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Portland developer opens first privately sponsored Biketown station

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 07:57

One of two Biketown parking areas in the Field Office plaza on NW Front Avenue.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

It’s usually a good sign when the private sector invests in a city-run transportation program. Such is the case with the new Biketown station at the new Field Office in northwest Portland.

Believing that access to bike share is an asset for their tenants and neighbors, the developers of a pair of new office buildings on NW Front/Naito between 15th and 17th have ponied up for a station and 15 bikes.

Biketown service area map. Field Office location circled in red.

Jonathan Ledesma, a partner at the real estate firm behind the Field Office project said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to be part of Biketown’s growth and hopeful other property owners and businesses will see the benefits in sponsoring a station.”

PBOT says the price tag for the sponsorship is $29,000 (Portland’s bike share contract lists the cost of a bikes at $1,600 each, and kiosks cost $9,500). Of the 15 bikes, Field Office is covering the cost of 10 of them and the other five will come from the existing Biketown fleet. In addition to equipment costs, Biketown operator Motivate Inc. charges the city $187 per bike in operation costs.

The new station (which is part of the public system and can be used by any Biketown user) fills a void in Biketown’s service area. As you can see in the map, before Field Office stepped up there was no station in the fast-growing area now known as the Frontside District along the Willamette River north of the Fremont Bridge and east of Highway 30.

PBOT Director Leah Treat says the private sponsorship is a sign that Biketown has been integrated into the city’s transportation system. “Combined with the record breaking ridership numbers we’ve seen this month, [this sponsorship] affirms the importance of Biketown for Portland businesses and residents alike.

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Field Office tenants include computer and software related firms, as well as a childhood education business. The two-building campus has 300,000 square feet of office and retail space connected via a plaza space that mixes natural and industrial elements. It’s just one of several new developments in this district that’s quickly changing from a relatively forgotten, industrial area to a bustling community for residents and workers alike.

Two years ago we profiled the vast potential for biking in this area as projects like Field Office come online. In January 2017 we reported that the firm behind Field Office would put $1.1 million toward a $2.6 million street update project. The project was initially slated to repave and restripe NW Front, upgrade traffic signals and intersection treatments at NW 9th, 15th, and 17th, and add buffered bike lanes to close the gap that currently exists between NW 9th and 15th.

Architect and NextPortland.com publisher Iain MacKenzie says PBOT has since upgraded their plans to include protected bike lanes, floating bus islands, a protected left turn onto NW 9th (to access the Pearl District), and median islands to improve crossing safety.

These upcoming improvements to Front/Naito (construction of which should start this summer) will connect to other recent bikeway upgrades near the Steel Bridge and along Waterfront Park. Once we make Better Naito permanent, we’ll have protected or buffered bike lanes for the entire 2.5 mile stretch between NW 17th and SW Harrison.

UPDATE/CORRECTION, 6/1: This story has been updated to reflect new numbers for the cost of the sponsorship. I estimated the cost would be $35,000, but PBOT says it totals $29,000.

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 19 – Abe born here, honestly

Biking Bis - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 05:25

We pedaled over to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site today, just up the road from Joel Ray's Lincoln Jamboree. Yee-haw!

The park ranger giving the tour said, "As far as we know, this is where he was born." Sounding a little cagey? Over in Springfield yesterday we had stopped in the Lincoln Homestead State Park, a woman in the office said, "Older people around here say that Lincoln never would have been born down in Hodgenville in the wintertime, so they believe he was actually born up here in Springfield."

With my keen reporter's instincts, I asked him about the discrepancy. He shrugged his shoulders. "Nobody seemed to care where he was born until 1860 when he was elected president." Makes sense. ...

Donnelly Bike Line

Bike Hugger - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 13:01

A tire brand name you’ve probably just heard about from our posts and others, Donnelly (two ns and ls), just announced they’re making frames too, in a new bike line launch in time for Dirty Kanza.

Over the years of covering the industry, one thing I’ve learned is people with experience know how to source. And, I’ve called for better and more integration from brands…like manufacture as much as you can yourself.

To that end, and I welcome it, Donnelly has an adventure bike to match their gravel and CX tires.

The bikes come in two flavors, CX or gravel, and as framesets or complete builds. What you need to know is, if you wanted an Open but the price is too high, Donnelly is coming to market at $1999 for the framesets and $3999 complete.

I haven’t seen one in person and their studio shots aren’t indicating a dropped stay to fit the largest tire diameter, but instead a curved approach, like a Serotta.

A test ride will tell me if my heels hit the stays or not.

It’s taken 3 years for other makers to catch up with OPEN and at affordable price points. That’s good for everyone. Designed by Rolf Singerberger you should expect the Donnellys to perform.

If you don’t recognize Rolf’s name, you will his bikes…the BMCs and carbon Merckx. Of interest to me is the G/C which blends aggressive frame angles for gravel racing or fast group rides, with enough comfort for long days in the saddle. Most importantly the frame accommodates a 45mm tire on a 700c wheel and a 50mm tire on a 650b wheel.

The built bikes are spec’d with SRAM Rival or Force, all reasonable and Donnelly’s USHUAIA or USHUAIA SL wheelset. I’d expect a shop could put together an amazing build for you, if interested.

Learn more about the bikes from Donnelly and see all the specs.

The post Donnelly Bike Line appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Washington County wants to widen the Walker and Murray intersection

Bike Portland - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 12:55

Looking north on Murray at Walker during rush hour.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

When I first began riding a bicycle for transportation I focused on things like getting used to car noise, figuring out how to keep the bottom of my pants from ripping on one side, and choosing the best bike bags for my shopping needs.

