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Bikers on a budget get a break at the Community Cycling Center

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:13

The Community Cycling Center’s shop on NE Alberta — now more inviting for more budgets.
(Photos: The CCC)

In Portland, the lower your income, the more likely you are to use a bicycle to get to work. That’s also true on the national level, as Harvard’s Anne Lusk so adeptly pointed out in an article posted by CityLab this week.

Most discussions around this topic center on the need for infrastructure equity and access to safe streets for all. But what about access to the gear and products that can make the act of pedaling a bike more feasible and comfortable?

Portland’s Community Cycling Center (celebrating their 25th anniversary this year!) is dedicated to making cycling accessible to everyone. I recently learned they have Low Income Commuter Discount program at their bike shop on Alberta Street and asked Executive Director Kasandra Griffin to share more about it.

Griffin said the program has been available for about 10 years. For most of that time the program offered just a 10 percent discount on a limited number of items. But in 2016, with the cost of living in the neighborhoods around their shop continue to grow, the program expanded. Now those who qualify can get 20 percent off everything in the store, including new and used bikes and even service.

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The discount is available to anyone who receives income-based government benefits like Oregon Trail/SNAP or Oregon Health Plan. And you don’t have to be from Oregon. Live in Washington and have a “Quest Card”? They’ll accept that too.

Another recent change in the program came last year. Instead of requiring people to request the discount at the register each time they made a purchase, the discount information is now on file in the shop’s computer. Once a sales staffer can confirm a customer’s identity, the price reduction happens automatically. This means even if you forget to mention your eligibility, you still get the benefit.

With these changes, Griffin says the program is taking off. Last year the CCC gave out about $35,000 in discounts. This year they’re on track for over $50,000.

If you’re wondering how the CCC pays for this generous subsidy, they don’t. That is, they have no dedicated funding source for the program. It relies on donations from shop customers. According to Griffin, some people who get the discount have even opted to give a little back to help support others who need it more.

This is just one way the CCC helps people who have less money than others. Their Sunday Salvage program lets people buy used frames and other parts for super-low prices.

If you want more information about this program or can make a donation to help keep it going, check out CommunityCyclingCenter.org/bike-shop.

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

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Tern GSD at The Seattle Bike and Outdoor Show

Bike Hugger - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:31

This weekend you can demo the Tern GSD at the Seattle Bike Show. A couple of weekends ago, I used it to get around Seattle documenting the viaduct and tunnel project.

It was my mobile studio and I took photos while riding it like this one

Battery Street Tunnel, taken while riding the Tern GSD.

and this one.

Apparently there were souvenirs?!

In case you missed it, Seattle’s Waterfront hasn’t changed this much since the Gold Rush. The elevated highway that runs along it has been replaced by a tunnel and is being torn down. The Viaduct Series I’m working on is capturing this historical event. I couldn’t have got the shots I did without the GSD.

That’s because Joe Towner from Pacific Northwest Medium format and I zoomed ahead of the Cascade ride and also maneuvered around the 10s of thousands of people saying goodbye to the viaduct and hello to the tunnel.

Joe was on the Specialized Turbo, another bike that serves its purpose. I was like the gear barge and he was the scout ship. As with any metro area, there’s no parking and it’s gridlocked.

With the GSD, I got shit done, literally.

The Tern GSD in the new SR 99 tunnel just before the Cascade ride. We rode through first to get ahead of the crowd and then took their photos. You can demo the GSD this weekend in Seattle and read the story on our blog.

Hundreds of Pounds Carried

At this start of this time-lapse from the Cascade ride, you can see me and Joe. The GSD carried a hundred pounds of gear plus me, from West Seattle to downtown, and back.

The best part is I barely put a dent in the battery life. You can demo a GSD and consider what you’ll get done with it too.

The Seattle Bike and Outdoor Show is at the CenturyLink Field Event Center and runs from both Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5. They’ll have a test track. I can’t promise there’s camera gear for you to carry, but you’ll get the idea of how capable Tern’s cargo bike is.

 

 

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Man suffers serious injuries in collision with skateboarder on Springwater Corridor path

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:08

View from Oaks Bottom path where it meets with the Springwater. Photo is from 2015 right after wands and striping were installed. Nguyen was coming from the left on the other side of this tunnel.

We regret to inform you about another situation where someone suffered serious injuries at a location with a known history for posing hazards to bicycle riders.

On January 29th just before noon, Hien Nguyen was biking northbound on the Springwater Corridor path. As he rolled downhill toward the intersection where another path intersects with the Springwater (about 1.8 miles south of the path entrance at SE Ivon Street, below the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge trailhead parking lot), Nguyen says a woman on a skateboard “appeared out of nowhere directly toward my path.” Nguyen didn’t hit the woman, but he ran over her skateboard, flew over the handlebars and landed head first on the pavement.

“Parks & Recreation will look into any further possible safety improvements.”
— Mark Ross, PP&R public information officer

Nguyen lost consciousness, suffered a concussion, received multiple abrasions on his face and bruises over much of his body. He was rushed to a local hospital for an MRI and released after a few hours. “The doctors said without the helmet, my injuries could be life threatening,” he shared with me via email.

The woman on the skateboard was coasting prior to the collision and Nguyen claims she didn’t stop at all at the stop sign.

Back in January 2015, following a similar incident at this same location, the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau set out to improve safety where these two paths intersect. By the end of April they’d installed new pavement markings and plastic delineator wands, along with a stop sign facing Oaks Bottom path users.

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Time for a roundabout?
(Graphic: Paikiala)

Before Parks installed those path safety updates, we shared an idea from a BikePortland commenter who thought a mini-roundabout would be a much more effective solution. Others pushed for convex mirrors to aid visibility.

It’s impossible to prevent all collisions from happening, but I wonder if more could be done in this location. Parks’ Public Information Officer Mark Ross said staff are aware of Nguyen’s incident. A Parks safety manager has been in touch with Nguyen and they’ve scheduled a site visit to make sure all the new safety signage is still in place. Ross also says the agency, “Will look into any further possible safety improvements.” “However it is notable,” added Ross, “That the skateboarder ignored a stop sign at high speed. People simply must act with others in mind when utilizing multi-use paths and trails. It’s common sense, for everyone’s safety.”

For Nguyen, the collision has profoundly shaken his confidence. “I’m an experienced and cautious rider with ten of thousands of accident-free miles over the years,” he says. “And here I was, riding on one of the safest trails when it happened.” Nguyen thinks a speed bump on the Oaks Bottom path and more warning signs might help.

Do you ride this section of the path? Do you think more should be done to improve safety?

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

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Touting list of benefits, ODOT releases I-5 Rose Quarter project environmental assessment

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:54

As expected, the Oregon Department of Transportation released the Environmental Assessment for the I-5 Rose Quarter Project today. Now the clock starts ticking on the 45-day comment period.

