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Guest Article: The Tabor Trail (60s Bikeway) and a safer NE Halsey

Bike Portland - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 09:20

A good spot for a bicycle lift? (Graphic: Terry Dublinksi-Milton)

Terry Dublinksi-Milton is a Portland resident and dedicated neighborhood activist and transportation reformer. Last summer we shared his call to create an active transportation network in southeast.

I have worked on and critiqued multiple bikeways over the years and though a smaller bike project than many, I have a personal attachment to the NE 60th and Halsey Improvement project. This project is in my neighborhood of fifteen years and has its own history nearly as long.

That’s why it’s so important for me to get it right. Before I share my concerns on the project and feedback for how to make it better. Here’s a brief look in the rear-view mirror…

60th Avenue Station Plan (2007)
A series of outreach meetings in 2006-2007 developed the 60th station plan that proposed significant changes to local access, bikeways, and MAX light rail. Routes in the plan included NE Hassalo/53rd to 61st, 61st to Sacramento north, and Oregon/63rd to Davis south. For reasons lost to planner history, it was not adopted by council; but the bikeways made it into the Bike Plan for 2030 which was adopted in 2010.

Comprehensive Plan (2014-2017)
As Land Use & Transportation Chair chair of North Tabor Neighborhood Association I helped resurrect the 60th Ave Station Plan and through multiple outreach meetings moved the Tabor Trail to 62nd, extending it south to Mount Tabor Park. NE 61st remained, but a bikeway connection west to 47th, Providence Hospital and points further was added to the Comprehensive Plan.

Growing Transit Communities (2017)
In this refinement of the station area plan, the local access road building was removed in favor of a Vision Zero-compliant Halsey Blvd. The Tabor Trail remained on the same route outlined throughout the comprehensive plan.

Despite this long history, all it took was one community ride-along where a few people expressed discomfort with the hairpin turn at NE 61st (circled in red in graphic at right) caused PBOT to move the climb up Alameda Ridge to 60th. An engineering solution to 61st was not even suggested, thus this meandering alignment suddenly became the current proposal (outlined in yellow).

PBOT’s new route introduces two turns, requiring one to go west, then east, to go west.

Will a student from Madison High follow a route like this to the Waterfront?

While it’s the cheapest to build, plans for NE 60th offer no protection for bicycle users other than sharrows and speed bumps. While 60th has an average daily traffic (ADT, a stat that only includes car drivers) count of 1,040, 61st has only 400. The way I see it, PBOT is using bicycle riders to calm driving traffic, instead of diverting them away from the route to maintain a quality bikeway.

Another option would stay on 60th from the MAX station the entire way north (as PBOT proposes for just a few blocks in their current plans). Parking would be completely removed and replaced with a two way cycle-track and significantly wider sidewalks than proposed.

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This second option has the benefit of being the most direct and predictable up the ridge for cross-traffic but provides no significant protection for the ascent. Option 2 requires a complete redesign of the NE 60th/Halsey intersection and removal of the center turn pockets. These center turn pockets are what requires the segment from Hassalo to Halsey to be moved to 62nd for queuing. The traffic lights were rebuilt last in 1984, do not allow for leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs), and are required to properly time the 57th and 60th signals which should speed up the 71 bus line.

This is by far the most expensive choice. It prioritizes walkers and bicycle users, but it also creates delays for transit and car users.

The final and original route follows a low volume 61st from Halsey to Sacramento. The main fear is the 10 mph hairpin switchback with poor sightlines.

The Trampe Bicycle Lift in action.
(Photo: City of Trondheim)

To safely engineer this troublespot we could remove rarely used westside parking and convert the northbound lane into a physically-protected bike lane. The descent would consist of a shared, low-volume lane southbound. The switchback would make the climb easier than 60th without growling cars menacing at riders from behind. The new traffic pattern would only impact 12 households and 150 average daily driving trips and would have vast benefit to the active transportation network. Moderate in expense, it would provide a direct route and the only truly protected climb up Alameda Ridge just in time to coincide with a newly rebuilt Madison High School. The sidewalk-free side could be striped with a walkway and the one-way would mitigate head-on collision risk between vehicles, thus providing safety benefits for all three traffic modes simultaneously.

The 2007 plan called for a bioswale (a planted curb extension to soak up rainwater) at 61st and Sacramento to narrow the intersection which could become a rest area with maps of the entire Tabor Trail. In the near-term, wands could be used to protect the lane. This would have the added benefit of narrowing Sacramento, thereby calming two greenways. A bike lift — like the one used in Trondheim, Norway — could even be added as this is the only climb up Alameda Ridge without curb cut conflicts.

Providing a facility for all users regardless of ability, a lift would be an amazing amenity and become a local attraction. If PBOT is serious about getting young people to bike to school, this is the type of creative infrastructure we need. In our age of climate crises, we must use every tool possible to lower emissions.

Portland’s adopted plans make it clear that walkers and bicycle users are at the top of the transportation pyramid. This means new bikeways are to be protected when possible and direct even if it mildly disrupts single-occupancy vehicle users. In the case of NE 61st, we have an opportunity to improve safety for all traffic modes.

If you want to learn more, I’m leading a Pedalpalooza ride on Monday (6/17) to highlight the choices, investigate other proposed improvements and point to missing connections. PBOT representatives have promised to join us as we circle the station and climb the ridge.

Maxing Access to the MAX, a 60s Adventure
Monday June 17th 5pm, leave 5:15
Normandale Park, near the restrooms
60s Clothing Encouraged

The public comment period for the NE Halsey project closes June 24th, so let’s use this opportunity to get it right!

See you in the streets,

— Terry Dublinski-Milton

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Sunday: Join the Ride For Safe Streets starting at City Hall

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 15:40

Under Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle has cut bike lanes from paving projects and slashed its short-term bike plan.

At a time when we need to make dramatic action to do whatever we can to reduce traffic injuries and deaths and combat climate change, her bike lane cuts are all backwards.

People already packed City Council chambers earlier this year to voice their concerns about the bike cuts. This Sunday, protest efforts go to the next level with a rally at City Hall followed by a slow ride/walk down 4th Ave (where a planned bike lane remains delayed) to Westlake Park for music. Meet at City Hall’s 4th Ave plaza at 1 p.m.

The Ride For Safe Streets has been organized with leadership from Brock Howell in partnership with a long list of organizations, including biking, walking, transit, climate and disability rights groups (see the full list here).

Many of the biggest barriers to making streets safer lately are coming from the Mayor’s Office, but there are also actions the City Council can take to make sure safety and climate policies and goals are followed. And it’s important to show city leaders how much enthusiastic support there is for bold safe streets action.

More details from the Ride For Safe Streets website (you can also invite your friends on FB):

It’s time to act on climate change and make Seattle’s streets safe and accessible for everyone: people of all ages, languages, ethnicities, genders, races, and abilities.

Join us on Sunday, June 16 for this family-friendly (and father-friendly!) event calling on City leadership to act boldly on transportation. We’ll meet at Seattle City Hall at 1pm for a fun rally and then bike, walk and roll with hundreds of people down 4th Avenue to Westlake Park, where there will be actions to take as well as music, art, and other activities.

