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Jobs of the Week: Lakeside Bicycles, Community Arts and Recreation Alliance

Bike Portland - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:08

We had two new jobs listed this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Lakeside Bicycles

–> Executive Director – Community Arts and Recreation Alliance (Portland Townsend, WA)

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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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Adventures in Activism: Tools of the trade

Bike Portland - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 10:51

Portland transportation activist Ted Buehler uses his trusty measuring devices (in his bike basket) to uncover the dangers of rail tracks.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Who’s running Portland right now? You. Pick a problem that really matters to you. Seek organizations addressing it and give them anything you’ve got: time, money, intellect, energy, even tweets. But don’t sit this out. You must engage.”

That’s what Portland activist and former city council candidate Sarah Iannarone posted Wednesday in response to a Willamette Week cover story on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s first two years in office.

How can you “engage” in transportation advocacy? You’re in the right place, since one of our missions here at BikePortland is to get you inspired and informed enough to have a valuable role in local policy and project decisions. But you need tools. Our activism editors Catie Gould and Emily Guise of BikeLoudPDX have put together a list tools they use to sharpen their activism skills.

Take it away Catie and Emily….

For every person who considers themselves a transportation advocate, there are ten more who are interested in learning more but don’t know where to start. Below you’ll find some of the best tips and resources we’ve come across or learned in our advocacy work:

Research

Do you live on a high crash corridor? How many people have been injured at a particular intersection? The City of Portland’s Vision Zero Crash Map is the first place I look to. Clicking incidents on the map, I can find the date and location an injury or fatality occurred, which helps me find related news reports on Google. BikePortland also maintains an updated fatality tracker with links to official Portland Police Bureau statements. The news doesn’t cover all of these incidents, and many people in your neighborhood might not know the extent of the injuries and/or deaths happening in their own community. Talking about it with your neighbors can help build momentum for change. Major road changes need strong community support.

Know what’s coming

North Willamette Blvd was restriped as part of a paving project because activists spoke up.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

When streets are repaved, the lines will need to be redrawn anyway, so it could be an opportunity to implement better facilities. Sometimes just knowing what’s coming (or what’s been proposed in the past), is half the battle.

For example, one year ago, advocates and neighbors on Willamette Blvd saw the street slated for a repaving project and seized the opportunity to push for a restripe of the street that added safer and wider bike lanes. This was a cost-effective upgrade to the street, which had identified the need for better bike facilities in 2011.

As far as resources to find where the restriping opportunities are in your neighborhood, unfortunately there’s no single website where you can find all the scheduled projects. However, there are two maps that we find helpful. The City of Portland’s Get Portland Moving map shows upcoming repaving projects. And their Fixing our Streets map includes (already funded) repaving projects, crossing improvements, and road repairs.

PBOT’s Projects in the Pipeline website is another good resource. Keep in mind that it’s not an exhaustive list, and most of the projects listed there are already baked and might not have the great potential for change. To see projects previously vetted and prioritized by PBOT, we like to check the 2030 Bicycle Plan and the Transportation System Plan. The TSP is also where we find road classifications, which often dictate what type of bikeway is possible on a given type of street.

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Transportation standards are important to know if you want to argue with a city engineer that, actually, a four-foot bike lane is not standards-compliant and it should be wider. It’s much more likely transportation officials will take your proposal seriously if it can be backed up with industry standards in the same manuals they lean on to make decisions.

The biggest (by heft and importance) guide is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). You can download this behemoth as a PDF here. This is the main standards guide for the vast majority of the country and although it doesn’t have much to say about active transportation, and it’s often mocked by more progressive urbanists as a relic of a bygone era, it’s still a required resource.

My personal favorites are the guides published by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) (pictured above). With their gorgeous graphic design and focus on active transportation and transit, these are coffee table books for transportation nerds that are also extremely informative and useful. Pro tip: sign up for the publisher’s email list to be notified of sales (I was able to get 50% off!). The Multnomah County Library also has copies available to check out.

For a guide with a less official status, the free Tactical Urbanism Guide to Materials and Design is aimed at those looking for ideas to temporarily redesign streets, like what Better Block PDX did on 3rd Ave and Better Naito. This is a very handy guide for putting in temporary designs to test infrastructure ideas and demonstrate that they’re not so scary, after all.

One last guidebook worth knowing about is PBOT’s new Protected Bicycle Lane Design Guide. Jonathan wrote about the draft version when it came out back in June. Unfortunately it appears PBOT has taken it off the web. Perhaps they’re doing some major re-writes? Right now the best version we can find is via a slide presentation about it created by Portland’s Bicycle Program Manager Roger Geller.

Know your measurements

A measurement wheel and spray chalk illustrate how a bike lane could be added to the street.
(Photo: Ted Buehler 2017)

How wide a street is can provide opportunities for reconfigurations to make travel more efficient and safe. You can generally get the cross section measurement from PBOT, especially if there is an active project going on. For example, the 122nd Ave Safety Project, which recently had an open house presenting new road configuration concepts, has an Existing Conditions Report with the dimensions for the different cross-sections along the corridor.

Using Google Maps to measure NE Sandy and 57th Ave intersection.

If you want to measure it yourself there are a couple decent methods. You can get a rough estimate of road widths in Google Maps using the measure function. Simply right-click anywhere on the map and select “Measure Distance”. Then make your next click the end of your measurement. You can even tweak the line to make it curve with the street to get a more accurate measurement.

Another handy tool is a measuring wheel. It records the distance traveled as you walk across the street and can be purchased for $30 or less.

Carry a tape measure with you! You never know when you’ll be riding around and encounter a bike lane or turn that feels too narrow or you are in love with a lane that is comfortable for group riding. “How wide is this anyways?” Occasionally stopping to measure things will help you connect your comfort level with dimensions. To me, reading a dimension in a report doesn’t mean much until I can relate it with a similar sized road that I am familiar with. Additionally, there are still many bike lanes around the city that were designed to older standards and are narrower than what we would build today.

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--> Communicate your ideas

A sketch I made recently for NE Prescott and 37th using the tracing paper method.

What’s your vision for a street in your neighborhood? Here’s how even terrible artists (like me) can make compelling visuals.

Streetmix is a free to use online tool that allows you to build your own streets. Pick your lane types and slide them across the screen to change the order. This artwork will look familiar because professional planners use it too. Images can be downloaded or linked-to via a sharable URL.