The Assessment is very lengthy and technical. It’s easy to understand why PBOT Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, the Audubon Society of Portland, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, No More Freeways, and dozens of other groups requested more time to analyze the documents and prepare their feedback.

We’ll be taking a closer look at the Assessment, particularly its findings on the project’s impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, traffic volumes, and so on. Another valuable things this EA document provides is a clear look at the bicycling infrastructure elements of the project (something we’re overdue on sharing in detail here on the front page).

Routes are various segments of I-5 between I-84 and the Fremont Bridge.

A few things of note that I found in a quick scan is that ODOT claims that if they build the project GHG will actually go down (versus current conditions). They also promise that the new lanes will come with an increase in speeds and substantial time savings for I-5 users. “The build alternative is a safety improvement project that would not substantially improve highway capacity and would not be expected to induce growth or create other effects that would cause indirect impacts,” states the Climate Change Technical Report (on page 34).

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Also of note is the Executive Summary where ODOT addresses “anticipated adverse impacts” of the project. Where I think many transportation reform-minded readers would consider the expansion of an urban freeway and the improvements to driving access that comes with it to present obvious adverse impacts (by encouraging the use of the most inefficient and destructive form of transportation available), in their answer to this question ODOT only lists negative impacts that would occur during construction.

Here’s a summary of the main findings as provided in a statement by ODOT:

Improved safety for all transportation modes – New crossings over I-5, protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, improved striping and upgraded signals would mean safer local streets and new connections for everyone. On I-5, new shoulders would give disabled vehicles a way to get out of travel lanes and new ramp-to-ramp connections will mean less stop and go traffic, less emergency braking and more time and space for drivers to merge, which will reduce frequent crashes and improve travel times.

Improved air quality – The assessment modeled air pollutant emissions, which found that air quality would slightly improve with the project, as compared to not building the project. The estimated reduction in emissions caused by the project would likely be due to the higher speeds and less idling on the highway and reduced congestion from the project. Building the project “is not expected to cause air quality impacts nor contribute to cumulative effects on air quality beyond temporary construction effects, which would be addressed by requiring contractors to implement a variety of mitigation measures.”

Slightly decreased carbon emissions. As with the reduction in overall air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions would slightly reduce with the project, as compared to not building the project. Emissions would be slightly better with the project due to reduced congestion and fewer starts and stops within the project area. “Because greenhouse gas emissions have been identified as a primary cause of climate change effects, any potential decrease in these emissions would be expected to support emission-reduction efforts intended to reduce future climate-related impacts,’” the assessment found.

Benefits for communities – The assessment found that the project, as proposed, would improve access to public transit; improve mobility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders; and improve connections to areas east and west of I-5 provided by the new highway covers and the Clackamas bicycle/pedestrian overcrossing.

A proposed sound wall would reduce noise levels. A sound wall, recommended for the area between I-5 and Harriet Tubman Middle School, would reduce highway noise inside the school. “This would be a beneficial reduction in noise compared to existing noise levels at the school,” the environmental assessment found.

You can view all the documents here. ODOT has also just released an online open house that will be available through April 1st. Happy reading, and let us know if you find anything interesting. We’ll be posting more here on the Front Page in the coming weeks.

In related news, the No More Freeways coalition is hosting a volunteer orientation event this coming Wednesday, February 20th. They’re looking for people to help them hand out flyers, testify, plan events, and strategize.

ODOT will host a public open house on March 7th from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Leftbank Annex (101 N Weidler) and the big public hearing will take place on March 12th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Oregon Convention Center.

Once you’re ready to comment, you can do so via email to ODOT (Attn: Megan Channell, 123 NW Flanders St., Portland Oregon 97209), by leaving a message at (503) 423-3760, or by emailing info@i5rosequarter.org.

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

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City unveils dates for 2019 Sunday Parkways events

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 17:01

Sunday Parkways is full of love.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has fittingly used the day of love to unveil the 2019 Sunday Parkways season.

As per usual, there will be five events this year and the routes will touch every quadrant except the southwest hills.

As for any new offerings this year, PBOT says they’ll have a stronger focus on walking. They’ve planned a series of walks inspired by the Parks for New Portlanders that partner with local organizations and community leaders. There will be special walking routes at four of the five events.

Here are the routes and details for this year’s events (Green Loop route not released yet):

Southeast – May 19th

Are you ready for the first event of the year?! Yes, we hear you. We are too! See you in May as we cruise along inner Southeast Portland to enjoy a delicious dose of summer time magic. This route will explore the neighborhood greenways of Ankeny, Clinton, Lincoln, Salmon, Taylor streets and more. While you’re at it, don’t forget to dance, grab a bite to eat and learn something new.

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North – June 30th

Don’t forget to bring some gold with you to this event! Just kidding, but we will be celebrating our 50th Sunday Parkways ride. This year, the June event will take place at the last Sunday of the month and will take you through a charming 9.5 mile double loop course. Every Body Rides will return and will be located at Arbor Lodge Park adjacent to the universally accessible Harper’s Playgound.

Outer Northeast – July 21st

The Outer Northeast (ONE) event has been moved to July! Yippee!! And on top of that, we have made this a shorter route, making it easier for families and friends to either bike or walk it. The third year on this route, we have even more fun for you! 2019 marks the return to Hazelwood Hydro Park and allows us to debut a new park brimming with trees – John Luby Park.

Green Loop – August 25th

We will return to the historic North Park Blocks, a green oasis downtown along with other engaging downtown and inner eastside gems for our August route. This route inspired by the Green Loop presents a bold new concept featured in the Central City 2035 Plan that envisions a linear park connecting nearly a dozen districts. This linear park will stop by countless cultural hot spots like the Portland Art Museum, North Blocks and the Rose Quarter. It’ll be a playground for all ages.

Northeast – September 22nd

All good parties must come to an end, but we intend to have fun up until the end! That’s why we will end the year with an exploration of the Northeast neighborhood greenways on this 8-mile loop. While sweeping by on your wheels or heels, make sure to enjoy the walking/biking boulevard of Ainsworth along with the neighborhood greenways of Going street, Holman street and Alberta Court. It’s the final event of the season, you won’t want to miss it!

Stay updated by following Sunday Parkways on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: A commenter pointed out that Milwaukie is doing their own “Car(e)free Sunday” event this year on August 4th. Get down there and check it out!

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

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Trail Alert: Burke-Gilman Trail detour along Seaview

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 16:29

Approximate work area. Image from Google Street View.

Work is starting on a Seattle Public Utilities project that will detour the Burke-Gilman Trail along a stretch of Seaview Ave NW in Ballard so crews can stage equipment.

Unfortunately, the detour plans currently say that people biking will be “encouraged to walk their bikes through the detour,” which should last a month.

Details from SPU:

Construction equipment for Seattle Public Utilities’ Pump Station 43 Emergency Sewer Force Main Replacement project will impact the 5500 block of Seaview Avenue Northwest and the Burke-Gilman Trail in Ballard as early as Feb. 14, 2019. A contractor will be drilling a new sewer force main underneath the waterway from Ballard to Magnolia, and the large drilling equipment will block portions of the trail and roadway.

