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Guest post: ‘Pushing On’ along the Oregon Timber Trail

Bike Portland - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 10:32

Karey Miles and Deann Garcia enjoying the fruits of their labor atop Winter Rim above Summer Lake.
(Photos courtesy Rebecca Hamilton/West Coast Women’s Cycling)

The Oregon Timber Trail – a new, 669-mile backcountry singletrack route that a rider can follow from the California border to the Columbia River – is a gem of an idea poised to become the definitive off-road cycling experience in Oregon.

Don’t miss the event this Saturday (11/17)!

And as a new trail that’s only two seasons old (it launched in 2017), it’s a gem that’s still a little rough around the edges.

“The Oregon Timber Trail is a new, unrefined route.” notes the OTT website helpfully, “and this guide is likely to be incorrect or lacking in some sections.”

Heartened by these encouraging words, four women from the West Coast Women’s Cycling team (Deann Garcia, Aliza Richman, Karey Miles, and Heather Van Valkenburg, along with Bill Garcia) set out to ride the trail from its southernmost terminus in Lakeview up to Oakridge, a 305-mile stretch that covered all of the Fremont section and about half of the Willamette section (the trail is conveniently separated into four “tiers” to make trip-planning easier).

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The gang at the California-Oregon border east of Lakeview. Left to right: Heather VanValkenburg, Aliza Richman, Deann Garcia, Karey Miles.

Feeling small in the expanse between Moss Pass and Paisley.
(Photo: Aliza Richman)

Day 1 was really “fun”. (Left to right) Bill Garcia, Deann Garcia, Karey Miles, and Aliza Richman take a breather at the highest elevation point on the trail — 8300-feet in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

“What’s a few miles of bushwhacking through overgrown manzanita bushes and some heatstroke in exchange for a chance to explore the wild and remote regions of our state?”

The website did not disappoint. In addition to the classic joys (stunning desert vistas, the occasional hot spring) and tribulations (punishing heat, sand, cows) of an Eastern Oregon bikepacking trip, the fledgling OTT had a few surprises.

But at the end of the day, what’s a few miles of bushwhacking through overgrown manzanita bushes and some light heatstroke in exchange for a chance to explore the wild and remote regions of our state? The OTT is a gateway to the seldom-seen corners of Oregon and worth getting out of your comfort zone for. The best part, said rider Deann Garcia, was “figuring out that it was possible for our bodies to handle it. Just powering through, feeling like your body was getting better and that you could ride forever… and knowing that you have friends who want to do this with you.”

Deann Garcia and her fully-loaded rig. Come to the event to learn how to get your bike packed and ready.

This Saturday, Nov. 17th, these intrepid women are hosting an event to share their stories and encourage others interested in embarking on an OTT trip of their own. They’ll show a 25-minute video of footage from the trail and then take your questions. They’ll also have their fully-loaded bikes with gear and packing lists to help riders set up their own rig.

And to make sure this trail keeps getting better and better for all of us, all proceeds of raffle sales will support the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance – the team of badass trail stewards who built the trail and do the hard work of maintaining it.

The Oregon Timber Trail: Pushing On
Saturday, Nov. 17th at 5 pm
Evolution Fitness (905 SE Ankeny)
Free – Beers are $2 (bring your own pint glass), Raffle tix are $1 each – all sales will be donated to the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance.

The event is open to all and should be especially useful for women/woman-identifying people who are interested in bikepacking and looking to meet like-minded peers. Hope to see you there!

— Rebecca Hamilton

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A little big shift: Portland can restripe 2% of roads for 60% more capacity

Bike Portland - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 09:24

There could be a lot more buses and bikes in our future.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This is crossposted from the Sightline Institute. Michael Andersen is a former BikePortland news editor.

Central City in Motion hearing

2:00 pm today at City Hall

The proposal going before Portland City Council at 2 pm today would be the city’s most important biking infrastructure investment in 20 years, and its most important bus infrastructure investment in 40.

Just as importantly, it’d also make our streets work better, permanently.

The Central City in Motion plan avoids the false promise of bigger roads: 39 percent of the central city is already dedicated to street space, it notes. So, as Jonathan reported last month, it’s planning to dedicate an additional 1 percent of those central streets to bike lanes and another 1 percent to bus lanes.

That little shift in urban space, which would take the form of 18 street projects over the next 10 years, would boost the people-moving capacity of the affected streets by an average of 60 percent.

Image: City of Portland, based on figures by NACTO.

That’s based on calculations from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.  Need more proof? Ask TriMet, who just revealed that relatively tiny lane tweaks led to a significant decrease in delays on several lines.

Price tag: $72 million, or about the cost of a single mile of urban freeway.

“Just like a road network or a computer network, low-stress bikeways have little value to anyone until they’re connected to other low-stress bikeways.”

It’s worth noting that boosting the potential capacity of a street isn’t the same as getting people to use that potential by riding a bike or getting on a bus. And one potential risk of Portland’s current plan is that a big part of it—a connected lattice of low-stress bike lanes on Burnside, SW Broadway, SW 4th, NE/SE 7th, SW Madison, NW 14th, NW Everett, SW Salmon, SW Taylor, SE Hawthorne, NE Multnomah, NE Lloyd, Naito Parkway, NE Broadway, and NE Weidler —might not pay off much until the entire network is finished.

