news aggregator

1984 Bike Tour: Day 64 – I can feel the heat on my eyelids

Biking Bis - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 07:22


Looks like most of the residents of Hope, Arizona,
have given up all hope...

I awoke about sunup this morning and ... no Bruce.

It had been so hot and dry, we didn't see the need to pitch the tent last night. We threw the tarp down and just slept on that, until, at some point in the night, I realized all kinds of insects were walking around on me. I took my mat and put it on a picnic table and went back to sleep. Jim had already booked the other table.

 Bruce woke up later, about 2 a.m., for the same reason I had, discovered the picnic tables already taken, and took off for a ride. He ended up at an all-night cafe where a group of 20 Native American runners showed up. ...

Bike Glamping with B-Turtle

Bike Hugger - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 15:46

You heard about bike camping right (touring, but whatever)? Well, here’s bike glamping with B-Turtle as seen at Eurobike and from the Gentle Tent. I didn’t make the annual bike industry trade show in Europe, but I did spot this luxurious micro-caravan for e-bikes in my friend’s posts.

The B-Turtle is made of a lightweight aluminum construction and weighs 30kg. It consists of

  • Aluminum bike trailer (Length: 110cm, Width: 79cm, Height: 58cm)
  • Drawbar with Weber coupling
  • Integrated transport tray inside the bike trailer with a load capacity of about 120 liters (Length: 104cm, Width: 45cm, Height: 26cm). A waterproof PVC bag is protecting its content and can be completely closed via a zipper.
  • The tent sits on top of the trailer and connects via a Velcro strap (Pack size in turtle mode – Length: 105cm, Width: 79cm, Height: 15cm)
  • Two aluminum support struts provide greater stability for the deck platform.

In camping mode, the tent offers

  • An inflatable stable deck platform made of drop stitch material (Length: 210cm, Width: 130cm, Height: 15cm)
  • The actual air tent above the deck platform provides a pleasant interior height of about 130cm in the entire tent. Ventilation and light is ensured by a window on the rear wall and two windows with mosquito nets on both sides.
  • A connected awning serves as an entrance area and provides plenty of headroom and a fully rollable doorway. The storage space inside the bike trailer is easily accessible from the awning. (Length: 110cm, Width: 130cm, Height: 200cm).

To enable a weight load of up to 200kg in camping mode, the wheel axle is enclosed on both sides by the B-Turtle’s frame. Unlike conventional quick-release axles, The B-Turtle retails for €2.990.

The B-Turtle isn’t the first bike camper we’ve seen from Eurobike or last. There’s also this camper and the Kevin Cyr concept seen in 2009.

The post Bike Glamping with B-Turtle appeared first on Bike Hugger.

1984 Bike Tour: Day 63 – The toad in the desert puddle in Aguila

Biking Bis - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 07:22

AGUILA, ARIZONA -- We're camping at the City Park here tonight. We've left all the cool, shady mountains behind us, and we're out where it's dry, sunny and hot. The park doesn't have much; just a picnic shelter and a small building for restrooms.
At the back of his building is a water spigot that drips. In the puddle underneath there sits a toad. I noticed him ...

Bike share carried 209K trips in May + A look at the city’s updated permit rules

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 15:51

Seattle’s bike share ridership keeps climbing. Image: SDOT.

People in Seattle took more than 208,849 bike share trips in May as use of the bikes increased steeply throughout spring. In total, people took 1.4 million rides between late July and mid-June, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (PDF).

To build on this astounding success, SDOT is updating its permit to allow four companies totaling 20,000 bikes, about double the number on the streets today. And the increase comes with some extra permit fees to vastly increase the amount of designated bike parking space in the city to help make sure bikes are parked appropriately.

The permit plan heads to the City Council Transportation Committee Tuesday. If approved, it is then scheduled to go before the full Council for a vote July 23 and would go into effect August 31. Here’s a look at what is in the new permit rules:

Income and racial equity

All three companies have already far exceeded the low-income access rules in the expiring pilot permit, which was mostly focused on encouraging companies to include lower-income parts of the city in the service area rather than sticking only to wealthier areas. But right at launch all companies served the entire city limits, vastly exceeding the city’s rules on day one. That was fantastic, but also a sign that the city should make the equity rules a bit more specific.

For example, the new permit would require companies to make sure 20 percent of their fleets are serving “Tier 1 equity areas.” This is similar to a rule implemented by my hometown of St. Louis to make sure the companies are not just focusing redistribution efforts in wealthier and whiter parts of town.

Such a rule is probably a good idea, especially as companies add pricier options like e-assist bikes. But according to survey data, the companies are already achieving impressive racial balance among its users. In fact, the city survey found that people who identified as African American or Hispanic were slightly more likely to have ridden bike share than white respondents, though white respondents were more likely to be heavy users. This one survey should not be used as an excuse to say, “Well, we fixed transportation equity!” and consider the work finished. But it is a promising start to build on.

SDOT map highlighting areas with lower bike share use.

The bikes are seeing much lower use along the north, southeast and southwest borders of the city. But since neighboring municipalities (Shoreline, unincorporated King County, Renton, etc) don’t have bike share, the lower use could also be a symptom of being on the edge of the service area. Lacking bike infrastructure, formidable terrain and a lower density of destinations also could be factors beyond the bike share companies’ control. But it is still worth trying harder to serve these areas and working to develop bike share service agreements with Seattle’s regional neighbors. And if Seattle requires the companies to serve city border areas, the city should do its part by building long-needed bike infrastructure in those neighborhoods.

Several companies have demonstrated their abilities to provide lower-cost rates to people who qualify for government assistance. They have also created methods for unlocking bikes without a smart phone and paying for rentals without a credit card. Lime, for example, recently announced that low-income users will be able to load their accounts with cash through PayNearMe services in any CVS or 7-Eleven. Such a level of access should become the rule.

The city may also want to think of ways to make sure low-cost options remain in service as companies move more and more towards pricier electric versions and potentially away from the $1 pedal bikes that started this whole thing. Which brings us to the next point:

Different caps for different device types

Should Seattle have caps on the number of bikes at all? Would the drawbacks of too many bikes really be worse than the benefits of such ubiquitous access? Experiences in cities that had no caps, especially in Asia, resulted in widely-shared photos of massive bike piles. I understand the city’s desire to avoid that.

