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The Monday Roundup: Speed-limiters in EU, ‘Porn Pedallers’, progress in Seattle, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 12:27

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Ride Like A Girl Cycling, now offering a range of training rides and coaching services to get you ready for the season. Find them on Facebook too!

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

New policy crush: New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants to “break the car culture” and move on from the Robert Moses era once and for all.

Peddling porn: After first stripping the club of its standing, British Cycling has now entered into talks with Porn Pedallers Cycling Club, which is sponsored by an adult entertainment firm.

$15 Billion for what?: There’s forward movement for a $15 billion transportation funding package in the Washington legislature (three times what Oregon passed in 2017) that uses a gas tax increase and new fees on carbon and developers to fund infrastructure. Unfortunately only 8 percent would be spent on multimodal projects while 41 percent would go to expanding and maintaining existing roads.

Tesla mess piles up: After two fatal crashes in Florida in a week, the federal government is taking a closer look Tesla’s “auto-pilot” feature.

Time to end the car pilot: An essay in The Guardian makes the case that our over-reliance on cars has been a “disastrous experiment” and calls on governments worldwide to phase them out in ten years.

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Awkwardly symbolic: A pro woman racer who was on a solo breakaway in a race in Belgium got too close to the back of the men’s field and was stopped by race organizers. It killed her momentum and she ended up finishing 74th.

Europe knows: A European Union consumer protection committee voted to support a new rule that would require carmakers to install speed-limiting devices in all new cars starting in 2022.

Women supporting each other: Looks like the proliferation of women-only cycling clubs is happening all over the country, including a “Women Bike” group in Philadelphia.

Hardesty opposes I-5 project: In an interview with the Portland Tribune, Portland City Councilor Jo Ann Hardesty says ODOT and PBOT’s Rose Quarter freeway expansion project is a loser and that we’d be better off spending the money on transit, walking, and biking infrastructure.

Dooring death: A woman was killed by a truck driver while bicycling in downtown San Francisco after she swerved to avoid someone who opened a car door in her path.

Progress in Seattle: Seattle had 14 fatalities in traffic last year, that’s less than half the amount they had in 2006. It’s also less than half of Portland’s 34 fatalities. What is SDOT doing that PBOT isn’t?

Telecommute over transit: Census figures show that for the first time ever the number of people who work from home is now larger than those who take public transit.

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

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Advocates say it’s a perfect time to invest in ‘Safe Routes to the Slough’

Bike Portland - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 13:57

There are great places to ride on and beyond the Columbia Slough. Getting to them should be much easier.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

With Metro laying groundwork on two major funding initiatives, advocates with the 40-Mile Loop say the time is now to make a substantial investment in the paths, roads, and trails that get people to the Columbia Slough Watershed.

Retired Portland Parks & Recreation manager Jim Sjulin is shopping around a concept known as Safe Routes to the Slough. According to his five-page case statement (PDF) there are 27 parks, open spaces, and natural area properties in the 5,200 acres that make up the Columbia River Flood Plain — between Kelley Point Park at the tip of St. Johns to the Sandy River Delta near Troutdale.

The problem is, 95 percent of the 180,000 people who live in adjacent neighborhoods are effectively cut off from biking and walking to these areas due to a lack of infrastructure and/or the presence of dangerous roads and highways.

(Source: 40-Mile Loop Land Trust, Case Statement for Safe Routes to the Slough)

Think of trying to ride a bicycle to Kelley Point Park, Whitaker Ponds, or the Sandy River Delta. Now think of whether or not you’d do that with an eight-year-old or an eighty-year-old. Probably not, due to bikeway gaps and having to deal with major crossings like Columbia Blvd, Sandy Blvd, Airport Way, and so on.

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“Over the 20-mile length of the watershed,” reads the case statement, “now only two non-motorized access routes connecting upland residential areas to natural areas and parks in the floodplain: The Peninsula Crossing Trail and the I-205 Bike Path.”

(Source: 40-Mile Loop Land Trust, Case Statement for Safe Routes to the Slough)

The timing is good for 40-Mile Loop to present this concept because Metro is about to put a renewal of their parks and nature bond on the ballot this year. And next year, Metro will present the region with a major transportation infrastructure investment bond.

Sjulin says while most people think of trails, paths, bike lanes and roads as one integrated system for getting them from A-to-B, agencies are siloed into “recreation” and “transportation” projects. He sees Safe Routes to the Slough as an opportunity to combine these needs into one package.

For their part, Metro — who convinced voters to pass natural area bond measures in 1995 and 2006 and local-option levies in 2013 and 2016 — says they plan to spend less on acquiring properties this time around, and more on getting people to existing properties. That’s a perfect fit for the 40-Mile Loop’s idea. Another way this project fits with Metro’s goals is that the area surrounding the Columbia Slough watershed is home to some of the lowest-income and most racially diverse census tracts in the region.

Borrowing from language used in previous Metro bond measures, the 40-Mile Loop recommends making the Columbia Slough Watershed an official “target area” for investment.

If you think this is an effort worth supporting, consider emailing your thoughts to Metro via metrocouncil@oregonmetro.gov.

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

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30 ‘shared bicycle and pedestrian’ bus stations are coming to SE Division

Bike Portland - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 11:07

TriMet’s latest design for 30 new bus stations coming to SE Division Street.
(Click for larger version)

TriMet is almost at the end of the design phase for the Division Transit Project, and once again they seek our input via an online open house launched this morning.

View from the bike lane entering the station.

This project is a $175 million investment that aims to significantly improve transit service. But this is a much more than just a transit project.

Statistically speaking, Southeast Division is one of the most dangerous and deadly streets in Portland. Five intersections on Division are ranked in the top 20 overall according to the transportation bureau’s high crash network analysis. Four of those five intersections will see major changes as part of TriMet’s project and/or PBOT’s related Outer Division Safety Project.

I’ll share the latest on PBOT’s work in a separate post. For now, let’s look at TriMet’s Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian station design (as shown above).

TriMet plans to build 72 new bus stations on Division in the 12 miles between SE 10th Avenue and the Cleveland Park & Ride in Gresham. 30 of those merit our close attention because they’re a new design that will put cycling traffic between a stopped bus and its passengers. TriMet has been working on this design since 2017 and now is one of our last chances to weigh in before construction starts later this year.

Back in October TriMet did a live demo of this design.

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Here are a few samples of how these new stations will be oriented in relation to the street (note the presence of protected cycling lanes (light green) and center medians):

And here’s the design concept again so you don’t have to scroll:

Compare that with the October 2017 design concept to get an idea of how TriMet’s thinking has evolved:

The Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian station design shows the bike lane narrowing to three feet as it enters the station area. There would be a four-foot wide concrete median on riders’ left side where bus passengers would load and unload. TriMet plans to install a “Bicycle Stop Sign” at the entry point. TriMet says their expectation is that bicycle riders should stop only when a bus is present.