There will be a marching band, public officials, calls to action, and plenty of fun as we urge Seattle leaders to step up.

RALLY AT SEATTLE CITY HALL
1:00, People meet at City Hall’s 4th Avenue Plaza, with Rise Up Action Band playing.

1:20, Organizational leaders and elected officials call for action.

1:55, Rise Up Action Band resumes playing. People begin rolling down 4th Avenue.

THE ROLL
1:55, The Roll begins, parade-like, with people riding, rolling, strolling, and walking.

We encourage groups to roll together with their own signs and art. Transit groups may create a giant cardboard bus and walk inside it. Climate groups may dress-up in polar bear suits. The “Big Wheel” bicycle lobby may ride high-wheelers. Your imagination and good sense are your only limits.

Everyone is encouraged to play music, whether it’s acoustic or from mobile speakers.

Everyone should obey traffic laws, and roll at a comfortable pace for people of all abilities around them.

PARTY AT WESTLAKE PARK
1:50, Band begins playing from stage

2:00, People begin to arrive at Westlake Park

3:00, Band ends set

Commissioner Eudaly’s big move for bus-only lanes

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:51

There’s more of this to come.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The cat is officially out of the bag.

In a story posted this morning, the Willamette Week reported that PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wants to go big for bus only lanes.

In 18 months, Portland streets could see the most dramatic change in public transit since the arrival of the streetcar. All it will take is gallons of red paint.

Deep in the bowels of city bureaucracy, Portland transportation officials under the direction of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are preparing to debut what they’re calling the “Red Lane Project”: removing miles of roadside parking and traffic lanes from Portland streets to make room for uninterrupted routes for buses.

While this is the first major report of the plan, Eudaly’s office has been working on it behind the scenes since last year. Eudaly’s Director of Policy Jamey Duhamel shared details of it with me back in December. At that stage she wanted help connecting to various community leaders and groups that might be impacted and/or might want to get involved in organizing support for the plan.

The plan also builds on a foundation already built by PBOT that includes the Enhanced Transit Corridors and Central City in Motion plans.

As Portland’s population has exploded, so has the amount of traffic and congestion. Eudaly has decided that faster bus service is the best tool to make streets more efficient. The plan is just the latest manifestation of TriMet and the City of Portland’s growing effort to speed up bus service. Back in November, PBOT’s Central City in Motion Plan was adopted by City Council with several transit-centric projects on its high priority implementation list. Back in May, PBOT worked with TriMet to give bus operators more space at an intersection on NE Fremont and created a bus/bike only lane on SW Madison.

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For Eudaly — who’s built a reputation for her work on tenant protection — bus users are the transportation equivalent of low-income renters. And to take that analogy a bit further, drivers would be landlords. Eudaly sees bus users as needing help in a system that is stacked against them. Here’s more from the Willamette Week’s story:

“Transportation intersects very dramatically with all the things we really care about,” says Eudaly’s policy director, Jamey Duhamel, adding that the commissioner and her aides asked themselves: “What can we do within transportation to really affect people’s lives, the most vulnerable in our community? What we heard over and over was: ‘How are you going to get buses out of traffic?'”

In that story, Eudaly said another reason she’s decided to act is that the “clock is ticking on climate catastrophe.”

As for voices that might oppose the plan, it’s worth noting Eudaly’s office has already lined up support for the plan — both on City Council and among myriad community groups (who will no doubt be asked to turn out their members/supporters once the plan is officially launched). Our transportation commissioner has also shown signs that she’s not afraid to start a debate about transportation policy.

Details on the plan are still to come, but Eudaly’s office is likely to choose a list of a dozen or so routes that will be sped up and then implement the changes on a pilot project basis.

Read more in the Willamette Week and stayed tuned for more details, opportunities to give feedback, and how bicycling will be impacted.

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

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Days after SDOT acknowledged safety concerns on new 35th Ave NE, a collision critically injured someone on a motorcycle

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 12:54

Someone driving a pickup truck collided with someone on a motorcycle at the intersection of 35th Ave NE and NE 75th Street Monday evening. The person on the motorcycle was critically injured and was rushed to the hospital in life-threatening condition.

We send our best wishes to the person injured.

I’m in tears right now. I cannot believe this. This is why I post these videos to highlight how dangerous this street is. To try to prevent this

— Mitch (@mitchellplease) June 11, 2019

It is not yet known exactly how the collision occurred. It appears from photos by people who saw the aftermath that the person in the pickup may have been turning left from northbound 35th Ave NE onto eastbound NE 75th Street, but the exact nature of the collision is not clear. Seattle Police traffic investigators were working the scene.

UPDATE: SPD posted an update: “When officers arrived and contacted the 87-year-old driver. The 22-year-old motorcyclist received emergency medical care at the scene. Police spoke with witnesses who stated the truck began turning left when the motorcyclist struck the driver’s pickup truck.

Seattle Fire Department Medics took the 22-year-old man to Harborview Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

A drug recognition expert evaluated the 87-year-old man at the scene and found no signs of impairment.

Traffic Collision Detectives are now investigating and will determine what led up to the crash.”

But this horrific collision comes less than a month after someone on a bicycle was struck and injured (though less seriously) five blocks away on NE 70th Street.

These collisions have all happened within weeks of crews painting the lines for the revised design of the street. At the direction of Mayor Jenny Durkan, SDOT removed the bike lanes and associated traffic calming initially planned and contracted as part of a major repaving project on 35th Ave NE.

The backlash against the mayor’s decision (and the subsequent cuts to the near-term bike plan) was two-fold. On one hand, people saw it as a sign that the mayor was not dedicated to the city’s traffic safety and climate goals. People packed City Council chambers to voice their concerns, including Tamara Schmautz and Apu Mishra who brought a hand-cranked paper shredder up to the podium and proceeded to shred the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, Vision Zero Plan and Climate Action Plan.

But on the other hand, people were concerned that the city’s planned bike-lane-free design for 35th Ave NE was going to be dangerous. Wide lanes are known to encourage speeding, for example. But the reality has proven to be even worse since the road opened. The center turn lane, which was supposed to help calm traffic, has instead been used regularly for making illegal passes. We posted a video from @mitchellplease on Twitter demonstrating the problem quite clearly:

First morning riding 35th since the redesign, already seeing dangerous passes. First car passing while a bike was turning left ahead. When there is a car waiting to turn left after, a car also tried to pass me, then backed off. Of course I catch up to them all at the light pic.twitter.com/Nr75tKeEQD

— Mitch (@mitchellplease) May 16, 2019

Councilmember Mike O’Brien also showed Mitch’s video during a recent Transportation Committee meeting, and the committee wrote a letter to SDOT asking whether the design is meeting the city’s objectives. Below is an excerpt (full letter in this PDF):

The Seattle Department of Transportation states that its first core value is Safety. The SDOT blog about this project claims that “By slowing vehicle speeds and better defining the travel lanes, this helps increase safety for everyone on 35th.” Watching this video, it doesn’t appear that defined travel lanes have reduced speeds or increased safety. In fact, it appears that in some locations, by eliminating a lane ofparking and widening the travel lanes we have increased speeds and decreased safety.