But the city needs to make sure not to overcorrect by placing caps that limit the success and use of these services or encourages companies to remove lower-cost (and lower-profit) bikes. Discount programs for people who qualify for government programs are good, but the absolute best way for these companies to serve low-income people is to simply be affordable from the start. $1 for a bike ride is a great price, lower than any other mode of transportation other than walking (and maybe riding your own bike, depending on your bike costs). The city should be looking for ways to keep low-cost pedal bikes in operation even as new innovations come online.

One way to achieve this is to have different caps for different device types. Let’s say ACME Bikes has 5,000 bikes in operation, which is their permit limit. But then they introduce their new more profitable and pricey rocket skates (“Caution: Not effective on road-runners“). They shouldn’t be forced to take bikes off the street in order to add their rocket skates instead. That would be a bad for bike share users. Instead, they should be able to add the skates while keeping their bikes.

If there were separate caps for different device types, for example, companies could introduce e-assist bikes without sacrificing lower-cost pedal bikes. And if the city does someday allow scooters (or rocket skates), companies should also be able to introduce those without sacrificing bikes. Otherwise, company-wide caps would punish companies that have multiple products and benefit companies that focus on only one. Instead, the city should reward companies that operate low-cost pedal bikes in addition to other pricier options.

Whether to allow the electric kick scooters that are spreading all across the nation is perhaps the subject for another day. The city does not seem to want to include them in this permit at this time. But the permit should be written with the flexibility to easily allow scooters or any other innovation as they hit the market so Seattle can remain at the forefront of this on-demand transportation device movement.

E-bike speeds

E-bikes should conform to Washington State’s new e-bike legislation. That state law was written to conform with national standards and clarify what types of e-bikes should basically be treated as bicycles. Seattle should follow suit with its bike share rules so that any company with standards-conforming e-bikes can operate here.

This is not just hypothetical. Jump’s bikes are Class 1 e-bikes under the newest state law, meaning the motor is activated by the user pedaling and does not assist beyond 20 mph. But If the city were to set an assisted speed limit lower than 20, Jump would need to modify its bikes to make them slower.

But why should they need to do that? If their business model is to allow rental of a perfectly legal bike, the city shouldn’t micromanage that. Seattle’s car share permit does not limit a car’s top speed, even though the cars in service can go way beyond the fastest speed limit found anywhere in the city limits. Just because a BMW can go 120 mph doesn’t mean ReachNow users are regularly driving 120 on city streets. Likewise, just because a bike can be assisted up to 20 mph doesn’t mean users will be going the full 20 at all times regardless of the conditions. Like any bike, the vast majority of people riding e-bikes go the speed that is appropriate for the situation.

20 mph is perfectly reasonable on a city street, and many people riding non-electric bikes go that speed often. In fact, 20 mph is the slowest speed limit currently recognized by state law. And unlike with car speeding, there’s no evidence that 20 mph e-bikes are causing safety issues that need to be regulated. If it’s legal, the city should allow it. If we’re trying to replace car trips with bike trips, then don’t unnecessarily limit a bike’s legal abilities. Let companies decide what their product looks like. Lime, for example, has gone with a very easy to use and non-intimidating single speed e-bike that cuts out at 15 mph. Jump’s bike is a bit more complicated but has more power. I could see both bikes appealing more to different people. And that’s a good thing.

Advertising

The city should allow companies to sell advertising on their bikes. We allow advertising on commercial taxis and public transit, both of which use city right of way. We also allow businesses to post A-frame signs in the right of way for a permit fee. So why not ads on permitted bikes? We want these bikes to succeed and be affordable, and advertising is an easy additional source of revenue to offset user fees. Maybe the city could charge an extra fee for bikes with ads and use that revenue to improve street furniture or something relevant to public beautification. But the city should not put up barriers to success for bike share, which is an incredible benefit.

Permit fees

The city is scaling up its hands-on regulation of bike share, and that costs more money. So to fund that work and keep the program cost-neutral for the city, they are proposing an increase in the permit fees. These costs would put Seattle among the most expensive cities in the country to operate a bike share service.

It’s hard to argue against increased permit fees while these companies are getting massive investments (investors led by Google just invested $335 million in Lime, for example). But why do we need this program to be cost-free to the city? These companies are carrying as many as 200,000 trips in a month at low cost to users and with zero emissions beyond the redistribution vans. Our city is willing to invest in programs that help us reach our transportation mode shift, climate change and public health goals. So why are we charging companies a quarter million dollars a year each to help us meet our goals?

The programs SDOT wants to fund sound like worthy and smart investments. It was not so long ago that Seattle was prepared to invest $5 million in a bike share system far smaller than the one we have now. It just seems weird that suddenly the city can’t invest even a small fraction of that on support and access programming. I mean, how much is 200,000 healthy, emission-free trips per month worth to the city? Surely it’s worth something.

In May, bike share ridership was about 50 percent higher than the South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcars combined, and the city is spent $6.7 million to operate those streetcars in 2017. The city is also spending tens of millions (on top of Federal dollars) to build a single train yard overpass in Sodo at the urging of freight-dependent businesses. The cost to regulate bike share and build bike parking corrals is pennies compared to these other investments.

I’m not necessarily saying the city should cancel the fee hike as proposed, but we should be questioning why this successful program is being singled out as one that must be cost-neutral. We don’t make freight companies cover all the costs of freight infrastructure, nor should we. And I do think any company making money on city right-of-way should pay for permits. But building supporting infrastructure — like bike corrals that also help people riding their own bikes — is a perfectly reasonable city investment on its own. It’s weird that a city with so much transportation investment cash is suddenly snapping the coin purse shut as soon as bike share companies have demonstrated early success. Maybe the permit can allow further expansion beyond 5,000 bikes per company to make these fees more reasonable.

Seattle should be doing everything it can to expand bike access right now. These companies are providing an amazing service that the city can build on. We should be aggressively expanding the bike network, for example. Bike share is helping bike lane investments succeed by making it much easier for more people to use the new lanes. This is a virtuous circle, and the more the city invests the better the result.

DJI Drones on Sale for Amazon Prime Day 2018

Bike Hugger - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:20

While Amazon is trying to create a new national shopping holiday day, Prime Day, in the past they’ve fallen short in actual deals. Besides, enormous TVs from a brand you’ve never heard of or a crazy price on spatulas…this year it’s different, at least in the camera market because DJI has announced a $300 discount on the Mavic Pro Fly More Combo ($999 after the sale price) and a $200 discount on the Mavic Pro drone ($799 after discount).

The Spark Fly More Combo is also on sale for $499.

Sure, DJI isn’t a Sony product (the brand I shoot with and write about), but I’m using them along with my Sony kit to produce video with Digital Photo Pro

and here on Bike Hugger.