Note that these new Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian stations will only be present east of 84th. The current plans show them at: SE 85th (westbound), SE 87th (eastbound), I-205/Division Max Station (both sides), 101st (both sides), 111th (westbound), 113th (eastbound), 116th (both sides), 122nd (both sides), 130th (both sides), 135th (westbound), 136th (eastbound), 142nd (both sides), 148th (both sides), 157th (both sides), 162nd (both sides), 168th (both sides), 174th (both sides), 182nd (both sides).

These new stations, the 60-foot long articulated buses that will service them, the faster transit operations in general, along with a significant amount of protected bike lanes, new crossings, and center medians (all planned by PBOT in a separate project), could have a major impact on Division.

Service of the new line is expected to open in 2022. Please check out TriMet’s online open house to help them improve this project.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Citybikes, Joe Bike, Castelli, Velotech

Bike Portland - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:02

Five fresh job listings posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Job: Mechanic – Joe Bike

–> Job: Mechanic / Customer Service – Citybikes Workers’ Cooperative

–> Job: Temporary Warehouse Worker – Castelli USA

–> Job: Shipping Specialist – Velotech

–> Job: eCommerce Marketing Manager – Velotech

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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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TIME Launches New Shoes, First Since 2013

Bike Hugger - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 17:16

Since the beginning, TIME’s longstanding mission has been to offer products that combine comfort and performance for the modern cyclist. Finally, After a 6 year absence from the market TIME launches new shoes.

Their long-awaited OSMOS line is back.

I’m sure I have a pair of original TIMEs in a box somewhere and put many miles on them.

The new high-end shoe range, was researched and designed in their Italian development center. The TIME OSMOS 15, 12 and 10 combined with their pedals provides a combination of comfort, support, and stiffness for maximum pedaling efficiency.

 

Price Range

TIME’s new shoes range in price from $250 to $400. In the past 6 years, they’ve been doing their homework on comfort. After all, gone are the days of a shoe hurting your foot if it does, find another pair.

OSMOS 10
  • Materials: Microfibers, PU film & Textile
  • Outsole: Polyamide + 20% carbon fibers
  • Inner sole: Sensor 2 Mono-material
  • Lacing: 1 boa IP1
  • Colors: White, Black
  • Weight: 480 g (size 42)
  •  Indicative price: $250.
OSMOS 12
  • Materials: Microfibers, PU film & Textile
  • Outsole: Carbon composite +
  • Insert Inner sole: Sensor 2 Mono-material
  • Lacing: 1 boa IP1 & 1 Velcro.
  • Colors: Red-White, Black-White
  • Weight: 500 g (size 42).
  • Indicative price: $325.
OSMOS 15
  • Materials: Microfibers, PU film & Textile
  • Outsole: Full Carbon
    Inner Sole: Sensor 2 + Bi-material
  • Lacing: 2 boa IP1.
  • Colors: White, Black
  • Weight: 480 g (size 42).
  • Indicative price: $400.

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JUMP now reaches city limits, undercuts Lime by $1

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 14:41

Previous service areas are outlined in blue and red dashes. Image from JUMP.

After adding more bikes and changing its fare structure this week, JUMP’s red bikes now reach all of Seattle and cost $1 less to ride than Lime’s green and yellow bikes.

JUMP initially launched Seattle service in November with a limited coverage area that excluded most of South Seattle, but quickly expanded to reach most of the city south of Green Lake in December. Now the Uber-owned service has expanded to the city limits while also challenging Lime on price.

Both services charge $0.15 per minute to ride their e-assist bikes, but JUMP has removed the $1 unlock fee that Lime still charges.

Removing the unlocking fee is great news for a couple reasons. For one, it opens the next chapter in price competition for the free-floating shared bike services in Seattle. But it also removes a barrier to using the service for short trips or for chaining bike share and transit together.

While the $1 unlocking fee is not exorbitant, it does make very short rides make less sense. Bike share is very effective at turning 15-minute walks into five-minute bike rides, but paying $1 for every little five-minute bike ride really adds up when you get into the habit. Biking to and from a grocery store that is only five minutes away turns into a $2.75 round trip, same as a transit fare that is good for two hours. But without the $1 unlock fee, the same grocery store round-trip costs only $1.50, which feels more appropriate for a neighborhood grocery run.

Removing the $1 unlock fee also makes it more sensible to string bike share and transit together because you don’t have to pay that $1 twice for the same leg of a trip. With the unlock fee, biking five minutes to a bus then another five minutes to get from the bus to your destination costs as much as the bus fare itself. For a round trip, the bike costs would be $5.50. That really adds up if you are relying on these kinds of multimodal connections daily, even though your total time using the bikes is pretty short.

Paying by the minute is also just simpler. You pay for what you use no matter how you work the bikes into your trips. The $1 unlock fee feels sort of like an artifact from docked bike systems (like Pronto) that charge a fee by the half hour. There have been many times I have chosen not to take bike share because it didn’t make sense to pay that amount for such a short ride. I am lazy, and I would gladly bike to save a few minutes of walking. So while removing the $1 fee might mean companies take a hit on some trips, there are likely more trips to be gained elsewhere.

It will be interesting to see how Lime responds, since that company now has many different options that all cost $1 to unlock (bikes and cars in Seattle, but also scooters elsewhere).

Here’s the JUMP press release about the changes:

Starting [March 5], the JUMP service area in Seattle will reach to the city limits. JUMP, Uber’s all-electric dockless bike share offering, initially launched in Seattle in November with a limited service area, and then expanded to include all of South and West Seattle in January.

“Since initially launching in Seattle, our priority has been to make JUMP bikes available to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, while efficiently and sustainably operating our network of bikes,” said Alejandro Chouza. “I’m thrilled we’re able to expand our service area to the entire city earlier than expected. We decided to do this because of how well our bikes have been received by riders.”

Neighborhoods added to the JUMP service area with this most recent expansion include: Bitter Lake, Northgate, Lake City, Greenwood, Maple Leaf, Wedgwood, Magnolia and Madrona among others. Images of JUMP’s launch, January expansion, and citywide service area maps available here.

In order to encourage riders to leave bikes inside the service area, JUMP provides notice in-app and on its website of a $25 fee for locking the bike outside the service area. Although JUMP has issued warnings, no Seattle customers to date have been charged the $25 fee for ending trips outside the service area. However, starting today, riders will get a warning when they end a trip outside of the service area, then be charged the $25 fee for any subsequent infractions.

JUMP also offers a Boost Plan for qualified lower-income riders. Boost Plan participants receive 60 minutes of free ride time per day at a cost of $5 per month. Those who qualify for the ORCA Lift reduced-fare program or the Regional Reduced Fare Permit also qualify for the JUMP Boost Plan. Other plan details can be found at https://jump.com/cities/seattle/boost-plan/.

