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PBOT wants to build these nine projects with Mayor Wheeler’s $50 million ‘Build Portland’ fund

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:43

(NOTE: We’re experiencing a technical glitch where some posts are not displaying our sidebar or the comment section. We’re trying to fix it ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience. — Jonathan)

This is what PBOT wants to do to outer SE Stark.
(Graphic: PBOT (BikePortland added the text))

“PBOT is flush,” is how Emily Tritsch, asset manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, described the agencies financial situation on Tuesday night.

“If we had $50 million, this is what we’d do with it.”
— Emily Tritsch, PBOT

As we’ve been reporting, PBOT is dealing with several new streams of funding in the coming years. One of most unexpected and largest pots is the Build Portland program that is freeing up a total of $50 million for infrastructure citywide in FY 2018-2019. An initiative of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Build Portland will use City General Fund dollars to bond against large amounts of property taxes that will return to the General Fund starting in the mid 2020s as Urban Renewal Areas expire (learn more about the program via The Oregonian).

$50 million is just the start. Another $150 million will be spent seven years from now and the city says the program could invest up to $600 million in infrastructure over the next 20 years.

Wheeler has earmarked the money for outdated streets, water pipes, parks, and other civic infrastructure. PBOT is confident they’ll get most of the money because they have the largest asset backlog of any other agency by far (see chart). Of the $288 million the City of Portland needs to plug this gap, over 77 percent of it is transportation-related.

PBOT has the largest needs by far.

At the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday night, Tritsch unveiled the internal list of nine projects PBOT wants to fund with this money. “If we had $50 million,” she said, “this is what we’d do with it.”

After scoring for equity, the nine projects below were prioritized using three key metrics: maintenance of existing assets, managing growth, and safety. As usual, the priority is on repaving; but Tritsch made it clear that PBOT will “transform” the streets they repave. That means they’ll continue their trend of adding safety upgrades as they repave and rebuild streets.

How the nine projects relate to PBOT’s equity map. Darker areas are more underserved communities.

Where the nine projects align with designated High Crash Corridors.

Here’s the list in ranked order with PBOT project descriptions (First amount is Build Portland request, second amount is total project cost. For full details, see the source document):

1. ADA compliant corner ramps citywide – $10.5 million ($15.5 million)
An estimated 11,000 corners across the city do not have ADA-compliant ramps. Improving corners for ADA- compliance would respond to a significant asset backlog while also reducing risk (safety conditions for Portlanders using our sidewalk system) and addressing City liability exposure. $1.5M of ADA-compliant corner ramp improvements citywide each year for 7 years ($10.5M for first tranche of Build Portland). $ Work is prioritized by risk and equity.

2. Traffic Signal System Improvements – $3.5 million ($5 million)
Nearly 400 traffic signals (40% of our inventory) are in poor or very poor condition; this includes hardware, controllers and ITS equipment. In addition, signal lamps across the city are going out. Signals have a $196M unmet need, the most urgnet of which would be addressed with this investment. Current resources to this program total $260K per year; the annual need is $20M.

3. Outer SE Stark Corridor Improvements (SE 108th to 162nd) – $10 million ($20 million)
High Crash Corridor in need of safety improvements. High equity benefit. Neighborhood Corridor running through two Neighborhood Centers: Rosewood/Glenfair. Project would be safety/capacity throughout and paving from 139th – 162nd. Implements several Growing Transit Communities projects.

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4. NW 23rd Ave Main Street (Lovejoy to Vaughn) – $6 million ($8 million)
Neighborhood Corridor serving NW Town Center. Fast- growing area. Major transit route and major emergency route to hospital. Major traffic access to I-405 and US 30. Needs crossings for multiple neighborhood greenways, improved pedestrian environment, bus stops, etc.

5. NE Cornfoot Rd Corridor Improvements (47th to Alderwood) – $9 million ($13 million)
Freight District. Serves major employment and freight area, including new Post Office trucking facility opening in 2019. Estimate for paving and multi-use path is roughly $8M, but likely need more for connection to 47th Ave LID over slough bridge. Combined with 42nd Ave bridge and 47th Ave LID, completes bikeway connection to PDX airport and surrounding area. $9M for Paving, $3.2M for Multi-use Path, $ $0.8M for connection to 47th.

6. Lents Town Center Improvements (SE Foster Rd / Woodstock Blvd) – $4 million ($7 million)
Serves eastern half of Lents Town Center, and includes Lents Town Center improvements such as signals, improved sidewalks, etc. Concept design has already been adopted. Builds on growth of area west of freeway. High on growth, equity, capacity. Improves safety on a High Crash Corridor. Does not include area east of 101st because there are long- term concepts to raise Foster Rd along the floodplain.

7. NE 42nd Ave Bridge and Corridor Improvements (Killingsworth to Columbia) – $3 million ($17 million)
Cap Set-Aside (Spring 2017). Vulnerable to a seismic event and is on a recommended Emergency Transportation Route. Key freight connection between Lombard and Columbia. Weight-restricted and low-height bridge impacts freight. Desired ped/bike connection from Cully to NAYA, Columbia Corridor jobs, etc. Would fill gap between Holman neighborhood greenway and upcoming 47th Ave protected bikeway.

8. 60 MAX Station Area Improvements (NE Halsey St (47th – 60th); NE 60th Ave (Halsey – Glisan)) – $4 million ($10 million)
Safety and MAX station area improvements. Halsey is a High Crash Corridor. 60th will be paved by BOM in 2018. BP would be for paving Halsey from 47th to 60th. North Tabor Neighborhood Center was recently upzoned for high density housing and mixed use. Implements several Growing Transit Communities projects.

9. N Lombard Main Street (St. Louis to Richmond) – $3 million ($4 million)
Main Street within St Johns Town Center serves major growth area. Straightforward main street design, with curb extensions and crossings at most intersections, ped lighting, and bus stop improvements including bus bulbs and concrete pads. High community support.

Tritsch also shared examples of two of the “transformations” they’d build if the money comes through.

Here’s before/after of NE 42nd Ave. bridge:

And SE Stark near 122nd:

Beyond the politics and competition with other bureaus, another potential stumbling block with all this is a staffing shortage at PBOT. All this new money means PBOT is going through a major change in institutional culture. Part of that is a need to hire many new engineers to create all the plans for these new projects (I heard one PBOT source say, “We’re going from a planning-heavy agency to an engineering-heavy agency.”).

PBOT Director Leah Treat was the meeting Tuesday night and acknowledged this issue. “We are having capacity issues both internally and externally,” she said. Treat added that they’re in the process of requesting funding for 75 more full time staff. One issue: The private sector (which pays much better) is snatching up all the engineers.

Stay tuned for opportunities to show your support for these projects. They’ll be at City Council soon where a final funding decision is slated for the end of March.

Learn more about the Build Portland program via these FAQs.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Mini Bike Winter, Lunar New Year, two bridges, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:17

Friends, fun, and folly await at Mini Bike Winter.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Are you ready for Mini Bike Winter?

ZooBomb’s annual event kicks off tomorrow night and continues through the weekend. If you can only make it out one day, I’d highly recommend Saturday. The MBW Olympics are sure to please and everyone’s welcome to join in the fun. The finale will be the infamous Ben Hurt Chariot Wars which pit teams against each other for an all-out duel. Last chariot standing takes home the trophy.

