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PBOT teases SW Naito project images ahead of open house

Bike Portland - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:30

PBOT concept for new design of SW Naito south of Market Street.

As I shared last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is about to launch a major project on SW Naito that will have a dramatic impact for bicycling connectivity downtown. The big open house is tonight (1/10) and there’s a lot of buzz around it already (Better Block PDX is making it their monthly meeting).

The star attraction at the open house will be concept drawings that give us a clearer view of what PBOT envisions for the new SW Naito. I haven’t seen all of the drawings yet (I don’t want to scoop the open house because that might discourage people from attending, although I will share them here as soon as they’re available), but PBOT has leaked a few of them out in the past few days.

Check out the plans for the new crossing of Naito at Jefferson, just south of the Hawthorne Bridge:

Compare that with the current conditions at Jefferson and you can see why this project is such a big deal:

Looking east at Jefferson across Naito.

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This is the view from the road about two blocks south of the Hawthorne Bridge:

And here’s PBOT’s rendering of how the new bikeway will look south of Market:

PBOT is calling this “a major facelift”. Naito will be, “completely rebuilt from the ground up, with safety and efficiency improvements for all travel modes,” from I-405 to just north of Jefferson. Other elements of the project are (via PBOT):

➤ New traffic signals, including a dedicated signal for vehicles accessing the Hawthorne Bridge and a pedestrian crossing signal to access Pettygrove Park, the Lovejoy Fountain, and the Halprin Blocks.
➤ New bicycle and pedestrian facilities on the east side of the street, including a new path and sidewalk. Currently, no bicycle or pedestrian facilities exist on the east side of SW Naito.
➤ Updated signal timing to improve traffic operations through the corridor.
➤ Improved crossings at major intersections to improve safety.

In an email from PBOT this morning, I also noticed an explicit mention of how this project is connected to Better Naito north of the Hawthorne Bridge: “The project’s boundaries end just beyond SW Jefferson, allowing a future connection to the seasonal Better Naito project and year-round access to Waterfront Park” (it should only be a matter of time before we can stop calling it “seasonal”). Combine this with PBOT’s recent completion of a new bike signal and protected bike lane from NE Davis to the Steel Bridge and we’ll soon have a protected bikeway for the entire length of Waterfront Park. (Sidenote: It’s clear that PBOT is doing whatever they can to surround the middle “Better Naito” portion with protected bikeways in order to bulk up their argument for making it permanent.)

Suffice it to say this could be a transformative project — and even though PBOT is already at 60% design, there’s likely to be pressure to compromise the design. Some changes are to be expected, but we simply can’t afford to make this a good bikeway when it has potential to be great. Please stay informed and ready to help PBOT do this right as the project moves through the public/political process.

Tonight’s open house will have free snacks and it’s open from 4:30 to 7:00 at the PSU Center for Executive Professional Education at 1500 SW 1st Ave., Suite 100. Facebook event link and more details on the BP Calendar.

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

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End of An Era: Buff Headwear Founder Dies

Bike Hugger - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:52

End of an era BUFF’s founder dies at 71. His product was in use in every country I’ve visited; including Iceland. Below is the news as it was shared with me.

On Sunday, January 7, 2018, BUFF® Founder, Joan Rojas, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 71. For over 25 years, Joan Rojas has been a source of inspiration, innovation, and passion behind The Original Multifunctional Performance Headwear for all-season outdoor enthusiasts and athletes.

In 1946, in Barcelona, Spain, Joan was born into the Rojas family textile business with a deep knowledge and understanding of textile manufacturing that dates back to 1927 when the Rojas family founded its factory. Joan would continue the tradition of textile innovation when he
founded BUFF® in 1992. An idea that hatched while touring the country roads of Catalonia around Igualada on his motorcycle, Joan’s demand for a warmer, more protective solution to the sun, wind, and cold became the foundation of The Original BUFF® Multifunctional Headwear product.

At his family’s knitting factory – the same factory in which BUFF® continues to innovate and expand the business today, Joan produced the first samples of the seamless, tubular accessory. Within three years of bringing his idea to life, BUFF® Products were being distributed
and sold in Germany, France, Switzerland, and other parts of Europe. Joan’s’ tireless, insatiable and non-conformist nature that fueled the brand’s success then, continues to be a core part of the BUFF® Brand mindset. Since its inception, BUFF has grown to be one of the largest headwear companies in the world, sold in more than 70 countries, and continues to partner with superior manufacturers of raw materials incorporating state-of-the-art fabric technologies such as COOLMAX®, Polygeine®, Polartec® and Merino wool.

BUFF® USA GM and VP Shirley Choi Brunetti said,

Joan remained as passionate about product design as ever, and continued to support the BUFF® culture of innovation and growth.

We are proud and humbled to carry on the spirit and the legacy of Joan Rojas. He has been a part of the BUFF® family, and a close friend to many more.

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Oaks Bottom project will close Springwater path for four months this summer

Bike Portland - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:24

(Map graphic: Portland BES)

A major project to improve wildlife habitat at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge will come with a full closure of one the busiest biking corridors in Portland.

Starting this July, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Portland Parks and Recreation and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, plans to close the Springwater Corridor path between Oaks Amusement Park and the Oaks Bottom Trail for up to 120 days. Contractors will use the path to stage construction vehicles and move material.

When this same project was first proposed back in 2010 (it was ultimately delayed), it raised major concerns with the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. Members of that committee urged BES to use the adjacent railroad right-of-way in order to keep the path open. This time around, the City and the Corps of Engineers incorporated feedback from the community and designed a plan that incorporates barge access and/or rail as a primary haul route. However, the Springwater closure is still necessary to safely complete the culvert and channel grading work in the refuge.

The latest City bike counts show that about 2,800 people ride this section of the path on an average weekday and that number more than doubles on the weekends. The closure is on the same section of path we recently highlighted as one of the top ten most popular Strava segments in the country.

The other point of concern from the advisory committee was the detour plan. The closure will require path users to ride on surface streets, or head to the other side of the Willamette River. In 2010, the north-south options on the east side of the river were not great at all. In fact, they were so bad that PBOT created a bike detour map that listed eight bikeway upgrades they planned to finish before the closure started.

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(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

According to BES Project Manager Ronda Fast, they are working with the Bureau of Transportation to develop a detailed map so path users can plan out the best route around the closure. While none of the detours will be as safe, direct, or convenient, the options are better now than they were eight years ago.

The main detour options will be:
➤ The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway route (which should be completed by this spring) through Sellwood which connects to the SE 17th Avenue to “Clinton to River” route (via SE Insley/Milwaukie or via SE Harold to pathway along the northeast side of McLoughlin Blvd.)
➤ SE 19th Neighborhood Greenway to the Oaks Bottom “bluff” trail at SE Milwaukie which brings you back to the Springwater path.
➤ The Sellwood Bridge to the Willamette Greenway path on the west side of the river.