  • Approximately 200 feet of the southbound lane of Seaview Avenue Northwest near the 5500 block will be closed. Two-way traffic will be maintained via an electronic traffic signal in the northbound lane.
  • The Burke-Gilman Trail will be detoured to the north side of Seaview Avenue Northwest. There will be an electronic signal for bicyclists and pedestrians to push when crossing the street. Bicyclists will be encouraged to walk their bikes through the detour.

These impacts are estimated to last approximately one month.

New Steel Bridge Skatepark would create plaza destination in Old Town

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 14:14

View of proposed plaza looking north from Everett Street.
(Images: DAO Architecture)

There’s a renewed effort to build an urban plaza and skatepark at the west end of the Steel Bridge. The location — a vacant lot bordered by NW Naito Parkway, 1st Avenue, and Everett — is at the intersection of several key existing and future bike routes including the upcoming Flanders Neighborhood Greenway.

Overhead view of the site (in color).

Architects and advocates from Skaters for Portland Skateparks say improved access to and through the site is a top priority.

The proposed site has been eyed by advocates since 2001 when Portland’s first skatepark was built at Pier Park in St. Johns. In the Skatepark System Plan completed by Portland Parks & Recreation in 2008, the Steel Bridge site was considered the system’s crown jewel and one of 19 locations recommended for further study (six of which have been built). In 2011, Portland-based DAO Architecture developed a plan for the site (available here) under the guidance of the City of Portland and an advisory committee.

That 2011 plan won several awards and the project was lauded as a “21st century urban plaza that is skatable” (bikable too!). According to people close the project, the idea has always been to create not just a space for skateboarding, scootering, and BMX riding, but a public space that would be a major riverfront destination in a location that sorely needs more attention. Unfortunately two previous attempts to break ground on the plaza fell through: the first time due to politics, the second time due to the recession in 2010.

Now with renewed interest in Old Town development and momentum around infrastructure projects adjacent to the site, advocates feel like the time is right for another push. Joining DAO Architects and Skaters for Portland Skateparks is NW Skate Coalition and members of the Old Town Community Association (OTCA). Howard Weiner, owner of Cal Skate and former chair of the OTCA, attended a meeting to discuss the project yesterday. There’s also a new “Build the Portland Steel Bridge Skatepark” Facebook page.

Working in favor of the skatepark is broad community support and two Portland Bureau of Transportation projects: the Flanders Neighborhood Greenway and Central City in Motion Project #7.

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“There was always a push to build the jewel of our system… we have an opportunity, and I think we should pursue it.”
— Howard Weiner, Cal Skate

The Flanders bikeway is meant to connect NW 24th and Waterfront Park. Currently, Flanders comes to a dead-end at the proposed site of the skatepark. How will it cross the lot and Naito to get to the park? PBOT has tried for many years to get a new crossing between the Waterfront Park paths near the Steel Bridge and 1st Avenue, but Union Pacific Railroad and ODOT’s Rail Division have made progress very difficult. A plan we shared in 2015 showed that PBOT wants the crossing to go at the north end of the skatepark site. Money and the final design for that crossing hasn’t materialized, but with the Flanders Greenway officially starting last October, PBOT has renewed urgency to make it happen. However it remains unclear in current plans where the crossing would go. A request to PBOT for comment has not been returned.

The Central City in Motion plan adopted by council in November also has implications for the skatepark site. Project #7 will reconfigure NW Everett to include an enhanced bus lane and — most importantly — would decommission the existing on-ramp that goes through the skatepark site. Removal of that ramp was listed as the top action for progress in the 2011 DAO plan.

While momentum has ramped up, challenges remain. The price tag, at one time thought to be around $8 million, means advocates will have to seek private funding — especially given the current budget deficit at the Parks Bureau. And while the location is ideal in some ways — Tom Miller, founder of Skaters for Portland Skateparks said, “From a transportation perspective it’s perfect” — it also suffers from a complicated web of jurisdictional boundaries. PBOT manages the city streets, Parks is in charge of the riverfront paths, and ODOT owns the ramps on and off of the Steel Bridge (and their Region 1 headquarters overlooks the site).

“I’m really rooting for this! I think we are ready for a community focused public project that invests in our future and creates something beautiful for future generations.”— Catherine Odell, Saturdary Market vendor and NW Skate Coalition board member

For Old Town Community Association member Ryan Hashagen, those challenges can be overcome. “The time is right to get it done,” he shared today. Hashagen says the ad hoc group working on the project thinks a good chunk of funding could come from Prosper Portland, the city’s development commission. As detailed in The Oregonian last fall, a major Old Town/Chinatown redevelopment plan passed under former Mayor Charlies Hales still has $50 million in allocated funds that have yet to be spent. Citing its ability to activate public space and add connectivity to the neighborhood, Hashagen said, “The skatepark ticks several boxes that make it compete well for funding through the Old Town Action Plan.”

Howard Weiner, owner of Cal Skate skateboard shop in Old Town/Chinatown, said he’s excited the project is getting a new look. Nearly a decade after the recession killed the project, Weiner said Portland has grown and is in a much different place. “There was always a push to build the jewel of our system,” he shared on the phone with me today. “And with skateboarding coming to the Olympics in 2020 and the future of the Burnside Skatepark uncertain [due to a major seismic retrofit project], we have an opportunity, and I think we should pursue it.”

Catherine Odell owns a business that has a vending space at the nearby Saturday Market. She’s also a board member of the NW Skate Coaltion. “I’m really rooting for this,” she shared with me via email today. “Not only does it activate an unused space, it creates a natural flow between classic Portland attractions like the Saturday Market and the Chinese Garden, as well as creating the perfect link to crossing to the East Side and landing in the heart of Rip City!”

Odell thinks the new plaza and skatepark would make Portland proud of itself again. Why now? “Portland has undergone a lot of change, and a lot of that growth has placed more barriers between us. I think we are ready for a community focused public project like this one, that invests in our future and creates something beautiful for future generations.”

For more on the project, peruse the 2011 study (funded by the City of Portland) and follow SkatePortland.org. In related skatepark news, don’t miss the Disposable Youth photo show at See See Motorcycles (1642 NE Sandy) featuring the work of Dean Dickinson on March 2nd where half of photo sales will benefit the Powell Park Skatepark.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Mini Bike Winter, live storytelling, slough ramble, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:35


You never know what — or who — will show up to the Mini Bike Winter Chariot Wars. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s almost time for the weekend and we’ve got some event picks for you.

Looks like it’ll be wet and who knows what else, so make sure you double-check any rides/events you plan to attend to make sure they’re still happening.

Have fun out there!

Friday, February 15th

Flat Fix Clinic – 12:00 pm at PSU Bike Hub (SW)
Been meaning to learn how to fix your own flat and gain basic bike repair skills? The friendly folks at Portland State University’s awesome bike shop can help with that. More info here.

