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New website is latest piece in the carfree Columbia Gorge puzzle

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:37

Map via ColumbiaGorgeCarfree.com.

As the Portland region grows, so too has the popularity of the Columbia River Gorge. That’s a good thing; but not if too many people visit it by car.

Thankfully, Oregon’s tourism and transportation agencies understand this. Two summers ago, faced with congestion and overflowing parking lots, the Department of Transportation launched the Columbia Gorge Express bus service to encourage people to experience the Gorge without a car. That’s been such a huge success they’ve upgraded service and features each year.

Now comes another piece of the puzzle: ColumbiaGorgeCarfree.com, a website funded in part by a grant from Travel Oregon.

The site (still partly under construction) features carfree itineraries for popular Gorge destinations. As of now, there’s a turn-by-turn guide to hiking the popular Dog Mountain trail without a car. The itinerary comes with a detailed map and is based on biking and walking the four miles from Cascade Locks to the West End Transit (WET) shuttle bus stop on the Washington side of the river. If you can wait until May 25th, the Columbia Gorge Express will carry you and your bike from the Gateway Transit Center in east Portland to Cascade Locks.

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There’s also a very helpful page that lists all the buses and transit options that serve the Gorge.

This new website is the work of Heidi Beirle and a, “geeky team of transportation professionals.” Beirle is a carfree tourism consultant who also works with the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.

If you’re keen on going to the Gorge carfree this season, keep this website handy. And if you want to make bus service to the Gorge even better, please take the latest Columbia Gorge Express survey.

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

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Section of John Wayne Pioneer Trail closed in Eastern Washington

Biking Bis - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:24
The state Department of Natural Resources last week closed a section of the cross-state John Wayne Pioneer Trail in eastern Washington for an indefinite period between Beverly and Lind. In a press release on Friday, the DNR said it closed this segment of the trail due to a lack of funding to perform maintenance. Although …

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The Monday Roundup: Uber’s big Jump, crash journalism 101, calling BS on Mercedes Benz ad, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:28

Welcome to Monday.

This week’s Roundup is brought to you by Cycle Oregon’s Weekender (July 13-15) — a two-day bike bash based at University of Oregon in Eugene.

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

A leap for dockless bikes: Jump, the company that makes Portland’s Biketown bikes (they used to be called Social Bicycles), has been acquired by Uber. Looks like either Uber has figured out that dockless, electric bikes are superior to cars in urban settings — or they want to snuff out a legit threat to their bottom line. Interesting times.

E-bikes OK in NYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio had come under fire for harsh treatment of e-bike delivery workers. Now he’s clarified rules to permit pedal-assist bikes and prohibit those that use a throttle (for speeds over 20 mph).

Bike libraries in Chicago: To increase access to bikes in low-income communities, activist Oboi Reed has launched a program that loans them out for free.

Bike urbanism primer: Fast Company has an overview of Mikael Colville-Andersen’s new book, Copenhagenize, which lays out his view that all the transportation tech we need is already available in the humble bicycle.

Music to my ears: When it comes to traffic crash reporting, “Journalists need to scrutinize driver’s actions as much, if not more, than the behavior of pedestrians or cyclists,” says the Columbia Journalism Review in this fantastic piece that rightfully calls out the police and the lazy media professionals who enable them for their biased and victim-blaming coverage. (Based on a research paper by Heather Magusin titled, If you want to get away with murder, use your car.)

What Boston is doing: Boston’s mayor has used increased parking fine revenue to fund 20 new city staff positions that will be dedicated to making it easier to bus, bike, and walk.

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Flag this, PBOT: As Portland gets ready for the dockless revolution, we should learn what we can from Chicago’s research on best practices and regulations.

The future isn’t more lanes: In yet another example that the I-5 Rose Quarter and other regional freeway widening projects are bad moves, the CEO of Moovel says the future is in updating our existing infrastructure so that it can fully exploit new transportation-related technologies.

Biking so white: North America isn’t alone in grappling with the fact that cycling for transportation is still dominated by white professionals. UK-based New Statesman mag asks, “Why are there so few black and Asian cyclists in London?”

A vision in Seattle: Portland is already doing a lot of the stuff Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan lays out in her vision of transportation; but it’s happening under-the-radar. Having a mayor who’s transparent about their vision is almost as important as doing the work it takes to achieve it.

Speaking of mayors: Los Angeles-based transportation reform journalist Alissa Walker calls out “climate mayors” who like making lofty proclamations, but who have a harder time making the hard choices (like reigning in auto use) it takes to actually push back the needle of climate change.

Bike ban in Prague: Leaders of the Czech capitol say there’s just not enough room for bicycling in the dense urban core.

F*&$ you Mercedes Benz!: This abhorrent advertisement that glorifies racing on city streets and has the audacity to feature a vulnerable road user as a target should be illegal. Full stop. Crap like this a big reason why deaths of people outside of cars is going up in America.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted, emailed and tagged us on these important stories.

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

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Alpinestars Drop Pro Kit

Bike Hugger - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 14:35

Ebikes are not exactly welcome on the trails in the Pacific Northwest, but if you’re going to ride one and with the increased speeds, Alpinestars Drop Pro Kit is optimized with PU reinforcement in high abrasion areas. It’s made from a light and durable poly-fabric main shell and convenient storage compartments resulting in a versatile, all-round enduro jersey.

The Drop Pro kit includes a short that also offers more performance and protection with PU reinforcements to increase durability and coverage in high abrasion areas.

Alpinestars is my fav line of mtb clothing, but I’m not convinced anyone needs ebike specific kit, but if you do, they’ve got you covered.

Find the Drop Pro kit at a retailer near you or direct online. The short-sleeve jersey is $69.95 and the shorts are $129.95.

Jersey Specs
  • Constructed from lightweight, advanced poly- fabric to promote moisture-wicking.
  • Stretch mesh on the back shoulders for fit and flexibility.
  • Open mesh insert on back panel for breathability.
  • Side pockets for convenient storage. Pocket incorporates loop label to secure keys.
  • PU reinforcements in high abrasion zones on sleeves.
  • Inner terry cloth for cleaning lenses.
  • Elongated lower back hem for extended rear coverage.
  • Reflective detailing for improved rider visibility.
  • Alpinestars’ Coolstar moisture-wicking technology avoids the build-up of sweat and helps keep rider dry and comfortable.
    Welded wrist hems for durability.
Short Specs
  • Constructed from lightweight, advanced poly- fabric to promote moisture wicking.
  • Ergonomically profiled PU reinforcements in high abrasion zones on thighs. Hook and loop strap waist adjustment with TPR pullers. Zippered side pockets and back pocket. Stretch material on the crotch and back yoke, with strategically positioned Spandex for mobility. Laser-cut front air vents for cooling airflow. Flat snap connection for compatibility with alpinestars inner shorts.
  • Welded hems for durability.

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City Council candidates talk transportation at packed forum

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:06

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last night proved that while transportation might not be a top issue in Portland politics these days, it still brings out the largest crowds.

There was barely even standing room at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall last night for the City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation — an event co-hosted by Young Professionals in Transportation, Community Cycling Center, The Street Trust, Oregon Walks, and OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. The crowd impressed Commissioner Nick Fish, who said in his opening remarks: “This is the largest turnout we’ve had for an event.”

“We need to stop painting this as a progressive utopia where everything is wonderful and where all you have to do is get on your bike and life will be great.”
— Jo Ann Hardesty, candidate for city council position three

Due to the questions and the candidates themselves, there was a very strong focus on east Portland and how our transportation policies impact people from underserved neighborhoods where there’s a high proportion of low-income residents and people of color. Other ideas that were widely supported by nearly all the candidates were free transit for all and opposition to the I-5 Rose Quarter project (that will add lanes to the freeway).

Nine candidates participated: four of them are running for position number two (currently occupied by Nick Fish) and the other five are running for position three (where Dan Saltzman currently sits). The position two candidates at the forum were: Julia DeGraw, Nicholas Sutton, Philip Wolfe, and Nick Fish. And the position three candidates were Felicia Williams, Andrea Valderrama, Jo Ann Hardesty, Stuart Emmons, and Loretta Smith.

The moderator asked three questions that were given to the candidates ahead of time, and there were three questions from the audience. Time limits were strictly enforced. Candidates got two minutes for the prepared questions and one minute to respond to each audience question.

Ready? Here we go…

Just part of the crowd.

Question 1): In 2016, City Council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2025. However, last year 45 people were killed on our streets, making 2017 the deadliest year in over a decade. As most of these deaths occurred in historically underinvested neighborhoods, what concrete actions would you take to make our streets safe, especially for communities of color and other vulnerable populations?

Andrea Valderrama, a policy advisor for Mayor Ted Wheeler who also worked for former PBOT Commissioner Steve Novick, was one of several candidates who repeatedly invoked their personal experience of living east of 82nd Avenue. “The fear of walking along big arterials in my neighborhood — like 102nd and 122nd — is really real,” she said. Valderrama had the most substantive answer on this question, outlining four ways she’d approach the problem: speed reduction, engagement, education and prevention, and technology. She wants the 20 mph residential speed limit to be expanded to arterials and is “interested” in speed cameras. Valderrama also said city meetings must be more accessible and culturally relevant.

“There’s been a lack of visionary leadership from city council for the last 10 years.”
— Julia DeGraw

Community organizer Julia DeGraw also lives east of 82nd and said she uses streets that aren’t safe on a daily basis. She thinks we have unsafe streets because, “There’s been a lack of visionary leadership from city council for the last 10 years.” She also railed against our commission form of government, saying it creates silos that prevent us from a more “holistic” approach to transportation problems. “We also need to be looking at trees,” she said. “I know that sounds a little bit silly, but we know that trees slow down cars and create safety.”