In addition to the service area expansion, JUMP is also updating its pricing in Seattle. At launch, baseline pricing was $1 to unlock a bike, then $0.10 per minute. Starting March 5, there will be no fee to unlock a bike and riding will be $0.15 per minute. Seattle was one of the first cities to receive JUMP’s next generation bikes, which feature integrated cable locks and a QR code unlocking mechanism.

Weekend Event Guide: Dead Freeways, Broken & Coastal launch, a time trial, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 13:42

Shawn Granton of Urban Adventure League shares tales of freeways past at his Dead Freeways Ride in 2010.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s almost time to solidify your plans for the weekend. And, while Friday might be a doozy weather-wise, we might get into the 50s over the weekend.

Here’s our list of recommendations…

Sales!

We interrupt this guide to tell you about two big sales at two great local bike shops:

West End Bikes Anniversary Sale: Get 10-50% off everything at this amazing shop located at 1111 SW Harvey Milk Street.

River City Bicycles Anniversary Sale: It’s also celebration time at River City Bicycles. They’re celebrating 24 years in business with 10-50% off the entire store.

Friday, March 8th

Broken & Coastal Vol 4 Launch Party – 6:00 pm at Golden Pliers Bike Shop (N)
Broken & Coastal is an indy magazine that you have to see and feel to believe. If you love riding off-road and want to stoke your flame with beautiful words and pictures, you owe it to yourself to check this out. More info here.

Saturday, March 9th

Swap Meet – 11:00 to 2:00 pm at Backpedal Cycleworks (SE)
Roll over to Backpedal’s SE Harold Street location to browse, buy, sell and trade your used bikes and parts. No fee for sellers. More info here.

Stub Stewart Trail Work Party – 9:30 am at Stub Stewart State Park (Buxton)
Come out and help NW Trail Alliance dig, chop and smooth out trails to get them ready for prime riding season. No experience necessary. More info here.

Dead Freeways Ride – 11:00 am in Goose Hollow (SW)
Urban Adventure League is hosting this classic Portland experience ride that will take you behind the scenes of our local freeway and highway graveyard. Perfect timing for the weekend before the I-5 Rose Quarter project public hearing! More info here.

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Jack Frost Time Trial – 8:00 am at Vancouver Lake (WA)
Can you believe it? The OBRA road season starts Sunday with this traditional kickoff event. More info here.

Bike Shop Storytime – 11:00 am at Clever Cycles (SE)
Special guest this week is author and illustrator Alison Farrell. Grab the kiddos and head out for a ride with other families afterwards. And don’t forget to grill our family biking columnist Madi Carlson for her best tips and tricks. More info here.

Ride to Belmont Goats – 12:00 pm at Irving Park (NE)
Join Tom Howe for a ride to hang out with the Belmont Goats at their new home. The gates have been closed for three months, so I know you are all itching for some goat time! More info here.

Northeast Park Trek – 10:00 am at Wilshire Park (NE)
Ann Morrow from the Portland Wheelmen will lead this 20+-mile ride jaunt that caters to beginner and novice riders who want to learn more about cycling and experience riding with a group. More info here.

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

CORRECTION: We got the day for the Bike Shop Storytime wrong. It is on Sunday (not Saturday). Sorry for any confusion this caused.

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

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Wonk Night highlights widespread I-5 Rose Quarter project concerns

Bike Portland - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 11:55

Great turnout!
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The idea behind Wonk Night is to go deeper into the issues, get questions answered, and connect with other people. Based on early reviews from last night’s event, it appears to have been a big success.

About 40 people braved a stormy evening and came together in the offices of Lancaster Engineering downtown to learn more about the I-5 Rose Quarter project’s environmental assessment (EA). We had drinks (thanks in part to an assist from The Street Trust!) and snacks (peanut M & Ms were a big hit) and plenty of copies of the relevant documents.

In the room was a healthy mix of Wonk Night regulars and new faces. There was a strong contingent of PSU planning students, a few agency staffers there on their own time, and activists and concerned citizens of all stripes. We had people like (poet) Alicia Cohen who’s just learning the ropes of activism, and veterans of freeway fighting like Jim Howell who was a key figure in stopping the Mt. Hood Freeway and founded Riverfront For People in 1969, the group that helped turn Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park.

Everyone in attendance expressed serious reservations about the project. Before we got started, I asked how many people in the room wanted to defeat it. All the hands went up.

Even with such strong sentiment in the air, the event wasn’t meant as an opposition rally. Our goal was to get smarter about the project and write better comments in response to the EA (the comment period ends April 1st).

Alicia Cohen shared her concerns about air quality.

At the outset, noted activist and Portland Planning Commissioner Chris Smith urged us to make sure comments point out what the EA could do better and what it’s missing. If the feds see enough holes in the EA, or if they sense overwhelming consternation in the community, they could tell ODOT to do more homework and/or take the much more rigorous step of completing an Environmental Impact Statement (which, interestingly, has never been done for the I-5 freeway because its construction predates existence of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process).

And then there’s politics. Currently, Portland City Council has endorsed the project because they assume it’s their only chance to make major changes to surface streets in the Rose Quarter. ODOT has sweetened their deal by trading support for a coveted Mixed-Use Multimodal Area designation for the central city (PDF) that will allow the City of Portland increase development density without having to account for increased auto congestion.

But Portland’s support for this freeway widening was decided on with a different city council.

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At last night’s event, Chris Smith was asked, “Could city council rescind their approval?” “Yes,” Smith replied, “That’s how Mt. Hood got stopped, the county rescinded their approval.” “Today we have one commissioner, [Jo Ann] Hardesy, outright opposed to this,” Smith continued. “And one who really wants to be, Eudaly, but doesn’t see the support to do anything yet. So we only have to turn one more vote to get something proactive out of city council.”

In another interesting exchange, economist, City Observatory founder, and No More Freeways PDX volunteer Joe Cortright was asked to compare the fight against this project with that of the Columbia River Crossing. Paul Jeffery said the CRC went down when activists worked with “strange bedfellows” in the Republican party of Washington state, who opposed the project on light rail and fiscal grounds. Jeffery worried that similar potential allies aren’t available this time around.

Cortright’s response was heartening:

“I think that’s actually the good news. With the CRC we were always told that if we didn’t move forward with it we were giving up the contribution Washington would make. And we were giving up the money the FTA [Federal Transit Administration] would give for light rail. And giving up money we were getting from the federal government. We were told we had to ‘honor the deal with our partners’. But in this case, the project is entirely within the control of the State of Oregon. The legislature has total autonomy over this money, and if it decided it wanted to use this money for anything else, it could. We do not lose anything if we take this money and use it for something else.

If in the 1970s we were smart and savvy enough to go the federal government and figure out a way to change the Interstate Highway System so that we could take the money and use it for what we wanted to, then today we ought to be able to go to Salem and say, ‘If we want to spend a half billion dollars, this is not what we want to spend it on’.”