But of course that’s not all there is to do this weekend. Our calendar is full of great ideas and we’ve picked out a few highlights to share below…

Friday, February 16th

Mini Bike Winter Opening Ride – 9:30 pm at Colonel Summers Park
ZooBomb’s annual festival of skills, silliness and speed is upon us. It kicks off with the Torch Ride hosted by Dropout Bike Club. Scroll down for more MBW events all weekend. More info here.

Saturday, February 17th

Lunar New Year Ride (Friends on Bikes) – 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
FOB is welcoming all women of color and trans*/gender non-conforming people of color to celebrate the Year of the Dog. They’ll meet in north Portland and take a scenic route to the Lunar New Year Dragon Dance and Parade in Old Town/Chinatown.More info here.

The Two Bridges Ride – 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Expo Center MAX station
If you’ve been Columbia River curious this is the ride for you! Explore the bikeways on the I-5 and I-205 bridges between Portland and Vancouver while stopping at a few free museums along the way. Expect a leisurely-paced, 15-mile route. More info here.

Mini Bike Winter – Olympics/Cupcake Challenge/Chariot Wars – 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm
This is my favorite day of MBW. Grab a few friends and enter the Olympics to test your mettle in a variety of fun and creative events. Then launch yourself and your bike into the Willamette at the Cupcake Challenge. The day comes to a glorious close with the Ben Hurt Chariot Wars — a ritual you’ve got to see to believe. More info here.

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Group Riding 101 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Elevator Café & Commons
OBRA’s Women’s Prestige Series is hosting this skills clinic that will tell you everything you need to know to do your first group ride — whether that’s a ride with friends, a fondo, or a race. It starts with a talk and ends with a group ride. More info here.

Mini Bike Winter – Dirty Dozen/Badass Challenge/Tour de Bomb – 5:30 pm at Washington Park MAX Elevators
Nurse your wounds and ready yourself for the final day. It all comes back to the hill: How many times can you ‘bomb and and how fast can you do it?! More info here.

Beginner/Intermediate Women’s Clinic – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at The Lumberyard
This class ($75) will help you gain confidence and build mountain biking skills. Taught at the awesome indoor facilities of the Lumberyard Bike Park, you will be under the wise counsel of Coach Elaine Bothe who will teach you proper body position on the bike, cornering skills, braking techniques, visual skills, line choice, pumping, jumping and much more. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar and sign up here to get this Weekend Guide delivered to your inbox.

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

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GORE Wear SHAKEDRY Colors Jacket

Bike Hugger - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:10

GORE continues to innovate performance apparel by adding colors—blue and gray with high-vis—to their SHAKEDRY jacket. That’s GORE’s highly breathable and completely waterproof shell, the one with a permanent beading surface.

I’ve been riding with a SHAKEDRY in the wet since the launch and it performs like GORE says it does. Not announced but released with the 1985 version last year is “rec” sizing and sizes for women.

The color release this year includes high-viz panels on the cuff and back panel. As much as I like the SHAKEDRY category of jackets, all black is rather dreary under grey skies.

GORE’s naming conventions can get super confusing and it’s easiest to just shop and find what you want per the larger category. Here’s the link and the SHAKEDRY’s start at $279. Women’s are here.

Instead of working with a textile surface, which is conventional with raincoats, SHAKEDRY jackets have the GORE-TEX® membrane on the outside. That removes extra weight and it never needs re-treatment with a product like Nikwax.

No outer layer means the jacket feels like a latex glove and without fleece inside, it retains no heat. So keep that in mind for your longer rides. It’s also fragile and easily damaged by a backpack. The SHAKEDRY is not meant for commuting with a pack. You’ll want another jacket, probably from Gore like this one, for that. I ride in mine with a thin merino liner in 40-50 degree weather.

Not yet on the market, but mentioned in the release is a stretchy version for a more comfortable, less restrictive fit. The stretch laminate is both sides, on the hem and in the shoulder area. And, the expected result is a high-tech racing bike jacket with a close-fitting cut that guarantees the best fit and maximum freedom of movement; also, room for a beer belly. The stretch inserts are made from a low-force stretch material, which yields with even the slightest resistance. So it’s kinda like, you’re wearing stretchy pants as a jacket.

The post GORE Wear SHAKEDRY Colors Jacket appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Plan now for Bike Travel Weekend in June

Biking Bis - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:04
With half of the nation covered in snow in mid-February, perhaps this is a good time to start dreaming about warm weather pursuits, like an overnight bike ride this summer. The Adventure Cycling Association wants to inspire such a trip during Bike Travel Weekend on June 1-3. This is the third year that the nonprofit …

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PBOT reveals design updates for Sullivan’s Crossing, Flanders bridges

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:13

[*Note: This is a duplicate of a post originally published yesterday. The original post caused display issues so I made a duplicate and recreated 15 comments left on the old post. Sorry for any inconvenience. – Jonathan.]

The new look of NE 7th and Lloyd — the northern landing of the Sullivan’s Crossing bridge — is beginning to take shape as PBOT moves forward with the project.
(Graphics: PBOT)

By 2020 Portland will have two more carfree bridges — both of which will span across freeways that currently present onerous barriers to our central city transportation network.

At the monthly Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee meeeting last night, Bureau of Transportation project managers shared the latest updates on the Flanders Crossing and Sullivan’s Crossing bridges. Both bridges are at the very early stages of design (about 10 percent), but they have similar schedules. PBOT’s Dan Layden even joked last night that during construction they might even close both the I-84 and 405 freeways at the same time.

The big decisions at this stage in the game are what the bridges will look like. PBOT staff wants to narrow down the cross-section and striping plans and they showed their latest thinking on both fronts to the committee last night.

Flanders Crossing

Unfortunately this is the only image we’ve seen of the actual bridge design.

Flanders is a bridge with vast potential that will be complemented by the NW Flanders neighborhood greenway creating a low-stress street for biking between Waterfront Park and NW 24th. It will also come with new signals at NW 14th and 16th (we hear ODOT is giving PBOT the business about how a new signal at 16th will disrupt freeway-related traffic). The budget is $6.4 million, split between an ODOT Connect Oregon grant and PBOT system development charges.

At 24-feet, the bridge will be the widest carfree facility in Portland. The Waterfront Park path is just 16 feet (including those annoying ship “cleats”) and the Tillikum crossing path is 14-feet wide. To make biking, walking, and rolling as easy and comfortable as possible, PBOT is eyeing one of two options that, “Range from less flexible space with more separation to more flexible space with less separation.”

The first option is to have two, six-foot wide bike lanes in the middle and two six-foot wide paths on either side. The bike lanes would be on a different grade and separated by a rounded curb:

The second option is to put all four lanes on the same level and separate the bikeway with the color green (and other striping). This is the option currently preferred by PBOT:

A third option is similar to option two but without the coloring and with even less striping. The minimal striping would aim to encourage a shared space:

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--> --> Sullivan’s Crossing

Introducing, Skip! That’s the name of the bridge design PBOT wants to build. This design has won out (the “Leap” design came a close second) because, as Layden put it, “It’s more elegant, easier to build, and it’s cheaper and within our budget.” Speaking of budget, this bridge is much longer than Flanders (460-feet compared to 199-feet) and has a price tag of $13.5 million (paid for mostly by PBOT system development charges).

