news aggregator

Brian Duncan, paralyzed in north Portland collision last year, is missing

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:15

Brian Duncan.
(Photo: Portland Police Bureau)

Portland Police are looking for Brian Duncan, whose family says he’s been missing since yesterday (10/16) at 2:30 pm. He was last seen on his motorized wheelchair near the Duckworth Dock on the floating portion of the Eastbank Esplanade south of the Steel Bridge.

Duncan was paralyzed in March 2016 when he was hit while trying to bike across North Rosa Parks Way. In January we reported that Duncan’s friends and family had rallied around him to build a new, ADA-accessible house.

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Duncan is 38 years old and is described as 6-feet tall, about 190 pounds with brown hair, a brown beard and blue eyes. Police also say he’s known to wear blue wire-framed glasses.

A police statement issued this afternoon added that, “Duncan’s family is concerned for his welfare. There are no indications that his disappearance involves foul play.”

If you see Brian please call 911. Anyone with non-emergency information should contact PPB Detective Lori Fonken at 503-823-1081, Lori.Fonken@portlandoregon.gov or missing@portlandoregon.gov.

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

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The Aerial Tram will close for 38 days next summer

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 12:14

The Tram reflected in an OHSU building as seen from the Go By Bike valet lot.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I know it’s eight months away, but I thought you might want to start saving up for an e-bike…

The Portland Aerial Tram will close for track maintenance from June 23rd through July 30th, 2018. That’s 38 days where you’ll have to find a different way up the hill. If you need or want to bike up to Marquam Hill for the campus and facilities of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), your ride will go from 180 seconds to about 30 minutes. Or maybe not (keep reading).

The Tram is a crucial link between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill for 7,000 daily commuters. OHSU data shows that of the 10,000 employees who work on the hill, about one-fourth of those who take the tram use a bike to get to campus. The Go By Bike valet at the base of the Tram averages over 328 bikes in its parking lot every day.

If a bunch of people decide to hop in a car during the closure this summer, it could be a mess. Not only are the roads leading to Marquam Hill relatively narrow, parking is extremely limited (Metro has reported an eight-year waiting list and an average monthly fee of $128) and spots must be maintained for patients and their visitors. Hopefully a large percentage of people will continue to bike. But it won’t be easy…

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Dotted line shows Tram route, grey line shows the bike route (ouch).

Without the Tram to whisk bike riders up the hill, the option is a circuitous route that includes riding on SW Barbur and Terwiliger and over 400 feet of elevation gain.

OHSU Transportation Options Coordinator John Landolfe says he’ll help soften the blow by educating people on other ways to make the trip. He has helpful advice on everything from walking (30 minutes) to carpooling and ride-sharing (about 12 minutes) on a special webpage about the closure. “Every option is on the table to increase biking to Marquam Hill, and sustain it during the tram closure,” Landolfe shared via email today.

How about e-bikes? They’re quickly gaining popularity in Portland and this seems like a perfect application for their use.

We’ve recently seen headlines about Jump Mobility electric bike share launching in San Francisco and Washington D.C.. Jump is an off-shoot of Social Bicycles, the company that supplies Portland’s Biketown bikes. Asked if Portland might see the battery-powered bikes any time soon, Dorothy Mitchell, general manager of Biketown’s operator Motivate Inc., said, “It’s something we’re having conversations about, but no official word yet.”

If Jump wanted into the Portland market, it seems like arriving as the savior to a dreaded detour would be the perfect time to do it.

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

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The post The Aerial Tram will close for 38 days next summer appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Team USA takes on the World at the Masters Track World Championships

USA Cycling News - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:39
The 2017 UCI Masters Track World Championships came to an exciting close last weekend at the VELO Sports Center in Los Angeles.

To boost business, Beaverton will build separated bikeways on Western Ave

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:36

The new and improved Western Avenue will look much different.

This seems like a big deal.

In order to spur economic growth and help businesses keep and attract employees, the City of Beaverton is set to begin work on a complete rebuild of Western Avenue between 5th Street to Allen (about two-thirds of a mile). The location of the project is an industrial zone southeast of the downtown core.

Note the Fanno Creek Trail in lower right and Beaverton Town Center in upper left.

In a move that might (pleasantly) surprise you, Beaverton’s update to this road will reduce the number of driving-only lanes and add lanes for bicycling and walking.

“For companies to attract new and younger talent as the Baby Boomer workforce retires,” reads the planning document that prioritized this project, “A location adjacent to bike and pedestrian facilities is a distinct competitive advantage.”

While safety concerns were part of the motivation, the project was identified as the top priority of a business-oriented plan known as the West Five Strategy. According to the City of Beaverton, the West Five Strategy (PDF) is a collaboration with existing and new major employers in the area to create more economic activity, retain and attract talent, and build a more vibrant neighborhood. In the plan the city talks about how it wants to avoid “suburban office obsolescensce.”

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Existing conditions on Western Ave.

