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New to biking? You’re doing great! Keep it up

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:09

Enjoy the ride.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

There are plenty of things that keep people from biking in Portland. Shaming them for “doing it wrong” is a terrible thing to do.

Unfortunately there’s a strong gatekeeper culture around cycling that can not only ruin the experience for new riders, it can be powerful enough to prevent fence-sitters from ever taking the plunge.

A story in the Portland Mercury issue on newsstands this week is a good illustration of this problem. “You’re Riding Your Bike Wrong: Great Job Biking! Now Maybe You Can Start Doing It Right!” reads the headline. Ironically the byline, The Portland Mercury Bicycle Gang, only furthers the cliquish vibe.

Thankfully our friends at the nonprofit Bikes for Humanity PDX penned a wonderful response. We’ve pasted it below with their permission:

25 Ways You’re Riding Your Bike “Right”

Too many folks are nervous about riding because they don’t want to do it “wrong.” The truth is, there are a million awesome ways to ride your bike. Here’s a very non-comprehensive list.

You’re doing something “right” if you’re:

1. Having fun

2. Getting where you need to go

3. Going at your own pace

4. Wearing whatever makes you comfortable

5. Paying attention to your surroundings

6. Aware of biking laws, or planning to learn soon

7. A first-time rider

8. Visiting the city

9. Respectful of pedestrians

10. An athlete

11. Riding with friends

12. A fair-weather rider

13. Exploring new neighborhoods

14. Carrying cargo or pulling a trailer

15. Riding an e-bike

16. A fixie hipster

17. Not sure how to fix a flat, but know who to ask (B4H maybe?)

18. A kid

19. Using your best judgment

20. Wearing a costume

21. Riding an unusual or adaptive bike

22. Considering the safety and comfort of others

23. A year-round commuter

24. Starting to get the hang of it

25. Not feeling comfortable but trying anyway

If you’re new to this… Keep on riding! You’re doing great! It gets better every day! If you have questions or need help with anything, just ask us or ask a friend. Or ask the person riding next to you. Chances are they’ll be happy to help.

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

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Someone drove onto the sidewalk on PSU campus and seriously injured three women – UPDATED

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 11:12

The red x’s mark where victims were lying as they received medical attention.

Just as we feared back in November after a similar tragedy took place in lower Manhattan; the horror of vehicular violence has come to Portland.

About an hour ago someone appears to have intentionally steered their SUV up a curb on SW 6th Avenue just before Montgomery and hit at least three women. Portland Police say two of them are being treated at OHSU with life-threatening injuries and the other one has serious injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. A fourth person is believed to have been injured but left the scene and so far PPB have not been able to contact them.

From media coverage we know that one of the victims was found right at the top of the ramp of the Portland State University Urban Plaza outside Cafe Yumm! and the Rec Center. Another victim was lying south of that near the transit stop outside the cafe.

The driver fled the scene and police are on the hunt (they typically don’t update media with cases like this because they don’t want to tip off the suspect who might be watching the news).

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Northbound on 6th approaching Montgomery.

A man who saw the collisions, said he believes the SUV driver “gunned it” prior to hitting the women. Other witnesses say the driver was going very fast. A speed of 35-40 mph has been reported.

I’m still not clear which direction the driver was coming from — northbound on 6th or eastbound on SW Montgomery. Based on witness photos seen here, the driver’s car was all the way up on the sidewalk in front of the Starbucks just south of Mill. That means it’s likely he mounted the curb near the plaza at Montgomery where the people were originally hit.

This is not a location where speeding or dangerous driving is very common. The streets are relatively narrow (6th has a bus/MAX-only lane), and the urban context is dense and lively with people biking and walking. The buildings around this plaza also happen to be home to PSU’s renowned transportation and urban planning programs. The PSU Bike Hub is just one block south of where the women were hit.

I can’t stop thinking about the fact that driving shouldn’t even be allowed in this area. When a new PSU building was recently built on the adjacent block of SW Montgomery, we hoped it would be carfree. And don’t even get me started about how we’re still allowed to drive private vehicles on the downtown “transit mall.”

As you watch and listen to local coverage, please help other reporters understand how important language and word choice is — especially when covering something like this. As many of you already know, this suspected crime was committed by a person, not an “SUV” or a “car”. It was not an “accident,” it was a collision. And the driver didn’t hit “pedestrians,” he hit people.

Given where this happened, I’ll be shocked if there isn’t high-quality surveillance footage. We’ll definitely be learning more in the coming hours and days. If you saw anything or have information, please contact PPB non-emergency at 503-823-3333.

We’ll let know about any major developments. For more coverage, check live update via The Oregonian.

UPDATE, 12:35 pm: The police have found and arrested the suspect at NE 16th and Glisan.

Arrest made at NE 16th and Glisan. Photo from live feed of KGW News.

UPDATE: Please note that I’ve made edits to this story as the police continue to make updates.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Spin Events & Catering, Chris King Precision Components, Revolver Bikes

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 09:09

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

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Catering Company All-Rounder – Spin Events & Catering

–> Customer Sales Representative – Chris King Precision Components

–> Mechanic/Sales Person – Revolver Bikes

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For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

Be the first to know about new job opportunities by signing up for our daily Job Listings email or by following @BikePortland on Twitter.

These are paid listings. And they work! If you’d like to post a job on the Portland region’s “Best Local Blog” two years running, you can purchase a listing online for just $75. Learn more at our Job Listings page.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Biketown-themed rides, displacement tour, Kidical Mass and more

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 13:51

One more day until the weekend magic starts.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

With Pedalpalooza kicking off next week it feels like this weekend is just the calm before the storm. Even so, we have a bunch of great ride ideas for you.

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

Here are the BP picks for the weekend…

Friday,

Biketown Rack-a-thon Alley Cat – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Fun rides that use Biketown bikes are a hot thing right now. Stoking the trend is our friend Hobotech with a new spin on the genre. The rules: Get as many Biketown credits as you can by returning stray bikes back to their docks in the allotted timeframe. More info here.

Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie Presents: The Evelyn Hamilton Story – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Western Bikeworks (Northwest)
It’s bicycle storytime with legendary teller of tales Joe Kurmaskie. He’ll introduce you to famed but forgotten bike racer Evelyn Hamilton. Expect a trove of archived newsreels and photos with Joe’s trademark quips and comments thrown in. More info here.