We would like you to answer the following questions:

From this video and other observations, do you believe the design as implemented has met the objectives of the project and Vision Zero?

  1. Did this design go through the Complete Streets Checklist assessing how this design serves all people travelling on the corridor, including people walking, biking and taking transit?
  2. If there are some short comings of the design as implemented, do you have plans to make improvements to the design? If so, what is the timeline?
  3. If this design failed to meet the safety objectives for all street users, can the department do some analysis as to how a decision to recommend this design was erroneously reached? What can we do different in the future to avoid these mistakes?

Since there has already been a serious injury to a bicyclist hit by a car in this corridor where a person biking was transported by ambulance to the hospital, we would like to see urgent action if there is agreement that action is needed.

SDOT sent an update to the 35th Ave NE project mailing list Friday acknowledging that they are aware of concerns about safety on the new street. The department will be “gathering speed data on 35th and will base changes to the posted speed limit on the observations and data,” according to the email. “In addition to studying speeds, we will be reviewing collision figures to see if there is a change in aggressive driving and the number of collisions.”

Traffic safety isn’t a political game

This whole 35th Ave NE travesty stems from Mayor Durkan misunderstanding the stakes of the debate. It was never about the anti-bike team competing against the pro-bike team in some kind of political game. It was not about picking between two groups of engaged and organized residents. It was about people’s health and safety. As SDOT professionals have long known (and was reaffirmed in a recent macro 13-year study that included Seattle), adding bike lanes to a street improves safety for all users of the road no matter how they get around.

It is impossible to know for certain whether bike lanes would have prevented these specific recent collisions on 35th Ave NE. But we do know for certain that quality protected bikes lanes do reduce the number and severity of collisions.

In harsher words, this is not a fucking game. These are our neighbors’ lives we’re talking about here. Adding bike lanes won’t hurt people driving. But cutting bike lanes will hurt people. It may have already.

It doesn’t feel good to say, “I told you so.” It feels terrible. As someone whose job is to report on bike issues in Seattle and advocate for safer streets, I failed on 35th. I tried, as did many people organizing with Safe 35th, but we lost. And the result of a loss when fighting for safe streets can be horrific. And what did the anti-bike advocates win?

But ultimate responsibility here lands squarely on Mayor Durkan. Her decision on 35th was an enormous mistake, and she needs to fix this. And no, some plastic posts next to the turn lanes won’t be enough, as SDOT’s recent email suggested. The problem requires more significant action, such as the protected bike lanes originally planned. The design is already complete and ready for construction. I know it’s hard for politicians to admit a mistake, but the alternative here is far worse. She shouldn’t wait for any more injuries (or worse) before doing the right thing.

Pedalpalooza Mural Ride photo gallery recap

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:41

Bikes just might be the perfect mural-viewing vehicle. (Photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap)

Sunday’s Mural Ride had a great turnout with about 100 people showing up to see a few of Portland’s many intriguing public paintings.

The ride was led by veteran Portland bike fun instigator Meghan Sinnott and local artist and photographer Mel Christy.

Our Pedalpalooza photographer Eric Thornburg tagged along and captured the vibe. Here’s what it looked like through his lens…

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

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These summer bike camps still have a spot for your kid

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:01

Bike camps teach riding skills, bike maintenance, safety, and friendship.
(Photo: Nat Shreffler for Community Cycling Center)

Portland has a wide variety of summer bike camps: Everything from learn-to-ride camps that ease kids onto two wheels to camps that teach advanced riding and repair skills. You might think it’s late in the game to find a spot in one of them, but most area bike camps still have spaces in some sessions.

My son attended his favorite bike camp back when he was five. He decided he wanted “bike racing camp” instead of “regular bike camp” and I found a new camp offered at a bike coaching facility. They started each morning of the week watching Danny MacAskill bike trick videos before pedaling off via multi-use path to a park where the instructor had stashed an obstacle course in the bushes. In addition to the emphasis on riding and tricks, he came home with more art projects from this camp (we still have a precious old bike cranks and duct tape creation) than from the larger, more traditional bike camps he’s attended.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I’ve called around to find out which bike camps still have spots. Check out my list below. If you’re aware of any camps I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post. (Note: all grades reflect the campers’ grade in the fall.)

Community Cycling Center
$360-$425 per week

Spots are available in Cruisers (grades 5 and 6), Freewheelers (grades 7 and 8), Food Cart Seekers (grades 7 and 8), Girls Mechanics (grades 7 and 8), and Voyager (NEW! grades 9 and 10).

Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp enters its 18th year this summer. At camp, our goals are to:
➤ Develop the skills of youth in a fun, safe, and supportive environment
➤ Provide opportunities for cooperative learning and decision making in a team environment
➤ Develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for the bicycle
➤ Connect youth with Portland’s cycling infrastructure

CCC is also partnering with Hacienda CDC, Urban Nature Partners PDX, Home Forward, and Catholic Charities to bring Bike Camp to the Cully neighborhood, New Columbia neighborhood, and McCoy Village this summer thanks to Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant and City of Portland’s Expanding Opportunities for Youth grant. Through these community bike camps, participants will attend a week of bike camp at no cost and receive a bike, helmet, and lock at the completion of their week.

— Learn more at communitycyclingcenter.org.

Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park
$425 for full day per week, $49 for half day per day

Lumberyard’s website has current availability listed, with quite a few camps still with room.

With early drop-off, snacks provided, aftercare available, free park access with guardian supervision the rest of the day, and 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to shred, Lumberyard is sure to entertain (and tire out!) your lil’ shredder. The Greenhorns Half-Day Summer Camps for balance bikers on Mondays and new pedalers on Fridays are fun for the aged 3-6 set not yet ready for a full day or full bike park. Rental bikes (as well as rental balance bikes) are available for camps, too.

— Learn more at lumberyardmtb.com.

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OBRA Junior Track Camp
$150 for three days

Juniors aged 10-18 with OBRA licenses can attend a track camp June 27-29. Kids 13 and up will camp overnight at Alpenrose Velodrome while 10-12 year olds will join for the daytime activities. The weekend includes a shred session and pizza party at Lumberyard on Sunday. Those who own track bikes should bring them, but the camp fee includes track bike rental if needed as well as Lumberyard bike rental.

— Learn more at obra.org.

OMSI
$305.00 member/$382.00 non-member per week

As of this writing Bike PDX for grades 4 and 5 has space for the week of July 29th. This class is taught by Community Cycling Center’s fun instructors and meets at OMSI for 4-15 mile explorations of the area around the museum. Extended care is available and bikes can be stored at OMSI overnight. “Take science on the road!”

— Learn more at OMSI.edu.

Pedalheads
$169 1.5 hours, $249 half day, $439 full day per week

With four locations around Portland and one in Beaverton, Pedalheads has a spot for you. From three- and four-year-old balance bikers with 1.5-hour-long skill building through games and obstacle courses to road and mountain bike classes for the age six and up more experienced set and everything in between.

— Learn more at pedalheads.com.