In addition to a detailed map, Fast assured me that there will be plenty of signage in the area to warn people about the closure so they can choose a different route without wasting too much effort.

If you’re wondering why the closure has to happen in the busiest riding months it’s because that’s all the “in-water work window” that has the least harmful impacts on federally protected fish.

The project also comes with a new wildlife viewing platform and a turnout that will be accessible from the Springwater path. The turnout will be built over a new fish passage culvert just north of the floating home community. It will be about 50-feet long and add about eight feet of width to the path. The viewing platform will further south just at the northern end of Oaks Amusement Park. It will be about 95-feet long with a landing to park bikes and a ramp up to an overlook. This is good to hear not only because viewing wildlife is cool, but the path is so busy and so narrow in these sections that having a place to pull over and rest or just allow faster trail users to pass will be a nice upgrade.

Check out the official project page for more details.

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

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Sixth annual Oregon Triple Crown series promises adventures and challenges

Bike Portland - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:48

From solitary climbs deep in the forest to picturesque pavement with a peloton, the Triple Crown has a lot to offer.
(Photos: Mike Ripley/Mudslinger Events)

The Oregon Triple Crown is unlike any other bike event series in the state: It’s sort of like a race, but it’s also just as much about participation; much of the terrain is in the mountains, but it’s not a mountain bike event; it’s organized and sanctioned, but it’s still got plenty of adventure and self-reliance is a necessary trait.

The Triple Crown is now in its sixth year and organizer Mike Ripley (Mudslinger Events) just announced this year’s dates and details. The series will consist of: the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic on May 5th, the Sasquatch Duro on May 19th, and the Oregon Gran Fondo on June 2nd. These three events offer a mix of terrain and challenges that should raise the eyebrows of any adventure-seeker.

Here’s a bit more on each event:

Oregon Coast Gravel Epic – May 5th in Waldport

The series sets its tone right from start. The Epic offers two routes: the Abomination with 60 miles and 6,677 feet of climbing or the Son of Abomination with 37 miles and 3,740 feet of climbing.

The routes consist almost entirely of logging roads, half of which are unpaved. Riders will come face-to-face with the deepest, darkest secrets of the Siuslaw National Forest southeast of the coastal town of Waldport. There will be aid stations along the course and registration also includes free socks and a post-ride Mexican feast and drinks worthy of Cinco De Mayo. 250 riders showed up for this one last year. For a recap of how it went, check out Mielle Blomberg’s comments via Ride With GPS. This one has been on my list since the start and this might be the year I finally check it off.

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Sasquatch Duro – May 19th in Oakridge
This is the first time the OTC will be in Oakridge, which many of you already know as a mountain-biking mecca. Being a mountain biker himself (his Mudslinger cross-country event is a classic that’s been offered since 1991), Ripley knows all about Oakridge’s world-class trails; but he refer to the former logging town southeast of Eugene “the Kingdom of Gravel.” The Sasquatch Duro (“duro” as in hard) offers a 25, 30 or 45-mile route that rolls north for eight miles along the Willamette River on the amazing Aufderheide Scenic Byway before cutting into the dirt. Drop-bar bikes are still recommended, but Ripley says will want to run a minimum of 38mm tires because the “downhills may be a bit insane.” Everyone who enters will get a pair of custom wool socks and support on the course.

Oregon Grand Fondo – June 2nd in Cottage Grove

What the final event lacks in dirt and adventure, it makes up for in mileage and socializing. The Oregon Gran Fondo is a fondo in the truest sense of the term: A chance for riders of all abilities to experience the joys of road riding. Four routes will be offered — a 40, 71, 117, and a 137-mile route (that includes 10% gravel roads for good measure) — and the terrain will feature all of Oregon’s splendor in the hills and backroads west of Cottage Grove.

Taken alone, each one of these events is worth checking out. But as its name suggests, doing all three is a special accomplishment that comes with special perks like swag (including an Oregon Triple Crown jersey if you finish all three!), great meals and support, and time tracking for cumulative rankings and points (based on age groups). Ripley says demand is up so far this year and that over 60 people have already signed up to do all three. Get more details on the series pass here.

Asked why he puts on the series, Ripley told me, “Well, it’s a big world and I have been trying to bust people out of there comfort zones for 25 years. It’s all about adventure… if you don’t like fun time on the bike, don’t come!”

The series is made possible through sponsorships from Eugene-based Co-Motion Cycles and Rolf Prima Wheels. Learn more at OregonTripleCrown.com.

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

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Sub-freezing weather doesn’t derail promotional bike tour to CES

Biking Bis - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:04
The year’s first publicity stunt using a bicycle is currently underway. A long-distance cyclist is burning rubber across the US  to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to promote an electric-assist bicycle wheel that is controlled by Google Assistant. You can follow at RidetoCES.com. Completing the 2,826-mile ride from New York City in 10 …

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Fence abruptly closes access to Willamette Park path at Nevada St

Bike Portland - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:56

Started to ride downtown Friday from OPB to find workers putting a fence across the trail where it passes RR tracks. Very annoying — particularly when three vehicle crossings with only stop signs are nearby. pic.twitter.com/A7m2TH8GoM

— Jeff Mapes (@Jeffmapes) January 8, 2018

The Oregon Department of Transportation Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau (PP&R) has erected a fence across an entrance into Willamette Park. Jeff Mapes, an employee of nearby Oregon Public Broadcasting, encountered a crew putting the finishing touches on the fence this morning. “Very annoying,” he shared in a tweet this morning.

Based on a series of Twitter responses to Mapes, it appears PP&R has also been caught off guard by the new fence. “We did not close the path nor install the fence; it is an ODOT endeavor that is impacting access to our park,” the agency’s Public Information Officer Mark Ross wrote. The fence is just a few yards from a railroad crossing that’s under the jurisdiction of ODOT’s Rail Division. “It has been a usable crossing and was just now fenced off. Not a good look,” Parks commented on Twitter on this morning. “It is a complicated endeavor and a hassle for commuters and park visitors!” (Note: As you can read in updates below, Ross got his initial information from a Parks project manager and has since learned that Parks did indeed erect the fence.)

The path section in question is a carfree entrance into the park that’s right outside the OPB headquarters on Nevada Street (see map below), just one block east of SW Macadam Avenue. For years it was an unimproved and relatively sketchy crossing (I’ve used it several times to get to OPB studios) with big bumps and cracked pavement. It was repaved a few years ago in advance of the Portland Water Bureau’s Hannah Mason Pump Station project, which the City of Portland opened back in June. Another factor that has recently brought more attention to this crossing is PP&R’s Willamette Park redevelopment project.