Just like a road network or a computer network, low-stress bikeways have little value to anyone until they’re connected to other low-stress bikeways.

Some cities—Vancouver, BC; Calgary, Alberta; Sevilla, Spain—have recently shown the power of installing a simple protected bike lane network all at once, with relatively cheap and adjustable materials, so transportation habits can shift quickly and everyone—voters, nearby businesses, politicians themselves—can see the payoff. It’s not clear whether or not Portland is planning to learn from that example as it builds its own network.

That said, the only way a city can truly fight traffic is to better use the street space that already exists. If Portland moves this plan forward, it’ll become the latest city to show the rest of the world how to fight congestion right, and allow more people to enjoy the blessings of the city.

— Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute

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Sunday: World Day of Remembrance will be a healing space for those impacted by traffic violence

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 15:23

People gather in City Hall for World Day of Remembrance 2016 surrounded by silhouettes representing people who died in traffic in recent years.

Every year, about 20 people die in traffic collisions in Seattle. Another 150 people are seriously injured, often resulting in life-changing health issues. And for every one of these victims and survivors, there is a community of loved ones whose lives are changed, too.

That’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is hosting Seattle’s memorial for World Day of Remembrance Sunday at the Impact Hub in Pioneer Square.

The organization wants the event this year to focus on creating a healing space for people impacted by injury or death on our streets, said Executive Director Gordon Padelford. Considering the scale of how many lives are impacted by traffic collisions, there is a lot of healing to be done.

Our society tells people that traffic collisions are just “accidents,” like they or a loved one simply won some kind of terrible lottery. But this is just a story we tell ourselves so it is easier to continue with our destructive car culture. Because truly changing how people and goods move around our city just seems like too heavy a lift.

But ask any room of people for a show of hands if they or someone they love has been killed or seriously injured in a traffic collision, and nearly every hand will go up. This is not OK.

More details from SNG:

Join us on the afternoon of World Day of Remembrance for a community memorial gathering for those impacted by traffic violence.

There are an average of 20 lives lost and 150 lives altered by major injuries each year on Seattle’s streets. But these statistics don’t share the story of a person’s life, of the way that a crash can effect a family, a friend group, and a community.

If you or a member of your community has been impacted by traffic violence, we welcome you to this space for a community moment of remembrance. This event is free, please RSVP.

Sunday, Nov 18, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Impact Hub Seattle (Pioneer Square) 3rd Floor

We will be in the 3rd floor learning space with snacks and beverages.

If you are interested in learning more information about an ongoing healing circle or other support, please contact clara@seattlegreenways.org.

I-205 path ‘booby trap’ suspects in court today face felony assault charges – UPDATED

Bike Portland - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 13:43

Screen shot of coverage of the incident by The Oregonian.

Two of the three men arrested last week for stretching string across the I-205 bike path are set to make their first appearance in court today.

On Friday, November 9th, Portlander Carlene Ostedegaard was riding home from work on the path just south of the Division Street MAX station when she pedaled into what Portland Police described as a “booby trap.” She suffered laceration injuries on her face.

Police responded and were able to apprehend three men suspected of committing the crime: 23-year-old Justin J. Jones, 27-year-old Justin R. Tolman-Duran, and 21-year-old Dakota E. Murphy. On Tuesday (11/13) the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case.

DA’s Office Communications Director Brent Weisberg says following the investigation one of the men, Dakota Murphy, was issued a “no complaint”. The other two, Jones and Tolman-Duran, have been re-booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and are now charged with one count each of felony assault in the third degree. Their initial booking was for misdemeanor assault.

The DA will issue a “no complaint” when they choose to not file charges upon initial screening. Weisberg said that doesn’t mean Murphy won’t be charged later after more investigations are completed.

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When we reported the story last week, many commenters jumped to the conclusion that the suspects were homeless and lived in a camp adjacent to the path. We published a guest opinion this morning from a reader who was “disturbed” by what he feels is “anti-houseless bigotry on BikePortland.” I asked Weisberg about the housing status of the men and he confirmed that both Tolman-Duran and Jones have reported residences in Vancouver, Washington and Portland respectively. (Murphy reported living “in a van”.)

Last night The Oregonian reported on court documents that reveal the men set up three sets of “snares using several lines of cord… in an attempt to ‘harass’ people living on the path.”

At court today, Tolman-Duran and Jones will be informed of the charges against them and their attorney will introduce themselves to the court. If they haven’t hired an attorney, one will be appointed for them. Also at today’s court hearing the DA will file the probable cause affidavit detailing the incident and their justification for bringing the felony assault charges. We’ll update this post once we receive that document.

UPDATE, 6:16 pm: The probable cause affidavit has been posted and the DA’s office has issued the following update:

State of Oregon vs Antonio Tolman-Duran was filed under Case No. 18CR75660.
State of Oregon vs Justin James Jones was filed under Case No. 18CR75663.

Both appeared in court this afternoon. A not guilty plea was entered on their behalf. Both had criminal defense attorneys appointed to them.

Both are charged with one count of assault in the third degree and three (3) counts of recklessly endangering another person.

The next court date for both individuals is Nov. 28, 2018 at 2:10 PM in the Justice Center, Courtroom 3. Both remain out of custody.