Saturday, May 26th

Biking About Architecture: Portsmouth – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Darcy’s Restaurant & Bar (North)
Victorians, a toy house, lots of great parks and a cruise on the Peninsula Crossing Trail await you on this latest edition of Jenny Fosmire’s renowned residential architecture tours. More info here.

Shifting Gears: A bike ride through Portland’s history of community displacement – 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm at New Columbia (North)
Part of the Vanport Mosaic Festival (May 23-28) this ride will help you better understand the history of displacement and discrimination in north and northeast Portland. Ride is led by community organizer LaQuida Landford. Bikes available to borrow for free at the ride thanks to Biketown and the Community Cycling Center. More info here.

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Kidical Mass PDX Southwest – 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Gabriel Park (Southwest)
A rare chance to join a free group ride with families in southwest Portland. Expect a short, 3-mile loop that ends at a place for food and treats and a playground! More info here.

The Bike Share hour – 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Salmon Street Fountain (Central City)
Another new ride concept based on Biketown. Rules for this one are that you must use a bike share bike and you must be nice and enjoy yourself. Everyone welcome. More info here.

Zoobomb – 8:30 pm at the People’s Bicycle Library of Portland (a.k.a. “The pile”)
These long and warm nights are perfect for cruising down hills on small bikes (or any bike for that matter). Enjoy Washington Park in a new way and meet very nice people too. It’s a proud Portland tradition. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

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

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Mayor Wheeler moves permanent Better Naito talks forward

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 11:30

It’s time to talk about the future of Better Naito.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

“The Mayor wants one of these options to move forward [and] is interested in Option B.” — Michael Cox, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for Mayor Ted Wheeler

Now in its fourth year as a seasonal street oasis for vulnerable road users, the talks about making Better Naito permanent are heating up.

This past winter, the Portland Bureau of Transportation commissioned a private consulting firm to develop a report (below) with conceptual designs for a capital project that would replace the temporary plastic delineator wands and paint striping that exist today on Naito Parkway’s northbound lanes from SW Main to NW Couch with a permanent, 20-foot wide path for bicycling, walking, and other uses.

This is the first time the report has been made public. We received a copy of it from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications Michael Cox after hearing about from various sources. Here’s the report:

BetterNaito-180226-TM-Summary-Rev2 (1)

The report was completed by David Evans and Associates (DEA) in late February and it offers three options with detailed cost estimates for each one. The three options outline ways to fit a 20-foot wide path for walking/rolling (eight feet) and two-way biking (12 feet) along northbound Naito Parkway. The current configuration is 16-feet wide and uses space of the bike lane (five feet) and one standard vehicle lane (11-feet).

Cost estimates range from $3.4 million to $5.3 million.

Here are the options in more detail:

Option A places the cycle track and sidewalk behind the existing curb to minimize impacts to traffic on SW Naito Pkwy. This maintains both northbound auto lanes, but has the greatest impact on Waterfront Park. ($5.3 million)

Option B balances Options A and C by retaining 2 northbound auto lanes south of SW Morrison St, but removing 1 lane to the north. This balances the competing needs to maintain traffic and avoid impacts to Waterfront Park. ($3.9 million)

Option C removes 1 northbound auto lane and places the cycle track and sidewalk adjacent to the roadway to minimize impacts to Waterfront Park. This retains the maximum number of trees and park area, but does not address stakeholder concerns about queuing or travel time delays. ($3.4 million)

And here’s a comparison of costs and other elements:

The three options.
(Graphic: David Evans and Associates)

Inherent in all these options seems to be a reluctance to significantly impact driving. We see phrases like, “to minimize impacts to traffic,” “balances the competing needs to maintain traffic” and “stakeholder concerns about… travel time delays.” Also note the intention to maintain two standard vehicle lanes all the way to Morrison, a major connection to the I-5 freeway. Option A and B retain the two lanes that exist today.

It’s unclear where this concern for driving comes from given that feedback around Better Naito has been overwhelmingly positive. The city has heard opposition to the project from the Portland Business Alliance, whose spokesperson told The Oregonian on May 9th that, “We continue to be concerned about the impacts of Better Naito.” Michael Cox in the Mayor’s office told us the PBA wasn’t involved in developing these proposals. (See update below for new statement from PBA.)

Current cross-section of Naito.
(Graphic: David Evans and Associates, Tex: BikePortland)

The focus to “maintain traffic” on Naito is also interesting because PBOT themselves has pushed the narrative that Better Naito causes very minimal delays for drivers. Their analysis (detailed in the 2017 Better Naito report) shows that the reconfiguration of lanes results in about a 90-second increase in driving times during peak hours. The extra space for cycling and walking (a.k.a. traffic) also attracts more — and safer, healthier, cleaner, and more efficient — non-motorized trips. Last year PBOT counted more than 12,000 people walking on Better Naito in just one day during the Waterfront Blues Festival. During the five-month period it was installed in 2017, there were 393,173 one-way trips by people bicycling.

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“The position of Better Block is for PBOT to take the current seasonal configuration and make the minimal improvements needed to keep it up year-round, instead of spending millions on a full capital rebuild of Naito Parkway.”
— Better Block PDX

Related and also noteworthy is that each option currently on the table requires right-of-way acquisition from Waterfront Park — including tree removals. The options range from taking nearly an acre (42,000 feet) and 40 trees out of the park in Option A, to five tree removals and 1,000 square feet in Option C. This section of Naito is very wide at 73-feet from curb-to-curb. It’s not clear why none of the options solely uses the existing roadway. A “bike project” that takes any trees and/or space away from Waterfront Park could be a public relations catastrophe not just for Mayor Wheeler and PBOT, but for cycling in general.

I asked Michael Cox from Wheeler’s office about this potential for opposition to park impacts. “This question will obviously feature as part of our outreach strategy and we will listen to concerns raised,” he replied via email this morning. Asked why there wasn’t a “no parks impact” option in the report, Cox said, “We’re looking at all the options, and Option C is in some ways similar to the seasonal configuration. The strategy outlined in the report, based on our request, is how to make it permanent.”

If one of these proposals moves forward and the City prepares to cut into the park, they’d be smart to refer to the 2003 Waterfront Park Master Plan which envisioned, “a new sidewalk along Naito Parkway will be 6–8′ wide through the full length of the park.”