The three entrances to the park. The fence has closed the middle entrance (Nevada St.).

In a statement provided via email a few minutes ago, PP&R Media Relations Manager Mark Ross said the fence was required by ODOT Rail. Ross says due to the impact it will have on park visitors, PP&R is, “working quickly to craft and put up signs to direct people to use the other park entrances, on SW Miles St. or SW Nebraska St.” The Nebraska St entrance is about 1/3 of a mile north and Miles is about one-tenth of a mile south.

Using those other entrances, Mapes said on Twitter this morning, “Means riding on Macadam or sidewalk for a ways. Both less safe than riding over tracks that are seldom used.”

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View of Nevada Street entrance into Willamette Park. The new fence is just on the other side of those trees.

Why did ODOT erect the fence was the fence installed? We’re still waiting to hear from them directly; but Ross said it’s because the current crossing doesn’t meet federal railroad crossing requirements.

This seems to be a case where the path and its users have gotten tangled up in miles of bureauratic red tape. In addition to PP&R and ODOT Rail, the Portland Water Bureau and the Trolley Consortium (a Metro-led group that must sign-off on any changes to the design of the crossing) all involved in the design, permitting and funding.

Ross says the fence could be up for several months. “We anticipate the permitting to take much of the winter and possibly into spring before we can begin the necessary improvements. Once we have permits and a legal Crossing Order, we will look to make the needed improvements. Note that a contractor and funding have not been secured yet for this work, so a definitive schedule is not known yet. We continue to work on that with the PWB [Portland Water Bureau].”

While we understand the bureaucratic, multi-jurisdictional complexity here, it’s very unfortunate that ODOT decided to erect a fence over a path and did so without warning and without a plan for detour signage for users. The fence, which is black and has no reflectors or signs giving prior warning that it exists, is also a safety hazard. Paul Souders shared on Twitter just now that, “I (almost literally) ran into this fence this morning.”

We’re in contact with ODOT’s communications person but have yet to receive a detailed response. We’ll update this story when we do.

UPDATE I: ODOT Public Information Officer Don Hamilton says ODOT didn’t do it. Here’s his email:

Let me address ODOT’s role in this.

1) We strongly encouraged the City of Portland to put up a fence there after certain safety elements at that crossing had been removed.

2) ODOT did not put up that fence.

UPDATE II: Acccording to Pacific Fence Co., it was Portland Parks and Rec who ordered the installation of the fence. There seems to have been a miscommunication. We will get it ironed out ASAP.

UPDATE III: Here’s the latest statement we’ve received from Portland Parks (and it was forwarded from ODOT’s Don Hamilton as well so he is in agreement with it (emphasis mine):

“Construction barricades had been installed at this park entrance since last autumn (in the neighborhood of September/October 2017), and the entrance closure has been noted on our website since that time. The closure is due to infrastructure improvements yet to be completed, part of the Portland Water Bureau’s work regarding the new Hannah Mason Pump Station. Those construction barriers were repeatedly being moved, and so the ODOT Railroad Authority strongly encouraged either a temporary fence to be installed, or for the City to immediately close/remove the path. In the interest of safety and expediency, Portland Parks & Recreation had a contractor install the temporary fence today (Monday, January 8) to comply. Noting the impact the fence has to park visitors, PP&R is working quickly to craft and put up signs to direct people to use the other park entrances, on SW Miles St. or SW Nebraska St.”

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

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The Monday Roundup: Bike Snob’s mic drop, de Blasio’s bollards, Ayesha McGowan, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 10:06

Welcome to the first full week of 2018.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Scofflaw science: A study in Florida found that — surprise, surprise — people break traffic laws at similar rates regardless of the type of vehicle they operate.

Breaking barriers: ESPN has the story of Ayesha McGowan, a woman who wants to be the first African-American to land a professional cycling contract.

Dutch data: The great Bicycle Dutch blogger and filmmaker Mark Wagenbuur starts off the year with a slew of interesting datapoints about cycling in The Netherlands. Don’t miss the video at the end.

Bike Snob, truth-teller: In one of Eben Weiss’s best-ever columns (and that’s saying a lot) he argues that people who think biking with kids in traffic is dangerous are completely brainwashed: “Perhaps the greatest toll the car has exacted upon our culture: it’s completely annihilated our ability to perceive and understand danger and act accordingly.”

Drive with good morals: Pope Francis singled out driving behavior during his New Year’s Eve address, saying that people, “who move in traffic with good sense and prudence” are “artisans of the common good.”

Terror response in NYC: Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will install 1,500 metal bollards to prevent people from using cars as weapons and protect spaces where people walk and bike.

Bikequity: Elly Blue, the Portland publisher who coined the term “bikenomics”, just published the 14th issue of her feminist bike zine. It’s titled, “Bikequity: Money, Class, & Bicycling” and its contributors include Adonia Lugo, Tamika Butler, and 12 others.

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Neighborhoods are the new backyards: Federal policy to encourage people’s connection to their neighborhood have had unintended consequence of excluding others and resisting change (aka NIMBYism) says this piece in the NY Times.

Sideguards save lives: A bill working its way through Congress would require the use of guards on the side and front of large trucks to prevent other road users from going under the wheels in collisions.

Cleaner buses: This should give you hope: A major city in China has switched all of their buses — a whopping 16,359 of them! — to electric power just six years after it promised to do so.

Visionary path and park: A $40 million project in Ohio will lean on a public-private partnership to create a seven-mile “world class” park and bike path along a riverfront.

An hour just to find a parking spot: In addition to drivers and bike riders and Uber drivers, urban street capacity is being tested by the surge in delivery trucks due to increased use of online ordering. Hopefully cargo bikes can help solve this one.

Truck culture: This inside look at Ford’s MegaRaptor, which is essentially a consumer monster truck, should stoke the ire of every street safety advocate. These trucks are extremely dangerous to vulnerable road users.

Protect it and they will come: The number of people who commute to work by bike into downtown Denver rose 25 percent (to an 8.3 percent mode share) and it follows the installation of four miles of protected bike lanes.

Video of the Week: The BBC sheds light on how the Tour of Colombia bicycle race helps unite the country, as told through the eyes of a young woman whose ex-racer father was killed in the drug wars.

Thanks for all the submissions everyone. And by the way, we’d love to find more sponsors for this regular feature. Please contact me for rates and more information.

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

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Velotoze Wool Blend Socks

Bike Hugger - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 13:38

While questionable if compression actually works, what does is comfort. And, the Velotoze wool blend socks naturally wicks away sweat to keep feet dry in the summer while retaining warmth in the winter. Wool is inherently antibacterial so these socks won’t get funky like socks made from other materials too.