Here’s the key part of the affidavit detailing the incident and the charges:

Here’s a salient passage:

“When asked why they had put the string across the pathway… said they wanted to harass the transients in the area. Officer Miller spoke to suspects who said they wanted to ‘fuck with the homeless’ because ‘we don’t want them around here’.”

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

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Family Biking: Get ready for puddle season

Bike Portland - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 10:46

Start ’em young…also, balance bikes have no drivetrain to douse with puddle water.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Puddle season is right around the corner, are you ready?

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Officially, I believe one should always avoid puddles because you never know what’s hidden under the water. Unofficially, they’re really fun to ride through!

But seriously, puddles can contain sharp rocks that puncture tires or hide deep potholes that throw you over your handlebars when you enter them. Or if you lose momentum on your way through a big puddle and have to put your foot down: soaking wet foot.

Shallow puddles are fun!

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Sometimes puddles feel unavoidable, filling a depression across the whole bike lane or road. We cautiously ride through these sorts of puddles, lifting our feet to keep them dry, but it’s never a bad idea to backtrack and choose a drier street or take to the sidewalk to avoid unplumbed depths.

Sometimes the fun is in avoiding the puddles.

We encounter a lot of puddles on rainy days and without constant encouragement to avoid them, one of my kids aims at each and every one. Luckily my kids will usually listen to reason and skirt around those enticing day ruiners. Another trick I’ve used in the past is to stop and throw rocks or sail boats in puddles to scratch the itch. That said, we’ve had a few miserable day with cold, wet feet and “notes to self” to pack spare shoes and socks in the future.

Well. This felt unavoidable at the time, but I could have elected to use the sidewalk.

What are your thoughts on puddles? Have any horror stories to tips to share? 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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Guest opinion: I’m disturbed by anti-houseless bigotry on BikePortland

Bike Portland - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 09:39

“Commenters on BikePortland used this incident as an excuse to take potshots at our unhoused neighbors.”
— Andrew Riley

This was written by Andrew Riley, an east Portland resident and longtime community organizer. He wrote this to me via email and gave me permission to post it as an opinion. — Jonathan

I’ve been reading the site since 2007. I’m writing as an East Portland resident, as a cyclist, and as someone who lives near several tent camps along I-205.

When the story on the I-205 “booby trap” was published, I was disturbed – but not surprised, to be honest – to see BikePortland commenters immediately blame houseless campers for this assault.

Literally the first comment on the post linked the two:

One commenter called for mass arrests of the unhoused so that they may be used as slave labor (per Oregon Measure 17) to clean up camps:

Another spread a rumor that the three assailants were unhoused, parroting what I presume is the Montavilla Initiative, a group of individuals in that neighborhood (where I used to reside) who blame every one of Montavilla’s problems on the unhoused:

Another commenter lightly echoes Trumpian rhetoric, arguing that we should “mak[e our] bike path useable again”:

Unfortunately, I could go on at length. Almost uniformly, commenters on BikePortland used this incident as an excuse to take potshots at our unhoused neighbors, which is common in just about any story mentioning 205, camps, or our houseless neighbors. The rhetoric borders on violent. And if you’d only read BikePortland, you’d come away with the clear conclusion that this was a case of unhoused individuals attacking a cyclist at random.

And then I read the Oregonian’s update about the assault this morning. What jumped out at me was the following:

The three assailants in this case were apparently attempting to harass unhoused campers. That suggests that Carlene Ostedgaard’s assault was a direct result of the same animus toward the unhoused that of your commenters share. It’s doubly disturbing, then, that BikePortland commenters chose to slander unhoused campers when they were the intended victims of this crime, and that there was precious little pushback to that narrative. You yourself have written many times about the ways in which violent rhetoric toward vulnerable road users can manifest in violent and unsafe behavior toward us, and I ask that you apply that same analysis to what your commenters are saying about the houseless.

I ask that you publish an update to that story, and perhaps use that update to reflect on why BikePortland is such a hotbed for aggressive rhetoric toward our unhoused neighbors; you could talk to folks like Street Roots, Right 2 Dream Too, or Dignity Village to get their impressions. If you’re unwilling or unable to do so, I ask that you print this email in full as an op-ed to BikePortland, as a counterpoint toward your commenters’ violent attitudes toward some of the most marginalized Portlanders.

Cheers and solidarity,

Andrew

——

UPDATE, 5:34 pm: I have blurred out the names of the commenters. Also, I want everyone to know that my intent in posting this was to show the community how the comments on the previous post were being heard by some people. I realize that some readers don’t appreciate that I’ve elevated Mr. Riley’s comments to the Front Page in this manner. < Please understand this is an extremely difficult topic to moderate (especially in 2018). I'm trying to move the conversation forward and I regret if this post set things back. I believe we need to be able to hear different perspectives and that more conversation is always better. Thank you. -- Jonathan

UPDATE: Don’t miss our latest story on the incident where I’ve reported an update from the DA’s office:

“When asked why they had put the string across the pathway… said they wanted to harass the transients in the area. Officer Miller spoke to suspects who said they wanted to “fuck with the homeless“ because “we don’t want them around here.”

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Wildflower Century bicyclists found relief in Paradise, CA; now Paradise needs relief

Biking Bis - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 13:53

The historic wildland fire that swept through Paradise, California, has left 42 people dead and countless others missing. Officials sifting through debris estimate that more than 6,000 structures are destroyed.