“The lack of pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the area, coupled with the absence of mid-block crossings, make it difficult to travel throughout the district without a car.”
— City of Beaverton

Beaverton is betting that updated transportation infrastructure will help the West Five Employment District reach its potential. The area around Western Avenue already employes 3,500 people and is close to Nike World Headquarters, Intel, and Textronix and “in the heart of Portland’s ‘Silicon Forest’,” says the city.

When the city asked businesses how best to increase economic activity within the district and position the area to respond to emerging employment trends, “Overwhelmingly, stakeholders identified the need to complete gaps in the pedestrian and bicycle networks within the District… The lack of pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the area, coupled with the absence of mid-block crossings, make it difficult to travel throughout the district without a car.”

Western Avenue is currently a four-lane road with no shoulders or dedicated bicycle access and only intermittent sidewalks. The new cross-section will be three lanes (one in each direction with a center turn lane) and lanes for biking and walking on both sides of the street separated by a buffer of grass and trees. The city also plans to improve the intersections at 5th and Allen, “to ensure safe and efficient access for pedestrians, bicyclists, freight trucks, and passenger vehicles.”

The new bikeway will also help create a connection between the Fanno Creek Trail (south of Allen Blvd) and the existing bikeway on 5th Street that leads to Beaverton’s Old Town.

It’s great to see Beaverton use a pro-commerce rationale to reduce auto lanes, and do with support from businesses. The City of Portland and the Portland Business Alliance might want to take note.

The project cost is estimated to be $4.125 million and is expected to begin in December of this year. Completion is set for October 2020.

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

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Fork lube (+ others)

Bicycle Tutor - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 04:11
Hi guys, Totally new to bike maintenance. I recently moved countries and had to disassemble my bike to move it. I'm putting it back together now and need to make sure I've got all the tools I need...

[...]

Ricette per perdere peso in menopausa 829

Bicycle Tutor - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 00:05
Un allenamento da fare a casa senza attr Snellire e Tonificare le Braccia in 15 Minuti Esercizi con Pesi da Fare a Casa YouTube. Their sour Rasa aggravates Pitta. il pene maschio ha aiutato la...

[...]

More bike capacity among possible upgrades for ODOT’s Gorge Express bus service

Bike Portland - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:21

Riders board the Columbia Gorge Express.
(Photos: ODOT)

Despite an early end to the season due to the Eagle Creek Fire, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Columbia Gorge Express bus service was a hit once again this past summer season.

Jake Warr from ODOT’s Rail & Public Transit Division manages the program. He got in touch with us to share an update on this year’s usage stats and a photo of the newly upgraded buses.

“The second season of ODOT’s Columbia Gorge Express pilot service further confirmed that public transit to the Gorge is in high demand,” Warr said. “In fact, before the Eagle Creek Fire forced an early end to the season, the service was on pace to beat last year’s ridership totals. A few tweaks from the 2016 season helped accommodate and support this ridership growth, including the use of larger buses and the option to pay fares with cash.”

Here are the stats based on ticket sales and rider survey:

➤ Gorge visitors took over 27,000 rides on the bus between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, equating to an average of 557 rides per day of service (a 10% increase over 2016).
➤ 99% said they would recommend the service to others.
➤ Over half of riders from Gateway Transit Center had no other transportation option to visit the Gorge.
➤ 65% of Gateway riders started their trip on TriMet, illustrating the importance of that connection to the regional transit network.
➤ 90% said the service, which cost $5 roundtrip from Gateway Transit Center, was an excellent value.
➤ 60% came from a state besides Oregon, 28% from the Portland Metro, and 8% from outside the U.S.

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A major upgrade to the buses this summer.

Warr says these “encouraging” results will help ODOT plan for the future. Next season they’re considering extending the range of the buses to more Gorge destinations, operating more days of the week (not just weekends), and maybe even during other seasons (fall colors perhaps?).

Warr also says ODOT wants the service to better accomodate bicycle riders and they are looking into using trailers to carry more bikes!

Stay tuned for a survey about the expanded bike service.

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

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What you should know about Oregon’s new distracted driving law

Bike Portland - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:59

Scofflaw.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our legal contributor Ray Thomas is an author and lawyer based in Portland.

On October 1, 2017, Oregon’s new distracted driving law went into effect. The law has an expanded scope and raises the penalties for violations. Here are a few things every Oregon bicycle rider should know about it.

People who walk and bike know all too well the risks drivers pose as they stare into screens and attempt to drive around us. Since we are not encapsulated inside a steel compartment looking at the world through safety glass, we see the shocking number of people who try to maneuver their cars and trucks down the streets while completely tuned out to anything but what is on the screen in front of them.

And the statistics confirm how deadly this behavior is: More than 4,000 crashes were caused by distraction in Oregon in 2014. And between 2011 and 2015 there were 54 fatalities and 15,150 injuries in Oregon caused by distracted drivers (see the Oregon Department of Transportation 2014 Oregon Traffic Crash Summary).

