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Family Biking: Join us for the annual Kidical Mass Easter Ride

Bike Portland - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 08:40

We had such a great time last year! Let’s do it again.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Flowers are blooming, the rain feels a bit warmer, and bike shops are off their winter schedules. That means Kidical Mass PDX is back, too! Our “season” typically starts on Easter Sunday with our annual Kidical Mass PDX Easter Ride and Egg Hunt:

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Sunday, April 21, 2019
11:00 a.m.
Start: Overlook Park (1599 N Fremont St, Portland, OR 97227)
End: Arbor Lodge Park (N Delaware Ave & N Bryant St, Portland, OR 97217)
The three-mile route
Facebook event page

Like all Kidical Mass PDX rides, this one is for kids of all ages and their families. Three miles is probably best tackled with 16-inch wheels and larger, but fast balance bikers, kids on 12-inch-wheeled bikes, and kids (well one particular awesome kid) on unicycles have been known to keep pace and enjoy themselves.

This year feels very different than last year’s April Fools’ Day/Easter ride, both coming on the heels of the Youth Climate Strike and falling the day before Earth Day. Kidical Mass is lots of things, from a parade on bikes simply for the sake of having fun to a first step towards non-polluting transportation and ditching one’s car for good. Earth Day is a wonderful reason to showcase the environmentally friendly aspects of bicycling for transportation and encourage our peers to bike more and drive less.

Earth Day is a wonderful reason to showcase the environmentally friendly aspects of bicycling for transportation and encourage our peers to bike more and drive less.

Our Easter ride is always a big one, with lots of families driving their bikes over — a perfect audience to talk to about shifting travel modes. Overlook Park is right on the MAX Light Rail Yellow Line so even if it’s too far or tricky to reach by bike, one can get there multimodally (check out my tips for taking taking kids and bikes on MAX light rail).

On Sunday, we’ll take the Green Line MAX to the Yellow Line, rather than bike 10 miles. This will take about an hour, as would biking the whole way.

Beyond transportation, changes we’ve made to this year’s Easter ride include making a bigger effort to collect our plastic eggs at the end of the event. We’ll do this by announcing at the beginning of the ride and the beginning of the egg hunt that we’ll collect and reuse the plastic eggs, and I’ll have my kids help me make a fancy egg collection receptacle. My kids are used to using their bike helmets as egg collecting baskets so they’ll do that and I’ll encourage other kids to do the same.

I’d love to hear any sustainable Easter and general Earth Day tips you’ve got in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Notre-Dame in Paris Photos by Bike

Bike Hugger - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 17:59

It’s sad, shocking, and surreal to start my work day watching an 800-year-old landmark burn in realtime. I was in Paris last year street shooting with the a9 and by bike. From the BREAKING NEWS Wire

A fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. The cause was unknown, and firefighters were on the scene after an evacuation.
Monday, April 15, 2019 1:29 PM EST

André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the spire of the cathedral had caught fire.

Video filmed by onlookers and shared on social media showed smoke and flames billowing from the top of the cathedral, engulfing scaffolding and the spire.

I didn’t publish any photos of Notre-Dame when I took them because the scene there is mostly tourists taking photos. Here they are now and shared with a sadness for a landmark everyone should see and photograph. I’m sure they’ll rebuild it.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos by Bike: this is the west side. The cathedral on the other side burned today.

Notre Dame is a symbol of France. Imagine the scene as thousands stood on the banks of the Seine river watching in shock when the fire tore through the cathedral’s wooden roof and brought down part of the spire.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, as seen from the street. Part of Paris Burned

Video shared on Twitter showed smoke and flames billowing from the top of the cathedral and the iconic cathedral collapsing.

#Breaking: Just in – Close up Video of The concrete spire of the iconic cathédrale Notre-Dame de #Paris collapsing inside the church.#NotreDame #France pic.twitter.com/DL5FTJJeHy

— Sotiri Dimpinoudis ❁‏ (@sotiridi) April 15, 2019

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral is currently undergoing extensive renovation work. That’s what I saw around the back of the building. There were gargoyles stacked in scaffolding.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, tourists taking photos with phones. Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, tourists taking photos with phones.

About Notre-Dame, Mr. Macron said on Twitter

Like all of our fellow citizens, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn.

Feature photo: FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

It was lovely and we saw plenty of Parisians cycling. More about cycling Paris

The post Notre-Dame in Paris Photos by Bike appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Former Obama transpo secretary will headline Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 15:31

Charles Brown (L) and Anthony Foxx will deliver keynote speeches on April 25th.
(Photos: Brown, Rutgers University; Foxx, Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit will take place April 24th through the 26th at the Oregon Zoo. The annual conference is organized by The Street Trust and features a full slate of mobile workshops, plenary sessions, professional training, and networking opportunities.

Headlining the summit’s main day — Thursday, April 25th — will be a noted researcher and a Cabinet Secretary for former President Barack Obama.

Former Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx spent four years as Obama’s Transportation Secretary and as of last October works for Lyft as their chief policy officer. Foxx visited Portland in 2016 as part of the US Department of Transportation’s “Smart City” initiative.

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Charles Brown is a senior researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Mr. Brown will deliver the lunch keynote. In 2018 he was nominated for a “Streetsie Advocate of the Year” award by Streetsblog Los Angeles for his, “important work on the intersections of race and mobility.”

In a statement about the event, The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler said, “This year, many sessions address ways to achieve more equitable outcomes from our transportation system.”

Among the topics of Thursday’s breakout sessions are: Voices From Williams Avenue; Designing Safe Streets for Pedestrians of Color: The Intersection of Equity Engineering and Vision Zero; Inclusive Bike and Scooter Share; Creating Bike Networks; Let’s (Not) Talk About Congestion; and more.

After a day of interesting keynotes and sessions, The Street Trust will host a Pecha Kucha event at Rock Bottom Brewery. Unwind with friends old and new as you listen to a series of short and stimulating presentations on a variety of transportation-related presentations.