Since PBOT expects people to take in the view of the downtown skyline from this bridge (unlike Flanders, which they assume everyone will be eager to get across), their current preferred cross-section design puts a 12-foot walkway on the west side of the bridge and a 12-foot, bi-directional bikeway on the other side:

The design of the intersections on both sides of the new bridge also came up last night. Layden said they’ve opted against a roundabout for the north landing in large part because “the geometry for trucks just doesn’t work.” Instead, it will be a signalized crossing. Here’s the latest sketch of what it will look like (note that the project is likely to come with major changes to Lloyd Avenue including a lane reconfiguration and a new two-way bike path on the south side):

And here’s a sketch of what PBOT is considering for the southern entrance:

Unfortunately the meeting ran late and there wasn’t much time for committee discussion. The one person who did sneak in feedback was new BAC member (representing Bike Loud PDX) Catie Gould. She said six feet was much too snug for a bikeway — especially if we want to encourage people to ride side-by-side and reach our cycling trip goal of 25 percent.

If you’ve got feedback on these designs, visit the official project pages — here for Flanders, here for Sullivan’s — and contact Dan Layden directly. You can also sign up for emails about each project and of course stayed to your local BP stations for key updates and opportunities to weigh in.

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

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Donnelly New CDG Tire

Bike Hugger - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:18

In time for the spring thaw, Donnelly launched their new CDG tire. That’s the airport code for Charles de Gaulle and a reference to Paris Roubaix.

Developed for 4 years, the CDG borrows slightly from the Strada USH with its aggressive side tread to handle tight turns. The center tread is a completely new pattern that combines tightly spaced pyramids with measured, flatter recesses along the pyramid pattern to create a fast rolling center tread with plenty of traction.  

It should handle rough road and slick, tight turns like we have in Seattle and in the Spring Classics. It’s that transition into the turn or at the apex where crashes happen at Roubaix. That was the thought process behind the CDG.” Donn Kellogg explained in an email.

The Donnelly CDG is available now in a 700 x 30 tubeless ready version, weighs 420 grams and retails for $70. It fits most disc road bikes and all adventure or gravel bikes. A 700 x 30 tubular version is scheduled for late spring and will retail for $129.00.

CDG Product Features
  • Unique center-tread pattern provides excellent grip in wet or dry conditions.
  • Side nubs offer excellent traction while cornering.
  • Integrated puncture-protection belt.
  • Lightweight construction.
  • Tubeless ready. Can be used tubeless or with an inner tube.
  • Size: 700 x 30 mm
  • Weight: 420 grams.

We’ve got a set of the CDGs on order and I’ll put them on the Modal for the rainy rides and then later my Open Cycles UP.

The CDG launch follows Donnelly’s partnership with Nick Legan offering a free copy of Legan’s first book: Gravel Cycling ($15 on Amazon) with a purchase of any Donnelly tires.

If you’re wondering, Donnelly was previously Clement ($34 on Amazon) and there is still some stock left of those very popular tires.

Mark V reviewed the X’Plor MSO last year, “Riding the Grand Ridge Trail on a day that saw both rain and snow dampen the singletrack, the MSO tyres felt quick and fun.”

I expect the new CDG to perform even better.

The post Donnelly New CDG Tire appeared first on Bike Hugger.

PBOT reveals design updates for Sullivan’s Crossing and Flanders bridges

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 14:49

The new look of NE 7th and Lloyd — the northern landing of the Sullivan’s Crossing bridge — is beginning to take shape as PBOT moves forward with the project.
(Graphics: PBOT)

By 2020 Portland will have two more carfree bridges — both of which will span across freeways that currently present onerous barriers to our central city transportation network.

At the monthly Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee meeeting last night, Bureau of Transportation project managers shared the latest updates on the Flanders Crossing and Sullivan’s Crossing bridges. Both bridges are at the very early stages of design (about 10 percent), but they have similar schedules. PBOT’s Dan Layden even joked last night that during construction they might even close both the I-84 and 405 freeways at the same time.

The big decisions at this stage in the game are what the bridges will look like. PBOT staff wants to narrow down the cross-section and striping plans and they showed their latest thinking on both fronts to the committee last night.

Flanders Crossing

This is still, unfortunately, the only image we’ve seen of the actual bridge design.

Flanders is a bridge with vast potential that will be complemented by the NW Flanders neighborhood greenway creating a low-stress street for biking between Waterfront Park and NW 24th. It will also come with new signals at NW 14th and 16th (we hear ODOT is giving PBOT the business about how a new signal at 16th will disrupt freeway-related traffic). The budget is $6.4 million, split between an ODOT Connect Oregon grant and PBOT system development charges.

At 24-feet, the bridge will be the widest carfree facility in Portland. The Waterfront Park path is just 16 feet (including those annoying ship “cleats”) and the Tillikum crossing path is 14-feet wide. To make biking, walking, and rolling as easy and comfortable as possible, PBOT is eyeing one of two options that, “Range from less flexible space with more separation to more flexible space with less separation.”

The first option is to have two, six-foot wide bike lanes in the middle and two six-foot wide paths on either side. The bike lanes would be on a different grade and separated by a rounded curb:

The second option is to put all four lanes on the same level and separate the bikeway with the color green (and other striping). This is the option currently preferred by PBOT:

A third option is similar to option two but without the coloring and with even less striping. The minimal striping would aim to encourage a shared space:

--> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
--> --> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
--> --> Sullivan’s Crossing

Introducing, Skip! That’s the name of the bridge design PBOT wants to build. This design has won out (the “Leap” design came a close second) because, as Layden put it, “It’s more elegant, easier to build, and it’s cheaper and within our budget.” Speaking of budget, this bridge is much longer than Flanders (460-feet compared to 199-feet) and has a price tag of $13.5 million (paid for mostly by PBOT system development charges).

Since PBOT expects people to take in the view of the downtown skyline from this bridge (unlike Flanders, which they assume everyone will be eager to get across), their current preferred cross-section design puts a 12-foot walkway on the west side of the bridge and a 12-foot, bi-directional bikeway on the other side:

The design of the intersections on both sides of the new bridge also came up last night. Layden said they’ve opted against a roundabout for the north landing in large part because “the geometry for trucks just doesn’t work.” Instead, it will be a signalized crossing. Here’s the latest sketch of what it will look like (note that the project is likely to come with major changes to Lloyd Avenue including a lane reconfiguration and a new two-way bike path on the south side):

And here’s a sketch of what PBOT is considering for the southern entrance:

Unfortunately the meeting ran late and there wasn’t much time for committee discussion. The one person who did sneak in feedback was new BAC member (representing Bike Loud PDX) Catie Gould. She said six feet was much too snug for a bikeway — especially if we want to encourage people to ride side-by-side and reach our cycling trip goal of 25 percent.

If you’ve got feedback on these designs, visit the official project pages — here for Flanders, here for Sullivan’s — and contact Dan Layden directly. You can also sign up for emails about each project and of course stayed to your local BP stations for key updates and opportunities to weigh in.

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

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Dangerous parking on Highway 30 puts people’s lives at (even more) risk

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:55

A dangerous situation caused by just a few people who park their cars next to a Forest Park entrance.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Highway 30 is a crucial connection for bicycle riders between Portland, Sauvie Island, Forest Park, the West Hills, and beyond.

On a dry weekend it often feels like there are just as many people using bicycles on the road as there are people using cars and trucks. But it’s much more dangerous than it should be.