For a top-down view, my favorite way to visualize an idea is to print out a image from Google maps, then cover it with tracing paper. Trace over the major lines, and then fill in a new design. You can find drawing supplies and tracing paper for about $10 a roll at craft stores. It scans well too, so you can send your sketches over email and post them online.

Flagging issues

If you want to get a specific issue or intersection on the City’s radar and into their fully-staffed TrackIt system, there are a few ways to submit a complaint. You can go through their webform, email safe@portlandoregon.gov, or use one of the handy phone numbers below. Program these into your phone right now! (Just be careful when making calls in public so you don’t end up being mocked in a viral video.)

503-823-SAFE (7233) for general transportation safety concerns
503-823-1700 for 24-hour immediate maintenance issues like malfunctioning traffic signals, overgrown vegetation on sidewalks, street sweeping, etc.
503-865-LAMP (5267) for streetlight outages
*See PBOT’s contact page for more helpful numbers and email addresses

Posting an issue to social media by tagging @PBOTinfo“>@PBOTinfo on Twitter is also a good way to connect with the City. Having a good photo is key!

PDX Reporter is another way to connect with PBOT about your issues and concerns. Once an easy-to-use app, the City has recently downgraded it to a website. It’s not as good of a resource as it once was, but it’s still an effective way to report potholes and other issues.

We hope you find these resources helpful. Have others to share? Please let us know in the comments.

— Catie Gould, @Citizen_Cate and Emily Guise @eguise

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ODOT tolling plan off to feds with support from Oregon Transportation Commission

Bike Portland - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 16:39

On the left, the cover of ODOT’s 48-page application to the FHWA. On the right are the proposed tolling locations.

Before the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) can begin any kind of congestion pricing on existing freeways, they must first submit a proposal to the Federal Highway Administration. At their monthly meeting in Salem today, ODOT’s governing body voted 5-0 in favor of that 48-page plan, marking a major step in the future of tolling in the Portland region.

In a presentation to OTC members by ODOT Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer, the two main objectives of the plan were laid out. First, ODOT wants tolling to “create a revenue source to help fund bottleneck relief projects in the corridor.” They list two “priority projects”: widening of I-205 (Abernethy Bridge) between Highway 99 and Stafford Road; and the I-5 Rose Quarter project which will add lanes and shoulders between I-84 and I-405. The second goal is to manage traffic congestion in the I-5 and I-205 corridors.

Specifically, ODOT is asking FHWA for guidance and approval to toll I-205 “on or near the Abernethy Bridge” and I-5 “in the vicinity of N Going/ Alberta St to SW Multnomah Blvd.”

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A policy advisory committee convened by ODOT laid out three additional priorities of the plan:

improved public transportation and other transportation options for equity and mobility; special provisions for environmental justice populations, including low income communities; and strategies to minimize and mitigate negative impacts of diversion.

ODOT needs FHWA approval in order to take the next step in analysis. ODOT says exact tolling boundaries as well as rates still need to be studied. If FHWA supports ODOT’s proposal, the agency would then take a few years to refine the projects, assess environmental impacts and determine costs associated with tolling infrastructure. “Future analysis,” ODOT said in a statement after today’s vote, “will also focus on concerns raised frequently during the feasibility analysis phase of the project, including understanding equity impacts, needed improvements to mass transit services and other travel options and minimizing diversion impacts to neighborhood streets.”

A timeline shared by ODOT today puts tolling in place by 2024 if all goes according to plan.

Among the things we’re tracking with this plan is what type of projects will be eligible for funding with tolling revenue, whether ODOT is going far enough to meet Oregon’s greenhouse gas emission targets, and how tolling might impact neighborhood streets.

Learn more about ODOT’s work on congestion pricing here and read download a PDF of their application to the FHWA here. (The “Reason Statement” begins on page 19).

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

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Cascade: Support the Missing Link at a Friday court hearing

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 14:55

From 2015.

The Ballard Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail has (hopefully) one last legal hurdle to clear. Opponents have appealed the trail’s massive environmental study even after the Seattle Hearing Examiner said it was sufficient. Now the case is in the hands of King County Superior Court, which is holding a hearing tomorrow (Friday) morning.

If you have the morning clear, Cascade is inviting supporters to attend. Sounds like you’ll even get a pro-trail t-shirt out of it.

Final design for the trail is just about complete, 18 years after the Seattle City Council first approved this basic route. If this final court decision goes the city’s way, the city could begin construction next year.

Details from Cascade:

You know the story. The community has fought hard to complete the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail for decades. Now, on December 7th, Cascade and the Seattle City Attorney are defending an appeal from a few Ballard businesses seeking to block to completion of the Burke Gilman “Missing Link.”

When:  8:30 a.m. on Friday, December 7
Where:  King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Come and show your support for completing the Burke Gilman Trail.  The proceedings will last 1 hour at the King County Superior Court, Courtroom W-1060.

We expect the opposition to turn out, so we need everyone. Invite your friends, co-workers, and family!

  • The hearing starts at 9am, but since seating is limited and we anticipate the hall will fill, we recommend arriving at 8:30am.
  • We will have t-shirts to help you show your support.

A tragic realization about a BikePortland reader and supporter

Bike Portland - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:49

Not just another headline.

Two days ago I received a strange email. It was simultaneously matter-of-fact and tragic.

“Hi folks,” it read. “My dad was killed by a truck (he was walking at a crosswalk). I would like to stop his autopay subscription of $10/month.”

It only took me a few minutes to realize this man’s father was 82-year-old Charles McCarthy, who was hit and killed by a truck driver as he walked in the crosswalk of East Burnside and 55th on October 11th.

I wish it wasn’t true, but when people die while walking I don’t usually pay as much attention to the case as I would if they were cycling. That’s an intentional editorial and mental health decision. (Reacting to traffic deaths takes a toll and I have limited professional and personal capacity to do it. I also don’t want to set the expectation that I will cover walking deaths with the same attention and depth as cycling deaths).

Even though I didn’t look too deeply into this case initially, I now wanted to know more about Mr. McCarthy. So I did what I often do in situations like this: I emailed the District Attorney’s office to find out if there were any updates on the case, I looked up his subscriber information, entered his email address in the “search comments” field of BikePortland’s admin dashboard, and checked to see if he’d ever emailed me.

Turns out Charles McCarthy was a big supporter of BikePortland. He’d sent in several one-time contributions over the years and he was one of our first subscribers in 2015. He would also email us from time-to-time with link suggestions for the Monday Roundup.