On that note, I learned from local engineer Gwen Shaw last night that the City of Portland’s entire list of 1,200 Safe Routes to Schools projects are estimated to cost about $250 million — the same amount ODOT wants to spend to widen I-5 through the Rose Quarter (project cost estimate is $500 million total, which ODOT says is split about 50/50 between freeway and surface street changes).

After a spirited opening discussion, we decided to break into groups to focus on specific elements of the EA. The groups were: biking/walking/rolling infrastructure, transit impacts, omissions and alternatives, and air quality.

Groups assembled and spent about a half-hour going through the EA, comparing notes and sharing ideas. We then came back together to hear reports from each group.

Air Quality

Reported by PSU students Joshua Hetrick and Antonella Mancini

— A major focus is Harriet Tubman School, where ODOT’s plans will require putting a new freeway lane just yards from its property line. The group found a 2003 EPA study that put the school in the bottom 1 percent nationally for air quality. That’s before the freeway gets widened. EA comments will focus on asking ODOT to show more data for how the project will lower greenhouse gas emissions.

— There’s widespread skepticism in ODOT’s claim that their project will improve air quality (based on an assumption of free-flowing traffic from cleaner cars with higher mpg ratings in the future). Another focus of comments will be ODOT’s air quality measurement methods. The group said ODOT only took a reading for one day. They think more time is necessary.

— Cleaner Air Oregon and Eastside PDX Air Coalition should engage with this project.

— There’s a strong equity argument with the air quality concerns due to the well-documented fact that communities of color are most affected by diesel fumes.

— The lids. “Is the air quality going to be acceptable on those from day one? Are we building a plaza that can’t ever be somewhere you want to be because it’s dangerous to be there just by breathing?” The EA includes no analysis of air quality on the proposed lids that would be built over I-5.

– It’s difficult to talk about the results of the air quality findings without any information about how those results were derived.

Bike/walk/roll infrastructure

Reported by Jesse Lopez and Doug Klotz

— It seems like biking and walking infrastructure have simply “been inserted where it would fit” in order to still give drivers priority. “No consideration of making a quality experience for pedestrians or bicyclists.”

— It’s not clear how the Williams/Vancouver cycling movements will work. Big concerns about signal timing and how crossings might create delays and dangerous interactions.

– Broadway/Weidler doesn’t appear any safer for cycling and walking. “Intersections have large a radius, which is going to increase driving speeds. Slip lanes and increased turn lanes are dangerous for bicyclists.”

— Concerns that the project will not complete the 3,300 feet of sidewalk gaps in the area.

— Proposed Clackamas Bridge should be redesigned with a better connection to Broadway Bridge. Currently it goes too far out of direction.

— Removal of Flint bridge is a downgrade in cycling network. The Hancock/Dixon bridge won’t be as direct and will have a 9-10 percent grade.

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— One whopper in the EA is the acknowledgement that transit times will be slower if the project gets built. Around 84 seconds slower according to ODOT’s analysis. ODOT blames this reduction in service on the new bike-only signals and protected bike lanes that will constrain road capacity.

— The EA doesn’t consider taking the funding and using it for transit improvements. Transit can meet or exceed the benefits of this freeway.

— We should decommission the freeway itself and turn that into the transit right-of-way.

What’s missing

Reported by Rebecca Hamilton

— The EA never mentions the well-known phenomenon of induced demand.

— In Level-of-service analysis for surface streets, they don’t show their math for anything — especially for cycling will be impacted.

— In their modeling for the no-build alternative, they assume every project in the Regional Transportation Plan is built. Including the CRC (more on that later).

— The EA says ODOT explored transportation demand management (TDM) as a no-build alternative; but we have no information about what that consists of. TDM can be many things.

— The EA never discusses tolling. Joe Cortright called this a “huge failing”:

“Because tolling is, “reasonably foreseeable” (a NEPA term), the analysis needs to look at what the world looks like if we have tolls. But they didn’t do that, which his a a huge failing of the EA. Tolling should be an alternative in its own right. If you toll this stretch of road, you can solve nearly all the problems far cheaper and more effectively.”

— There’s nothing on how ODOT is going to deliver on promises they made to community impacted by the construction of I-5.

— The safety analysis is extremely lacking (“half-assed” was the term used).

— For more on missing data in the EA, see the recent letter No More Freeways sent to ODOT requesting more information (PDF).

I hope this summary is useful and that it helps inform your own comments. You can submit them here.

Don’t forget to stop by the ODOT open house tonight at Leftbank Annex (101 N Weidler). ODOT staff will be on hand to answer your questions and hear your concerns. The big public hearing is on March 12th at Oregon Convention Center. No More Freeways will host a rally beforehand.

Stay tuned for more coverage.

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

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Route Advisory: Columbia Slough Bike/Ped Bridge to close for 90 days

Bike Portland - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 14:49

The bridge is on a popular cycling route.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)


A carfree bridge that connects north Portland neighborhoods to the Columbia Slough, Smith & Bybee Lakes, and many other destinations will close for 90 days starting March 25th.

The announcement was made today by the Bureau of Environmental Services. Here’s the official word:

The Inverness Force Main is an 11-mile pressure sewer that carries sewage from northeast Portland to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plan. The 36-inch line splits into a 20-inch and a 30-inch pipe about two miles east of the plant. Both sections are suspended underneath the Columbia Slough Pedestrian Trail Bridge, which Environmental Services constructed. Repairs to the 30-inch pipe have been completed. Construction is about to begin to make repairs to the 20-inch pipe.

BIKE/PED TRAIL BRIDGE CLOSURE

The Columbia Slough Bike/Pedestrian Trail Bridge, located north of the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant, will be closed to make the sewer pipe repairs beneath the bridge. The closure will be 90 days beginning March 25, 2019. The bridge should reopen by June 23, 2019.

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If you need more information about this closure, contact Debbie Caselton at 503-823-2831 or email Debbie.Caselton@portlandoregon.gov (include “Inverness 20” in your voicemail or in the subject line of your email).

BES suggests a detour that uses Columbia Blvd and Argyle Street to connect to N Denver Ave where you can connect to the Slough paths at Schmeer Road. I know North Portland Road (to the west) is tempting because it’s direct and very close; but it’s a very dangerous place to ride a bike. Unless you are very confident and skilled, I strongly suggest avoiding it.

See our route advisory page for other bike route closures in the Portland area.

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

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New section of Springwater will come with 10 new stop signs for path users

Bike Portland - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 13:22

You can thank the ODOT Rail Division.

The Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau has started paving a new section of the Springwater Corridor path in Sellwood. This long-awaited project will close one of the last remaining gaps in this important regional path. It’s just a 0.4 mile section of the Springwater between SE Umatilla and 13th; but as any regional trail advocate will tell you, the sum impact is greater than its parts.

While it’s good to finally see progress on this segment of the “Sellwood Gap,” I was disappointed to find out that the City of Portland will install 10 stop signs along the new path. According to the official project plans, there will be stop signs (and associated stop bar striping) at the crossing of each roadway that intersects with the path: Umatilla, Harney, Marion, 9th, Linn, 11th, and 13th.