A recent ODOT study found that while 84% of respondents felt uncomfortable with a driver who was distracted, 75% admitted to doing it while alone and 44% admitted to driving distracted with passengers. Ask any rider on the street and the numbers seem far higher. The reasons are complex, but the study suggests that skewed reward-seeking behavior patterns exist due to several causes, most notably a lack of negative legal consequences or negative social pressure. Humans get a lot of useful and fun stuff by using mobile devices while driving; from instructions on where to go and how to get there, to checking in with loved ones, playing Angry Birds, or sending text messages.

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Technically legal; but it increases risks and could put you in hot water with a judge.

In our office we have a case where a pizza delivery driver was checking his Amazon order while he made the nightly cash run to the bank. While distracted by his phone he failed to see a person who had fallen (while walking) directly in front of him. The collision had fatal consequences. That one moment of inattention resulted in the loss of life of a father — and left behind a devastated family and a pregnant fiancé. The driver was charged and convicted of Careless Driving (with death of a Vulnerable Roadway User) and Distracted Driving — but those consequences do next to nothing to reconcile the disaster he caused. And the only reason he was charged was because a hard working motorcycle officer took the time to analyze his phone records. In most collisions, the distracted driving is never discovered because law enforcement investigation resources are stretched so thin.

The public health consequences of distracted driving are too vast to ignore. The ODOT study recommended stronger consequences and an increase in education and enforcement.

What the new law covers

House Bill 2597 created the changes to ORS 811.507 that greatly expands its application. The new law applies to any “mobile communication electronic device” that is “not permanently installed in a motor vehicle.” And the definition includes a “device capable of text messaging, voice communication, entertainment, navigation, accessing the Internet or producing electronic mail.” The new law extends not just to moving but also to being “temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device or other momentary delays.” The exceptions include when making an emergency call or when pulled off the roadway or parked.

The list of prohibited actions includes using the device if the driver is not able to “keep both hand hands on the steering wheel.” Presumably, if the device is permanently built in to the motor vehicle or the driver is able to use it hands free then it is okay, which allows voice activation of a mobile device but only if the person is 18 years or older. However, in order to type in an address or query you have to pull over and park.

There is also a somewhat unclear exception built in to the law as it allows a person to “activate or deactivate” a device or “a function of the device” which has been described as including a “single touch or swipe.” It has been argued that this exception will allow Uber and Lyft drivers to swipe and accept a fare while driving, a legal assertion that has not yet been tested in court.

The consequences

For a first offense, there is a fine of $260. A Distracted Driving Course option, if offered, will reduce the fine but not make the conviction on the driver’s record go away. For a second offense or first offense which causes a crash, the fine goes up to $435. For the third offense in ten years, the charge becomes a Class B misdemeanor traffic crime which may include up to a six month sentence in the county jail. These are serious negative consequences. (Not to mention increases to the driver’s insurance policy.)

Does it apply to bicycle riders?

ORS 811.507 states that it applies to “operating” a “motor vehicle” on a “highway or premises open to the public.” While ORS 814.400 states that “a bicycle is a vehicle”, a bicycle is not a “motor vehicle.” By its terms of application, the new distracted driving law only applies to vehicles with motors. However a driver’s defense lawyer may still try to assert that a bicycle rider’s use of a mobile device was negligence and contributed to a collision with a motor vehicle.

Learn more about the law by watching this short video from the Beaverton Police Department (which unfortunately shows an officer looking away from the road to talk to the camera) and view this very clear and helpful PDF summary put out by the State of Oregon.

CORRECTION, 10/18 at 2:44 pm: This article originally stated the new law applies to any “mobile communication device”. That’s incorrect. The new law applies to any, “mobile electronic device”. We regret the error.

— Ray Thomas is a partner at Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost and author of Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists.

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The Monday Roundup: Shameless pathlete, Skid Row’s low-riders, e-bike subsidies and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:11

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

Here are the best stories that came across our desks this week…

Homeless activism with bikes: I can’t decide what’s more awesome, General Dogon’s life story of criminal-turned-activist, or the fact that he uses tricked out low-rider bikes to help gain attention for his causes.

Inanimate victim-blaming: When drivers failed to control their vehicles and drove up onto cement barriers protecting new bikeways in Queens, critics of the bikeways said it was the barrier’s fault.

Biking while black: Police in Utah shot (three times, in the back) and killed a man who was initially stopped for biking without a rear light.

Bikes rule, cars drool: BikeBiz UK says the startling rise of dockless bike share systems will do more to transform cities than driverless cars.

Bikes rule, cars drool, part two: Oh look, turns out that use of Uber and Lyft have only led to more vehicle miles traveled and more car trips.

‘Hot Pizza’ rider has no shame: A bike rider who slammed into a woman walking on a multi-use path in Spokane has refused to take responsibility for his actions, despite having broken the woman’s arm. Now she’s considering a civil lawsuit.

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Unfair trial: This story underscores a rampant problem in America: unfair trials where the jury is biased against bicycle riders and a legal system that protects motor vehicle operators.

Truck sideguard legislation: A California congressman supports legislation that would require sideguards (aka underride guards) on large trucks.

SF bike share kerfluffle: Very intersting situation in San Fran where a new bike share system wants into the market; but the existing, corporate-backed system is reluctant to have any competition. Strong parallels to Portland as Biketown will likely face similar threats from other systems sooner or later.