During the Prime Day sale, refurbished DJI drones are also on sale. See the list below. Prime Day starts on July 16th.

Refurbished Pricing Refurbished Product Name Promotional Price (USD) Original Retail Price (USD) DJI Phantom 4 Advanced $819 $959 DJI Phantom 4 $599 $699 DJI Inspire 2 $2,199 $2,399 DJI Inspire 1 Pro $2,199 $2,399 DJI Inspire 1 $1,129 $1,399 DJI Goggles $259 $279 DJI Spark $259 $279 DJI Spark Combo $379 $439 DJI Osmo Mobile $89 $109 DJI Osmo $259 $279

I haven’t seen any bike-related PR about Prime Day yet, but if there are sales, you’ll find them here. One of Amazon’s best offers is a 30-day free trial. So, you can get all the Prime Day deals without paying the subscription price.

The post DJI Drones on Sale for Amazon Prime Day 2018 appeared first on Bike Hugger.

1984 Bike Tour: Day 62 – Ghostly visions pedaling uphill

Biking Bis - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:14

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- We spent much of today in the small gears, the stump-pullers, the grannies.

We started our climb almost immediately after leaving Dead Horse campground. Jim had already left -- we told him we always got a late start -- and we gingerly picked our way across that slippery low-water bridge.

The old ghost town of Jerome was only about 4 miles away, but 2,000 feet above us. From the brush along Route 89, we could see the town sitting on the edge of a mountain, with a big white letter "J" adorning a slope above it

Jobs of the Week: Bike Friday, HiFi, Oregon Walks, Metropolis Cycle Repair

Bike Portland - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:05

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got four great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mechanic/Sales/Awesome Person – Metropolis Cycle Repair

–> Executive Director – Oregon Walks

–> Wheel Builder Extraordinaire – HiFi Sound Cycling Components

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Team Lead – Bike Friday

Advertisement

-->

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

Never miss an opportunity. Sign up for our Job Listings email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post Jobs of the Week: Bike Friday, HiFi, Oregon Walks, Metropolis Cycle Repair appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Better biking a top priority in Multnomah County road plan feedback

Bike Portland - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:27

If you like riding up Larch Mountain Road, you should pay attention to Multnomah County’s investment priorities.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

When it comes to roads, you might not think of them as often as you do the City of Portland or the State of Oregon, but Multnomah County is a big player in the region.

For those of you who like to venture beyond their central city bridges (they own and maintain the Broadway, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne and Sellwood bridges) the County takes care of many of the rural roads you hold dear. Think of cherished pieces of tarmac like Marine Drive, Larch Mountain, Newberry, Old Germantown, Rock Creek, Springville, the Sauvie Island loop, Gordon Creek and many others.

Now that I have your attention, you should know that the County just wrapped up a major public feedback process on how they should prioritize road investments for the next 20 years. And guess what? Improving bicycling conditions emerged as one of the top priorities.

Earlier this spring through a series of open houses and surveys for their Roads Capital Improvement Plan, the county heard from over 400 residents. The County has since tallied up all the feedback and they report that just over half of all respondents mentioned the importance of bicycling and walking.

One part of the survey asked people to rank 15 actions on a scale of “most important,” “important,” “less important,” or “not important.” The actions included things like “preserve rural character,” “ensure emergency vehicle access,” and “fix problem areas before they get worse.” In the end, “Make it safer to walk and bike,” received the second highest ranking, just below “prevent collisions.”

At the bottom of the list? “Increase capacity for growing population” and “improve mobility for freight.”

Advertisement

-->

When asked for comments on specific roads and/or projects that the County should pay more attention to, the road mentioned most often was none other than Skyline Blvd — a lynchpin of the local cycling scene. The County summed up feedback about Skyline as people being concerned that it is too narrow for car users and bike riders to safely mix, that people drive too fast, and that sight lines at intersections are not good. Also in the top five of responses were Germantown and Cornell roads which are also popular cycling routes that had similar feedback as Skyline.

When it comes to solutions for making these roads better, the County hasn’t laid out anything specific yet. They did mention in response to a question at one of the open houses that they’ll consider adding uphill bike lanes to some of the roads they manage. If I had to wager a bet, I’d say at a minimum we can expect the County to lower speed limits (the City of Portland has already done this on their part of Skyline south of McNamee), improve the quality of shoulders, and cut back vegetation.

And then there was the classic word-cloud exercise. The County asked people to choose five words that described their vision for getting around 20 years from now. Here’s how it turned out:

One more thing: It’s important to keep in mind who responded to the County’s survey. The vast majority were car drivers, but a significant number identified as bicycle riders. 87 percent of them were white and 98 percent spoke English at home. 54 percent were female and the average age was 51 years old. 46 percent had an annual household income of $100,000 or more.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post Better biking a top priority in Multnomah County road plan feedback appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Weekend Event Guide: Cycle Oregon Weekender, Rosewood Walkways, STP, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:57

Cool water, like the Sandy River at Dodge Park, will be worth pedaling for this weekend.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

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

It’s going to be a hot one, so be prepared!

If you want to see Portland beyond close-in neighborhoods, it’s an ideal weekend to venture out. The Rosewood Walkways event on Saturday will be a smaller version of Sunday Parkways and the focus will be on using feet instead of bikes. You’ll have free reign of 1.5 miles of carfree streets to soak up the art and culture of a part of Portland that often gets overlooked.

Here’s our selection for the weekend…

All Weekend

**BP PICK!** Cycle Oregon Weekender – Friday ~ Sunday at University of Oregon (Eugene)
CO’s summer riding getaway will take over the UO campus in Eugene for the first time this weekend. There will be live bands, chill camp vibes, great food and drinks, lots of cool people, and of course excellent roads to ride all weekend long. Hope to see you there! More info here.

Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge – Friday ~ Sunday at Alpenrose Velodrome (SW)
Watch (or race with!) the fastest track riders in the region tackle the famed banked corners at Alpenrose. Check the daily schedule for your favorite events and bring an umbrella for some shade. More info here.

Kidical Mass Camping Trip – Saturday ~ Sunday at Dodge Park (SE)
Join fellow families on bikes and set off for a fun adventure. Dodge Park is just far enough to be an escape from Portland, yet close enough for a relatively easy ride. Once you get there you’ll love playing in the cool clean water of the Bull Run and Sandy Rivers. More info here.

Advertisement

-->

STP Classic – Saturday ~ Sunday at Holladay Park (NE)
It’s Seattle-to-Portland weekend! That means there will be a big finish-line party at Holladay Park in the Lloyd District where one-day and two-day riders will roll in after 200 miles in the saddle. More info here.