NAACP Porltand President Jo Ann Hardesty said Vision Zero uses too much of a “punitive approach” and she’d rather see more education. “$247 bucks is excessive for first ticket,” she said. “We need to be creating communities that are walkable and have amenities so that people are able to walk.” Hardesty said it’s “inexcusable” that a “city with so much riches” invests so much in downtown when other parts of the city have been “forgotten.”

Commissioner Nick Fish seemed to take offense at DeGraw’s comment about a lack of leadership. “Let me thank the visionary leadership in this room that has actually put us on the map around a lot of innovative transportation policies,” he said at the outset of his remarks. Fish then relayed the story of losing his mom to a “car accident” when he was 11 years old. “As your city commissioner I’ll wake up everyday to try and prevent people from dying on our streets,” he promised. Fish then referred to Vision Zero as a “bold plan.” “But the problem with Vision Zero,” he continued. “Is we don’t have enough resources to implement it.” We could save money and prevent deaths if people would just slow down, Fish added.

Philip Wolfe used his first answer to point out his experience of being passed by bicycle riders. “When I’m walking, people assume I’m a hearing person,” he shared through an interpreter, “and they rush by me.” “That’s a space where able-bodied people forget about people with disabilities.” He also mentioned that spending “Half a billion dollars for expanding freeways” won’t fix the “root problems” we face.

Loretta Smith (upper left) answers a question.

Question 2) Low-income and communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by our transportation policies, such as the construction and expansion of highways that have cut off their communities and displaced them from their homes. Given the urgency of climate change and Portland’s commitment to increase safe walking, biking, and transit connections in the 2015 Climate Action Plan, what policies would you enact to bring environmental justice to these communities? 

Valderrama answered by saying her nearly three-year old daughter was just diagnosed with asthma. “We have to address the real impacts of environmental racism in our low-income communities in outer east Portland,” she said. “It’s interesting that when we hear about the things like the Cully tire fire we don’t hear about them as much as if it would have happened in another neighborhood.” Valderrama also expressed support for a completely fareless transit system and opposition to the I-5 Rose Quarter project, saying, “I don’t think widening freeways aligns with these goals and it’s not going to solve our congestion problems.”

“The half-billion dollar expansion will serve the wrong people. It won’t serve us. It will serve the rich.”
— Philip Wolfe, referring to the I-5 Rose Quarter project

DeGraw also voiced opposition to the I-5 Rose Quarter project and focused her answer on diesel toxins from trucks. “Low-income and communities of color are hit hardest with diesel particulates,” she said. “And not only were many of these communities displaced by freeways, now they are living along freeways that are poisoning them.” DeGraw wants Oregon to step up its standards for diesel emissions to Washington and California standards and she advocated for a local air-quality task force.

A world-class transportation system in Portland would give everyone access to public transit and “the ability to have bicycles,” said Jo Ann Hardesty. She also pointed out that, “We had a ‘housing emergency’ not because 10,000 African-Americans were displaced from inner northeast between 2000 and 2010. The housing emergency came about when white middle-class people found it difficult to live in the city.” Hardesty said Portland needs elected leaders with guts to tell “the real story.” “We need to stop painting this as a progressive utopia where everything is wonderful and where all you have to do is get on your bike and life will be great,” she continued. “That is not for everybody. It hasn’t been that way for people of color.”

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Fish used his answer to make a pitch for permanent Youth Pass funding. “We cannot keep kicking the ball around and saying it’s the legislature or TriMet or the City or the School Board… We must have sustainable and permanent funding so that every high school student in a public school in the city of Portland can access Youth Pass.” He also said it’s time for Portland to “take back” 82nd and Powell Blvd, “Because we can no longer count on ODOT to maintain them safely… And we must do that now!”

Count Stuart Emmons as another candidate opposed to adding lanes to I-5 through the Rose Quarter (every candidate except Smith and Fish expressed opposition to that project). He said the biggest problem is that our current zoning codes “continue to gentrify and displace our communities of color.” Emmons also wants better transit to east Portland, “So people can walk to work and get to school safely.”

Philip Wolfe used this question to once again bring up the I-5 Rose Quarter project, saying, “The half-billion dollar expansion will serve the wrong people. It won’t serve us. It will serve the rich.” Nicholas Sutton piled on: “I see no reason why we’d spend $450 million on an expansion that would apparently achieve nothing.”

Current Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith said I-5 runs right through her district and causes a lot of asthma and respiratory problems among her constituents. But she didn’t express an opinion on the I-5 Rose Quarter project — likely because she supports it (as she clearly says on her website). Instead Smith focused her answer on how “We have to get this transportation thing right and figure out where the toxins are.” She mentioned toxic buses and her belief that TriMet needs to make more of them electric.

Candidates on stage.

Question 3) We’ve talked about Portland’s dangerous streets and transportation injustices. However, a significant barrier to addressing these challenges is the fact that most of our streets and funding are dedicated to moving and storing automobiles. If elected, how would you reallocate the City’s road space and transportation budget to prioritize walking, biking, and transit?

Felicia Williams shared her experience riding at night to her job at FedEx on Swan Island. “I’d dress with as much reflective gear as I could and I’d have two flashers on the back, three flashers on the front, hoping I would not get nailed by the drunks.” This has led her to be a major backer of protected bike lanes. She’s currently a member of the Central City in Motion project advisory team (in her capaicty as president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association). Williams said the key question we face is, “How do we create an infrastructure that accomodates growth, while also maintains modal splits.”

From Andrea Valderrama’s point of view we can’t forget that in some parts of town, where people don’t have good transit service or bikeways, people are “forced” to use cars. She advocated for more “Creative use of the right-of-way so people are safe in alternative modes of transportation other than car usage.” Valderrama wants to redesign streets with the understanding that, “Curb space isn’t just for parking your car, but for all types of users.” She wants separate loading zones for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Julia DeGraw said the prospect of PBOT taking over 82nd Avenue from ODOT is one of the main reasons she decided to run. “Make it a model city road… Restore it in a way that’s equitable to the communities living along it,” she said. “Slow it down, reduce the traffic and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.” When it comes to parking, she said there’s just not enough room for all the cars and that we have to, “Get out of this car-centric way of thinking about things.” “If we want to get people out of their cars, why are we dedicating 90 percent of our road space to them? This is a a political will issue.”

Jo Ann Hardesty speaking with Julia DeGraw to her right.

A skeptical Jo Ann Hardesty threw a bit of cold water on the excitement over a PBOT-controlled 82nd Ave: “I wish I believed that the City of Portland taking on 82nd Avenue would make it better. I wish I believed that.” Hardesty added that because parts of east Portland still don’t have sidewalks, “We cannot talk about bike paths without talking about safety for community members who have paid their fair share in taxes and just are not getting the infrastructure.”

Commissioner Fish brought up “20-minute neighborhoods,” saying we must expand walkability further afield. But alas, the veteran politician added, “We simply don’t have enough money to build out the infrastructure for all the plans we’ve adopted — starting with the Bike Master Plan and going forward, so we’re going to need new revenue.” Fish said with dwindling funding prospects from Washington D.C., it’s time to throw our support behind a “multi-billion dollar regional bond measure” that he suspects will be proposed in 2020.

“This is a really great crowd, but what would make this crowd better is if there was more diversity in this crowd. And that’s something I could do very well.”
— Loretta Smith

Stuart Emmons said he’s lived in places like Brooklyn and Boston where he diddn’t even want a car, so he knows what Portland aspires to. He was also impressed by a recent trip to Vancouver, BC: “I was looking at their bike lanes and went, ‘Wow!’ you could do this in Portland! I bike here and take my life in my hands, I’ve already had a lot of gashes. But they [in Vancouver] have protected bike lanes and we ought to absolutely move forward with that.” Emmons is also bullish on a future of autonomous vehicles and “other options coming in the future” and thinks, “We really need to think broadly about what our city will look like without parking on streets or in parking garages.”

Philip Wolfe flashed his bus pass and said he relies on them for much of his travel, “But there aren’t enough routes.” He wants to move beyond cars and thinks we should, “Take down those parking garages and set up shelters for homeless people and transitional housing.” “We need to focus on people, instead of things and instead of building high-rises,” he continued. “This is not Seattle!”

Loretta Smith used this question as an opportunity to talk about diversity. “This is a really great crowd,” she said, “but what would make this crowd better is if there was more diversity in this crowd. And that’s something I could do very well.” Smith promised she would “bring diversity into City Hall” and said, “If you want to talk about transportation and changing the tone at City Hall, you need to go to someone who has brung diversity into the halls of the County.” “Vote for Commissioner Smith and this is what you get: Diversity and equity.”

Philip Wolfe stands as he signs his points. Interpreters were on hand so Wolfe’s ideas could be heard.

Audience question 1) What specific solution will you propose to solve the problem of pedestrians dying in east Portland?

(It bears noting that none of these candidates are fully comfortable with the transportation topic in general. So when questions came from the audience, I found their responses even less specific and substantive than the prepared questions.)

Williams answered this by saying “It’s a simple fix” and that all need to do is spent $8 million a year citywide. Valderrama repeated her idea of expanding the 20 mph residential speed limit to arterials and she pointed out her work (during her time with former Commissioner Novick) getting safety upgrades on SE 122nd that led to TriMet upping frequency on the bus line.

Hardesty’s answer to this sounded like victim-blaming to one person I talked to after the event. After saying how some people drive too fast, Hardesty said, “I can tell you there are pedestrians that walk out in front of cars because they think they have bumpers and no one will hit them.” Hardesty added that our streets would be safer if we fostered more “community connectedness” and moved beyond division. “We need to come together and decide what kind of community we want to live in.”