I could write thousands of words about how the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (all of whom share ownership/management of different sections) have completely failed to do their job to maintain and design this highway so that it provides an adequate level-of-service for all users.

But today, I want to focus on one specific issue: People who park cars in the shoulder, forcing bicycle riders into a scary merge.

There’s an entry point to Forest Park about a mile north of Linnton where the unpaved Newton and BPA Roads connect to the highway. Because there’s no dedicated space to park a car (it’s not even listed as official trailhead on the City’s Forest Park map), people who drive here simply park right in the shoulder. Their cars force people on bikes to merge into the adjacent lane where car and truck drivers typically go well over 45 mph. There’s a large turnout on the opposite side of the highway with ample space for parking cars — but people typically don’t use that because it requires a game of Frogger to access the trails.

I’ve personally had to deal with this situation myself many times. I’ve also hiked here and watched the scary situation unfold. If I drive here, I always park across the highway and risk the crossing on foot (because, duh, it’s selfish and dangerous to block the shoulder).

I recently posted this to Twitter and found out that other people share my concerns:

@queenleslie1982 – “Every time I ride Hwy 30 it’s a Zenlike experience of contemplating my own death.”

@absurdtriathlon – “Major conflict. Always sucks”

@clarbpdx – “Yes! This is always so terrifying to me.”

@alexawileymusic – “Yes don’t park there!”

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Keep in mind that this is a shoulder by definition (not a bike lane), so as per ORS 811.550 (2), it’s legal to park here (I confirmed it with Portland lawyer Charley Gee). Unfortunately — as is very often the case — ORS does not reflect obvious hazards that might occur to bicycle riders who often rely on shoulders as their travel lane. The law should be amended to include a requirement that there must be enough room for shoulder users on bicycles to safely pass without having to merge into other lanes.

This section of Highway 30 is owned and managed by ODOT. I asked them for comment on this story. While a spokesman said, “I can appreciate your concerns,” he also said no one at the agency had ever received any complaints about it. I asked if ODOT would be willing to make a “No Parking” zone at this location and the spokesman said he’d ask around and see if that’s possible (will update the post if/when I hear back).

I also contacted Portland Parks & Recreation about it. They too said it wasn’t on their radar. “My colleagues say they have not received any concerns from the community about safety at this trail access point,” a spokesman replied.

It’s not surprising to me at all that no one has formally complained about this yet. As bicycle riders, we put up with so many stressful things we’d never complete a ride if we always stopped to call or email when we saw a hazard. Even if someone did want to complain, they’d have no idea which agency is in charge.

Does this situation concern you? If so, please consider telling ODOT about it. If we want something to be done (I think a simple “No Parking” zone would fix it), the first step is to make sure it’s flagged internally.

To log your concern, use the ASK ODOT system online or call 1-888-275-6368 x4.

Thanks for caring.

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

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Biketown launches ‘Design Challenge’ to flood streets with art on wheels

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 07:30

They do it for shoes; why not do it for bike share bikes?

Portland’s Nike-sponsored Biketown bike share system has just launched a promotion that will result in a new collection of specially wrapped bikes. The Biketown Design Challenge invites everyone who lives in Oregon to go beyond the bright orange colorway and dream up a creative color scheme and design. Five winners will be selected for the designs that best represent each of Portland’s five quadrants — Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, and North.

“The design challenge will highlight not only Portlander’s love for BIKETOWN,” reads an official statement about the contest, “but also its artistic, creative and innovative culture.” Each entry should reflect the individual’s personal spin on what makes their chosen quadrant unique.”

Mark Parker, Nike’s Chairman, President and CEO, says the contest is, “a celebration of Biketown and the community that’s embraced it.”

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Submissions are due by March 7th and 50 finalists (10 from each quadrant) will be chosen by a panel that includes: Mark Parker; Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler; William Rihel of the Regional Arts and Culture Council; Joy Alise Davis, Design+Culture Lab LLC founder; Victoria Frey, Executive Director of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA); Don Tuski, President of Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA); and Elizabeth Leach of the Elizabeth Leach Gallery.

The finalists will then be voted on by the public beginning April 14th. The five winning designs will be announced in May and each of the them will end up being wrapped onto 10 bikes. The 50 Design Challenge bikes will debut in their respective quadrants starting in May. These new bikes will be added to the fleet of 1,000 Biketown bikes that already feature custom “sneaker bikes” and rainbow-infused “BeTrue” bikes that were launched last summer as part of Pride Week.

Sharpen your pencils and get over to the official Biketown Design Challenge website for all the details.

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

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New bridge over Willamette River would connect Lake Oswego to Milwaukie

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:24

(Graphic: BikePortland)

A cycling and walking bridge over the Willamette River between Lake Oswego and the Milwaukie/Oak Grove area has been dreamt about for decades. But now, in part due to completion of the Portland-Milwaukie MAX light rail line and the success of the Trolley Trail, there’s new momentum to actually build it.

“I can’t think of a project that serves more people potentially.”
— Paul Savas, Clackamas County Commissioner

Today at a meeting of the Clackamas County Commission, county planners received approval to apply for a $306,000 Metro grant for the Willamette River Bridge Feasibility Study. The grant is part of a $2 million pot of “regional flexible funds” to be doled be doled out by Metro that aims to get more active transportation projects up to shovel-ready status.

Amazingly, the commissioner who spoke most highly of a new, carfree Willamette River bridge was none other than Paul Savas. This is notable because it was Savas who, during a debate at Metro Council in 2016, tried to pass an amendment that would have wiped out this pot of funding and instead put more money into developing freeway projects. Now his tune has changed. Noting that there are large populations on both sides of the river where this bridge will likely be built, Savas said, “What makes this concept so viable is that… Bar none, I can’t think of a project that serves more people potentially.”

Savas is right. The concept is tantalizing.

The inspiration for the project is the existing Union Pacific Railroad bridge that currently stretches between the beginning of N State Street (near the southern terminus of the path through Tryon Creek Park) and Rivervilla Park in Oak Grove. In 2009 Metro studied the possibility of a cantilevered path on that bridge. When UPRR balked, advocates and planners realized a new bridge was the only alternative.

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When Lake Oswego adopted the bridge concept in its 2014 Transportation System Plan it received dozens of positive comments.

Since then, Clackamas County has been plotting a low-car transportation system that is shaping up nicely. The six-mile Trolley Trail (which comes within just a half-mile of a potential future bridge alignment) opened in 2012, the Orange MAX line connected Milwaukie to Portland in 2015, and a separated bike path between Sellwood and Milwaukie opened just last year.

Combine that existing infrastructure with a carfree bridge that would be the only crossing of the Willamette in a 10-mile gap between the Sellwood and Oregon City bridges, and you can see why this project is so popular.

Currently there’s just one other project from Clackamas County that’s competing for these funds: protected bike lanes on Highway 43 between Mary S. Young Park in West Linn and I-205. While also an exciting project, advocates we spoke to for this story said it won’t compete as well for this specific grant because it doesn’t connect to existing trails or boost regional connectivity (a key criteria for the funds).

Oak Grove resident and Clackamas County Pedestrian-Bikeway Advisory Committee member Joseph Edge has been pushing for this project for two years now by testifying at public meetings and talking it up to elected officials. “The bridge is by far the most uniformly popular project with the PBAC members,” he shared with us via email today.

From here the project will move to the Clackamas County Coordinating Committee (C4) who will make the final funding decision on March 1st.

