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Portland cargo bike maker Metrofiets calls it quits after 11 years

Bike Portland - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 19:43

Metrofiets bikes were known for a near-perfect combination of utility, ride quality, and aesthetic beauty.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Just over a decade after launching as “the Portland-made bakfiets”, the owners behind Metrofiets have decided it’s time to move on.

Phillip Ross standing in a hop farm during the Fresh Hop Century in 2016.

Our friend Phillip Ross just sent over the official announcement:

All good things come to an end. 

After 11 years of making cargo bikes, Metrofiets will cease production at the end of the month. It’s been super fun making cargo bikes for countless families and business alike. We’ve had a great run and wanted to finish on a strong note. 

For now, we will finish fulfilling existing orders; selling any additional inventory on hand and then, that’s all folks.

If you need to contact us, through the end of the month, please email info@metrofiets.com

Thanks for such an amazing journey. We couldn’t have done it without you. 

Team Metrofiets

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Metrofiets launched in 2007 just as the Dutch and cargo bike invasion was heating up in Portland. At that time the company was Ross in the sales and marketing role and his partner Jamie Nichols did the building (Nichols has since moved on). Together, the duo built an excellent product that was very well-respected.

Metrofiets distinguished itself by making custom rigs for businesses; most famously Hopworks Urban Brewery. The “Hopworksfiets” that debuted in 2009 featured a hardwood bar, beer taps, and plenty of room for kegs. It became an iconic bike that seemed to show up everywhere fun on bikes was happening. The Hopworksfiets was such a success that it allowed Metrofiets to start a beer bike rental service in 2011.

While mobile businesses were their specialty, Metrofiets were also renowned for their mix of utility and performance. Their “Suppenküche” (German for “soup kitchen”) came in at just 58 pounds and the customer who bought it (a restauranteur from Los Angeles) gave it a maiden voyage on the 200-mile Seattle-to-Portland ride. Charlie Wicker of Portland-based Trailhead Coffee Roasters once road his Metrofiets coffee bike on the entire, 7-day Cycle Oregon ride.

Pedal Powered Talk Show host Boaz Frankel in a promotional image.
(Photo: Metrofiets)

Behind Ross’ marketing talents, the company had a knack for interesting projects. Their Pedal Powered Talk Show was a novel twist on the genre. With host Boaz Frankel behind the mic and Ross behind the handlebars, the show survived for five seasons and landed guests ranging from Grimm TV show star Sasha Roiz, band Blitzen Trapper, and actor Daniel Baldwin. For one of their last shows, the crew managed to get the talk show bike to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle.

Another way Ross helped redefine what cargo bikes could do was by supplying bikes for the Fresh Hop Century. This ride (co-hosted by Base Camp Brewing) took a crew of bakfiets pilots from Portland to the Willamette Valley in search of hops that would be used to brew beer in Portland. I joined them for the 2016 edition and watched with a smile as Ross himself lined up his Metrofiets cargo bike at the end of a conveyor belt at a hop farm before pedaling the bounty back to Portland where it was loaded directly into a brewing vat. Now that was fresh!

Last year Ross moved his production facility into a shop on North Page Street that is shared with Breadwinner Cycles.

Ross says it’s bittersweet to be saying goodbye to the brand and business he has nurtured for over a decade; but he also knows the time is right to call it quits.

It was very good run and we’re proud to have shared such great memories with a quality local business.

Congrats Phil! I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of you in the bike biz.

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

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Cougar attacks 2 bikers in western Washington leaving 1 dead and 1 injured

Biking Bis - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 07:48
Mountain bikers in the Pacific Northwest have a new concern about riding in the remote Cascade foothills after news spread that a cougar attack in the forests east of Snoqualmie and North Bend left one biker dead and another injured. The Seattle Times reports it was only the second fatal mountain lion attack in the …

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 8 – Natural Bridge seems so unnatural

Biking Bis - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 05:15

We bolted from the campground without breakfast, and coasted all the way down to the town of Vesuvius. This is one of the hardest climbs on the TransAmerica Route for eastbound riders; but going westbound, we weren't even warmed up.

The guidebook says 200 people live here, but we didn't see a soul. Vesuvius is bisected by the Norfolk Western RR, and it looks like both halves were the "wrong side" of town -- everything was boarded up. We ended up at a truck stop on I-81 for breakfast, our bicycles dwarfed by the giant 18-wheelers.

We headed south down the scenic Shenandoah Valley, stopping for lunch at Lexington, home of Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. (The congestion at W&L led us to believe it was graduation weekend.) ...

1984 Tour: Day 7 – Climb a mountain, meet the Cookie Lady

Biking Bis - Sat, 05/19/2018 - 05:15

This is by far the most difficult day of the trip. We rode through rolling farmland, struggled up switchbacks to the Cookie Lady's Bike House, then discovered the Blue Ridge Parkway is not level.

This is the part of the trip we should have been training for all spring, but I don't think even that would have prepared us for this.

We enjoyed meeting the Cookie Lady, who shared some time with us. [We had no way of knowing that her helpfulness to bicycling passersby would later result in the Adventure Cycling Association's Trail Angel Award being named in her honor.] Later, however, we became distressed to learn that we had more climbing and farther to ride to reach our campground...

A closer look at the scene of a fatal crash on NW Nicolai

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 14:13

Eastbound NW Nicolai, the Kaiser driveway Feldt was leaving is right near that trash can and bicycle.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Bicycle users aren’t prohibited from the street where 50-year-old Daniel Feldt was fatally struck by the driver of an Isuzu work truck on Tuesday morning; but they certainly aren’t welcome. In fact, no one outside of a car or truck would feel very welcome in the part of the Northwest Industrial District where the collision occurred.