Cox says while the Mayor has signaled a desire to move forward, he hasn’t made any final decisions. “The Mayor wants one of these options to move forward [and] is interested in Option B; but has asked PBOT to do additional outreach work with the neighboring community and ensure the engineering is sound and the cost estimates are accurate or refined.”

Consultants hired by the City of Portland say proposals for Naito through Waterfront Park would be similar to what they’re currently building between SW Harrison and Jefferson.
(Image: PBOT video still)

Looming over this project (and giving it momentum) is the already planned and funded project currently moving forward on Naito Parkway directly to the south. That project will include a full road rebuild between SW Harrison and Jefferson (Hawthorne Bridge) that will come with a 20-foot wide physically separated path. In their report, David Evans and Associates said this facility, “will function similarly” to the options to replace Better Naito.

While that project to the south will require some removal of vegetation, it’s not Waterfront Park — an iconic and beloved piece of land that sits on a former highway.

When former Mayor Charlie Hales proposed the idea of a permanent Better Naito in 2016, he said, “What if we just took that east lane on Naito and went ahead and made it into a bikeway? We really don’t need all those lanes.”

Better Block PDX, the group that piloted Better Naito in 2015 and then handed it over to PBOT in 2017, does not think it’s necessary to impact Waterfront Park. In a statement provided to BikePortland in late March (before this report was available), the group said, “Because we have such limited funds and resources as a City and some areas of town face huge hurdles just having basic safe streets, the position of Better Block is for PBOT to take the current seasonal configuration and make the minimal improvements needed to keep it up year-round, instead of spending millions on a full capital rebuild of Naito Parkway.”

The City of Portland was not in contact with Better Block PDX during the development of the DEA report.

We confirmed this morning that Better Block reached out to the Mayor’s office and Cox said, “We will engage them on the issue.” As for the Portland Business Alliance (who haven’t responded to our request for comment), Cox said they were sent a copy of the report just this week.

If this issue heats up soon, Wheeler could find himself in a powerful position. Not only does Wheeler still control of all the bureaus (he takes them during budget talks and hasn’t doled them back out yet); but both Parks and Transportation are without directors at the moment. Parks Director Mike Abbaté and PBOT Director Leah Treat have both resigned in recent weeks.

The next step in Better Naito’s future is a public outreach process. As we reported earlier this month, PBOT sees the opportunity to update Naito through the Central City in Motion project. The first chance to weigh in on these three options for a permanent Better Naito will be on June 4th when the City launches an online open house for that project.

CORRECTION, 1:57 pm: PBOT analysis shows a 90-second increase in driving times during the Better Naito installation, not a reduction, as I initially wrote. That was a typo/mistake and I regret any confusion it might have caused.)

UPDATE, 5:50 pm: Sandra McDonough, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance, has responded to our request for comment.

“The Alliance has long supported transportation solutions that ensure safe mobility for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the city. Naito Parkway is a location that must balance the needs of each of these modes; we are encouraged that the city has developed options to provide a permanent bike path in a portion of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This option appears to best accommodate all modes, and ensure the needs of all transportation system users are met by minimizing vehicle congestion and providing a truly protected bike path that will complement the planned bike path south of the Hawthorne Bridge. This proposal has the potential to be a win-win solution, and we look forward to continuing to work with the city and other stakeholders on a permanent plan that provides safety, accessibility and mobility for those who walk, ride and drive.”

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

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A sneak peek at Portland’s new protected bike lane design guide

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:59

PBOT’s Roger Geller unveiled the new design guide last Thursday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Portland has been talking about physically protected bike lanes for years. The problem is, we’ve mostly just been talking — and not building. And when we have built them, the designs have been inconsistent.

One of the (many) reasons for the slow implementation of protected bike lanes is that engineers, planners, and project managers at the Portland Bureau of Transportation haven’t been reading from the same book. In fact, they haven’t even had a book. Until now.

Last week PBOT’s bicycle program manager Roger Geller shared a sneak peek at a new manual that will soon be adopted as the official Portland Protected Bicycle Lane Design Guide.

“We’re going to start with a protected bike lane and you better have a really good reason why can’t do it.”
— Roger Geller, PBOT

“It provides much-needed clarity about what we can build and how it will fit on Portland streets,” Geller told an audience of several dozen (mostly planning students) at a “Lunch and Learn” event hosted by PBOT at Portland State University last Thursday. Geller said the guide came about in large part because outgoing PBOT Director Leah Treat issued an internal agency directive in 2015 that called on staff to make protected bike lanes the default whenever possible. “That directive kind of flipped things on its head for our agency,” Geller explained. In the past they would start from a standard, six-foot bike lane and work up toward protection. Now, Geller said, the approach is different: “We’re going to start with a protected bike lane and you better have a really good reason why can’t do it.”

Treat’s memo was just one part of the impetus for this guide. Geller also shared that it was born from a struggle by PBOT engineers to come up with designs. “Our first five protected bikeways were all different designs,” he explained. “We’d sit down and say, ‘What should we do?’ And Engineer A says, ‘I know, let’s do this.’ Then another street would come up, and we’d say, ‘What should we do for this one?’ And it would be a completely different design.” “The first five were all one-offs,” he continued. “At a certain point our engineers were begging for mercy, saying, ‘Give us some tools!’ The existing guidebooks weren’t sufficient.”

Some of Portland’s current protected bike lane designs.
(Click images for gallery and captions. ESC to return to post.)

The bulk of the guide lays out different street cross-sections and suggests seven basic designs. This is meant to help city staff determine what’s possible given nearly any street configuration they come across — from a 76-foot wide, two way road to a 44-foot one-way road. The final guide will include an online spreadsheet tool that will allow engineers and project managers to plug in a specific cross-section and receive design ideas that will fit.

Gallery of cross-section designs. Click to view, ESC to return to post.

Let’s say PBOT plans to redesign a 36-foot wide roadway like NW Thurman, which today has two vehicle lanes and two lanes used for parking cars. Project staff could turn to this new design guide and see how to layout the street with six-and-a-half foot bike lanes protected from motor vehicle traffic with a one-and-a-half foot buffer zone that could be filled with a cement curb or plastic delineator wands.