Thousands of bicyclists have enjoyed the northern California town’s hospitality over the years on the annual Wildflower Century presented by the Chico Velo Cycling …

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ALERT: West Seattle swing bridge will be out from 7-9 Tuesday night, shuttles available

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 13:08

Attention folks who bike across the lower West Seattle Bridge: SDOT just announced a closure from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight (Tuesday). As with the previous closure, there will be a shuttle to help folks walking and biking get across, but this will add significant delay. So leave early or late if you can. Otherwise, be ready for delays waiting for the shuttle or add extra time to bike the long way via the 1st Ave Bridge.

From SDOT:

For 2 hours tonight, starting at 7 PM, the Spokane St Bridge (West Seattle Lower Bridge) and the bike trail will be closed, so crews can replace a power control cable. A shuttle van will be available both directions, to take interested travelers over the high bridge.

What you can expect:

During this project, barrels and barricades as well as message boards, will direct traffic. After cable replacement and successful bridge testing, the bridge will reopen to traffic.

November 13 | 7 – 9 PM

Impacts | 

  • Spokane St Bridge (aka Lower W Seattle Bridge) closed.
  • W Seattle Bridge Trail closed.

Assistance | A shuttle van will travel back and forth over W Seattle High Bridge, in 15-minute intervals, with the following stops:

  • East Side11th Ave SW & SW Spokane St.
  • West side SW Spokane St and Port of Seattle Terminal 5 Entrance.

Shuttle service is scheduled to run during the duration of the outage. Should this maintenance work experience unexpected challenges, the shuttle will run all night, as needed.

Questions?

Email paul.jackson@seattle.gov to learn more.

Former Portland bike builder Mitch Pryor loses home and shop in Camp Fire

Bike Portland - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:32

Screen shot from GoFundMe page.

The Camp Fire that ravaged through the small town of Paradise, California burned through the shop of a former Portland bicycle builder.

Mitch Pryor and his MAP Bicycles burst onto the Oregon building scene in 2008. Less than a year later he took home Best City Bike honors at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Mitch left Portland for Chico, California in 2012 to be closer to family. He had recently opened a shop nestled in the woods in Paradise. I haven’t heard directly from Mitch yet, but friends say his new home and shop were completely destroyed in the fire. He lost everything — parts, supplies, machines, tools — and escaped with only the clothes on his back.


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Mitch and one of his beautiful bicycles at the 2010 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Mitch told me he didn’t see his house go up,” wrote friend Chris Smitherman on a GoFundMe page set up to help him out, “but when he left his property embers were landing on his roof and trees were starting to catch fire.”

Another friend of his told us Mitch was in the process of returning to Portland. “The people that sweat to bring us beautiful bicycles typically barely squeak by and Mitch is no exception. And now this.” the friend wrote in an email.

If you’ve appreciated Mitch’s work and want to help him keep building bikes, consider dropping a few dollars into his fund.

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

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Advocates weigh in on Central City in Motion plan

Bike Portland - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 11:41

Cover of PBOT’s newly published Central City in Motion Implementation Plan .

City Council will get its first chance to debate the Central City in Motion plan this Thursday.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) hopes commissioners will approve their list of 18 projects they say will vastly increase capacity of streets from the Pearl to the Lloyd, and from southwest to the central eastside. PBOT’s argument is that growth of our central city makes squeezing more efficiency out of our existing roads imperative — and we can only do that by making cycling and transit easier and faster.

But if this plan is to get through council it will need support from local transportation advocacy groups. Three in particular have watched this plan closely as it has taken shape over the past several years: Bike Loud PDX, The Street Trust, and Portlanders for Parking Reform.

Below is a taste of the tone you can expect from each group on Thursday…

Bike Loud PDX

In some ways the CCIM plan will be a coming-of-age for Bike Loud. The group has given PBOT extensive feedback on the project, culminating in a 20-page letter sent to the agency in September and an update on the plan from PBOT Project Manager Gabe Graff at the group’s monthly meeting last week.

Here’s the testimony Bike Loud will share Thursday:

We strongly support the Central City in Motion (CCIM) Plan and urge Council to adopt it. For too many years, Portlanders have seen the cities around them initiate bold plans for improving walking, biking and public transit systems, while we rest on our accomplishments from previous decades. Our bicycle mode share is stuck at 6%, the same as it was in 2011, and our transit ridership continues to fall. Our policies and plans are still visionary, but we have not matched our words with action. Now, we have a chance to change that.

The CCIM plan alone will not solve these issues, but it is a strong step forward towards the city we want to live in: one that acts decisively in the face of climate change, that has clean air and safe streets in all neighborhoods, and moves people efficiently to, from, and around the central city. PBOT’s estimates show that with this plan the number of people walking, biking, or taking transit in the Central City will increase from 40% today to 60% by 2035, which would make substantial progress towards 85% goal set in the 2035 Transportation System Plan.

The world of transportation is changing quickly. The PBOT e-scooter pilot project has led to over 640,000 trips in just four months. When BIKETOWN and PBOT made our bikeshare system dockless and free in May 2018, riders traveled 162,252 miles – more than doubling usage from May 2017. These recent examples prove that the pent-up demand for safe and efficient transportation alternatives means bold actions by the City can lead to meaningful and immediate positive results. Making better roadways for these small light individual transport (LIT) devices, and the ones coming in the future is of the utmost urgency. We support the recommendation by the Bicycle Advisory Committee that all 18 projects be completed within the five year timeline.