He had also commented here about 30 times between 2009 and 2016. I was amazed how much those comments revealed about him.

In a comment about the Tilikum Bridge he posted in 2009, Charles shared that he spent more time as a “pedestrian” than a “cyclist” and wanted physical protection between those two modes.

He lived in Minneapolis in the 1970s and once got a stolen bike recovered because it had been registered with the police. “My point: bicycle registration can be a good thing,” he wrote.

In 2011 we learned he was an active volunteer in the community who used a combination of modes — buses, bikes, walking and driving — to reach his many destinations. When TriMet service no longer met his needs, he reluctantly started to drive more often, but still purchased a monthly bus pass because, he said, “I think it is a civic duty to support public transit.”

Charles was one of many people who invested in the Kickstarter campaign for those Conscious Commuter e-bikes that never materialized.

The last comment he made on BikePortland, in 2016, stopped me in my tracks for how it related to his own death. It was in response to a story we did about a group of neighbors in north Portland who held a vigil for an elderly man who was killed while walking across a street. “When driving and stopping for a pedestrian who is crossing, I put on my 4-way emergency flashers, and if possible stick my hand out to flag the drivers in the lane to my left,” he wrote. “It sometimes seems to help.”

As a driver, it appears Charles was exceedingly safe around walkers. It’s too bad he wasn’t afforded the same level of respect.

I’m sorry our system failed you Charles. Rest in peace. And thanks for all your support.

16 of the 32 fatal traffic crashes in Portland so far this year are to people who were walking. Since Charles was killed on October 11th, seven other vulnerable road users have died. Five of them were on foot, one was motorcycling, and one was using a bicycle. You can see an updated tally with basic details on each of them at BikePortland.org/fatality-tracker.

Note: I’ll update this post if I get any substantive updates from the DA’s office. UPDATE, 12/7: The DA’s office says the crash is still under investigation by the PPB Major Crash Team and has not yet been submitted to the DA’s office for review.

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

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Seattle’s UPS eCargo Bike in Wired

Bike Hugger - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 10:09

My latest for Wired just dropped. It’s about how UPS launched an electric cargo bike solution to address Seattle’s traffic and air quality problems. And, to deliver their customer’s packages on time despite armageddon-level traffic. What you need to know about the UPS eCargo bike in Wired is you can buy one too. Or one similar to it like the Tern GSD or Radpower Wagon.

When I attended the launch event at their Seattle SoDo Hub, I learned UPS is piloting their e-assist program for a year. They’re timing it for Seattle’s Period of Maximum Constraint.

That ominous sounding constrained time hits on February 4, when the Alaskan Way Viaduct elevated highway along the waterfront is torn down and the 2-mile tunnel Seattle dug to replace it comes online. Crews are finishing the ramps that connect the tunnel to surface roads. For three weeks, the city won’t have a road to get through downtown on the city’s waterfront side. To dodge the traffic horrorshow, Seattleites are planning vacations. They’re renting Airbnbs to stay downtown and avoid driving, or planning to work from home.

They’re also riding bikes. Bike messengers have long known cycling is the fastest way to get around a traffic-choked city. More and more commuters are getting it.

UPS-spec’d Truck Trike Getting Around Town

The UPS trikes were designed and built by Truck Trike in Portland. A trike like UPS is using costs upwards of $10K, while the GSD is about 1/2 that, and the Radpower Wagon even less.

If you need to move your kids, packages, or just your laptop to work and back very soon, an electric cargo bike is gonna be the way to go. If not for the ease of moving around a gridlocked city, but finding parking.

As I shared in the Wired story, the execs at the event emphasized how important launching the e-assist trike in Seattle is because 111 years after their founding as a messenger company, UPS is going back to bicycles.

That’s how they got started in Seattle.

The post Seattle’s UPS eCargo Bike in Wired appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Weekend Event Guide: Sales, Christmas spirit, KimmyCross, a cyclocross party, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 09:56

What this season lacks in light and warmth it more than makes up for in holiday spirit.

Time to make plans for the weekend. There’s so much to do among our wonderful community of fellow bike lovers that you shouldn’t let the cold and dark keep you from joining in the fun.

(Please note: We’re looking for a sponsor of this weekly feature and the BP Calendar. It’s a great opportunity for a company that wants to get valuable exposure, support our community, and support BikePortland! Please contact me if interested. jonathan@bikeportland.org*)

Friday, December 7th

Bike Ride to Fremont Holiday Fest – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Salmon Street Fountain (SW)
Get into the spirit of the holiday by taking the long way home after work. This ride will go from downtown to northeast to soak up the Fremont Street Holiday Fest which will feature holiday crafts, games, carolers, Santa Claus, and more! More info here.

Saturday, December 8th

***BP PICK!!!*** Ruckus Composites Warehouse Sale – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Ruckus HQ (SE)
Beloved local carbon fiber repair shop will offer top-end frames at great prices. Check official event page for current inventory. Remember to tell them you heard about it on BikePortland! More info here.

North Plains Gravel Ride – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in North Plains (Wash Co)
A group of unpaved road lovers will meet in North Plains for a 35-mile jaunt in the hills west of Banks. More info here.

Leisure League CX Social – 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Golden Pliers Bike Shop (N)
With cyclocross season officially over, Golden Pliers and friends will host what looks to be a wonderful get together featuring tattoos, pizza, a big prize raffle (to benefit Community Cycling Center), and World Cup CX viewing. More info here.

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KimmyCross18 – 11:30 am to 4:00 pm at The BeerMongers (SE)
This annual race is dedicated to Kim Matheson, one of the founding members of the BeerMongers Cycle Club who died unexpectedly of skin cancer in 2014.. Expect a “fly by the seat of your pants checkpoint race around the city.” You’ll get a list of tasks you must complete. Run whatcha’ brung! $10 suggested donation for the Melanoma Foundation. More info here.

***BP PICK!!!*** North Portland BikeWorks Winter Formal Sale – 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at North Portland BikeWorks (N)
This bike shop on Mississippi St is having a blowout sale and if you dress in “formal” attire you can get 25% off anything in the store – including bikes! Be sure to stop by and check their goods. And tell them you saw their ad on BikePortland. More info here.

Corvidae Bike Club Toy Drive – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Peninsula Park Rose Garden (N)
Our friends from Corvidae will meet and do a short ride to Kenton Station to deliver toys for their toy drive. An easy and fun way to socialize and help others in need. More info here.