Saturday, July 14th

Sorella Forte Women’s Club Ride – 9:00 am at River City Bicycles (SE)
Come out and ride with the wonderful people who’ve made Sorella one of the oldest and most respected bike clubs in the region. Expect a spirited pace on a 30-40-mile loop with some honest climbing. More info here.

Rosewood Walkways Family Ride – 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Rosewood Initiative (SE)
Join a one-mile bike parade to Parklane Park to participate in Rosewood Walkways. Bikes for Humanity will be there for free basic bike fixes and helmets starting at 11:00 am. More info here.

Rosewood Walkways – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (SE)
Oregon Walks and other partners are hosting an open streets event in the Rosewood neighborhood. Enjoy carfree streets that will be filled with free games, live performances, food vendors, a youth art gallery, and much more. This is a rare chance to experience southeast Portland streets of the future — where drivers do not dominate and overpower everything else. 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

Upgrade your inbox: Sign up here to get the Weekend Guide and all our stories delivered via email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post Weekend Event Guide: Cycle Oregon Weekender, Rosewood Walkways, STP, and more appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Mission Workshop Pavement and Gravel Collection

Bike Hugger - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:39

While the landscape and culture of cycling has changed, demand for technical materials has not. And, Mission Workshop brings their aesthetic to the adventure and gravel niche. Mission’s entry into what became of the road market is also well-timed for those maybe not as into Rapha as they once were and for any cyclist looking for gear that’s understated.

Mission tags the collection as PNG for pavement and gravel and dropbar bikes. I expect it to be so comfortable, you’ll find it on single tracks as well. Let’s hope they add a baggie overshort and be done with it, Assos is making mountain kits now.

The Mission kits are made with fabric that includes ultralight Japanese weather-resistant material, a unique Italian 4-way-stretch fabric, Dyneema fiber in the bibs, and 37.5. That’s where it gets really geeky

37.5 fabrics use microscopic microporous particles derived from volcanic sand and activated carbon to regulate water vapor from the skin before it beads into sweat, moving moisture more efficiently than any other fabric.

If 37.5 it works better or even close to what Gore is doing, I’m in.

PNG Jersey

The portable network graphics jersey—no, wait it’s Pavement and Gravel—has a clean look and features stealth black reflective details, three rear oversized drop-in pockets and one zippered rear keeper pocket for money, credit cards, vape pens, whatever. The chest port is for sunglass storage or headset cable access for headphones. The MSRP is $180.

PNG Jersey Features
  • 37.5® Ultra-high-performance vapor management technology
  • 3 XL drop-in back pockets
  • 1 zippered back pocket
  • Chest sunglasses holster/media port
  • Front and back black reflective strips
  • Odor-resistant
  • Breathable
  • 4-way stretch
  • Machine washable- Performance features never wash out
  • 55% Polyester, 34% 37.5® Polyester, 11% Spandex
  • Made in the USA
PNG Bib Shorts

The primary fabric of the short is 4-way-stretch textile with a dry hand and matte finish and just the right amount of surface friction for long days in the saddle. This textile has less stretch but breaks in over the first 2-3 rides and molds to your ehape. The result is a garment that feels like it was tailored just for you– minimizing rubbing and hot spots. The outer thigh area include Dyneema®-reinforced panels. Dyneema is one of the lightest and strongest fibers on earth and provides extra durability in key areas without adding weight (again, make it for MTB please). The MSRP is $265.

PNG Bib Short Features
  • 37.5® Ultra-high-performance vapor management technology
  • Center back drop-in pocket
  • Molded chamois
  • 4-way stretch
  • Machine washable- Performance features never wash out
  • Upper body fabric: 55% Polyester, 34% 37.5® Polyester, 11% Spandex
  • Made in the USA
THE INTERVAL : PNG

Mission’s microlight windshell jacket is constructed from a Japanese-made ultralight nylon fabric engineered to be wind and water-repellent while offering an unusually high level of stretch and breathability for a woven nylon textile. Designed for maximum versatility, this lightweight shell layers perfectly with the rest of the PNG collection or any Mission Workshop base layer for use in a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Does it breath? We’ll find out soon enough. The MSRP is $205.

The Interval : PNG Jacket Features:

  • Fabric: 89% Nylon 11% Spandex
  • Anti-odor
  • Anti-static
  • Wind Repellent
  • Water Repellent
  • Welded cuffs and hem
PNG SS Base Layer

The base layer breathes exceptionally well with seamless construction enables the torso section to be knit in one piece minimizing bulk and friction spots. It features multiple fabric thicknesses for optimum insulation and breathability. The seamless construction means there’s no scratchy labels either. MSRP $95.

PNG SS Base Layer Features:
  • 37.5® Ultra-high-performance vapor management technology
  • Seamless knit technology
  • Odor-resistant
  • Breathable
  • 190 gsm
  • 4-way stretch
  • Machine washable- Performance features never wash out
  • 60% Nylon w/37.5®, 30% Polypropylene, 7% Nylon, 3% Elastane
  • Made in Portugal
RUNBIKEHIKE Socks

Combining 37.5with olefin these socks promises to keep feet cool, dry, and comfortable all day long– no matter the activity. To me olefin is too hot, but we’ll see. MSRP $20.

RUNBIKEHIKE Sock Features
  • 37.5® Ultra-high-performance vapor management technology
  • Odor-resistant
  • Breathable
  • 4-way stretch
  • Machine  washable – Performance features never wash out
  • Made from 37.5® Polyester, Olefin and Spandex
  • Made in the USA

The post Mission Workshop Pavement and Gravel Collection appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Bike Tour 1984: Day 61 – We find a leech after crossing Verde River

Biking Bis - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 05:55

Cottonwood, Ariz. -- We've liked everyone who has crossed our path as we cycle cross-country. Today is the exception. The scenery here has been beautiful, though, and the terrain has been in our favor.

We faced a major chore breaking camp at the Motel 6 -- our laundering and bike cleaning resulted in our crap strewn from one of the room to the other.

It was sprinkling when we left (isn't this Arizona, why so wet?) and we headed south on Route 89A....

PSU announces free Biketown memberships for students

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:16

(Photo: Portland State University)

Starting this Thursday, Portland State University students can use Biketown for free.

The partnership is part of a new agreement to cement the downtown campus as the cycling epicenter of Portland. PSU says the program will be paid for via auto parking revenue.