Trackers Earth
$235 half day per week

Learn to Bike: Road Rovers has some spots available at all three Trackers locations. This class is for kids entering kindergarten and 1st grade who are just learning to ride. The class is just 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., but it’s action packed with personalized instruction, crafts, and games. Includes a bike to use if the camper doesn’t already have one.

— Learn more at trackerspdx.com.

Learning to throw their bikes down chain-side up before sprinting across the field.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

Vancouver Parks and Recreation
$260 per week

Bike Clark County is running camps for the City of Vancouver, Washington and the three weeks of 6-9 year old camps still have spots. Kids ride 4-10 miles each day on different field trips to places like Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Pearson Air Museum, the Water Resources Education Center, and Esther Short Park. Kids love these camps so much they take the same camp two weeks back-to-back and return year after year! Personal bikes that pass a safety inspection on the first day of camp are encouraged, but bikes and helmets can be provided.

— Learn more at cityofvancouver.us.

WashCo Bikes
$295 per week

Washington County kids aged 9-12 will love Saddle Up Summer Bike Adventures. The Hillsboro camp is full (but there’s a waitlist), but other cities — Beaverton, Forest Grove, Tigard, and Wilsonville — each have one open one-week camp spaced throughout the summer.

Campers will bike to different programs and activities in 2-5 mile increments, building their fitness levels over the course of the week as they gain riding skills and repair knowledge. Using project-based learning each camp will explore parks, watersheds, and cultural sites in and around the communities of Washington County. In addition to riding, kids will do art, environmental projects, community building activities, play interactive games, and journal about their adventures.

Note: scholarships application are still being accepted online, and no campers will be turned away for lack of resources.

— Learn more at washcobikes.org

YMCA Camp Collins
$835 per week overnight camp

Camp Collins Questers in grades 7-9 leave the comfort of their extraordinary Treetops Village for camp activities each day, including 2-3 hours of a specialty focus. For sessions 1, 3, 5, and 7 (June 23–29 Harry Potter theme, July 7–13 Color Wars theme, July 21–27 Jurassic Adventure theme, and August 4–10 Star Wars theme) Questers can select mountain biking as their specialty (note: Camp Collins does its best to assign each Quester their first or second choice specialty so no guarantee you’ll be biking).

Questers learn basic riding skills, maintenance, and bike safety. They’ll explore the trails of Oxbow Regional Park and enjoy a long trail ride off camp. Bikes and helmets are provided.

— Learn more at ymcacw.org

Did I miss any? Or do you have a fun bike camp story to share in the comments? Thanks for reading!

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

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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‘Missing middle’ housing bill needs a push in Salem

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 07:46

Plenty of “middle housing” in Montreal is one reason why it’s such a great city for biking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important bills we’ve been tracking this legislative session is hanging in the balance.

House Bill 2001 would allow “missing middle” housing (a.k.a. multi-family dwellings) in places currently zoned for only single-family housing. It would have a vast impact on cycling because it would enable more people to live in closer proximity to jobs and other destinations — making a trip by bike more feasible.

According to advocates who support the bill, the time is now to press legislators to move the bill forward. Below is a message from southeast Portland resident Doug Klotz:

This is the crucial time to make your voice heard in Salem in support of House Bill 2001, Speaker Kotek’s bill to legalize duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes statewide. It would require cities overt 10,000 to allow duplexes everywhere in single-family zones, and triplexes and fourplexes somewhere in those zones as well.

Most Democrats [who hold a super-majority] wants to do the right thing, lift the ban on missing-middle housing and make affordable housing possible in every neighborhood. But they need to know, right now, that you’ve got their back on this. Can you take four minutes to find your state legislators here — you’ve got one senator, one rep — and ask them to support HB2001?

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Those in Southeast Portland and Milwaukie should know that our Senator is Kathleen Taylor (503-986-1721), who is on the fence about it. You could also call Representative Rob Nosse (503-986-1442). I don’t know his position on it. If you’re in other districts, look up your legislator here.

Votes are being counted right now. There’s a hearing Tuesday and it could go either way. It won’t go to the floor unless there are enough votes counted among the members, even those who are not on the committee. Your call could make the difference.

For more information on this bill re-read our past coverage in the related posts below and check out PortlandForEveryone.org/hb2001.

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

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Return to Earth: Official Trailer Premiers this Week

Bike Hugger - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 06:55

Return to Earth: Official Trailer. The latest from Anthill Films is a cinematic journey that proves when we lost track of time, we make the most of it. This film is about the simple act of living completely in those moments. A cinematic journey, connected by true-to-life examples set by riders of all ages around the world, who prove that when we lose track of time, we make the most of it.

Find a showing near you. Return to Earth plays in Seattle, like North of Nightfall did, on June 20.

Return to Earth: Official Trailer PR:

We increasingly live in a culture of distraction; constantly conducting our lives through 24/7 connectivity. We feed this attention economy with our most precious resource: our time. Time is either spent wisely or it is just spent. Second after second; minute after minute; moment after moment… they’re all there for the taking.

And, from PinkBike an interview with the makers of the film.

What’s the inspiration for the film?

Everything we do always comes back to the simple idea of trying to inspire people to just get out and ride their bikes. That’s always been the end goal. But there are different ideas behind the films that guide how we try to make that happen. For this film, we were influenced by the idea of digital distraction.

There’s this whole “attention economy” that is constantly trying to create new ways to get us spending as much time staring into our screens and phones as possible. As artists who make digital content designed to get people out on their bikes, we want to be part of a movement that is pushing back against that i.e. if we’re asking for your attention, we better make sure that it’s time well spent. 

The post Return to Earth: Official Trailer Premiers this Week appeared first on Bike Hugger.

The Monday Roundup: Breaking through whiteness, disabilities, DOT lies, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 05:08

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Community Cycling Center.

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

Upsetting norms: US road champion Justin Williams is in “rebel mode” as he forces the cycling scene to embrace young people of color into a sport that is primarily white.

Cycle of dependency: The venerable Todd Litman of Victoria Transport Policy Institute reminds us about the vicious cycle of automobile dependency — and how to break it.

Brooklyn bike history: Learn about the Brooklyn Red Caps, a group of cycling lovers known for their speed, longevity, and pioneering history as one of the first black bike clubs in New York.

Monkey see, monkey do: ODOT isn’t the only agency using the fallacious argument that wider highways are better for the environment: Thankfully, activists in Baltimore are calling their DOT’s bluff.

Cycling for everyone: Great words of wisdom about breaking down barriers to riding from the perspective of someone who cycles with a disability.

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Density = safety?: A Pennsylvania study found that streets in more dense areas closer-in to the city had lower crash rates than suburban areas.

Facebook bike share workers: The social media giant has a fleet of 1,000 bike share bikes at their Menlo Park campus and the people who keep it running want to unionize to get better treatment.

Carmaker testing helmet impacts: Volvo is (surprisingly) the first company to specifically test how its cars impact bicycle helmets.

More good PR for e-bikes: I continue to be fascinated with how e-bikes will transform what we think about bicycling and the potential they have for urban mobility.