Those wands are all too familiar to many Portlanders. They are often damaged, driven over, and knocked down by drivers. So much so they’ve tarnished the name of protected bike lanes. Geller fells our pain. He acknowledged on Thursday that the wands aren’t working as well as he’d hoped. “If you would ask me a year ago what Portland was going to look like with protected bikeways, I would have said we were going to become a city of delineator-post protected bikeways,” he said. “But based on the experience we’ve had with them, I think we’re going to have a more nuanced approach.” Citing exorbitant maintenance costs, Geller said PBOT is still learning what type of locations they work well in, and where other options might work better.

Another maintenance issue is whether or not sweepers can access protected bike lanes. The guide includes “sweeping access width” measurements for all the designs so maintenance staff will know which sweeper is needed for the job.

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Where designs beyond plastic posts make sense, this new guide will help PBOT determine what to use. It includes guidance on other materials that can be used for protection: traffic separators (curbs), concrete islands, planters, or parked cars.

The different ways to provide protection.
(Click images for gallery. ESC to return to post.)

Of course these other options are more expensive than delineator posts, and therein lies the rub. Geller said traffic separator curbs are four times the costs of the posts, “Which can be a stretch for us.”

If money was no object, this is what PBOT would build.

Western Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts is an example of PBOT’s preferred design.
(Photo: PBOT/Roger Geller)

For projects with a larger budget, the guide also lays out PBOT’s preferred design: a bikeway separated from other traffic and elevated to the same level as the sidewalk. Geller said that design — which requires 21-feet of width to fit an eight-foot sidewalk, seven-foot bike lane and six-feet of buffer space — is preferred because of its flexibility and the sense of protection it provides.

While there aren’t many opportunities for PBOT to build their dream design (the guide focuses primarily on retrofits, not new construction), Geller said they’ve also done a mapping process to identify roads with potential for protected bike lane treatments. He said, “We’ve got about 450 miles of roadways we’re identifying for these kind of treatments.”

As for how much these retrofits would cost, it depends on the design. On the low-end, PBOT estimates a basic, parking protected bike lane on a one-way road would cost $70,000 per mile. On the high-end, if they were to convert a road with five standard vehicle lanes to three and add protected bike lanes separated by a concrete island it would cost them $2.8 million per mile.

City map showing streets by curb-to-curb width.


One thing you won’t find in the guide is the issue of how to address intersections. Geller said that’s because those solutions are constantly evolving. As PBOT continues to do their own research and analysis, they rely on existing manuals from other agencies and organizations that have already established best practices.

When it came time to answer questions from the audience, several people (including myself) wanted to know if having this guide in hand would lead to faster implementation. “I think this will facilitate faster implementation,” Geller said. With PBOT engineers now working from a standard set of drawings, it will be easier for them to decide what to do. But the limiting factor isn’t engineering, it’s money. “The thing that will hasten them is funding,” Geller added (and then pointed out how PBOT already has money for miles of protected bike lanes on deck for the Central City in Motion project and projects coming on North Rosa Parks, Denver, Greeley and elsewhere).

Also worth noting is that many streets that already have painted buffers will now be even stronger candidates for some sort of physical protection.

Overall, having this guide should significantly improve Portland’s ability to install protected bike lanes. While it gives PBOT a helpful tool, Geller said he hopes we, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

“We recognize we’re going to fail at times,” he said. “We’re not always going to be able to get our ideal design; but at least we know what we’re striving to achieve.”



The new guide is expected to be adopted by City Council by the end of June. I’ll post a public version once it’s released.

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

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Looking for a summer bike camp? Check out these seven local options

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:47

Get those kids out of your hands and into the city – on bikes!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Summer in Portland means it’s time to make sure the young people in our lives get as much exposure to bicycling as possible.

It’s also a time when school is out and working adults need a place to plop the little ones while they work. That’s where bike camps come in! Since this is Portland, we have a bunch of great options.

Here are the details on seven local bike camps we’ve heard about…

Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition

Details:

(Photo: WashCo BTC)

Website
Ages 9-11
5-days, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday – Friday
Cost: $295 per camper

Dates and locations:
— Week of July 9th – Forest Grove
— Week of July 16th – Hillsboro
— Week of July 23rd – Tigard
— Week of July 30th – Beaverton
— Week of August 6th – Hillsboro

Blurb:

WashCo BTC is proud to present its fourth year of Bike Adventure Summer Camps as a way of giving children the gifts of freedom, empowerment and adventure, (much like when you rode your bike for the first time) but with an emphasis on fun and safety skills that will last a lifetime… At this fun and informative week long day camp your child will enjoy the outdoors with new friends while learning about the joys and safe riding practices under the instruction of two trained instructors who are experienced cyclists themselves… The campers can enjoy lunch in a park, map out a route to eat ice cream on a hot day, feed ducks at a local pond, explore new trails, stop for a game of frisbee, all while making new friends.

Bike First!

Details:

(Photo: NW Down Syndrome Association)

Website
Ages 8 and up
3 or 5 days
Cost: $150 – $250

Dates and locations:
— June 18th to 22nd at Concordia University Gym (northeast Portland)

Blurb:

Riders blossom and beam with pride over their new-found skill, volunteers cheer, and parents tear up to see their child take flight, alone, for the first time. Bike First! is open to children 8 years and up; meaning there is no cap on the end age! People who experience a variety of disabilities have had success at the clinics—some of these conditions include Down syndrome, mild to moderate autism, mild cerebral palsy, visual impairments, extreme fear of falling, fine motor skills, and other developmental delays.

Typically-developing children learn to ride a bicycle with help from their family and friends. Unfortunately, most individuals with disabilities who try this route are unsuccessful…The BikeFirst! program works with children, youths, and adults who experience difficulty getting past training wheels and onto conventional two-wheelers.

The Lumberyard Shred Academy

Details:

(Photo: The Lumberyard)

Website
Ages 6 – 14
One week sessions from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm
Cost: $395 for each week of camp

Dates and locations:
— Starts every Monday from June 18th through August 27th at The Lumberyard (2700 NE 82nd Ave)

Blurb:

Our Summer Bike Camps Offer: Indoor and Outdoor riding with over 70,000 square feet of space; Exclusive kid friendly curriculum created by our expert teachers; Experienced instructors; Skills taught transfer to any style of biking and skill level; Bike parking available for campers; Bike rentals available for campers; Snacks provided by CLIF Kid for every day of camp; Ride free for the rest of the day after camp with parent or guardian supervision.”