“He was a loving and caring person.”
— Mindy Feldt, victim’s daughter

Based on the description from police and from media photos taken at the scene of the investigation immediately after it happened, it appears Feldt was leaving the parking lot of a corporate office for Kaiser Permanente on 2850 NW Nicolai at around 8:00 am just before he was hit. I went there yesterday to absorb the scene and try to understand what might have happened (caveat: everything is speculation until the investigation and/or a report from the District Attorney’s office is complete).

On my way to the scene I got several clues about how inhospitable this part of Portland is for bicycling and walking. Yellow, “Caution: Watch for Truck Traffic” signs dot the streets leading up to and including Nicolai — even NW 24th, which is technically a “low-stress, family-friendly” neighborhood greenway. I decided way beforehand that I’d use the sidewalk once I got to Nicolai. I thought it’d be a refuge form the high speed truck traffic that dominates the streets. I was wrong. The sidewalk is in terrible shape. Overgrown vegetation, blind driveways that emerge right from industrial factories, traffic poles right in the middle that make it hard pass, torn up sections full of gravel and potholes, and wide driveways all conspired to keep me on high alert. If I could manage the sidewalk, the loud rumble and swoosh of huge trucks passing just inches away from me would occupy my nerves.

(New photo display method below. Click one for captions and gallery navigation, then hit ESC to come back to the post.)

The block of Nicolai where Feldt was hit is between NW 29th/Wardway and 27th. To give you some context, 29th is where the main bikeway route comes through. If you ride in this area you probably know the intersection of 29th and Nicolai because it’s just north of Lower Macleay Park and it’s the route you take to go north on St. Helens Road/Hwy 30/Sauvie Island from NW Thurman.

When I got there yesterday I parked my bike at the Kaiser driveway where I suspect Feldt was rolling down right before the collision. I noted the speed limit of 30 mph. Given that it’s rare anyone drives at the limit, it’s likely most people go 35-37 mph on this section of Nicolai. I was struck by just how close the trucks went by me on the narrow sidewalk. Many of the drivers were just inches from the curb. They’d have absolutely no way to stop if a person — on a bike or in a car — was to roll out of that relatively invisible driveway into the road. There’s just no room for error.

I also noticed the big center turn lane. Those lanes of frustrate me in situations like this. They take up so much precious roadway space, yet most of the time the space is unused. There’s also a strange paved sidewalk on the opposite side of Nicolai. This is where the now-defunct railroad line used to be. It also sits, mostly unused, taking up valuable right-of-way.

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Parking at Schoolhouse Electric/Ristretto Roasters coffee on Nicolai and NW 22nd.

As often happens following one of these tragedies, I heard from a concerned community member who wants to do something to prevent something like this from ever happening again. It was Sara Fritsch, the VP of Product, Brand, Marketing, Digital & Sales for Schoolhouse Electric. “I bike to work almost every day, as do many other Schoolhouse employees,” she wrote in an email. “News of this accident has us all shook up.”

With 165 employees (and 200 total in the building they renovated which includes their retail store and a coffee shop) and very little auto parking, Fritsch told me during a meeting yesterday that she’s worked hard to encourage more people to bike to work and their bike racks are often full. “Now we’re devastated to hear what happened. We’re nervous.”

Fritsch, who once lived in Amsterdam and knows what it’s like to live in a city where bikes are truly prioritized, wants to do even more to influence the Bureau of Transportation. She’s already left feedback on the Northwest In Motion project and plans to add more thoughts about Nicolai specifically. Fritsch says she doesn’t ride on Nicolai and takes a more circuitous route into work to avoid it. She’s hopeful road projects in the PBOT pipeline will reach the Schoolhouse building and she’s got her eye on the upcoming streetcar extension as an advocacy lever.

1993 Feldt family photo. Daniel Feldt is in the checkered flannel.
(Photo: Daniel E. Feldt)

If the past is any indication, we can expect to see PBOT to start paying more attention to bicycling in the northwest industrial area — now that a man has sacrificed his life to draw our attention to the problem.

Feldt was remembered by his son Daniel E. Feldt in an article published in The Oregonian yesterday: “He was into classic muscle cars, tinkering on engines and absolutely loved fishing, especially steelhead… He was a great guy. He loved his kids.”

Feldt’s daughter, Mindy Feldt, didn’t feel like sharing much when I reached out to her via Facebook today. “He was a loving and caring person,” she said.

Feldt is the first person to die while bicycling on a Portland street in 2018 and the 16th traffic fatality overall.

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

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Portland entrepreneurs (and sisters) aim to produce “The Bike Dress”

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:34

Still from promo video.

Portlanders Amber and Beth Bogdewiecz want to make biking in a dress easier. The sisters are the entrepreneurial duo behind The Bike Dress and they’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to help get their first production run off the ground.

Here’s more from their website:

“Being a couple of stylish ladies, we always have the desire to look good no matter what we’re doing. However, our passion for fashion is conflicted. We also want to be comfortable at all times since we are very active gals!

After years of wearing shorts under our dresses, searching for creative ways to carry all of our stuff, and trying to coordinate everything into a fashionable outfit, we decided it was time to create something new. And thus, The Bike Dress was born!”

Check their teaser vid below…

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The basic black dress boasts shorts underneath, invisible pockets (including a “secret pocket for valuables”) and durable fabric that wicks away moisture.

Amber and Beth’s project is a year in the making. They’ve already raised enough money to complete several prototypes and the design is all set. Their current campaign aims to raise the money needed to actually make the dresses. Last month they sent final prototypes to manufacturers and last we heard they were awaiting a quote to begin the manufacturing process.

It’s great to see this type of budding business take root in Portland. Check out their Indiegogo campaign, Instagram, or website — and be sure to lend your support if you can.

