenance is needed for each asset, the need for it has always been a given,” she said.

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Slide from Parks Bureau budget presentation showing current budget deficit and operations/maintenance needs.

While the Parks Bureau has requested money to maintain Gateway Green and 37 other assets, Robinson has flagged a recommendation by the City Budget Office to decline the request. In their response to the City’s budget, the CBO has recommended that Council allocates zero dollars to the operations and maintenance of new and partially built assets.

“I’ve spent the last decade or more advocating and raising money for this park,” Robinson added, “and I’m crushed by the prospect there might not be any money once it’s built.”

“Denying ongoing operations and maintenance requests for these new park assets is like building a Wapato Jail and never allocating any money to operate it.”
— Linda Robinson

While Gateway Green has been open for two years, it only has rudimentary facilities. There are no bathrooms, paved surfaces, or drinking fountains. As we reported back in September, City Council just approved another $1 million to further develop the site.

The CBO’s rationale for declining the City’s $891,694 funding request is that by automatically tacking on operations and maintenance costs to new assets, PP&R places undue pressure on City Council to absorb the costs when a budget deficit impacts other needy assets in the system.

Robinson strongly disagrees with the CBO’s decision. She wants more analysis and discussion before such a significant shift in policy is adopted. “If the policy [of not funding maintenance for new parks] is changed, it should be phased in, not suddenly changed for projects already completed or in the construction process.”

To put a finer point on her position, Robinson said, “Denying ongoing operations and maintenance requests for these new park assets is like building a Wapato Jail and never allocating any money to operate it. This results in great expense and virtually no benefit to taxpayers.” (Wapato is the infamous facility built in 2003 at great expense to taxpayers that has yet to be used for any purpose.)

“It would be unconscionable to make this sudden change just as the city is finally addressing park inequities in east Portland,” she added.

City Council is under no obligation to heed the CBO’s recommendation. Mayor Wheeler will release his budget in May and Council will adopt the 2019-202 budget in June.

You can submit a comment about the budget on the CBO’s website. If you’d like to learn more and support Gateway Green consider attending the Friends of Gateway Green 10th Anniversary fundraiser at Hopworks Urban Brewery (2944 SE Powell) next Tuesday April 16th.

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

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Senate committee passes ‘Idaho Stop’ bill allowing bicycle riders to yield at stop signs

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 10:07

Some intersections in Oregon already allow bicycle riders to “slow-and-go”.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after it was last debated in the Oregon Legislature, a concept known as “Idaho Stop” has once again found its way into a bill. And it passed its first committee vote yesterday, just hours before a key legislative deadline.

Senate Bill 998 wasn’t on anyone’s radar before last week. Up until then it was just a vague placeholder bill without any detailed language and with no amendments. That changed when Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) drafted an amendment and brought it to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a public hearing for the bill on Monday.

The bill would allow a bicycle user to treat intersections with stop signs or red flashing signals as yields. In other words, as a bicycle user, you’d be able to roll through these intersections without stopping — but only when/if it was safe to do so.

Excerpt from -1 amendment to SB 998.

At Monday’s hearing, Committee Vice-Chair Sen. Prozanski said it’s merely a “re-do” of a bill he sponsored and passed as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 2003.

“This bill would follow a law out of Idaho that has been in place for over 35 years,” Prozanski said at the hearing.

“This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.”
— Senator Kim Thatcher, Judiciary Committee vice-chair

Only one person testified. A man who said he’s a work zone flagger told lawmakers he’s opposed because, “A lot of bicyclists go right on through” his work zones and he believes it’s a “safety risk”. “It’s bad enough we got boxes in Portland for bicyclists before the cars and they disrespect us,” the man said.

When the bill was brought back to committee for a vote yesterday, Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) added an amendment clarifying that bicycle users must stop for flaggers.

Committee Vice-Chair Thatcher is in favor of the law. “Just like a few years ago when we told ODOT we wanted to raise speed limits in some areas,” she explained, before logging her “yes” vote, “People were already going those speeds. This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.” Sen. Thatcher pointed out that — unlike a car — human-powered vehicles are “really difficult to stop completely and then get going again.”