‘Quick build’ is music to my ears: The City of San Francisco isn’t satisfied with business as usual when it comes to building bicycle facilities so they’ve streamlined the political process in order to build them faster.

Tweet of the Week: We can only hope that Portland sees more bus and bike lanes like this in the future…
https://twitter.com/InvestinPlace/status/1135765288287260674

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

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Business district welcomes carfree customers with ‘Walk Williams’ event

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 14:29

If I owned a business on Williams I’d want to celebrate these potential customers too.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Imagine a business district that celebrates cycling and welcomes those who do it with open arms. That’s what we have on North Williams Avenue.

As one of the first major commercial corridors in Portland with dedicated cycling access and the highest volume of riders in the city, I’ve often thought of Williams as the best bike street in Portland. Now Venture Portland and the Williams Vancouver Business Association want to cement that reputation with their monthly Walk Williams event which is set to kickoff next Wednesday June 12th.

According to organizer Dane Fredericks, for one evening a month they’ll roll out the red carpet for bicycle riders and other non-car-using customers with live music, freebies, discounts and more. “We know that biking is a pro-social decision that creates pleasant streets and strengthens our community,” Fredericks shared with us via email. He calls this event, “A monthly summer party on the only main street in Portland where bikes come first.”

Here’s how it’ll work (scroll down for full list of exclusive cycling deals):

Pick up an event passport at participating businesses on each second Wednesday June – October from 4-8pm, eat, shop and play to earn three stickers, and turn your passport in for automatic prizes like beer, chocolate or oysters. Each passport you submit is entered into our grand prize raffle, meaning you can play five Walk Williams, automatically win five monthly prizes and enter five times in the grand prize drawing.

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And here are the cycling-only deals:

GET FREE STUFF
North Portland Wellness Center (4922 N. Vancouver) is giving out free bike seat covers.
JinJu Patisserie (4063 N. Williams) will boost your blood sugar with 2 free bonbons.
Starcycle (4133 N. Williams) will turbocharge your training with a free class card.
Stella’s Kitchen on Williams (4215 N. Williams) is helping you hit your macros with a free Chia Pudding

LEARN NEW THINGS
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (5211 N. Williams) is offering a free educational urban garden tour for all, but only the cyclists get the free lemonade and cookies.
Poa Café (4025 N. Williams) will help you make and take home your own DIY Slime for $5

HYDRATE
Crisp Salads (3901 N. Williams) will set you up with $3 pints.
Hopworks N. Williams Pub & Beer Garden (3947 N. Williams) will knock $1 off your first beer.
Memoz Dessert Café (3494 N. Williams) has cold brew for just $3.

SCORE DEALS
Fringe & Friends Salon (3508 N. Williams) will offer 25% off any single item.
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (4155 N. Williams) is offering member pricing for 30 min massage $34.95 ($20 savings) all summer.
Monochromatic ( N. Williams) will take 20% off a single item.
Namaste On Williams (4201 N. Williams) will discount a 10 class pack for $102 (reg. $140).
Queen Bee Creations (3961 N. Williams) is offering 15% off everything all day on Walk Williams dates
SpielWerk Toys (3808 N. Williams) will give you 10% off your first visit all summer.
TEMPLE GOODS & PDCO+ HOME (3316 N. Williams) will give you 25% off any single item.
Workshop Vintage (4011 N. Williams) is giving out a free button pin and 10% off coupon.

Check out the official website for more info and download the official guide as a PDF below…

WW Passport DRAFT for review (1)

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

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Breakfast on the Bridges is every Friday morning in June

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:16

Volunteers and commuters chat on the western end of the Tillikum Bridge this morning.
(Photos: Eric Thornburg/no.lens.cap)

Breakfast on the Bridges is a proud Portland tradition. It’s been happening for about 16 years and shows no signs of running out of steam — or should I say cream. As in, cream for your coffee.

Coffee is just one of the free treats you can find on the Steel, Tillikum and Hawthorne bridges on the last Friday of every month between 7:00 and 9:00 am. But during Pedalpalooza in the month of June those reliably wonderful Shift volunteers can be found every Friday morning.

This morning our photographer Eric Thornburg caught some of the action on the Tillikum where hot and fresh berry pancakes, muffins, coffee, and smiles were being served to anyone who walked or rolled by.

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Breakfast on the Bridges is one more reason to bike to work. And just one more thing that makes Portland — especially during Pedalpalooza — such a fun place to be. So mark your calendars for June 14th, 21st, and 28th. And leave a few minutes early to make sure you have time to stop, snack, drink, and chat.

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

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Saturday: Streets will go car-free for two hours before Ballard Crit for an open streets party

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:32

Route is marked in red, via Apex Racing.

Here’s a great idea: Ballard Criterium race organizers Apex Racing are already doing the hard work of securing permits, placing signage and barricades and informing the community about their annual event Saturday. So why not extend the time a few extra hours to create an open streets community event?

That’s exactly what’s happening tomorrow (Saturday) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to play in the streets for two hours before the racing begins. Cascade Bicycle Club is helping to organize activities, including a free 5K fun run by Fleet Feet, a bike rodeo for kids, a scooter share pop-up with Lime and Shared, and live music.

Stay after the open streets party to watch one of the more unique bike races in the city, which has been a tradition for more than a quarter century. Here’s the race schedule:

PBOT begins design of 60s bikeway through North Tabor, Rose City Park neighborhoods

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:20

Proposed design of NE Halsey crossing between 61st and 62nd.

A 1.5 mile stretch of a north-south bikeway along the 60s will be built next fall and the Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for your feedback on the design.

The bikeway proposed so far is in yellow and blue on the map below. It’s only on 60th for a few blocks and uses 62nd for most of the route…

The main goal of the NE 60th and Halsey Improvement Project is to get Halsey off PBOT’s High Crash Network list and update the outdated intersections at 47th, 57th and 60th. PBOT plans to reconfigure lanes and add new traffic signals that can synchronize traffic along the corridor. Another major component of the project will be the construction of wider sidewalk on 60th from the MAX Station (at I-84) to Halsey.

From a biking perspective, the big opportunity here is for bikeway improvements between NE Davis (in the south) and Sacramento (in the north). PBOT’s initial plan is to remove on-street parking and remove bike lanes on two blocks of 60th between the MAX Station and NE Hassalo. Unfortunately the current plan would drop the bike lanes north of that and divert bicycle users two blocks east to 62nd. The route would rejoin 60th six blocks later at NE Hancock.

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Here’s how PBOT describes the bike-centric elements of the project:

— NE 60th Ave from NE Hassalo to NE Oregon St: 5′-wide bike lanes with 3′-wide buffers to separate cyclists from the vehicle travel lane

— Portions of NE 60th Ave, 61st Ave and NE 62nd Ave: Sharrows, speed bumps, signage, and stop sign changes

— New bike crossings, crosswalks, and curb extensions will be installed at two intersections: NE 60th Ave x NE Oregon St and NE Halsey x NE 61st /62nd Ave.

— On-street parking will be removed from both sides of NE 60th Ave from the south side of NE Hassalo St to NE Oregon St, and within 20’ on the approaches to each intersection along NE Halsey St, NE 60th Ave (south of Halsey), and the 60s Bikeway neighborhood greenway route.