UPDATE, 2/14: Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba emailed us to say he “gave an impassioned speech” in support of the bridge project at the Clackamas County Coordinating Committee (C4) Metro subcommittee meeting and they voted unanimously to move it forward. “This is critical,” he wrote, “because I will be fighting to get this project listed on the transportation bond measure in 2020 which is the only way it’s likely to be funded.”

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

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OHSU employees have logged one million days of biking to work

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:32

Ample parking with valet service, rewards for riding, and a scenic trip on the Tram are just some of the motivations for OHSU staff to ride.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)


OHSU Bike Program Stats

Through December 2017.

  • Participants to date: 6,744
  • Total miles logged: 9,055,330
  • Average miles per trip: 9
  • Riders biking 10+ miles daily: 2,738
  • Gallons of oil saved: 778,758
  • Money saved over driving: $5,125,317
  • Calories burned: 380,323,860

Learn more at ohsu.edu/bike

Oregon Health and Science University is touting a major new milestone this week: staff and students at Oregon’s largest employer have logged their millionth workday of biking to campus (they measuire trips (one-way or round-trip) as one “day” of biking).

Of those million rides, over 650,000 of them were to the Marquam Hill campus, 244,000 were to South Waterfront, and nearly 50,000 were to downtown.

And while OHSU’s stellar cycling record has innumerable benefits to the growing institution itself, riders also reap rewards in the form of cash payments. Transportation Options Coordinator John Landolfe say he’s paid out over $1 million to riders since the bike program began in 2010. The promise is simple: 20 rides earns $20 — the only requirements are that you log into the network and your ride is at least two miles round-trip to any OHSU location.

Since Landolfe started tracking trips, over 6,700 people have participated in the program. In the past seven years the rate of OHSU staff who bike to the Marquam Hill campus was 8 percent. That number is now close to 20 percent of the total workforce. The average bike trip is nine miles per day.

The rider who logged the millionth day was 27 year-old OBGYN resident Lauryn Roth.

The lynchpin of this success is the Portland Aerial Tram, which makes the climb up to “Pill Hill” avoidable. As we shared last year, of all the OHSU Marquam Hill employees who take the tram, nearly one-in-four get to it by bike. At the base of the tram about 500 people park their bikes each day, with well over 300 of them using the Go By Bike bike valet on an average day.

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While Landolfe celebrates his bike program, he also knows it’s time for an update. They’ve been using the same underlying trip-counting technology since 2010 and — while it was state-of-the-art back then — new technology could vastly improve the system. “We’ve been working behind the scenes,” Landolfe says, “and we’re excited to unveil something new in 2018.”

Landolfe is probably much less excited about two looming closures of the tram. One starts tomorrow (2/14) and lasts five days. And another closure begins June 23rd and is slated to last 38 days.

Hopefully the riding habit for these OHSU workers is strong enough that they’ll keep riding despite that hassle.

For more on OHSU’s bike program, check out www.ohsu.edu/bike.

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

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Here’s how I’ve carried my kids by bike for the past 10 years

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:36

The boys and I at the Fiets of Parenthood event in 2012.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

The first step to biking with kids often starts with a question: How do you carry them?

I’ve had several family bikes over the years, with some overlap because redundancy is awesome if you have room to store it. I’ve since learned about bikes that work for babies through big kids, but I liken my multi-bike journey to the car seat progression many families follow: infant car seat to convertible car seat to booster seat. Even though some of those seats aren’t used for a long time, everything feels like an eternity when it’s baby-related and seems well worth it.

By sharing what has worked for my family, I hope it’ll help make carrying kids easier for you. Below is the progression of our bike set-up journey over the past 10 years…

One-year old

With Elvis at Viva Bike Vegas 2008.

My only exposure to kids on bikes before becoming a parent was while visiting family in the Netherlands. My cousins put their nine-month-old babies in Bobike Mini front seats so I knew that’s what I would one day do, too. I had never noticed babies or small kids on bikes in America and didn’t think to look for other options. I found a new Bobike Mini on eBay and it wouldn’t fit on my beach cruiser, but it fit on an old two-sizes-too-big beach cruiser collecting dust in the garage so that was my first family bike. The Bobike website said to start at age one (I figured the American requirement for a helmet necessitated the extra three months of neck strength) so that’s what I did. We both loved it and rode like this for six months. Guess where we lived back then:

18-month old

Biking and swimming were easy. Walking? Not so much.

We moved to Seattle and I wanted gears for the hills. And a bike that fit me. And hand brakes! It was time to move beyond the beach cruiser. So I got an eight-speed city bike from the neighborhood bike shop and moved the Bobike Mini over to it. That bike stayed with me through a dozen iterations over seven years, some of which I’ll detail below. But for one year it was just me and the toddler in the front seat.

Two-year old and 10-week old

Baby in car seat, in trailer.

Seattle was the most bike-friendly city in which I’d lived to date. I’d gotten hooked on not needing the car and didn’t want to give up biking for a year when the second baby came. This was a tiring (for me) toddler age for using the bus so I didn’t like that as my only other option. Initially I couldn’t find anything online about putting a baby under one on a bike, but I kept looking as labor loomed and I finally found one article written by a bike racer who put her baby in a car seat in a trailer. I found a trailer on Craigslist and when I determined the baby had sufficient core strength, I stuck him in and he loved it. This was at 10 weeks old, and I know some people start earlier (and some later), but even with a text book home HypnoBirth I didn’t want to put my butt on a bike before 10 weeks postpartum. This was our ride for a year.

Three-year old and one-year old

Two toddlers on a city bike.

Once the baby hit a year, I buckled him into a helmet, put him in the front Bobike Mini, and ordered a rear Bobike Maxi for the three-year old. I loved the small footprint of the bike, that it fit on the bus (though at 50 pounds it was a bear to heft up to the rack), and as I later learned to appreciate and greatly missed, my body kept the siblings physically separated. Twice I had longer stems put on the bike to accommodate lengthening toddler legs.

Also at this point I also found a cheap double trailer on Craigslist and used that as a backup, hooked behind my old road bike I previously hadn’t liked riding.

Double trailers are great for sharing snacks and naps.

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Our first day on the cargo bike, six years ago.

Years into my family bike life I learned about cargo bikes and knew at some point I’d want a Surly Big Dummy longtail (I had two friends with two kids each and Big Dummies). I found the cargo bike liberating. No more wondering how to fit both kids and stuff onto the bike (although it was fun to find creative ways to make everything fit back in the day). And to have the front of the bike all to myself and be able to stand in the pedals to climb hills! I started with the two-and-a-half-year old in a Yepp seat at the back of the bike and the four-year old holding handle bars attached to my seat post. Later when the little guy outgrew the Yepp seat I got a Xtracycle Hooptie rollcage to give them both something to hold onto, and that’s how we still roll now.

Five-year old and three-year old

Engine-Engine-Engine is a neat way to carry three kids with a regular bike.

I added a used trailer bike to my fleet. To this I attached the double trailer and my five-year old dubbed it “Engine-Engine-Engine.” We mostly used it as a novelty thing because it was heavy! As a neighbor once said, “It’s really more like Engine-Anchor-Anchor,” but it was useful when friends visited because I could carry three kids with it and let the friend use my Big Dummy for whatever kids were left.