We have an opening for a sponsor of the Weekend Event Guide and the BP Calendar.
It’s a great opportunity! Contact us for info.

Mini Bike Winter – 2:00 pm at The Watershed (SE)
Zoobomb’s annual MBW kicks off with a craft-making session followed by the Torch Ride later tonight (9:00 pm) led by Dropout Bike Club. More info here.

Love in Motion Live Storytelling – 7:00 pm at Alberta Abbey (N)
9th annual event to benefit The Street Trust will feature four Portlanders who will tell their best bike stories on-stage. More info here.

Saturday, February 16th

First Timer’s Ride – 10:00 am at River City Bicycles (SE)
Join the friendly crew at RCB for a 5-8 mile neighborhood jaunt that will be perfect if you’re just starting out or want to meet others who love live on two wheels. More info here.

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Slough Country Ramble – 11:00 am at Cafe Eleven (NE)
Join the inimitable Shawn Grant of Urban Adventure League for a socially-paced excursion that will uncover the oft-hidden wonders of the paths and bikeways along the Columbia Slough. More info here.

Mini Bike Winter Chariot Wars – 2:00 pm at The Watershed (SE)
The most dramatic and iconic event of MBW where two-person teams ride wheeled chariots of death and only the strong survive. More info here.

Sunday, February 17th

Larson’s Bakery Ride – 10:00 am at NE 96th and Sandy
Portland Wheelmen (and Women) Touring Club ride leader Bud Rice will lead the group on a 28-mile paved road route at a moderate pace. 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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Video claims protestors are to blame in collision with truck driver

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 13:36

Still from dashcam video of a collision on SW 4th Avenue on October 31st, 2018. Watch the video below.

Back in October we shared the story of Mark Dickerson, the man arrested for allegedly driving his truck through a crowd of protestors on SW 4th Avenue. Now his wife Janelle Dickerson is distributing a video that shows the protestors violating several laws. She says one man purposely walked in front of the truck and is now trying to “scam” their family via insurance fraud.

Prior to the collision, family and supporters of Patrick Kimmons, who was fatally shot by a Portland Police Officer, were standing in the street outside the Multnomah County Courthouse. Mark Dickerson, 55, was on his way to an appointment at the Courthouse. As he drove his truck northbound on 4th a group of people were standing in the street holding signs at the intersection of 4th and Main.

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When the light turned green Dickerson drove through the intersection (his wife says he was going about 7 mph which, a speed that, “gave him permission to drive safely through the crowd”) and didn’t stop for people that were still standing in the street in front of him. He drove his large truck forward and the crowd parted. As he passed, one of the protestors pounded on the hood of his truck. Another protestor (in the lead photo), seems to have purposely walked into the path of Dickerson’s truck and was struck. The man who was on foot was not seriously injured. Dickerson eventually found a parking spot and was later found by police and arrested on charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree, Reckless Endangering, and Reckless Driving.

Yesterday we were contacted by Janelle Dickerson. She shared the video above and said, “Here’s what happened via his dashcam.” As you can see when you watch the video, Dickerson claims the protestors “attacked” the truck and violated several laws while doing so.

Now Mrs. Dickerson wants to the people in the video to be “exposed” for what she says is attempted insurance fraud. According to Dickerson, her husband has received death threats, faces a year in jail, is the subject of a civil lawsuit, has been slandered by the media and has racked up $5,000 in legal fees, “All because he was trying to park.”

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

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The Seattle Bike & Outdoor Show is this weekend at CenturyLink Field Event Center

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:09

The Seattle Bike & Outdoor Show is this weekend. So if you want to check out the latest wares or test ride some new bikes, head down to CenturyLink Field Event Center in Pioneer Square 9–6 Saturday or 9–5 Sunday.

The show is $12 (12 and under are free), though you can get a $3 discount if you use the promo code BIKE when buying tickets online.

The show is the latest form of what used to be Cascade Bicycle Club’s Seattle Bike Expo, which the club ended in 2014. The show has changed management since and combined the bikes with other outdoor equipment. Snow and slush won’t cancel the show.

More details from the show promoters:

It may feel like the season for winter recreation outdoors, but inside the CenturyLink Field Event Center, more than 25 bike manufacturers and over 75 bike and outdoor-recreation exhibitors are gearing up for the bike sale of the year — the 2019 Seattle Bike & Outdoor Show, taking place THIS WEEKEND!

This year’s show features the most bikes and the most manufacturers we’ve ever packed onto the show floor — and there’s no way we’re letting a little (or, OK, a lot of) rain or snow keep us from taking advantage of these terrific deals on bikes, bike accessories and more! Get out of the house and make plans to kick off the spring biking season with us!

Don’t miss the biggest bike sale of the year and the opportunity to speak with the experts themselves! For a complete list of hours, ticket prices, exhibitors and activities, visit www.SeattleBikeShow.com  and mention “BIKE” when purchasing your ticket online for a $3 discount.

The Most Snow Seattle Has Seen in the Past 75 years

Bike Hugger - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 17:01

Occasionally, I’ll dabble in drone photography. When the situation calls for it, like the most snow Seattle has seen in the past 75 years. This is the approximate view from above Schmitz Park looking out at Alki Point. In the distance, Bainbridge Island and beyond that the Olympic Mountains.

Cyclists are like the postal service, they’ll ride in anything and I’m sure they were out. As I was writing this post, I saw a flash of green and yup, a bike went sliding by. To get down the hill, he hobby horsed it. That’s when you’ve got booth feet off the pedals and sliding on the ground. I don’t know how the rest of his ride turned out, but our hill he cleared.

Snow Day 5, this guy goes down the hill.

Good for him. I’m gonna wait another day. 3 more inches of snowfall is expected and we’re ready for it. Regarding the cold, read this from Issue 30 of our magazine

Indoctrination into serious road riding and racing happens by degrees, much like peeling layers from an onion. But there comes a point when cycling ceases to be an expression of the best of times. We experience the same transition in romantic relationships. At first, we date. Our most hallowed hours of the weekend are saved for the object of our affection, but soon, we can’t get enough of our heart’s desire and we begin to spend as much time as possible with them. For romantic partners, that means trips to the grocery store together and cleaning house. For cyclists, it means riding in the cold.

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Get to know your community through ‘Love in Motion’ live storytelling event

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 12:16

This Friday February 15th, The Street Trust will host “Love in Motion,” their ninth annual live storytelling event.

The event was created in 2010 by Sugar Wheel Works owner Jude Gerace when she wanted to have a big one-year anniversary party for her business (known as Epic Wheel Works before Specialized Bicycle Company forced her to change the name) and decided to invite friends to tell stories on-stage with all the ticket proceeds to benefit The Street Trust’s safe routes to school programs. The event was a smash hit and it’s been growing ever since.