(Video below by Portlander Spencer Boomhower explains how Idaho Stop works)

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Senator Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) also voted in favor of the bill. Sen. Fagan shared that she understands the benefits of the bill because she used to commute to law school by bike. “Things that are in motion tend to stay in motion, things that are at rest tend to stay at rest,” she said. “Anything we can do to encourage people to get out of their cars and ride a bike is a good thing.”

Senator Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) was the sole “no” vote. After admitting he’s rolled through stop signs on his own bike, Bentz said he opposes the law because of concerns expressed by sheriffs in his district.

The bill passed committee 6-1. It will now move to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski in 2011.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Reached on the phone this morning, Sen. Prozanski said he introduced the bill after a constituent contacted him late last month (Idaho Stop was also one of the bills I mentioned in an op-ed on March 15th). Since he had a placeholder bill to study violations, he was able to draft the language and move it to a vote very quickly. “At this point, I think it has a very good chance of passing the full Senate,” Prozanski said. Once it goes to the House Judiciary Committee, he plans to meet with members and find a sponsor.

Asked why he is such a fan of Idaho Stop, Prozanski recalled his 2003 discussions with the captain of the Boise Police Department. “He said it’s just much more seamless and it makes traffic flow more easily… It’s not as much of a hazard as coming to a complete stop and trying to start when you have other vehicles moving around you and you’re trying to get started and through an intersection with enough time,” he added.

Sen. Prozanski added that, “It seems to me we have enough safeguards in place to allow continual motion when right-of-way is clear.”

As for why the bill failed in 2003, Prozanski said it would have passed were it not for one senator (former Senator John Minnis) who simply didn’t like the bill and wouldn’t give it a vote.

When it was proposed again in 2009 by former House Rep. Jules Bailey — with the full backing of The Street Trust (then Bicycle Transportation Alliance) — the bill failed for several reasons: Irresponsible and biased coverage from The Oregonian and other outlets made it controversial; a high-profile firing of The Street Trust lobbyist in charge of the bill scared off some lawmakers; and some advocates blamed legislators who sought revenge against bicycle bills after being strongly criticized for their support of a mandatory bicycle registration bill.

The Street Trust isn’t working SB 998, but as OPB reported yesterday, they are supportive of it.

Idaho was the first state to adopt a statute like this. Arkansas just passed a version of the law last week.

For more background, peruse the 25 stories in our Idaho Stop Law archives.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Goldsprints, Tweed Ride, Outer Powell Groundbreaking, and more

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 15:45

Smiles guaranteed at the Tweed Ride on Saturday.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s time to think about plans for the weekend.

Hopefully you’re able to enjoy something bike-related. The flowering trees and warmth make pedaling around town a pure joy. If you need tips on things to do, we’ve got some recommendations below…

Friday, April 5th Sponsored by: Treo Bike Tours

Let Treo pick you up from Portland and whisk you and your friends to their ranch in Eastern Oregon where you can ride quiet farm roads to your heart’s content. Plan your trip today!

Goldsprints – 6:00 pm at Western Bike Works (NW)
Sit down, strap in, and pedal as hard as you can. Goldsprints are the ultimate challenge for riders and ultimate indoor event for spectators. Western Bike Works will host this benefit for Battlekat Racing and their efforts to get more trans/femme/women into racing. More info here.

Pizza Party Fundraiser for W/T/F Bikexplorers – 6:00 pm at Golden Pliers (N)
The Bikexplorers help make bikecamping more inclusive and Golden Pliers is hosting a party and auction to help them do more of it. More info here.

Saturday, April 6th

Gorge Gravel Grinder – All day in The Dalles
Head east for drier skies and quieter roads and partake in this classic gravel event. Give yourself extra time to soak up the charm of downtown The Dalles. More info here.