The Velotoze sock ($20.00 a pair on Amazon) sits at 15cm / 6 in tall and I’ve been wearing them this winter.

They feel like gold toe socks, which is what I’m after. As popular as other sock brands are, I just can’t wear tencel (what we used to call rayon) and prefer either wool or cotton blends. Of those blends, my new also favorite socks are from Gore.

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A few things we’re looking forward to in 2018

Bike Portland - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 13:03

Sunday Parkways will return to downtown this year — for the first time since 2011.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I looked back at 2017 and decided it’s probably best to start looking ahead.

Not everything about last year was bad. We (and by “we” I mean BikePortland and our community in general) had some triumphs and we learned a great deal about important issues; but it was not our best year.

Looking ahead however, we see plenty of reasons for optimism.

The four things below are infrastructure-related. And yes, I’m fully aware that a city’s transportation culture is defined by much more than roads and bridges. I’m thinking about those other issues as well, but I’ll save those thoughts for a different day.

Here’s my list…

Three New Carfree Bridges Are Moving Forward

A carfree bridge at NW Flanders is closer than you think (and so are two others).

Right now in Portland we have three new bridges that are moving toward construction and not one of them will be used for driving.

Crews have already begun preliminary surveying and engineering work on the Flander’s Crossing bridge over I-405 at NW Flanders Street. This crucial carfree link has been in plans for decades and it can’t come soon enough. It will connect the most dense residential areas of Portland and open up a low-stress transportation corridor between Waterfront Park and the NW 23rd shopping district. The City of Portland estimates there will be 9,100 bike trips over this bridge every day, making it the busiest span in our network. It’s expected to be open in 2020.

The Sullivan’s Crossing bridge over I-84 at 7th Avenue will be a game-changer. It will stitch together the central eastside and northeast Portland via the Lloyd Center. After finalized the alignment last month, PBOT is moving further into the design phase. With funding lined up and strong public support, design and planning for this bridge could wrap up this year.

And while it’s not as flashy, don’t forget about the new Gideon Street Bridge that will cross over the railroad tracks between SE Gideon and Brooklyn/16th. This is the bridge TriMet removed during Orange Line Construction in 2013. There are issues to work out with Union Pacific Railroad and the project goes in front of the Design Commission this month. TriMet says it will be open and ready for use by mid-2019.

Dockless Bike Share is Coming to Town

A Spin bike in Seattle. They might have to change the color if they launch in Portland.
(Photo: Spin)

You can only keep the biggest trend in bike share away from Portland for so long. Dockless bike share operated by private companies has become a global phenomenon. And while the bubble is bursting in places like China where entrepreneurs and investors have suffered from irrational exuberance, the top companies are doing well and the model works.

The City of Portland has stood firm with its Biketown system even as truly dockless systems have flourished in Seattle. But our 1,000 bike system is too small and the benefits of shared bikes aren’t available in many neighborhoods. A dockless system run by a private company (with permits from the City of Portland of course) could instantly increase bicycle access to places far from the city core like the Jade District, Gateway, St. Johns, and many others.

We’ve heard through the grapevine that Portland Bureau of Transportation staff have recently taken a trip to Seattle to research the dockless bikes. They’ll likely use that knowledge to craft a strategy that will open the door for them here in 2018.

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Expect a lot more of this in 2018.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is the riskiest prediction in the list because we’ve been waiting and hoping for more (and better!) protected bike lanes for many years. But everything is lined up for 2018 to be the year it finally happens.

PBOT is putting the finishing touches on a new internal design manual that will make it easier for city engineers to green-light and install curbs, bollards, and other methods of bikeway protection. For years now we’ve been painting generous buffer zones to existing bike lanes and that space is just waiting to be used. Any place you see paint-only bike lane buffers is likely to become physically protected in 2018: places like the North Larrabee overpass to the Broadway Bridge; North Vancouver Avenue south of Columbia Blvd; and the newly striped North Willamette Blvd (where we expect to see protection added not just in the newly reconfigured section but further north as well).

And those are just the existing bike lanes. PBOT’s Central City in Motion project still inches along painfully slow, but moving faster is the SW Naito project we covered yesterday. And then there’s Better Naito, which is such an easy win for Mayor Ted Wheeler that I’m surprised he hasn’t come out in advance of its return in May to make it permanent.

Portland’s lack of a high-quality, network of protected bikeways has become an embarrassment — not to mention a major public safety liability. We have the tools, the roadway space, the plans and the public support to do this.

Lower Residential Speed Limits

A couple thousand of these signs (just slightly more official) will be installed soon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In case you forgot, the Oregon Legislature passed a law this past session that gives the City of Portland authority to reduce speed limits on over 3,000 miles of residential streets — that’s over 60 percent of all the streets in Portland — to 20 mph. This is a big deal that could become a crucial part of the cultural change we need to defend our streets against the motorized menace.

To get ready for a major rollout this spring, PBOT is putting togther a “20 is Plenty” marketing campaign. According to meeting minutes of their December 7th Vision Zero Task Force meeting, PBOT hired an advertising agency to craft an educational campaign “encouraging people to drive at safe speeds.” The company, Borders Perrin Norrander, ran focus groups and decided the best approach was to have a Portland celebrity share emotional stories, “of lives lost on Portland streets due to speeding, and highlighting that everybody is somebody.” PBOT also has about 2,000 new “20 MPH” signs and a list of locations to install them. They hope to finish that work by April of this year.

We’ll hear a lot more about the “20 is Plenty” campaign when PBOT makes a presentation to City Council on January 17th at 9:45 a.m.

A Sunday Parkways Downtown

You can judge how much a city prioritizes carfree streets by which streets they choose to make carfree.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This year will be the first since 2011 to have a Sunday Parkways route that goes downtown. PBOT has five events planned this year (starting May 21st 20th) and the Downtown/Green Loop edition is slated for July 22nd. They haven’t released the route yet, but with it being billed as a way to showcase the Green Loop project, it’s likely to cross the Broadway Bridge, go through the North Park Blocks and eventually make its way over the Willamette River and loop back up north via the central eastside. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the route on NE 12th Avenue as a way to highlight the alignment of the new Sullivan’s Crossing Bridge (although I think using NE Grand would be more fun!).

While it’s nice to explore neighborhoods, Sunday Parkways will only reach its potential when the route uses our major arterials and even sections of urban interstates. In my view, the point of the event is to inspire people to change behaviors and show them how livable our city can be when you experience it outside of a car. We’ll only have that kind of an impact on the broader population when we put the human-powered fun right in front of their faces.