Register for the event and view the full schedule here.

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

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A bit of rain can’t dampen spirits at The Ladds 500

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 14:18


*All photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap on Instagram

Part race, party relay, part party: The Ladds 500 is quintessential Portland.

Back for its fourth edition after it was an instant hit in its inaugural running in 2016, the free and unsanctioned event drew hundreds to Ladd Circle Park on Saturday. Teams with names like Huffy The Vampire Slayer, Laddimir Putins, Scoot Along, and Aggressive Dolphins pedaled for hours in the rain to complete a century by riding 500 laps of the 0.2 mile circle.

Photographer Eric Thornburg (No.Lens.Cap on Instagram) was there to capture some of the magic. As I looked through his images and saw other posts about the event, it struck me that — while we grapple with how quickly Portland is changing and losing parts of its “weird” spirit — events like The Ladds 500 seem to take on even greater meaning.

After all the changes, we still have people who dream up and execute crazy biking ideas. And when free bike fun is done right, the community responds in a big way!

Just look at more of Eric’s images below and see the wide variety of people who came out to “do something stupid” in the middle of a usually quiet neighborhood on a rainy Saturday…

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Thanks David Robinson, Eric Ivy, and everyone else who came together and made this event happen.

For more coverage, see this video from KOIN-TV.

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

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Southeast Division bike shop ‘A Better Cycle’ will close next month

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:20

(Photo: A Better Cycle)

A neighborhood bike shop in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood will close its doors next month after over a decade in business. Owners of A Better Cycle announced their decision last week.

Six original co-owners in 2007: Aaron Truman, Tim Weeks, Clinton Garner, Ian Mitchell, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, and Ben “Sauce” Applebaum.
(Photo: A Better Cycle)

“We are so proud of our time here as your local, neighborhood bike shop,” the announcement states on the shop’s website. “Thank you all so much for the opportunity to live and work the way we wanted to for over a decade! We love you all.”

The small shop at 2324 SE Division opened in 2007 when six friends came together to share ownership. The shop has remained worker-owned and has been run as a collective ever since.

Christine Dakis is one of the shop’s workers. She told us the decision ultimately came down to money. “The last few years haven’t been great financially, and we (and most other bike shops we talk to) have been doing less and less business (money-wise) every year,” she shared. “It is down to the point where we can’t really cut costs any more and think it is time to close up before we can’t get out of the hole.”

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Dakis added that in addition to the financial pinch, it was just time to move on. She pointed to the “vast” neighborhood change in the past decade. This part of southeast has seen transformational commercial and residential real estate development, with thousands of new residents looking for a slice of the famous (or infamous, depending on your values) Portland lifestyle. Unfortunately for Dakis and her fellow workers, that lifestyle didn’t include shopping at a place like A Better Cycle. “It seems there aren’t as many people nearby looking for the kind of business that we are,” she said.

“It seems like our core customers are slowly being driven away from here. The weird side of Portland is getting smaller and smaller.”
— Christine Dakis, co-owner/worker

“It feels like there are more and more people moving here, but that they are moving here with cars, and either prefer online shopping or big shop convenience, which doesn’t bode well for us,” Dakis added. “Even with folks we do know — it is hard not to go for what are, or may seem like, better deals online or elsewhere when you are squeezed between rising rents and stagnating wages with increasing costs for healthcare.”

Since A Better Cycle has been open, inner southeast Portland has experienced an exodus of sorts. A place that used to house many lower-income activists, artists, and entrepreneurs has lost its affordability. People have moved further north and east, or even out of the city altogether.

“It seems like our core customers are slowly being driven away from here,” is how Dakis put it. “The weird side of Portland is getting smaller and smaller.”

As for the future of the shop, the plan is to continue taking service orders until May 1st. All new stock is currently 20% off and you can expect deeper discounts as the days go by. Dakis says if you’re looking for cool older frames and parts, new rims and hubs (that were stocked for wheelbuilding), and other bike shop supplies, roll on over and take a look. The shop is expected to close sometime next month.

Thank you Christine and all the workers at A Better Cycle for all your service and dedication to our community over the years!

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

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The Monday Roundup: Protected by law, speed research, Walmart’s new bikes, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:09

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Ride Like a Girl Cycling, who invites you to their ‘Coastal Delight’, all-inclusive training camp for beginner riders: May 20-22 in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast.

Welcome to the week!

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

Where protection is the law: Big news from Massachusetts where the city of Cambridge passed a city council ordinance that mandates physical protection for bike lanes. City Lab says the law makes new bikeways “bikelash proof”.

Paint not enough: Why did Cambridge take such a drastic step to ensure physical protection? Easy: Because paint-only bikeways — like the ones the City of Portland has deemed sufficient for much of our network — are woefully inadequate.

Walmart to sell high-end bikes: We are watching very closely as news of Walmart’s high-quality carbon MTB and gravel “Viathon” bikes ripple through the bike industry.

Time to pay up: The reason so many people feel entitled to using public roads for free is because government has always subsidized it. That is finally changing as congestion pricing moves to the forefront.

Death of Kelly Catlin: The NY Times takes a closer look at why an aspiring, Olympic-level track racer enrolled at Stanford University killed herself?

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Mayor Pederson? Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson has started to make a name for herself as a transportation reformer. Now she’s reportedly interested in being Portland’s mayor.

E-bikes on tour: Another facet of the impending shift toward e-bike acceptance is multi-day tours. Imagine being able to travel almost anywhere by bike, for several days, without having to worry about your fitness!

Moving the needle: Writing in Curbed, Alissa Walker updates us on new policies from London, Sacramento, New York City, and Cambridge (more on that later) intended to discourage people from driving.

High speeds kill: New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that a 5 mph increase in the maximum speed limit was associated with an 8 percent increase in the fatality rate on interstates and freeways and that about 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to driving too fast.