During the implementation phase, we feel the best approach is to put these designs on our streets as quickly as possible with temporary measures so residents and businesses alike can experience the benefits of these spaces. We recommend a one year timeline for this action. By using temporary strategies, not only will the network be usable very soon by Portlanders, but PBOT will be able to make adjustments and trial these new designs in real time before committing them to permanent concrete. We look forward to working with staff at PBOT on the details for each of these projects.

You have the opportunity today to show your unanimous support for Portland values. Voting for Central City in Motion is a vote for climate action, for safer streets, for less pollution. Today we can begin a new era of Portland leadership on efficient, green transportation.

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The Street Trust is also a huge fan of the projects outlined in the plan. In part, they say, because, “people will love them.” The Street Trust detailed other reasons in a letter by Executive Director Jillian Detweiler to Mayor Ted Wheeler and commissioners yesterday. Here are the highlights:

“The resolution adopting the plan outlines an amazing body of policy adopted by the City Council… None of these policies are worth anything if they are not supported by investments in walking, biking, and transit. It is time to move from great policy to great projects. It is not physically possible to support the growth proposed for the central city without shifting transportation choices to walking, biking, and transit. By allocating approximately 1 percent of city streets to non-autos, Central City in Motion projects will significantly increase the capacity of the transportation network… The Central City in Motion projects will chip away at the barriers to choosing alternatives to driving.

The Street Trust encounters all sorts of people in its work. Some are willing to travel out of direction, weather the discomfort of riding in traffic and test their patience to get to where they need to go by walking, biking or transit. Some have no choice but to do so. These are the people who are keeping the city moving by reducing cars on the road. They should be appreciated, but not taken for granted. Many more people say they would choose to walk if accessibility were guaranteed; choose to bike if they felt safe; choose to take transit if it did not take so darn long.

… as we are able to acquire most of the stuff we need and conduct more and more business online, the economic underpinning of a city — proximity — is eroding. An exceptional experience for people will maintain the value of our city. Investments in walking, biking, and transit will get cars off the road and make our city a memorable, hospital place designed for people.

People who have experienced the degradation of walking, biking and riding transit by traffic in recent years and those who have moved here expecting that alternatives to driving would be superior are frustrated and disappointed. Central City in Motion projects will help align our streets with our policies and rhetoric… We think motorists will also come to appreciate the separation of modes these projects will promote because no one likes being confused about how a street is intended to work.”

The Street Trust also says they want more data and clear project timelines to help hold PBOT accountable, and that transparency is needed to “ensure that investments in Central City in Motion to not consume a disproportionate share of transportation resources.” Detweiler was also a member of the plan’s Sounding Board committee and has spoken about the plan with commissioners’ staff and Mayor Wheeler.

Portlanders for Parking Reform

Parking looms large in this plan because a significant amount of street space currently to park cars (and as loading zones) will be re-allocated to lanes for biking and transit. When all 18 projects are built, PBOT estimates there will be 1,000 fewer curbside spaces for parking and loading (from 20,328 to 19,328).

That is no small thing in a city where battles have been fought over the loss of just a few parking spaces. To thwart potential pushback, PBOT has created a detailed, 29-page parking loss mitigation strategy that is on Thursday’s meeting agenda as a separate ordinance. Portlanders for Parking Reform has worked with PBOT on many issues over the years, but they were shocked when the agency released this strategy less than a week before the council hearing and without any broad public input. Now they’re crying foul.

In an article just posted this morning, the group says the plan has acquired a “parking parasite,” and characterized the parking strategy as a “backdoor plan to spend public money on parking garages… cynically tied to a long-awaited project to reduce car trips.”

Portlanders for Parking Reform (PPR) says the parking strategy was created with input “mostly from business interests”. “It does not appear that any community groups, transportation advocacy organizations, or neighborhood groups were brought into the process.” The group also says any move toward funding more auto parking in the central city is a bad investment will only lead to more congestion. PPR wants people to testify against parking subsidies and instead urge council members to focus on “transportation demand management” strategies like encouraging use of transit and bike share.

———

The level of input from each of these groups illustrates the importance of this plan.

Stay tuned for coverage of how the relatively small proposed tweaks to our streets can yield major results.

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

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The Monday Roundup: Rep rips ODOT, slow scooters in DC, war on teen drivers and more

Bike Portland - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 07:51

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

How men can help: “Try to be mindful of how you take up space, physically, verbally, and mentally,” was just on response reporter John Greenfield heard when he asked women how men could be better urban transportation allies.

Let’s make bikes: A college in Minnesota offers a bicycle fabrication degree. We need this in Portland!

1 million bike trips per day: That’s how many trips Uber says people in New York City would take if the company was allowed to deploy a 100,000 to 200,000 bike fleet.

Gravel racing boom: WorldTour racer Lachlan Morton is eyeing a 2019 season that will include gravel races — another sign that traditional road cycling events now have more competition than ever.

Bikes win in cities: Transport journalist Carlton Reid writes in Forbes that data from a courier company, proves that bicycle delivery staff deliver fresh food fastest.