North Portland Christmas Lights Ride – 5:30 pm at 7303 North Greenwich Avenue (N)
This ride is led by the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club (soon to have a different name?). Join an experienced ride leader for a tour of north Portland’s best light displays. Dress warm! More info here.

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

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

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BikeCraft vendor spotlights: Becky Morton, Hippy Thread, ANTHM Collective

Bike Portland - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 15:51

Welcome to the latest installment of our 2018 BikeCraft vendor spotlights thanks to our friend Elly Blue from Microcosm Publishing. Below are just a few of the folks and fineries you’ll get to meet at the big event. Don’t miss our other vendor spotlights here, here, and here. And save those pennies!

Becky Morton

Becky may be familiar to you as the former proprietor of Bikeasaurus, the charming and very BikeCrafty shop in Southeast Portland that brought together all manner of bike-themed novelties and city riding accessories. We’re excited she’ll be bringing her newest venture to this year’s event: Soap bedecked with bicycles!

Becky.
(Photo: Paul Glahn)

What are you bringing to BikeCraft? What’s the most important thing people should know about it?
I’m bringing handmade soap. It’s all natural, vegan, and made with no palm oil. The flavors I’m bringing this year are: Pink Grapefruit, Douglas Fir, Rosemary Spearmint, Sweetgrass with Oats, and Lavender Tea Tree.

Tell us about yourself—what events in your life led you to be doing this bikey craft?
I’ve always loved the smell and feel of good quality bar soap. About five years ago, I started making my own and discovered that I love handmade soap even more. Since I became a soap maker, I’ve really enjoyed having soap on hand to give as gifts to friends and family: a practical, but lovely gift!

What’s your favorite BikeCraft memory?
BikeCraft was my favorite event as a vendor, back when I had my retail store Bikeasaurus. It was always a bustling and heartwarming weekend for me. Great community, creative merchandise, and lots of fun. I’m excited to be back selling my own bikey craft this year!

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Anne Williams – Etsy / Instagram

I was secretly crossing my fingers that this year’s BikeCraft would yield me a waterproof seat cover that doesn’t advertise a local grocery chain. And thankfully, first-time vendor Anne Williams has come through! These look great and I’m planning to snag one early.

What are you bringing to BikeCraft? What’s the most important thing people should know about it?
I’m making waterproof bicycle seat covers out of laminate cotton. My design comes in 8 exciting patterns for everybody’s taste and in two different sizes.

Tell us about yourself—what events in your life led you to be doing this bikey craft?
I’m French; I was born in Normandie, France. I moved to the Pacific Northwest 2 years ago to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada and I end up staying on the west coast after that. I always try to find the solution to a problem and being a commuter in the PNW is getting your butt wet and damaging your beautiful leather seat. My solution is creating a waterproof cover for the seat that is removable and washable too.

What’s your favorite BikeCraft memory?
I discovered BikeCraft last year. I was really impressed how every vendor was so creative around the same theme in their own way .

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ANTHM Collective – website

Mmmmm, wool jerseys are one of the best things about winter. Wool keeps you warm even when it’s raining, breathes well, and is comfortable after you’re done riding, rather than needing to be immediately removed as far from your skin as possible. I’m excited to see what this new, local brand has to offer. Welcome to BikeCraft, Brian and team!

What are you bringing to BikeCraft? What’s the most important thing people should know about it?
The main focus will be on our Wool blend cycling jersey. The Saltzman Jersey (Men’s and Women’s, short sleeve and long sleeve) debuted last year as a partnership with River City Bicycles. Since then, it has become the cornerstone of ANTHM Collective as the brand continues to grow. It is sustainably sourced with a transparent supply chain using the finest materials out there. Sewn and finished right here in Portland! We’ll also bring some other product types like headwear and our 100% Organic Made in USA t-shirts.
Tell us about yourself—what events in your life led you to be doing this bikey craft?

My relationship with bikes followed a pretty standard trajectory. Fun bikes as a kid gave way to transportation bikes as an adult. I came to racing late, but bikes have been central to my life for about 15 years now. Mostly of the non-paved variety.

Professionally, I had the good fortune of working with some of the greatest alpinists and big mountain skiers of this generation. Building products to keep them alive in the most extreme conditions opened my eyes to what could be accomplished with textiles and exceptional manufacturing. When my career transitioned away from those product types, I still needed that outlet for building beautiful and technical apparel. The natural progression was to marry my personal passions of sustainability and cycling by creating apparel under my own label.

What’s your favorite BikeCraft memory?

First time for ANTHM, first time for me. But very excited to join the gang.

Learn more about BikeCraft at the official website.

— Elly Blue/Microcosm Publishing

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After WA won #1 for a decade, Bike League changes its state-by-state report cards

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 13:41

From the League of American Bicyclists’ 2018 WA State Report Card (PDF).

Perhaps tired of handing the top honors to a barely-deserving Washington State year after year, the League of American Bicyclists changed its annual state-by-state rankings into a set of 50 individual report cards that track each state’s progress. And by this new measure, Washington State isn’t doing so hot.

Washington had won the top spot in the League’s rankings an absurd ten years in a row. On one hand, this was an impressive feat by our state. But after years of winning the honor even without any tangible progress, it also started to feel a bit sad. Were other states even trying? Was Washington winning “best” or “least bad?”

So while it might take a positive headline away from Washington, it probably makes sense to stop ranking our state number one every year. Instead, the League is issuing each state a report card that tracks its own progress compared to the previous year. And their report isn’t as rosy:

Washington state, the only state to be ranked #1 in the ten years of our Bicycle Friendly State ranking, shows some weakness in its federal data indicators.

While the state’s federal data indicators are consistently above the national average and each one is in the top 10 over the last decade, both the rate of bicycling to work and the rate of bicyclist traffic fatalities are headed in the wrong direction.

The state certainly has the tools to reverse these trends in both
its advocacy organizations and the Washington Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, but the state is in danger of losing its long-time #1 ranking.

In a weird way, though, WSDOT seems to be doing better work on biking in recent years than it has throughout its history. Biking and walking elements rarely feel like afterthoughts anymore. Compare the quality of the 520 Bridge Trail to the I-90 Bridge Trail, for example. And while the department is still carrying out a lot of backwards freeway projects (often due to state legislature funding earmarks), top leadership takes biking and walking seriously. Remember when WSDOT Secretary Roger Millar said traffic congestion is due to a lack of affordable housing with access to better transportation options? That was awesome.