“Attempts to require path users to yield or stop at each cross-street promote noncompliance and confusion, and are not effective.”
— Alta Planning Rural Design Guide

According to a Parks spokesperson, the stop signs are mandated by the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Rail Division. They have some jurisdiction over the project because this section of the Springwater is adjacent to an extant railroad. The Oregon Pacific Railroad line is rarely used these days and travels at a very slow speed. It’s also worth noting there are no stop signs — only yield signs — where the cross-streets intersect with the path. (ODOT has now confirmed that stop signs will be added where roads cross the path.)

All these streets are very low-volume and there will be many more people using the path than using the roads.

Andrew Holtz lives near the new path and attended a recent meeting where Portland Parks staff shared a presentation about the project. He thinks erecting stop signs on the path is a terrible idea. “The dominant traffic will be trail users and they should have the right-of-way. I don’t think the stop signs will serve any purpose.” he said in an interview today. “The only people that cross those streets are a few homeowners. People using the trail will get used to never seeing cross-traffic and get into the habit of ignoring the stop signs — and that’s not a good habit!”

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Note the location of the stop sign.
(Source: Alta Planning Rural Design Guide)

Alta Planning, a national firm that designs paths and trails, echoes Holtz’s argument in their Rural Design Guide. In the section on Minor Street Crossings they write, “Attempts to require path users to yield or stop at each cross-street or driveway promote noncompliance and confusion, and are not effective.” As you can see in the graphic above, they recommend a stop sign on the cross-street, along with a crosswalk and clear sight lines to ensure safety.

The stop signs on the SE 17th Ave. path in Milwaukie were removed after lobbying from that city’s mayor.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve experienced this same issue in two very nearby locations in the past. In 2013 we reported on how the Portland Police Bureau was concerned with a lack of stop sign compliance from Springwater Path users at SE Spokane Street, just three blocks south of where this project will begin.

And just a few blocks southeast of this project, on the SE 17th Avenue path between Sellwood and Milwaukie, the City of Milwaukie was forced into the same situation. When that section of the path opened two years ago we lamented all the unnecessary stop signs. ODOT Rail engineers forced the City of Milwaukie to install them on the path — even where it crossed private residential driveways.

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba didn’t think the signs were necessary and he eventually convinced ODOT to remove them. It remains to be seen whether anyone at the City of Portland will show as much courage as Gamba and question ODOT’s engineering.

After all, is this really about safety?

Does anyone think it makes sense to require bicycle riders to make a complete stop this often on a multi-use path where cross-traffic travels very slowly and is rarely present?

Would ODOT ever mandate stop signs like this on major driving corridor?

There must be a more sensible solution.

UPDATE, 3/7: Parks just sent out a project update that included a bit about the stop signs:

Automobile traffic will be required to come to a complete stop before crossing any point of the trail. At this point, for cyclist and pedestrian safety, there will also be STOP signs on the trail at all crossings. In these instances, the cyclist(s) and/or pedestrian(s) will have the right of way.

Interesting they wrote, “At this point.” Also of note that despite it being a 4-way stop intersection, Parks says path users will have right-of-way.

I’m still waiting for ODOT to answer some more specific questions. Will update when I hear more.

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

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Family of Derek Blaylock files suit against city, Sound Transit and contractors after 2016 death near Northgate Station

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:36

Derek and his sons at the Tour de France. Photo courtesy of Jane Blaylock.

Derek Blaylock drove his son to school the morning of September 21, 2016, then grabbed his bike and rode to Northgate Transit Center to catch a bus to work. On the way home, he was biking from the transit center along 1st Ave NE next to a construction barrier set up for work on the Northgate Station when Kevin Brewer struck and killed him. Brewer was sentenced to more than six years in prison for vehicular homicide.

I had the chance to sit down with Jane Blaylock a year after her husband’s death to learn more about him. She described a loving father of two who was quick with witty one-liners, was a master at cooking meat and usually preferred to avoid the spotlight. I encourage readers to read that profile if you haven’t already.

Blaylock’s death was devastating to his friends and family, of course. But making matters worse, the person who killed him should not have been on the road at all after a long history of dangerous driving that included killing one person.

Brewer had previously killed Nicole Cheek, a grandmother walking along the side of a road in Marysville, in 2008. He left Cheek on the side of the road, where she was not discovered for another hour. He later turned himself in a pleaded guilty, saying he fell asleep. He served three and a half years for Cheek’s death, but investigators found that “[b]etween 2007 and 2016, Brewer was responsible for at least 10 collisions in which the driving behavior was consistent with that of a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs, or by a fatigued/drowsy driver” according to court charging documents.

On that terrible day in 2016, Brewer was driving southbound on 1st Ave NE behind Blaylock when he veered off the road around NE 95th Street and up the side of the construction Jersey barrier. This is when he struck and killed Blaylock, who was trapped between the truck and the barrier.

Brewer is named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed recently by Blaylock’s estate, of course, but so are Sound Transit, the City of Seattle and a list of contractors working on the Northgate Station project (JCM Northlink, Jay Dee Contractors, Frank Coluccio Construction Company, Michels Corporation and North Star Seattle Runnel and Rail).

The lawsuit alleges that removal of the shoulder and placement of a concrete barrier and raised asphalt berm “degraded the safety of 1st Ave NE for southbound bicyclists in particular.” The suit also alleges that degrading an established bike route in this way “created a need for properly placed signs and reasonably safe detour routes for bicyclists.” The suit also alleges that a 2013 traffic control plan required bike detour signs away from southbound 1st Ave NE, but that those signs were not in place when the collision occurred.

The suit seeks unspecified “economic and non-economic damages.”

Opposition overcome, TriMet will break ground on Gideon Overcrossing this spring

Bike Portland - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 10:35

(Source: TriMet)

TriMet announced today they’ve overcome opposition from business owners and have received a green light to break ground on their $15 million Gideon Street overcrossing project.

“TriMet and the City of Portland have elected to move forward with a design that places the structure entirely in existing public right-of-way.”
— TriMet

The bridge will create a new, carfree connection between the SE Clinton/12th Avenue MAX light rail station along Gideon Street and SE 14th Avenue. Initially proposed as part of the Orange MAX Line project, it was delayed due to budget cuts.

The project was announced in June 2017 as a way to give bicycle riders, walkers, and people with personal mobility devices a car and train-free alternative to crossing at the stressful, at-grade SE 12th/Milwaukie/Clinton intersections. The project also ran into unexpectedly strong opposition from business owners on the north side of the proposed bridge.