— A new Bike Facility Route will be added to NE Hassalo St from NE 53rd Ave to NE 60th Ave. Improvements will include sharrows, speed bumps, signage, and stop sign changes.

Below is the proposed design of NE 60th crossing at NE Oregon:

And the new bike lanes proposed for 60th between the MAX station and Hassalo:

If you ride, work, or live in this area, please consider sharing your comments and concerns with PBOT via their online open house. They’ll accept comments through Monday, June 24th. Questions about the project can be directed to PBOT Project Manager Nicole Pierce via email nicole.peirce@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-6186.

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

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Cottage Grove rolls out welcome for Oregon Gran Fondo

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:57

Rolling out on the start of the 130-mile Sherman route. (I’m the happy guy in red jersey with #14 plate).
(Ride photos by Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)


Sponsored by:

Ever had a ride that started with terribly bad luck that quickly changed to good luck? That was my experience at the Oregon Gran Fondo last weekend.

The event was the final round of the Oregon Triple Crown series (read my recaps of round one in Waldport and round two in Oakridge) and I started the day hopeful of becoming a finisher of all three. It was a fun goal I made for myself at the start of the year; a way to force myself to stay in good shape and learn more about three of Oregon’s intriguing small towns.

Brewstation Pub is attached to a farm and feed store.

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On that note, I was very impressed with Cottage Grove. It happened to be Friday Art Walk and Main Street was abuzz: The many independent stores and restaurants were full of people; musicians busked on corners; and locals came out in droves to meet up with friends, buy and spy local art, and take advantage of free food and drinks served in nearly every establishment.

For such a small town, Cottage Grove has a wealth of good food and shops. Beyond several solid-looking food carts, there’s Axe & Fiddle Public House on Main Street. With its low ceilings, woodsy interior and bar full of smiling staff and regulars up front, it has the ambiance of a wild west saloon. The beer and cider list is sublime and the menu features many thoughtful and modern choices. Across the street is Jack Sprats, which was so busy I opted for quick baked treats from the counter: a house-made marionberry bar and a peanut butter cookie.

I felt welcomed in Cottage Grove because it seemed like every shop had a “Welcome Oregon Gran Fondo” sign in the window and encouraged us to show our race badges for discounts and freebies (event entry came with a $10 food voucher redeemable at any local restaurant). I also noticed a flyer for the “Mayor’s Bike Ride,” a good sign that cycling is respected.

Opal Whiteley mural on E 7th and Main.

Shared with pride by bookstore owner.

If you love used bookstores that reflect local culture, Cottage Grove doesn’t disappoint. I recommend Kalapuya Books and Bookmine. It was inside both of these shops I got my first hint that a woman known as Opal Whiteley was a big deal. My hunch was confirmed when I saw the massive mural devoted to her in the main public square. I had to learn more.

Whiteley was a mysterious figure who gained national fame for a diary she wrote about her life growing up in the woods of Cottage Grove. Despite her story becoming a national bestseller in 1920, there were as many questions about its authenticity as there were about the authenticity of Whiteley herself. As I payed for a copy of The Fantastic Tale of Opal Whiteley, (a historic look at her life published by The Lane Historical Society) the owner of Bookmine was thrilled to see I’d taken an interest. She beamed as showed me one of the original copies of Whiteley’s book and gave me flyers with copies of her poems and a walking map of where she lived.

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After soaking up history and the vibe of downtown Cottage Grove on Friday, I was up at sunrise on Saturday for the 6:30 am start of the 130-mile “Sherman” route. I chose this route mostly because it was the toughest course offered, but also because it was the only one with sections of unpaved, gravel roads. There were only about 20 of us who lined up on East Main Street. The Sherman route was new this year, and the classic, 117-mile Gran Fondo route still gets all the attention.

About six miles into the Sherman route, four miles before disaster struck.
(Ride photos by Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

I had my Co-Motion Klatch set up as a pavement machine, since I heard there was only about 30 miles of gravel roads and I figured I could manage them on relatively narrow tires. I opted for slick, 32mm wide Sector tubeless tires from Hutchinson.

For us Sherman riders, the adventure began just a few miles out of town when we hit the dirt of Gowdyville Road for a 1,000 feet of climbing along the South Fork of the Siuslaw River. It was a beautiful start to the day. On the descent down to Territorial Hwy, I started to think I was a bit under-tired for the day as I had to ride much slower over the rocks then I prefer.

When we retured to the pavement, something weird happened. There were about three of us on the empty road. I was in the front and suddenly another rider came up from behind me on my right and tried to pass. Before I could avoid him his rear wheel became lodged in my front. “SHHHH! BANG BANG BANG! POP!” was what I heard as I struggled to stay upright and watched his rear wheel skewer decimate my front rim and tire. When I finally stopped I knew it was bad. The wheel was done. Spokes bent and broken. The tire flat. Ugh.

Luke DeMoe of Velofix Eugene working on my bike.

A few minutes later, after the guy made a quick apology and then rode away, I was by myself on the side of the road with no cell service. I was dejected that my weekend had been wasted for just 10 miles of riding. I figured I would hitchhike back to Cottage Grove; if I could find a ride.

I could smile at this point because I knew it would all work out.

Then the first sign of changing luck came into view. A truck driven by a race volunteer pulled up and offered a floor pump. Within minutes we realized he could just drive me back to the start line. The Gran Fondo didn’t start until 8:30 am and I’d still have time to find a loaner wheel if we hurried. Flustered but hopeful as we got back to Cottage Grove, I made a bee line to the big red VeloFix Eugene van. Owner/operator Luke DeMoe didn’t hesitate to help. He had a loaner wheel and swapped my parts and tire over. 15 minutes later I was rolling again — with just a few minutes to spare before the start of the Gran Fondo.

It wasn’t the ride I wanted to do, but it wasn’t too shabby. It’s been years since I spent the day in roadie-mode, gliding along in the draft of a big peloton and taking pulls in a paceline. I connected with a strong group of 7-8 riders and spent most of the day with them. We ticked off the miles and averaged about 20 mph or the first 100 miles as we rolled along rivers, on empty backroads, and up on high ridges.

My second start of the day (I’m in the baby blue jersey just right of center. Yes, I changed jerseys because it had warmed up so much.) (Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

(Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

At the end of the day I finished in 32nd place, about 40 minutes behind the winners. 117 miles in six hours and nine minutes; not bad at all! And a testament to the versatility of my bike, which also handles singletrack and bumpy gravel roads with aplomb (with wider tires of course).

It was a great day on the bike and I was grateful to be out there, especially given my bad luck at the start.

If you’re looking for a memorable event with top-notch support based in a town well worth visiting, put the 2020 Oregon Gran Fondo on your calendar. If you’re curious about riding in the area, check out the routes on RideWithGPS.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Cycle Portland

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 06:54

Three fresh job opportunities posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Go By Bike Afternoon Mechanic – Go By Bike

–> Bike Valet Sub – Go By Bike

–> Bike Tour Guide/ Shop Staff – Cycle Portland

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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: Ripplebrook, Fanno Creek, murals, Sunrise Movement, and more

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 06:10

The Sprockettes will host their last kids camp this weekend.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Remember how I said last week’s relative quiet was the calm before the storm? Well the storm is here. Pedalpalooza is in full swing and we’ve got a tantalizing selection of rides for you to choose from this weekend.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, activism, pure free fun, or all of the above — check out what’s in store. And remember to peruse the full Pedalpalooza calendar for even more rides.