Hi ODOT: U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio laid into the Oregon Department of Transportation in a letter published by the Register-Guard last week. He’s not happy with how one of their contractors is managing a work site in Eugene. Other tidbits in his letter is that the project ODOT is doing down there costs $18 million for one mile of highway (that’s almost twice the amount we spend statewide on Safe Routes to School each year), and Rep. DeFazio is against congestion pricing.

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War on teen drivers: National Motorists Association says high insurance costs are just another front in the urban planning world’s agenda to prevent people from owning cars.

Scooting and disability concerns: As Portland ponders a permanent e-scooter fleet (current pilot ends November 20), we can look to Tacoma for how the vehicles impact people with disabilities.

Scooting slowly: Washington D.C. plans to limit the speed of e-scooters to just 10 mph. If only we could be so bold with vehicles that actually kill and injure people on a daily basis.

Scooting for cash: Wired has a solid rundown of how cities are “milking” scooter companies for money to pay for better infrastructure and how it might pave the way for AVs.

Ford gets into micromobility: Spin, a company that at one time flirted with the idea of launching dockless bike share in Portland, has been bought by Ford Motor Co.

Fewer garbage trucks: Dangerous waste hauling trucks will be reined in under a new plan by NYC DOT.

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

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Huge fire burns lumber warehouses near SPU, expect Ship Canal Trail delays – UPDATED

Seattle Bike Blog - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:51

Photo from the Seattle Fire Dept. As you can see, the Ship Canal Trail is in the middle of it all.

A huge fire destroyed lumber warehouses owned by Gascoigne Lumber Company and Northwest Millworks Saturday night, but luckily there are no reports of injuries at this time. We hope it stays that way.

Regular users of the Ship Canal Trail should recognize the building in the photo to the right, because the trail runs closely behind the building near Seattle Pacific University campus. Buildings were destroyed on both sides of the trail. I have asked Seattle Fire if they have an estimate for when the trail might reopen and will update this post when I hear back. But I think it’s safe to assume that it will be closed for a while, so give yourself a little extra time to get through the area. UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley confirmed that they have not yet assessed damage to the trail and do not yet have a timeline for reopening it: “Due to the amount of debris on the Ship Canal Trail, the trail is still closed for the time being until clean-up is complete. No damage estimate on the trail yet or ETA on reopening.”

Reader Rob Huntress said firefighters were still working as of Sunday evening, and Nickerson Street was the nearest detour option between 3rd and 6th Avenues W. Nickerson has a paint-only bike lane westbound, but no bike lane eastbound. There is also a sidewalk for folks who are not comfortable biking in busy traffic, but remember to yield to people walking. If the closure will be for an extended period of time and no other detour is possible, a temporary trail on Nickerson might be a good idea.

Sub-optimal shot of fire scene Sunday night at the Gascoigne Lumber warehouse on the Ship Canal Trail in N. Queen Anne. Trail was closed bet. 3rd and 6th Aves West, with firefighters still working. #SEAbikes pic.twitter.com/e4LEQmxw19

— Rod Huntress (@rodhuntress) November 12, 2018

 

When Bikes Ruled Seattle

Bike Hugger - Sun, 11/11/2018 - 08:59

Seattle’s cycling past during boom times is fascinatingly similar to the current one. As I learned from When Bikes Ruled Seattle video, at the turn of the century bikes clogged the paths but not for long.

Miles of new bike paths, roving gangs of cyclists, bicycle polo at the University of Washington — there was a time when cyclists ruled the road in Seattle.

Knute Berger takes us back to Puget Sound at the turn of the century to answer a question: Is the battle between cyclists and drivers even older than the car? Who’s responsible for Seattle’s early road network? And what’s the deal with spandex bike wear?

The eyewear Knute wears in the video, find them in the inventions section of the book Roads Were Not Built for Cars. Also, how early wheelmen clubs built paths that cars eventually took over.

That includes popular routes along Lake Washington.

Here’s an excerpt from the book.

WHO OWNS THE ROADS?

Roads belong to all and need to be shared by all. However, there’s a long history of some road users believing they have priority over others.

Social scientists theorise that humans believe in three kinds of territorial space. One is personal territory, like home. The second involves space that is only temporarily available, such as a gym locker. The third kind is public territory, such as roads.

“Territoriality is hard-wired into our ancestors,” believes Paul Bell, co-author of a study on road rage. “Animals are territorial because it had survival value. If you could keep others away from your hunting groups, you had more game to spear, it becomes part of the biology.”

When they are on the road, some motorists forget they are in public territory because the cues surrounding them – personal music, fluffy dice, protective shells – suggest they are in private space.

“If you are in a vehicle that you identify as primary territory, you would defend that against other people whom you perceive as being disrespectful of your space,” added Bell. “What you ignore is that you are on a public roadway – and you don’t own the road.”

A standard quip from bicycle advocates, aimed at a certain type of mine-all-mine motorist, is “You own a car, not the road.”

More About When Bikes Ruled Seattle

Knute’s written more than just When Bikes Ruled Seattle. Also see these stories

The post When Bikes Ruled Seattle appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Police arrest three men after ‘boobytrap’ injures bicycle rider on I-205 path

Bike Portland - Sat, 11/10/2018 - 10:47

Victim says she saw the three men run up this hill just south of Division St MAX station.

Portland Police say three men stretched woven string across the I-205 path last night in an intentional act that caused an injury to a bicycle rider.