1854 Cycling Co: This new bike company was inspired by abolitionists that sparked the Civil War and their mission is to put former inmates to work making and selling bicycles. So great I want to buy everything on their website!

DOT engineers and ethics: Here’s the inconvenient truth about transportation engineers at many DOTs: Their decisions to protect the needs of motor vehicle operators above all others is unethical.

We should subsidize e-bikes: Think of all the government subsidies for electric cars — which encourage the most harmful transportation behavior (driving). Now ask why we don’t subsidize e-bikes like they do in Sweden.

Tough on dangerous drivers: In what’s being hailed as a “major victory” for safety advocates, a change in UK law will mean people whose careless driving leads to a death could face life in prison.

How to reduce auto use: Portland is having a hard time actively discouraging auto use. Thankfully here’s a nice roadmap from London that uses a “carrot and stick” approach to lowering auto use and encouraging more biking, walking, and transit.

Passive language is bad: Read this tweet about passive language use perpetuates the status quo and think about how we talk about traffic collisions (this is one reason we take word-choice so seriously here on BP):

Let's change the conversation pic.twitter.com/25tJwBrhfr

— Theatrical Intimacy (@Theatrical_Inti) October 15, 2017

Thanks for all the suggestions this week.

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

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Undercover distracted driving sting leads to 107 stops in just 5 hours

Bike Portland - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:01

Like shooting fish in a barrel.
(Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Just how rampant is dangerous driving and law-breaking among drivers? Our latest example comes from Washington County where sheriff deputies in Aloha went undercover to help educate the public about Oregon’s new hands-free driving law.

In five hours of work they stopped 73 people for violating the new law, passing out 11 citations and 62 warnings.

The Sheriff’s office called it a “non-traditional enforcement mission” (they prefer “mission” instead of sting) because they used undercover deputies. The plainclothes deputies stood on the sidewalk at intersections as “spotters” and would then tip-off other deputies when they saw violations.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law (HB 2597) went into effect October 1st (we have an in-depth post about it from our legal expert Ray Thomas coming Monday). It covers many more behaviors than the old law (which only focused on cell phones) and also applies when you are stopped in traffic.

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In addition to the distracted driving violations, deputies also stopped people for a myriad of other offenses:

* Three citations and four warnings for failure to wear or improper use of seatbelts;
* Two warnings for failure to obey a traffic control device;
* Six citations for driving while suspended;
* Two citations for operating without driving privileges;
* One citation for speeding;
* Three warnings for expired vehicle registration;
* Two citations and three warnings for vehicle insurance violations;
* Four warnings for vehicle equipment violations;
* Four warnings for lane use violations;

It’s always amazing how many people officers stop on these enforcement missions. And it’s a reminder of just how selfish and disrespectful some road users are.

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

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An opportunity to push the City of Portland forward on truck safety

Bike Portland - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:38

A Portland Water Bureau vehicle with side underrun guards (from 2008).
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A proposed City of Portland administrative rule change is giving street safety advocates a chance to lobby for side guards and other equipment that could make commercial trucks safer.

Given their size, height, and weight, trucks used to haul garbage, cement and other goods on city streets pose a very high risk to other road users. According to the US Department of Transportation, nearly half of all the bikers and walkers killed in collisions with large trucks first impact the side of the truck. Many of the fatalities we’ve reported about here in BikePortland over the years have involved trucks. After the death of Tamar Monhait (that involved a man driving a garbage truck whose operator is now being sued by Monhait’s family), we shared an editorial local lawyer Cynthia Newton who’s “deeply concerned” about truck safety.

That concern is shared by at least one City of Portland Planning Commissioner. Chris Smith has been working on this issue through the Planning and Sustainability Commission for over two years. The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) directly regulates residential solid waste haulers and also permits all the trucks for commercial solid waste in the city. As such, they have the authority to require safety equipment — like sideguards and special mirrors — on contractors’ vehicles.

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Before they exercise that authority, the current franchise agreement must be changed. The first step in that process is to amend the city administrative rule. BPS has started that process and is seeking public comment on the issue. Here’s more from their website about the truck safety proposal:

Truck Safety. Identify ways to make service delivery safer. Adopt higher standards for truck safety. Implement a pilot project to install and gain experience with side guards, protective equipment that blocks the side gaps between front and rear wheels on garbage and recycling trucks to prevent fatalities when side impacts occur with pedestrians and cyclists. Use that experience to guide future truck safety standards. Also, require annual safety training for all drivers and mechanics.

It’s early in the process, but this is potentially a very significant move by BPS that could help spark more regulations of commercials trucks operated by other city agencies. Speaking of which, as we reported back in February, truck safety equipment is already on the Bureau of Transportation’s radar. “Sideguards, sensors, additional mirrors, educational messaging and enhanced driver safety training,” for City-owned and operated vehicles are listed as action items in their Vision Zero Action Plan.

The BPS effort would be an important first step. The rule changes will be available for comment online after November 1st and there’s a public hearing on December 11th. Stay tuned!