Walker Rd Projects Open House
  • 5-7 p.m. tonight (5/30) at Holy Trinity Church, Fireside Room (13715 SW Walker Road.)
  • Hosted by Washington County
  • Website

It wasn’t until moving to the suburbs of Washington County without a car that “open houses” snuck into my consciousness.

As I reported earlier this month, an open house for updates to Western Avenue is happening today. And tonight (5/30, 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Holy Trinity Parish, 13715 SW Walker Road in Beaverton) there’s another chance for public feedback on another important intersection on the westside, Walker Road and Murray — a.k.a. the Nike World HQ intersection.

In a way, this project fits hand in glove with ODOT’s planned freeway expansions. After all, westside employees don’t all live on the westside. Some commute from Vancouver, Washington, or other cities around the metro area. That’s neither here nor there, unless you’re concerned with air quality and traffic noise if a freeway widening is slated to take place near you.

If you bike to work at Nike, or past Nike, here’s how Washington County’s project page says the intersection will change:

*Dual left-turn car lanes will be at all four approaches to the intersection (currently just on eastbound Walker)
*Dedicated right-turn lanes at all four approaches
*A third southbound through-lane will be added to Murray Blvd, becoming a dedicated right-turn lane at Bowerman Drive (a Nike entrance)
*Two bridges and two culverts will be replaced

The county’s emphasis, it appears, is on carrying out plans to make driving easier.

What improvements will be made for biking, walking, and transit at the intersection?

None.

The official project page says, “Walker Road and Murray Boulevard are heavily used arterial roads.” It fails to mention which vehicles people use. In fact, the bike lane is consistently in use by people cycling, and sometimes on skateboards. There is also a bus line on Walker Road past Nike, Line 59, but it only runs once an hour six times per day, and not at all on weekends or holidays. Line 62 on Murray only runs once every half-hour. Plus, there’s no sidewalk between SW Meadow and SW Butner on the north side of Walker.

Walker Road, directly across the street from Nike, from Murray to Koll/SW 150th, happens to be densely populated. The census estimates that in 2017, Washington County had a population of 588,957 with 9% living in poverty (an estimated 13.4% lived in poverty in Beaverton). The area just north of Nike is a mix of Beaverton and Washington County zoning. The county’s zone descriptions (PDF) sheds some light on the number of people who are affected by increased driving along Walker. The area bordering Meadow Park Middle School is zoned “R24,” for residential use with a 19 unit per acre minimum and a maximum density of 24 units per acre.

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It’s these people, whose property taxes are bundled into rents or paid directly, who are purchasing this $14 million intersection expansion through the county’s road funding program, the Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP). That price tag doesn’t include the $10.2 million for Walker Rd widening.

Residents who live in the area know best, when it comes to the need for complete streets in the area.

Here’s what some of them had to say in a previous public comment period, (as compiled from this Urban Road Maintenance District document — Note in particular the comments about Butner and SW Park Way, which are near the Walker & Murray intersection).

One commenter was concerned about Butner’s proximity to a school,

“Let’s make it safe for active kids; this is a lower-income area so you may get fewer votes online, so don’t let that represent a lesser need.”

Another commenter said,

“This needs to be a safe, 20 mph greenway, not a freeway! This project is greatly needed because it leads to the Sunset Transit Center.”

Another resident said,

“I live down SW Spring and walk regularly to Commonwealth Lake Park on this stretch of Butner where I’m often forced to walk in the road until I can make it to a driveway to shelter from oncoming traffic. I see families with children on bikes, and people walking dogs who are in danger because a significant amount of pedestrians, cyclists, and cars can be in this pinched stretch of road together. This would be a great first step to resolving the dangerous pedestrian situation on Butner.”

Walker Road east of Cedar Hills is also a potential bike route that only the bravest riders are willing to ride. The road has curves that many drivers take quite fast, and there are no bike lanes or sidewalks there. It isn’t terribly surprising that more people aren’t biking to work from these roads, with active transportation infrastructure having been neglected.

The county’s emphasis, it appears, is on carrying out plans to make driving easier.

As recently as this year, a less bike-friendly Walker road intersection was formed where the entrance to one of Nike’s new parking garages at Koll/SW 150th and Walker was closed to public use. When the building Yakima Racks once occupied was torn down, Koll was closed to the public. Prior to 2017, the public could reach the Merlo MAX stop by biking down low-car Koll to Jay street, to SW 158th. Now, people coming from, say, Meadow Ridge Apartments, must bike west on Walker, then make a left turn at the intersection of Walker & 158th. For some this left turn is easy; for others, it isn’t.

Further west on Walker toward SW 158th is the 92-acre THPRD Howard M. Terpenning Recreaction Complex, which is heavily used all year long for everything from baseball to swimming to soccer. Continue west on Walker, and there are more apartment complexes, restaurants, and a Fred Meyer store.

The Trimet MAX line is just a mile south of Walker. The Nike campus sits between Walker road residents and the nearest stations, making the MAX stop a good mile-and-a-half away. With a bus that only goes by 30 times per direction for the entire week, the primary connections to MAX for car-free residents are by walking or biking.

If only the County would cater to them a bit more they might not need to keep throwing millions at more lanes for driving.