On Friday, Gerace and fellow business owner Leah Benson of Gladys Bikes will be emcees for the festivities that will include great food, drinks, and a big prize raffle.

Along with The Street Trust, Gerace and Benson have selected four Portlanders to share, “funny, poignant, and heartfelt stories that stoke our transportation revolution.” They bill the evening as, “Our valentine to people who walk, bike and ride transit.”

Here are the four storytellers and a brief bio (supplied by The Street Trust):

Adnan Kadir

Adnan has been riding bikes since the age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since. He spent a year cutting his teeth racing in Europe. He won a few, lost a few, and eventually became a USAC Level 1 Cycling Coach. He is one of the founders of VeloPro – the world’s first dynamic and adaptive cycling training software system. Adnan also runs an annual cycling experience for enthusiasts in Marin County, California every May. Cycling has been his longest relationship and he is inspired by the people that he encounters who still love riding as much at age 83 as they did when they were 23.

Adnan’s cycling ambitions continue to change as he evolves, and his latest passion is to ride bikes for fun in as many different places as he can around the world with his wife. Happily, his work allows him the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. His most recent travels have been to Thailand, Tuscany and Puglia, Provence, and Girona, Spain.

Eva Frazier

Born and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, Eva came west for college. She fell in love and never looked back. After graduating from Whitman College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art, she had many unmarketable skills which led to jobs as wide-ranging as women’s lacrosse coach, greenhouse gardener, and project assistant to a mildly famous artist. Fast forward to today, where she is now a 13-year veteran of the retail bike industry, holding various positions from sales to mechanic to purchasing. A love of people, numbers, and problem-solving solidified her role at Clever Cycles and in 2014 she became co-owner and chief cat herder.

Knowing and riding every bicycle in the shop is part of the job. Like that cup of coffee first thing in the morning, riding has become a most delicious and addictive habit. Staying fit by riding to work and the grocery store is icing on the cake. Her ideal future has more density, more equality, and a lot fewer cars. When she’s not on a bike or traveling, she’s probably fixing something around the house, tending the garden, or binge-watching English period dramas with her wife and Isabel the cat.

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Alberto Moreno

Alberto is the Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services for the Department of Human Services. He is also the founding Executive Director for the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, an Oregon nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the health disparities facing Latinos in Oregon. Alberto led a ten-year campaign to make prenatal care a human right for all women in Oregon. As a result, all women in Oregon now have access to prenatal care, regardless of documentation.

Alberto also founded the Oregon Community Health Workers Association and has informed state policy, which supports this vital workforce including establishment of the Oregon Commission for Traditional Health Workers in Oregon.

When not at work, Alberto is a culturally reflective poet with a passion for photography. He sees beauty in all of its forms, from the picturesque St. John’s Bridge to the wonders of Death Valley. Originally from Mexico, Alberto is a recovering boxer from Chicago, who rock climbs and loves to ride motorcycles and his 60-year-old vintage bike in his spare time.

Steph Routh

Steph Routh is the director of the Portland Underground Grad School, and principal of the consulting firm Steph Routh & Team, LLC. As the first Executive Director of Oregon Walks, Steph cultivated legislative and program agendas that centered disability rights, aging with dignity, access to transit, and racial equity. She did this with a smile on her face and, in 2010, earned the Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award from the National Alliance for Biking and Walking. Steph is also a past recipient of The Street Trust’s “Alice” Award.

Steph is the co-founder of the Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This? podcast—an exploration of the relationship between justice and the built environment—and a recent graduate of the Emerge Oregon program, which recruits and trains progressive women to achieve public office

Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 at the door. Purchase them online and learn more about the event here.

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

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Route advisory: Road construction in South Waterfront will lead to Tilikum Crossing path closures

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:49

Workers on future SW Bond with Tilikum Bridge in the background.
(Photo: PBOT)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just announced a ten-day closure of the paths on the Tilikum Crossing Bridge between mid-April and the first week of May.

The closures are needed as part of their SW Bond Avenue Extension project, which will build a new road below the Marquam and Tilikum Bridges.

Here are the details about the upcoming Tilikum Crossing Bridge path closures:

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While utility installation proceeds through the end of winter, the contractor will begin pouring curb, gutter and sidewalk. Notably, from April 15 through May 8, the contractor will connect Bond Avenue to Porter Street (the west end of Tilikum Crossing). This will require temporary closures of the multi-use paths on Tilikum Crossing – one at a time. The current schedule calls for the north side path to be closed for ten days, from April 15 through 28; the south side path for seven days, from April 29 through May 8. This will mean two-way pedestrian and bicycle travel on one side of the bridge for the duration. In addition, some night work will be necessary to avoid or reduce transit disruptions. PBOT and Goodfellow Brothers, Inc. are working closely with TriMet on these closures and will provide additional details as the dates approach. Substantial completion of the Bond Avenue Extension is anticipated in July.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project, contact PBOT Project Manager Steve Szigethy at steve.szigethy@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-5117.

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

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Welcome to gravel-in-the-bike-lanes season

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:17

Hello again gravel.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Fresh off leaves-in-the-bike-lanes season, it’s time to gird yourself for gravel-in-the-bike-lanes season.

With the big winter storm last week, Portland Bureau of Transportation crews were out in force laying down gravel to prevent roads from becoming too slick from ice. That’s all fine and good when you need the traction for driving; but the gravel that’s left behind is an annoyance and hazard for bicycle riders. Gravel can cause riders to slip out, it can damage bike frames and other components, and it hastens the erosion of colored pavement and striping many bicycle riders rely on for “protection”.

It seems like we grapple with this issue every year. 2017 was especially bad.

This year we have reasons to be a bit more optimistic about how PBOT will deal with it. For the first time I can remember, they actually publicly addressed it before us or someone else in the community complained about it. In a tweet yesterday, PBOT announced that they’d already swept bike lanes in key bicycle arterials including: Greeley, Interstate, Rosa Parks (lead photo shows that they didn’t quite get all of it however), the Denver overpass, Schmeer Rd (Columbia Slough), Moda Transit Center, and the Broadway/Williams corridor.

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“We prioritize bike lanes on major arterials,” PBOT announced, but then added, “Cleanup is slow. Our sweepers travel at 3 mph to pick up gravel, a fraction of the speed from when we lay it down. Please be patient as we work.”

Yes. Hopefully everyone’s patient — including people in cars when bicycle riders need to move away from the shoulder or out of the bike lane because of gravel, flooding or other hazards.

Speaking of flooding… Things are pretty brutal out there right now. So much water! I posted a photo of a flooded bike lane on Instagram and asked how folks were coping. The responses are cracking me up:

Hang in there. And please let us know what the conditions are like where you are. If you need to report a hazard or other road issue to PBOT, use 503-823-1700 or email PDXroads@portlandoregon.gov.

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

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Event will celebrate Kevin Neidorf’s ‘extraordinary life’

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:00

Friends and family of Kevin Neidorf will host a celebration of his life on Sunday, February 24th.