Specialized recall: If you have a new Roubaix, Roubaix, Ruby, Diverge, or Sirrus model bicycle, it might be susceptible to cracks in the steerer tube according to a safety recall notice.

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

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County says NW Newberry Road could re-open in a few weeks

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 16:16

Crews install a manhole on NW Newberry Road on April 3rd.
(Photo: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County’s latest update on the NW Newberry Road repair project has good news for those of you who miss this popular route up to (or down from) Skyline Blvd.

The project is several months ahead of schedule and instead of waiting until summer, the road is now expected to reopen by later this month!

Here’s the latest word from the County:

The slide-damaged road section has been excavated, a rock basket retaining wall built, the road has been rebuilt and paved. Remaining work includes installation of guardrail on the outside curve of the road, lane striping and various final “punch list” items. The road is expected to reopen in mid to late April 2019. Multnomah County appreciates the public’s patience during this road closure.

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A major landslide in January 2017 caused about half of the road near the lower section to fall away. When it reopens in the next few weeks, the road will have drivers on it for the first time in over two years.

And keep in mind that starting July 8th, a project will close NW Cornelius Pass Road and will divert over 11,000 car and truck trips onto NW Newberry Road for an estimated 13 weeks.

My advice: Get on it as much as you can before July! See you out there.

For more information, see the official project website.

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

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Comments of the Week: Perspectives on more law enforcement

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 15:51

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As our community continues to grapple with a spate of deadly and serious injury collisions, much of the discussion in the past few days has focused on enforcement.

It’s an important topic that deserves a productive debate.

Out of around 260 comments in this shortened week (I was out of town Monday-Tuesday), here are three that stood out:

Reader MTW had this to say in response to our story about North Fessenden:

“Even if I thought a city could “enforce” their way to road safety, Portland quite clearly can’t. We’re broke (currently proposing to close parks and community centers) and already under-staffed at PPB. Designing unsafe road conditions and then trying to use police man hours to ticket their way out of the problem is ineffective, wasteful and almost certainly inequitable.

The streets need to be re-designed in a way that forces compliance (with or without agents of the state being there to drive compliance rates.) Unfortunately, people will drive as fast as THEY feel safe and that high threshold for personal safety (particularly in an SUV) is incompatible with a safe and welcoming environment for VRUs [vulnerable roadway users].

2 people have died in 24 hours, treat this like the emergency it is. Until we can afford to re-engineer these streets properly (with concrete, diverters, re-painting, etc.,) break out the orange cones and take some lanes out. Tactical urbanism and traffic calming.”

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Scott Kocher added this comment to our story about Police Chief Outlaw’s calls for more enforcement:

“In the past PPB has not supported automated enforcement. A PPB Sergeant once told me we didn’t have enough officers but he opposed automated enforcement because it ‘lacks the human touch.’ I hope in the current climate we can free up officers so they’re not doing tasks a camera can do, placement can be reviewed for equity and safety need, fines can be graduated based on income as elsewhere, and revenue (if there is any) can go to infrastructure.”

And reader SD had an opinion about the PPB’s communications:

“One immediate improvement would be for all communications from the Portland Police and all other city agencies to stop “both-siding” their street safety message. Across the board, the data show that driver behavior contributes to pedestrian injury and fatality far more than that of pedestrians. Despite this, many people as well as many media outlets believe that the cause is distracted pedestrians. If there is any point to making a public statement like the one from Outlaw, it is to give drivers pause to consider if they are driving in a way that is more dangerous than it needs to be. When the PPB calls out pedestrian behavior, it is interpreted by many drivers to mean that their windshield-biased notion that it’s the victim’s fault is true. And, since they already consider their driving habits safe, regardless of whether they speed or drive while looking at their cell phones, this message just reinforces their idea that every thing they do is fine, because nothing bad has happened to them yet, or if it has it was just once or twice.

Statements like these show that very few in Portland government have taken the very first baby steps of understanding Vision Zero that include, at the least, making statements that target the most harmful factors in road safety.”

I’m grateful for these perspectives. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. And remember, I rely on you to nominate great comments by leaving a reply that includes “comment of the week” so I can more easily find them via search.

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

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Some Bike Blog business: Planning an endorsement board + A family life update

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:57

Seattle’s more honest promotional photo: Our 1962 symbol of the city of the future next to our 2019 car tunnel smoke stacks.

Hello, wonderful Seattle Bike Blog readers. I’ve got some cool bits of blog and family news to share, so I figured I would write you all a letter keeping you in the loop.

First, my incredible spouse Kelli started work this week as Legislative Assistant to Councilmember Mike O’Brien. I’m letting you all know because A: I think that’s really cool news, and B: I figured I should explain how we plan to avoid conflicts of interest for the sake of transparency.

O’Brien is the Chair of the Transportation Committee, which I report about often. So Kelli and I have come up with some simple rules to both protect our relationship and avoid any conflicts of interest:

  1. I will never ask her for information she would have learned from her job. If I want info, I will pursue it through the usual channels.
  2. O’Brien’s office will have someone other than Kelli communicate with Seattle Bike Blog.
Seattle Bike Blog endorsements board

With 50 candidates running for City Council, some of whom I consider personal friends, there’s no way I can do blog endorsements myself this year. So I am in the planning stages of putting together an endorsements board to help with the workload and provide a wider perspective on candidates. A board will also allow our endorsements to be fair to all candidates in races where I have existing friendships.

The alternative to an endorsements board would be to not have endorsements this year. But that’s no fun.

There will likely be an open call-out for board members, so stay tuned for details (if anyone has relevant experience putting together something like this, I’d love advice). I’m hoping to make it both work and fun.