— Naomi Fast, @_the_clearing on Twitter

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Ready for a challenge? Harney County’s ‘Skull’ ride is waiting

Bike Portland - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 08:43

Scenes from the inaugural Skull in 2017.
(Photos: Harney County Chamber of Commerce)

About 130 miles east of Bend lies the small, high desert town of Burns, Oregon. People from the Northern Paiute tribe have lived there for thousands of years. Today, like many eastern Oregon towns, the area gets by mostly on farming now that most of the big timber is gone.

But there’s another natural resource that is just coming into its own: unpaved roads that are perfect for bicycling. And an interesting partnership of local, state and federal agencies are leading the charge to promote them. The marketing vehicle for this new discovered asset is the Skull 120/60/30/Relay ride — a combination endurance/gravel/cross-country/sightseeing race/ride that will roll out on its second annual edition June 16th.

Billed as “America’s gnarliest gravel race,” the route takes advantage of remote dirt roads and goat tracks to lead riders on a memorable adventure in the Malheur National Forest northwest of Burns.

The Skull is the culmination of a collaboration between Harney County Chamber of Commerce, Oregon State Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the BLM. “The SKULL 120 atmosphere is very casual,” says one of its boosters, Eric Herboth of Ren Cycles, “and the focus is on having fun on our public lands.”

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Local racing veteran Seth Patla did the 120 route last year and says the Skull is the toughest gravel ride he’s ever done.

Herboth says beyond the riding, the event is about supporting resource stewardship and land conservation. “As civic-minded outdoor enthusiasts we can be quick to recite lists of what our fellow citizens in remote open spaces shouldn’t do with the land — don’t drill it, don’t mine it, don’t log it, don’t graze it, and so on. We should all know by now that a negative list of don’ts is far less effective in spurring greener avenues for rural economies than a positive list of things we can do.”

120-mile route map and elevation profile via Ride With GPS.

Route designer Cameron Sanders with the US Forest Service says the event is part of their effort to, “Increase social equity and economic resiliency through cycling and cycling-based tourism.” Sanders and other promoters of this event are looking to build the Skull into a large event that helps put Harney County’s cycling assets on the map for people from all over Oregon and beyond.

It’s just a five-hour drive from Portland and there are plenty of places to camp and stay overnight. Register and learn more about the event at AdventureHarney.com.

CORRECTION: This article was edited to reflect the fact that members of the Northern Paiute tribe weren’t just the first people to live in this area — they still live there! Thank you to commenter Vanessa for pointing out my mistake.

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

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Portlanders move from grief and shock, to activism following horrific hit-and-run

Bike Portland - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 06:46

Looking east toward PSU Urban Plaza from SW Montgomery.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Portlanders are still coming to grips with the traffic violence experienced downtown on Friday. While details about 61-year-old Greg Porter continue to trickle out and the women he hit still recover at an area hospital, leaders in the transportation reform community are moving from grief and shock into action.

Kiel Johnson and Sarah Iannarone (both familiar names to BikePortland readers) are organizing an event next Tuesday (June 5th) that aims to promote an inclusive Portland. Here’s the event description:

“An inclusive city is one that values all people and their needs equally. It is one in which all residents—including the most marginalized of poor workers—have a representative voice in governance, planning, and budgeting processes, and have access to sustainable livelihoods, legal housing and affordable basic services such as water/sanitation and an electricity supply.” — Rhonda Douglas

As we head toward summer, many in our community are filled with hope and joy. For others, this has also been a challenging time, including friends and family of the women injured by vehicular violence at PSU on 5/25 alongside the critical injuries sustained by PSU student Aaron Salazar on 5/15.

For this event, we will reclaim the portion of Montgomery Street between SW 6th and Broadway as an impromptu public plaza for Portlanders– free from hate or violence of any kind. We will gather to share in joy and to support each other in sorrow. We will encourage speakers who are interested in stepping up to the mic to share what an “Inclusive Portland” looks and feels like to them.

Invite your friends, bring your lunch,and join us for an old-fashioned sit-in as we shut down this block of Montgomery Street for this “Inclusive Portland Lunch-In” for a couple of hours.”

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PSU will work over the summer to s was it barriers along the transit mall & other spots around campus need to be better protected from drivers. #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/CbEQc7Oole

— Reed Andrews (@ReedKATU) May 30, 2018

“We believe that every person has the right to access their community by walking – and should not be afraid to do so.”
— Oregon Walks

The location of this event — across the street from where the three women were seriously injured after Porter drove his car into them — is strategic. Just last fall we shared an effort to make the block of SW Montgomery between 6th and Broadway carfree. A new Portland State University building spurred redevelopment of half the blockface and it was a golden opportunity to create a carfree corridor that would have stretched from SW 5th to I-405. Friday’s hit-and-run has reignited talk of banning cars on SW Montgomery.

Johnson and Iannarone hope to create a temporary carfree zone on Tuesday. They’re asking for bicycle users to help cork both ends of the relatively low-traffic street during the event in order to improve the safety of everyone.

On a related note, KATU reporter Reed Andrews posted on Twitter yesterday that PSU will consider adding bollards to better protect the Urban Plaza from errant drivers.

And yesterday, two local groups that work to make walking safer issued statements about the state of walking in Portland.

Eight people who have died while walking so far this year*.
(Graphic from PedPDX Community Advisory Committee)

The nonprofit Oregon Walks issued a statement on their blog saying, “We believe that every person has the right to access their community by walking – and should not be afraid to do so.” OW pointed out one witness from a news report that said she might take her classes online due to fears of walking. “The fact that a student feels so unsafe walking through a public space that she’s considering avoiding it all together is unacceptable. What does it say about Portland as a community when we can no longer have the reasonable expectation of personal safety when we inhabit our shared spaces?”