It’s a natural step for the campus that serves nearly 30,000 students and is one of only five colleges in the county that has earned a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University award from the League of American Bicyclists.

Last May, Biketown expanded service at PSU by making it a “super hub zone” where people can park bikes on any available rack without incurring a fee. At a meeting of the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee last night, Bureau of Transporation Bike Share Program Manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth said usage rates at PSU have been “bezonkers” ever since. PSU is also
Under the new agreement, students can take unlimited trips and get up to 90 minutes of Biketown usage at no charge. The offer is available to any current student with a valid @pdx.edu email address. PSU staff and faculty can already get a discounted Biketown membership for $7 a month (with an annual commitment).

Advertisement

-->

The PSU partnership comes after Biketown offered free rides to all users during the month of May. That experiment was wildly successful. The system broke its one-day trip record nine times and it added over 11,000 local first-time users. It begs the question: Why not make Biketown free for everyone, all-the-time?

Asked that question last night, Hoyt-McBeth said it’s an idea worthy of consideration. He estimated it cost them an extra $50,000 to make the system free during the month of May and the promotion was supported by Biketown’s operator, Motivate. That’s important because Portland City Council has made it clear that bike share cannot use public funds for operations. Hoyt-McBeth seemed open to the idea nevertheless. “It’s money that would have to come from somewhere,” he said. “Biketown is under strict direction from City Council to not use local funds, so it would require a change in the ordinance.”

PSU and Biketown will announce their partnership at a press conference tomorrow (July 12th) at 10:00 am at the PSU Urban Plaza.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post PSU announces free Biketown memberships for students appeared first on BikePortland.org.

What’s wrong with SW Jefferson? Plenty, if you ask Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Fish

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:59

Drivers heading west on SW Jefferson get backed-up between 18th and I-405. There’s one westbound lane for driving where there used to be two (the right lane is only for turning).
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

“I bike that every day and I believe it’s made the biking situation worse.”
— Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland

Yesterday a City Council Work Session on the Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero program turned into a sharp critique of recent striping changes SW Jefferson Avenue. Commissioner Nick Fish interrupted a presentation by outgoing PBOT Director Leah Treat (her last day is Friday) to share his concerns that a new lane configuration has made conditions worse. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who said he bikes home on the road every day, agreed with him.

Back in April, PBOT repaved Jefferson (a one-way street) from SW Park to 20th and used the opportunity to update the striping. Their aim was to, “reduce conflicts between buses and people driving and biking.” East of I-405 they improved the bike lane by adding protective plastic wands and using green coloring to designate the cycling space. West of I-405 the bike lane is buffered (on the right side next to parked cars) until 17th. Then the bike lane becomes shared (via a sharrow) and moves to the center to make room for a right-turn only lane at 18th (where the MAX line runs). At the intersection with 18th, the bike lane is colored green and there’s a bike box. From 18th to 20th, the right lane is dedicated for buses and bikes only.

Previously, Jefferson had two general lanes and a standard bike lane west of I-405. The bike lane used to end just after 17th to make way for a right-turn only lane. West of 18th, two general lanes continued toward an on-ramp to Highway 26.

Commissioner Fish thinks PBOT has “over-engineered” the street.

Advertisement

-->

Intersection of Jefferson and 18th.

“I love the idea of dedicated bike lanes and bus lanes, but there are virtually no bikes and buses running at the time when there’s heavy congestion.”
— Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner

Fish lives in an apartment high up on SW Vista Drive and he uses Jefferson (most often as a Lyft passenger) to get home. “It’s now one lane, which pushes traffic all the way back to I-405 and creates a lot of very dangerous behavior,” he shared with PBOT staff seated around a table in Council Chambers yesterday. “Cars go down the right-hand lane thinking it gives them access to Highway 26, but instead they have to cut back in.” During the evening rush-hour Fish says the bike lane, right-turn only lane, and dedicated bus lane is empty. “I love the idea of dedicated bike lanes and bus lanes, but there are virtually no bikes and buses running at the time when there’s heavy congestion,” he shared.

“Mu unsophisticated take is that we ended up over-engineering the street,” Fish continued. “And by taking the lane out, now what we’ve got is a traffic mess which is encouraging bad behavior.”

Wheeler agreed and shared his own concerns. “I bike that every day and I believe it’s made the biking situation worse,” he said. “Now you have to cut across a lane of traffic to get to the center bike lane at the very end. That feels like a very dangerous maneuver to me. I’m not convinced we made it better. We made it worse and I’m curious what problem it was we were trying to solve here.”

Wheeler (left) and Fish at the work session.

PBOT Director Treat said she didn’t have the answers to their questions off the top of her head and she promised to follow-up. PBOT Active Transportation Division Manager Catherine Ciarlo chimed in to say her team analyzes changes like this before and after new striping is installed and she assured the mayor and commissioner that the Capital Projects Division had done the same thing with Jefferson.

It’s worth noting that these recent changes are likely to be short-lived — but not for the reasons Fish and Wheeler might expect. PBOT has big plans for making Jefferson (along with Columbia) one half of a “signature multimodal east/west connection between Goose Hollow and downtown” as part of their Central City in Motion project. The current proposal would create a protected bike lane on the left side of the street, a dedicated bus and turn lane on the right side, and two general vehicle lanes in the middle from Naito to 17th.

I checked out Jefferson yesterday during rush-hour to see what all the fuss was about. Commissioner Fish is right about one thing: The auto users get backed up for several blocks. But I didn’t see any of the dangerous behaviors he mentioned. I did, however, see a fair amount of bicycle riders using the new lane.

Do you ride on Jefferson? What do you think of the changes? Should PBOT consider going back to the old design as Commissioner Fish suggested?

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post What’s wrong with SW Jefferson? Plenty, if you ask Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Fish appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Year-long Elliott Bay Trail detour near future Expedia campus starts Aug 1

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:10

The most significant change to the existing trail will be an expansion of the park space and rounding of the trail route at the mouth of Smith Cove. Design image from Expedia.

Concept image of the rebuilt trail, from Expedia.

Construction of the huge new Expedia campus along the Seattle waterfront includes a rebuild of a section of the Elliott Bay Trail as the path transitions from industrial Interbay to the waterfront.

The new trail will soften what today is a sharp turn in the trail at the mouth of the Smith Cove Waterway, which should be a significant improvement to the trail, creating separate walking and biking paths and expanding the surrounding park space.

But trail and utility work will require a detour for more than a year. Originally scheduled to begin in mid-July, the detour start has been pushed back to August 1. Expedia has also made changes to the initial detour plan, which now includes a temporary trail along the low-traffic Alaskan Way W between W Galer Street and the grain silos. Though the detour route is less scenic than the current trail, it is actually a little bit shorter:

From Expedia.