Good luck Amber and Beth! Keep us posted!

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

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PBOT proposes more robust median at N Rosa Parks and Villard

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 07:59

PBOT wants to know if you prefer a beefier median at Villard.

As paving machines and bulldozers rumble and beep along North Rosa Parks Way today as part of a repaving project that started a few weeks ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is considering a last-minute change to the project they say provides even more protection for people walking and bicycling.

At issue is the crossing of Rosa Parks at Villard, a street between Willamette Blvd and Greeley Ave. Currently there’s no marked crossing at Villard. That leaves just over 1,100 feet of this neighborhood collector street without a clear and safe place to cross.

Back in March we shared PBOT’s initial design proposal which included two zebra-striped crosswalks and median islands in the middle of the street. As a partial median, the design would do nothing to limit driving movements. Now PBOT says they have the “opportunity” to upgrade this design further by making it a full median diverter that would prohibit some turns for auto users while still allowing bicycle riders to get through.

Here’s the existing view:

The initial design:

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And once again, only larger now, the new proposal:

Earlier this week PBOT Project Manager Scott Cohen sent out an email with this proposal. We’re not sure what spurred it (I assume it was a request from the neighborhood); but here’s what Cohen wrote:

“The preferred design includes a full concrete median island in the center turn lane. The design provide increased protection for people walking and bicycling across N Rosa Parks and N Villard. The design provides more space for people walking and bicycling to wait for traffic to clear the lane to proceed across the street. A full median island will require auto traffic to only turn right both in and out of N Villard at the intersection of N Rosa Parks.

The initial design includes smaller refuge areas for people walking across N Rosa Parks. There is no designated space for people bicycling across N Villard to wait for traffic to clear a lane on Rosa Parks before crossing. The design allows full turning movements for all modes of traffic at the intersection of N Villard and N Rosa Parks, but provides less protection for people walking and bicycling.”

PBOT is urging everyone to contact Cohen with feedback and comments about the new design. He can be reached via email at scott.cohen@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-5345.

The new design provides more protection for people walking and bicycling across N Rosa Parks at N Villard. With this design, automobile traffic can only turn right into and out of N Villard. Please contact the project manager to provide comments about the new proposed design.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Velo Cult, River City Bicycles, Community Cycling Center

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 07:04

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…

–> Mechanic – Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern

–> Shipping and Receiving – River City Bicycles

–> Director of Finance – Community Cycling Center

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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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1984 Bike Tour: Day 6 – Rest day and mailing gear back home; 1984’s Top 40

Biking Bis - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 05:15

Six days into our TransAmerica bike tour, and we're already taking our first day off. The first five days have been a shakedown cruise -- the last days of training and the first of our trip. I feel that our journey begins in earnest tomorrow.

After lolling around our hostess' apartment for a while, we boxed up some clothes to send back home. I sent back an extra sweater and other clothes that only filled space and added weight to my panniers.

Why did I pack so much crap? Maybe I can cheat gravity a little a we head into the Appalachians...

Weekend Event Guide: LapQuest, swap meet, Sunday Parkways and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:16

Grab them bikes and ride! It’s Sunday Parkways season!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

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

Can you believe it’s already Sunday Parkways season?

We should have more dry and warm weather this weekend, so hopefully you have a chance to enjoy it.

Our guide to all the action is below (remember there are always more events listed on the calendar)…

Saturday, May 19th

LapQuest – 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at Stub Stewart State Park
This event, hosted by the NW Trail Alliance, is a celebration of their members and volunteers. Here’s the set-up: Everyone starts at the same time and the goal is to ride as many laps of the super-fun mountain bike trails at Stub Stewart as you can in four hours. There are no prizes or places, just a good day on the bike as everyone finishes at the same time. And there’s a big BBQ at the end! More info here.

Sasquatch Duro – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in Oakridge/Westfir
It’s event #2 in the Oregon Triple Crown series and the challenge this time around is a 45 (or 30) mile gravel route in the legendary hills above Oakridge. You might even see Sasquatch if you ride hard enough. More info here.

Swap Meet – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at PCC Cascade Campus
It’s a great time of year for a good, old-fashioned bike swap and flea market. Co-hosted by Norther Cycles and the PCC Cascade Bike Shed, it’ll be like a big garage sale with all types of great people, cool bikes, and hard-to-find parts. It’s free to attend and just $10 for a seller space. More info here.

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Bike/Run Factory Rep Sample Sale – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Seven Corners Cycles
Get great deals on samples from local sales reps. Brands featured include Castelli, Craft, Felt, Fox, and Karhu. More info here.

Sunday, May 20th

‘I Want a Real Bike’ Story Time and Ride – 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Green Bean Books
Local author Eric Kimmel and artist Josh Cleland will host this special event to celebrate their new book about biking in Oregon. After the reading, BikePortland Family Biking columnist and Community Cycling Center volunteer Madi Carlson will lead a bike decorating workshop and a bike ride will ensue thereafter. The Unipiper will also be there! More info here.

Sunday Parkways Southeast – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
The weather should be great for the Sunday Parkways kickoff event. The carfree loop will feature food, music and activities at Laurelhurst, Sewallcrest, Colonel Summers and Ivon parks. 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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City of Portland considering pilot of dockless electric scooters this summer

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 15:16

Care to scoot?
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

In an attempt to ride the wave of a mobility revolution sweeping cities across the globe, the City of Portland has confirmed they are considering a launch of a program that would allow private companies to operate dockless e-scooters in the public right-of-way during a pilot period later this summer.

The scooters will be of the “dockless” variety, meaning they won’t need to be parked in a designated area or at a special kiosk. At least that’s how they work in most cities. Dockless e-scooters are newcomers in the shared mobility space and have only been launched in about four U.S. cities since last fall.