One year later I replaced the seat-post-mounting trailer bike with a more stable one that attaches to a rear rack (also used), the little kid outgrew the front seat of the city bike so it became a one-kid toter, our double trailer was stolen (unlocked in the carport), and I invested in the kids’ first brand new bikes (Islabikes from the Portland warehouse).

Eight-year old and six-year old

Tandem plus trailer bike (and camping gear).

Our local tandem shop had a bike that fit me on consignment and it was too tempting to pass up. At one point I thought we’d graduate from the cargo bike to a tandem plus trailer bike, but my timing was such that the kids were riding their own bikes too much by the time I found the tandem. However, it was five pounds lighter than the Big Dummy so even though there wasn’t as much help with pedaling as I would have liked, it made bike camping a tiny bit easier. I’m not sure what the future holds for the tandem, but I really like riding it with just one kid and no camping gear. I think it could be fun for the middle school commute next year. Three minutes into my test ride the day I met the bike a guy leaned out his car window to laugh and shout, “You lost someone off the back!” which is probably the most important thing to be prepared for with tandem bikes.

Ten-year old and eight-year old (now)

Kids and bikes on my bike headed to a Kidical Mass ride in 2015.

The kids are mostly on their own bikes these days, their third Islabikes each. I always take the cargo bike along just in case one or both needs a lift or I spot a free bookcase on the side of the road. For Sunday’s Worst Day of the Year Ride (my recap here) I brought my cargo bike so I could carry a friend’s kid whose bike was in the shop. My eight-year old crashed as we pulled into the rest stop (but what better place to crash than in front of a cookie sundae bar?) so I finished the ride toting two kids and one bike (longtail cargo bikes are especially good at hauling kids and bikes at the same time). Heading home after second lunch, my eight-year old and our nine-year-old house guest both tired out so I toted them and their bikes the last five miles.

Enough about us, what about you? What works well for your family?

We’d love to see your set-ups. Please send a photo and brief description to me before Monday (2/19) at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com. If we hear from enough of you we’ll feature them in the column next week.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

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Lime-E Bikes Launch in Seattle

Bike Hugger - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:51

I spotted an Lime-E bike outside the shop this weekend. And, didn’t think too much of it. I’m sure the motor boost will help people commute around our hilly city and meets some perceived demand.

What I didn’t know until the PR hit my inbox is that 499 more electric share bikes are being launched all over Seattle this week.

It’s a milestone of sorts for e-bikes and bike shares. According to LimeBike, it pivots them from a smart bikeshare company to a smart mobility provider, and they’re excited that Seattle gets to be the first market with Lime-E.

I don’t know if Seattle had to apply for that e-bike honor or we were just like

Yeah, sure drop off more bikes here. Why not?

E-ASSIST BIKE SPECS:
  • Model: Lime-E

  • Price: $1 to unlock and an additional 10 cents for every minute of riding time; 50% discount for all students and faculty members with a valid .edu email account

  • Maximum Speed: about 14.5 MPH

  • Maximum Range: 62 miles per charge

Read more about the Lime-E on their blog.

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The Monday Roundup: LA’s freeway follies, Vision Zero’s policing problem, a rail vision, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:02

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most important stories we came across in the past seven days…

Vision Zero’s dilemma: Police statistics in Chicago show that 56 percent of all bike-related traffic tickets were issued in neighborhood with a majority of black residents — compared with 18 percent in white neighborhoods. (via @schmangee)

‘Bike Hunters’ strike gold: Bike company Vanmoof literally went the extra mile to catch the thief of a customer’s bike and uncovered a multinational bike theft ring in the process.

Toddlers-eye view of cities: A new film series follows toddlers while they discover urban streetscapes on foot. (via @awalkerinLA)

Transit use growing in Vancouver, Canada: Any transit experts in the audience know why metro-areas in Canada — especially Vancouver — are kicking butt with ridership while most U.S. cities are seeing a decline? (via @Dale_Bracewell)

Math-inspired myth-busting: Urban planning consultant Brent Toderian offers this handy guide to common transportation myths that are easily dispelled by using mathematics.

Origin of ‘jaywalking’: None other than Merriam-Webster offers more clues about the origin of the word ‘jaywalker’. (Unfortunately they think the reason it survived and its precursor ‘jay-driver’ disappeared from use is a mystery, when we all know that the reason is due to a coordinated propaganda campaign from the auto industry.)

Go ahead, split my lane: I like to see how motorcycle users are treated in our legislative system because there are often interesting cultural parallels to bicycle users. The struggle to pass lane-splitting laws is one such example.

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$1 billion: After spending a billion dollars to improve congestion on I-405 in Los Angeles, traffic data shows it has done very little to accomplish that goal.

LA doing what LA does: In what the LA Times calls a “throwback” move, for the first time in 25 years Los Angeles County plans to build a new freeway — despite the fact that it’s 2018. At least this time people are already expressing concerns about the toll it will exact on communities and the earth.

Danger zones: Five of the 10 most dangerous sections of roads in Oregon — based on based on crash rate, frequency and severity of the crash over the past three years — are on either SE Powell or 82nd.

Portland’s sordid past: A history gem uncovered by KOIN and architecture writer Brian Libby depicts a grim, car-dominated downtown Portland landscape in 1970.

Rail rules: We are fully behind the “Cascadia Rail” vision for a high-speed line that would connect Vancouver BC to Portland. (via Seattle Transit Blog)

Video of the Week: Be inspired not just by the quantity of bikes and the quality of behavior by the people who ride them — but wait for the 37-second mark for a big surprise. (via @why_not_bikes)

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

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Partying on the Worst Day of the Year Ride

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:51

Our group had a birthday party theme. Can you tell?
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

We had a blast on our first Worst Day of the Year Ride.

New this year was a half-price four-mile family-friendly route which was perfect for us. Friends came down from Seattle because their almost-eight-year old wanted to celebrate his birthday with a bikey Portland weekend which made choosing our group costume easy: biking birthday party. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a ride with so many creative costumes and seeing the group finery was reason enough to attend.

So much about the ride surprised and impressed me. First up, I didn’t expect to find a whole street party at the start/finish. Having several blocks of closed roads made for lots of space to get our party of 11 organized and allow the kids to safely find their way to the breakfast bar while I entered the costume contest, one friend registered, and another friend picked up our packets.

The volunteers were numerous and terrific as well. Our four-mile ride had enough pedaling volunteers to stick with each group and help us through intersections and stick to the route. I had expected a self-guided ride. And the route was well-marked in case there were any riders without guides.

Riding in a big group makes streets feel much safer.

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Captain Pixie.

Pixie loves it in my front basket.

The website promised cool rest stops for the 42-mile challenge route only, but we had a rest stop too! And I can’t see how ours wasn’t the coolest: it had a cookie sundae station, slime making booth, sidewalk chalk, and a Clever Cycles bike repair station.

Lunch was advertised as “hot soups and rolls,” but we also got grilled cheese sandwiches! Talk about under promising and over delivering. We also enjoyed the hot chocolate station and another cookie sundae bar, this one with rainbow and chocolate sprinkles.

Lunch was eaten at outdoor stand-up tables in the sun or seated in a tent. It was quite nice out in the sun so we destroyed our pinata al fresco, but lit candles and ate cake in the tent.

Thanks to Community Cycling Center and the rest of the Worst Day of the Year Ride sponsors for giving our buddy “the best birthday party ever!”