What projects are you looking forward to this year?

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

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Portland filmmaker raising money to shoot Cyclocross Nationals on ‘Super 8’ film

Bike Portland - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:11

Drew Coleman in a still from his GoFundMe campaign video. Watch it below.

Sellwood neighborhood resident Drew Coleman has a vision for his next project. But he needs a bit of help to realize it.

Coleman is a filmmaker who started shooting local cyclocross races this summer. He’s also started a YouTube channel under the Local Cycling Network banner. Now he wants to cover the biggest race of the year: the Cyclocross National Championships which take place in Reno, Nevada next weekend. This time around he wants to do try something new: Coleman wants to shoot the race and the culture that surrounds it, on film. He’s bought a 1983 Canon 814 xl-s camera and he’s looking for support to buy the film which runs about $1.53 per second.

He’s launched a GoFundMe campaign and hopes to raise $2,500 for the trip and the film.

Here’s more from Drew about the project:

“I am always looking for new ideas and new angles. One of these came about as a result of my work on the second part of a series about local professional race team, Team S&M CX based out of Sellwood Cycling Repair. During the creation of “Working Class Cyclocross: Do It The Hard Way” I made contact with a California-based photographer Michael Jasinski who shoots film stills on large and medium format cameras and who’s work appears in the video. As an aside I mentioned that it would be fun to actually film cyclocross on Super 8. And he mentioned that he lives near Reno, Nevada where Nationals are this year and I’d have a place to stay if I wanted. And so, the “Cyclocross Nationals on Super 8 Project” was born and we will be collaborating to bring it to you.”

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Here’s the video pitch, which includes his concept video shot with film:

Drew has a great eye, which he explained in an email to us last week like this: “I have a philosophy when it comes to filming and that is when everyone is looking one direction, I try to look in the opposite direction in order to get a unique perspective. Simply put, we want to take a new-old look at the event.”

If you’d like to help Drew make this happen — and help all of us enjoy a great piece of cyclocross content — consider donating to the campaign. And stay updated on all Drew’s videos by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

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

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Froome’s Asthma

Bike Hugger - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 13:38

I have asthma, and salbutamol is not a performance enhancer per se, it’s the TUE (therapeutic use exception) system and the trust issues the pros have created for fans. Sky’s holier than thou approach to the sport was bound to fail and now that Froome had a positive drug test we’ll watch the intense spin from all sides.

Here’s what the UCI had to say and the story from the Guardian and Lemonde who pursued it on a leak or tip.

The analysis of the B sample has confirmed the results of the rider’s A sample and the proceedings are being conducted in line with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

Asthma is also entirely misunderstood in the sport, culturally the most because of the whole suffering thing, but here we have a tour winner who claims he wins on boiled fish and collared greens with an adverse finding.

And, he’s known about it since September.

The challenge for new leadership is how to respond. Is this a fine, a title stripped, or a slap on the hand? We’ll find out soon enough, but double the legal amount of salbutamol is stunning, in terms of how much was in his body.

So what was Froome doing taking that much of an asthma drug? As Science of Sport puts it, “being ill is a tremendous benefit for an elite Grand Tour cyclist. Quintana and Nibali should try it.”

And, it’s thought that he’s weight cutting with it, and got transfusion bags mixed up, so his dose was way off.

So Froome and the @skyteam doc. apparently felt he needed a little extra salbutamol after the to Los Machucos on the 6th of September. As a result he manage to stay with @albertocontador and drop @vincenzonibali on the 7th of September to Santo Toribio de Liébana. #NoBStalk pic.twitter.com/7jpritwbh2

— Michael Rasmussen (@MRasmussen1974) December 13, 2017

Read more about asthma from the Bike Hugger’s archives. It’s my experience and about how

Exercise-induced, allergy-triggered asthma is so little talked about, I didn’t even know others that race with me had it until recently.

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Open house will be first chance to weigh in on major bikeway upgrades on SW Naito Parkway

Bike Portland - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 13:31

From PBOT’s 30% plans.

A project that offers a major update to SW Naito Parkway will get it first official public viewing this coming Wednesday (1/10).

The new bikeway would connect to Orange MAX Line improvements and would provide a direct connection between SW and the Hawthorne Bridge without going through Waterfront Park or the Riverplace Marina district.

As we reported back in September, the Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to do a full rebuild and repave of Naito Parkway (99W) between I-405 and SW Jefferson. Thanks in part to a state law that requires road reconstructions to include bikeway facilities, PBOT plans to to add a separated, 12-foot wide cycletrack from SW Harrison to north of the Hawthorne Bridge.

According to PBOT’s draft plans, the new cycletrack would start at Harrison as an off-street facility where there’s currently only a sidewalk. The facility would then transition to a two-way, separated bikeway on Naito Parkway at SW Market and continue in that configuration until just north of the Hawthorne Bridge near the Salmon Street Fountain. At that point it would connect to Better Naito, the currently seasonal protected bike and walkway on Naito Parkway that is likely to be made permanent by the end of this year.

In September, PBOT’s Group Manager for Planning, Policy and Projects, Art Pearce told us, “Not every paving project allows us to recreate the traffic flow in an area, but in this case, we are able to analyze the potential to use one travel lane to provide safer bicycle and pedestrian access.”

In addition to the bikeway, PBOT also wants to alleviate backups for drivers and improve streetcar operations by adding new traffic signals at Jefferson and the Hawthorne Bridge and signal upgrades at Market and Clay. To make it easier to cross Naito, a new midblock signal could be added between Harrison and Clay and a full signal would be added at Jefferson with new connections between downtown and Waterfront Park.

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At next week’s open house, the public will be able to view new visualizations and will be able to share feedback on these potential changes. Funding for the project is coming from Portland’s Fixing Our Streets program and from the Oregon Department of Transportation. PBOT plans to construct the project in 2018. This project was originally part of a larger repaving that included improvements to SW Main between 1st and 2nd.

For more on the project, visit PBOT’s website.

The open house is on Wednesday (1/10) from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at the Portland State University Center for Executive and Professional Education, 1500 SW 1st Ave, Suite 100.

UPDATE: PBOT just sent over updated plans. They are now at 60% design. I will update the post ASAP. Check out the latest plans here.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Rock Creek explorations, Cross Nats training race, OMTM social, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 11:18

Discover the network of paved paths on the west side during Puddlecycles’s Rock Creek Ride on Saturday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Weekend Guide is back after a brief hiatus. To keep it coming on a weekly basis, we need a new sponsor. If your company is interested in supporting this content, please get in touch.