Sprockettes

Details:

(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Website
All ages
Two days (weekend)
Cost: Suggested Donation of $60 per child or $30 for two or more kids (No child will be turned away)

Dates and locations:
— Saturday, June 9th 10:30 am to 4:00 pm at Irving Park (northeast Portland)
— Sunday, June 10th 10:30 am to 4:00 pm at Peninsula Park (north Portland)
* Big performance Sunday 4:00 pm at the water fountain

Blurb:

The Sprockettes are Portland’s premier mini-bike dance troupe. 2018 marks our 7th Semi-Annual summer camp for girls. Our summer camp is a two-day celebration of bicycles during which your little ladies will explore their creativity and strength through group dancing, acro-balance, bike tricks, DIY decor and more!

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Details:

(Photo: Pedalheads)

Website
Ages 3 to 10
One-week sessions with half and full-day options – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Cost: $219 – $409

Dates and locations:
– 11 sessions starting Monda June 18th to August 27th at Holy Redeemer Catholic School & Church in north.
– Six sessions starting Monday June 11th to August 27th at Reedwood Friends Church in southeast.
– 12 sessions starting June 11th to August 27th at West Hills Christian School in Hillsdale.
– Seven sessions starting June 25th to August 20th at Holy Family School in Eastmoreland.
* View schedule here.

Blurb:

Atlantis Programs Inc. provides innovative and effective programs that are safe, fun and challenging. Our delivery of camps and lessons that promote kids’ health and development has earned us a reputation of excellence in the communities that we serve. During the last 30 years we have taught over 200,000 children to bike, swim and develop physical skills, using our own teaching methods combined with small classes and exceptional instructors. Our comprehensive programs open up a world of opportunities for a lifetime of cycling, swimming and physical activities.

Community Cycling Center

Details:

(Photo: Community Cycling Center)

Website
Grades 1st to 8th
21, one-week sessions
Cost: $360 – $400

Dates and locations:
— Camps start June 13th and run through August 20th at the CCC on NE Alberta and 17th.

Blurb:

Bike Camp brings kids in grades 1-8 together for a summer of bike adventures, learning, and friendship. Campers learn how to ride safely and maintain their bikes in a supportive, hands-on environment. At Bike Camp, kids build confidence, skills, and a life-long love of biking.

Alpenrose Velodrome Junior Track Camp

Details:

(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Website
Open to any junior racer with an OBRA license
Three days (Thursday – Saturday)
Cost: $175 (includes bike rentals, race fees, and more)

Dates and locations:
— June 28th to 30th at various locations including a sleepover at the velodrome and riding at The Lumberyard

Blurb:

This trip will challenge you as a cyclist and open your eyes to new riding types you may not have done before. You’ll learn from some great coaches and ride with other kids from OR and WA teams. You’ll get a chance to step outside your comfort zones and push yourselves physically and mentally through a series of awesome adventures. Lots of off-the-bike time with other juniors to socialize and have fun

If you know of a great local bike camp, let us know in the comments and we’ll consider adding it to the list.

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

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Two injury right-hook collisions in two weeks at NW Broadway and Hoyt

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 14:42

Nine days apart: Same intersection, same trucking company, same type of collision, same result, same problem we’ve known about for over a decade.
(Photos via @SmplicityCycles via Twitter)

It’s disheartening to start writing a post about the need for changes at a dangerous intersection only to recall that I already wrote the story. Nearly five years ago.

Another right-hook at Broadway and Hoyt: What can we do about this intersection?,” screamed the headline in our October 2013 post.

And here we are today with the same concerns, the same problems and the same intersection.

“The cop who wrote the report said I was the 4th accident at that intersection past month.”
— Michael Rosenberg

In the past two weeks we have confirmed at least two serious injury right-hooks at Broadway and Hoyt. On May 9th, Michael Rosenberg was involved in a collision at Hoyt while biking down Broadway. He shared with us via email that, “A truck turned right in front of me.” Rosenberg also claims he tried to stop but skidded under the driver’s rear-wheel. He broke his pelvis in three places, fractured seven ribs, and fractured his spine. “The cop who wrote the report said I was the 4th accident at that intersection past month,” he added.

Then this past Friday May 18th, another person was involved in a right-hook collision with a truck operator at the exact same location. The victim in that crash suffered a broken collarbone and is on the mend.

Another similarity in these collisions is that the truck operator worked for the same company: Vancouver, Washington-based Dill’s Star Route Inc. That company is a (somewhat controversial) private contractor for the U.S. Postal Service, which runs a post office and mail distribution hub on the adjacent block. You can see another one of their trucks turning right on Hoyt in this short video I made this morning:

As we’ve chronicled too many times in the past, there are many reasons why Broadway and Hoyt is one of the most dangerous intersections for cycling in Portland: It’s on a downhill and most bicycle riders approach it at very high speeds; Hoyt is an official and signed truck route that experiences a high volume of right turns by large trucks; there’s a high volume of bicycle riders that go straight; and there’s zero protection for bicycle riders on a green signal phase.

(Let’s remember that road design is not solely to blame here. If people operated their vehicles more slowly, carefully, and with more respect for other road users, it’s very likely that none of these collisions would have occurred. But until we change our current road culture, we must change the environment that informs it.)

The City of Portland knows very well the dangers that lurk here. In 2007, following the deaths of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek via right-hooks by large truck operators, the Portland Bureau of Transportation included Broadway and Hoyt on their list of 14 intersections that would receive emergency funding and an innovative safety treatment: a bike box. It was intended to be filled with green color; but because bike boxes were still experimental at the time, the Federal Highway Administration required PBOT to keep it un-colored and to use it as a guinea pig in an experiment to see if color really influenced safety. In part because of that FHWA experiment, the bike box at Broadway and Hoyt remained uncolored.

Until May 9th.

The very first day the green paint went in, Michael Rosenberg was nearly killed in a collision. And nine days later, another person was hit under nearly identical circumstances. If nothing changes — or if we sit back and wait for the standard Portland pace of incremental changes — I’m afraid they won’t be the last.

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PBOT’s 2017 bike counts tallied 2,835 average daily bicycle trips at Hoyt and Broadway, making it the third busiest biking intersection in the central city. All that bike traffic helped persuade PBOT to change the street design in 2013 by adding wider, buffered bike lanes on Broadway in the block approaching Hoyt. These lanes allow people on bikes to easily pass each other and offer a greater sense of safety — both of which might actually increase biking speeds and the risks of right-hooks at the intersection.