The 25-member Community Advisory Committee that’s working on the City of Portland’s PedPDX citywide walking plan issued a statement today honoring eight* people, “who have lost their lives in traffic violence while walking on our Portland streets this year.” “By honoring and acknowledging each person, the CAC wishes to center the gravity of safety and Vision Zero in the PedPDX planning process.”

(*You’ll note that while the City of Portland counts eight walking fatalities so far this year, we only count seven on our official tracker. This is because one of the deaths, 42-year-old Eric Griffen, occurred after he intentionally jumped from an I-5 overpass. By their own policy, PBOT excludes intentional deaths.)

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 18 – That fragrance of home cookin’ is all bourbon

Biking Bis - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 06:09

HODGENVILLE, KY. -- We thought nothing could smell sweeter than the good country air of the Kentucky bluegrass country, until we left Bardstown.

We had just finished an unsatisfying lunch at a shopping center deli in the hometown of  composer Stephen Foster (My Old Kentucky Home), when we caught the fragrance of good home cooking in the air. Bruce said, wherever it's coming from, "that's where we should have eaten."

We rode on for a half-mile and saw the entrance sign for the Heaven Hills Distillery, the source of that fragrance. If we could have "eaten" there, our trip would have ended, no doubt. What we smelled cooking must have been sour mash. We merely cycled past huge warehouses full of booze...

It’s now a Portland city code violation to deny “drive-thru” service to bicycle users

Bike Portland - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 14:57

The drive-thru at Burgerville on NE 122nd Ave.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Something quietly profound happened last Thursday May 24th: The zoning maps and zoning code of Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan went into effect.

Among the many updates and additions is a new policy on “drive-thrus”. Specifically, it is now against city code to deny service at outdoor windows to people using bikes, feet, and mobility devices.

The new code is found in chapter 224 of the new plan. In 33.224.070 Multi-Modal Access the code states, “When a drive-through facility is open and other pedestrian-oriented customer entrances to the business are unavailable or locked, the drive-through facility must serve customers using modes other than a vehicle such as pedestrians and bicyclists.” This applies to not only food establishments but banks, gas stations, pharmacies, and any retail business that has an outdoor service window. Portland has about 308 “drive-thrus” citywide.

Of course businesses that “get it” won’t limit bicycle users to limited access hours and will allow non-drivers to use outdoor service windows at any time.

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This code was inserted into the Comp Plan as an amendment in 2016 by Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith. As we reported in September of that year, Smith felt like enshrining the right to service even if you’re not using an automobile was an issue of basic fairness. “Ideally you can’t refuse service based on mode,” Smith told us. “In a city that aims to be less than 30 percent single-occupancy vehicle mode share, that’s just not cool.”

You’ll note that the new code only applies when main doors and entrances are closed. Smith says this was done for three main reasons: to make the change more politically palatable; to recognize that some drive-thrus are inherently unsafe for people outside of cars; and to not create undue insurance/liability burdens on business owners. “The driving public policy motivation for me was access to the service/business, which can be achieved either by providing access to the drive-thru or by leaving the front door open,” Smith shared.

The origin of this code update dates back to 2009 when Portland writer and self-described “family biking evangelist” Sarah Gilbert was denied service at the window of the Burgerville restaurant at SE Powell and 25th. Her story went viral and Burgerville was ultimately persuaded to change their policy.

Smith says if you’re refused service while on your bike and if access to the business is otherwise unavailable, you can file a zoning code complaint online or by calling (503) 823-CODE.

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

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The Urbanist: Womxn’s Bike Month Happy Hour is Thursday

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 12:20

Took a rad group of ladies out on an e-bike spin! Most of them had never ridden downtown. They were all smiles. #womxnbike #bikemonth #seabikes @limebike @CascadeBicycle @TranspoChoices pic.twitter.com/jC6uHaQikz

— kelsey mesher (@kmesh) May 23, 2018

Womxn are leading the modern urban cycling movement. When a group fighting a safer 35th Ave NE said single moms don’t bike, biking moms of Seattle took action and refocused the debate over that street’s design on people of all ages getting around their neighborhood safely. People are organizing more WTF (women/trans/femme) spaces and groups to invite more people to feel comfortable biking. Demographically, people who identify as women on the Census make up a huge percentage of Seattle’s new bike commuters.

Want to meet more womxn interested in bike advocacy? Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club and the Urbanist are hosting a Womxn’s Bike Month Happy Hour Thursday evening. Details:

Womxns’ Downtown Seattle Happy Hour – there’s an Advocate in all of us!

When: Thursday, May 31, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Where: Elephant & Castle (1415 Fifth Ave Seattle, WA 98101)

Join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, and The Urbanist for a happy hour that’s just for womxn who like bicycles, or want to!

Hear from rad womxn leaders in bike advocacy and close out Bike Month in style.