Kevin died while kayaking Hood River last month. He was 28 years old.

Kevin had a wide circle of friends in the Portland area, owing to his many adventures, his work as a filmmaker, and as a beloved friend and employee of River City Bicycles.

The celebration of his life will take place at 4:00 pm in Eliot Chapel at the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland (1011 SW 12th Ave). Everyone is welcome.

Here’s the message included in the invite:

Please join us to share stories about Kevin’s extraordinary life and the many ways he touched the lives of all who knew him. Kevin’s passion for new adventures and commitment to continually challenging himself was matched by his generous spirit toward others. He pushed people to love life and see their limitless potential. That is how Kevin lived.

The Street Trust is one of several local nonprofits who are accepting donations as a way to remember Kevin’s work in our community.

More details about the memorial event can be found here. If you have questions, contact River City Bicycles employee Vince Rodarte at vincer@rivercitybicycles.com.

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

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How to throw a winter bike-to-school party

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 09:07

Pretty great turnout for a near-freezing morning in February!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

It may not feel like it right now, but spring is right around the corner, and not long after that comes Bike to School Day (May 8th). Why not throw an “off-season” bike-to-school party to celebrate the winter bikers, walkers, and rollers, and build excitement for those better days on the horizon?

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

At Woodstock Elementary, we just threw a party, very much like our October Walk to School Day Party. My co-conspirator Carolyn and I chose our date to fall close to the Worst Day of the Year Ride, which seemed like a terrific idea on a balmy Wednesday two months ago, though I admit I went into the morning a little anxious about making people hang out in the 29-degree cold for 20 minutes before the schoolday started. (Spoiler alert: it was fine!)

We met at the tree-sheltered picnic tables in Woodstock Park (adjacent to our school) and then had two parades. First, the walkers (about 20 people and two dogs) led by a student leader from the school’s new Sustainability Committee, and then the 37 or so bikers. With no street to cross and the school building 0.23 miles away and within sight of the party, it still feels like a parade, but it’s as easy as can be. Even meeting in a school playground and then parading the long way around the building to the front door would make for a terrific party/parade.

Short and sweet parade routes.

Full disclosure: our school was awarded a grant from Metro’s Regional Travel Options program (thanks, Metro!) and before that we had snack money from the PTA for Walk to School Day. We’re saving most of our grant funds for big things coming up so this was quite the affordable party and worth replicating.

Prizes
I still had a lot of free PBOT Walk + Roll Day prizes left over — partially because in October I had prizes laid out for kids to choose from and the stickers, temporary tattoos, and unsharpened pencils (I think I’ll sharpen them before our next party) weren’t as enticing as the emoji keychains, bike lights, and sunglasses. So this time I made prize packs by stuffing a bag with a sticker, temporary tattoo, pencil, and bookmark. Any — not just bike-specific — stickers, temporary tattoos, and pencils make great, cheap prizes.

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Snacks
Can’t have a party without snacks! Again, I had leftover items from our October party: goldfish crackers and fruit chews. But I wanted to supplement that with some more breakfasty items: doughnut holes in powdered and old fashioned (those went fast!), bananas cut into thirds (no one ate those so I left them for the school staff, lesson learned), apple cinnamon fig bars (a vegan option), and hot chocolate (actually, hot chocolate almond milk, also vegan). I strayed a bit out of the neighborhood, but still well within biking distance, to get our snacks at Grocery Outlet.
Note: I happen to have an Oregon food handlers card and this event wasn’t at school so I didn’t worry about breaking any PPS food rules. However, packaged non-perishable snacks last from event to event and never require a food handlers card, so I’d recommend you balance those with any fruit other than bananas.

Activity
Back in October I learned that hanging out for 20 minutes doesn’t make for a party so I added a couple activities this time:

A poster to add reasons kids like walking/biking/rolling.

Stamp station to make bookmarks, including bike stamp that will get use for years to come. (The stamps were from biking-distance-away JOANN Fabric and Craft Store in Eastport Plaza.)

Sidewalk chalk…but the other stuff was so fun no one decorated the ground this time.

Music
I have a little bike speaker and spend much too much time stressing about the perfect music for these kid parties. This party’s decision was made for me when a commuter breezed past us a week ago blasting reggae from his bike. What a great winter pick-me-up! I settled on the a playlist called “Reggae BBQ” and I’d like to think October’s “Good Morning, Tweens” playlist was a winner, too, and I’ll use it again in the future.

Extras
There’s nothing so sad as a kid who feels left out! Kids approach me at school to let me know they missed out on their Bike Month or Walk to School Day Prizes so now I’ve got a small supply of the sticker/tattoo/pencil/bookmark bags in the office kids can ask for.

Advertise
Let’s back up and talk how to promote your event; because who wants to hang out 20 minutes in the cold all alone before a lonely parade of one?

Newsletters. Our school has two weekly newsletters, one from the principal and one from the PTA. I put events in each of these for a few weeks leading up. Some schools also have newsletters for each classroom sent by a volunteer parent room rep.

Friday Morning Meeting. All students crowd into the gym each Friday at the start of the school day and parents are welcome to stay for the 15-minute meeting. I have yet to recruit helpers to perform a Bike to School skit (but I will!) so for now I just announce our events a couple weeks leading up. If your school doesn’t have this sort of meeting, ask if you can come make an announcement to the students during their lunch periods.

Sidewalk chalk announcements. The weather wasn’t conducive this time, but I love writing event details at every entrance to the school, sure to draw eyes. Recruit a student group to help with this (our Student Leaders make great chalk signs!).

Posters. I can use the black-and-white staff copier so I created and printed a simple flyer at home and printed 10 copies to hang around school. And to make up for the rain-soaked chalk surfaces, I also made a big poster to hang by the bike rack, with eye-catching balloons.

Word of mouth. I ask parents at the bike rack if they’ve heard about the event a week in advance and most haven’t so word of mouth is a great way to reach folks, especially if they’re folks already walking and biking and/or arriving to school early.

Internet. Many schools have Facebook pages, but some of these events should be open to the community at large (our future events will) so we’ll post to neighborhood Facebook groups, NextDoor, and add to online community calendars.

Translation services. Can you reach more families if you share your event in multiple languages? Our school has a Mandarin Immersion program and a Spanish-speaking population.

Will you throw a party at your school? Do you have ideas for prizes, snacks, party activities, or music to share? I’d love more ideas. Thanks for reading!

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

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Electric Lady’s Alex Kostelnik on why he’s closing the Central District e-bike shop

Seattle Bike Blog - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 17:02

Kostelnik celebrates opening Electric Lady in spring 2016.

Alex Kostelnik is getting out of the e-bike showroom business. After nearly three years on the front lines of a volatile e-bike industry, selling shiny new bikes out of the Central District’s Electric Lady, he finds himself looking longingly up E Union Street where, just two blocks away, his first shop 20/20 Cycle is still grinding away to keep the neighborhood rolling.