Here’s more from the statement just released by the PPB:

On Friday, November 9, 2018, at 10:53 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report a bicyclist was injured as a result of a boobytrap that was erected across the Interstate 205 Multi-Use Path near Southeast Division Street.

Officers and emergency medical personnel arrived and located an injured adult female. Emergency medical responders provided the victim on scene medical treatment. Officers learned the victim was traveling north while riding her bicycle on the Interstate 205 Multi-Use Path when she became entangled and injured by material strung across the path.

As an officer canvased the area, he located woven string that spanned the path just south of Southeast Division Street. During the investigation, officers also located three suspects believed to have positioned the woven string across the path. The three suspects were taken into custody without incident.

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L to R: Justin Jones, Antonio R Tolman-Duran, Dakota Murphy

Police arrested 23-year-old Justin J. Jones, 27-year-old Justin R. Tolman-Duran, and 21-year-old Dakota E. Murphy. All three were booked into jail (and have since been released) on charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree and three counts of Reckless Endangering.

This is not the first time bicycle riders have faced human-caused hazards on the 205 path. In July 2017 a man was the victim of verbal and vehicular assault when a another man drove his car onto the path about 1.3 miles south of Division.

And we’ve seen similar trip-wire incidents in several other locations. In September 2017 we reported on wires placed across a trail in Gateway Green and a cross an intersection in northeast Portland. In 2014 the Portland Police Bomb Squad responded to a wire strung across a public trail near private homes in Forest Park. In 2010 someone strung a trip-wire across a street next to Ladd Circle, a location where neighbors had complained about bicycle users not obeying a stop sign.

If you come across something on a path or in a park that appears to be a booby trap, call Portland Park Rangers at (503) 823-1637 or the PPB’s non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333. Call 911 if there’s an immediate safety hazard or if you see a crime in progress.

(P.S. If you’re paying attention, behavior like this should not be a surprise. When we allow hate toward bicycle users to become normalized (as it is in comment sections in every local media outlet), this is one way it manifests. It might be fun/funny for some people to wish injury (even death) upon other people for no other reason than riding a bicycle; but it’s not funny at all when those feelings are acted upon.)

UPDATE, 12:05pm: The victim is Montavilla resident Carlene Ostedegaard. According to her partner, she was riding home from work (on Foster) when it happened. The location was just south of the Division MAX stop. “It was a couple passes of twine or thin rope at about the face/neck level,” Ostedegaard’s friend told me.

She was riding north and saw the three men run up a hill.

Here are photos of her injuries:

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

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Scott Addict RC Disc

Bike Hugger - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 18:53

It seems road has settled on a disc design aesthetic and that’s best expressed by the new Scott Addict RC Disc. It also doesn’t look like it’s made to race road or for a pro.

That job is left to the Foil.

Not much room for more than a 28, so get a 290 or 320 TIP tire and ride a bike all day.

Going at a good clip too.

Photo: Jochen Harr

Scott doesn’t say what this costs, maybe because they’re not planning on shipping it to the US yet. Possibly because riders on this side of the pond are spending more time on gravel and want a bike that’ll run at least 32s.

Scott Sports 2019 bikes
©kramon

Scott does make a “gravel” bike but it’s more like a cross bike and too stiff.

Light on specs, I’m just sharing what that sent out in the PR.  I’ve inquired and I do hope they market the Addict R here. There’s still room for a high-end, fast light road bike in the US market.

The engineers just have to tune the ride from racing to performance and make it look this good.

It’s been a while since I’ve ridden an Addict. Matt Hill reviewed the CX 10 for our magazine in 2017.

 

The post Scott Addict RC Disc appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Things people asked BikePortland this week

Bike Portland - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 17:09

“I found a stolen bike the other day at the Rose City Golf Course. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

BikePortland is really neat.

One of many things about my role in the community that I don’t think most people appreciate or realize is how much of a concierge BikePortland has become.

From the mundane to the ridiculous and everything in between, BikePortland is the place people come with all sorts of requests and questions. I love that this happens. It’s a sign that people are aware of BikePortland and it reinforces how much this site means to our community. And as a reporter, this is how I find many of my best sources and stories.

On that note, I thought it’d be fun to share just a tiny sampling of the emails I get. Keep in mind that these are just some of the inquiries I received in the past seven days or so…

It’s great that the Springwater Corridor is back open, but not so great that the homeless continue to be menacing farther east. I rode it from Sellwood to Gresham and back yesterday and there were trashy camps and people blocking the path just west of 82nd and around the intersection with the I205 bike path. What can I do as a cyclist? Report what I see? To whom?

In the past few days I have encountered bike lanes that are so chock full of leaves that it is impossible to ride through them, forcing me out in the street.  Is there someone to contact about this?

I was hoping that you may be able to give me some advice. I had the most unfortunate experience this morning of being nearly run over not once, but twice. The first time was by a garbage truck, the second was by a trimet maintenance truck. The garbage truck ran a stop sign and cut the corner, the trimet truck blatantly ran a red light… This is all part of the larger issue of the inherent danger of motor vehicles and perhaps I’m just peeved because this literally just happened. But I would like to lodge some sort of complaint to the city about this behavior and I’m totally unsure of where to send it!

We’re a group of graduate students working on a research project about the [redacted] project… After reading your articles on the project, we hoped that you could direct us to someone who could give us some perspective on the dynamics that went on behind the project.