Details of the future Portland policy and potential operational restrictions private companies would have to abide by have not been made public yet. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just started to talk about the program publicly.

The first public mention of the plans (that we know of) came Tuesday night when PBOT bike share program manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth was on the agenda of the monthly Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting. “The scooter share model is similar to dockless bike share,” read the agenda item. “Scooters are available for checkout in public space for short, one-way trips for a small fee and do not require any infrastructure to complete the trip.” Hoyt-McBeth wanted to ask the committee for specific guidance and feedback, “on electric scooter rental, including evaluation criteria and protecting pedestrian access and safety.”

Sidewalk space has put e-scooters in the eye of a media and political storm in other cities. San Francisco’s experience has been nothing short of a “saga“.

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I test rode one of these scooters back in March when one of the leading providers of dockless bikes and scooters, Lime, was in Portland to lay groundwork for a potential launch. My personal verdict: They are awesome! These scooters are fun and efficient was to move around.

In Portland, the sticking points will likely be around how to best integrate them into existing road and sidewalk uses. There are likely also to be concerns over equity. Activist and former mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone has been outspoken about the scooters on Twitter. Asked for a comment on this story, she had questions: “Portland’s downtown is already well-connected — do we need another mode there? What are the true costs and benefits to the public? Homeless people can’t occupy sidewalks but discarded scooters can?”

Michal Nakashimada (@MichaelNaka), a former product designer at urban mobility company Moovel, is a proponent of the scooters and told us he’s “excited” that Portland is moving forward. “I have been closely following dockless deployments in cities across the world, I’ve witnessed the enormous potential for dockless micro-mobility to replace car trips and connect people to regional transit systems,” Nakashimada shared with us via email today. “I would like to see PBOT develop a flexible framework that gives companies the pathway to increase their fleet sizes as they meet utilization, safety, equity and data sharing requirements. If the city mandates a fixed cap on the number of vehicles with no ability to grow inline with utilization rates, it can hinder companies from providing a viable transportation service, especially in communities of concern. My hope is to see city transportation officials and companies work closely together on this to create a safe, green, and viable transportation alternative in our city.”

For their part, PBOT is remaining tight-lipped for now. Communications Director John Brady did however tell us that they are considering a pilot of e-scooters sometime this summer. The details of the pilot program, such as how many companies would be invited, and how long the test would last, are still up in the air.

It’s noteworthy that PBOT is moving forward with dockless scooters and not dockless bikes. It appears they are still content to tweak their existing Biketown system, instead of embracing a new, truly dockless system from a third-party provider.

If this scooter pilot moves forward — and if PBOT gives companies enough elbow room to realize the potential of their service — it will be an interesting summer on the streets of Portland. Stay tuned.

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

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Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is new name for John Wayne Pioneer Trail

Biking Bis - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:06
One of the longest rail-trails in the US just underwent a name change. The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission voted on Thursday to change the name of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. The new name reflects the trail’s geographical stretch across Washington state from the rolling Palouse …

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Howell: Vaccinate your bike

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:38

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Brock Howell of Bicycle Security Advisors. The group is launching a campaign to fight bike theft by getting more people to register their bikes online with Bike Index.

Bike theft is a major problem in Seattle — and I didn’t have to write this sentence for you to know it.  That’s why there’s now a campaign to vaccinate bikes this month, and volunteers will be at fourteen Celebration Stations on Friday morning to register bikes.

Every year, more than a 1,000 bikes are reported as stolen to the Seattle Police Department.  Far worse, based on federal crime reports, the number of bikes actually stolen is likely five to six times what is reported to the police.  With seven percent of people never replacing their stolen bike again, this is a real issue for increasing the number of people who bike.

From May to October, Seattle experiences epidemic levels of bike theft.

Average Number of Bike Thefts by Month, 2008-2017

This isn’t too surprising.  These are the months that people are biking and so their bikes are more vulnerable to theft.

It’s a little like how people are more susceptible to the influenza virus in the winter because their immune systems are weakened by the weather.  Which brings us to how we can attack our seasonal bike theft epidemic.

Bike theft doesn’t have to reach epidemic levels every year. As the founder of Bicycle Security Advisors, I’ve been working with councilmembers, transportation agencies, police departments, developers, and businesses to improve bike parking and fight bike theft through better land use codes, neighborhood planning, direct consultations, and better police resource deployment.

Here’s what you can do: vaccinate your bike.

Vaccinate your bike?

Yes. Like how every October-November the Center for Disease Control coordinates a public education campaign to encourage people to get their flu shot, I am coordinating a public education for people to register their bikes and to properly lock them up.

If you ever have your bike stolen, you will need photos, a detailed description, and your bike’s serial number to get it back, as well as a community of people who are looking out for your bike.  That’s what the bike registration sites Bike Index and Project 529 Garage provide. They’re free, independent, and easy to use.

Tomorrow morning at fourteen Bike Everywhere Day Celebration Stations, a fleet of volunteers wearing white doctors’ coats will be out registering bikes in person on Bike Index.  It’s the perfect time for you to get your bike signed up, and it’ll take just 30 to 60 seconds of your morning.

Bike Index is fantastic.  Again, it’s free, independent, and simple to use.  Better yet, there are hundreds to thousands of passionate community members who are part of Facebook groups (Seattle, PNW), and Twitter conversations who actively use Bike Index to help you track down stolen bikes. Bike Index is also the official registration system of the University of Washington and the Seattle Bike Blog, and nearly every Seattle bike shop uses Bike Index to check suspect bikes to see if they’re stolen and either registers every sold bike on Bike Index or promotes it to its customers.

Plus, every bike registered and reported as stolen on Bike Index also automatically gets listed on Project 529. So, by registering on Bike Index, your bike gets listed on both sites.