Despite Hardesty’s strong concerns about enforcement, Fish pushed for more of it. “We need to make life a little uncomfortable for people who are in a big rush and willing to put other at risk. It’s selfish behavior and it must stop!”

Audience question 2) How would you fund all the stuff you’ve talked about tonight?

Williams said we should look to the example of Copenhagen where they created an “urban wealth fund” for their harbor. The city maintained ownership of the harbor then sold development rights to private companies and poured that money back into transportation infrastructure. DeGraw advocated for higher taxes on large companies and a “wealth tax.” She also said she’d be “curious” about shifting the governance of TriMet to Metro.

To raise money for transportation, Hardesty said she’d put a $2.50 tax on Uber and Lyft rides (which got a loud applause). She also mentioned (perhaps responding to Fish’s tough talk) that while she likes lower speed limits, she’s “absolutely terrified of more enforcement” and that she doesn’t feel safe, “When I hear public leaders talk about enhancing police presence… When we know African-Americans and Latinos are targeted for more enforcement than anyone else.”

Audience question 3) Congestion pricing is a controversial policy that effectively manages traffic while generating new revenue. If the policy comes to Portland, how would you address the impact of congestion pricing on low-income populations while increasing access to transit?

Williams answered by telling the story of someone who works a low-wage job and has to pick up their child from daycare and spend two hours in traffic. “It tells you your time isn’t worth anything, so it’s a question of equity.” She then turned to the failed, $3.6 billion Columbia River Crossing megaproject. “One thing I do know,” she aid, “The CRC? We should have had that. We should have the MAX going to Vancouver then we wouldn’t have the problem with congestion on I-5.”

Valderrama wants to make congestion pricing “as progressive as possible” and she mentioned that we must improve transit in tandem with it if we really want to reduce traffic.

DeGraw thinks there’s a way to do congestion pricing so that, “Folks at the lowest income don’t have to pay.”

Hardesty said, “Before we have a conversation about congestion pricing, we have to make sure the people we pushed out to the edges of our city are not harmed by this policy.” She doesn’t want people who live furthest away from the central city to be penalized and she doesn’t want it to be based on income.

Fish said he agrees with Hardesty “completely.” “We have displaced people to the fringes of the city and now we’re going to say, ‘We’re going to charge you to come downtown’? That’s a classic equity issue.”

If you prefer to listen to the event, here’s the audio.

What did you think about the candidates? Did you come away with a new favorite? Did any of them help or hurt their election chances in your eyes?

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

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More than 100 bike rides to celebrate Opening Day for Trails on Saturday

Biking Bis - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 09:43
Opening Day is a highlight for baseball fans, signaling the start of the national pastime. The Rails to Trails Conservancy wants to do the same for trail use, naming Saturday, April 7, as Opening Day for Trails. The nonprofit supporter for rail-to-trail conversions across the nation aims to kickstart spring trail use with more than …

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Invoking “emergency” law, Commissioner Saltzman will propose a lower speed limit on SE Stark

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:54

Stark just west of 162nd.

Almost exactly a year after Portland City Council unanimously supported an emergency speed limit reduction on outer Southeast Division street, they are now poised to take the same extraordinary measure on outer Stark.

Shaina Hobbs, a policy director for City Commissioner Dan Saltzman confirmed with us this morning that an emergency ordinance (view it below) will be proposed at City Council on April 11th. The ordinance would lower the speed limit on Southeast Stark from 35 mph to 30 mph for a period of 120 days. “Commissioner Saltzman has pushed for this ordinance to come to Council on an accelerated timeline,” Hobbs shared via email this morning.

The ordinance stipulates that the new speed limit would apply to the section of Stark from SE 109th to 162nd and would be effective as soon as new signs are installed.

Slower speed limits will extend to Portland city limits.

Similar to the approach the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) took on SE Division, the ordinance refers to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 810.180 (9) which states: “a road authority may establish an emergency speed on any highway under the jurisdiction of the road authority that is different from the existing speed on the highway.” The ORS defines an “emergency” as a, “human created or natural event or circumstance that causes or threatens widespread loss of life, property, injury to person or property, human suffering or financial loss, related to, among other things, transportation emergencies.” As added justification for the move, the ordinance refers to the Comprehensive Plan and the Vision Zero Action Plan — both of which make the safety of vulnerable people using our streets a top priority.

[A copy of the ordinance]
ordinance-Stark-emergency-speed

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Pressure on the PBOT and city commissioners to do something to stem the tide of traffic violence on SE Stark near 148th has been building rapidly since 53-year-old Yelena Loukas was killed by a driver on February 1st. Loukas was the third person to die while walking on that section of Stark in less than a year.

“Unsafe streets are a political issue not an inevitable part of our lives.”
— Jenny Glass, Rosewood Initiative

In a statement following Loukas’ death, Jenny Glass of the community development group Rosewood Initiative said, “East Portland streets were designed to move large quantities of cars quickly. The problem is, these roads are not highways, they are our neighborhood streets.” Rosewood Initiative joined hands with Oregon Walks to make several demands on the City of Portland aimed at making Stark safer.

If City Council passes this emergency speed reduction, all three of their demands will have been met.

Last week we reported that Mayor Ted Wheeler’s ‘Build Portland’ initiative — that will issue bonds for infrastructure projects based on future proceeds from expiring Urban Renewal Areas — approved $10 million for safety upgrades on outer Stark. The project will focus investment between SE 117th and 162nd and will include paving, signal upgrades, safer crossings and “corridor safety” improvements.

The Rosewood Initiative updated its members and supporters about their work on Stark in an email yesterday. “The Rosewood Initiative and Oregon Walks have been working feverishly to bring public awareness to the issue,” they wrote, “as well as the needed changes to make our streets safe for everyone.” The email urged people to sign and share their Make Outer Stark Safe for Everyone petition (which has 600 signatures so far) and reminded people that, “Unsafe streets are a political issue not an inevitable part of our lives.”

Advocates say they’re grateful for the attention from City Hall and are currently arranging a meeting with PBOT to look at how to make sure coming changes reflect the community’s needs.

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

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Tell Multnomah County how to make their roads better for biking

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:52

The County’s section of NW Cornell Road just above downtown Portland is a main vein in the bike network and it should have the shoulders and signage to reflect that.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Everyone’s buzzing about the opportunity to tell Multnomah County what to include in their 20-year Roads Capital Improvement Plan (RCIP). OK, maybe it’s just all the activists in my feeds and inbox. Either way, they know a good thing when they see it.

The County is a sleeper agency. Even though they manage only about 1/8th the road mileage of the City of Portland, the County’s roads happen to be some very important bike routes. And as an agency, they’re much more accessible than their larger cousins at the city, region, or state level. For those reasons alone, the RCIP is ripe for input and we should embrace the opportunity to influence it.

So: What does the RCIP include? It doesn’t include the County’s bridges over the Willamette River; but it does include some of the most popular streets for cycling on the west side. Ever ride up NW Cornell and Thompson to Skyline? That’s the County. Ever climb NW Newberry or McNamee? County. And the beloved Sauvie Island loop? Yep, that’s their jam too. They also own lots of the great backroads surrounding Corbett and Troutdale near the Sandy River.

Here’s a detailed map of the roads included in the RCIP.

County-owned roads that are part of the RCIP shown in Orange. Sauvie Island loop is in the upper middle. See them all here.

Why is this on the BikePortland Front Page? Because the County is putting together a project list and we are their eyes and ears as to how they can make these roads better for bicycling. “This is the first time in decades that the County is really digging in to understand its roads and make an in-depth plan,” states the County website. “Many more people live here now than 10 or 20 years ago, and more get around without a car.”

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East of Gresham, the RCIP includes some great rural roads – as well as urban arterials.

The type of projects that the County says could be included in the RCIP are things like, “widening shoulders for people walking and biking”, intersection safety projects, or new multi-use paths.

Personally, I’m going to request that the County designate sections of Skyline Blvd (between Thompson and Old Cornelius Pass) as a “Bicycle Safety Corridor”. As such, I want them to add: more signage calling out the designation, paved bicycle turnouts every few miles, and I’ll even mention my hope for a new policy of doubling traffic fines inside the corridor boundary.

Jessica Engelman, former Chair of Bike Loud PDX said she asked the County to include: separated biking and walking paths from the Springwater/Blue Line MAX Station to Oxbow, Dodge, and Milo McIver Parks; and a separated bike/walk loop around Sauvie Island.

Jessica also had these positive things to say about the online open house itself: “I’m really impressed with whomever at Multnomah County composed this survey, since they already ask a lot of questions about active transportation and safety priorities; it implies the county is poised to do some great things with the right public support. This is a vision-setting survey, so be creative and bold!”

What are your ideas? Please let them know or you lose your right to complain later.

If you’d like to learn more and talk to County officials about the RCIP, swing into the offline open house coming up at Skyline Elementary School on Tuesday (4/10) 6:30 pm.

The County will finalize the project list by end of this year. Check the RCIP fact sheet for more info. And don’t forget to take the online open house before April 15th.

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

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Shimano Ultegra RX

Bike Hugger - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:02

Shimano debuted an Ultegra RX rear derailleur with a clutched cage pivot at last Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. Unlike the obligatory disc brake marketing at Paris-Roubaix, the riders in the professional peloton actually seemed eager to use this new product, as the sprinting over cobbles at 30mph creates a lot of chain slap and the threat of throwing a chain.

The concept of clutched cage pivots for chain management is borrowed from the mountainbike market. The complex dynamics of mtb drivetrains on full-suspension bikes has always presented a problem in keeping a chain under control. But other than pro riders pounding the cobbles at race speed, do road riders really need a clutched rear derailleur?

Well, the case can certainly be made that gravel riders could benefit from better chain management of course, though it sorta depends on what your type of gravel you’re riding.