Alaskan Way W

“After consultation with SDOT and advice from Cascade Bicycle Club, we are implementing additional safety measures,” Expedia spokesperson Annie Gustafson wrote in an email. “Perhaps most significantly, pedestrians will no longer be routed over the Helix Bridge during the temporary closure. Instead, they will share an 8-foot lane with other trail users.”

Though the detour is being pushed back a couple weeks, Expedia still expects the reopening to happen on schedule in fall 2019.

More details from Expedia:

Summary of safety measures during Elliott Bay Trail detour starting Aug. 1:

  • Moved the temporary pedestrian trail to Alaskan Way.
      • Bikes/peds to share an 8’ lane. Large delineator “candles” will be placed on the east edge of Alaskan Way to create the shared bike/pedestrian lane for the entire length of the reroute.
      • The remaining 14’ along Alaskan will be a single lane of vehicle traffic that will be regulated by flaggers during work hours, 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., and by a portable traffic signal during nonwork hours.
  • Additional bike/ped stenciling or “sharrows” will be added to Alaskan Way at 100’ intervals
  • Lower speed limit: 15 mph
  • Motor vehicle crossings will be demarcated with painted indicators

We would like to thank Cascade, in particular, for their strategic counsel on the reduced speed limit and the separate bike/ped lane on Alaska Way.

ODOT will create carfree lane on Historic Columbia River Highway when it reopens this fall

Bike Portland - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:15

Cross-section of ODOT’s “phased reopening” plan for the Historic Columbia River Highway.

“This is a great opportunity to try it and see how it operates.”
— Terra Lingley, ODOT Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Coordinator

They say when a fire strikes a forest it comes back even healthier than before. The same might be true for the Historic Columbia River Highway.

When a six-mile section of the scenic road reopens this fall following a one-year closure due to the Eagle Creek Fire, the Oregon Department of Transportation says it’ll have one fewer lane for automobile users. Referred to as the “phased reopening” plan, ODOT will limit automobile use to one lane in the eastbound direction for a five mile section between the Benson State Recreation Area/Hartman Pond (Exit 30) and Ainsworth State Park (Exit 35). The westbound lane will be set aside for walking, rolling, and emergency vehicles (see map graphic below).

As you can see in this section of the highway, there’s currently no dedicated space to walk or bike on.
(Photo: ODOT)

The idea was one of the recommendations in the Historic Columbia River Highway Congestion & Transportation Safety Improvement Plan, an effort launched last summer by ODOT to, “recommend projects and programs to improve safety, reduce vehicular congestion and enhance visitor experience…. along the ‘waterfall corridor’ from Women’s Forum to Ainsworth State Park.” Related efforts include the Columbia Gorge Express bus service which began in 2016 and has since been expanded to keep up with demand. ODOT also promotes carfree Gorge visits and the agency continues to work feverishly to complete new paths that will finally re-connect the Historic Columbia River Highway between Troutdale and The Dalles.

Advertisement

-->

Map of new lane configuration.

“The one-way configuration for the Historic Highway has been floating around for a decade or so, but there has never been a ‘good’ time to try it,” explained Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Coordinator Terra Lingley in an email yesterday. “This is a great opportunity to try it and see how it operates.”

ODOT says bicycle riders may use either lane during the phased reopening period and that, “Cyclists can use the dedicated lane to travel in either direction, but must yield to people walking and limit speeds.” In addition to making it safer for vulnerable road users, ODOT sees the new lane configuration as a way to ensure more reliable response times for emergency vehicles.

ODOT hosted an open house at Mt. Hood Community College last night to explain the plan to local residents and other frequent users of the highway. As it stands, the highway will reopen sometime in September (if/when all fire recovery work is done) and the new lane configuration will remain in place through October 31st. Right now there are no guarantees about whether this will become a permanent thing. ODOT says they’ll monitor how the phased reopening impacts congestion and safety and if it’s deemed worthwhile they will study a longer-term project.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post ODOT will create carfree lane on Historic Columbia River Highway when it reopens this fall appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Alchemy Goods Gets Into Denim

Bike Hugger - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:09

The Seattle company, Alchemy Goods, best known for upcycling bicycle tubes into bags and accessories just announced a Denim Travel Collection. The collection uses salvaged workwear denim that would otherwise be headed to the landfill or into walls as insialtion to create soft goods for travel.

The Denim Travel Collection includes a duffel bag, dopp kit and the Brooklyn backpack with a laptop sleeve.

It ships this September with only 50 of each item available. If you pre-order now you can reserve a piece and save 25% per item or 30% on the entire collection.

Being that limited, I’m sure you won’t see anyone else with that bag, backpack, or dopp kit in your travels.

The post Alchemy Goods Gets Into Denim appeared first on Bike Hugger.

1984 Bike Tour: Day 60 — Marking time in Flagstaff

Biking Bis - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 07:12

FLAGSTAFF -- We stayed here in Flagstaff another day to parcel out our time. We want to meet up with our friends from the UK in a couple of days further down the road.

It's hard to do nothing. We cleaned our bikes, did laundry, sat out by the pool, drank a couple of beers and it started raining. Back inside, the housekeeper slipped us a key to operate the TV -- this was a Motel 6 and we hadn't paid the extra few bucks for the feature. ...

Bontrager Daytime Running Lights

Bike Hugger - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 14:29

Bontrager has updated its daytime running light selection with a smaller, more powerful set that has a longer battery life and added functionality. The updated Flare RT is 36% smaller and 30% more powerful. The new Ion 200 RT packs the same technology into a 200 Lumen front bike light.

Both lights are USB rechargeable, include easy-to-mount brackets, and feature a distinctive flash setting that is visible from up to 2 km away. ANT+ tech is included to control the lights with a Garmin or other devices.

The 2018 Trek Madone with DRL
pic by ©kramonJust over 2 years ago, Bontrager launched DRLs, and a set is attached to  my daily whip. Why city bikes don’t ship with them built in is another topic, but Bontrager’s work well because of the research that went into their design.

The research project with Clemson University showed that the best thing a rider can do to be more visible on the road is to ride with a flashing light. Studies have shown a 270% increase in driver recognition of a cyclist with a flashing rear light compared to without. An additional study showed a 33% decrease in accidents for cyclists equipped with daytime running lights.