So, Washington, we have a lot more work to do. And maybe benchmarking our progress against ourselves (or bike-friendly nations around the world) would be more useful than comparing ourselves to the other 49 states.

More data from the report card (PDF):

Tour of California bike race host cities announced for 2019

Biking Bis - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 12:35

It’s hard to believe the Tour of California is celebrating its 14th year in 2019.

I remember anxiously awaiting the pre-race announcements for the event that was scheduled to start in February 2006. What was the route? What were the teams? Who would be the top riders (George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, and Levi Leipheimer competed)?

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Watershed Mckenzie Zipdry Bag for Rainy Season

Bike Hugger - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 12:29

The Watershed Mckenzie Zipdry Bag is a great example of a new product that came to market because of the gravel category. While the niche didn’t move the needle in bike sales as much as anticipated, it sure has inspired designers to make products cyclists can benefit from.

Inside Mckenzie Zipdry bag, I’m carrying cameras, lens, a shell, and some snacks. A drone on occasion too. You can stuff whatever you want in it, of course. The company was born in the Carolinas but their made-in-the USA bags are widely used all over the world.

Rainy Season

With rainy season upon us in Seattle, I need to keep my electronics dry and also move bags between bikes. I don’t like to carry stuff on my back. That’s the reason I use a fanny pack and for a compact camera use the ATM as seen on the Trek Boone I rode for a summer.

Watershed’s McKenzie Handlebar Bike Bag pairs their ZipDry patented technology for even the wettest ride. With its quick, easy and super secure bar mounting system, this 15oz bag that holds 900 CU.IN, prevents any unwanted movement to your items while keeping them 100% dry – even while on the trickiest singletrack. The bag also works in conjunction with their Ocoee padded liner and divider sets for cameras and lenses.

I have enough liners from other camera bags to stuff my own into the dry bag. Though, Drybag’s liners are made from a 200 denier nylon exterior and velcro receivable fleece interior surrounding 1/2″ closed-cell foam and with a handle to pull out of the drybag quickly.

It isn’t on Amazon at this time, but you can find other very nicely made bags from them like duffels. I have’t spent much time with the Mckenzie Zipdry bag yet but will even in the pouring rain.

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Portland ponders pilot of powerful transportation data tool

Bike Portland - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 12:07

Screenshot of Replica showing origin of streetcar trips.

A powerful new data collection tool has local transportation agencies salivating.

Replica by Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet, the company that owns Google) bills itself as a “next-generation urban planning tool.” Using location data gleaned from cell phones and other sources, Replica creates a “synthetic population” based on aggregate U.S. Census data. The promise of this tool is that it can give planners and engineers unprecedented insights into the traffic patterns and mobility behaviors of urban residents.

From regional trends to fine-grain analysis of travel to-and-from specific destinations, this data has vast potential. But it also requires trust from a wary public fearful of privacy breaches and government/corporate overreach.

At this morning’s Portland City Council meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation urged Mayor Ted Wheeler and his colleagues to approve an intergovernmental agreement (PDF) between PBOT, Metro and TriMet that would enable the agencies to enter into a 12-month pilot with Sidewalk Labs. Here’s more from the official city ordinance under consideration:

“The more information we have about how, when, and why our streets being used, the better we are able to plan for and accommodate those demands and make our city work better for everyone.”
— Chloe Eudaly, city commissioner

“Sidewalk Labs is seeking metropolitan regions to pilot test Replica, a data tool developed by Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, that provides a high-fidelity, synthetic representation of how people travel during a typical week… As designed, Replica is capable of providing the City of Portland with rich data pertaining to transportation supply (the configuration of the roadway network, transit service, bicycle routes, and footpaths), transportation demand (representations of all personal travel that takes place in the region), land use (estimates of how land is used, for example, estimates of spatially-specific employment and school enrollment estimates as well as spatially and temporally-specific estimates of other activities, e.g., shop, eat, recreate), and demographics (including income, race, and household size). This data is not currently available to PBOT at the volume, depth, or frequency that the Replica tool is able to provide; and, access to this data, once validated, has the potential to greatly enhance PBOT’s ability to understand how people are moving through our transportation system as well as if and how investments in this system ultimately impact mobility and motivate transportation choices.”

PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she’s “very excited” about the project. “The more information we have about how, when, and why our streets being used, the better we are able to plan for and accommodate those demands and make our city work better for everyone.”

Eudaly addressed the privacy issue by saying all the information (before it even reaches Sidewalk Labs) would be “de-identified.” “This is not about tracking individuals,” she assured council prior to the staff presentation.

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Replica promo video by Sidewalk Labs

“This tool can fundamentally change the game for us.”
— PBOT

The PBOT staffer who pitched the concept to City Council said the data provided by Replica would be “core to the work we do.” The idea is being sold as a way to measure whether current transportation investments are working, or whether or not future investments would result in desired outcomes. If Sidewalk Labs can meet the City’s privacy regulations, the PBOT staffer said Replica could be, “game-changing.” “Today we do it via surveys and hand-counts. It’s expensive and labor intensive,” he shared. “This tool can fundamentally change the game for us.”

The 12-month pilot would cost $457,300 (based on total population if the Portland metro area at a cost of 20 cents person), which would be split three ways by PBOT, Metro and TriMet.

It might seem like a slam-dunk decision for Council, but privacy concerns are sure to take center stage. Three members of the public testified at this morning’s hearing with strong opposition to the idea. Between now and the second reading of the ordinance where a vote could happen, Mayor Wheeler and others might look to Toronto where Sidwalks Labs is in the middle of a major debate over how their Replica tool will be used to plan an entire neighborhood.

Portland isn’t new to the big data/urban planning space. PBOT already has a contract with local firm Ride Report that offers a data dashboard showing bike counts and bike/scooter share locations. And in 2016, PBOT pitched then US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on their “Ubiquitous Mobility” concept that was a finalist for a major “smart city” prize (which we ultimately lost to Columbus, Ohio).

Margi Bradway, a former staffer at the Oregon Department of Transportation who brokered a deal to use GPS data from Strava, a popular cycling app, brought her love of data to PBOT when she was hired to lead their Active Transportation Division in 2014. Bradway now works at Metro where she’s deputy director of transportation planning. Metro will be the lead agency on the Replica project if and when it’s approved by Portland City Council.

Learn more about Replica here and stay tuned for its next hearing.

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

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Now you can donate Biketown credits to people in need (and other bike share news)

Bike Portland - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 10:02

Biketown for all!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A new program offered by Portland’s bike share system gives members and account holders an opportunity to play Santa this holiday season.