Click for gallery and captions.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Reached today for comment on the intersection, PBOT public information officer Dylan Rivera confirmed that Broadway is the street with the highest crash rate for bicycles in all of Portland.

Yet even with that knowledge — and a demonstrated risk to the bicycling public since at least 2007 — nothing significant has been done to protect road users. Only paint and signs have been installed.

“The signage and striping at the intersection is now up to our current standards.”
— Dylan Rivera, PBOT

“As a high crash network street, we are constantly seeing what safety improvements we can make in the short term, as well as developing plans for larger scale improvements that would require more time to implement,” Rivera wrote via email. “We continue to monitor the situation to see what other improvements might be possible there, and how crash patterns may change in the coming months.” It wasn’t clear if Rivera was aware of the two collisions that have happened since the latest changes were made.

“Studies from across the nation indicate we can expect a 39 percent reduction in bike crashes after installing green paint as we did May 9 at this location,” Rivera continued. “The signage and striping at the intersection is now up to our current standards.”

Rivera then pointed me in the direction of two potential projects that might help this intersection. An online open house that launches June 4th for the Central City in Motion project will include an option for a protected bike lane on Broadway. And an unfunded project on PBOT’s Vision Zero Project List would, “Enhance the existing bikeway on Broadway from Hoyt to Clay,” and, “Includes the construction of a protected bikeway, signal improvements, short-term parking and loading zones, and shorter pedestrian crossings.”

It’s unclear what impact, if any, those projects (if they ever happen) would have on reducing the risk of right-hooks at Broadway and Hoyt.

But we can’t wait. Signs and paint are not enough.

Is it time to prohibit right turns here?

I’m not an engineer, but in the past when we’ve had lives at risk from repeated right-hooks and a demonstrated trend of collisions, we’ve done something more significant about it.

Click for gallery and captions.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

With support from the Portland Water Bureau (that prohibited its truck drivers from turning there) and in the face of strong opposition from a local business owner, former Mayor Sam Adams oversaw the prohibition of right turns from Broadway to Wheeler in 2012 and from Interstate to Greeley in 2009. Like Broadway and Hoyt, those right turns were on downhills and had a tragic history of right-hooks by truck operators. They remain closed to this day and everyone is safer because of it.

Absent something as bold as closing Hoyt completely to right-turning cars and trucks, perhaps we need a bike-only signal phase like we installed at Broadway and Williams in 2010? Or maybe it’s time to try one of those flashing signs that PBOT installed at Couch and Grand in 2011.

Something must be done. Broadway is the worst street for cycling in Portland. It’s also (arguably) the most important street for cycling in Portland. We must do more.

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

 

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Sunday Parkways is perfect for families: Here’s how to get the most out of it

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:05

Just a few of the 25,900 people who attended Sunday’s event.
(Photos: Greg Raisman)

Sunday Parkways is one of the best Portland events for kids who like biking. It’s also great for kids who like playgrounds, bounce houses, food of any sort, dancing, art, music, etc. This week I’ll share a bit about Sunday’s first event of the season. And because there are four more to come, I’ll also share some tricks I’ve learned to get the most out of them.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Last weekend’s Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways was especially great for us as it was the first time my kids rode their own bikes at this event.

We attended last year’s “Sellwaukie” (Sellwood/Milwaukie) Sunday Parkways, but I carried both kids on my longtail cargo bike. And our very first Sunday Parkways was Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways 2016 with a bakfiets from the Clever Cycles rental fleet.

It’s liberating for kids and parents to let little ones loose on city streets without worrying about drivers.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

A family picnicking near us checked the time and exclaimed they had to pedal home “ASAP!”, before the roads opened back up to cars.

Carrying kids around Sunday Parkways (via cargo bike, tandem bike, trailer bike, trailer, bike seat, etc) and letting them loose to check out the activity hubs and anything else interesting along the route is a wonderful way to partake. And having such a large area protected from car traffic provides a unique opportunity for kids to get around by their own power. I believe Sunday Parkways is for everyone, but it can be particularly life-changing for little kids on bikes.

I first realized this two years ago when we were hanging out at Colonel Summers Park as the event wound down. A family picnicking near us checked the time and exclaimed they had to pedal home “ASAP!”, before the roads opened back up to cars. Sunday Parkways is a way for families who aren’t able to bike everywhere the way I do to experience the three-way-magic of biking for transportation, recreation, and fun when the streets near their houses are “open.” I’m lucky in that I get to see this regularly during Kidical Mass rides: when little kids get to bike in the street from point-A to point-B (rather than just in front of their houses), the way their faces light up is amazing and their smiles are infectious. They exemplify the way biking makes me feel, as I tried to convey in my recent post about exhaustion: “capable, strong, and free!”

So please, encourage your friends with small kids to join you for an upcoming Sunday Parkways. Here’s my advice on how to get the most out of them

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Plan your attack
There are so many interesting vendors and attractions that it’s easy to miss your favorites. We didn’t see everything on Sunday and I was kicking myself for not grabbing an official event brochure. Yes they have one of those (see it below)! It lists most of the main vendor and activities at each park. You can find it at the info booths or — if you’re really prepared — download it to your phone before you go via the event website.

Bring snacks
I fail you each time I write a post and don’t mention snacks. Bring snacks. We found food to purchase (on three occasions and it still wasn’t enough), but lines are long and vendors run out of food so make sure you have some sort of emergency snack along.

Bring/locate water
I said I was going to bring an extra water bottle with us, but I forgot. I also said I’d fill our water bottles at each stop, but I got distracted. Not all parks have drinking fountains (Ivon Park didn’t, but a booth had a big water dispenser) so in the future I’ll note what the water situation is ahead of time — either by checking out the park on my own (yes, hydrating is that important to me I’ll bike 10 miles ahead of time just to look for a drinking fountain!) or asking a friend in the neighborhood.

Some stuff ends early
The roads open to cars promptly at 4:00 pm so booths in the streets and parks often pack up before then. This was inconvenient as we were looking for food for the fourth time at twenty ’til. I’m glad we completed the loop and scored one of the last salmon hats, but it seems worth it to take a break in the middle of one of the bigger parks near the end to be far from the packing-up frenzy.