Michael Koerner owns Koerner Camera Systems which has a parking lot and truck delivery bays just yards from where the overcrossing will land. As we reported in December, Koerner organized other industrial business owners along 14th and SE Taggart Street and retained a lawyer to formally oppose the project. Koerner and his supporters said the increase in traffic volume the overcrossing will create a safety risk and that changes to truck access would hurt bottom lines. Koerner in particular was concerned that the project as initially proposed would encroach on a small portion of his existing parking lot.

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Image filed with FTA by Michael Koerner’s lawyer showing how the initial design of the bridge (green) would encroach on his parking lot.

Koerner’s lawyer penned a letter to the Federal Transit Administration requesting further study and asking for the overcrossing be moved to a different location. TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (who will own and operate the bridge once it’s built) disagreed.

In their statement released this morning, TriMet says they met with FTA officials last week and plan to construct the project this spring. TriMet also addressed concerns raised by nearby business owners.

The agency did a traffic count and found that about 325 motorized vehicles use SE 14th Avenue each day and that only about 2 percent of them are trucks with trailers. TriMet also revealed they met with “representatives from the business community” and explored design changes that would have no impact on private property. “The FTA, TriMet and the City of Portland have elected to move forward with a design that places the structure entirely in existing public right-of-way,” reads the statement.

We’ve asked Koerner for his response and will update this post when/if we hear back.

TriMet expects to begin construction this spring and finish the new overcrossing in spring 2020. For more information, see the official project page.

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

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Future of Alpenrose Dairy hangs in the balance amid lawsuit over potential sale

Bike Portland - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 07:49

Opening race of the 2012 Cyclocross Crusade series with Alpenrose Dairy buildings in the background.

A 57-year tradition of bicycle racing at Alpenrose Dairy in southwest Portland faces a major threat.

“I realize this is big news and has a potential huge impact on not just OBRA, but the Portland area community that has benefitted from the incredible generosity of the Cadonau family.”
— Chuck Kenlan, executive director of Oregon Bicycle Racing Association

The ominous first line of a lawsuit (PDF) filed Monday afternoon in Multnomah County Circuit Court reads, “This action is brought to stop the destruction of Alpenrose Dairy and the land upon which Alpenrose sits.”

The squabble over the Dairy and the 52 acres of land that surrounds it (off SW Shattuck Road in the Hayhurst neighborhood) is between members of the Cadonau family who founded the Dairy in 1891. Two of the family members who retain majority power in the Cadonau Family Management Trust — Barbara Deeming and Anita Cadonau-Huseby — want to sell the Dairy and adjacent land. According to the Portland Tribune, the new owners would relocate the dairy operations and immediately close the land to the public.

That means all cycling events — including the Cyclocross Crusade, Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge, Blind Date at the Dairy, and others — would need to find new homes.

Three other members of the family — Carl Cadonau III, Tracey Cadonau McKinnon, and Cary Cadonau — have filed a lawsuit to stop the sale and keep the Dairy and land in its current state of operation.

Given the popularity of Alpenrose in the cycling community, news of the lawsuit and potential sale has spread quickly and it’s raising serious concerns.

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A family watches competitors in a cyclocross race that uses the Alpenrose Velodrome.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) Executive Director Chuck Kenlan wrote in an email posted to the group’s chat list, “I realize this is big news and has a potential huge impact on not just OBRA, but the Portland area community that has benefitted from the incredible generosity of the Cadonau family.” Kenlan added that while the lawsuit is “sudden and potentially harmful,” the case could take years to litigate. “Even though we should be prepared for the worst,” he wrote, “I believe that OBRA and the PVC [Portland Velodrome Committee] should continue with our events as planned.”

Kenlan also hinted that the OBRA Board of Directors is already mobilized and taking action to help save the dairy. OBRA and the Cadonau family have developed a very close relationship over the years.

It was Portlander Frans Pauwels who convinced Carl Cadonau II to build a dirt cycling track on the dairy property in 1962. Five years later, buoyed by the popularity of the dirt track, Cadonau spent $30,000 to build an Olympic-style velodrome on the property. Former Portland Mayor Terry Schrunk worked with Pauwels to bring the National Bicycle Championships to the track that same year. Today, Alpenrose Velodrome’s steeply-banked corners attract racers from all over the country.

The Alpenrose site is a mainstay on the Portland cycling calendar. It hosts the traditional opening race of the world famous Cyclocross Crusade series which used to get record crowds of around 1,800 participants in one day.

Cycling is just one of many community activities that happens at the dairy. It’s also famous for its Santa’s Village, Storybook Lane, an opera house, a baseball diamond that hosts the Little League World Series, and much more.

Why would anyone want to destroy this legacy? In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Deeming and Huseby are simply in it for the money. “They continue to make decisions motivated by their individual monetary interests… in order to line their own pockets with millions of dollars.”

We’ll continue to monitor this story as it develops.

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

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Oregon Congressman Blumenauer seeks to re-instate bike commuter tax break

Bike Portland - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 13:26

Which one should we incentivize?
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Hoping to incentivize cycling in America, Oregon Congressman (and former Portland City Commissioner) Earl Blumenauer has introduced the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2019.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer at the 2017 National Bike Summit.

The bill would re-instate a tax benefit for biking to work that was repealed in 2017 as part of the Republican-led Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Rep. Blumenauer, who has pushed for a version of this bill since at least 2006 and got it passed in 2008 as part of former President Barack Obama’s financial bailout bill, said in a statement released by his office today that, “The bicycle is the most efficient form of urban transportation ever devised,” and that despite the proliferation of bike share and cycling in general throughout the country, there remains no tax benefit for riding to work.

The IRS currently offers a “qualified transportation fringe benefit” of up to $265 per month for driving a car, parking a car, and taking transit. Shockingly, the most efficient and healthiest form of transportation — cycling — is ineligible.

The recent tax bill pushed through by President Donald Trump repealed the meager, $20 per month bike commuter benefit through 2025.

Now Rep. Blumenauer along with fellow representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) want to reinstate, modify, and expand the bike commute benefit.

The bill seeks to: Make the benefit a pre-tax benefit instead of a reimbursement; Allow employees to receive a bicycle benefit of up to 20% of the parking benefit (currently equals $53/month for bicycling, indexed to inflation); Allow the bicycle benefit to be used in concert with the transit and parking benefits (previous incarnation required people to choose one or the other); Adds bikeshare as eligible for the benefit and clarifies that electric bikes are eligible.

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Below is the text of the bill:

BLUMEN_002_xml

Blumenauer’s bill would help people who use a range of modes to get to work, such as someone who usually bikes, but opts for transit when it rains or who use bikeshare to get to a bus stop. “Present-law doesn’t provide a benefit for all of these scenarios, but it should,” reads a statement about the bill. “The Bicycle Commuter Act provides the flexibility that people need.”

The bill has been endorsed by The League of American Bicyclists, the New York City Department of Transportation, People for Bikes, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Portland Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she “strongly supports” the Bicycle Commuter Act. “Biking is an undeniably positive form of transportation: it promotes physical, emotional, societal, and environmental health. By providing a financial incentive for biking to work we will not only encourage a better lifestyle, we will also reduce carbon emissions and further our collective climate goals.”