Biketown’s “Pay it Forward” program gives riders with surplus credits on their account the ability to donate them to others. Specifically, the account credits can be given to the system’s Biketown For All program that helps people cover the cost of their first month of membership.

Biketown for All was launched two years ago and currently has 440 members, all of whom receive reduced fares ($3 per month). The Portland Bureau of Transportation says Biketown for All members are the most active users of the system, with seven of them in the top ten for overall mileage.

Biketown account holders can receive $1 credits on their account when they return an undocked bicycle to specially-marked “Bonus” stations, or for retrieving bikes that are outside the service area. The average Biketown member has five credits on their account at any given time.

“After signing up, many Biketown users quickly generate more positive credits on their balance than they need,” PBOT said in a statement about the new program last week. “Leading to a surplus that could easily be reallocated to users who could use some financial support.”

Here’s more from PBOT:

All new Biketown for All members will receive the $3 Pay-it-Forward credit and, as part of their membership, agree that when they generate enough credit to pay for their next 6 months, $3 will be donated from their account back into the Pay-it-Forward program. The “Pay it Forward” opportunity will be available for general Biketown members this season, to give all Biketown members, not just Biketown for All members, an opportunity to contribute and support the program.

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To check your balance and participate in this program, just log into your Biketown account and fill out a form.

In other bike share news…

Lyft’s new bike.

– Lyft recently finalized its deal to acquire Motivate (something we reported back in July). Motivate is the company that operates Biketown and many other large bike share systems across the U.S. Lyft says 80 percent of all bike share rides in the country were made on Motivate systems last year.

In a show of strength and well-timed PR, Lyft also announced a $100 million upgrade to New York City’s bike share program that will add 40,000 new bikes and triple the size of its fleet.

My hunch is Lyft is a very strong contender to do something similar in Portland once our current contract with Nike is up this summer. Biketown is desperate for a cash infusion and Lyft is well-positioned to provide it. The company doesn’t have the political baggage of Uber (who owns a competing bike share/scooter brand Jump), and Lyft’s head of scooter and bike policy, Caroline Samponaro, is a big fan of Portland. Samponaro attended the recent Alice Awards fundraiser for The Street Trust and the company was a major sponsor of the event.

Scooters didn’t hurt bike share use in Portland. The Willamette Week reported late last month that Biketown ridership increased during the four-month e-scooter pilot. “The popularity of e-scooters,” they wrote, “in combination with the increased use of bike share paint an encouraging picture of a less car-dependent city.”

It’s not hard to close your eyes and fast-forward to fall 2019 when we’ve got: major protected bikeways projects underway (thanks to Central City in Motion), a vastly upgraded bike share system, and phase two of our e-scooter pilot humming along. A guy can dream, can’t he?

Learn more about the program here.

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

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Calendars feature Washington bicycle trails on covers

Biking Bis - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 08:39

If you’re looking for a bicycling themed calendar to help keep track of your busy days as your roll through 2019, consider two that feature Washington rail-trails on their covers.

The calendar I’m most excited about is published by Rails to Trails Conservancy, featuring a photo I took last fall on the Snoqualmie Valley Regional …

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Portland Wheelmen Touring Club to consider name change

Bike Portland - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 13:28

Club members Ann Morrow (left) and Kathleen Hellem at a recent Sunday Parkways event.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What do you think of when you hear the name Portland Wheelmen Touring Club?

Established in 1971, this is the oldest riding club in the area with a proud legacy of leading (daily!) group rides, raising funds for non-profits, and putting on great events like the Pioneer Century.

As they approach their 50th anniversary, PWTC is doing some soul-searching and club leaders say a name-change is a very real possibility.

In a note to members in their November newsletter, the club’s Board President Chip Kyle wrote, “The board believes that — with great trepidation – we need to reexamine our club name and how it represents who we are, what we do and how we want to grow.” The reason? The current crop of members is getting older and the club isn’t attracting new, younger riders. “We have seen that participation in our club rides comprises predominantly retired males,” he wrote.

Kyle also says, despite having many active women members, they’re frequently asked if women are allowed to participate.

After a recent club survey showed a majority of people think a new name is needed, the group plans to discuss the possibility at their monthly meeting Thursday night.

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“Women flat out tell us they won’t join with ‘Wheelmen’ in the club name.”
— Ann Morrow

Former club President (and member since 1992) Ann Morrow said the “Wheelmen” name made sense back when the club was founded (the national advocacy group League of American Bicyclists was the League of American Wheelmen until 1994). But these days Morrow acknowledges that word is a problem. “Women flat out tell us they won’t join with ‘Wheelmen’ in the club name,” she shared with me via email yesterday. “We are an inclusive club and women are very involved as ride leaders, board members and in various positions of power and responsibility. I personally do not know any Wheelperson who cares about gender identification as related to being a member of our club,” Morrow continued. “They are supportive and welcoming. But the name might suggest otherwise.”

Then there’s the “touring” part. That can be intimidating to some riders, she says, and it doesn’t even reflect the type of rides the club leads.

Morrow shared that the name change topic has come up for the club in the past, including in 2001 when it failed by a couple votes and the debate left many with hurt feelings. “We may have a more sympathetic membership now to get to a change,” Morrow says. “We do care about the misconceptions.”

But what should it be? At this point, all suggestions are welcome.

Learn more about the club at PWTC.com.

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

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ODOT needs your input on Oregon Coast Bike Route Plan update

Bike Portland - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:59

Riding in a narrow shoulder just south of Waldport.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What iconic Oregon bikeway is 370 miles long, connects 38 campgrounds, supports 670 full-time jobs and spurs $56.3 million in tourism spending? The Oregon Coast Bicycle Route (OCBR).

And it does all that despite a lack of strategic planning or updates since it was established in the early 1980s. Now that will finally change thanks to an effort by the Oregon Department of Transportation that has taken a significant step forward.

As we reported back in January, ODOT has been working on a major update to the OCBR. This morning they launched an online open house and they want your feedback on how to improve the route and to make sure the plan is headed in the right direction.

Here’s more from ODOT:

The public has a chance to provide input and share ideas about improving the OCBR by visiting an Online Open House through Jan. 31, 2019. The public input and ideas will help ODOT to better understand where the issues and gaps are along the route.