Last year, the King County Sheriff’s Office BEEs (the bike & transit patrol), calculated how effective Bike Index was at helping return stolen bikes.  KCSO found that nearly 70 percent of the bikes successfully returned to their owners was with the help of Bike Index.  Since Bike Index started in 2014, they’ve helped return nearly 4,600 bikes to their owners.

If we register enough bikes, I firmly believe we can make it virtually impossible for a bike thief to get away with stealing bikes.  Let’s achieve herd immunity.

On your way into work tomorrow, stop for 30 to 60 seconds at one of the fourteen Celebration Stations that we’ll be at and we’ll register your bike for you.

Click for an interactive Google Map of where we’ll be registering bikes

If you miss us tomorrow, we’ll also be at the Bike Month Party at Peddler Brewing tomorrow night, at the Mighty-O Tour de Donut Ride on Saturday, and at Bicycle Sunday.

Look for us in our doctors’ coats.

And you can always register your bike yourself.

A special thanks goes to all our partners and allies on this public education campaign for bike registration, including the Phinney Neighborhood Association; U District, Let’s Go; Bike Works; Cascade Bicycle Club; Commute Seattle; Seattle Department of Transportation; Seattle Neighborhood Greenways; TransManage; UW Police; UW Transportation Services; Washington Bikes; many bike shops and many others.

If you would like to contact Brock Howell about the bike registration effort, email him at brock@bicyclesecurityadvocates.org.

At open house, east Portlanders get first glimpse at upcoming street projects

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 10:03

People had plenty of feedback to share at the first of two open houses held at Midland Library on SE 122nd Avenue last night.
(Photos: Caleb Diehl)

Scott Dalton’s wife was walking home from Safeway in December 2017 when a person driving a car struck and killed her.

“She was in the crosswalk,” he says. “One car stopped and the other car didn’t.”

Dalton, a retired journalist, has lived in east Portland near 117th Avenue, for twenty years. In that time he’s seen a steady stream of people die while walking or biking. This year alone, five people have been killed while walking in the neighborhoods east of I-205.

Dalton showed up at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s open house Wednesday night hopeful that a slate of new projects will finally bring change to the neighborhood. In the past four years, PBOT has pumped $255 million into its “East Portland in Motion” projects, many of which will break ground in early 2019.

“There are sidewalks and bike lanes that are narrow. There are long distances between crossings. It’s not working and we need to rebalance that.”
— April Bertelsen, PBOT project manager referring to 122nd Avenue

Home to 165,000 people, east Portland stretches from 82nd Avenue out to city limits at 162nd. Much of it developed during the highway building boom of the car-crazed 1950s and 1960s. That inspired a sprawling grid of strip malls, car dealerships and fast food restaurants. In the decades after that, gentrification and displacement pushed many people out from inner northeast.

More of these Portlanders drive to work compared to commuters in the city as a whole. The alternatives are slim — a struggle through the network of five-lane, high-speed roads on foot, by bike or on unreliable buses. Bike lanes appear out of thin air only to morph into right turn lanes a couple blocks later. Sidewalks end without warning. It all adds up to a death toll everyone says they want to address; but so far the needle hasn’t moved.

The open house was held at Midland Library just off 122nd Avenue, one of the busiest — and notoriously unsafe – streets in the area. PBOT showcased a handful of new projects and collected feedback. The reception from the large turnout seemed mostly positive.

Concerns centered around the cost of the projects, whether the construction would affect their daily commutes and balancing out different modes. Walking safety seemed to be a big issue — specifically the fact that safe crossings along major streets are too spread out.

PBOT Project Manager Timur Ender (white shirt) fields questions.

The big center of attention was the East Glisan Street Update project. A large group of people clustered around PBOT Project Manager Timur Ender. The project includes eight new pedestrian crossings and buffered bike lanes that will take the place of lanes currently used to park cars. Residents had concerns about how the changes would the flow of auto traffic.

A project to tame outer Division, a notoriously dangerous stretch from 82nd to 174th ave, will be big on the list. It’s one of the deadliest streets in Portland. According to stats PBOT shared at the event, in the past decade 13 people were killed and 117 were seriously injured on outer Division.

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The central feature of that project is a raised median. The speed limit will drop from 35 to 30 mph. Bike lanes will be set off from the road with a buffer. The median and buffer zones will shorten crossing distances.

PBOT appears to be spread so thin these days that a hand-written sign is the best they could do.

Another major project will overhaul 122nd, a high-speed, five-lane corridor that spans six miles from SE Foster to NE Marine Drive. The bike lanes are narrow and an arm’s length away from speeding cars. Crossings are few and far between. Buses are often delayed.

There’s about $2 million set aside for this project for now, and the planners are looking for other funding sources. They’re taking input from community members on how to spend the money.

“There are sidewalks and bike lanes that are narrow. There are long distances between crossings,” says April Bertelsen, the project manager for 122nd. “It’s not working and we need to rebalance that.”

Another street on the high crash network, NE 102nd ave, will get more crossings and fewer lanes. The current recommended design knocks the five standard lanes down to three, with pedestrian islands in the center.

Linking those two major north-south corridors will be a revamped couplet of one-way streets, Halsey-Weidler. Those streets will get rapid flashing beacons, wider bike lanes and more lights and trees. The idea is to create a revitalized “main street” where people can easily walk to local businesses.

“Drivers need to change their habits, which they’re not too big on.”
— Scott Dalton, local resident

PBOT is also planning more than 30 miles of greenways in East Portland. One new neighborhood greenway will wind through Knott, Russell and Sacramento streets.

About half of the funding ($130 million) already allocated for these new projects will go to outer SE Powell Blvd. Another $47 million will fund various projects scattered around east Portland from Foster to Parkrose — a fact PBOT was happy to announce on a hand-written sign at the entrance to last night’s open house.