Product Features
  • Specifically designed focus, flash, and range for ultimate daytime visibility
  • Flare RT provides ultimate visibility for any road, city, or path
  • Ion 200 RT provides 200 Lumens of visibility via high-power
  • CREE LED bulbs
  • Integrated light sensor auto-adjusts brightness to your environment
  • Connect with Garmin® and Bontrager ANT+ devices for always on, battery status, and wireless control
  • Easily attaches to your handlebars, helmet, or bike mount
  • Includes Ion 200 RT, Flare RT, Quick Connect Mounts, and mini USB charging cable

The Ion 200 RT / Flare RT Light set retails for $114.99 and is available at a Trek dealer near you.

The post Bontrager Daytime Running Lights appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Family biking profile: Kathleen Youell moved to Portland to live carfree

Bike Portland - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 13:22

Kathleen Youell, her kids, and my suitcase, in her bakfiets.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

This week on the column we’re going to share a profile of one of our readers.

Kathleen Youell has been a fixture in the Portland family biking scene for a long time. I met her seven years ago — three days after I got my first cargo bike — and have been riding with her ever since. I caught up with her recently to learn more about her family and how cycling fits into it.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Tell me a little about yourself and your family.

Myself, my husband Matt Youell, and my kids Evan and Emily are all native Sacramentans. We left Sacramento (California) in 2008 because we didn’t like the hot weather and wanted to strike out on our own. Part of our plan included being carfree, but we had no clue about biking with kids, or the Portland bike culture. We moved to Hillsboro thinking that we’d ditch the car and walk and take transit a lot. We soon found out that a MAX ride to the zoo was an hour and the monthly playgroup for kids with Down syndrome and their siblings was two hours away. We started looking for a place to live in Portland. We found one about the same time we found a used bakfiets [a type of cargo bike] on Craigslist. That was around April 2011.

My introduction to family biking was via Twitter where I “met” Sarah Gilbert [@sarahgilbert]. The idea that you could carry your kids on your bike blew my mind. I was so excited to learn more! We came to the first “Fiets of Parenthood” event held at Clever Cycles and gawked at all the bikes owned by people — many of whom are now my friends! I test-rode a bakfiets and bought a helmet that day.

Kathleen and her Bike Friday Haul-a-Day “Veronica”.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

Tell me about your bike.

Our first family bike was a Bakfiets.nl. I was the third owner and it was in one of the first containers that Clever Cycles imported from The Netherlands. I loved that bike so much and put stickers all over it because I knew that I would have it forever. I even told strangers that asked about it that I planned to be buried in it. Sadly, the kids grew too big (and my knees too old) for me to cart them around in it. We ended up selling it to a family with a baby which is my only consolation. I’m sure my bakfiets (I never named it) is happier with a baby to carry around.

Learning to haul a full cart of groceries without a big box to toss it all in.
(Photo: Kathleen Youell)

In October of 2016 I got Veronica, my Bionx’d Haul-a-Day [Bionx is a now defunct maker of electric-assist kits and the Haul-a-Day is made by Bike Friday]. I love her! She still makes me smile when I ride (like the bakfiets did) and that’s the point. I can now go faster than 4 mph and ride farther. I’ve had to learn a lot about loading a bike that I didn’t need to know with that giant box on the front of my bike.

Is there something you wish you had known before you took your first pedal stroke as a family biker that would have made things easier?

Stay away from most of the city’s designated routes! Door zone bike lanes and hills are not your friend. Seriously, can the people at PBOT that designate these routes read a topographical map? Salmon? Harrison? Are you kidding me? There are flat ways around all the hills and your kids will thank you when you take the long, flat way because you will not be out of patience mid-ride.

Napping on each other and on the groceries, 2013.
(Photo: Kathleen Youell)

Tell me about a typical ride you take in Portland.

School and errands. I ride along side my daughter to school and back everyday. I ride to the grocery store and the library and to knitting and to coffeeshops to meet my friend and write. I take quiet residential streets and cross the big, scary streets at lights, preferably where there’s a green box so that the oncoming traffic knows I’m there. Occasionally I scream at a driver that I have two kids that I’d like to live to get home to, but that’s rare. Usually I notice other people on bikes and on foot are smiling at me and realize I have a huge grin on my face. I’m like that woman in the Portlandia sketch that is just so damn happy to be riding around (sans getting her skirt caught in her chain because I have a chain guard).

Advertisement

-->

Tell me about an especially memorable ride in Portland.

There have been so many! I led a Kidical Mass to the Fiets of Parenthood in 2013 (in front of the Art Museum) that was so big. I’ve looked all over and can’t find a photo of us arriving at the museum. I do remember seeing Martina Fahrner and Leah Treat standing together as we rolled in, both thrilled at our huge group of families that were riding together.

In a tie with that ride for first place is the only time I’ve done the WNBR [World Naked Bike Ride]. It changed me personally for the better to be in a group of people (as bare as I dared with a kidney stone and on my period). I felt safe and more ok with myself than I ever had. It has changed what I’m willing to wear while I ride and what I’m willing to wear in general.

Our biggest and stinkiest load: 2 kids and 7 loads of dirty laundry.
(Photo: Kathleen Youell)

If there was one piece of bike infrastructure (street, intersection, bike rack, etc) you use regularly that you could change to improve your life, what would it be?

Contra-flow bike lanes/one-way streets in front of all schools! My kids have only attended three schools in Portland, but all of those have worked hard to keep traffic flowing safety in front of schools at drop-off and pick-up. We get messages from the principals asking parents to drive in one direction around the school so why can’t PBOT get with the program? The long block of SE 34th between Division and Clinton is so much better than it was before; I can just imagine how much better biking and walking to school would be without parents and random cut-through drivers going in the other direction at drop-off and pick-up.

Have you biked in other cities and how did it compare?

Only Seattle since our change to a carfree family in 2009. I biked in Sacramento as a kid and that’s why I’m astounded that people like Elle Steele (@tinyhelmets) can do what my family does here in Portland while living in Sacramento. As for riding in Seattle, I went on a small group ride my first visit and a Mother’s Day Kidical Mass ride the second visit. I found the people very friendly and helpful (bikey people are the best people!) and the loaner Bromptons fun to ride. I remember hills (OMG the hills), a protected bike lane in front of my hotel, and a tunnel next to a highway that was beautifully painted and so hidden that I missed it and rode in circles for 5 minutes trying to find the entrance. Classic tourist. I don’t think I can really compare any of it to my riding in Portland where I can trust my instincts if I want to avoid a hill and leave the designated bike route. Our gridded streets are such a blessing!