Tweed Ride – 10:00 am at Overlook Park (N)
Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the first Tweed Ride? This is a great excuse to slow down and savor thew social side of cycling. Find some vintage garb and get ready for a civilized cycling stroll through the sublime Overlook neighborhood. More info here.

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Outer Powell Project Groundbreaking Ceremony – 10:00 on SE 122nd Ave (SE)
Come out and learn more about this ODOT project that will make major changes to SE Powell Blvd from 122nd to 136th. You might even get a chance to talk to ODOT leaders and staff to share your feedback about this and other projects in the pipeline. More info here.

Sunday, April 7th

Sauvie Shootout – 9:00 am at Ovation Coffee & Tea (NW)
Road racing season is here! Spirits and sensations are guaranteed to be high on this weekly ride that caters to fast folks; but is also a great place for intermediate riders looking for valuable experience (and new riding buddies). More info here.

Bike and a Burger – 10:00 am at Sauvie Island Park & Ride lot (NW)
The legendary John Joy will lead a ride from Sauvie onto Highway 30 and up the awesome inclines on NW McNamee Road to a nice meal that awaits at Helvetia Tavern in Washington County. Between breaths, let John regale you with his tales of riding more miles on Highway 30 than anyone else in town. 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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Ask BikePortland: What should I do if a driver harassed me and police don’t take it seriously?

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 13:49

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The latest installment of our Ask BikePortland column comes from a woman named Sabrina S. I’ve changed her name at her request.

Here’s what she asked via email earlier this week:

“Hi – I was hoping someone at BikePortland could give advice on getting help from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) when confronted by dangerous drivers.

I was riding on Southeast Division Street with a friend. We were looking for a restaurant (which we couldn’t find) before heading over to the Clinton greenway. As we were on Division, a car came up behind us then went around us (plenty of room, not a problem). But then the driver started screamed profanities at us to get off the road. We continued on (legally riding on the street, well to the side) when the driver stopped, screamed, “You wanna fight, punk?” and then more profanities as we ignored him to continue on to our destination.

I would like to point out two things: 1) We are both women, in our 50’s. Flattered he thought I was a young punk, but definitely not one. 2) He was a Lyft driver, had the insignia on display in his windshield.

Then he started to circle us, driving around the blocks and continuing to threaten us/scream profanities/say he was going to fight us. By this time we had dropped over to Clinton and were parked on the sidewalk, trying to locate our destination. He then came by again, this time screamed at us to get off the sidewalk. Not sure where he thought we were supposed to exist, if not on the road or the sidewalk? At this point we called 911. The dispatcher didn’t accuse us of anything illegal, but seemed unconcerned and didn’t want to send out an officer even though we had a description of the vehicle and license plate # (which was an Oregon Military Vet license plate). He even questioned the plate number until I told him repeatedly it was a special Vet’s plate with only four letters (rather than the usual alphanumeric ones). He finally recommended I contact Lyft. So, once we got to our destination I finally did – Lyft was much more proactive and interested in investigating the incident. Lyft was great, PPB was not. Any advice, please?”

I responded to Sabrina and shared three possible options:

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1) File a complaint with the Independent Police Review. The IPR is a branch of the City of Portland Auditor’s office and acts as an independent, “civilian oversight agency” that investigates allegations of misconduct by PPB officers. It’s not clear to me if the dispatcher Sabrina spoke with on the phone is a sworn officer or not, so IPR might not be the proper venue.

2) Pursue a retroactive citation. As we’ve covered at length in the past, there’s an existing Oregon law that allows you to work with police to file non-criminal charges against another person (I used to refer to this as “citizen-initiated citation” but I’m trying to not use the word “citizen” anymore). We’ve seen this law used successfully on several occasions in the past. Because Sabrina has the person’s license plate number, she has enough evidence to start the process.

3) Testify in front of Portland City Council. Council has an open public comment period prior to each weekly meeting where you can speak about whatever issue is on your mind. Show up 30 minutes ahead of the meeting to get your name on the list. This would put Sabrina’s experience in the official record and it might solicit a question or prompt some help from Mayor Wheeler (police commissioner) or other city councilor.