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

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Postcards from Paris: Mixtes, street scenes, and a budding bike network

Bike Portland - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:12

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a reason so many Americans have written books and poems and songs about Paris: It’s a mind-bendingly fascinating cultural, historic, and architectural contrast to the United States. On more than one ocassion on each of the five days I recently spent there I found myself whispering to my wife Juli, mouth agape in awe during one of our many marathon walks, “I have never seen anything like this before.”

We probably walked an average of 10-12 miles a day. Many of the things that left us awe-struck have absolutely nothing to do with bikes or transportation (remember, I wasn’t there to work), so I won’t bore you with them here. I did however manage to snap a bunch of photos of wonderful things that are more on-topic and that might be of interest. I’ve put them in four categories: The Bikes, People on Bikes, Street Scenes, and Bikeways.

The Bikes

Mixtes are to Paris what those old old, upright, bomb-proof, black dutch bikes are to Amsterdam. I liked the mixte aesthetic before going to Paris and I had no idea they were the official bike of France. What I loved about the bikes I saw in Paris were that so many of them were French brands like Peugeot, Gitane, Motobecane, Nord France, and so on. They even had mixtes made by pro racing legends like Jacques Anquetil, Francesco Moser, Raymond Poulidor, and others.

People on Bikes

Someday when I’ve finally achieved my goals for BikePortland, I want to travel the world and photograph people on bikes. In Paris, my veloflaneurism (not a real word) was taken to new heights. I found that — even without world-class cycling infrastructure (see below) — Parisians’ well-known mix of style, personal confidence, and full embrace of everday life translates beautifully to cycling. It’s easy to look cool and relaxed on a bike in bike-oriented places like Amsterdam or Copenhagen; but Paris? Despite an unsophisticated bike network, Parisians manage to ride with sophistication.


This messenger was taking a break while snacking on a baguette.

A messenger speeds up the Champs Elysees, perhaps dreaming of the Tour de France sprints that take place on the same cobblestones.

Street Scenes

Paris is legendary for its street life. To me, the everyday tableaus and urban vignettes were a mix of art and poetry and placemaking — all unfolding in real life. Walking in Paris was like a dream.

Kids at play in the 18th Arrondissement.

Le Génie d’Alex under the Pont Alexander along the Seine. A pop-up space for music, (affordable) drinks, and conversation, this place was buzzing with activity and full of young people in a prime location.

During the carfree day on Sunday, October 1st, we came upon a multi-block garage sale where people spilled into the street as they shopped.

A rare image of the Champs Elysees not dominated by auto traffic.

So many narrow backstreets full of life.

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I don’t know what this is, but to me it was a perfect symbol of Paris’ walkability.

Students from the Sorbonne and University of Paris in a plaza outside the Pantheon. Bikeways

Now for some serious business. I found the bikeways in Paris to be an extremely mixed bag. It’s clear they’ve thought about a complete network of bikeways. And in many ways that network exists. But — and this is a big but — the network is full of gaps and high-stress, shared environments. As newbies to the city, it was often a challenge to follow the convoluted, faint breadcrumbs of striping and paint and signs that would get us through town alive and with relative efficiency.

For example, bikeways on the Rue Magenta (a major street) go from a narrow path on the sidewalk (where walkers have priority) to a narrow dedicated bikeway in a park in the center of the boulevard, to a shared bus-bike lane that would give most Americans a heart attack.

They also have a fair number of really sketchy, contraflow bikeways without any real striping or protection at all. Just one bike symbol and an arrow pointing against traffic and a very narrow slot to ride (see below).

And then there are the massive traffic circles. If you can find the bikeway, you’ve won half the battle. The other half is getting up the nerve to ride in it.

All this being said, once you just go-with-the-flow, it’s much lower-stress riding than you’d expect given the infrastructure. Why? Culture. America has an extremely hostile and divisive traffic culture where road users have built-up considerable animosity for one another. Add in the our lack of respect for others and a pervasive car culture centered around speed, machismo, oversized vehicles, and distraction; and people have reason to be afraid to ride bikes here.

Paris felt different. People don’t appear to have the same fears about traffic. I saw many older women wearing dresses and no helmet ride in the middle of massive boulevards and traffic circles during rush-hour in what would appear to American eyes as a death-wish. It’s amazing what can happen on streets when people don’t assume their fellow road users are out to kill them (willfully or “accidentally”).


Even without world-class non-motorized infrastructure, it’s amazing how relaxed people can be when they have faith in each other and mutual respect.

And a word about their bike share system, Velib. It’s a vital resource for Paris and a huge success. While Portland’s Biketown is used mostly by tourists, Velib is used by locals. The bikes are everywhere and I was heartened to see it have such a strong hold on the city. But when it comes to details, it’s nowhere near as good as Biketown. Several times I rented a bike that was poorly maintained and a pain to ride. The seatposts don’t go high enough (I’m only 6′ 2″). And the stations aren’t balanced (we pedaled around looking for a spot to park more than once). We’re lucky to have such a well-run system like Biketown! (Granted, our system is very small by comparison. We have 1,000 bikes, they have nearly 20,000.)