Were you there? What was your favorite costume of the day? We liked Captain Underpants best.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram

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Five day closure of Aerial Tram starts February 14th

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:41

The circuitous shuttle route will take 30 minutes. The tram route (lower middle, in grey) takes just four minutes.

A five day closure of the Tram starts next week. The closure of this crucial connection between the South Waterfront and OHSU will provide an interesting preview of how users will handle the 38-day shutdown coming up this June.

Details below from GoByTram.com:

5 day maintenance closure – Wed, Feb 14, 2018 8:30 PM Mon, Feb 19, 2018 12:30 PM

The Tram will be closed at 8:30pm (one hour early) on Wednesday, Feb. 14th and remain closed through Monday, Feb. 19 for essential maintenance. The Tram reopens Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Shuttles will run during the Tram’s normal operating hours. The shuttle hours will be:

– Wed. Feb. 14: Tram closes at 8:30pm; shuttles run 8:30pm to 9:30pm
– Thurs. Feb. 15: Shuttles, 5:30am to 9:30pm
– Fri. Feb. 16: Shuttles, 5:30am to 9:30pm
– Sat. Feb. 17: Shuttles, 9am to 5pm
– Sun. Feb. 18: No shuttles or Tram (normal Sunday closure)
– Mon. Feb. 19: No shuttles or Tram (normal holiday closure)
– Tues. Feb. 20: Tram is open, no shuttle, 5:30am to 9:30pm

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The waterfront pick up location will be 1 block south of the South Waterfront Tram Terminal at SW Whitaker between SW Bond Ave and SW River Pkwy. Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/WTKPdRrubzs

The hill pick up location will be at Kohler Pavilion (808 SW Campus Dr, Portland, OR 97239). Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/2KCANT52xzE2

See a map of the shuttle route here.

Fare will not be required to board the shuttles.

The shuttles will be on a load-and-go pickup schedule. Please allow up to 30 minutes travel time between the two pick up locations.

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

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New ‘Friends of Safer Lincoln’ group hits the street to defend a greenway

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:06

Doing something about the problem as the problem streams by.
(Photos: Betsy Reese)

Volunteer activism is alive and well in Portland.

“We felt that there were some voices being silenced… so we wanted to come up with some actions we could do to raise awareness and make a difference.”
— Andrea Brown, Friends of Safer Lincoln

On Wednesday night, a group of concerned volunteers set up a table on Southeast Lincoln at 34th and encouraged passersby to sign postcards urging Portland City Council to make the street less appealing for impatient auto users. So far they’ve sent 200 to City Hall and they’ve also printed up yard signs that will be popping up along the route shortly.

Calling themselves Friends of Safer Lincoln, the organizers of the event were spurred into action after the debate around the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement project devolved into a hostile takeover of a key open house by angry neighbors.

One side of the debate wants the street to have as little access for auto users as possible and be a truly “low-stress” place for cycling and walking. Others fear loss of convenience and worry that the Portland Bureau of Transportation is going too far.

Andrea Brown is a nearby resident who started the Friends group. She connected with others in support of the greenway plans after posting messages about it online. “This is a pretty informal group formed out of frustration,” she shared with me via email yesterday. Brown said the now infamous PBOT open house was a wake-up call. “Friends of Safer Lincoln is a group of people from Richmond and Mt. Tabor who were alarmed by the opposition to the greenway project,” she wrote. “We felt that there were some voices being silenced, especially in Mt. Tabor, where people were kicked off of NextDoor and made to feel unwelcome, so we wanted to come up with some actions we could do to raise awareness and make a difference.”

The postcards have checkboxes for “I ride here”, “I live on the route”, “I walk here”, and so on. They’re being mailed to City Council.

Another local resident, Betsy Reese, was also out on the street Wednesday night. She’s been involved with transportation activism in the past and thinks what has happened with this project on Lincoln has set precedent — both good and bad — for future greenway projects.

On the bad side:

“It’s wrong for the City to imply they are taking a kind of ‘vote’ from those who show up to neighborhood association meetings and open houses (be those votes cast on paper ballots, by raised hands, applause-meter, loudest yelling, or passive-aggressive meeting take-overs). This can — and has — devolved into out-of-control contentious meetings where not everyone is heard. It hinders projects, making them more drawn-out and expensive, and is hurtful to neighborhood relationships. It is destroying community, which during this time of rapid growth in Portland, we should be doing everything we can to preserve and build.”

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And on the good side:

“The real story here is that a group of diverse concerned citizens who are not BikeLoud PDX or any kind of organized group, came together to fight to be heard after being drowned out and pushed aside by opponents at open houses. The response along the greenway has been really incredible. This is significant not just for Lincoln-Harrison-Ladd, but the future of all greenways in Portland.

We do have popular support for our politicians and public employees to to make their final decisions consistent with City transportation priorities, national standards, Vision Zero guidelines, and/or other principled fact-based solutions designed by experts to address global issues.”

Yard signs too.

On Wednesday night, people on bikes and on foot stopped at a small table to fill out postcards and talk about the project. According to Brown, they had a lot to say: “I almost got hit just now,” “It’d be great to get some of these cars off this street,” and “I ride on this from Gresham to downtown Portland every day, and would welcome these changes,” were some of the comments she heard.

“I hope this will alert others in the cycling community to stop and sign a postcard, sign up for a yard sign, attend any neighborhood meetings they can,” added Brown.

Speaking of which, PBOT will present the latest changes to this project at the Richmond Neighborhood Association monthly meeting this Monday, February 12th, 7:00 pm at Waverley Church (3300 SE Woodward St.).

Let’s hope this meeting is more sane than the last one.

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

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Community Cycling Center bringing back ‘Velotines’ delivery service

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:05

Community Cycling Center staffers Lindy Walsh (L), Athena and Yashar Vasef model Velotines cards.
(Photos: Community Cycling Center)

When is the last time you sent someone a hand-written note? Maybe doing that more often was one of your new year’s resolutions that needs a nudge?

For the second year in a row the Community Cycling Center will set up a letter courier system in their retail bike shop on Northeast Alberta to commemorate St. Velotine’s Day — which they call, “an emerging tradition celebrating all-analog affection.” For one day the CCC will buck the growing digitization of our lives and encourage people to send hand-written notes to one another in a bid to boost positive community spirit.

Here’s more from the CCC:

Instead of jotting a quick email thanking a friend or coworker, imagine having that note manually typed on a mid-century Olympia typewriter, then couriered by bike within Portland city limits to surprise and delight its recipient on February 14th. That is precisely what Cycling Center staff and volunteers intend to do for hundreds of messages.

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From now through February 14th (which is traditionally Valentine’s Day, if you haven’t realized yet), anyone can stop into the CCC Bike Shop (1700 NE Alberta) and order a velotine for a $10 suggested donation. Once typed up and sealed with a kiss, it will be queued for bike delivery on Valentine’s Day.

This would be a great way to tell your friends and special someones that you appreciate them!

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

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Grab a ’20 is Plenty’ yard sign and help PBOT change traffic culture

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 15:51

Hopefully it’s a sign of change.
(Photo: PBOT)

Changing America’s dysfunctional traffic culture begins on the street in front of where you live.

It will take a lot more than signs and paint to win the battle against traffic violence — but both of those things are part of the fight. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has a new way you can aid their “Vision Zero” efforts: They now offer free ’20 is Plenty’ yard signs. Their goal is to help educate us about speed and give everyone a bit of a fair warning before the new 20 mph citywide residential speed limit goes into effect on April 1st (no foolin’).