The bill comes out just days before cycling and transportation advocates will come together in Washington D.C. for the National Bike Summit.

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

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Chrystal Barber sentenced to 7.5 years for hit-and-run killing of Alex Hayden

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 12:16

Photo of Alex Hayden from a GoFundMe campaign set up to support his family.

Chrystal Barber, 51, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after she pleaded guilty to striking and killing Alex Hayden, 50, with her aunt’s red pickup truck on Rainier Ave S last July. After veering into the bike lane and hitting Hayden from behind, Barber kept driving, dragging his bike down the Skyway section of the street.

Hayden was a photographer and father of two. His wife Susan spoke about his last day during the sentencing hearing, Neal McNamara at Patch reported:

When it was Susan Hayden’s turn to address [King County Superior Court Judge Laura] Inveen, she talked about the day her husband went out on his last bike ride. He finished up some household chores and then announced he was going to enjoy the rest of that sunny day doing something he loved.

Reflecting on the possibility that Barber could spend almost a decade in a jail, she told Inveen that she would gladly wait that long if it meant Alex would come back.

“I would like to keep my community safe,” she said. “Maybe she can’t get better.”

As McNamara reported from the hearing, much of the discussion concerned Barber’s history of alcoholism and five previous DUIs. She also has four previous conviction for driving without a valid license and one for driving without a required ignition interlock device. Though Barber denies being under the influence when she killed Hayden, she was not supposed to be driving at all due to her previous convictions.

Barber turned herself in and pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, which is sadly more than can be said for far too many people who injure or kill people on our streets and then flee the scene. Far too many victims and loved ones do not even get a chance to know the person responsible has faced any legal consequences for their actions.

But this conviction and prison sentence doesn’t fix what happened, and her history of DUIs and illegal driving highlights how ineffective our system is at preventing repeat intoxicated driving. A long prison sentence after a repeat offender has finally killed someone is too late.

Ninety months is about the middle of the normal sentencing range for vehicular homicide, a felony that could carry a sentence as high as ten years.

Our condolences to Alex’s friends and family.

Family Biking: Author and illustrator Alison Farrell comes to Storytime March 10th

Bike Portland - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 09:14

Portland author and illustrator Alison Farrell will join us at Bike Shop Storytime this coming Sunday, March 10th.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

And please note: We’ve moved the remaining Storytime events from Mondays to Sundays to attract more little listeners. We’re also shifting from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. We’ll probably keep it going beyond March, but check the BikePortland.org calendar or Kidical Mass PDX website for the latest event info.

Alison will read read and offer signed copies of her amazing book, Cycle City. You might recall we profiled Alison last year.

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Here’s more about Cycle City from the publisher:

“When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen’s house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta–the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable. Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike–whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.”

Full Bike Shop Storytime details

Stories will be read in the family-friendly bike shop’s comfy play area (and yes, the bathroom has a changing table!) and if you’d like to learn more about bicycling as a family, stick around for a Q&A session afterwards.

What, you wanted a bike ride, too?! We’ll be biking the 3/4 of a mile along a family-friendly route to Books with Pictures after each hour-long storytime/Q&A. Suitable for even the smallest riders. Come a little early to ask about borrowing a bike for the ride–Clever Cycles has a few bakfietsen and longtail kid-carrying cargo bikes to loan for families who want to join in on the fun.

Thank you to Liz Holladay from Clever Cycles for the awesome illustration and Leslie Hickey of Hoarfrost Press for the graphic lettering in our Bike Shop Storytime illustration.

Thanks for reading! Please tell your storytime-aged friends to join us for these fun events!

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

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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New nonprofit will manage Salmonberry Trail effort

Bike Portland - Mon, 03/04/2019 - 16:31

Alana Kambury gives a presentation to state officials at a Feb. 1 STIA meeting.
(Photo: Chas Hundley)

This story is from Chas Hundley, editor of the Gales Creek Journal. It was first published by Salmonberry Magazine.

A long-planned evolution in the development of the Salmonberry Trail took its first steps recently with the announcement by the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust that the Salmonberry Trail Foundation would be formed.

The foundation will take over assisting with Salmonberry Trail development from the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust (TFHT), a nonprofit established in 1999 to push for the development of the Tillamook Forest Center located along the Wilson River Highway in the Tillamook State Forest.

With the Salmonberry Trail, the trust found itself once again assisting in a major project in the state forest, supplying staff and their legal status as a nonprofit to the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA), the governing body that is tasked with building the Salmonberry Trail.

(Source: SalmonberryTrail.org)


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In a letter to STIA dated November 10, 2018, Nels Gabbert, Chair of the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, said that the time for the nonprofit to get back to its core mission was now.

“In the early days of organizing for the Salmonberry Trail, the existing non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust agreed to provide temporary capacity and energy for start-up fundraising efforts to compliment the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) mission of developing the trail. The Trust was well positioned for this start-up role given its primary focus on the state-owned forests of the Oregon Coast Range, and its existing governance as a supporting organization to the Oregon Department of Forestry, one of the state agencies leading STIA.”

Alana Kambury, Communications and Outreach Director for TFHT, has been tasked with the development of the foundation, and in an email to the Banks Post/Gales Creek Journal, said that she expects the foundation will receive nonprofit status from Oregon and the IRS as early as May 2019.

The trust, with a mission “To acquire, obtain and maintain funds, materials or labor for donation in the development, operation, management and maintenance of The Salmonberry Trail,” according to Kambury, is identifying board members, seeking partnerships with organizations with similar interests in the Salmonberry Trail, and identifying funding sources.

For inquiries, email Alana Kambury at alana@salmonberrytrail.org.

— Chas Hundley, @chashundley on Twitter and GalesCreekJournal.com.

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ODOT project would add bike lanes on key stretch of N Lombard

Bike Portland - Mon, 03/04/2019 - 14:07

The Oregon Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on a project that will add bike lanes to North Lombard between Newman and Wilbur avenues.

This 1.2 mile section of Lombard currently has five lanes, four of them are general purpose vehicle lanes and one of them is used for on-street auto parking. ODOT’s $10 million Lombard Multimodal Safety Project would repave the street and reconfigure the roadway space to include two, seven-foot-wide bicycle-only lanes, two through vehicle lanes (one each direction), and a center turn lane.

Here’s more from ODOT’s website (which inaccurately states the project will reduce travel lanes):

“This project will improve safety along US30 Bypass/Lombard, which is currently ranked as the 11th highest crash corridor in the City of Portland based on the frequency of both fatal and serious, near-fatal crashes for all types of road users. The project’s elements include adding a median with turning lane, bike lanes, and updated pedestrian crossings… The project also includes many pedestrian improvements throughout the corridor such as new crossings, audible pedestrian signals and ADA ramps.”

N Lombard looking westbound at Chataqua.