The carfree Seine is an oasis.

“Sauf” means “Except”.

Poster at a construction site shows new protected bikeway coming to the Rue de Rivoli.

A walking priority zone. Note how the sign shows priority based on size of the symbol.

A bikeway in name only.

Not afraid to mix with motorized traffic.

Shared bus and bike only lanes are a main feature of the network.

A walking quarter where people on foot have priority and motorized vehicle use is highly regulated.

Rush-hour is pretty insane in Paris.

Contraflow lanes like this are OK if they help maintain a key connection and are used sparingly on low-speed streets.

I loved the carfree spaces they’ve created. Sometimes simply by placing concrete blocks in the road.

Loved this contraflow protected bike lane on cobbles just a few blocks from the apartment in Montmarte where Vincent Van Gogh used to live (owned by his brother Theo).

Thanks for looking at my vacation photos. If you’ve been to Paris, I’d love to hear from you.

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

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Our Magazine is Back On Medium

Bike Hugger - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:45
3 years of Articles Plus New Ones

In March of this year, I learned the company that made our magazine (an iOS app), 29th Street Publishing, was closing shop, and issue number 43 was the last one we’d publish. Ever since then I’ve been working on where to put 3 years of archives and where to start publishing again. Medium is the obvious place, but with no revenue model at the time, it didn’t make financial sense.

Now with Medium Memberships and the Partner Program, we can paywall the content again, and offer it for you to read ad-free. Membership costs $5 a month and as a Partner, me and Bike Hugger authors will get paid by the views on the articles.

Read this explainer on how membership works. Behind an “open paywall,” the more people that read our magazine content, the more we get paid.

That’s way better than NOT getting paid and the content just sitting on my hard drive collecting dust after the app closed.

I’ve migrated 3 issues so far and the articles are collected in our publication here, under the magazine tag. After moving over the rest of the issues, I’ll work on issue 44.

It took 8 months, but I’m happy to share the news and hope you become a Medium member.

Also, thanks for being a part of what Bike Hugger does. Remember, the more you read member-only content on Medium, the more the authors get paid, including us.

For an archive version of our magazine with ads and up to issue 7, see the magazine archive here. With no practical way to paywall content on WordPress, we’ll just leave that there.

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New Zealand in 6 Minutes

Bike Hugger - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:08

One man solo’d the entire length of New Zealand in the middle of winter. 2,336 km over 13 days through rain, hail, snow, ice and incredible beauty.

It is incredible and on our list to ride. Read the story here.

The post New Zealand in 6 Minutes appeared first on Bike Hugger.

PBOT’s Active Transpo Division Manager takes job with Metro

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:34

Bradway at the launch of Biketown bike share in July 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Margi Bradway, head of Active Transportation & Safety Division at the Portland Bureau of Transportation, plans to leave that role for a job at Metro, our region’s metropolitan planning organization.

Bradway will be Metro’s new Deputy Director for Transportation Planning (see the job listing here). She begins her new job November 13th. “I love my job at the city,” Bradway shared with us today, “but I could not pass up the opportunity to have a greater impact on the region.”

Bradway is a former environmental and land use lawyer who previously worked at the Oregon Department of Transportation where she headed up their sustainability program. When she left ODOT she was a policy advisor to ODOT Director Matt Garrett.

PBOT hired Bradway in 2014 to lead their Active Transportation Division, the part of the agency that includes many of the programs we cover often here on BikePortland: Safe Routes to School, Sunday Parkways, Vision Zero, and more. During her tenure at PBOT, Bradway played a key role in inking the deal with Nike that led to the launch of Biketown bike share, helped pass traffic safety laws (including a reduced speed limit and expanded authority for photo radar cameras), negotiated the deal with Strava to utilize the company’s dataset for planning purposes, helped make Vision Zero a top city priority, and much more.

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In an announcement sent to Metro employees on Tuesday, Planning and Development Director Elissa Gerlter described the role Bradway will assume:

“As Deputy Director for Metropolitan Transportation Planning, Margi will oversee the Regional Planning, Resource Development, and Policy and Innovation teams in the department, and work closely with the Research Center. Margi will be the department’s primary liaison to key partners within multiple levels of USDOT, FHWA, FTA, and ODOT, as well as other Oregon MPOs and will work closely with these partners on matters of regulation, policy, performance, funding, reporting, research, and project development. She will also work closely with me on department wide issues such as budget and finance, our department’s racial equity strategy, and our continuously evolving business model.”

Bradway says she was drawn to work for Metro because the agency is, “Uniquely situated to bring people in this region together for a shared vision at a time when the Portland Metro region is facing many challenges, from congestion to climate change.”

PBOT’s loss is Metro’s gain. Bradway is a tireless advo-crat who cares deeply about the outcomes of her work and who has the smarts and ambition to get things done. We’re looking forward to seeing what she can do at the regional level.

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

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First look: New protected bikeway on SE Morrison

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:04

A spacious new place to ride on SE Morrison!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has installed a new bikeway on SE Morrison between Grand and 11th (about one-third of a mile). It’s part of their SE Morrison Configuration Project that we shared details about back in August.