Sabrina said she’s too afraid of retaliation to speak at council publicly; but will look into the IPR and other options.

Do you have any advice for Sabrina?

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

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Oregon’s gravel riding season starts this weekend

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 12:18

The Dalles will host the inaugural event of the 2019 season with the Gorge Gravel Grinder on Sunday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

2019 is going to be a big year for gravel. And it starts in The Dalles this weekend.

Sponsored by:

These companies make our gravel coverage possible.

With promoters stepping up to meet demands of riders who increasingly want to leave cars and pavement behind, our calendar has filled up quite nicely with events that focus on unpaved roads.

Here’s a quick rundown of some local weekday rides and a few of the larger events happening in Portland and around the state…

Small Weeknight Rides

Wild West Gravel Ride Series – Hosted by our friends at Western Bike Works, this weeknight series happens every Wednesday at 6:00 pm. Meet at the shop on NW 17th and Lovejoy (1015 NW 17th) and roll up into Forest Park to get your local gravel fix.

OMTM’s East Buttes – Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) just wrapped up their winter Snax Trax series today. After a week off they’ll fire up the spring season with the weekly East Buttes ride. Led by the experienced unpaved legend Ryan Francesconi, these rides tackle a different route around, over, and through the hills of southeast Portland and Gresham. Ride happens Thursdays at 6:00pm and meets at Gates Park (SE 136th and Holgate). For more on OMTM, check out their website.

Big Rides and Races

Gorge Gravel Grinder (4/7) – This much-anticipated ride is technically sold out; but you might be able to score an open registration slot by checking the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list.

Yamhill Gravel Fondo (4/20) – I’m looking forward to this one, as it’s a new entry on the calendar and the route goes through some beautiful Oregon Country that’s relatively close to home.

Dark Larch V3 (4/21) – This is an unsanctioned, self-supported OMTM ride that will explore the lush, secret netherworlds around Larch Mountain in east Multnonmah County. And yes, this is Easter Sunday.

Cascade Gravel Grinder (4/26) – Billed as a three-day omnium, this unique format blends recreation and competition in a choose-your-own adventure format. You can race or ride and choose any or all of the routes over three days.

Oregon Coast Gravel Epic (5/4) – The opening salvo of the Oregon Triple Crown, a three ride/race series that also includes the Sasquatch Duro (5/18) and the Oregon Gran Fondo (6/1). I’m doing all three of the events this year because I love visiting the small towns that host them: Waldport, Oakridge, and Cottage Grove respectively. It’s also a goal to ride well at all three since they present such varied and challenging routes. OTC, along with series sponsors Co-Motion Cycles and Rolf Prima Wheels is also a BikePortland sponsor so I’ll be riding Co-Motion’s newly redesign Klatch gravel bike!

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A scene from last year’s Oregon Coast Gravel Epic.

Oregon Emerald Outback (5/4) – Another unsanctioned adventure that is not for the faint of heart. Check the official website for details on the 600-mile route.

Gravel (5/17) – Cycle Oregon’s contribution to the gravel revolution is based in Dufur this year. It’ll be three days and two nights of riding, eating, and camping.

Skull 120/60/30 (6/15) – After I did this last year it became an instant Father’s Day tradition. I’m going back to Burns this year and can only hope it’s as good as it was the first time.

Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder (6/19 – 6/23) – This is a new format: Five days and 400 miles of great riding in a loop west of Bend. You’ll ride and camp at pre-determined spots. Looks awesome!

Ochoco Gravel Roubaix (8/24) – Hosted by the excellent Good Bike Co. in Prineville, you should seriously consider putting this one on your list. In just a few years it has become a classic and attracts riders (and sponsors) from across the country.

Check out the gravel category on the BikePortland calendar for all the listings.

I hope this gets you excited about all the great gravel rides in the region. Next up I’ll share some of the best (relatively) local areas to find your unpaved paradise. Stay tuned.