But you know who benefits from a clutched derailleur all the time? Riders with 1x drivetrains. As much as I can see this as Shimano’s tardy acknowledgement of the gravel market, I think that Shimano could very well be hedging their bets that 1x road might not be a fad.

 

The post Shimano Ultegra RX appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Bike Happy: The Future of Downtown Shifts

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:49

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks again to Brock Howell of Bike Happy for putting together this comprehensive weekly newsletter.

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO
  1. Seattle City Council adopted a bold new bike parking code.
  2. Mayor Durkan delayed the 4th Ave protected bikeway, halted the 1st Ave streetcar, and wants congestion fees for downtown.
  3. There are grand opening ceremonies for the Pioneer Square alleys tonight, the Arboretum Loop Trail on Saturday, and a crosswalk in Georgetown on Tuesday.
  4. Cascade’s Emerald City Ride is on Sunday, and it’s probably the first and last time you can ride across the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

IN MEMORIAM

A driver, suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, struck Marcus Henthorn on March 28 in Port Townsend. Marcus, 75-years-old, died two days later at Harborview Medical Center. He was active and well-loved within Port Townsend’s bicycling community. (PT Leader)

SOCIAL, LIFESTYLE, & ADVENTURE UPCOMING ACTIVITIES​ ARTICLES & POSTS
  • “Join the Swift Campout,” Jan Heine’s Blog.
  • “Top five reasons to ride a bike,” Biking in the Rain.
  • “Have no fear, your bicycle is here,” Biking in the Rain.
  • “Aviva Stephens | Bikes are for boys: Cycling while woman,” SBB.
  • “Redmond based Propella E-Bike let’s you choose how hard you want to work,” KING5.
  • “Cyclists Prepare to Ride Alaskan Way Viaduct,” Seattle Weekly.
  • “A chance to bike the Alaskan Way Viaduct before it’s demolished,” KING5.
  • “Community Transit honors Edmonds all-weather cyclist,” MyEdmonds.
  • “Premera employee named Smart Commuter of the Year by Community Transit,” MLT News.
  • “Coffee cancer label doesn’t worry Seattle roaster [Conduit Coffee, a pro-bike business],” KING5.
  • “A ride for everyone: Bicycling on the Key Peninsula,” Key Pen. News.
  • Seattle resident Jessica Kelley won an adventure award of $1,000 for her plans to complete a 1,350 mile bike-rafting loop of paved and gravel roads and sections of the Yukon, Tanana and Susitna rivers; Jessica will also be raising money for Anchorage GRIT, a bike mentoring program for middle-school girls (Rock & Ice).
POLICY & INFRASTRUCTURE ACTION UPCOMING EVENTS​ NEWS
  • Bike Parking
    • Seattle City Council updated the off-street parking code for new buildings, which included a major overhaul and improvement to the bicycle parking requirements for bike rooms, bike cages, and on sidewalks. The legislation also reduced requirements for car parking, especially in transit-rich neighborhoods (Bicycle Security AdvisorsSeattle TimesSDCICurbedCHS BlogKING5).
    • The parking reforms were too late for Bellwether Housing, which was required to build a $1.5 million parking garage for an affordable housing project in South Lake Union (KING5).
  • Bikeshare
    • Everyone is interested in Seattle’s dockless bikeshare (GeekWire).
    • Bellevue’s bikeshare pilot will only allow e-bikes (CurbedSTB).
  • Downtown
  • Central Seattle
    • The Arboretum Loop Trail officially opens this weekend (UWCHS Blog).
  • South & West Seattle
    • SDOT pulled back its plans for safety-focused rechannelization of 35th Ave SW (West Seattle Blog).
    • SDOT’s Rainier Avenue Corridor Project lacks vision, protected bikeways (Urbanist).
  • Eastside
    • In its battle against King County’s Phase III design to the East Lake Sammamish Trail project, the City of Sammamish lost an appeal of a federal District Court decision to the federal Surface Transportation Board (FELSTDecision).
    • Bothell’s golf course recently turned public park is now open as a park, and in seek of a name and a master plan, which may include mountain bike trails (Bothell ReporterEverett Herald).
    • Issaquah is studying improvements to its Front Street (Issaquah Reporter).
    • Public comment has opened for the EIS for WSDOT’s I-405 expansion project, which will build an overpass for the Eastside Greenway Trail Corridor (Bellevue Reporter).
  • Snohomish County
    • Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers issued a Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Executive Order that commits the county to investing in regional trails (Bothell Reporter).
    • The future of mountain bike trails at Lord Hill Park continues to be debated (Snohomish Tribune,
    • A new kombucha brewery in Arlington located along the Centennial Trail in part to attract people biking as customers on their morning commutes (Marysville Globe).
    • Arlington and Marysville want to develop a 4,000-acre area into an industrial center, possibly with trail access (Everett Herald).
  • South King & Pierce County
    • Public comment for extending light rail from Federal Way to Tacoma is open through May 4; some stakeholders want improved biking & walking connections across the Puyallup River (STB).
  • Statewide
    • The Iron Horse / John Wayne Trail may be renamed (Yakima Herald).
SPORT UPCOMING EVENTS GET OUT SAVE THE DATES JOBS

Bike Retail & Industry
Sales Clerk, Aaron’s Bicycle Repair
Professional Bicycle Mechanic, Aaron’s Bicycle Repair
Bicycle Mechanic-in-Training, Aaron’s Bicycle Repair
Seasonal Bike Shop Mechanic, Bike Works
Seasonal Bike Shop Sales & Retail Assistant, Bike Works
Seasonal Recycle & Reuse Assistant, Bike Works
Mechanics & Retail Staff, Gregg’s Cycles
Sales and Marketing Specialist, Sportworks
Director of Sales and Marketing, Sportworks
Product Design and Development Engineer, Sportworks
Nonprofit
Program Coordinator, Bike Works
Sounders FC Bike Valet Attendant, Bike Works
Volunteer Program Assistant (Seasonal), Cascade
Major Taylor Ride Leader/Instructor, Cascade
Summer Camp Head Counselor, Cascade
Summer Camp Counselor, Cascade
Business Relations, Policy & Operations Manager, Commute Seattle
Government
Curbspace Management Supervisor, SDOT (4/17)
Public Space Management Inspector, SDOT
Traffic Records & Data Supervisor, SDOT
Supervising Project Manager, SDOT
Walk N Roll Teacher Assistant, Intercity Transit
Bicycle Specialist – Recreation Leader II, City of Auburn
Specialized Recreation Cycling Assistant – Recreation Leader I, City of Auburn
Commerce Specialist 3 – Community Development Block Grant, State Dept. of Commerce

STOLEN BIKES

In the past week, ten bikes were reported as stolen to SPD, not counting stolen bikes part of burglaries and assaults. Help fight back by (1) registering your bike on Bike Index, and (2) always locking up your bike with a U lock, even inside a bike room. Bicycle Security Advisors provides additional information on how to keep your bike safe.

Subscribe

Subscribe here to get the Bike Happy newsletter delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

Six questions for Portland illustrator and ‘Cycle City’ author Alison Farrell

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:23

Alison and a few of her many inspirations.
(Photo: Zoey Abbott)

As often happens as I peruse the web for story ideas, I come across something wonderful and then forget how I ended up there.

That’s how I came across the work of Alison Farrell.

It was her new book, Cycle City, that first caught my attention. Then a few clicks later I watched the promo video (below) and noticed it was set right here in Portland. Then I realized she lives in Portland, she rides her bike around town all the time and she has an Instagram account full of cool sketches of bike scenes from a recent trip to Copenhagen. This, I thought to myself, is someone we need to know more about!

So I reached out to Alison and asked her a few questions…

What’s your relationship to cycling? (Is it just a fun thing, daily transportation, your savior, all of the above?)

One of her sketches from a recent trip to Copenhagen.
(@AlisonDraws on Instagram)

I come from a family of road and mountain bike enthusiasts, and as far as I can remember, bikes have been a part of my life. While I started out using bikes as a fun, athletic recreational activity, my relationship to bikes later expanded to suit my life circumstances. Over the years, bikes have provided me with the ability to tour and see the world, play, learn, compete, commute, and haul stuff (groceries, other people, building supplies, other bikes, trees, etc.).

When I ride, I just feel a little more like myself. Not only do I depend on bikes for transportation and exercise, but also for joy and sanity!

What part of town do you live in?

I live in SE Portland, near Clinton Street. When we moved back to Portland, we moved for bikeability!

What inspired Cycle City?

Soon after my son Finn first spoke the word “truck,” he fell in love with the works of Richard Scarry. As a parent, I loved everything about Scarry’s books: the nostalgia, the seek and find elements, the submersive details, the merging of fun, fantasy, and the real world. In the subsequent three years, we read other books, but the Busytown series reigned!

While Finn was exploring the car-heavy world of Busytown, we were shifting from the American status quo of the two-car family, to a more bike-centric lifestyle. Our herd of bicycles dramatically expanded, at times including: a box bike, a cycle truck, a longtail, a ladder trailer, a trailer bike, a family tandem (kid in the back), another family tandem (kid in the front), a unicycle, a bmx, mountain bikes, a balance bike, a motorized-retrofit for our box bike, cyclocross bikes, and a folding bike. The more we rode these bikes around, the more questions we received about what we were riding and why.

This is how the initial inspiration for Cycle City came to be, first with my young son’s obsession with Busytown, next with my family’s interest in biking for transportation, and finally out of the desire to share with families the fun and pragmatism of pedal powered possibilities.

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[Promo video for Cycle City]

Is there anything Portlanders will recognize in its illustrations/scenes?