I rolled over to take a closer look at it yesterday.

Just for context, let’s remember that prior to this project, this segment of SE Morrison (like a lot of commercial streets in Portland) didn’t have any dedicated cycling space at all. It was six lanes of traffic. They all pointed west (towards downtown), except for one strange and unneccessary lane than went east. PBOT got rid of that eastbound lane and used the space to create the bike-only lane. The lane adjacent to the new bikeway is now bus-only during peak hours and auto parking off-peak. (See PBOT’s before-and-after graphic here.)

Looking east toward the intersection with SE 7th Ave.

The new bikeway is nice. It’s relatively wide at about six feet, plus a two-foot wide buffer that’s filled with tightly-spaced plastic wands. PBOT has added green bikeway coloring to the intersections at SE 7th and Grand. It’s nice to have low-stress cycling space on this destination-filled corridor. And not having cars curbside will also vastly improve the sidewalk on Morrison, which has several outdoor cafés and bars.

Here are a few more specific observations:

➤ On several blocks, the auto parking goes very close to the intersection. This is not good for safety because it inhibits sight lines. I also noticed that people driving across Morrison like to peek out to see oncoming auto traffic — which means they roll into the bikeway.

➤ Several of these blocks are on a downhill, so bicycling speeds might be higher than usual. (making sightlines and intersection designs that much more important).

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➤ There’s a TriMet bus stop at 10th (or is it 11th) where the bus operator will have to swing over, into the bikeway, to service the stop. PBOT removed a few plastic wands to facilitate this; but it’s a shame we can’t have a standard design for a floating bus stop to preserve the biking space and make the operator’s job easier.

➤ I was happy to see how tightly placed the wands are. If they remain standing, they should be enough to deter illegal parking in the bikeway. On that note, PBOT has posted these flyers on every block to help remind people how to park:

➤ The striping design at Grand is really strange and I’m not a big fan. In order to facilitate a high volume of auto users turning right (north), PBOT has opted to encourage bicycle users to merge to the left prior to the intersection (so as to avoid being in the right-hook danger zone). This is a standard design for standard (unprotected) bike lanes without bike boxes; but I don’t think I’ve seen this used in this situation before. Here, the green-painted bikeway stops and a green stripe, followed by a sharrow symbol and another green stripe are meant as breadcrumbs to help bicycle users make the merge to the left. Then there’s a bike box where you can wait during the red signal phase, prior to squiggling your way to the existing bikeways that will eventually lead you onto the Morrison Bridge (more on that later).

I get the idea PBOT had, but the markings are confusing. Perhaps we’ll all get used to them, but it would be nice if they were more consistent all over town. Worth noting that what’s on the ground today is much different than what was in the striping plans on the PBOT website. I’ve inquired about that discrepancy and will update when I hear back.

Making matters worse, only a minority of auto users seemed to know how to position themselves without encroaching on the bikeway. And I noticed a much lower rate of bike box compliance here than at other bike boxes. Perhaps we need a “$260 Fine for Violation” sign under the “Stop Here on Red” sign. Check the images below to see what I mean:

If I stay curbside I lose the bikeway and risk right hook. If I merge I get tangled in a mess of cars.

This is what happened when I tried to position myself to the left of the auto users, both of whom were breaking the law.

➤ This new bikeway is nice, but it would be great if it actually connected directly to the Morrison Bridge. At Grand, bicycle users are treated like a second class citizen by being shuffled across Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, then onto a shared street under the viaduct, then onto a skinny bike lane, then onto an uphill path. Once finally on the bridge, the path forces bicycle riders away from downtown and onto Naito Parkway. Meanwhile, auto users can go straight from Morrison and directly onto the bridge and into downtown.

Look at the image below (end of bikeway at Grand) and imagine if the bikeway continued straight onto the bridge and into downtown (just like the grown-ups in the cars get to do)!

With such a disparity in access where it matters most, is it any wonder why so many Portlanders still choose to drive cars instead of ride?

Have you ridden this yet? If so, what are your impressions?

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

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California wildfires spark bike ride cancellations; narrow escape by bike; Leipheimer house destroyed

Biking Bis - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:11

Bike ride organizers in Northern California have postponed at least one event and changed the route of another as firefighters battle horrific wildfires in several counties.

Not wanting to hamper efforts to control the wildland fires, organizers also realize that air quality in the region is not ideal for outdoor exercise.

The 10th Annual …

Continue reading »

Weekend Event Guide: Cyclocross, Chris King Open House, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 08:43

Racing bikes in pure Gorge mud with friends. It doesn’t get any better than this.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Guide is back! After two weeks off due to me galavanting around Europe, it brings me much pleasure to offer our selection of events for the coming weekend. Remember our calendar includes rides not listed here, so don’t forget to check it out.

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

With the rain and fall weather here with vengeance, we’re set up for some classic cyclocross battles this weekend. Last year the Cyclocross Crusade’s stop in Cascade Locks was an epic mud-bath. At several places on the course I was literally riding up a river of water and I still have dirt in my bibshorts one year later!