Dedication to independent news

Seattle Bike Blog is proudly independent, supported by direct-sale relationships with local businesses (no third party ad services like Google) and paid monthly reader supporters. News has been slower than usual here since my daughter was born because I double as a stay-at-home dad these days (is “work-at-home dad” a thing?). But as she grows and learns to be more independent (she’s so close to walking!), I’m getting back more and more time to dedicate to this site. So expect things here to continue ramping up slowly. The biggest change, I hope, is that I will eventually be able to do more on-the-ground reporting and long personal interviews than I have lately.

I have also been thinking a lot about platform ownership. When I started this site in 2010, there was this trend where reporters were spending lot of time and energy reporting directly via Twitter and Facebook, since those platforms were a very effective way to reach more users more quickly. But eight years later, we’re seeing the downsides to giving your work to social media companies: They keep all the money. Well, Facebook does, anyway. Twitter is pretty awful at making money. Facebook doesn’t report the news, they just profit from reporters’ work. Even worse, Facebook won’t even serve your posts to most of your own followers unless you pay them money (which I have never done outside of a few event promotions). This is not a new development or observation, but as more and more news outlets close or make cuts (or get bought by assholes like Sinclair who break editorial standards by forcing conservative propaganda disguised as local news), I’m realizing how important it is that independent journalists own their platforms and revenue streams.

I own SeattleBikeBlog.com, and I own the advertising sales system. Of course, that means I am also my own tech support, which is why the calendar is so often broken or why the “forgot password” button didn’t work for months (it’s fixed now I think!). It’s also why the design of the desktop site hasn’t changed in eight years. My logo is still a sharrow! But at least this site belongs to the journalist behind it.

Badass journalists at Gawker unionized, and now Buzzfeed journalists are working to do the same thing. You might even say there’s a journalist union movement happening, and it’s about damn time. But I also think it’s time for the independents and the freelancers (OMG freelancers are treated like such shit) work together to take more ownership and/or control of their own work. I don’t know exactly what the looks like, but the status quo is clearly not working. Whenever a legit journalism job is lost, corporate and government PR gains power, misinformation on Facebook has more space to grow, and propaganda from Sinclair or whoever becomes that much more powerful.

To tie this into the section above, Seattle has fewer journalists and more City Council candidates than any other time in recent memory. I’m honestly worried that our city is not in a place to report adequately about this election, and that opens the door for social media misinformation to have a bigger influence.

The Seattle Times and The Seattle Foundation recently launched the Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund, which can take tax-deductible donations to help keep the paper’s remarkable investigative work going. This is a very interesting concept, and I hope it works. Because there are very few organizations that can do that kind of work these days, and it’s so important.

But what’s it going to take to keep the rest of the journalists funded in this town?

Portland Parks eyes closures as river levels rise

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:23

Willamette River Greenway path south of downtown Portland.
(Photo by pdxwheeler)

If your bicycling plans involve any paths, bikeways, or roads around the Willamette River, be on the lookout for water.

National Weather Service flood level chart for Willamette River in Portland.

A BikePortland reader sent in the photo above of the Willamette Greenway Trail south of the South Waterfront area this morning. “The trail has been getting progressively worse this week,” he said. “It’s starting to get fairly bad in a couple sections. In one of the pictures you can see a gentleman avoiding the water up on the rocks.”

Asked about the situation, a Portland Parks & Recreation spokesperson told us staff plan to visit the location today. Signs will be posted to warn users of flooded sections.

Earlier this week we heard from PP&R that they were considering a closure of the floating ramps section of the Eastbank Esplanade. The last time high water led to a closure of the Esplanade was 2011. Back then, we reached just over 17 feet as per official gauges.

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On Wednesday of this week the Willamette was at 13.2 feet. PP&R says they seriously consider closing the ramps at 13.5 feet (give or take a few inches). As of right now the National Weather Service shows the river at 15.7 feet. Since the water level is predicted to decrease substantially over the coming days, PPB says they don’t plan to take any action at this time.

According to the Willamette Week, water from other parts of the state are affecting Portland area rivers. The Corvallis area has seen major flooding and a state of emergency has been declared in 10 counties so far.

Whatever your weekend riding plans are, be aware that flooding could impact your route. If you are venture onto unpaved roads, be advised that mud could seriously alter your ability to roll.

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

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Portland’s oldest riding club drops ‘Wheelmen’ from name

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 07:03

Scene from Clapshaw Hill Road in Washington County during a club ride last October.
(Photo: Portland Bicycling Club)

After 48 years as the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club, a local riding organization has decided to change its name to Portland Bicycling Club.

“We will no longer appear to potential members as an exclusive club comprised of elite aggressive, high-speed riders who manage bike tours.”
— Pat McManus, club president

The decision was made at the club’s April 4th meeting after months of debate among its 600 members. As we reported back in December, leaders of the club felt the old name wasn’t inclusive enough and that it was time to evolve to attract more diverse, younger riders.

Portland Bicycling Club President Pat McManus shared via email with BikePortland yesterday that, “Rebranding our club will not change the club… But the name will at once be simple and at the same time represent complexity, in that we will no longer (incorrectly) appear to potential members as an exclusive club comprised of elite aggressive, high-speed riders who manage bike tours.”

McManus supports the new name because she believes it will help the club “Morph into a more contemporary organization” and become one that, “Pulls in the diverse types of riders we see in the Portland area.” In a recent club newsletter McManus wrote that the club has been, “Feeling pressure to re-examine our place in Portland’s active cycling community.”

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The club’s new ad created for the upcoming Filmed By Bike festival.

The club also recently decided to end the Pioneer Century ride after 44 consecutive editions in part because of dwindling participation.

Like other parts of the cycling scene, the Portland Bicycling Club is dominated by older white men. Out of their eight regular ride leaders, none of them are women.

Pat McManus.

Club surveys showed a strong majority in support of the change. At the April 4th meeting, 71% of the 90 members present voted in support of the new name. McManus said the members who voted against the new name felt it was too ordinary, bland and dull.