“I’ll sit on the bench in front of 20/20, and within ten minutes I’m sharing a cookie with a neighbor and petting their dog, and they sat down to join us, and they’re going to be late to wherever they were going,” said Kostelnik during a long interview on the shop floor of his soon-to-be-closed shop at 23rd and Union. “That’s what I thought I would be doing with e-bikes, but it turns out the bike industry would have none of that. Which is too bad because I would argue that my system is actually a prescription for health for the e-bike industry, and that they are absolutely missing the boat in terms of investing in actual community.”

Founded in 2016 and staffed in recent years by Anthony Beauchemin and Lee Corbin, Electric Lady (a Seattle Bike Blog sponsor) is putting its stock of e-bikes and cargo bikes on sale and will close its doors in the coming months. Their retail space is already listed online.

Kostelnik says the business is doing well financially, but he is not enjoying the work needed to navigate what he sees as an unreliable industry where companies start up, go under, fire staff and get bought constantly. And Kostelnik’s proudly anti-corporate mentality was destined to butt heads with major players in the bike industry.

So with the used-bike-focused 20/20 Cycle up the street waiting for him to return, he is getting out. 20/20 will still sell some e-bikes, but they won’t have a showroom full of them ready to test ride.

“The bike industry is insane, in constant flux, does not know its ass from its elbow, is throwing so many spaghetti noodles at the wall to see what sticks that you’re in a room full of noodles that are sticking all over the place,” he said. “The cutting edge of the bike industry is about as sharp as a butter knife. They don’t know what they’re doing and it’s random insanity.”

He also had trouble connecting with a customer base that is very different than the customers at 20/20.

“The genesis of Electric Lady was to bring a vision of electric cycling to Seattle through my experience and my expertise and to deliver that to people, and that has worked about 30 percent of the time. The other 70 percent of people are endlessly lost in user groups and social media. They’re first time riders, but they’re not first time riders that are stepping up to the plate to hear about the community or join the community. They’re sort of strange outsider, know-it-all lonely people who aren’t really part of our community, and I don’t know where to begin with them.” The shop was open during this conversation, but the customer test riding bikes must have been part of the 30 percent because she seemed amused by Kostelnik’s trademark unfiltered candor.

“So basically, I’m just using so much energy to try to present the world of e-biking to my customers that I want to, and most of that energy is going into just trying to create status quo, and for how I see fit to do things, that’s just using up my energy. And we decided that a better way to serve our customers is to cut that overhead and be more direct with people and for our community who already get a lot of it. People who are commuting because they really well need to. That’s my people.”

Ultimately, it was “a delicious concoction that includes burnout as one of its spices” that led Kostelnik to realize he would be happier if the shop just closed. Plus he wants time to build a treehouse with his kid, he said.

He is not looking to sell because the shop is so close to 20/20, so closing the doors is the only option.

“We make money. It’s been a success. We have a beautiful shop. It’s a profitable business. I did all the heavy lifting. The non-union grocery store is coming soon across the street. The super-gentrified 30,000 square feet of retail is coming on the other side of the street. We’re poised, literally poised, for our golden year, and I’m out. Because what I didn’t factor into my business plan was me. I factored in the demographic and everything else, it was me. I ended up just endlessly being in these battles, and friends of mine would say, ‘Man, you look tired.’

“There is only so much time in the day, and I just choose not to spend it going, ‘No. What? No. Why? No. Why won’t you do that for my customer? This is entirely fair. Send that part.’ And then after like eight calls, they send the part.

The bike industry at large is going through some very tough times, and e-bikes represent a growing source of sales and profit. But selling and servicing them can be a challenge when companies boom and bust, leaving bikes on the streets without a source for replacement parts. And with many makers going with a direct-to-customers sales model, it’s hard for major traditional bike retailers to stay afloat. The major industry trade show Interbike has been cancelled, which is a pretty clear omen of how things are going for the industry at large. Performance Bikes went bankrupt in November, leading to the sudden closure of more than 100 locations including in the U District, for example. And though selling direct to customers online might make the bike cheaper up front because it skips over the local retail markup, direct sales companies rely on those same shops to service their bikes. So the industry is sort of eating itself from within.

Of course, Kostelnik hasn’t shed many tears for a corporate giant like Performance. “I couldn’t be more delighted. And I’m not surprised.

“I know that bike industry. You’ve got guys with cologne in Dockers mansplaining to women about cycling who have no innovations regarding cycling whatsoever. The bike is a toy. The bike is for sports. It is none of those things, and that’s Darwin at it’s best. That’s on you, bro. That’s on you, Performance.”

He then told a story about how he used dumpster dive bikes behind the North Carolina Performance Bikes headquarters, because of course he did.

UPDATE: Kostelnik added more thoughts in the comments below:

I have learned so much. I’ll miss my little E-Bike shop- the space is lovely. The sound system is to die for. On the other hand, 20/20 Cycle is a truly special business- more than even I realized. We have a very particular, unique clientele, and we have just the shop for them- it’s punk rock, it does a huge volume of business (it always has) and we are a community like Seattle had 15 years ago- it’s a pre-gentrification fortress of joy!

Picture the building 20/20 Cycle is in: who are our neighbors? Hollow Earth Radio, Dana’s Mind & Body pilates workshop, Communi-Tea Kombucha, Cory’s Polaroid camera shop: Rare Medium- Kevin’s Central Cinema (we went to Roosevelt High School together). Heck- Cory’s wife even reads astrology upstairs.

We are arguably the most concentrated “bullion-cube-of-old-school-quality-funk-&-integrity” on the West Coast.

I really had a great run- everything technically worked at Electric Lady and I love my friends at Gazelle, Xtracycle, Grin, Bike Swift and Tern. We build a good, strong, mutual relationship. I will keep these guys- and move it up the street. (Scaled down of course!)

13-year old struck by driver and seriously injured while walking across North Fessenden

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 13:40

Intersection of Richmond and Fessenden where the collision occurred.

Last Thursday evening a young north Portland resident was hit and seriously injured while walking across Fessenden Street in St. Johns. A source tells us she suffered multiple broken bones and major lacerations to her face. The collision has added fuel to the fire of many local residents who’ve been pushing for safety updates in the area for many years.

Neighborhood advocates plan to attend a meeting of the St. Johns Neighborhood Association tonight where a staffer from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is scheduled to give an update on a project that would make upgrades to this stretch of Fessenden — such as median islands, curb extensions, narrower lanes, speed cushions, and painted crosswalks — all of which could have prevented Thursday’s collision. Advocates are also upset because a man was killed while walking across Fessenden just 11 blocks from this location in November 2017.

Last week’s collision happened to a 13-year-old girl who’s a student at George Middle School. If that rings a bell it’s because that school is adjacent to the nearby section of Columbia Blvd where a 15-year-old boy was hit by a driver and nearly killed as he walked to school in 2016. That collision led to a $2.1 million safety project that PBOT says will being construction in fall of this year.