Without further adieu, here’s our selection of rides to consider this weekend…

Saturday, January 6th

Sorella Forte Women’s Club Ride – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at River City Bicycles
Stay fit and motivated and have fun while doing it with the excellent women of the Sorella Forte team. Expect a ride of 15-17 mph average and please think of others and make sure your bike has full fenders and mudflaps (in the event of wet roads). More info here.

Rock Creek Ride – 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at MAX-Quatama & NW 205 Ave
Join Puddlecycle for an exploration of the West Side. Hop on the MAX to get there and pedal an 11-mile loop that’s almost entirely on paved, multi-use paths. More info here.

Kimmy Cross – 12:00 pm at The Beermongers
The 3rd annual memorial ride dedicated to Kim Matheson, founding member of The Beermongers Cycle Club. Proceeds from this fun urban alleycat ($10 suggested donation) will be given to the Melanoma International Foundation.
Friends. More info here.

BikeLoud January Meeting – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Sinnots Lil Cooperstown (NE 57th and Halsey)
Get plugged into bike activism with Portland’s only advocacy group dedicated to local project advocacy. The agenda includes prep for an upcoming open house on the SW Naito project, Vision Zero actions, and more. More info here.

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The Sauvie Shootout – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Ovation Coffee & Tea
The winter weather cannot not stop Portland’s largest weekly training ride. If you want to get faster on your bike, this is the ride to show up for. More info here.

Sunday Morning No-Drop Road Ride – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Western Bikeworks
If you want something a bit more tame than the Shootout, but still guaranteed to be a good workout, meet up at Western Bikeworks for their weekly training ride. Expect two hours in the saddle and free Stumptown coffee before the ride. More info here.

Pre-CX Nats Training Race – 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Liepold Farms
Cross is not over! For many local racers there’s one big even left: National Championships in Reno. To help them stay sharp (and for an excuse to race again), Sellwood and Team S&M are hosting one final race. There will be a 40-minute training race and a 50-60-minute traditional race. More info here.

OMTM Pre-Season Social: Let’s Totally Be Friends Happy Hour – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at 21st Avenue Bicycles
If you love adventure riding and are not familiar with Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM), you are missing out on one of the coolest things in our local bike culture. For several years now they’ve hosted a series of unsanctioned yet nicely curated rides in oft-forgotten — and usually unpaved — backroads. Before this season kicks off they’re having a mixer to put online names with faces. 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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Oboz Big Sky for the Wet Commute

Bike Hugger - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:37

Warm, waterproof comfort and with winter traction that flat pedals grip onto, the Oboz Big Skys are my new favorite wet commute boot. They’re stylish enough to wear to a meeting as well. And, they haven’t soaked through even on the wettest ride downtown. When it snows, I’ll take them snowboarding as well.

Comfortable and grippy

I suggested they add an SPD shank and open up new markets for the Big Skys. They’re not too hot with 200 grams of insulation either—I wore thin socks on a balmy day and was comfortable

The slip on and off easy and for the winter will replace my Blundstones. The video below explains how ready they are for winter.

Specifications
  • Waterproof: Three core components make up our B-DRY waterproof system starting with our proprietary tape-sealed polyurethane film bootie. Hydrophobic upper materials keep the shoe watertight while our textile lining wicks sweat away.
  • Insulation: To keep you warm when temps plummet, we rely on 200 gram 3M Thinsulate insulation’s fine microfibers to trap air molecules between you and the outside, creating insulation and warmth no other insulator can.
  • Volume: Medium-High volume feet tend to be wider with higher arches and insteps.
  • Width: Men’s standard width is C in the heel and D in the forefoot (according to Brannock Device®). Patterns and materials in a given model may influence fit. We always recommend trying our footwear on to ensure the best possible fit.
  • Upper Material: Oiled top grain leather, 200 gram 3M Thinsulate insulation, Oboz B-DRY waterproof/breathable membrane, Molded rubber toe cap and heel kick.
  • Outsole: Granite Peak with Winterized Rubber — A toothy outsole made for winter trails. Featuring winterized rubber specifically formulated to be softer and grip in cold climate conditions. Flat pedals dig right in.
  • Midsole: Dual density EVA, TPU chassis, Nylon shank
  • Weight: M9: 21.5 oz / 610 g

Find the Oboz direct for $165, at a retailer near you, or from Amazon.

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There’s a new full-service bike shop near Mt. Hood

Bike Portland - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:22

George Wilson (left) and Kevin McCarthy outside the new shop.
(Photos courtesy George Wilson)

The Mt. Hood area has been maturing as a cycling destination for years now with the establishment of the Sandy Ridge Trail System, the popularity of unpaved forest road riding, the mountain bike trail riding opportunities, and the much-improved (and bike-friendly) bus service. But one thing has been missing: a bike shop.

We’re very happy to report that that is no longer the case!

George Wilson, a former retiree who we’ve featured in the past for his bicycle advocacy in the Mt. Hood area, is opening Mt. Hood Bicycle this month in the Hoodland Shopping Center in Welches. Wilson is partnering with Kevin McCarthy on what will be a full service shop that will cater to locals and visitors alike. Both Wilson and McCarthy are certified bicycle mechanics and have decades of cycling experience between them.

We contacted Wilson via email today after reading about the shop in the Mountain Times. He said they’ll have a soft opening January 16th and are planning a grand opening in March.

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“Cycling has been a passion for over 20 years, and if I’m going to go back to work it has to be something I’m passionate about,” Wilson shared with us today. Here’s more from his email:

“We are asking for feedback from local and visiting cyclists, regarding their needs, and/or what they would like to have available while taking advantage of the many cycling opportunities available in the Mt. Hood National Forest. As a new business, there will certainly be a learning curve. However, we are dedicated to the needs of our customers, and plan to provide premium service, and fast turn-around.

Mt. Hood Bicycle will eventually offer a bike rental program, however our primary focus will be to first establish a full service retail, service/repair bicycle shop, with bike wash station for 2018. We will continue to evolve, and make necessary changes as the need dictates.”

Wilson says he’ll stock parts from Shimano and SRAM and is working to become a dealer for Fox, Trek/Bontrager, and more. Wilson hopes to eventually stock mountain bikes, fat bikes, road bikes, and electric-assist bikes. In addition to bikes, parts and service, you’ll also find Mt. Hood-inspired artwork and gifts.

Mt. Hood Bicycle is located just eight miles east of the Sandy Ridge Trailhead, just west on Highway 26 from the Lolo Pass interchange, and 18 miles from Timberline Lodge. If a proposal for an off-road cycling park on Timberline ever gets approved (it’s currently mired in legal challenges from conservation groups), it would be a big boost for this shop.

The shop’s website at MtHoodBicycle.com is still under construction, but they have an active Facebook page where you can get the latest info.