While ODOT does not currently have funding identified for improvements, the Oregon Coast Bike Route Plan will set the stage for future investments. The plan will identify needs and prioritize improvements to the route to increase safety, accessibility and enjoyment for residents, visitors and all users.

It has been over a decade since the OCBR was evaluated and no comprehensive planning work has ever been completed. With the changes in bicycle infrastructure standards, and the growth of bike tourism destinations and travel options both nationally and along U.S. 101, ODOT believes it’s the right time to do this work.

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Screenshot from online open house.

Once complete, the new Oregon Coast Bike Route Plan will define the route, identify ways ODOT and local agencies can make it better, and create a list of high-priority projects.

The online open house features an interactive map of specific locations where ODOT is considering improvements. You can learn more about the background of this project, view potential changes, see what the critical needs are, and view next steps via the online open house.

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

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Under Mayor Durkan, Seattle has only built about 4% of its 2018 bike lane goal

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:50

Even many of the claimed mileage is misleading, since they are delayed from 2017. From an update to the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee (PDF).

Under Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle has nearly stopped building bike lanes. With the need to build more than ten miles of protected bike lanes in order to reach the Move Seattle Levy’s bike lane goals, SDOT says it will have constructed 1.88 miles in 2018. That is a pitiful 18 percent.

But the truth is even worse. That 18 percent is an inflated number. 1.49 of those 1.88 miles of bike lane were actually delayed 2017 projects that opened at the start of the year. They were accounted for in last year’s Move Seattle performance update as the excuse for why SDOT would miss its 2017 bike lane goals. So if you subtract those projects, SDOT has so far only constructed 0.39 of the 10.43 miles of protected bike lanes needed to meet the 2018 goal set by Seattle voters. That’s 3.7 percent.

There is no term for this other than failure.

But rather than apologizing for so wildly underdelivering on a goal set by the voters, Mayor Durkan had the gall to highlight it as though it were some kind of success. As though we can’t see that 1.4 or 1.88 or 0.39 are all numbers far lower than the goal of 10.43. In her self-congratulating document “One Year of Urgent Action (PDF),” she lists building bike lanes as an example that she is “delivering essential services and meeting the needs of our growing city”:

The NE 65th Street bike lanes currently under construction thanks to the tireless work of Councilmember Rob Johnson are pretty much the only bike lanes in active construction right now. Nearly everything else has been delayed. A highly-compromised neighborhood greenway in Rainier Valley, which will do some good but will fail at truly connecting the neighborhood, will make up the bulk of the 2018 mileage.

Below is the project list Mayor Durkan inherited when she took office, based on the voter-approved goals in the Move Seattle Levy and the Council-approved Bicycle Master Plan:

It’s hard to say whether Mayor Durkan is actively undermining SDOT’s efforts to grow biking as a viable transportation mode or if the department is floundering due to the leadership vacuum she has created at the top of the department. I want to believe it is the latter, and that Mayor Durkan is on the verge of appointing a good permanent SDOT Director she will entrust with the political backing needed to enact our city’s transportation plans and policies with urgency in 2019.

The coming traffic crunch downtown is only getting closer, and the mayor just wasted an entire year that she could have spent making planned street changes to provide more people with more options to get around without a car. Her bike route progress is grim, but her transit progress may be even worse.

The big test for Mayor Durkan is here. Decisions need to be made. Bike lane projects need to get a green light and her political backing. So many bus lanes need to be painted. We also need effective education and encouragement campaigns to help people change their transportation habits. All this needs to happen quickly if we want these options to be available to people when the traffic crunch begins.

As we wrote last week, the combination of bike share and more comfortable bike routes is working. We can see this in the Fremont Bridge bike counter data, which shattered records by a huge margin this year. And Seattle now has a huge backlog of projects ready to go in 2019. They just need the mayor’s backing.

All the time for waiting and delaying has been used up in 2018. I’ve already seen people referring to the upcoming transportation mess as the “Jenny Jam” because she has had chances to get ahead of the problem and has so far squandered them through delays and inaction. I don’t think that’s a moniker she wants to stick.

Mayor Nickels lost his political career because he didn't plan for a snowstorm. How are voters going to feel when we've had years to avoid the #JennyJam but did nothing? https://t.co/vygWzH6DFv

— Queen Anne Greenways (@QAGreenways) November 19, 2018

 

Family biking: Our annual tree-by-bike tradition

Bike Portland - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:22

An annual tradition.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)



This weekly column follows the adventures of Madi Carlson, a carfree mom of two who lives in southeast Portland.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I don’t celebrate Christmas, but having interfaith children and a love of carrying big things on my bike means we still get a tree every winter. My Chanukah candles are part of a regular grocery run so that doesn’t pack much punch in terms of biking excitement and tree fetching has become a tradition I really look forward to.

Back when I carried my kids on my bike I’d have to carefully wrap the tree in string or netting so it would fit down in my cargo bag. But now that they’re primarily on their own bikes I can just toss a tree up on my cargo deck at full fluff. I do this out of laziness, but it also looks most impressive like so. Not to mention the excess pine needles shake off en route so I can skip the line at the tree shaker.

OK boys, go find a tree!


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Over the years we’ve bought trees near and far. Our closest was five blocks from home, all uphill to get to the tree lot and all downhill to get home. Now we have access to a tree lot one flat mile from home, but we found the most exciting option to date: U-cut Christmas trees accessible by bike! It’s five miles to get there from Woodstock, but seven back so I can take a flatter route and not need to stop and rest on the way home. (I don’t know the name of the farm, but it’s at SE Lake Rd & SE Freeman Rd in Milwaukie.)

Do you have an annual tree-by-bike tradition? Where do you find your tree and how do you carry it?

Family portrait with hewn tree.

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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This 1896 map shows the depth of Portland’s cycling culture

Bike Portland - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:13

The 1896 Cyclists Road Map of Portland is an absolute gem.
(Photos of map published by Cunningham & Banks)

In 1896 Portland had a thriving cycling culture complete with bike-specific fashion purveyors, bike-friendly restaurants, bike shops, and local businesses hoping to cater to our many “wheelmen” and women.

For years now I’ve let my mind wander 122 years into history thanks to the Cyclist’s Road Map of Portland District that hangs from the wall in my kitchen. The Vintage Portland blog posted an image of the map this morning and it reminded me that I’m overdue in giving this map its due here on the BikePortland Front Page. I’ve mentioned it a few times over the years, but it warrants a closer look.