The Haul-a-Day looks small, but it can bag & drag a bike with bigger tires than its own 20″ ones.
(Photo: Kathleen Youell)

The cargo bike “bag-and-drag”.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

What’s your best piece of advice to pass along to BikePortland readers?

To the general readership, please respect parents riding next to their children. I’ve had people ride between us, pass us on the right, and other dangerous things. My daughter has ridden her own bike for less than a year after over six years of sitting in front of me while I screamed at bad behavior of drivers. Stop freaking us out and teaching her bad behavior!

To family bikers, current or interested but concerned, there are lots of ways to connect with us online and in real life. Come to a Kidical Mass ride! Find a group on Facebook (PDX Cargo Bike Gang, Seattle Family Biking, or San Francisco Family Biking are all good ones) and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to vent your frustrations. Talk about routes and how to handle tantrums (children and/or drivers). There’s nothing more fun that getting to talk about family biking with other people that aren’t concerned that you shouldn’t be biking with children or who want to have The Helmet Discussion.

Do you have a social media presence you’d like to share?

I do! Twitter (@kyouell) and my blog (www.portlandize.com) or the PDX Cargo Bike Gang on Facebook are where you’ll most frequently find me.

Thank you for sharing your story Kathleen!

And thanks to you all for reading. We’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. 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.

Get this and other BikePortland posts delivered directly to your inbox.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post Family biking profile: Kathleen Youell moved to Portland to live carfree appeared first on BikePortland.org.

As debate heats up, State transpo commission will hear from public on congestion pricing

Bike Portland - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:39

One of the recommend options would add tolls to I-5 through the Rose Quarter.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

It’s a rare chance to speak directly to the most powerful transportation policy-setting body in the State of Oregon on an issue that could have immense impact on our future.

In Portland this Thursday the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) will host a listening session on congestion pricing. The special event comes after six meetings and eight months of deliberations by the Portland Metro Area Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis Policy Advisory Committee (PAC). The 25-member PAC delivered its final tolling recommendation to the OTC on July 5th.

That recommendation (image below, PDF here) consists of an initial pilot program and a longer-term plan to be phased in later. Here’s how it would work: Tolls would be levied in two places; all lanes of I-5 between SW Multnomah Boulevard and the N Going/Alberta exit (exact termini would be decided later), and across the Abernethy Bridge on I-205 (known as concepts “B” and “Modified E”). When/if those are successful, the next step would be to toll all lanes of I-5 and I-205 from their intersection near Tualatin (south of Portland) to the Columbia River (concept C).

The PAC’s recommendation to the OTC.

“Tolling of existing capacity should not be used to discourage driving,”
— Marie Dodds, AAA Oregon/Idaho

(Note that both locations for the recommended pilot program are where ODOT already has nearly $600 million in freeway widening projects planned — the I-5 Rose Quarter and Abernethy Bridge replacement projects.)

The OTC will use the PAC’s recommendation and public feedback to create a proposal for the Federal Highway Administration later this year. If the FHWA approves, they’ll allow the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to move forward with more detailed analysis and development of the program.

With the potential of pricing Oregon freeways for the first time ever, the debates over how best to do it — and more importantly, what the revenue should be used for — are just beginning to heat up.

The Street Trust, a Portland-based group that advocates for better biking, walking, and transit, is concerned about where tolling revenue will go. “As it stands it appears that ODOT intends to raise revenue for highway widening mega-projects on I-5 and I-205,” wrote PAC member and The Street Trust Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky on Twitter yesterday. “That is a dangerous policy precedent and threatens undermine the benefits of congestion pricing.”

Advertisement

-->

Option C, favored by groups like The Street Trust and the City of Portland.

The Street Trust is urging their members to testify at Thursday’s meeting. They also plan to send ODOT a petition signed by 500 people urging the agency to spend tolling revenue on projects that will making biking, walking and transit more competitive options than driving.

There’s reason for worry. While the PAC’s Charter says pricing should “encourage more efficient use of the transportation system,” and that it should help increase, “the use of other modes,” it also states that revenues should go toward, “financing freeway bottleneck relief projects.”

Not surprisingly, interest groups and agencies are lobbying the OTC in both directions.

In a letter to OTC Chair Tammy Baney, AAA, a driving advocacy group, wrote, “Tolling of existing capacity should not be used to discourage driving, change travel behavior, or generate revenue for purposes other than the necessary and beneficial improvement and maintenance of safe mobility on the tolled corridor. AAA believes that congestion pricing, when it is imposed on all road users to discourage the use of automobiles during peak traffic periods, is not an appropriate transportation policy.”

The Oregon Trucking Association only supports a pricing program if revenue is used to increase freeway capacity. “We are not in favor of congestion pricing to support other projects,” their letter states.

In his letter to the OTC, Clackamas County Commissioner (and PAC member) Paul Savas wrote that, “I find the hard line ideology of rejecting highway solutions as lacking the vision needed to serve our region.”

The City of Vancouver in Washington is already asking for an earmark, demanding that a new I-5 bridge “must be included in any discussion of bottleneck relief projects.”

Washington County is another strong voice for more freeway capacity. In their letter they encourage the OTC to, “Link tolling directly to increased freeway capacity in the region… this means targeting revenue to completing the investments in the region’s bottleneck projects in the Rose Quarter and I-205/Abernathy [sic] Bridge… It is important the people who pay the toll see benefits both in terms of better traffic flow and increased capacity.”

While The Street Trust is up against powerful voices, they are not alone. They’re signed onto letters with groups including: Verde NW, OPAL Environmental Justice, Metro, Oregon Environmental Council, TriMet, and the City of Portland. The grassroots coalition group that’s fighting the I-5 Rose Quarter project has also thrown their weight behind the idea that any money raised should not be spent on more freeway capacity.

A letter to the OTC signed by Mayor Ted Wheeler and his four city council colleagues stated they prefer Option C (toll all lanes), “because it shows greatest travel time savings and revenue generation,” and they want options B and E to be considered merely as phases to achieving it. Any revenue, they say, “must be used to ensure corridor safety and multimodal options, including transit.” And in bold type their letter adds, “Revenue from I-5 tolling should not be used to fund I-205 expansion.”

If you want your voice to be heard, sign up for a three-minute speaking slot at this Thursday’s meeting. It starts at 4:00 pm (sign-ups begin at 3:00) and will be held in the Columbia Falls Ballroom of the University Place Hotel and Conference Center at 310 SW Lincoln Street in Portland. You can also still comment online through July 20th.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The post As debate heats up, State transpo commission will hear from public on congestion pricing appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Syndicate content