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

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Guest post: A Swede’s view on cycling in Portland

Bike Portland - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:19

The author, still smiling after an “ice rain”.
(Photos by Anders Hedlund)

Note: This post is from 34-year-old Anders Hedlund from Linköping, Sweden. I planned to publish this piece today before I decided to run this morning’s post about Mikael Colville-Andersen’s view of Portland. At first I thought it would be strange to post them one after another, but then figured they’d work nicely as a productive comparison. Thanks to Kiel Johnson for making this happen. – Jonathan

One year ago my wife and I left our home, two cats and all of our bikes in Sweden to move to North America ́s premier bike city for a year. Here ́s an attempt to sort out my experiences and thoughts about the PDX bike culture, and compare it to the way cycling is known in Scandinavia.

My wife Elin is a medical researcher and during the years there have been many suggestions and offers for different places to go for an exchange year. When Portland was mentioned she caught my attention – even in Europe Portland is known as a progressive hub for biking. To me, the deal was perfect: her boosting her career and me riding and working with bikes for a year.

“What’s unique to Portland’s bike scene seems to be the social aspect of riding a bike.”

When we arrived last January the rain was pouring and, the first days, I was more or less in shock from the heavy traffic in and around town. Initially I made some beginner mistakes, like crossing Ross Island Bridge on foot and riding my bike on Powell Blvd. Somehow I managed to survive both. Just when my riding confidence started to grow I mistook the pedestrian trail by Pettygroove Park for a bike path – to my surprise there where a set of stairs on the path that send me and my bike flying, with a scattered collar bone as the result. That gave me a firsthand experience with American healthcare (I ended up having to fly back to Sweden for surgery).

After a while I healed up and got the hang of the bike network, but still the sheer number of cars baffled me. Riding a bike with parked cars to the right and passing cars to the left makes you feel that the margins are quite small. For an experienced bike rider, Portland’s bike infrastructure is all right; but someone not so confident with bike handling will have a big challenge the first time. The speed (of both bikes and cars) is high, and there is no room for mistakes.

A few of the 17 car lanes that the Gibbs Bridge passes over.

One of too many Ghost Bikes in town

“When we arrived last January the rain was pouring and, the first days, I was more or less in shock from the heavy traffic in and around town.”

The biggest difference between most Swedish bike infrastructure and Portland’s are that Swedish bike paths is mostly off-street, only for pedestrians and bikes. There are downsides to this: for instance confusion between foot traffic and bikes, the slower speeds, and the most dangerous part – cars crossing the bike path without looking, much less yielding for cyclists. The positive side to the Swedish model is that the network of bike paths are designed to keep you safe, whether you just got rid of your training wheels or you ́ve been biking for decades. The barriers for getting on two wheels are much lower in Sweden. The bike is more often considered a form of transportation that anyone can use. The fact that around 25% of the trips in my hometown Linköping are done by bike can be compared to the 6.3% in Portland.

What’s unique to Portland’s bike scene seems to be the social aspect of riding a bike. Maybe the fact that cyclists are in such a minority on the streets creates a stronger bond between fellow riders? I don ́t know any other city that has the amount of social rides, events and different non-profits that all together make being a cyclist so enjoyable here. For me the non-profit, DIY-workshop Bike Farm became a home away from home. For most of the year I worked at Go By Bike – the bike valet by the aerial tram – where I got to meet some of the hardcore commuters in Portland ́s widespread city.

The ‘Loud and Lit’ ride during Pedalpalooza.

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The Tweed Ride.

A better use for highways, Bridge Pedal.

Full moon ride on Powell Butte.

To me it seems that a big challenge for Portland – as well as most cities in the US – is the fact that cars have been allowed to dictate the way cities were built for so long. The best examples of the contradiction between the way people want to see their city and the way they behave is the joy and celebration on the streets during Sunday Parkways or Last Thursday on Alberta – only to be replaced by the usual invasion of cars when the event is over. Not to mention the contrast between imagination and reality found in the mural on NW Vaughn and 23rd Ave. These things really makes you wonder why the people of Portland don ́t demand access to the streets every day of the year.

“This city really has some great potential and an abundance of fantastic people and communities.”

Linköping is a much smaller city with around 150,000 inhabitants, built around a city center that ́s been around since the 12th century. However, the fact that modern infrastructure and city planning always have let different forms of transportation play a part makes it an easy city to get around in on foot, by bike or bus. Most of the downtown area is closed off to cars, which creates a vibrant atmosphere with thriving businesses. To live in a city that is quiet, with clean air and safe streets with few or no cars makes people warmer and more prone to interact with each other. Less traffic also means that the few vehicles that really need to be in the city will get there on time, and not be stuck in congestions. In the past years more streets in Linköping have been closed off for cars, always with some initially concerned voices that promotes cars. I dare to say that very few want to go back once the change has settled for a year or two. With this said I don ́t mean that Sweden is a cyclist utopia. There is a lot of things left to improve in bike infrastructure, but at least we ́re heading in the right direction.

We live in exciting times, to say the least. Within a few years there will be autonomous cars in the streets, which hopefully will change the way the city is used and looked upon. Less need for parking will allow the city to become denser, less human factors and emotional drivers will create a safer environment, and more efficient transportation will create less pollution and noise.

Some day I hope to come back to a Portland that takes radical steps away from the car centered living we see today. The way transportation works right now just locks people in their cars – when I look at the clogged highways I see so much human and fossil energy go to waste. This city really has some great potential and an abundance of fantastic people and communities.

For me and my wife this year in Portland is about to end. We will return to Sweden and soon give birth to our first child and enjoy a year and a half of paid parental leave. I can only wish you all the best, and I hope to see you on a bike path somewhere in a bright future.

— Anders Hedlund, @veloviner on Twitter

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Colville-Andersen: “Portland is completely overrated as a bike city”

Bike Portland - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 10:34

One of the most well-known bicycling and urban planning consultants in the world had harsh words for Portland after a visit over the holidays.

In an Instagram post yesterday, Mikael Colville-Andersen wrote that, “Portland is completely overrated as a bike city” and that “It is a car city that squeezed some bike facilities in. Almost reluctantly, it seems.”

Colville-Andersen was in Portland to visit family; but he couldn’t resist sharing what he saw while walking our streets. The lack of people on bikes in general is what seemed to stick with him most. “In the course of 6 days I counted 26 people on bikes and I was all over town. TWENTY-SIX. Even in half-ass bike cities like Oslo (cold, hilly) and the like you would see more,” he wrote.

Colville-Andersen is known for his Copenhagenize blog, which rose to prominence about 10 years ago for its documentation of the people and infrastructure of one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. Colville-Andersen has since built his blog into an urban design and planning firm that has completed projects around the world. He has also recently launched a TV series called “Life-Sized City”.