Likely more things than I can remember, Cycle City was a long time in the making, but here are a few: The Starlight Parade, while not a bicycle parade per se, is an event my family attends annually. Like Portland, there is a Community Cycling Center–I love this place and its mission–every cycling city should have one! The train is lightly modeled after MAX. If you look carefully, you might find a building like the Division Street OP Wurst, which was a taco shop when I sketched it from Roman Candle across the street.

How does living in such a bike-loving city influence your work?

There are so many ways to be inspired by the Portland cycling community — we are an eclectic bunch! I am regularly surrounded by a variety of: delivery services, all-weather cyclists, oddball businesses, family setups, adaptive bikers, costumed parades, volunteer opportunities, and offbeat races (looking at you, Ladd’s 500)! To me, the extraordinary mix of DIY cycling weirdos make Portland an exciting and dynamic place to live! I am so grateful to be here.

Celebrate the launch of Cycle City this Sunday (4/8), 11:00 am at Green Bean Books on NE Alberta Street. You can follow Alison on Twitter and Instagram. Find out how to get a copy of her new book on her website.

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

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Your City Council Candidate Transportation Forum primer

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 10:19

Tonight.

Tonight is when many of us will hear what a new crop of Portland City candidates think about transportation for the very first time.

Before we all head over to the Forum on Transportation co-hosted by Community Cycling Center, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Oregon Walks, The Street Trust, and YPT Portland (Young Professionals in Transportation), I wanted to at least give you a hint of where each candidate is coming from.

For this post, I’ve shared a tiny bit of personal background for each candidate and as much of their transportation policy positions I could find on their websites. Some candidates don’t even list mention transportation in their platform. That itself is worth noting. Also please note that I understand how transportation is related to issues like police accountability and housing, but for this post I’ve chosen to only focus on positions that directly address transportation.

Consider this a primer before you attend tonight’s event!

(Note: Candidates are listed in the order they appear on the City of Portland’s official registry.)

City Council Seat No. 2 (Currently held by Nick Fish)

Nick Fish – website

Fish has been a member of City Council for 10 years now so he’s by far the most well-known quantity of this bunch.

Here’s what he shares about transportation on his website:

Nick is passionate about making our streets and sidewalks safer for everyone, especially east of 82nd Avenue.

Nick consistently advocates for Vision Zero and new safety investments for East Portland’s most dangerous streets, including outer Southeast Powell.

Nick’s bureaus are partnering with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Venture Portland to reduce the impact of construction projects on neighborhood businesses.

Nick encourages new ideas – like “Better Naito” – to improve safety for all road users.

Nick supported expanding our active transportation network through Bikeshare and the Bike Master Plan.

Nick supports investments to fix potholes and update our transportation infrastructure – because better streets are safer streets.

Nick is a strong supporter of the City’s policy dedicating half of its surplus each fall to infrastructure maintenance.

Nick voted to refer a temporary gas tax to the ballot – it passed, and will fund major investments in basic road repair and new bike infrastructure.

Nick endorsed the City’s successful effort to secure state funding for pedestrian improvements along Columbia Boulevard.

Julia DeGraw – website

DeGraw is a community organizer with a background in environmental justice work. She lives east of 82nd Avenue and makes that fact a central pillar of her pitch, saying this election, “Means being part of a real shift in City Hall.”

DeGraw’s transportation ideas are presented with the framing of “No neighborhood left behind.”

And not surprisingly, she puts a strong emphasis on places east of 82nd Avenue.”As a resident living east of 82nd Avenue,” she writes. “I experience daily our community’s few sidewalks, inadequate lighting, unpaved roads, poor transit options, and dangerous streets for pedestrians and cyclists.”

She outlines three transportation policy priorities:

Dedicated bus lanes
Dedicated bus lanes will decrease wait times and get buses out from behind automobile traffic.

Local control of East 82nd Avenue and Powell Blvd
Major arteries can be death traps for pedestrians and cyclists. Let’s transfer control of state-run Powell Boulevard and 82nd Avenue to city authority, so we can pool city and state budgets and make necessary improvements such as sidewalks and crosswalks.

Transit bonds that won’t drive displacement
Better transit doesn’t have to be the harbinger of more displacement and gentrification. Transit bonds should include funds and regulations which prevent current residents from being displaced.

Nicholas Sutton – website (Facebook)
Sutton is the biggest unknown in the field. He doesn’t have a campaign website and his Facebook page includes very little information. He did however, post something about transportation on March 23rd.

The city of Portland is facing a problem, with exponential growth comes the need for better transportation solutions, but “more freeways” and “more roads” is a tiresome and unoriginal patch to a problem and far from a solution. Trimet has become a limbering juggernaut from a bigone era, which has brought nothing new or innovative for the better part of 20 years.

The Portland I grew up in was innovative and fresh, and threw itself at new challenges face first.

So in that spirit, I’d like to hear some ideas that don’t involve more roads for more cars, and are more than just “more busses.”

How do we confront traffic congestion, dependence on fossil fuels, and the growing need for parking with new ideas! I want to hear from you, regardless of how simple or outlandish the idea might be, regardless of whether you’re from Portland or Mount Olympus.
Rainbow bridge? Jetpacks? Rocketpowered escalators? Monorails and Bullet trains? Throw whatever you got my way, I wanna hear it.

Winner will get my eternal undying love and devotion and a free trip to hell curteosy of my satanic socialist agenda!

Philip J. Wolfe – website

Wolfe has an amazing life story. Given up to his grandparents by his “rock star wannabe” mom and ultimately adopted, he’s been deaf since infancy and grew up in rural upstate New York. His biological mother died in a car crash after being hit by a drunk driver when he was 16. He’s lived and visited many cities across the country and moved to Portland from Seattle. Wolfe is currently an active member of the Portland Commission on Disability

“Traffic Reform” is one of five issues he lists as goals on his campaign website:

Traffic Reform

According to the TomTom Traffic Index, Portland has become one of the top ten cities in the nation with the most traffic congestion. With our ever-growing population, issues abound with inadequate public transportation and commuting options for drivers. Our current infrastructure does not support the hundreds of thousands of cars on the roads, and there are many necessary repairs needed to restore bridges and highways. The current City Council proposal does not reduce carbon emissions, focuses on unrealistic highway expansion and minimal street repairs for a total of 450 million dollars. In other growing cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, etc., it has been statistically and historically proven to increase one-person driver vehicles and has been unsuccessful in eliminating or decreasing traffic congestion.

How can we create a city that is more green, provides excellent public transportation and also has a budget for maintaining sustainable city infrastructure? Well, I believe the answer lies in redesigning how we get around our city. With the proposed highway project of 450 million dollars solely designed for a few street repairs and minimal expansion, I firmly believe these funds be invested in creating more modes of public transit and a complete overhaul of downtown. I propose that downtown Portland become a pedestrian, public transportation and biking area only with well built and easily accessible parking lots for car commuters. I propose that we design a subway or light rail system in addition to this as it would reduce carbon emissions, be built with earthquake technology and increase foot traffic to the local business. These few projects would total to less than 450million dollars which would leave a surplus to repair already degraded bridges and streets.

It’s time for us to show the world that here in Portland we genuinely care about the people and our environment, known as our Mother Earth. We, the people, deserve the best air quality and transportation options. Join me and let us revolutionize our approach to traffic and create a better Portland for everyone.

I believe together we can achieve success such as:

– Approve funds to invest in traffic infrastructure reform to expand public transportation options and decrease dependence on our congested highways/freeways
– In-depth analysis and funding projections for building and maintaining urban Sky Trams and Aerial Trams
– Mandate all Tri-Met transportation display captions and voice announcements at each stop for people with disabilities’ population
– Install more Park n’ Ride sites for car commuters while stop adding new parking lot buildings
– Start collecting data on traffic so we can track what to expect in the near future with growing number of people using traffic

City Council Seat No. 3 (Currently held by Dan Saltzman)

Jo Ann Hardesty – website

Hardesty is currently the president of the Portland branch of the NAACP. She has many years of experience as a former Oregon State Representative and has worked as a leader and/or board member with many advocacy groups including: Coalition for Livable Future, Portland Community Media, Albina Ministerial Alliance, City Club of Portland, and others.

While she does have experience working on climate change and environmental justice issues, Hardesty does not have a section on her site that directly addresses transportation issues. Her “One Portland, One Planet” platform does include a pledge to, “Reduce harmful emissions, particularly greenhouse gases.”

Felicia Williams – website

Williams has a varied background that includes a five-year stint in the U.S. Air Force and work on civil rights. She’s a graduate of University of Portland and Portland State. She’s currently president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

She’s the only candidate in the race that puts a bicycle front-and-center. You can see one in her logo and she’s walking alongside a bicycle in the lead photo on her website. However, her platform doesn’t have a plank for transportation.

Andrea Valderrama – website

Valderrama was born in Peru and came to America with her parents. Her grandparents were day laborers and she grew up without a father. Valderrama says she put herself through college (she has a degree from University of Oregon) by cleaning houses afterschool. She lives in the Hazelwood neighborhood of east Portland.

A two-term member of the David Douglas School Board, Valderrama currently works for the City of Portland as senior policy advisory for Mayor Ted Wheeler. Prior to that she was a policy and outreach advisor for City Commissioner Steve Novick and she focuses specifically on east Portland. Since Novick was PBOT Commissioner, Valderrama gained experience working on transportation issues.

I was unable to find a transportation platform on her website. UPDATE: After this story published, Valderrama updated her site with a listing of her transportation priorities:

– Commitment to Vision Zero and Increased Transportation Options to Eliminate Traffic-Related Deaths
– Congestion Pricing to Reduce Traffic Jams
– Safe Routes to School
– Youth Pass
– Investment in Mass Transit and Pedestrian / Bicycle infrastructure, Leading to Decreased Carbon Emissions and Livable, Walkable Neighborhoods

Loretta Smith – website

Smith currently serves as a Multnomah County Commissioner, a post she’s held for seven years. She’s from northeast Portland, a product of local public schools, and an Oregon State graduate.