The happy hour comes after a forum for women Cascade hosted in March. Kelsey Mesher (formerly with Cascade, now with Transportation Choices Coalition), Vicky Clarke (Cascade) and Keiko Budech (TCC) wrote about the forum and the upcoming happy hour at the Urbanist. Here’s an excerpt of some takeaways from the forum:

Back in March, Cascade Bicycle Club hosted a thought forum with several dozen women connected to the bike community to discuss these intangibles. The list that came forward ran the gamut:

  • Geography or facilities available to different abilities
  • Lack of access to good places to ride
  • Lack of kid friendly rides
  • Judgement based on what you wear, or how how you look on a bike
  • Cat calls/ harassment
  • Cars and people being rude
  • Loading bike on a bus
  • Getting passed based on how you look
  • Not having the “right” gear
  • Bike shops can be intimidating
  • Lack of knowledge (such as, riding speeds, trends, lingo)
  • Perceptions and realities of cost (gear, “nice stuff”)
  • Vehicles in bike lanes
  • Shock and disbelief by others that you rode a bike

The women also developed ideas about what makes biking inclusive:

  • Being a part of bike culture and a community
  • Bridging races
  • Bridging ages (especially kids)
  • Riding can overcome identity at times
  • E-bikes
  • Seeing more women (leadership, advocacy, riding in public)
  • All ages and abilities networks
  • Being able to ride in regular clothes (and seeing others in regular clothes)

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the past five years, regular readers may have noticed disclosures on posts about Cascade noting that my spouse Kelli works for the organization. Well, you won’t see those anymore. She has moved on and now works at G&O Family Cyclery. 

Family biking profile: Ali Reis and her daughter Lark

Bike Portland - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 10:12

Ali and Lark Reis.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week on the column we’re going to share a profile of one of our readers.

You may remember Ali Reis from the “Ride Along” post Jonathan did with her three years ago. Fast-forward three years to Ali with a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a different commute.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Tell me a little about yourself and your family.

I am a 33-year-old social worker; originally from the suburbs of NYC, I have lived in Portland for about 10 years. My husband Colin, and my daughter Lark and I live in the Overlook neighborhood. Colin was diagnosed with terminal cancer about 18 months ago, so it is just Lark and me on bikes these days. Hopefully, he will be feeling well enough to hop back on in the near future.

Lark has the best seat in the house in her Yepp mini.

Tell me about your bike.

My primary bike is an Asahi, which I bought on Craigslist 10 years ago in Portland. It is a vintage road bike with upright handlebars. It came to NYC with me when I moved there for grad school and then back again when we came back. It was stolen out of my backyard in 2011 and I actually found it on the street! For a long time, I was using a Redline MetroSport, since I had a long commute, but the Asahi is perfect for cruising around town with Lark on the bike seat. She uses a Yepp mini on the front handlebars. I was sure I would hate using it when we first got it, but I love it! We also have a Burley trailer which we started using when Lark was 4 months old with an insert. The trailer is great, but it is a lot more work to take on and off, especially with school drop off and pick-up. The seat is wonderful as it comes off quickly and I leave it at Lark’s school during the day. I love having her close to me; we sing and talk (or sometimes she just sings and talks) whenever we ride. I happen to be hearing impaired, so it is especially nice to have her so close so I can hear her. Eventually we will have to move to a seat on the back of the bike, but hopefully not for a little while.

Is there something you wish you had known before you took your first pedal stroke as a family biker that would have made things easier?

I don’t think so! I’ve always wanted to bike as a family, so I didn’t have too many apprehensions.

Tell me about a typical ride you take in Portland.

I bike Lark to and from school each day, which is a lot of zigzagging, all on streets without bike lanes. We live near Killingsworth and Denver and her school is near Williams and Fremont. On the way home, we take Williams and Ainsworth. It’s only 2.5 miles (and then another mile to work), so it’s completely doable and easy for me. I work for Multnomah County and do assessments in peoples’ homes, so I ride all around N/NE Portland on my bike. One of my favorite rides is taking Alameda; it is just a pleasant street with hardly any car traffic.

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If there was one piece of bike infrastructure (street, intersection, bike rack, etc) you use regularly that you could change to improve your life, what would it be?

I would have a million answers to this question when Lark went to a different, farther away day care or when I worked at my old job in SW Portland! I would love to see bike/pedestrian only bike streets. I feel that Going and Holman are good examples of streets where there is very little car traffic and I take these often. I find Williams/Vancouver to be a bit of a nightmare at times with so many cars, buses and bikes at once. When Lark and I were biking home last week, someone tried to turn the wrong way onto Williams!

I love the chest strap Ali made for Lark’s Yepp seat. My own similar-but-much-less-attractive DIY closure was done with an old helmet chin strap.

Have you biked in other cities and how did it compare?

Colin and I biked the entire two years we lived in Brooklyn. I went to school in Manhattan, so I biked over a bridge to get there. (I also took the subway a bunch, especially during the winter). NYC biking, in 2009-2011, anyway, is so different from Portland biking. When we moved back to Portland after 2 years in NYC, I was shocked that people did things like wait for red lights and pretty much always follow the rules of traffic. There’s pretty good infrastructure in NY for bikers, but I remember being on high alert every time I biked. There are always people walking into traffic, cars opening their doors, cabs pulling into the bike lanes, cars honking, etc. But it was pretty exhilarating, too. It’s hard to say if I would feel safe biking with a small child there; I don’t think I would do as much biking with Lark there as I do here.

What’s your best piece of advice to pass along to BikePortland readers?

I bike for a lot of reasons, but the number one reason is for improved quality of life. I know there are many people who think I’m nuts to bike around town with a kid (less so as she gets older, but my mom definitely did not approve when Lark was 4 months old!), but the alternative of driving everywhere doesn’t feel like an option for me. I love being outside, able to get exercise and not have to sit in traffic to get where I want to go. And there are always parking spots! Lark went through a phase where she was really upset about having to get on the bike, but she has gotten past that and seems to really enjoy it now. She still doesn’t love wearing a helmet, but overall she is happy to ride. She has her own balance bike which she is just starting to get into, so I’m hopeful that biking as a passenger will only encourage her to ride her own one day, too.