Saturday, June 8th

Ripplebrook Backroads – 9:00 am from Ripplebrook Store in Estacada
If you want to delve deeper into the unpaved roads and trails around Timothy Lake and Clackamas River, this is the ride for you. Let Our Mother the Mountain’s route masterminds take you on an unforgettable adventure. More info here.

Fanno Creek Family Bike Ride – 9:30 am at Garden Home Rec Center (SW)
A very short (two-mile loop) and very sweet ride aimed at being doable for even the newest and smallest riders among your troop. Stops at a playground for extra fun. Come out and discover the great Fanno Creek Trail! More info here.

Sprockettes Girls Day Camp (Sat-Sun) – 10:00 am at Irving Park (NE)
The Sprockettes are a Portland-based mini-bike dance team. They’re hanging up the pink and black or good at the end of this year so this is your final chance to indoctrinate your kids to their wonderful ways. Camp will teach them basic bike dance/stunt skills in a supportive environment. Sliding scale price is $60-$100. More info here.

Beyond Portlandia Radical History Bike Tour – 12:00 pm at Everybody’s Bike Rentals (NE)
Ecology, geology, history and culture! Discover a different side of north/northeast Portland on this 10-mile ride led by knowledgable locals. More info here.

Brooklyn Scavenger Hunt – 1:00 pm at Brooklyn Park (SE)
Have fun while demonstrating your knowledge of the Brooklyn neighborhood as you fulfill interesting objectives and post proof of completion to Twitter. Prizes await the winners and everyone gets to imbibe and eat with new friends at the end. More info here.

Teenage Dirtbag Ride & Party – 8:00 pm at Laurelhurst Park (NE)
What’s Pedalpalooza without big dance party ride? Roll up and rock out with tunes from the likes of Blink, Lit, Len, Green Day, Weezer and all the other “dirtbag classics”. More info here.

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Ghosts of Northeast’s Past: A History Ride – 10:00 am at McMenamins Kennedy School (NE)
Led by historian Doug Decker, this 8-mile ride will regale you with stories of northeast Portland neighborhoods known by only a few and mostly invisible to the untrained eye. More info here.

Mural Ride – 11:00 am at Clay Creative parking lot (SE)
Public art on walls is endlessly fascinating and usually beautiful. If you agree with that statement, get ready to ride your heart out with two fellow mural lovers. More info here.

Sunrise PDX Pedalpalooza Climate Ride! – 11:00 am at PSU Plaza (SW)
Come and join the growing movement that is connecting climate change and transportation reform activists into an unstoppable force. This ride will include a rally with speakers at the Zenith oil terminal just a few short miles from downtown Portland. More info here.

Pregnant AF – 12:00 pm at Normandale Park (NE)
Baby on board? Come join others in the same situation. Bike with your bump on this flat ride that will end in a picnic. More info here.

Get Lost! – 1:00 pm at Velo Cult parking lot (NE)
A Pedalpalooza mainstay, this ride takes the form of whatever the dice say. Seriously. Leader will roll two dice to determine how many blocks left or right to ride. Where you stop and go, nobody knows! More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar. Pedalpalooza is the entire month of June. Check out the full list of events on the official calendar.

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

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Seattle Parks starting Burke-Gilman Trail repairs from U Village to the city line

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:46

Work zones are marked in red. They will not all be under construction at the same time. Images from Seattle Parks.

Seattle Parks is getting ready to start fixing bumpy pavement and outdated bollards on some of the oldest sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail between 30th Ave NE (just east of U Village) to the city’s northern border with Lake Forest Park. So be ready for a summer of short detours as crews go section-by-section to complete this work.

Work is scheduled to begin this month. And some of the detours look like they include some tough climbing.

Much of this section of trail has not been paved since the 70s, so we have really gotten a lot out of that investment. But sections of the trail have deteriorated significantly since then either due to erosion or tree roots. In many sections, the trail has lost significant width due to the edges crumbling away over time. We have also learned a lot about trail design and construction since the city first laid this asphalt on top of the old railbed 41 years ago.

Below are the planned detour diagrams from the contractor for each segment. They will not all be in effect at the same time. I have not yet tested them, though some look tough. If you are familiar with these side streets, let us know your thoughts in the comments below (the orientation of the maps switch around, so remember that “streets” are usually east-west and “avenues” are usually north-south):

The document does not note whether the existing protected bike lane on NE 65th Street will be extended to accommodate this detour.

Note: I’m pretty sure that is supposed to be 42nd Ave NE, not NE 142nd Ave. This one looks very tough. Don’t let the map fool you, a section of Riviera Pl is missing, which is why the detour is so long. I hope Parks can finish this one as quickly as possible, because this could be very disruptive for folks who can’t climb that ridge. Perhaps they could finish the south section as quickly as possible, then open a detour to Riviera Pl while they work on the rest?

More details from Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) will begin working on repaving 39 sections on the Burke-Gilman Trail in northeast in early June 2019. The work will take place between 30th Ave. NE and the King County/Seattle border near NE 145th St. SPR awarded the construction contract to Northwest Asphalt, Inc. Work is scheduled to be completed by late summer 2019.

This project will repair sections of the trail, remove areas of asphalt in disrepair, remove invasive roots that are causing upheaval, and replace those sections with new asphalt. Additionally, with funding from the Seattle Department of Transportation(SDOT) bollards at 24 intersections along the trail will be removed and sections impacted by bollard removal will be paved. The contractor will work on one section at a time, from southwest to northeast to reduce the impact to trail users.

Trail sections were determined by 2015 condition-assessment work done in collaboration with SDOT and reconfirmed in spring 2017.

Cyclists and pedestrians will be detoured around the construction area onto side streets. SPR and SDOT worked together on detour routes and we recommend trail users visit www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/burke-gilman-trail-repairs for detailed detour routes. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during construction.

The Seattle Park District provides $250,000 in funding for this Burke-Gilman Trail improvement project. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For more information, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/burke-gilman-trail-repairs or contact Sandi Albertsen, Project Manager, at sandra.albertsen@seattle.gov or 206-684-8938.

New bikeway signage to ‘encourage people to get out of their automobiles’ coming to South Waterfront

Bike Portland - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 09:43

Riders on SW Bond in South Waterfront area.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sign mock-up from City of Portland.

20 new wayfinding signs are coming to South Waterfront. This week the Portland City Council accepted a $13,460 grant from Metro that was awarded through their Regional Transportation Options program in 2016.

“Simple bike wayfinding signs displaying distance and time to key destinations will help current and would-be riders to understand bicycle accessibility to and from the South Waterfront,” reads a project description. “The signs will be strategically placed at intersections throughout the district , with the southernmost signs encouraging riders to venture to Willamette Park along the rail trail, and the northernmost sign displaying information to ride to Downtown and the Pearl District. Additional signs will direct travelers to the Hooley Bridge, Lair Hill access, and the Tilikum Crossing and access to the Central Eastside.”