Here’s what Smith says about transportation on her “Priorities” page:

Providing An Effective And Equitable Transportation System

As people have been moving to the area, we have not kept up our transportation system to meet the growing demand. Congestion has a serious drag on the local economy and our quality of life. The lack of adequate safety features on our streets, particularly in East Portland, is putting the public at risk. We must be doing more to support public transit, bicycling, walking, and other options to meet people’s transportation needs. We must also address the backlog of maintenance that, if unaddressed threatens to become a serious drain on resources.

Loretta supports moving forward with the Rose Quarter project to eliminate that major bottleneck, as well as the efforts to improve the Powell and Southwest Corridors. The City must also step up its work to find the funding to finally pave and complete other safety improvements in long neglected East Portland – we promised these neighborhoods they would receive these services when they joined the City and the work has never been completed. We need to recognize that not every Portlander can rely on a car for their personal transportation needs and they deserve effective ways to get around the city. And the city must get serious about finding the necessary funding to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance of our streets – looking at redirecting available city dollars and partnering with other governments in the region to up our investment in transportation infrastructure.

Loretta also supports efforts to reduce inequities facing low-income, communities of color, and transit-dependent Portlanders. That is why she fully supports efforts to create a TriMet low-income fare and supports a free student pass for all high school students in Portland.

Stuart Emmons – website

Emmons is an architect whose campaign thus far has focused primarily around his ideas for addressing Portland’s homelessness and housing affordability crisis. In 2016 he came in an unexpected third place in the election that Chloe Eudaly won over Steve Novick.

The page on his site that offers his ideas on transportation includes a photo of a bike lane in Copenhagen. Here’s what else it says:

Let’s assume that population projections for Portland in the next 20 years are even close to accurate. And let’s add in that our freeways are already packed and no freeways will ever likely be constructed. For those reasons alone, we need to make much more headway on bikes, mass transit and any alternative transportation methods that may evolve (like autonomous and electric vehicles).

And then there is our enviable quality of life, climate change and the quality of our air to consider. This calls for not only no increase in car trips, but also a reduction in car trips.

We need to expand our bike infrastructure to make biking safer, faster and more convenient. Dedicated bike lanes, safe crossings, bike parking, and no dangerous potholes and grates on bike routes.

We need to keep expanding mass transit. It needs to be faster, and it needs to be more far-reaching and convenience so most people in Portland can get around without a car. We should take steps to get passes away from clogged streets. We should take steps to greatly increase the speed of light rail through downtown by considering reduced stops and plan to go underground in the for seeable future. We should continue to bill light real lines 2 areas that have or can have density, especially the outer east side.

Vehicle traffic on our streets and freeways is only going to get worse. Expanding freeways doesn’t reduce congestion.


Hope this was helpful to you. I also hope we get some substantive positions on the table tonight. These events can be tricky, especially with so many candidates on the stage at one time and with a topic that relates to so many issues. If it feels like we need to know more before the election on May 15th, I’ll consider going a bit more in-depth with some of the candidates. I’ll be at tonight’s event and will plan on posting a recap tomorrow.

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

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Pierce County’s Foothills Trail open for bicycling from East Puyallup to Buckley

Biking Bis - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 09:08
The long wait is over. Bicyclists can now take the paved Foothills Trail from the East Puyallup trailhead, through Orting and South Prairie, and into Buckley -- a distance of 21 miles. (more)

Weekend Event Guide: Art gallery tour, Gorge Gravel Grinder, Tweed Ride, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 07:13

Time for tweed.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

The weekend is once again nearly upon us. Have you firmed up your plans?

And while the guide is usually all about Friday through Sunday, we’d be remiss not to mention the big events happening tonight: Do not miss the Filmed by Bike Poster Show opening night at Breadwinner Cafe and the big City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation, followed by the weekly Thursday Night Ride. As usual, all the details are on the BP Calendar.

Here are this week’s selections…

Friday, April 6th

Art Ride on the Eastside – Women Working in the Art World – 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Stephanie Chefas Projects
It’s First Friday and that means it’s time to appreciate local art. The Street Trust is hosting this ride as part of their Women Bike program. The plan is to roll to four different art spaces in inner Southeast that are run by women. You’ll even get a chance to meet the artists behind the work. More info here.

Kidical Mass 2018 Planning Meeting – 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Books with Pictures
As Madi shared earlier this week, if you want to help strengthen our community and empower people who ride with kids to be a stronger force for change, this is the meeting for you. Discuss Kidical Mass collaborations, big plans for the future, and more. If Portland is going to build an all-ages bike network, Kidical Mass can be a big part of the equation! More info here.

Friday Night Climb Time – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Western Bikeworks
There aren’t many local group rides that start on Friday evening. If you like to climb and want to ride with a group, join our friends at Western Bikeworks for a spirited ride up to Pittock Mansion and Council Crest. More info here.

Saturday, April 7th

Bike + Bus Lane Design Workshop – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
When smart and dedicated grassroots activists work together, amazing things can happen. If you want to help make our streets more efficient for bike and bus riders, join the folks behind Portland Bus Lane Project and Bike Loud PDX for a join brainstorming session that will include sketching exercises, an expert planner to answer your questions, and at least one copy of the NACTO design guide for reference. Agenda also includes how to improve conditions on the Burnside Bridge (both during and after current construction project). More info here.

20 is Plenty Yard Sign Pick-Up – 4:00 pm at Chapman Elementary School (Northwest)
Free yard signs to help your neighbors — and all those jerks who cut-through your neighborhood — remember to slow down. This is the last pick-up day hosted by PBOT, so show up and grab some signs and join the movement to change our local traffic culture. More info here.

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--> Sunday, April 8th

Gorge Gravel Grinder – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Lewis and Clark Park (in The Dalles)
Choose from three different routes for this epic race/ride that will introduce you to some of the best riding in the state. The Dalles is usually warmer and dryer than Portland and their roads are nearly empty — especially the perfectly unpaved gravel ones. Course is mostly fast rolling hills. More info here.

Cycle City Book Launch – 11:00 am at Green Bean Books (on NE Alberta)
The debut picture book from Portland-based illustrator Alison Farrell looks absolutely wonderful. The book comes out officially on May 20th and is published by Chronicle Books. More info here.

Pedal Pursuit Bike Adventure Race – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Lagunitas Community Room
This bike trivia scavenger hunt is hosting by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Teams will compete on a ride full of activities and surprises while participants raise money for the NEDC’s ongoing projects. More info here.

Portland Tweed Ride 2018 – 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Alberta Park
The annual tradition continues: Don your nicest vintage and tweed attire and join some marvelous people for a delightful spring jaunt that is sure to include plenty of time for tea, crumpets and socializing. More info here.

2018 Paris Roubaix Showing – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Velo Cult Bike Shop
The 116th annual “Hell of the North,” a race many consider to be the best one-day race of the Spring Classics season. Ride in the morning than roll into Velo Cult and chill-out with friends, good vibes, and plenty of wonderful things to drink. 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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Cycling advocates pack meeting of Parks Board as they consider Off-road Cycling Plan

Bike Portland - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:14

Not nearly a big enough room for all the people who took time out of their day to show support.
(Photo: Gabriel Amadeus)

Yesterday dozens of Portlanders took time out of their day to send a simple message to the Portland Parks Board: Our urban parks should have better — and more — opportunities for off-road cycling.

“Successful conservation happens with partners and not by excluding user groups. This is especially true when human pressure is growing and the demands are becoming more diverse.”
— Bob Lessard, President of NW Trail Alliance

The meeting agenda focused on the Draft Off-road Cycling Master Plan that’s been developed over the past two years by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and an advisory committee. Panelists were invited to speak against and in favor of off-road cycling improvements in both Forest Park and River View Natural Area — two locations that have been flashpoints of disagreement in the past.

Board Chair Patricia Frobes opened things up by saying they’ve received more public testimony on this plan than any other issue. Citing the 185 pages of testimony posted to the Parks Board website, she said, “We appreciate that this plan raises issues that people are very passionate about.”

The overflow crowd showed up to remind the Board not just that there’s a huge demand for off-road biking, but that the positions they take on the issue will not go unnoticed. On a procedural level, the Parks Board doesn’t make any binding decisions about the plan. This meeting was targeted by advocates because the Board is drafting a detailed recommendation about the Off-road Cycling Plan that they’ll pass onto BPS and Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R). These recommendations are likely to influence PP&R, who is in turn likely to influence the all-important opinions of Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four City Commissioners.

The Parks Board was prepared for this meeting. They pre-selected panelists to speak about their concerns or support for cycling in Forest Park and River View. There were four on each side for Forest Park and two on each side for River View.


The panel on top is concerned about cycling in Forest Park. The panel on the bottom is concerned about the lack of cycling in Forest Park.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Marcy Houle, a biologist, author, and de facto leader of the loudest anti-cycling voices around the Forest Park issue for many years now, kicked things off for the concerned side by reading a letter she claimed was written by former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts. “Forest Park is facing the most serious threat in its history,” Houle read from the letter. The letter went on to explain in detail how the park’s wildlife would be threatened by the presence of more bike riders and more trails.

“Venues for new recreation uses can be designed at other locales,” Houle read. “What Forest Park offers, however, is irreplaceable. Forest Park is too precious to lose by allowing short-sighted gain at the sacrifice of what makes this park truly great.”

Marcy Houle.

Catherine Thompson, a pediatrician and a dedicated critic of cycling in Forest Park, addressed the assembled crowd: “To all the cyclists here,” she said, “We’re in this together and we need to share our park.” That was an interesting statement coming from someone who has worked extremely hard to keep the unlimited access to the park they currently have and to prevent improved access for others. Thompson also mentioned the park’s designation as a “wild habitat” area and advocated for more ecological monitoring and studies about user impacts (both of which are clearly stated requirements in the plan).