Thank you for sharing your story Ali!

And thanks to you all for reading. We’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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The Monday Roundup: Cheap gas cheerleading, cycling’s diversity problem, Uber’s deadly failure, and more

Bike Portland - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 09:28

Sponsored by

The Pioneer Century – June 2nd – 5 routes in an around Canby, Oregon.
A benefit for the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club.

Welcome back from the holiday weekend.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Defend our cities: With last week’s horrible hit-and-run downtown, it’s time for Portland to follow the lead of other great cities like Madrid and prohibit driving in some busy central city locations.

Good clean fun: Seniors at a Rockford, Illinois high school filled their parking lot with dockless bikes as a prank. Kids these days.

Driving is toxic: When it comes tracking fatalities, car crashes get the headlines. But when you look closely at the numbers, the emissions are what really do the damage to human beings.

Central Oregon’s dirty bike lanes: The city of Bend has a bike lane maintenance problem.

Marketing jargon: Surprise, surprise, a private corporation (Tesla) uses a word (autopilot) to market a key feature of their product that is not only deceptive, but dangerous.

Bike lanes are for cars: Seattle Bike Blog makes the intriguing case that bike lanes are really for people who drive.

Cheap gas is a bad thing: Among the basic transportation policy tenets Democrats need to master is that we need gasoline to be more expensive — not less.

Sladda recall: Ikea’s practical and smart bike has been recalled due to possible breakage of the belt drive.

Worrying sign for e-bikes: For some crazy reason, the European Commission has ruled that electric-assist bicycle riders must carry third party liability insurance.

Momentum for free transit: One reason it’s important for government agencies to educate the public about the true cost of driving is that it makes the idea of providing free transit seem much more reasonable.

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Quick and dirty critique: There’s a debate about whether it’s best to plan large and costly capital projects on specific corridors or spread street updates out to an entire network by using cheaper, temporary designs. The experience of Calgary should be a lesson for Portland.3

An opinion about cycling activism: In a new song, Portland musician Stephan Malkmus hints that the energy of bike activists could be put to better use on other issues.

Uber’s deadly mistakes: The Uber driver’s car that was involved in the fatal Arizona crash “saw” the woman crossing the road but failed to brake. The Economist explains the tech behind the crash and says the car’s on-board computers got confused, leading to a system design failure.

Bike-to-vehicle standards: Trek, Ford and software company Tome have partnered up on an effort to make sure that the confusion from self-driving cars in the link above is less likely to happen again.

Portland’s “century of exclusion”: Housing writer Michael Andersen took a closer look at maps and zoning policy to reveal why some of our neighborhoods continue to exclude multi-family housing nearly 100 years after classist policies passed.

Promising Apple tech: If the new iOS can unlock doors, one of our smart Twitter friends @quicklywilliam wonders if unlocking dockless bike share bikes could be next.

Cycling diversity: The cycling chief of London opines that it might be time to set official diversity targets. What’s also interesting about this article is that — like some academic/activists have warned — pushing solely for a “build it and they will come” approach might result in simply more white men and no greater portion of women and people of color.

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 17 – Not everyone welcomes bicycle tourists

Biking Bis - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 05:08

HARRODSBURG, KY. -- What did I say about bicycle touring and the kindness of strangers? Forget it.

Tonight we're at the Parkview Guest House. When we walked in the front door of the two-story men's-only "guest house," a guy told us to wait right there for the manager who would soon be home from work. We sat in a couple of chairs in the hallway. Soon the manager walks in:

"What the hell's going on here? And get that thing off the table."

Bruce removed his helmet from the lamp table. We asked for a room. The old guy said he had one but didn't know whether he'd let us have it. It only had a double bed. "You're not going to get drunk and puke in bed, are you?"

1984 Bike Tour: Day 16 – A good welcome to Berea

Biking Bis - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 06:49

BEREA, KY. -- We didn't make as big a splash as some people upon entering Berea, but we felt heroic all the same and did receive a warm welcome and invitation.

We arrived in Berea about 10 minutes ahead of the Olympic torch. AT&T was sponsoring the torch run through all 50 states on its way to the Summer Games in Los Angeles. We just happened to ride into Berea at about the same time as the torch. A local woman had raised $3,000 to carry the torch for a mile and people lined the street waiting for her arrival.

While we waited, a woman came up and started a conversation. We were the first bicycle tourists she'd seen this year. She and her husband bicycle. Their house is listed in a national organization's newsletter as an overnight spot for travelling bicyclists. Would we like to stay? Of course we would ...

1984 Bike Tour: Day 15 — Hill hell

Biking Bis - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 06:21

BOONEVILLE, KY. -- We never stop climbing hills. The route heading west crosses one ridge after another. I can appreciate what Daniel Boone and the pioneers had to endure.

We did go through some wide open bottomland nestled between the hills today, though, generally after passing Buckhorn Lake. We saw some cows in pastures today, something we hadn't seen for many days. Before it's been pigs, hogs, and chickens. Those smaller farm animals must be better suited for small farms on hillsides.

These hills are gut-wrenching for me. I start out in medium gears, but soon I'm in my lowest -- the granny gear or stump-puller. I grind away, travelling 27 inches for every pedal stroke; don't try to think about how many pedal strokes in a 4.4-mile climb...

1984 Bike Tour: Day 14 — A salute from King Coal

Biking Bis - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 06:47

PIPPA PASSES, KY. -- Last night's fear and loathing about spending the foreseeable future dodging coal trucks turned out to be a waste of time.