Looking ahead, McManus wants everyone to know you don’t have to be a member to ride with the club. She personally loves to lead themed rides (like their annual Halloween Ride and Heritage Tree Ride) and would love to have new members lead more of them. She’s also hoping to see more gravel rides and family-oriented rides on the calendar in the future.

“Our diversity of rides and simple love of bicycling is one of the messages that I hope the new name reflects,” McManus said.

Graphic released by club in official public announcement made today.

To see if Portland Bicycling Club is the place for you, check out their website, Facebook page, and on Instagram.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Kenton Cycle, Rack Attack, Western Bikeworks, Ti Cycles, The eBike Store

Bike Portland - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 05:47

If the amount of listings is any indications, it appears as though Portland’s local bike industry is alive and well.

Learn more about each new opportunity via the links below…

Customer Experience Champion – Kenton Cycle Repair

Keyholder/Sales and Installation Associate – Rack Attack Portland

Mechanic- Full Time – Western Bikeworks

Service Writer- Full Time – Western Bikeworks

General shop assistant – Ti Cycles Fabrication

Sales / Customer Care – The eBike Store

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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Amid spate of collisions, Portland Police Chief calls for more enforcement

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 15:55

6 fatal crashes in 5 days! 27 people have died on our streets this year. I am directing officers to increase enforcement, but this is everyone's responsibility. Drivers slow down, don't drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution—don’t assume drivers see you.

— Chief Danielle Outlaw (@ChiefDOutlaw) April 11, 2019

With 14 fatal traffic crashes so far this year and six in the past four days, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw.

Since she was hired in October 2017, Chief Outlaw has had many intense issues to focus on: from a crisis-level officer shortage to violent protests. She hasn’t engaged on transportation safety issues. Until now.

In a tweet posted today, Chief Outlaw wrote:

“6 fatal crashes in 5 days! 27 people have died on our streets this year. I am directing officers to increase enforcement, but this is everyone’s responsibility. Drivers slow down, don’t drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution—don’t assume drivers see you.”

(Note: It’s unclear where she got the 27 deaths figure. To be clear, there have been 14 traffic-related fatalities so far this year and the PPB’s Major Crash Team has been called out 23 times.)

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Asked for specifics about the increased enforcement, Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Brad Yakots wrote in an email to BikePortland, “Our Traffic Division and precincts are providing extra patrols in high trafficked areas. Our focus is education and outreach.”

“I want to make sure your support of Vision Zero is Vision Zero as it is now, which is not enhanced law enforcement.”
— Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland City Commissioner

Chief Outlaw’s call for enforcement puts her in the middle of an ongoing debate about how best to use police officers in Portland’s quest for safer streets. More enforcement is a common request when traffic crashes are in the news; but fears of racial profiling put it on shaky political ground in Portland.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan passed in 2016 with a host of recommendations from PBOT’s Vision Zero Task Force. Among them was a specific intention to limit enforcement, “In order to reduce the possibility of racial profiling and disparate economic impacts.”

This recommendation was not without its detractors on the Task Force. Newly elected City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has also expressed concerns about increased enforcement.

In a debate prior to her election last year, Hardesty said she’s “absolutely terrified of more enforcement.” “When I hear public leaders talk about enhancing police presence…we know African-Americans and Latinos are targeted for more enforcement than anyone else.”

And Hardesty repeated this concern at a City Council Budget Work Session on March 12th. During a presentation about PBOT’s budget, Hardesty said, “I want to make sure your support of Vision Zero is Vision Zero as it is now, which is not enhanced law enforcement, but more about notifying speeders to slow down.”

Hardesty’s colleague, PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, had a much different tone at the same work session. In her introduction to the PBOT presentation, Eudaly lamented the lack of more enforcement funding in the budget. “I’m really disappointed to see there’s no request for an increase in traffic enforcement,” she said. “In 2018 we had 27 murders in Portland. We had 34 people die in traffic deaths. We are seeing rampant disregard for the law and human life on our streets and the Traffic Division is seriously understaffed. Our city has adopted Vision Zero and we’re diligently working on that. We can’t accomplish our goal without support of Police Bureau.”

With Chief Outlaw now engaged on the issue, Commissioner Eudaly has momentum to push for more enforcement; but it’s unlikely to happen without a debate.

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

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Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Inspired Wheels Launched

Bike Hugger - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 12:57

Zipp’s new 3ZERO MOTO inspired wheels launched. Zipp said the new wheelsets provide riders with the control and durability required for pure speed on enduro courses or trail riding. 3ZERO MOTO carbon is available as a 27.5 or 29.

Moto remains a powerful source of inspiration for good reason, Zipp is based in the racing hotbed of Indianapolis. For more than three decades the components company has used motorsports as an inspiration to develop pioneering carbon cycling innovations.

Zipps single-wall approach, what they call Moto Technology, allows the rims to “pivot” from either side of the spoke bed while traversing rough terrain. The approach to comfort is similar to how Stan’s carbon rims flex.

What happens is, when the wheel encounters obstacles, the rim edges flex instead of bounce.  That means there’s a feel of extra suspension and control. If the rider and bike are in control, that means they’re going faster. While an entirely different wheel, what’s why tubular Zipps in cross have been so popular.

Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Inspired Wheels Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Features
  • Higher impact resistance
  • Reduced chance of pinch flatting
  • More traction in rough corners
  • Smoother ride in rocky terrain
  • Ability to run lower tire pressure
  • Reduced rider fatigue

Learn more about Zipp’s latest on their website. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on Zipps and most recently, 650b 303s. In a first for Zipp, they’re offering the rims alone so you can build them up with the hub of your choice. The rims ship in 8 colors too.

I’d consider for my gravel bike building these with a dynamo hub for not only speed an control, but a powered light.

Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Works

From Zipp’s PR, this is how their new wheelset works

  • Lateral stiffness — In a sharp turn, the rim remains stiff, providing confidence that the wheel is firmly planted.  Zipp’s wide hub flanges provide better spoke-bracing angles which help to increase the lateral stiffness.
  • Torsional windup — When torque is applied to the rear hub when pedaling, you don’t want the spokes to create a spring-like flex sapping your wattage. Having 32 spokes at the right tensions keep the wheel constrained during windup, meaning the energy in your legs is efficiently transferred to your rear wheel.
  • Radial compliance — When you hit a rock, the system is designed to act as a shock absorber. Zipp’s MOTO Technology allows the rim to flex, which absorbs the impact energy and spreads it away from the impact zone for increased durability. In essence, more of the rim carries the load from the impact.
  • “Ankle” compliance — Imagine a runner rounding a sharp turn, the ankle naturally flexing to maintain grip as the runner leans. The rim can locally flex to stay parallel to the ground during cornering, which increases traction much like a human ankle. This ability to twist locally allows it to deflect during single bead impacts without the rider getting bounced off line.
  • Durability and ride quality — 3ZERO MOTO rim strength exceeded our expectations for impact resistance due to MOTO Technology compliance. As for ride quality, the wheel also deflected three times more than top rival box-section carbon wheels. That extra compliance behaves like extra suspension, but it also spreads the impact energy over a larger area. This also benefits the rider in the form of pinch flat prevention.
  • The benefits of all that are simple. More control. Fewer line deviations. Greater durability. Fewer pinch flats. The net gain? Pure speed.

I’d consider a set for my gravel bike and building them with a dynamo hub for not only speed and control, but a powered light.

The post Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Inspired Wheels Launched appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Another person hit and killed while crossing North Fessenden

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:28

Crisis.

Another person has been killed by a driver while trying to walk across North Fessenden Street.

Commissioner Eudaly expedited installation of new speed limit signs last month.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

According to the Portland Police Bureau a woman was hit while crossing near North Polk Street at around 10:30 pm last night. The driver of a red sedan sped away and is still on the loose.

This brings the toll to two deaths and two serious injuries in the past 15 months.

Just over one month ago we reported that Fessenden was in crisis. Five days later, on March 1st, Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly stepped in. “This latest tragedy has shaken the community,” she wrote on Facebook, “and I understand why.”

Eudaly took action by expediting a change to the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph. She had city crews install the signs immediately. Speed reader boards have also popped up on the street.

But it’s clearly not enough.

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PBOT knows this. They’ve been harangued by local residents and activists like Donna Cohen, leader of the Citizens for a Safe and Attractive Fessenden/St Louis/Lombard Facebook page.

Cohen and others have clamored for long-promised safety upgrades like median islands, flashing beacons, curbs extensions, a new lane configuration, and more. PBOT’s St. Johns Truck Strategy Phase 2 project will deliver these upgrades; but it has taken what feels like an eternity to materialize. The plan itself was adopted by council in 2001. The grant to build Phase 2 was accepted in 2010 2013 and engineering and design recommendations were completed in 2013.

PBOT finally received FHWA approval to proceed with the $5 million project in October of last year and construction is finally underway.

From, St. Johns Transportation Concept Development Project, 2013 prepared by T-Y-Lin International for PBOT. North Polk is on the left.

For Cohen and other residents, it didn’t come soon enough. On her group’s Facebook page today, Cohen pointed out that PBOT’s plans call for a new median island and crossing on N Tioga Street — just one block from where the woman was killed last night (see graphic above). “If PBOT had not dragged their feet on this project this is what would be at Tioga now – a 16′-wide median island. You cannot go nearly as fast around a 16′ median island as on a narrow island or a straight-away.”

This is the third traffic fatality in Portland in less than 24 hours and the sixth in the past four days. So far this year 14 people have died on our roads, eight of them were walking.

UPDATE, 5:01 pm:

Family identifies 82yo Sandy Bosch as woman killed in hit & run Wednesday night. It happened at North Fessenden & Polk. Sandy was a mother & grandmother. The suspect vehicle is a red sedan & it should have damage. pic.twitter.com/pTyTaPPz3q

— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) April 11, 2019

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Ladds 500, Sandy Ridge, Alpenrose Clean-up and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:30

Everyone — and everything! — is welcome at the Ladds 500 on Saturday.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve been teased with dry and sunny weather and the roads are filling up with new faces. Let’s keep the momentum going (despite the forecast) by getting out there on two wheels!

Check out our event recommendations for the next three days below…

Friday, April 12th

Midnight Mystery Ride – 11:45 am at location TBA
Portland’s monthly night ride is on. Watch the official website tomorrow for location announcement. More info here.

Saturday, April 13th

Sandy Ridge Adventures – 9:30 am at Sandy Ridge Trailhead
West Coast Women’s Cycling Team and NW Trail Sisters are co-hosting this ride at the popular Sandy River Trail system. Please note this ride is for women/trans/femme and gender non-conforming people only. More info here.

Free Adult Riding Lessons – 10:00 am at Portland Community College Southeast (SE)
Come one! Come all! This event is geared to anyone who wants to learn to ride and feel more confident on two wheels. More info here.

First Timer’s Ride – 10:00 am at River City Bicycles (SE)
Let the friendly and knowledgable staff from River City guide you on a neighborhood cruise that will build your confidence for urban riding. More info here.

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The Ladds 500 – 10:00 am at Ladd Circle Park (SE)
This epic and fun, team-oriented event is back! Party in the park while you and your crew ride in circles for hours. It’s the perfect way to welcome the spring riding season. Curious? Check our 2018 coverage. More info here.

Sunday, April 14th

Sauvie Shootout – 9:00 am at Ovation Coffee & Tea (NW)
Roll out with Portland’s premier road training ride. Explore Sauvie Island and the West Hills while getting great experience riding in a group. More info here.