Much of the funding comes from the Fixing our Streets program, a measure voters approved in 2016 to generate $64 million in funding over four years. Other money comes from System Development Charges (SDCs), taxes on new development in the area. And some of it’s up in the air—it could come from grants or HB 2017, the recent $5.3 billion statewide transportation package.

Dalton was impressed. “PBOT really knows what they’re talking about,” he says. But he added, “we won’t know until we see it.”

He’s worried people who are used to speeding through the neighborhood won’t change their behavior, no matter how much infrastructure goes in. “Drivers need to change their habits,” he says, “which they’re not too big on.”

Hopefully, thoughtfully engineered infrastructure will change those habits for them.

These are just the highlights of East Portland in Motion. You can view the full list of projects here

PBOT will hold another open house, where you can comment on the projects, on June 5, 6:00-8:00pm, at Rosewood Initiative (16126 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233).

(CORRECTION: This story initial published the last name of Scott Dalton as “Palton”. That was a mistake. We regret the error.)

— Caleb Diehl, @calebsdiehl on Twitter.

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The post At open house, east Portlanders get first glimpse at upcoming street projects appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Pivot Cycles Trail 429

Bike Hugger - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 09:07

Pivot’s sell so well, they could just keep making the same models, with iterations and sell through another few seasons, probably more. But that’s not how their designer, Chris Cocalis operates. And, the Pivot Cycles Trail 429 was just released.

I can walk you through the specs point by point, it’s a checklist of what mountain bikers want their whips to do, but more importantly I’ve not met someone more focused on delivering to market the absolute best bikes he can.

He does it year after year…

The Trail 429 is an update to the popular Mach 429 Trail with an even higher level of stability and control over technical terrain with innovative frame design and progressive geometry.

As I tell all my roadie buds, take that fitness you have, don’t stop pedaling at a high cadence, and you’ll be amazed at what you can ride over.

I’m amazed and I suck at the technical stuff.

I haven’t ridden the Trail 429 yet, but I’m sure I’ll clear even more previously unthinkable sections of the trail I ride. That’s because the chainstays are shorter, reach is longer, head angle is slacker and the seat angle is steeper.

We shortened up the bike’s rear end while increasing its reach

explained Chris.

The overall wheelbase grew in length, which adds stability, but it’s not so long that it takes away the bike’s versatility.

The shorter chainstays add to the Trail 429’s ability to quickly accelerate and keep the bike nimble in tight conditions.

Chris also said that the “Goal was to retain that awesome Mach range while improving the bike’s descending abilities.”

Like I said, cyclists are pushing trail bikes harder and demanding they perform. Pivot built a bike in response and it’ll hit that sweet spot.

Learn more about the Pivot 429 Trail here. It ships in sizings to fit every rider and you can spec it as a 27.5+ or 29. The six different configurations range in price from $4,699 to $8,699.

The post Pivot Cycles Trail 429 appeared first on Bike Hugger.

In case you forgot: Friday is Bike to Work Day, but you can bike everywhere

Biking Bis - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 08:39
Here’s a reminder that May is National Bike Month. We’ve already had Bike to School Day on May 9, and Cyclofemme this past Mother’s Day on May 13. This week is Bike to Work Week, and Friday is Bike to Work Day in most cities. In Seattle, the Cascade Bicycle Club calls it Bike Everywhere …

Continue reading

Bike Everywhere Day is Friday + Where to join a morning ride to City Hall or visit a ‘Celebration Station’

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 07:55

Bike to Work Day 2011 at the Fremont Bridge

The happiest rush hour of the year is just two days away! Bike Everywhere Day 2018 (formerly known as “Bike to Work Day”) is Friday, and the city will be flush with snacks and swag and group rides and smiling faces.

There is usually an extra surge of people in the city’s bike routes, and there is no better day for someone to give biking to work (or school or the park or wherever) to give it a try. Biking gets safer and more comfortable as more people do it.

One great way to participate: Join a group ride to City Hall. Rides are starting all over the city. Details from the event listing:

  • Beacon Hill, Beacon Hill Light Rail Station, Beacon Ave S and Lander St (meets at 7:30 am; departs 7:45 am)
  • Columbia City, Bikeworks, 3709 S Ferdinand St (meets at 7:00 am, departs 7:15 am)
  • Fremont, Florentia & 4th Ave. N. (meets at 7:15 am, departs 7:30 am)
  • Ravenna, Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, (meets at 7:15 am; departs 7:30 am)
  • West Seattle, Beneath the West Seattle Bridge (meets at 7:15 am, departs 7:30 am)

Or you can make your own way to the 8 a.m. rally outside City Hall, which will include a “surprise action.”

And thanks to bike share, people don’t even need their own bike (or get it fixed) to participate anymore. To sweeten the pot, all three companies are offering free rides Friday according to Commute Seattle, which is hosting three Bagels & Bikes events:

  • Ofo: 2 free rides up to 60 minutes each using promo code Biketowork2018 (case sensitive)
  • Limebike: Get $4 in ride credit by entering promo code LIMEBIKE2WORK
  • Spin: $2 in free rides for new riders using promo code BIKEEVERYWHEREMAY

People and organizations will host “celebration stations” all over town Friday morning, often giving out coffee or snacks or some extra encouragement to people on bikes. So leave home a bit earlier than usual to give yourself some extra time to stop at stations on the way. Or if you don’t work, spend your morning visiting as many stations as you can. It’s a lot fun. Here’s a map:

More details on the Ride and Rally from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways/Cascade Bicycle Club:

Seattle needs a connected, cohesive map of safe bicycle lanes that can move people to and around downtown. That’s the vision of the Basic Bike Network.