Coal is king in these parts, but even the king gives a holiday to his subjects over the Memorial Day weekend. No coal trucks confronted us today. We could see them parked in gravel parking lots behind chainlink fences, their trailer beds tilted up so they wouldn't collect rainwater. It was as if they were saluting our passage.

Although the coal trucks were absent, the grinding terrain still had to be dealt with. As we broke camp in the morning, an old camper who knew the area said our route would be "rough as a cob." We didn't know how rough a cob was, but we soon found out. ...

Bike Happy: It’s the Last Week of Bike Month

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 15:00

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

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO
  1. A cougar killed SJ Brooks, co-founder of Friends on Bikes.
  2. The Seattle Times broke down how the 2nd and 7th Avenues protected bike lanes were expensive, but were more than just bike projects. And Seattle Bike Blog highlighted how “bike lanes are for cars.”
  3. On Thursday, there’s a Womxn’s Bike Month Happy Hour.
  4. This is the last week of Bike Month. Get out there!

If your bike is ever stolen, you will need all the details (including photos), and a passionate community of people looking out for your bike.  That’s what Bike Index provides. Register your bike on Bike Index right now.

In Memoriam

An emaciated cougar attacked Isaac Sederbaum and killed SJ Brooks while they were biking forest roads northeast of North Bend. They had responded properly by trying to intimidate the animal; this was the first fatal cat attack in 94 years in the state.  SJ was well-known within Seattle’s bike community, having worked at G&O Family Cyclery; and co-founded Friends on Bikes, an organization dedicated to making bicycling more inclusive to women, trans, and non-binary people of color. SJ is missed by many.

SBBOutside MagGuardianSunSeattle TimesPI 1PI 2Bellingham HeraldKIRO7 1KIRO7 2KING5Q13,

SOCIAL, LIFESTYLE, & ADVENTURE UPCOMING ACTIVITIES​ ARTICLES & POSTS
  • “Gender Disparities in Bicycling: Small Steps to Close a Big Gap,” Urbanist.
  • “What It Takes to Ride Up to Paradise on Mount Rainier,” Bicycling.
  • “Is biking a Catch-22 situation?” — article explores the public health benefits and costs of biking in poor air quality. Crosscut.
  • Rave to two people biking who stopped and assisted a fellow person who had crashed her bike on the Sammamish River Trail. Seattle Times.
  • Magnuson Cafe & Brewery is opening this summer next door to Cascade Bicycle Club’s headquarters this summer. WA Beer Blog.
  • “Dust off the bike and pedal into Spring,” Cascade.
  • “Vaccinate your bike,” SBB.
POLICY & INFRASTRUCTURE ACTION UPCOMING EVENTS​ NEWS
  • Seattle
    • “$12 million a mile: Here’s how bike-lane costs shot sky high in Seattle,” Seattle Times.
      • “Bike lanes are for cars,” SBB.
      • “SDOT Can’t Build As Many Bike Lanes As Promised,” Stranger.
      • “Seattle struggling to pay for bike lanes, as costs for ‘visionary’ project balloon to $12 million per mile: report,” Fox News.
      • Letter: “Bikes and taxes: An ‘F’ for SDOT,” Seattle Times.
      • “Bikes and taxes: Bicycle tax,” Seattle Times.
    • “Vote For Seattle’s Worst Intersection: 2018 (Round 1),” Urbanist.
    • “Leary Ave NW in Central Ballard Is A Little Safer,” Urbanist.
  • King County-wide
    • King County Executive Dow Constantine announced legislation to accelerate protection of 65,000 acres of open space and improvements to regional trails. King CountySeattle Times.
  • East & South King County
    • The Mercer Island City Council is considering its 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Plan, which could fund a new city pedestrian-bicycle plan and a north-south bike route from the Town Center to the future light rail station. MI Reporter.
    • Letter: Don’t upgrade north segment of Green to Cedar Rivers Trail. Maple Valley Reporter.
  • Pierce County
    • The new Puyallup River Bridge that connects Fife to Tacoma will have bike lanes. MyNW.
  • Statewide
    • “Field Notes from the 2018 Washington Bike Summit,” Cascade.
SPORT UPCOMING EVENTS ARTICLE SAVE THE DATES JOBS

Bike Maintenance & Retail
Mechanics & Retail Staff, Gregg’s Cycles

Bike Product Industry
Sales and Marketing Specialist, Sportworks
Director of Sales and Marketing, Sportworks
Product Design and Development Engineer, Sportworks

Bike Education & Training
Major Taylor Ride Leader/Instructor, Cascade
Summer Camp Head Counselor, Cascade
Summer Camp Counselor, Cascade
Counselor-in-Training (Seasonal), Cascade
Bicycle Specialist – Recreation Leader II, City of Auburn
Specialized Recreation Cycling Assistant – Recreation Leader I, City of Auburn

Commute Services & Other Outreach
Sounders FC Bike Valet Parking Manager & Assistants, Bike Works

Policy, Planning, & Engineering
East King County Policy Manager, Cascade
Designer – Level 1, Alta
Group Leaders – Senior Associates, Alta
Supervising Project Manager, SDOT
Multimodal Transportation Planning Specialist 3, WSDOT (5/24)
Multi-Modal Transportation Executive Leader, WSDOT (5/27)
Development Coordinator, SDOT (5/29)

Communications, Development, & Management
Contract Grant Writer, Bike Works
Development & Communications Coordinator, Bike Works
Program Coordinator, Bike Works
Staff Accountant, Cascade

SUBSCRIBE

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

New to biking? You’re doing great! Keep it up

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:09

Enjoy the ride.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

There are plenty of things that keep people from biking in Portland. Shaming them for “doing it wrong” is a terrible thing to do.