In 2009, Colville-Andersen visited Portland as an emissary of the Danish Embassy. He spoke at an event where he shared the stage with then Mayor Sam Adams. At that event nine years ago, Colville-Andersen said it would only take Portland 5-10 years to achieve what it took Copenhagen 30 years to achieve in part because all the (planning and engineering) mistakes have been made and the case for bicycling is stronger now than it has ever been. He also pointed out that to do that it would take, “visionary political decision-making.”

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In 2011, the Copenhagenize Index of the world’s best cycling cities ranked Portland 11th — and we were the only U.S. city to make the list.

Here’s the full text of his Instagram post:

I know I’m not the first to say it but Portland is so completely overrated as a bike city. Strikes me each time I visit. The city in general is nice and I love hanging out there. But time and again I realise that Bike Hype has clouded the reality. If a city is bike friendly, bicycles are a fifth limb for the citizens. You see them everywhere and at all hours. Bikes are spotted in racks.

The first time I visited for work it was late October and I wondered where the bikes were. A gent from the City, Roger Geller, admitted that the modal share was counted in June, during bike month. Not fair data for year round. Sure, in the American context the city is a bit ahead of the curve. Bike corrals here and there. Cool bike parking facilities now and again. But then bike lanes in the door zone. What a facepalm. And painted green – but not through the intersections where it’s needed. “Bicycle Boulevards” that are a product of lazy planning to keep bikes off the main car-centric streets and the natural Desire Lines for all citizens. Fragments that suggest the city has thought about bikes but when you don’t see cyclists, it doesn’t mean much. It is a car city that squeezed some bike facilities in. Almost reluctantly, it seems.

Go to Portland for the transit. It’s a brilliant work in progress. But biketown? Don’t buy the hype. Development has plateaued. Go to Minneapolis. Montreal. San Francisco. Places that are at least trying.

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

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Portland’s adaptive bike rental program will return in 2018

Bike Portland - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 15:10

Portlander Diedre Hall at the launch of the service in July.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

After its initial run, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is calling their Adaptive Biketown program a success and plans to bring it back this spring.

The program launched in July of last year and ran through the end of October. According to PBOT stats released last month, there were 59 total rentals to 27 unique participants.

One of the people who used the service was Chris Pangilinan. He was profiled in a PBOT blog post and said the experience, “Opened up a whole new world for me to explore Portland, spend time with friends, and get exercise.” Here’s more from Panilinan via PBOT:

Chris surprised himself when he and his friend Jeff Mack rode all the way to Milwaukie and back (over 11 miles!). For Chris, being able to ride is “hugely important… It’s indescribable what the freedom is like to get on a bike if you’ve never been on one before. Most people take it for granted, because they grew up on one, but to go from wheelchairing and riding buses to actually riding a bike is just a whole new level. And I’m not even going to even try to describe it, because I can’t, you have to go do it yourself to understand!”

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(PBOT infographic)

And here are a few more stats released by PBOT:
— 68% of participants qualified for a discounted rate (people with disabilities, Medicare recipients, seniors, or self-identified as unable to ride a traditional two-wheeled bicycle)
— 53% of riders surveyed said it was their first time riding an adaptive bike
— 2/3 of riders surveyed said they rode in a group
— 76% of riders surveyed said they live or work in the Portland region

The program will be offered again starting May 1st and the bikes will be available for test rides at all five upcoming Sunday Parkways events.

PBOT launched Adaptive Biketown as an extension of its bike share program in response to criticisms that it wasn’t accessible to people with disabilities. The adaptive bikes were rented out by Kerr Bikes, a nonprofit that operates a rental shop on the Eastbank Esplanade path near OMSI. For more on the program check out our related posts below and visit PBOT’s website.

For more on the use of bicycles by people with disabilities, check out this article published today by The Guardian, ‘A rolling walking stick’: why do so many disabled people cycle in Cambridge?.

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

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The post Portland’s adaptive bike rental program will return in 2018 appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Kali Protectives Backyard Build

Bike Hugger - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 13:36

Perhaps a gravel ride in Kyrgyzstan is a bit much? Then, see what our friends from Kali Protectives built in their Morgan Hill backyard.

Looks fun to me and a reminder of all that land in Eastern Washington, where I grew up and the Horse Heaven Hills.  It took Kali months of planning and two weeks of blood, sweat, and gears (and beers), and now the backyard jumps are ready to shred. See the build process and the final product in the video above.

Action Sports Construction worked with Kali and we’ll ride it next time we visit Morgan Hill.

The post Kali Protectives Backyard Build appeared first on Bike Hugger.

The Monday Roundup: MAMILs not so bad, auto pollution reality, and more

Bike Portland - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:53


Big plans: Berlin is the latest city to unveil a bold infrastructure plan that will vastly improve bicycling conditions. By 2025 the city will aim to build 62 miles of “cycle superhighways” and 100,000 new bike parking spots. Existing bike lanes will be “rigorously protected by bollards.”

Welcome to 2018! Hope everyone had a fruitful and fun holiday.

Here are the best stories we came across over the past week or so (keep in mind I haven’t kept up as carefully as usual since before Christmas).

Why governments run transit: Forbes zeroes in on the “elephant in the room” of Uber’s story: The company’s inability to make money.

Not rocket science: To reduce congestion, the tourist town of Whistler slashed transit fares and increased the cost of car parking. And it worked.

Love live MAMILs: Often mocked and reviled by more utlitarian-minded riders and planners, here’s a rare article that sings the praises of those Middle-Aged Men in Lycra.

Learn from masters: Like when Luke went to the Dagobah System to visit Yoda, you can still apply for a spot at the Planning the City summer school in Amsterdam and learn all the Dutch tricks.

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Sucking in what cars spew out: Overuse of cars is an epidemic plague that’s ruining our health and scientists are finding out the pollution it creates is even worse that we thought. And by the way, switching to electric cars won’t solve the problem.

Perspective from people with disabilities: One quarter of the bike commutes in Cambridge, London are made by people with disabilities, underscoring the fact that city planners must think proactively about accessibility for all riders when they design infrastructure.

Aging and access: With 80 percent of older Americans living in the suburbs, the weaknesses of our our automobile-first transportation networks become even more apparent.

Dockless bubble bursting: CNN reports on a shakeout of dockless bike share companies in China and there’s also talk of a possible merger of heavyweights Ofo and Mobike.

Dockless haters in D.C.: Residents of an upper-income neighborhood in Washington D.C. are fed up with dockless bikes in their neighborhood and have resorted to calling police on people who use them.

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

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The post The Monday Roundup: MAMILs not so bad, auto pollution reality, and more appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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