We’re taking this message — by bike — to City Hall this Bike Everywhere Day. And we need you to join us.

WHEN: Friday, May 18th, 8:00am-8:45am

WHERE: Seattle City Hall, 4th Ave side

WHAT:

* 8:00am sharp — Gather for coffee, donuts and a surprise action. We need lots of folks for this! If you’d like to participate in the action, contact Clara@SeattleGreenways.org

* 8:00am-8:15am — Greet 5 group rides as they arrive from separate corners of the city (Beacon Hill, Columbia City, West Seattle, Fremont, and Ravenna)!

* 8:15am — Rally with featured speakers, vendors, etc

We’ll bring: Donuts, coffee, booths and swag.
You’ll bring: Friends on bikes!

Ride with us: Meet at locations below to join a Neighborhood Ride. Or, meet at City Hall Plaza for the Rally.

>> Beacon Hill, Beacon Hill Light Rail Station, Beacon Ave S and Lander St (meets at 7:30 am; departs 7:45 am)

>> Columbia City, Bikeworks, 3709 S Ferdinand St (meets at 7:00 am, departs 7:15 am)

>> Fremont, Florentia & 4th Ave. N. (meets at 7:15 am, departs 7:30 am)

>> Ravenna, Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, (meets at 7:15 am; departs 7:30 am)

>> West Seattle, Beneath the West Seattle Bridge (meets at 7:15 am, departs 7:30 am)

Or, ride on your own/with your neighborhood pals!

Everyone: Meet at Seattle City Hall to Rally at 8:00 a.m. for coffee donuts and a surprise action. Rally starts at 8:15 am.

Check here to RSVP: https://p2a.co/DXwnZJd

Check here for more information on the Basic Bike Network: http://seattlegreenways.org/blog/2018/05/07/7403/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 5 – Discovering gravity the hard way; And traffic volume then and now

Biking Bis - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 05:15

Our Bikecentennial guidebook calls this the rolling Piedmont of Louisa and Hanover counties. Contemplating the issue of gravity on the porch of Kent's Store, I decided I'm carrying too much stuff.

These might be called rollercoaster hills, but they aren't as much fun as an amusement park. I speed downhill at top speed, cross a creek, then begin the uphill struggle. All that momentum is lost the moment the slope changes. Even

though I had installed a triple chainring, giving me 15 gears, I can't downshift fast enough to sustain any speed. I'm either jamming the chain or dropping down to the lowest gears, spinning the pedals furiously to make any progress....

Introducing the Bicycle Showcase: A place to promote and learn about great bikes

Bike Portland - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:33

We have so many great local bike shops and builders in Portland, and one of our main goals has always been to support them by spreading the word about their business and products.

Today we’re launching a new tool that will take that one step further. We call it the Bicycle Showcase. It’s a paid listing service ($150 per bike) and it’s a simple way for local bike builders and bike shops to spread the word about bikes they have for sale. Similar to our Job Listings, the idea is to get that triple-win we always strive for around here: Help local businesses thrive, support our work, and provide a helpful resource the community.

I personally love visiting bike shops and checking out the latest-and-greatest bikes. My hope is that this new service gives you the information you need to make a good choice about your next bike and/or just gives you an opportunity to ogle something cool during your lunch hour.

Our friends at Joe Bike (SE Lincoln and Cesar Chavez Blvd) jumped at the chance to create the first listing. Check out their very cool rendition of a Soma Wolverine below…

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--> Make Soma Model Wolverine Daily Grinder 11 Photos
Price $2,650 – $2,750 Bike category Commuter / Urban Website joe-bike.com Component specs

Butted Tange Prestige cromoly tubeset
Adjustable chainstay length to tune your ride
Gates Carbon Drive (belt drive)
Alfine 11-speed internally geared hub
Shimano dynamo hub
Supernova front and rear lights, including standing lights
Abus NutFix security bolts so your wheels don’t get stolen
Ergonomic grips on semi-sweptback handlebars
Rack, fenders
Fully assembled by Joe Bike in Portland

What’s so great about this bike

The Soma Wolverine Daily Grinder is a Joe Bike special: our top-of-the-line commuter bike and also our best-selling bike, period. Based on the newest version of Soma’s versatile Wolverine frame, which features adjustable chainstay length to tune your ride, the Daily Grinder integrates all the things a lot of our customers like best in a commuter: 
-Alfine 11 internally geared hub with your choice of 46/22 gearing (ideal for high speeds and flatter terrain) or lighter 46/24 gearing (better for climbing). Clean, grease-free, extremely low maintenance. No derailleurs to adjust, no cassette to replace every year. 

-Gates Carbon Drive (belt drive): this is a maintenance-free, gunk-free alternative to the chain that lasts about twice as long. It won’t rust, you don’t oil it, and it’s tough (some motorcycles use Gates belts). 

-Hydraulic disc brakes: superior stopping power and modulation, especially in wet weather. Very low maintenance. Self-adjusting pads.

-A Shimano dynamo hub powering Supernova premium lights. Never forget to charge your lights again, and no batteries to replace. The lights come on automatically when you pedal, and they stay on at red lights when you’re stopped.

-Panaracer Pasela 700×38 gumwall tires for a confident and supple road feel (substitutions OK with a price differential). 

-Ergon brand ergonomic grips on semi-sweptback bars for a fun, comfortable riding position that’s mildly upright.

-Light, stiff rims.

-Full-coverage alloy Velo Orange fenders 

-Abus NutFix security bolts for both wheels. No need to lock your wheels anymore because they can’t be stolen. 

-Brooks Cambium All-Weather saddle, carved or not (C15, C17, or C19) 

-Your choice of a traditional lugged steel fork or Soma’s All-Road carbon fork (with a price differential) 

-A Tubus Racktime rack 
 
-Available in black or red, and in sizes from 50 to 66 cm.