Alpenrose Velodrome Clean-up Day – 10:00 am at Alpenrose Velodrome (SW)
The recent threat of closure revealed how much our community supports this facility. What better way to demonstrate that by coming out to the annual clean-up as race organizers get ready for the best track season ever. Wear work clothes! 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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Unpaved road fans raise red flag over Clackamas County forest project

Bike Portland - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:13

Roads and trees like these could be forever altered.
(Photo: Ron Lewis/Our Mother the Mountain)

The US Forest Service is eyeing 4,000 acres of land near the Clackamas River for a major project and local unpaved road enthusiasts are concerned about how it will impact riding conditions and the environment.

Location of project in red.
(Map: Bark)

Ron Lewis, one of the leaders of the popular Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) riding group, sent a message to the 700 members of the Unpaved email list yesterday encouraging them to comment on the North Clack Integrated Resource Project.

The USFS says the project would, “Improve forest conditions, provide wood products, manage recreation, enhance aquatic/riparian habitat, manage wildlife habitats, reduce fire hazards, and make changes to the transportation system within the project area.” But Lewis with OMTM isn’t buying it.

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“[The project] would effectively destroy the entire lower section of our Tumala Tank Trap route, which navigates some of the deeper, least-traveled zones in the Mount Hood National Forest, including the rugged and beautiful Abbott Road climb,” Lewis wrote. He’s also worried about the USFS plans to construct 20 new miles of roads and introduce logging on 200 acres of forest.

Lewis says this section of the Mt. Hood National Forest is already under pressure from OHV users, illegal motorcycle trails and unsanctioned target shooting. “Clearcutting and commercial logging will not only decimate this beautiful remote area, but as almost always happens, expand the proliferation of shooting pits, trash dumping and illegal moto activity in the area.”

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OMTM is piggybacking on advocacy from local conservation nonprofit Bark, who’s following this project closely. In addition to sensitive streams and animal nesting areas, Bark claims that around 1,200 acres of the proposed logging is in mature forest that has trees over 80 years old.

“Logging has been shown by OSU and the Oregon Global Warming Commission to be a top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, so it’s important that the Forest Service hear from the public that they want their forests to be a carbon sink, not source,” Bark writes on their website. “We believe the Forest Service should be working to restore the forest in this area by decommissioning old logging roads, rehabilitating illegally-created motorized trails, and improving habitat for species like salmon and beaver.”

For a trail conservation perspective that disagree with Bark, check out TrailAdvocate.org.

The USFS is taking public comment through April 15th. You can comment and learn more about the project on the USFS website.

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

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Parks budget cuts loom over Gateway Green bike park

Bike Portland - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 16:22

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As you might have already heard, Portland Parks & Recreation is facing a budget gap of $6.3 million. To right the ship, the bureau has proposed eliminating over 50 full-time employees, reducing admin costs, closing community centers, and more.

One element of the Parks budget we’re watching closely is how operations and maintenance dollars will be allocated. Or whether they’ll be allocated at all.

Big crowds at inaugural Gateway Green MTB Festival in June 2018.

Parks has requested $891,694 in discretionary, General Fund revenue to pay for operations and maintenance of 38 assets that are either planned or under construction. The largest item on that list is $173,656 for the continued development of Gateway Green.

Gateway Green opened two years ago after its first phase — a bike park that includes trails, a pump track, and jumps — was completed.

Longtime east Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson spent over a decade to make that possible and now she’s concerned that vital funding for Gateway Green’s continued development will be cut. She testified in front Mayor Ted Wheeler and Parks Commissioner Nick Fish at the budget hearing held at David Douglas High School last night.

In her testimony, Robinson pointed out that in her three decades of parks advocacy, ongoing maintenance funding for newly opened parks facilities has always been somewhat assured. “While there may be some negotiation as to how much operations and maintenance is needed for each asset, the need for it has always been a given,” she said.

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Slide from Parks Bureau budget presentation showing current budget deficit and operations/maintenance needs.

While the Parks Bureau has requested money to maintain Gateway Green and 37 other assets, Robinson has flagged a recommendation by the City Budget Office to decline the request. In their response to the City’s budget, the CBO has recommended that Council allocates zero dollars to the operations and maintenance of new and partially built assets.

“I’ve spent the last decade or more advocating and raising money for this park,” Robinson added, “and I’m crushed by the prospect there might not be any money once it’s built.”

“Denying ongoing operations and maintenance requests for these new park assets is like building a Wapato Jail and never allocating any money to operate it.”
— Linda Robinson

While Gateway Green has been open for two years, it only has rudimentary facilities. There are no bathrooms, paved surfaces, or drinking fountains. As we reported back in September, City Council just approved another $1 million to further develop the site.

The CBO’s rationale for declining the City’s $891,694 funding request is that by automatically tacking on operations and maintenance costs to new assets, PP&R places undue pressure on City Council to absorb the costs when a budget deficit impacts other needy assets in the system.

Robinson strongly disagrees with the CBO’s decision. She wants more analysis and discussion before such a significant shift in policy is adopted. “If the policy [of not funding maintenance for new parks] is changed, it should be phased in, not suddenly changed for projects already completed or in the construction process.”

To put a finer point on her position, Robinson said, “Denying ongoing operations and maintenance requests for these new park assets is like building a Wapato Jail and never allocating any money to operate it. This results in great expense and virtually no benefit to taxpayers.” (Wapato is the infamous facility built in 2003 at great expense to taxpayers that has yet to be used for any purpose.)

“It would be unconscionable to make this sudden change just as the city is finally addressing park inequities in east Portland,” she added.

City Council is under no obligation to heed the CBO’s recommendation. Mayor Wheeler will release his budget in May and Council will adopt the 2019-202 budget in June.

You can submit a comment about the budget on the CBO’s website. If you’d like to learn more and support Gateway Green consider attending the Friends of Gateway Green 10th Anniversary fundraiser at Hopworks Urban Brewery (2944 SE Powell) next Tuesday April 16th.