Riding towards home right at 4:00 is cool because you encounter a steady trickle of families biking away, all criss-crossing paths as they head in different directions from different parts of the loop. Some of the unofficial booths stay open past 4:00 to prolong the party — we saw some lemonade stands still going strong and paused at a huge karaoke party.

Here are some other highlights of our day, just to give you a sense of what’s out there…

Colonel Summers Park
Side-by-side parkour course and bounce house (the kids did both of these while I waited in line for food). The Audubon Society of Portland had a great-horned owl and turkey vulture. I wouldn’t have noticed these had we not been aimed at them in the restroom line! The Zumba was loud and festive. Watching three teens on stilts partake was amazing.

Ivon City Park had amazing putt putt golf! The bounce house was popular, too.

Putt putt golf at Ivon Park.

Laurelhurst Park, our last stop, had salmon hats. Don’t be afraid to ask people where they got their salmon hats or other cool swag. Once at the proper park we asked a salmon-hat wearer for detailed directions and made it just in time to get one.

Salmon hat with streamers!

Bonus stop: beignets! On the advice of friends we stopped at the kid-run beignet stand set up along the loop two years ago and knew to be on the lookout this year. $1 each or three for $2. Yum!

I want to close with a big thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who make Sunday Parkways possible. As we arrived to the loop we watched a person sneakily drive through a closed intersection that had no volunteer posted at it. Those Intersection Superheros are so important! Here’s where you sign up to volunteer.

And here are the remaining events:

North Portland Sunday Parkways
June 24, 2018 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (8.8 miles)

Green Loop (Downtown & Inner SE) Sunday Parkways
July 22, 2018 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (7 miles)

Outer Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways
August 19, 2018 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (7 miles)

Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways
September 23, 2018 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (8 miles)

Please share all your tricks and tips for having a successful Sunday Parkways experience, even if they’re not kid-specific! Thanks for reading. Feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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NW Portland crash victim’s son speaks out: “More people need to speak up. We need change”

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:21

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

Daniel E. Feldt, the son of the man who died hours after a collision with a truck driver while biking on Tuesday, says he feels dangerous road conditions might have contributed to his father’s death. And he plans to do something about it.

50-year-old Daniel Feldt was biking toward NW Niclolai Street on Tuesday morning (5/15) and was struck by someone driving an Isuzu work truck.

The official statement from the Portland Police Bureau says, “Based on preliminary information, investigators believe the bicyclist exited a parking lot, traveled into the eastbound travel lane of Northwest [sic] Nicolas Street and crashed into a passing truck.” That makes it seem like Feldt was at fault (and the line was unfortunately picked up as fact by the local media who parroted it as their own reporting); but a closer look at the crash scene shows that this collision might be more complicated than first assumed.

(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

As you can see in images I took on Thursday (above), visibility of the driveway from eastbound Nicolai is very compromised by a cement wall, vegetation, poles on the sidewalk, and other obstructions. From the driveway (Feldt’s point-of-view), those same obstructions make it very difficult to see oncoming traffic (even a large truck). And judging from where the point of impact appears to be (based on spray paint used by police to mark evidence), it’s not clear if Feldt ever entered the roadway — or if the truck driver was going a safe speed prior to the collision. It’s possible the truck operator could have been so close to the sidewalk that a large mirror is what first struck the victim. Without more evidence, it’s hard to say exactly what happened.

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Feldt’s son (with the same name) reached out to us via email on Friday to share his frustrations and sadness after he visited the scene Friday. Feldt is upset about the premature finger-pointing that lays blame on his deceased father and he’s concerned the roadway conditions might have contributed to the collision.

“To see the outline of a human in blood on the ground, the orange paint showing where the evidence flew after the collision, and to see people continue on like nothing happened, all while doing 40+ mph almost regularly through the scene was heartbreaking.”
— Daniel E. Feldt

“It is unfortunate that there are people out there on the internet who get a kick out of posting biased or rude assumptions,” he wrote. “To see the outline of a human in blood on the ground, the orange paint showing where the evidence flew after the collision, and to see people continue on like nothing happened, all while doing 40+ mph almost regularly through the scene was heartbreaking. Not because I am a bike rider and worry about my safety or because I feel the speeds are too high, but because Daniel Feldt was my father.”

Feldt tells us he is in talks with Portland Police investigators and plans to retain legal representation. Feldt hopes to view surveillance camera footage that might have captured the collision in order to better understand the circumstances.

But at this point, it’s all still very raw and emotional for Daniel E Feldt. His father wasn’t wearing a helmet and Feldt says he might be alive today if one was worn (he died during brain surgery hours after the collision). “If you ask me, I’d make it mandatory to have a helmet regardless of being over the age of 16,” he shared.

As for the roadway conditions, Feldt’s son wonders why there isn’t more room for bicycling on NW Nicolai. “The center turn lane is rarely used and the community would greatly benefit from bicycle lanes on either side of the street versus
the center lane. An even better idea would be to have the bike lanes on the north side only [where there are currently paved over railroad tracks].” Feldt is also looking into building and planning codes around vegetation maintenance requirements. “With the bushes gone, it is possible the driver would have seen him coming and swerved, or he [the bicycle rider] could have seen the truck. It is hard to see the trucks.”

Expected to meet with detectives about the collision today, Feldt shared, “More people need to speak up. We need change.”

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

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Oregon’s new bike tax: $77,000 in receipts and $47,000 to collect them

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:40

The bike tax is underperforming.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Receipts from the first quarter for the $15 tax on new bicycles have been tallied by the Oregon Department of Revenue.

As of May 16th, the agency says they’ve processed about $77,000 in bike tax payments. The tax went into effect on January 1st and first quarter receipts were due April 30th.

The first reporting of figures from the tax came last week from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. They reported a total of $34,065 in gross receipts; but that figure was a bit premature because DOR had only started collecting payments last month. After the BRAIN story broke we contacted DOR asking for an updated number and an estimate of administrative overhead costs.

DOR Communications Operations Manager Joy Krawczyk clarified to us that, “The amount provided to Bicycle Retailer & Industry News was from our monthly agency financial statement and reflected bicycle excise tax payments processed as of April 30, 2018. April 30 was the due date for the first quarter of payments and returns for the new tax, so any payments we received just before, on, or after the due date may not have been included in our April financial statement.”

Krawczyk also shared that as of March 31st, the agency had spent $47,000 to administer the tax — or about 61 percent of the total collected.