How to purchase

Come on down and ride one! You can also buy online at Joe-Bike.com

Ready to list a bike? The form awaits you. You can view the entire showcase here.

If you have ideas on how we can make this service better, please let me know. I’m here to help.

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

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<p>"It's about bloody time!"</p>

Bike Portland - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 13:26

It will take both money and good designs to tame east Portland streets.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

“There’s a bit of almost a giddy feeling when you think about how many things are going to happen.”
— Kem Marks, The Rosewood Initiative

2018 could go down in history as an inflection point for east Portland. After years of activism and advocacy — and planning and politicking by local governments — a part of our city that has been historically neglected since it was annexed a half-century ago is slated for an infusion of transportation infrastructure investment the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Tonight (5/16) at an event on SE 122nd Avenue, the Portland Bureau of Transportation kicks off the first of two open houses that will feature nearly two dozen projects and programs aimed at making east Portland streets safer and more convenient. Between projects slated to break ground this summer and next, there’s so much going on it’s hard to keep up.

Kem Marks from The Rosewood Initiative.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Since the East Portland in Motion plan was adopted by Portland City Council in 2012, PBOT estimates they’ve delivered $255 million worth of projects (see PDF below). Between 2018 and 2019, the City’s Fixing our Streets Program alone will invest an estimated $22.4 million in 19 projects east of 82nd. Earlier this month, PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jim Chasse (a veteran east Portland activist) said the City was “very generous” when it agreed to a request by the East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee to spend $15 million in Transportation System Development Charges on languishing active transportation projects (which have since been leveraged to $28 million).

“It’s a great thing to see, there’s a bit of almost a giddy feeling when you think about how many things are going to happen,” The Rosewood Initiative’s Director of Transportation Equity Kem Marks shared with me today in a phone interview. “I think the main feeling out here is — it’s about bloody time!”

Marks says this stream of projects is the direct result of blood, sweat and tears from advocates who worked the process for years to line them up. Planning efforts like East Portland in Motion and the East Portland Action Plan’s Bike Committee helped identify projects, make them a priority, and then push them onto appropriate lists. But perhaps more importantly, these efforts have helped organize, mobilize, and radicalize a slew of activists who have become some of the most effective at swaying City Hall — even from neighborhoods many miles away from it.

Here’s a look at just some of the projects and plans in the pipeline:
E Portland funded projects_Poster_5-16-18

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East Portland Education and Access to Employment project.
(PBOT)

–> PBOT has a slew of changes coming as part of their federally funded $6.5 million East Portland Access to Employment & Education (EPAEE) project (which seriously needs a better name). The project includes: the 4M Neighborhood Greenway which will run on SE Market, Mill and Millmain between SE 92nd Avenue and SE 130th Avenue; sidewalks on SE Cherry Blossom Drive between Market and Washington; two other neighborhood greenway projects that will run north-south on the 100s between SE Bush and NE Fargo and the 150s between SE Powell and NE Halsey. SE 106th will also get several improvements: a two-way cycle track between SE Main and Stark, and new sections of paved path to fill in gaps at NE Wasco, NE San Rafael and between Division and Market (near Cherry City Park). Construction is slated to begin in 2019.

Concept shown by PBOT for new paths through unimproved roads.


PBOT will create a new path through a parking lot near NE Wasco along 106th.
(PBOT)

East Glisan Update map.
(PBOT)

–> The East Glisan Street Update project will reallocate space on Glisan between I-205 to NE 162nd (city limits). As one of the lynchpins in the emerging outer northeast bike network via the Gateway to Opportunity project, PBOT will redesign the current cross-section of Glisan. Instead of the classic, dangerous arterial design of four standard lanes, a center turn lane and on-street parking lanes on both sides; PBOT will restripe it with two standard lanes, a center turn lane and unprotected, paint-only buffered bike lanes.

Unfortunately, PBOT says physically protected bike lanes aren’t in the budget. At the May 8th Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting PBOT Project Manager Timur Ender said the agency is, “Actively searching for funding internally; but I don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver.”

–> PBOT just kicked off their 122nd Ave Plan, which aims to “improve pedestrian and bicycle access and support better transit” on the notoriously dangerous arterial between SE Foster Road and NE Marine Drive.

“I worry people are going to die if we’re encouraging people to bike where cars are going so fast.”
— Sarah Iannarone, Bicycle Advisory Committee member

For Marks and other people who care about safe streets in east Portland, the next challenge is to make sure these projects are substantive enough to move the needle. There’s a reason so many people are hurt and killed while using east Portland’s arterials: they’re wide and straight and they encourage fast, unsafe driving.

PBOT’s Timur Ender got a taste of that concern after he presented some of these projects at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting. Committee member Sarah Iannarone, who lives near SE 148th and Powell, bluntly pointed out that, “I worry people are going to die if we’re encouraging people to bike where cars are going so fast.” Iannarone said she’s an “intrepid cyclist” but has all but given up cycling near her home because it’s so unsafe. She wants PBOT to lower speeds on arterials with bike lanes to 20 mph.

And Kem Marks with The Rosewood Initiative says their work will now shift to making sure these projects are as “transformative” as possible. “We want these projects to really make a difference, not just be band-aid projects,” he says. Marks is “skeptical but optimistic” about PBOT’s efforts to tame east Portland arterials. He wants to see PBOT do something like Better Naito in his neighborhood. “Are they willing to go and do something like that in this part of town?”

Learn more about these and many other east Portland projects online and/or at one of the two upcoming open houses. There’s also a PBOT-led ride tonight at 6:00 pm to explore future neighborhood greenways.

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

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