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

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City announces bike plan update open houses, Barnett uncovers 11 missing projects

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 11:07

Draft map from the 2019 Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan (PDF)

SDOT has announced a series of four “café-style conversations” about the latest short-term bike plan, which includes significant cuts through the life of the Move Seattle Levy. The events, produced with help from the Department of Neighborhoods, will be a bit more informal than a typical open house. Staff will give a presentation and be there to answer questions and collect feedback.

Details from SDOT:

Café-style Conversations

6:00PM Doors open
6:15PM Short presentation
6:30PM Conversations

  • Tuesday, April 23
    Washington Hall
    153 14th Ave
  • Wednesday, April 24
    Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
    4408 Delridge Way SW
  • Monday, April 29
    Van Asselt Community Center
    2820 S Myrtle St
  • Tuesday, April 30
    Phinney Neighborhood Assoc.
    Community Hall
    6532 Phinney Ave N

Unable to attend a meeting? Send comments to CCBike@Seattle.gov by April 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, Erica C. Barnett at The C Is for Crank has tracked down the details of 11 missing (or partially missing) projects in the latest draft of the short term bike plan. She did this by comparing the latest and previous plans project-by-project. Some of the missing projects were gone by mistake and will be restored (yay!). Some were listed inaccurately in the previous plan or have been moved to become a part of other projects. Others were cut, but left off the list of removed projects.

“Those missing projects include protected bike lanes around the city—from the University District to SoDo to Beacon Hill to the Rainier Valley—as well as basic bike lanes and neighborhood greenways,” Barnett reports.

In all, thanks to Barnett’s work, we know that the total miles of bike facilities removed in the update is closer to 30 than the 25 SDOT previously reported. Check out her report for details on those projects and responses from SDOT.

Senate committee passes ‘Idaho Stop’ bill allowing bicycle riders to yield at stop signs

Bike Portland - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 10:07

Some intersections in Oregon already allow bicycle riders to “slow-and-go”.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after it was last debated in the Oregon Legislature, a concept known as “Idaho Stop” has once again found its way into a bill. And it passed its first committee vote yesterday, just hours before a key legislative deadline.

Senate Bill 998 wasn’t on anyone’s radar before last week. Up until then it was just a vague placeholder bill without any detailed language and with no amendments. That changed when Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) drafted an amendment and brought it to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a public hearing for the bill on Monday.

The bill would allow a bicycle user to treat intersections with stop signs or red flashing signals as yields. In other words, as a bicycle user, you’d be able to roll through these intersections without stopping — but only when/if it was safe to do so.

Excerpt from -1 amendment to SB 998.

At Monday’s hearing, Committee Vice-Chair Sen. Prozanski said it’s merely a “re-do” of a bill he sponsored and passed as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 2003.

“This bill would follow a law out of Idaho that has been in place for over 35 years,” Prozanski said at the hearing.

“This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.”
— Senator Kim Thatcher, Judiciary Committee vice-chair

Only one person testified. A man who said he’s a work zone flagger told lawmakers he’s opposed because, “A lot of bicyclists go right on through” his work zones and he believes it’s a “safety risk”. “It’s bad enough we got boxes in Portland for bicyclists before the cars and they disrespect us,” the man said.

When the bill was brought back to committee for a vote yesterday, Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) added an amendment clarifying that bicycle users must stop for flaggers.

Committee Vice-Chair Thatcher is in favor of the law. “Just like a few years ago when we told ODOT we wanted to raise speed limits in some areas,” she explained, before logging her “yes” vote, “People were already going those speeds. This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.” Sen. Thatcher pointed out that — unlike a car — human-powered vehicles are “really difficult to stop completely and then get going again.”

(Video below by Portlander Spencer Boomhower explains how Idaho Stop works)

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Senator Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) also voted in favor of the bill. Sen. Fagan shared that she understands the benefits of the bill because she used to commute to law school by bike. “Things that are in motion tend to stay in motion, things that are at rest tend to stay at rest,” she said. “Anything we can do to encourage people to get out of their cars and ride a bike is a good thing.”

Senator Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) was the sole “no” vote. After admitting he’s rolled through stop signs on his own bike, Bentz said he opposes the law because of concerns expressed by sheriffs in his district.

The bill passed committee 6-1. It will now move to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski in 2011.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Reached on the phone this morning, Sen. Prozanski said he introduced the bill after a constituent contacted him late last month (Idaho Stop was also one of the bills I mentioned in an op-ed on March 15th). Since he had a placeholder bill to study violations, he was able to draft the language and move it to a vote very quickly. “At this point, I think it has a very good chance of passing the full Senate,” Prozanski said. Once it goes to the House Judiciary Committee, he plans to meet with members and find a sponsor.

Asked why he is such a fan of Idaho Stop, Prozanski recalled his 2003 discussions with the captain of the Boise Police Department. “He said it’s just much more seamless and it makes traffic flow more easily… It’s not as much of a hazard as coming to a complete stop and trying to start when you have other vehicles moving around you and you’re trying to get started and through an intersection with enough time,” he added.

Sen. Prozanski added that, “It seems to me we have enough safeguards in place to allow continual motion when right-of-way is clear.”

As for why the bill failed in 2003, Prozanski said it would have passed were it not for one senator (former Senator John Minnis) who simply didn’t like the bill and wouldn’t give it a vote.

When it was proposed again in 2009 by former House Rep. Jules Bailey — with the full backing of The Street Trust (then Bicycle Transportation Alliance) — the bill failed for several reasons: Irresponsible and biased coverage from The Oregonian and other outlets made it controversial; a high-profile firing of The Street Trust lobbyist in charge of the bill scared off some lawmakers; and some advocates blamed legislators who sought revenge against bicycle bills after being strongly criticized for their support of a mandatory bicycle registration bill.

The Street Trust isn’t working SB 998, but as OPB reported yesterday, they are supportive of it.

Idaho was the first state to adopt a statute like this. Arkansas just passed a version of the law last week.

For more background, peruse the 25 stories in our Idaho Stop Law archives.

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

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