Unfortunately there’s a strong gatekeeper culture around cycling that can not only ruin the experience for new riders, it can be powerful enough to prevent fence-sitters from ever taking the plunge.

A story in the Portland Mercury issue on newsstands this week is a good illustration of this problem. “You’re Riding Your Bike Wrong: Great Job Biking! Now Maybe You Can Start Doing It Right!” reads the headline. Ironically the byline, The Portland Mercury Bicycle Gang, only furthers the cliquish vibe.

Thankfully our friends at the nonprofit Bikes for Humanity PDX penned a wonderful response. We’ve pasted it below with their permission:

25 Ways You’re Riding Your Bike “Right”

Too many folks are nervous about riding because they don’t want to do it “wrong.” The truth is, there are a million awesome ways to ride your bike. Here’s a very non-comprehensive list.

You’re doing something “right” if you’re:

1. Having fun

2. Getting where you need to go

3. Going at your own pace

4. Wearing whatever makes you comfortable

5. Paying attention to your surroundings

6. Aware of biking laws, or planning to learn soon

7. A first-time rider

8. Visiting the city

9. Respectful of pedestrians

10. An athlete

11. Riding with friends

12. A fair-weather rider

13. Exploring new neighborhoods

14. Carrying cargo or pulling a trailer

15. Riding an e-bike

16. A fixie hipster

17. Not sure how to fix a flat, but know who to ask (B4H maybe?)

18. A kid

19. Using your best judgment

20. Wearing a costume

21. Riding an unusual or adaptive bike

22. Considering the safety and comfort of others

23. A year-round commuter

24. Starting to get the hang of it

25. Not feeling comfortable but trying anyway

If you’re new to this… Keep on riding! You’re doing great! It gets better every day! If you have questions or need help with anything, just ask us or ask a friend. Or ask the person riding next to you. Chances are they’ll be happy to help.

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

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Someone drove onto the sidewalk on PSU campus and seriously injured three women – UPDATED

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 11:12

The red x’s mark where victims were lying as they received medical attention.

Just as we feared back in November after a similar tragedy took place in lower Manhattan; the horror of vehicular violence has come to Portland.

About an hour ago someone appears to have intentionally steered their SUV up a curb on SW 6th Avenue just before Montgomery and hit at least three women. Portland Police say two of them are being treated at OHSU with life-threatening injuries and the other one has serious injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. A fourth person is believed to have been injured but left the scene and so far PPB have not been able to contact them.

From media coverage we know that one of the victims was found right at the top of the ramp of the Portland State University Urban Plaza outside Cafe Yumm! and the Rec Center. Another victim was lying south of that near the transit stop outside the cafe.

The driver fled the scene and police are on the hunt (they typically don’t update media with cases like this because they don’t want to tip off the suspect who might be watching the news).

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Northbound on 6th approaching Montgomery.

A man who saw the collisions, said he believes the SUV driver “gunned it” prior to hitting the women. Other witnesses say the driver was going very fast. A speed of 35-40 mph has been reported.

I’m still not clear which direction the driver was coming from — northbound on 6th or eastbound on SW Montgomery. Based on witness photos seen here, the driver’s car was all the way up on the sidewalk in front of the Starbucks just south of Mill. That means it’s likely he mounted the curb near the plaza at Montgomery where the people were originally hit.

This is not a location where speeding or dangerous driving is very common. The streets are relatively narrow (6th has a bus/MAX-only lane), and the urban context is dense and lively with people biking and walking. The buildings around this plaza also happen to be home to PSU’s renowned transportation and urban planning programs. The PSU Bike Hub is just one block south of where the women were hit.

I can’t stop thinking about the fact that driving shouldn’t even be allowed in this area. When a new PSU building was recently built on the adjacent block of SW Montgomery, we hoped it would be carfree. And don’t even get me started about how we’re still allowed to drive private vehicles on the downtown “transit mall.”

As you watch and listen to local coverage, please help other reporters understand how important language and word choice is — especially when covering something like this. As many of you already know, this suspected crime was committed by a person, not an “SUV” or a “car”. It was not an “accident,” it was a collision. And the driver didn’t hit “pedestrians,” he hit people.

Given where this happened, I’ll be shocked if there isn’t high-quality surveillance footage. We’ll definitely be learning more in the coming hours and days. If you saw anything or have information, please contact PPB non-emergency at 503-823-3333.

We’ll let know about any major developments. For more coverage, check live update via The Oregonian.

UPDATE, 12:35 pm: The police have found and arrested the suspect at NE 16th and Glisan.

Arrest made at NE 16th and Glisan. Photo from live feed of KGW News.

UPDATE: Please note that I’ve made edits to this story as the police continue to make updates.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Spin Events & Catering, Chris King Precision Components, Revolver Bikes

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 09:09

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got three great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Catering Company All-Rounder – Spin Events & Catering

–> Customer Sales Representative – Chris King Precision Components

–> Mechanic/Sales Person – Revolver Bikes

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For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

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

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

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

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A Holiday Weekend

Bike Hugger - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 05:58

We’re off for the holiday weekend. Hope you are too and riding big miles.

 

The post A Holiday Weekend appeared first on Bike Hugger.

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