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Chart of estimated revenue from new taxes taken from House Bill 2017 Revenue Impact Statement.
(State of Oregon Legislative Revenue Office)

When the bike tax worked its way through the legislature in 2017 as part of the $5.3 billion “Keep Oregon Moving” transportation package, the State’s Legislative Revenue Office estimated it would raise $1.05 million and cost $50,000 per year to administer.

After the first quarter it appears the bike tax is nowhere near reaching those expectations.

Just as an example, let’s say receipts average $85,000 per quarter — as more shops report and new bicycle types become eligible for the tax mid-June — and administrative overhead decreases to $35,000 per quarter as the agency smooths out kinks associated with the new tax. That would leave us with around $332,000 in gross receipts (one-third the expected amount) minus $152,000 in administrative costs (three times the expected amount), and $180,000 in net revenue (less than one-fifth the expected amount).

Legislators have mandated that this revenue can only be used for projects outside the highway right-of-way like multi-use paths and trails similar to the I-205 or Springwater Corridor paths. If these current trends continue it appears the new bike tax would be a tiny pot that will have to be leveraged by other revenue sources and matching funds in order to build anything significant.

Hopefully the meager initial receipts reflect the slow part of the biking season. As sales pick up through summer (and don’t forget Christmas!), revenues from the bike tax are likely to rise.

Bike tax receipts for the second quarter (ends June 30th) are due July 31st. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I asked Krawczyk if admin costs were higher because this is a new tax. Here’s how she responded:

“The initial costs to stand up a program are higher than the costs to administer it long-term due to initial system configuration costs and the additional staff time needed to assist taxpayers in understanding the requirements of the new tax program. We expect to start seeing a decrease and then stabilization in administrative costs starting around the 12-month mark, but this is dependent upon whether there are additional changes to the law and the impact of those changes on the administration of the tax.”

UPDATE 5/23: In a presentation to the Joint Committee on Transportation at the state capitol today, DOR Operations & Policy Analyst Xann Culver said 111 bicycle retailers have registered and 83 filed returns as of March 16th.

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

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The Monday Roundup: The truth about distracted walking, scooter lovers and haters, the CIA’s 3D-printed bike, and more

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 07:48

Sponsored by: The Weekender Ride (July 13-15)

Register now for this memorable riding getaway for you and your friends hosted by Cycle Oregon.

Welcome to Monday.

Here are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…

Leveling the mobility playing field: People who struggle to make ends meet face a major barrier without access to quality transportation — and Trump’s welfare plan does nothing to change that.

Bike tech: Wired Magazine reminds us that more driving won’t save us and bicycles are all the transportation technology cities need.

3D printed bike: A Silicon Valley startup is showing off what they say is the world’s first carbon fiber bike printed by a computer. The firm has funding from a firm that is backed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Another one: It’s downright disgusting that U.S. regulators allow a private company to let people drive “automated” cars in the public right-of-way. We’re going to see many more crashes like this one. We should be making cars that require more engagement from drivers, not less.

Scooter hater: A former NFL player penned an op-ed for the L.A. Times denouncing the scourge of dockless scooters in Venice.

Scooting right along: The author of that op-ed will not be happy to hear that Lime (a company with a strong interest in the Portland market) recently raised $500 million to build up its dockless scooter war chest.

Right turns on red is just wrong: Streetsblog explains how right-turns-on-red — a nemesis of safe streets advocates — was mandated by the federal government as a gas-saving measure in the 1970s. “It’s just another example where we prioritize mobility over safety.”

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Better ways, indeed: It’s very heartening to see ideas like human-scale streets, decongestion pricing, and the lessons of global cities like London and Copenhagen get prominently espoused in the NY Times op-ed pages.

Detroit’s adaptive bike share: The Motor City has a new program to make adaptive bikes like trikes and handcycles more easily available through their existing bike share program.

Sorry, millennials are addicted to driving too: New research appears to upend a common narrative from the past few years that millennials care less for driving and suburbs than other generations. “In a nutshell, we found little evidence of a substantial cultural turn by millennials away from cars and suburbs.”

The facts behind “distracted pedestrians”: We’ve all see the anti-walking propaganda about “petextrians” and the like, now someone has actually done research on the topic. And guess what? It appears people aren’t as distracted while walking as DOTs and mainstream media like to think.

Take heed, PBA: A Manhattan business association (backed by developers and local elected officials) is advocating for more carfree space and “shared streets” in the financial district.

It’s the culture, stupid: Glad to hear the radical (sarcasm) idea that people just need to chill the f*&# out while behind the wheel getting attention thanks to former Toronto city planner Jennifer Keesmaat.

Drive safely, help your neighborhood: Modacity flagged this amazing story from the Netherlands about an electronic speedometer that puts money into a fund for a local playground if people drive at or below the speed limit. Brilliant!

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

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Portland cargo bike maker Metrofiets calls it quits after 11 years

Sun, 05/20/2018 - 19:43

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

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

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

Our friend Phillip Ross just sent over the official announcement:

All good things come to an end. 

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

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

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

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

Team Metrofiets

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[Click an image to view captions and scroll through entire gallery. Hit escape to return to the post.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 14:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:34

Still from promo video.

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

Here’s more from their website:

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

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

Check their teaser vid below…

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

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

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

Good luck Amber and Beth! Keep us posted!

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

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PBOT proposes more robust median at N Rosa Parks and Villard

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 07:59

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

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

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

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

Here’s the existing view:

The initial design:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 07:04

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

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Mechanic – Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern

–> Shipping and Receiving – River City Bicycles

–> Director of Finance – Community Cycling Center

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For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

Be the first to know about new job opportunities by signing up for our daily Job Listings email or by following @BikePortland on Twitter.

These are paid listings. And they work! If you’d like to post a job on the Portland region’s “Best Local Blog” two years running, you can purchase a listing online for just $75. Learn more at our Job Listings page.

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

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

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:16

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

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

Can you believe it’s already Sunday Parkways season?

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

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

Saturday, May 19th

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 20th

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

Sunday Parkways Southeast – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
The weather should be great for the Sunday Parkways kickoff event. The carfree loop will feature food, music and activities at Laurelhurst, Sewallcrest, Colonel Summers and Ivon parks. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

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

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City of Portland considering pilot of dockless electric scooters this summer

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 15:16

Care to scoot?
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 10:03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Caleb Diehl, @calebsdiehl on Twitter.

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