Here are the times and places you can pick up a free sign:

(Graphic: PBOT)

➤ Northeast: Saturday, Feb. 24, 9:30-2:30 p.m., Madison High School, 2735 NE 82nd
➤ Downtown: Feb. 26-Aug. 31, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, Congress Center Building, 1001 SW 5th, Suite 500 (5th floor)
➤ East: Saturday, March 3, noon-4 p.m., Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd
➤ East: Saturday, March 10, noon-4 p.m., Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster
➤ North: location being confirmed, check back soon
➤ Southeast: location being confirmed, check back soon
➤ Southwest: Saturday, March 31, noon-4 p.m., Multnomah Arts Center parking lot, 7688 SW Capitol
➤ Northwest: location being confirmed, check back soon

Check out PBOT’s website to stay in touch with this effort to make speeding a dirty word in Portland.

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

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Beaverton City Council needs to hear about how auto parking decisions impact cycling

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 15:16

Lloyd northbound toward Millikan, where cars could soon line both sides of the street.
(Photos by Naomi Fast for BikePortland)

This story is from our Washington County correspondent, Naomi Fast.

We need to talk about on-street auto parking in Beaverton.

A big picture glance at Beaverton Traffic Commission meeting agendas shows that over the past couple years, on-street car parking is a consuming and intersectional problem. Residents have been asking the city to lower speed limits rather than rely on parked cars for traffic calming, as well as further restrict on-street car parking. But the parking restriction requests are coming in for two different reasons: some are concerned about safety while traveling on car-cluttered roads, while others are concerned about people sleeping overnight in vehicles on the street.

Biking as transportation is — thankfully — being acknowledged somewhat in the search for solutions. However, some advocates are concerned certain proposed bike lanes (on a section of 5th, specifically, which the Bicycle Advisory Committee endorsed) were being used by the city to justify a new ordinance that would, in effect, evict houseless people from staying overnight in vehicles on the street. Washington County just enacted their own ordinance prohibiting camping on-street in RVs. Like Portland, Beaverton is struggling to house all its residents. The city has even decided to apply for an Urban Growth Boundary expansion.

But today, I’d like to outline a seemingly small detail of the bigger parking problem. It’s an example of the kind of mundane traffic decision that should be considered from a carfree person’s perspective, as part of the equity consideration.

And I think it’s worth a call-to-action for people whose preferred or primary mode of travel in Beaverton is a bicycle.

The street in question happens to be adjacent to the very development, Standard Center, that led me to write the city in late 2016 about its lack of bicycle parking (which in turn sparked this dispatch one year ago). Since then, no bike parking has been added. An irony is that if bicycle parking had been added — and biking to the Standard Center had been encouraged over the past year by its owner and lessees — perhaps the fight over car parking would not have boiled to a head in this way.

Which brings us to the issue at hand.

The Issue/Proposal

If passed, Beaverton Traffic Commission Issue No. TC 767 would start allowing on-street car parking on the west side of SW Lloyd Ave between SW Canyon Road & SW Henry St. This area is near Meineke Car Center, a tavern, Pietro’s Pizza, La Sen Grill, and other destinations. The item was adopted by the Traffic Commission at their January 4th 2018 meeting. Since February’s meeting was cancelled, and the January minutes are not yet available, I emailed Jabra Khasho, City Traffic Engineer. He said the item will be packaged for an upcoming City Council Consent Agenda, date not yet confirmed. The City Council meets on Tuesday evenings in February.

Street Context

This is Lloyd. New west side on-street car parking will block visibility, as it does on Hocken.

Lloyd is a short-and-sweet street, with on-street car parking currently limited to the east side. The street is low-traffic, with no center stripe, and no bike lanes. It’s comparable to SE Clay, though much shorter. It connects Canyon Rd with SW Millikan Way, the much-mentioned “bike network alternative” to car-heavy Canyon Rd (aka Oregon Route 8). Millikan Way is a useful bicycle connection to the Beaverton Transit Center. Millikan is also mentioned in TriMet’s 2016 bike plan.

Lloyd is one of my favorite types of streets to bike-wander on. When I first noticed the lack of bike parking at the adjacent Standard Center, I asked an employee at Pietro’s Pizza where people can park if we biked to pizza. She suggested we could take the bikes inside & lean them in the entryway. To me this didn’t seem realistic—particularly for more than two bikes, or in winter with muddy, oily bike tires—and I never did take her up on that.

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Disappearing bike lane at Hocken and Henry, before the intersection with Hwy 8. Can you see the vehicle leaving the Black Bear Diner driveway on the right?

The proximity of Millikan Way to Lloyd suggests an abundance of people traveling this area by bicycle. If you lived in an apartment on nearby Hocken, and decided to bike east on Henry to make a right turn on Lloyd to pick up some take-out from La Sen, west-side on-street car parking would likely block you from the view of drivers exiting Standard Center. We’ve heard drivers say, “The bicyclist came out of nowhere.” Actually, no. In this case, it might be they simply made a right turn from Henry onto Lloyd, and the new on-street car parking up for city approval blocked them from the driver’s view. Sometimes drivers leave parking lots in spurts of speed that could leave no one seeing the other if on-street cars are there.

In the public documents available about this item, there was no indication that the Traffic Commission took into consideration the proximity to the Millikan bikeway. Seemingly small changes like this accumulate and collect into larger feelings of more stress and less safety, comfort, and enjoyability on a bicycle. Meanwhile, Beaverton residents are imploring the city to ramp up non-car transportation facilities & priorities, to alleviate car congestion and to keep streets safe. Bicycles need to be considered by all entities when looking at equity, safety, and traffic flow, as per the Traffic Commission’s own applicable criterion from Beaverton City Code 6.02.060A.

What we can do

Simply put, Beaverton City Council needs to hear from us.

At the January Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting, I brought up my own difficulties seeing around parked cars that block the view of on-coming traffic. Making a left turn onto connector streets like Jenkins, where on-street car parking is allowed as residential car storage, is difficult. Councilor Mark Fagin, city council representative to the BAC, took concern and said that city council needs to hear from the public.

It would be helpful if more of us would write the city and offer public testimony and opinions about this. This is especially the case in early 2018. The council faces a decision about the ordinance prohibiting RV on-street camping, which is closely related to a lack of affordable housing, while at the same time deciding whether to remove restrictions for daytime on-street car parking, which relates to street safety.

City Council has the final call on many traffic issues, large and small, and there is a directional nature to these choices. Will Beaverton further mire itself in car dependency and congestion, block by block? Or can it begin to extricate itself from car dependency by adding non-car perspectives to its street decisions, even seemingly minor ones?

We can help influence the answers to those questions: Contact City Council and let them know what you think.

Below are more images to help explain the context.

Zooming in on the Beaverton Building behind Millikan, the city’s bikeway.

Here’s Hocken, looking south toward TV Hwy. People use Hocken to bike to, from & across Millikan bikeway. On-street car parking ahead.

Here’s what that intersection approach looks like from a bike.

Farmington’s straight ahead. Hwy 8 is called Canyon to the left, TV Hwy to the right.

Straight ahead is Henry, going east-ish toward Lloyd. See the beige building behind the red lights? That’s City Hall.

Henry meets up with Millikan at Lloyd. There’s City Hall again.

About to turn right on Lloyd.


— Naomi Fast, @_the_clearing on Twitter

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