Thompson’s final remarks, which centered on her belief that cycling on trails is inherently dangerous to other park users, resulted in audible grumbles from the crowd. “We are loving the park to death… We have more children walking in the park than cyclists of any age,” she said, looking directly at people holding helmets and pro-cycling signs. “And we need your to help protect them. We need you to respect the rules about the trails.”

While the first panel promoted a fear of cycling and a vision of earth-destroying hoardes on two wheels that will spell doom for Forest Park, the next panelists spoke about a much brighter future once cycling is finally embraced.

“Gateway Green shouldn’t be the only place in the city for kids that like to ride their bikes in the woods and away from traffic.”
— Evan Smith

Evan Smith, who works for an environmental nonprofit and lives in the Linnton neighborhood adjacent to Forest Park, spoke about the role parks have played in the life of him and his daughters, ages seven and nine. “Like most kids their age, they much prefer to bike than hike,” he shared. “But where is there for them to ride in Portland?” Smith said he’s driven his girls to a trailhead off NW Germantown Road to ride the unpaved Leif Ericson road inside Forest Park, “But it doesn’t hold much appeal and the off‐leash dogs are scary to them,” he explained. “Everything else [in Forest Park] is way too steep for them — and for most beginning cyclists.”

Smith added that his kids love riding at Gateway Green, the new bike park in east Portland, but that it, “Shouldn’t be the only place in the city for kids that like to ride their bikes in the woods and away from traffic.”

Then Smith shared a point that’s become one of the central rallying cries from bike advocates: “Like the prior panel, I share the concern about the long‐term ecological health of Forest Park. Unlike them, I think the biggest threat to the health of our natural areas is not more users; but apathy.” Smith’s point, echoed by others at the meeting, is that if we don’t find a way to engage new and different populations of park users, we’ll miss out on thousands of future volunteer hours and millions of future donor dollars that could help protect and preserve the park.

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Just part of the crowd.

Another panelist in favor of cycling, Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) President Bob Lessard (who also has a Master’s Degree in forest ecology and a PhD in wildlife conservation), put it this way: “Successful conservation happens with partners and not by excluding user groups. This is especially true when human pressure is growing and the demands are becoming more diverse.”

Tonya Booker raised a point of concern about equity and inclusion, given that all the people who spoke in support of the plan (and nearly everyone in the crowd) was white.

NW Trail Alliance Secretary Jocelyn Quarrell, a former board member of Friends of Gateway Green, told the Parks Board in her testimony that the plan is a “step in the right direction.” However, she has concerns that the plan pre-emptively prohibits cycling access or improvements on large swaths of existing trails. “Please carefully reconsider the closures and trail restrictions made, as they were made outside the committee process without discussion or clear data to base the decisions,” she said. “Opening up and improving existing trails to allow for off-road cyclists is by far the least expensive and most responsive action that can be made.”

When it comes to River View Natural Area, panelist John Miller said he wants it completely removed from consideration in the plan. He and another panelist said that the natural area is a crucial watershed that feeds into the Willamette River and its ecological value is simply incompatible with cycling. Countering that argument was NW Trail Alliance Advocacy Chair Andrew Jansky. He read a statement from Metro (who owns the River View easement) that “nature-based recreation” — which cycling qualifies under — is permitted. “Trails can be made in ways that would not degrade the ecological values,” Jansky said.

At the end of the meeting Parks Board member Jim Owens (who acted as board liaison to the Off-road Cycling Master Plan) led a discussion about a letter he’s drafted that outlines the board’s recommendations to BPS. His constructive criticisms of the plan included concerns that it only includes city-owned properties and therefore prevents planners from building an inter-connected off-road cycling system; and that it lacks a list of priorities or implementation plan (he suggested BPS reconvene the committee to create one).

Board member Tonya Booker said she’s a mountain biker, but like many people, she sold her bike when she moved to Portland 10 years ago because there’s no place to ride it in the city. Booker also raised a point of concern about equity and inclusion, given that all the people who spoke in support of the plan (and nearly everyone in the crowd) was white. Booker is concerned that the demand for off-road cycling isn’t coming from from all parts of the city — especially places where black and brown people live. While the people who showed up yesterday are not an accurate representation of how the plan was developed, Booker’s message was heard loud and clear by the advocates I’ve heard from since the meeting. “That was a missed opportunity on the part of the cycling advocates,” one person shared with me, “and we should have anticipated it.”

Another advocate forwarded me a video of kids riding off-road in Ventura Park, the site of the Portland’s first pump track (the plan calls for building a network of these around the city).

One perspective from bike advocates is that the reason off-road cycling is currently so white is that it takes privilege to participate in. You need a car, money to fill it with gas, and lots of free time to drive to a trail. If we expand opportunities to ride off-road in local parks (where people can bike to), the thinking goes, the faces will change. This is already playing out in places like Ventura Park (as seen in the video above) and at Gateway Green.

There was a lot of talk among the board about a lack of funding to build the trails and new facilities envisioned in the plan. “Given budget constraints, unless a group steps up to help, nothing will happen in the short-term,” said Board member Jim Owens. His comments were followed by several people in the crowd holding up signs that said, “Let NWTA Help.” Those signs underscore a strong feeling that if the City would just embrace off-road cycling it would open up exciting partnership possibilities with a well-established local nonprofit and hundreds of dedicated volunteers just waiting to step up.

Owen said one way to get cycling improvements sooner would be to do a pilot project. Bike advocates would love to see this. Many cities across the country have already implemented trail-sharing plans and other creative trail use programs that could be applied to Forest Park and elsewhere.

The next step is for the Parks Board to complete their recommendation letter. Once that’s done, we’ll share it here on the front page.

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

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With lawsuit dismissed, Timberline will break ground on new bike park this summer

Bike Portland - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 08:44

Samples of trail work by Gravity Logic, the firm working with Timberline to build the new bike park.
(Photos: Gravity Logic)

Fresh off the dismissal of a lawsuit that has tied up their mountain bike park plans for nearly six years, Timberline announced this morning that they are “moving forward.”

“Timberline is very pleased with the Court’s decision and is excited to move forward.”
— Steve Kruse, GM of Mountain Operations at Timberline

In a new press release, Timberline said they are “very pleased with the Court’s decision” and they are “excited to move forward with lift-assisted mountain biking at Timberline Lodge and Ski Area.”

In her ruling dated March 31st, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken found that the U.S. Forest Service has followed all applicable federal environmental laws. In her opinion, the complaints and suits filed by Portland-based nonprofit groups failed to raise substantive objections to the project on either ecological or procedural grounds.

Timberline’s General Manager for Mountain Operations Steve Kruse wrote in an email to me this morning that, “This is a good, environmentally sound project.” He also lauded U.S. Forest Service biologists and environmental analysts who “worked long and hard” and “in a very thorough fashion.”

We also heard from a representative of the plaintiffs (Sierra Club, Bark, Friends of Mount Hood, and Northwest Environmental Defense Center) yesterday after publishing our report. Crag Law Center Staff Attorney Oliver Stiefel said, “Our clients care deeply about Mt. Hood and the unique portal to public land on mountain’s southern flanks that Timberline provides. We’re reviewing the decision and assessing next steps.”

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The plan.

As per the Timberline’s plans first revealed in 2012, the project calls for 17 miles of bike-specific trails, a bike skills park, and chair-lifts to help riders reach trailheads.

The project will be built by Gravity Logic, a Whistler, Britsh Columbia-based company that has built very successful bike parks and trail systems all over the world.

In their statement today, Timberline also made it clear that they see themselves as stewards of Mt. Hood and that they, “remain committed to providing quality public recreation within the capabilities of the ecosystem.” The company sees the bike park — which they refer to as a “modest and carefully designed project” — as a key part of their plan to become a year-round destination. Once complete, the park is likely to create a significant economic boost to Oregon and the region. A 2006 study by the Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association found that the Whistler Mountain Bike Park generated $39.1 million in economic activity from its visitors in just one, four-month summer season.

The first phase of the new park will begin construction this summer and will include elements for riders of all interests and skill levels. In addition to a skills park and trail system, the Timberline Mountain Bike Park will include both natural and built riding features, jump lines, and a full service retail bike shop that will offer rentals. “Riders interested in being among the first to ride the park are encouraged to stay tuned at www.timberlinelodge.com.”

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

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Come to the Kidical Mass planning meeting and help us build an all-ages bike network

Bike Portland - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 13:05

Help us have a banner year.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

Thank you for your responses to my question last week: What prevents you from biking with your young children?

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

It was eye-opening to read all the comments, Facebook posts, Twitter replies, and emails. I can’t wait to share them in a future column and dive into the barriers people face when they think of biking with kids.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I had assumed the responses would all be about the expense gear or uncertainty as to what to buy. I hadn’t anticipated anyone would write about bike infrastructure. Not that Portland’s infrastructure is incredibly better than what my boys and I left in Seattle (though it is better!) and there aren’t a lot of point-to-point routes that are suitable all ages abilities (aka “8 to 80”). It’s just that I see so many more families biking here in Portland than I have in any other city (except Dutch cities I’ve visited) that I didn’t realize there were so many of you who aren’t riding.

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I want to use future posts to talk about bike infrastructure that works well — or doesn’t ‚ for people who bike with little ones, identify particularly good spots to ride with kids, and share community action we can take — especially if there are events and meetings easy to attend with kids in tow. Today’s post is a bit about all those things: helping Kidical Mass PDX thrive and continue to serve the community.

These smiling faces could use your help.