The map, which cost 50 cents in its day, was published in May 1896 by Cunningham & Banks based on data compiled by civil engineer J.H. Cunningham. To give it more credibility, the map was adopted by the Multnomah Wheelmen, a riding club with a cool logo that featured an “M” with wings.

The boundaries were St. Helens to the north, the Sandy River to the east, Forest Grove to the West, and Oregon City to the south. In an effort to help riders gauge distance, concentric circles were drawn at one-mile increments from downtown Portland. There’s also an inset map (at right) of the Vancouver Ferry which promised rides (for five cents) between Oregon and Washington every 40 minutes most weekdays.

A quick look at the map and you’ll notice many of the streets we still use today. Keep in mind this was 1896. Most of the roads in the region were still unpaved and our streetcar network was in the middle of its lifespan. One thing I love about this map is that pre-dates automobiles. The first car dealership in America didn’t open until 1898 and my cursory research tells me Portland didn’t get one until the early teens of the next century.

This is great proof that — as our friend and award-winning journalist Carlton Reid has so exhaustively documented — roads were not built for cars.

Beyond lines on a map, one value of this artifact is the window it provides into the cycling culture of the time. The map’s legend, the information and “pointers”, and advertisements are a ton of fun.

The legend offered three levels of roadway conditions: good, fair and poor. The only thing deemed important enough to have its own symbol on the map was the location of taverns.

On the right side are two boxes of text titled, “Information for Wheelmen” and “Pointers.”


They offered route advice:

Allowance will have to be made, of course, for mud and dust, the roads east and north of the city being in better at riding condition more months in the year then those south and west.

Recent newspaper articles give the Foster Road the “black eye,” claiming it the poorest road in the county. This we consider erroneous, as the west end of this road is as good as it neighbors…

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One of the easiest and most picturesque runs out of Portland is the 3 mile run to St. Helens. After leaving Linton the road is all that could be desired, and the grades comparatively easy. Later in the year it is quite dusty in places. For ladies and those not wishing to make the round-trip by wheel, a delightful day maybe had by taking the O. R. & N Steamers from Ash Street at 7:00 a.m., arriving at Saint Helens around 9. You then have nearly the whole day in which to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the road, and a lunch you have taken may be daintily served at one of the numerous sparkling streams to be found… This run should be made when the wind is from the north. Fare to St. Helens, 50 cents, wheels free.

The easiest grade leaving west from the city is probably by way of the Canyon Road. Returning, we should say the Cornell Road offered the best grade. It is not safe to ride the Cornell Road without a good break, as the sharp angles and steep grades near the summit have caused many accidents.

Technical advice:

In lieu of graphite, soap makes a good lubricant for the chain.

A soft tire will not puncture as easily as one that is fully inflated, but is more liable to produce a cracked rim.

A few basic points on riding etiquette and style:

In approaching another rider from the rear, ring your bell and pass to the left.

Experienced riders often walk hills that amateurs try to ride.

A call-to-action for advocacy:

Every writer should get his support for the effort now been made to build a cinder path on the beautiful Riverside Drive.

And we even see that the bike-transit connection was alive and well back then:

In case of an accident near the city, the street railway companies will carry your wheel for an additional 25 cents.

The advertisements illustrate that Portland business owners saw an opportunity to cash in on the cycling craze. A pharmacy on SW 4th and Morrison touted a product called Dr. Barker’s Celery Kola that, for 75 cents a bottle, would, “restore lost vitality” if you were “exhausted or fatigued from hard riding.”

The White House, a restaurant on Riverside Drive promised “Special rates to bicycle parties.”

A cigar shop at 267 SW Morrison encouraged riders to drop in for a pre-ride smoke.

Meier & Frank sold women’s and men’s sweaters, “bicycle hose,” shoes, and caps.

The Overman Wheel Co. (which had two Portland locations) promoted their Victor brand of bicycles that came with “non-puncturable” tires, cotterless cranks and a hollow crank axle.

I wish I had a bunch of copies to sell; but I’m not even sure where you can one get these days. Years ago you could get one from the Oregon Historical Society store; but I haven’t seen it on there for a long time. The Street Trust also used to sell copies.

I love so much about this map. It proves our roads were not built for cars and that there’s been a strong cycling community in Portland for well over 100 years.

And don’t you just pine for the days when Highway 30 to St. Helens was nice and peaceful and you could hop on a “steamer” ship to get back to downtown after lunch next to a stream?!

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

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PBOT to request $6 million in state funds for Safe Routes to School projects

Bike Portland - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:16

This street on SE 174th near Alder School along Portland’s eastern city limits will get sidewalks if a PBOT grant application is successful.

At city council on Wednesday the Portland Bureau of Transportation will request support for a grant to the Oregon Department of Transportation to fund three Safe Routes to School projects in east Portland.

The three projects total $7.6 million and include sidewalks and crossing upgrades near schools around SE 174th, SE Holgate, and NE Shaver.

PBOT plans to ask ODOT for $6 million from the new Safe Routes to School Fund created with the $5.3 billion transportation funding package passed in 2017. As we reported back in August, ODOT has about $16 million available in this first two-year cycle of the new program. The fund requires a 20 percent local match and PBOT intends to cover the additional $1.6 million via the Fixing Our Streets program and Transportation System Plan allocations.

Here are the three projects they’ll seek funding for, as outlined in the ordinance that will be in front of city council this week:

Red lines are approximate project locations.

The SE 174th Ave project will address the lack of sidewalks along SE 174th Ave, SE Stark to SE Main, westside; and SE Division to SE Powell, westside. SE 174th Ave has a 35-mph speed limit and serves three elementary schools in the Centennial and Reynolds School Districts: Powell Butte, Patrick Lynch and Alder. Total project: $2,522,000

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The SE Holgate project will address the lack of sidewalks and crossings along SE Holgate, SE 102nd – SE 134th. SE Holgate is part of PBOT’s High Crash Network and serves three schools in the David Douglas School District: Earl Boyles and Gilbert Heights Elementary Schools and Ron Russell Middle School. Total project: $2,627,000

The NE Shaver project will address the lack of sidewalks and crossings along NE Shaver, NE 102nd – NE 115th. NE Shaver has a bus line and serves three schools in the Parkrose School District: Prescott Elementary, Parkrose Middle School and Parkrose High School. Total project: $2,500,000

PBOT has already completed much of the legwork needed to build Safe Routes projects and they are very well-positioned to break ground. A year-long public outreach process led to the identification of dozens of projects citywide, all of which you can view in this interactive map.

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

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