And don’t miss the Chris King event Saturday. It’s a rare chance to see one-of-a-king custom builds and tour the factory.

Here ya go…

Friday, October 13th

Midnight Mystery Ride – Start location TBA
Doesn’t this fall weather just make you want to get cozy on bikes with friends and ride around all night? If so, do MMR. Hit the official page on Friday for details on starting location. More info here.

Saturday, October 14th

Washougal CX – All day at Washougal Motocross Park (40205 NE Borin Rd in Washougal)
The penultimate race in the Grand Prix Candi Murray series, Washougal is a fun course just across the Columbia River from Portland. “Be prepared for lots of fast gravel, mud, tunnels, bogs, and a bit of grass,” organizers say. More info here.

*FEATURED EVENT* Chris King Open House and Builder Showcase – 12:00 to 4:00 pm at Chris King HQ (2801 NW Nela St)
Think of this event as a mini custom bike show and chance to hang out in the world headquarters of Chris King Precision Components. Along with amazing bikes on display from builders like, Argonaut, Breadwinner, Moots, and DeSalvo, they’ll have great food and drinks and will be offering tours of their production facility (a rare treat!). More info here.

Advocate Party – 8:00 pm to late at 1908 NE 55th Ave. (private residence)
Bike Loud PDX is hosting this get together for anyone curious in local bicycling and transportation advocacy. Come to network and plug-into the local activism scene and meet all those people you’ve been emailing, commenting, and tweeting with. More info here.

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Breadwinner Group Ride – 8:30 am at Breadwinner HQ (2323 N Williams Ave)
Follow-up the Chris King event with a group ride led by local builders Breadwinner Cycles. Meet at their newly renovated shop and cafe space on Williams Ave. for a spirited, three-hour ride following obligatory coffee and pastries. More info here.

Cyclcross Crusade #3 – All day in Cascade Locks
After an amazing, two-race weekend at Alpenrose, the Cyclocross Crusade moves to the Cascade Locks venue in the Columbia River Gorge. Beyond a great event for racers and fans, this year there’s added motivation to show up: Businesses in the Gorge are still recovering from the big wildfires and they need our support. Head to this race and make a day out of it with visits to great breweries and shops in Cascade Locks. More info here.

Bikepacking Stories from Around the Globe – 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Bike Gallery Milwaukie (6717 SE Milwaukie Ave)
Portland’s own endurance-racing legend Nathan Jones will share stories and photos from his recent race around the world. This guy has been everywhere on a bike and has done it on a shoestring. And he’s a real nice guy. You won’t regret meeting him and hearing his inspirational tales from the road. More info here.

Did we miss anything? If so, give it a shout out in the comments. And have a great weekend!

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

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

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Aerial Cinematography with DJI Zenmuse X7

Bike Hugger - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 08:41

I’ve been waiting for this news to drop and now expect to see even more cinematic mountain bike edits deep in the British Columbia loam. It’s a aerial cinematography platform from DJI and spec’d with Super 35, 6K, and shallow depth of field lenses. And, the high-rez video evolution that was expected when DJI bought a majority stake in Hasselblad.

Next up, expect a medium format drone too.

But who knows when.

For now, considering new form factors, like the small cubes I’m shooting with from Sony, high-res bodies hanging from a drone, are going to open up even more creative avenues. Check the showreel below and this behind the scenes look.

All I know so far is what’s in the pre-release, but expect insight from my colleagues at HD Video Pro and Digital Photo Pro when it ships.

In the press release, Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI, said

“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand.”

“From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.

The Specs

Equipped with a Super 35, the Zenmuse X7 sensor features 14 stops of dynamic range promising more detail in low-light conditions and low-noise with a shallow cinematic depth of field. The X7 is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 FPS, as well as 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 FPS. And, integrate seamlessly into industry-standard post-production workflows.

Mount System

The DJI DL-Mount is an ultra-short flange focal distance to carry prime lenses optimally. Those are f/2.8s at 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm, is crafted out of carbon fiber.

The 16mm lens is equipped with a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses feature a mechanical shutter.

Post-Production

DJI also introduce a new Cinema Color System (DCCS) working with Technicolor and said,

With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.

So that’s a D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space to give more flexibility and color options during the post-production process. The D-Log further extends the dynamic range, while the D-Gamut RGB color space preserves more color information to support the most demanding filmmaking scenarios, providing accurate color for quick and easy post-processing.

Reassuring filmmakers, there’s an EI Mode that mimics film with detail in the dynamic range and noise. Different log curves in the EI Mode also offer flexibility during the post-production process.

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. Attached to a DJI Inspire 2 the flight time is up to 23 minutes.

Price and Availability

The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $2,699 USD and ships next month. The 16 mm, 24 mm and 35 mm lenses will be available for $1,299 each, and the 50 mm for $1,199. There is a prime lens bundle of all 4 lenses for $4,299.

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Marin UnFairfax SC2 Version 2 - Audaxified

Velospace - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:46
Frame / Size / Year:
Marin Fairfax SC2/ 19inch
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