Two things make it safe to bike in any city: All Ages and Abilities infrastructure and more people biking, no matter the infrastructure. Kidical Mass rides are terrific practice for getting out there with in a big, safe group to experience biking in the street with kids and build confidence for biking more without the group.

Just like I assumed no one felt challenged by our streets, I had mistakenly thought Kidical Mass in Portland was shrinking because so many people were already biking with kids. But it turns out we need to maintain and grow Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass relies on volunteers and there’s a planning meeting coming up this Friday April 6th. No experience is necessary and anyone interested in helping in any capacity should come. I hope to see you there!

Here are the details:

Kidical Mass 2018 Planning Meeting
Friday April 6th at 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Books with Pictures (1100 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202)

Planning Meeting for the 2018 ride calendar. Former leaders, future leaders, the leader-curious, interested parties, community stakeholders, and friends of KM all welcome.

Bring: YOUR 2018 events calendar. A laptop or other internet-connected device. Ideas, dreams, and wishes for Portland’s Family Biking Community. Your best can-do attitude.

Agenda:
1) Visioning: What do we want Kidical Mass to be in 2018 and beyond?
2) Brainstorming: What COULD we do for each month’s ride?
2.5) Collaboration: How can we work with Go By Bike Shop, with Timo’s Portland By Cycle rides, with Portland Sunday Parkways, and others?
3) Planning: What WILL we do for each month? Who will own the event? What are next steps?

* A kid-friendly event, but no dedicated childcare will be provided.*

Event listing on BP Calendar

If you want to get involved but can’t make the meeting, or if you have any Kidical Mass questions, please contact Kidical Mass PDX Director Sara Davidson at scowling [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks for reading. Feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Judge denies motion of conservation groups trying to stop Timberline MTB Park

Bike Portland - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:51

A 2011 map created by Timberline of the proposed bike trails and chair-lifts.

A plan to create a full-service, lift-assisted mountain bike park on the southwestern slope of Mt. Hood got a boost last week when United States District Court Judge Ann Aiken denied a motion by three nonprofit groups who aim to stop it.

Judge Aiken’s 21-page opinion (see it below) signed on March 31st denies a Motion for Reconsideration filed by four plaintiffs: Bark, Friends of Mount Hood, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Sierra Club. The defendants on the case were the U.S. Forest Service, three regional forest staffers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The conservation groups have made several attempts to derail it through the courts and this is just the latest judgment to go against them.

As it stands, the project would build 17 miles of bike trails and a small skills park. When we first covered the park in 2010 we likened it to a major destination on the order of Whistler’s famous bike park. On a website (that has since been removed), Timberline said, “We see mountain biking as an integral part of our year-round recreation plan, and will treat this project as one of the primary pillars of our company’s future.”

Everything was going according to plan after the USFS issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” with their 2012 permit approval. Then in May 2013, several nonprofits filed a complaint seeking judicial review of that decision. The groups alleged that the USFS has failed in their duty to uphold the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and that more rigorous environmental analysis was required. In August 2013, a conservation group discovered the presence of Western bumblebees in the project area. USFS biologists analyzed that finding and determined the project, “may impact individual bees or habitat but will not likely contribute to a trend toward federal listing or loss of viability of the population or species.” Shortly thereafter, the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit7 saying that the USFS failed to perform additional environmental analysis on bumblebee populations and on steelhead.

“I find that the arguments raised by plaintiff are repetitive of those previously raised in the last round of summary judgment motions.”
— Judge Ann Aiken, US District Court

In August 2014 the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that the project would not adversely impact steelhead populations or their habitat; but they also ordered modifications to the project to ensure protection of individual steelhead.

After the USFS analyzed measures to protect steelhead in September 2014, they again said no supplemental NEPA analysis was required. Two months later, the plaintiffs filed a second complaint alleging those findings by the USFS were “abritary and capricious” and that more analysis on bumblebee and steelhead populations must be performed. In March 2016 Judge Aiken ruled in favor of the defendants.

In the intervening years Timberline had already begun several large restoration projects which had been approved to go forward even while the injunction against new biking trails was in effect. When more acreage than expected had been disturbed during those projects, the USFS once again analyzed the impact to steelhead populations and found it, “would not jeopardize their continued existence.” The plaintiffs argued that the restoration projects themselves constituted “significant new information” that should trigger a supplemental NEPA analysis. In December 2016 the USFS disagreed with them. In January 2017 the plaintiffs filed another complaint (their third) to challenge the USFS’s assertion yet again.

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The legal details get complicated; but the arguments essentially boiled down to this: The plaintiffs felt that findings of impacts to bumblebee habitat and steelhead populations warranted additional environmental analysis. The plaintiffs also felt that restoration work in the project in the past few years has had a large enough impact to trigger more analysis. Furthermore, the plaintiffs complain that the USFS had failed to follow federal law. The USFS says they’ve done all the analysis required by law and that more analysis is not needed.

For instance, in her opinion, Judge Aiken cites the work of a USFS biologist hired to survey bumblebee populations. “The biologist noted that the project would not impact known bee foraging locations,” she writes. “The report also stated that the documented bee sites are adjacent to roads and near the Timberline Lodge, where there is already heavy human presence.”

Judge Aiken supports the USFS and wrote in her opinion, “In the present case, the Forest Service did not provide inaccurate or misleading information in the environmental assessment.” The plaintiff also failed to prove that the USFS decisions were “arbitrary and capricious.”

In her conclusion, the Judge writes:

“Plaintiffs argue that the motion should be granted because there is new evidence in this case and because I committed clear error of law. However, I find that the arguments raised by plaintiff are repetitive of those previously raised in the last round of summary judgment motions. None of those arguments… persuades me that my initial ruling was incorrect or contrary to law. Thus, I deny the motion for reconsideration… Accordingly, this case is dismissed.”

We’ve reached out to all parties in the lawsuit and will update this post as we hear back.

Below is Judge Aiken’s opinion and order signed 3/31:

TIMBERLINE-judgement

UPDATE, 1:28 pm: Crag Law Center Staff Attorney Oliver Stiefel is the spokesperson for the plaintiffs. Here’s his statements on the ruling: “Our clients care deeply about Mt. Hood and the unique portal to public land on mountain’s southern flanks that Timberline provides. We’re reviewing the decision and assessing next steps.”

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

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Lompoc’s new ‘Parkways Pilsner’ will benefit Sunday Parkways

Bike Portland - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:23

(Image: Lompoc Brewing)

Just in time for Sunday Parkways season, a local brewer has released a beer in honor of the annual open street events.

Lompoc Brewing now makes Portland Parkways Premium Pilsner. According to the company, the beer is an “unofficial tie-in” to the City of Portland’s events and they plan to donate an unspecified amount of profits from every case sold to the Sunday Parkways program. The beer’s label features people enjoying bicycles set against the backdrop of an idyllic cityscape.

As we’ve covered many times in the past, despite it’s wild success over the past decade, Sunday Parkways still relies heavily on sponsorship funding in order to survive. This year alone PBOT had to raise nearly $300,000 from individual and corporate donors in order to pay for traffic control and other related expenses. If you’ve never donated, maybe you can grab a six-pack of Lompoc’s latest to do your part.

How does it taste? Here’s how the company describes it: “A golden straw colored German style pilsner, Lompoc’s Portland Parkways Pilsner is clean and crisp, with a bready maltiness that is balanced by the spiciness of Saaz hops. It is a session beer, coming in at 5% ABV, and an ideal beer to sip during the summer months.”

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The full label.

Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter says the beer will available in beer gardens along this year’s Sunday Parkways routes.

The beer will also be used to boost Lompoc’s bike-friendly bona fides. Their press release touts the brewery’s location along the “busy North Williams bicycle corridor” and reminds us that Lompoc Brewing was an “early adopter of the on-street bicycle parking corral” (there’s one outside their pub) and that the company, “has always been a proponent of Portland’s bicycle culture.”

Six-packs will be officially released at a May 10th party to be held at Lompoc Sidebar (3901 N Williams).

Sunday Parkways’ five-event 2018 season begins on May 20th.

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

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2018 Road Bike Buyers Guide

Bike Hugger - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:50

Starting with road and then covering All-Road, Endurance, and Race-Rim (bikes for racing without disc) Competitive Cyclist is publishing the 2018 Road Bike Buyer’s Guides with videos like this one.

If you didn’t know, Competitive and Backcountry ship over 10K bikes a year, and Competitive Cyclist is the number 1 retailer for many premier bike brands.

Competitive Cyclists Brands

Those brands include

  • Assos
  • Castelli
  • ENVE
  • SRAM,
  • Shimano
  • Fox
  • Wahoo
  • Pinarello
  • Santa Cruz

In addition to content and video, Competitive has their “geniuses” they call Gearheads who work in Salt Lake City, UT  helping customers build a bike and order equipment.

So, say, you wanted a gravel grinder to ride the Iron Horse trail, you call them up, describe what you want to do, your budget, and they’ll walk you through what to buy.

In about 3 days, that bike shows up at your door. If you’re not into riding a road bike on dirt, maybe a bike like the Factor in the video will fit your style.

What’s more important about the bike Competitive delivers, is it’s pretty much ready to ride. In business since 1988, Competitive and Backcountry know their market and what cyclists want. I’m not so sure about the term Race-Rim and what that means, but Competitive does. They move more performance bikes than anyone else in the US.

It’s not all about sales either, Competitive also sponsors an elite U23 mountain bike team, Summit Bike Club.

Back to the Factor, that’s a bike I’d like to spend more time on. My schedule didn’t permit a demo, but the other media at PressCamp were impressed.

The 02 is a high-end road disc bike that is speed and light. Handles great tour. And, what you should expect from a road bike these days. That’s very configurable and shipped directly from Competitive’s warehouses to you.

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