Plans from 2013 plan showing proposed updates to Fessenden. Richmond St is on lower left.

PBOT has had plans to slow down drivers and create safer walking conditions on Fessenden since at least 2013 when they published the St. Johns Transportation Plan Development Project. That plan was ultimately folded into the St. Johns Truck Strategy Phase II. Here’s what PBOT’s current plan includes for the St. Louis/Fessenden corridor (worth nothing that the intersections one block from Richmond in both directions are slated for significant changes):

– Restriping the roadway to reduce lane widths and create buffered bike lanes.
– New median refuge islands with street trees and striped crosswalks at six locations: Kellogg Street, Smith Street, Seneca Street, Oswego Avenue [just one block east of Richmond], Allegheny Avenue and Tioga Avenue.
– New curb extensions with street trees and striped crosswalks at Burr and Midway avenues.
– Speed reader boards on both sides of the St Louis Avenue and Fessenden Street curve.
– New rapid flashing beacons at the intersections of Seneca Street and New York Avenue and at Seneca Street and Midway Avenue.
– A new HAWK signal at Charleston Avenue [one block west of Richmond].
– A reconfiguration of the New York Avenue leg of the New York Avenue and St Louis Avenue intersection to create a perpendicular alignment.

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As we reported back in October, some members of the advisory committee from that plan formed a new group to pressure PBOT to build the project. Citizens for a Safe and Attractive Fessenden, St. Louis, and Lombard, a Facebook group with 468 members, has been on high alert recently due to what they claim are several delays. Construction was first promised to begin in 2017 but ground has yet to be broken. Meanwhile, the toll of people being hit continues to pile up.

Donna Cohen is the leader of the Citizens group. “They should have already begun construction!,” she wrote on the Facebook page last week. “And now, here we are, two years after construction was to begin, with two injury accidents and one death which might have been prevented had PBOT done what it was supposed to!!”

Local resident and member of the group, Gregory Proteau, saw the aftermath of Thursday night’s collision and shared, “I got extremely angry since this keeps happening.”

Another source tells me he’s written to PBOT “on numerous occasions” about the dangerous conditions on Fessenden. “It feels like our poverty-stricken community is not as important as others in Portland,” he shared after hearing about this latest collision. “Let this be another example, and hopefully a motivator, to hear us when we ask for help.”

In a letter sent to local residents on February 4th of this year, PBOT Project Manager Rich Newlands wrote that construction will finally begin on February 18th. Newlands will present an update at the neighborhood meeting tonight (2/11, 7:00 pm at the St. Johns Community Center, 8427 N Central).

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

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The Monday Roundup: Representation matters, road diet deniers, Green New Deal, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:25

Welcome to the week.

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

Bicycle riders are dangerous in Japan: This Japan News article says bicycle riders need more insurance because there are 2,500 collisions between bicycle riders and walkers each year and in 2017 there were 299 bicycle collisions where walkers were killed or severely wounded.

Tandems and true love: Just in time for Valentine’s Day CBS News has a story about a couple that says their happy marriage of 45 years is due in large part to the 197,000 miles they’ve logged on a tandem.

Representation matters: A cycling journalist noticed something rare during a major SRAM product launch: A black woman as the lead image. Turns out SRAM is doing much-needed work to make the cycling industry less white and less male.

Micromobility conference recap: A measured and informed account of what happened at the first-ever micromobility conference where the focus was on the 90 percent of U.S. auto trips that have the potential to be made by much smaller vehicles — a move that could, “reshape American cities around vehicles that are far more suited to them.”

War on cars, sport-radio style: The latest episode of the excellent War on Cars pod imagines what streets activism would sound like on sports talk radio.

Salem’s “third bridge” debate: A big meeting in Salem today will decide the fate of a major bridge project. Officials have spent 10 years and $9 million talking and planning for the project with the debate falling on familiar lines: Supporters say it’s needed for growth and traffic relief while detractors worry about environmental harm and other impacts. The Salem Breakfast on Bikes blog has done amazing reporting on the issue.

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Green New Deal: Oregon’s House Rep. Earl Blumenauer is one of the early and ardent supporters of this high-profile initiative. So far he hasn’t said he’ll use it as a vehicle to push for bicycling infrastructure (perhaps he’s saving that announcement for the National Bike Summit in March?) and overall, transportation planning wonks say it “fails” to address land-use and sprawl (see next item).

Land use is everything: Reuters reports on the vast challenge of reducing tailpipe emissions in California (and Texas) because the impacts of car-centric, sprawling urban design far outweigh current mitigation efforts. They should look to Seattle and Minneapolis for inspiration.

Road diet deniers: A group of L.A.-based road diet haters has launched a national movement dubbed “Keep the U.S. Moving,” a name that’s very close to ODOT’s Keep Oregon Moving (the name for the current transportation funding package). Hmmmm.

Planning for who?: Noted bicycle researcher Anne Lusk makes the case that cities rely too much on feedback from wealthy white people when making decisions about where to put high quality cycling facilities.

Thanks to everyone who shared submissions this week!

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

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MacBook Air a Laptop for Cyclists

Bike Hugger - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:31

My latest for Digital Photo Pro is about the MacBook Air a laptop for cyclists. And, how photographers are able to carry more power and capacity with far less weight than ever before.

Traveling Light With Mirrorless Cameras

As I shared, “Last fall and over the winter, I flew to Paris, Austin, Maui, and back to Seattle. I carried the a9, a set of Sigma lenses, the new MacBook Air and a rugged SSD. That setup worked marvelously well. I packed the gear in a Mission Workshop bag, like the Integer.”

Mini SSD

I reviewed the Integer for our magazine last year. If you’re into compartments like I am (v. a rucksack), it’s a great bag(the Vandal is on Amazon for $325).

No Compromise Compact

Traveling light used to involve compromises but not anymore. The latest MacBook Air and a camera like the a9 or even the just launched a6400 means you’ve got more than enough of everything (from the camera and computer) to get the shoot done. And, especially when you rely on a service like iCloud to offload space-hogging documents. My travel kit with the MacBook Air is

That’s about $6K, plus or minus a hundred dollars for your choice of bag. The grand total is a couple grand less if you bought the a7 III or an older model mirrorless camera of your choice, like one of the new Panasonics, Canons, or Nikons. And, I recommend you do.

Paris 18

At 2.75 pounds and 0.61 inches thin, the MacBook Air is certainly lighter than what I used to carry with me. What you need to know is the retina screen and powerful dual cores go to work, but the fast SSD is what makes it so capable. Even for short videos, like the kind I publish.

Read the rest of the story on Digital Photo Pro where I discuss the performance, keyboard, and sound. That was what surprised me the most about the MacBook Air, the sound from the speakers filled a room and I don’t carry a Bluetooth speaker with me any longer.

Carrying less weight is what I’m always trying to do.

 

 

 

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