Check out a map of where the signs will go below the jump…

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(Map provided by PBOT)

Metro hopes the project will encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bicycles, resulting in better air quality and less auto parking demand.

A map of sign locations provided by PBOT shows that about half of the 20 new signs will be installed south of the Marquam Bridge, and the other half north of it. The signs will stretch from Waterfront Park at Pine Street in the north to SW Moody and Bancroft in the south.

PBOT says they expect to have all the signs installed by the end of June.

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

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First Look: Halsey-Weidler couplet in Gateway updated with protected bikeways and more

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 13:30

Look what PBOT did!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Foster Road fans are rejoicing today as their beloved retail strip now has dedicated bike lanes. But that’s not the only east Portland commercial area to get new bike access this month. The Portland Bureau of Transportation says they’re about 99% finished with the much-anticipated Halsey-Weidler Streetscape project.

This $5.5 million project is a partnership between PBOT and Prosper Portland that (similar to Foster), aims to use street design changes to improve safety and boost economic development. The city has made significant updates to Halsey and Weidler between 102nd and 112th. Changes include: curb extensions on every corner, new pavement on Halsey, improved street lighting, median refuge islands, three new crossings with rapid flash beacons, parking protected bicycle lanes, transit stop upgrades, new street trees, a “festival street”, a new public plaza, and more.

I spent about an hour so on the couplet yesterday to talk with folks and watch how the street is being used.

“People hate it,” said the manager of a liquor store near 103rd. “95% of our customers have asked me about it… Mostly they’re upset about the loss of parking. This is the main thoroughfare and they took out like 14 spots.” Upon further discussion, the man said he thinks the changes are, “A good idea,” but that’s just been implemented poorly. He didn’t elaborate on how he thinks it should have been designed; but he said he’s heard of two people (drivers) who have been hit as they stepped out of their cars in the new “floating” parking zone (which puts them in much closer proximity to passing drivers than parking at the curb).

Two people waiting for the bus were thrilled with the changes. I watched one man with a cast on his foot cross where PBOT just installed a curb extension and a median refuge island — essentially reducing the distance across by about 15 feet or so. “I wouldn’t have tried that before with my foot like this,” he said with a smile. “I’m not very fast these days.”

A woman behind the counter of Namaste Indian Market (which is wonderful by the way) had some concerns about parking loss. Her store is adjacent NE 103rd, the street PBOT converted from a parking lot/alleyway into a “festival street”. The idea is to make it more of a public plaza with one-way driving access that could be prohibited (via bollards) during events like farmer’s markets. She wasn’t sure what the plan was and didn’t understand the new bike lane and other changes to the street. Once I explained everything, she agreed it seemed like an improvement that would encourage people to visit the Gateway district and make the streets safer.

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Here are a few of my observations and images to illustrate:

– The transit island just west of 102nd is a marvel: It makes transit service and biking more efficient, there’s plenty of space for bus riders to get on-and-off, and makes for a nice, low-stress welcome to the couplet.

– From what I could see, the changes are working relatively well. People are still getting used to the new striping and lane configuration. And yes, there were several folks who parked in the new bike lane. Hopefully that subsides.

– PBOT really needs to do more to protect these new biking spaces. Whether it’s plastic wands, concrete curbs or both. And maybe “BIKES ONLY” pavement markings, more signage, and a few enforcement actions to drive awareness. If we’re going to call these “protected” bikeways, let’s be honest about it and give people what they deserve.

– Fortunately speeds on the couplet are relatively low, and the median islands and other changes will only make them slower. People on foot now feel more empowered to cross in more locations, which makes people in cars more cautious.

– Now that we have this great bike facility, we need places to park! I had to park to a sign pole because there were no staples in sight. That should never happen!

– One serious problem is how many drivers coming onto the couplet from a sidestreet block the new bike lane as they wait for a gap in traffic (see below). This is a tricky situation and I’m not sure what the solution is, other than signage and pavement markings. Of course if people were more competent and courteous in general — and if cars weren’t such large and awkward vehicles — this wouldn’t be a problem.

– The new Gateway Discovery Park at 106th and Halsey is fantastic! It’s a modern facility with wifi, places to hang out, and lots of cool amenities. And one of the best crossing treatments is right on the corner so it’s very welcoming.

Here’s a video of me riding the entire couplet (has been sped up 2X to save you time)…

But wait, there’s more…

Bike only signal on 102nd is a welcome touch…

Here’s the current status of the festival street/plaza at 103rd…

The problem with parking protected bike lanes is that you feel kind of scrunched between the cars and the curb. Also not wide enough for side-by-side, social cycling…

Another view of the crossing treatment at 106th/Gateway Park…

This is a median-protected crossing enhancement at the off-set intersection of Halsey and 108th…

Beyond the project boundary, we still have some work to do…

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

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Bicycle rider killed in collision with driver on 99W in Tigard

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:31

(Photo: Tigard Police)

A man riding a bicycle on SW Pacific Highway (99W) in Tigard was killed last night after a collision with a driver.

Top star shows where the man’s body came to rest (approximately). The lower star is location of car and bike in lead photo. Click for Google Map.

Tigard Police say the bicycle user was going southbound when he and the driver of a white Mazda Miata collided. It happened just before 8:30 pm. This section of 99W has seven lanes, including two bicycle only lanes and a center turn lane.

Based on a photo from the scene, the bicycle and car came to rest about 560 feet north of the SW Gaarde Street intersection. The victim’s body is about 150 feet away from where the driver finally stopped. Here’s the statement released by Tigard Police:

Based on witness statements and the investigation, the driver of a white, convertible Mazda Miata was traveling southbound on SW Pacific Hwy in the right travel lane. A bicyclist was also traveling southbound on SW Pacific Highway in the bike lane and then entered the right lane. The Miata struck the bicyclist, causing the individual to hit the pavement. By the time officers arrived, the adult-male bicyclist was deceased.

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The driver stayed at the scene and was fully cooperative with investigators. At this time, it has been determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

A Tigard Police Traffic Safety Officer, who is a member of a multi-agency Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team, is leading the investigation to determine the causation of this crash, including whether speed or other factors contributed to this incident.

The victim’s name is being withheld while police work to contact next of kin. If anyone witnessed this crash or the driving of the white Mazda Miata, please contact Officer Rod
Morse at 503-718-2753 or Rod.Morse@tigard-or.gov.

It’s important to note that Oregon Law (ORS 814.420) allows bicycle riders to leave the bicycle lane to make a left turn or to avoid hazardous debris. I will also point out that speed is always a factor in fatal collisions like this because if the driver was going zero miles per hour, the bicycle rider would still be alive.

A woman interviewed by KATU news said the highway is dangerous and people regularly drive 50 mph. Nearby resident and BikePortland reader Ramtin Rahmani rides by this intersection frequently. He told us, “Pretty much no one rides on 99W because it’s a death trap.”

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

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