In addition to changes on Lombard, this project will also impact crossings of important bicycle routes on N Wabash (a neighborhood greenway), N Chataqua (connects to Charles Jordan Community Center), and N Woolsey (Columbia Park).

The current width of this section of Lombard is about 50-feet. The existing cross section devotes all that space to drivers of cars and trucks. The proposed cross-section would have 24-feet for through drivers and a 12-foot center turn lane.

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Two years ago ODOT completed a very similar project on Lombard from Portsmouth to Wall. Those bike lanes don’t get much use because they are unprotected and adjacent to drivers going 25-35 mph. And people still park their cars and delivery trucks in them with impunity.

ODOT installed bike lanes further west on Lombard in 2017.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The final design of this project is still undecided. It would be great to see ODOT consider a wider bike lane protected by a curb or some sort of delineator. If this were a city-owned road, we’d probably see 10-foot wide driving lanes which would lead to lower driving speeds, a safer street overall, and provide more space for bicycling. However, ODOT is unlikely to consider such an option since this is a freight route and ORS 366.215 makes any “reduction in carrying capacity” difficult for them to justify (but it couldn’t hurt to ask!).

ODOT will host an open house for this project next Wednesday, March 13th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the New Columbia Community Education Center (4605 N Trenton St). You can bet some business owners and residents will be upset about any loss of “their” parking spaces. If you want to encourage ODOT to provide safe access for bicycles on this crucial neighborhood street that provides access to many key destinations, please make sure ODOT hears from you at the open house or via email to Community Affairs Representative Ellen Sweeney at Ellen.SWEENEY@odot.state.or.us.

Once design is finalized, construction is scheduled for 2021-2022.

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

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High schooler clings to life after collision at notorious 82nd Avenue intersection

Bike Portland - Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:25

It’s not clear where exactly Jimenez was struck. Circled intersection of 82nd and Jonesmore is the location referred to by police.

Juana Jimenez GoFundMe page.

2019 is off to a harrowing start in Portland when it comes to the safety of people who are not driving cars on our streets.

As of this weekend we have had five fatal traffic crashes. Four of the victims were walking, one of them was someone on a bicycle. All of them were struck by someone driving a car. There are also two other victims struck by drivers who are still clinging to life at area hospitals.

One of them is 16-year-old Juana Jiménez Francisco, known to family and friends as Juanita. Francisco is a 10th grader at Madison High School who immigrated from Guatemala to Portland in March 2017. According to a GoFundMe page she was returning home from a weekend job at McDonalds when she was hit on February 24th.

Just like the person hit and seriously injured that same night on North Fessenden and the man killed back in January while trying to cross SW Salmon, this tragic incident occurred on a stretch of road — NE 82nd and Jonesmore — that is very well known for its unsafe conditions and where plans to make it safer have been in the works for many years.

We must expedite these projects in a way that matches the urgency of the safety crises they aim to address.

Build it.

As we’ve reported, the $5.1 million Halsey Safety and Access to Transit project received the top ranking for funding priority from Metro when it was up for consideration in 2016. The project is currently funding and slated for construction in summer 2021.

A major element of that project will focus on the location where Juana Jimenez was hit (keep in mind the exact location and behaviors of Jimenez and the driver are unknown to us at this point in the investigation). Here’s the salient excerpt from the project description:

“The 82nd & Jonesmore intersection has been prone to a high number of pedestrian/vehicle crashes due to the high volumes of transit riders who want to cross 82nd Ave to transfer between transit lines. Several years ago, a barrier was constructed to prevent pedestrians from crossing mid-block, but conflicts between pedestrians and left-turning vehicles have still been reported and observed at the southern leg of the 82nd & Jonesmore signalized intersection.”

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Over the weekend I heard from a person who has called the City of Portland several times requesting changes at this intersection. “There are 15 seconds to completely cross from East to West at 82nd and Jonesmore and only the first six seconds are protected with a “walk” sign, so you have nine seconds crossing with the flashing hand when a car is considering turning left into you while you are walking.” It’s unclear if this where Jimenez was hit, but this person’s concerns and activism underscore the dire need of changes here.

This intersection is adjacent to one of the busiest bus stops and MAX light rail stations in the region.

According to ODOT’s 82nd Avenue of Roses Implmentation Plan, the Jonesmore bus stop has over twice as many boardings as any other stop on line 72.

(Source: ODOT 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan)

Jonesmore is also the busiest intersection on 82nd in terms of people on foot during peak hour:

(Source: ODOT 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation Plan)

In 2010, ODOT constructed a controversial a wall at this location to block people on foot from crossing at mid-block where this is no crosswalk or signal. And just as many activists pointed out back then, erecting a wall is not an effective way to improve safety.

Last year Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was joined by the entire city council and several elected officials in directly calling out ODOT’s “lack of stewardship” of this urban highway.

More significant changes are on the way thanks to the Halsey Safety project. Below is what’s in the works (note the new crossing that will have dedicated walk/bike signal phasing)…

(Source: Growing Transit Communities Plan, PBOT)

82nd Avenue has been the source of planning and pain for our community for way too long. Finally there’s momentum to transfer it from ODOT to PBOT jurisdiction which would allow us to make people outside of cars the priority. If you’d like to get involved and/or learn more about this, check out the 82nd Avenue Plan. The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is hosting an open house on it tomorrow (Tuesday 3/5) at PCC Southeast.

Make sure to support House Bill 2846 which would hasten the jurisdictional transfer process and stay tuned for updates on the Halsey project. PBOT plans to begin the outreach, scoping, and design phase this spring.

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

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Take a Detour

Bike Hugger - Mon, 03/04/2019 - 10:59

The aim of the project was to send a bicycle-based artist to ride the Japanese Odyssey and produce work based on their experience that encourages us to take a detour. That artist, James Robertson, has now published his series of medium format photographs with words and they are lovely.

So is the Art of Bicycle Travel. It reminds of the early days here at Bike Hugger. And, impeccably timed, I’ve been shooting with medium format cameras in the nooks and crannies of Seattle. Mark V toured Japan too and don’t miss Cycle Around Japan from NHK.

The Japanese Odyssey is an unsupported bicycle journey across Japan, through 12 checkpoints. It allows riders to choose their own path, deep into dense forests, hidden country roads, and through neon cities. As an endurance cycling event with no winner, exploration is the emphasis and riders have just 10 days to complete the 2,600km route.

James’ travel log reports each day and his observations like

On a bicycle, you see everything.

The film camera requires a slower, more formal approach. this in turn gets me off the bike and really forces me to decide what images to make.

James and I have so much in common…I’ve written the same about film. Here’s his bike, a Ritchey Outback equipped with Apidura and he’s wearing 7Mesh kit.

I strongly believe you should get out on your own adventures and with gear being so good these days, there’s nothing stopping you. Just the motivation to put in that many miles.

The post Take a Detour appeared first on Bike Hugger.

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