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

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Guest Opinion: Job description for new PBOT leader isn’t bold enough

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:14

Jillian Detweiler is the executive director of The Street Trust.

“The successful candidate should value all modes of transportation.”

So reads the disappointing job description for the next leader of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The Street Trust hoped the recruitment would elevate the exciting and pressing challenge that awaits the new PBOT Director: leading and accelerating significant improvements in alternatives to driving alone. That certainly was the consensus of transportation activists invited to meet with a City Human Resources representative who gathered stakeholder input prior to producing the job description.

In that stakeholder meeting I heard “bold” repeatedly. “Bold” did not make the job description. Neither did “bicycle” or “bus.” A “b” word that made it, though, is “balance” as in “balance the competing uses” of our transportation system. Balance? That’s the code word that prevents real changes to high crash corridors that could save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. Balance is the excuse that leaves thousands of bus riders stuck in traffic. We hope potential applicants, and those who will vet those applicants, recognize that our transportation system is wildly out of balance in favor of cars.

Sure, there are hints that leading PBOT could be an interesting and rewarding job. The position description calls for understanding the racial and socio-economic impacts of access to transportation. It says the candidate should have experience and knowledge addressing population growth and climate change. Yet, there’s nothing that suggests the urgency of these matters and that our City Council has adopted a body of policy that needs action now.

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The Street Trust is concerned this uninspired job description won’t attract the creative, accomplished, bold leader who will help Portland stop spinning her wheels on plans and platitudes and instead make the decisions that will dramatically expand use of alternatives to driving. There are exciting initiatives underway in Portland and this region that could attract the cream of the crop. There’s a plan to improve access in the Central City and we are beginning to expand the greenway network in East Portland. TriMet has significant new money to expand transit service. Metro has declared its intent to bring a transportation package to the voters in 2020.

If this recruitment is not attracting leaders in transportation, we urge Commissioner Eudaly and the City’s Bureau of Human Resources to reframe this opportunity to communicate the challenge and rewards that it offers. And it’s not too late to implement the recommendation from transportation activists to engage experts like Jeff Tumlin, Janette Sadik-Khan or Gabe Klein in the recruitment and vetting process.

The Street Trust will participate in interviews with finalists for the job. We welcome your thoughts on the experience and abilities we should be looking for.

— Jillian Detweiler, The Street Trust

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PBOT testing modular speed bumps to slow down left-turning drivers

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:12

PBOT is testing two different designs.
(Photos: PBOT)

The bumps force sharper (and slower) turns.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to make intersections safer by slowing down drivers making left turns. To accomplish this, PBOT is testing the use of modular speed bumps. The bumps act as curbs that encourage people to take more angular turns instead of cutting them at high speeds.

The bumps are made out of a composite material and are screwed into the pavement. Yesterday PBOT staff installed two different version of them in the Albina Yard maintenance facility and rode over them with a bicycle, a truck, and a motorcycle. They also sprayed them down with water to see if they got slippery.

A PBOT staffer gives them a go.

According to posts on social media, PBOT says they, “Wanted to see what these bumps felt like for bike riders of both variety, particularly if the had enough traction when hit at an angle, when wet.”

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Before and after of an intersection in New York. Photos from QZ.com.

New York City already uses them extensively as a method of “left turn calming”.

And as you can see in the example above from New York City (which PBOT linked to), the bumps could be placed directly in the path of a bicycle rider. In a post yesterday, PBOT wrote, “These bumps are placed so bikes won’t have to ride over them much, but we know there may be times a cyclist has to go over one, so we want to make sure the design we choose is safe.”

These speed bumps appeal to PBOT not only as a speed and dangerous turn deterrent, but because they could be installed relatively quickly.

Of the two designs under consideration; one is wider with more aggressive treads, and the other is narrower with fewer tread lines. Once a style is chosen, they plan to use them at high crash intersections with a history of collisions involving bicycle riders and walkers.

Stay tuned for more on these if PBOT hosts a test that’s open to the public. Once they are in the wild we’ll give them a closer look.

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

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