I found a stolen bike the other day at the Rose City Golf Course. I brought it home and then posted it on ‘Next Door’. No one has come forward for the bike. It’s a kids 20″ BMX bike. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

Do you, or do you know of any business they will accept bicycle helmets as a donation? I work at a preschool /after school care facility and I have about 20 bike helmets. Thank you!

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I’m looking to talk to Steven Mitchell regarding the video he posted on SW Terwilliger. We would like to talk to him about the incident with the truck driver and issues on that road as it relates to all the leaves. If you could pass along my info to him or send me his email, I would greatly appreciate it!

I just got a new Metrofiets [cargo bike] but no rain canopy. Do you know where I can get one or who built them or if another one fits? Thanks for an answer in advance, from Germany.

We at The University of [redacted] are conducting a study of bikeshare policy in cities such as Portland, and my team and I are seeking to interview those individuals with influence or input over the process of regulating/managing bikeshare programs… Would you be interested in taking part in a phone interview to discuss the subject?

Whew.

And yes, I do answer as many of these as I can. I’m honored that people trust me with these questions and I feel it’s an important service BikePortland can provide to the community. I wish I could keep up with all of it, but it’s just not always possible. I feel bad for the people who I’ve left hanging! Seriously. It’s me, not you. Please feel free to re-up your email. Your messages never bother me.

I’ve shared these to show the crazy variety of what people ask about. I also wanted to remind you that BikePortland is just me and that it takes a lot of work to do this job. Most people assume BikePortland is an organization with staff. But it’s just me. I would love to have someone on staff to take over concierge duties (and a million other things!); but I haven’t been able to make that happen yet. It’s a real struggle to keep this operation afloat financially right now, but I love what we’ve created here and I’ll fight for it until the very end.

If you think BikePortland matters and that it has value in our community, please support it. Now’s a great time to do some advertising of your brand or business. You can make a one-time contribution or become a monthly subscriber here.

Thanks.

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

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Tell the City Council to protect red light camera funds for safe streets near schools

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 15:19

A huge bike train to Bryant Elementary on Bike-to-School Day 2013

In an attempt to balance the City Council’s 2019-20 budget, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw has eyed nearly $2.7 million in red light camera funds that currently go to the School Safety Traffic and Pedestrian Improvement Fund (see the budget green sheet PDF).

The city has the goal of making street safety improvements at every public school in the city, which also means safety improvements in every neighborhood. But it is going to take a lot more work and funding to build all the missing sidewalks, safe crosswalks and neighborhood traffic calming needed to provide all our city’s young students a safe way to walk or bike to class. We need more funding for safe streets near schools, not less.

Additionally, red light cameras are already a somewhat controversial, though effective, tool for enforcing traffic safety without requiring a police officer interaction. But perhaps knowing that your ticket funds are going to help make streets near schools safer will take some of the sting out of that ticket. If the money just goes into the general fund, that takes away one good argument in favor of the cameras: They can do double-duty by enforcing traffic laws and funding street safety improvements at the same time.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has created a handy online tool you can use to contact the City Council and tell them to reject this funding change. More details from SNG:

This funding would have helped children at 25 schools across Seattle walk to class safely by investing in projects like enhanced crosswalks, traffic calming, and walkways. Instead these projects will be delayed, adding to the 300-year backlog of sidewalk projects.

We need you to speak up now in support for funding sidewalks and crosswalks so that kids in Seattle can get safely to and from school.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has championed the Safe Routes to School program since our founding in 2011 as a core piece of our work. We’re committed to making every neighborhood a great place to walk and making sure every child can safely walk to school. But in order to do that we need our city leaders to increase funding for safe routes to schools and sidewalks.

We need you to act now and send a letter to your councilmembers asking them to ensure that Safe Routes to School are adequately funded and kids can get safely to and from school.

New council date, final projects set for Central City in Motion plan

Bike Portland - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:09

Cover of PBOT’s newly published Central City in Motion Implementation Plan .

After many changes in the past few months, the ink is finally drying on the Central City in Motion plan.

This week the Portland Bureau of Transportation published a bunch of new documents (including the official Implementation Plan) and changed the council hearing date to this coming Thursday November 15th at 2:00 pm.

This is not a drill.

With two years of public outreach and planning all tied up in a bow, all that’s left is to make closing arguments, get this thing passed at City Council, and start building.

Here’s what made the final cut…

The Projects

Phasing map. Projects in red will come first (1-5 years).

The 18 projects (a.k.a. “super project bundles”) have been finalized and separated into two construction phases: 1-5 and 6-10 years (map above shows all of them). Since we last reported on this plan, three projects have been added back onto the list at the request of various organizations and agencies: the Grand Avenue transit/freight lane (at the request of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Portland Streetcar, and TriMet); NW 14th protected bike lanes and safer crossings (at the request of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association); and NE Multnomah upgrades (at the request of Go Lloyd).

Below are the final recommendations for 1-5 year implementation. As you read the list, note the following: The number corresponds to official project number and is not a ranking of priority; “BAT” lane is short for Business Access and Transit; some projects listed are just small chunks of larger projects.

1 – Burnside (from W 10th to E 12th) – $5.5 million

The proposal includes a Bus and Turn lane, a series of crossing improvements, and protected bikeways. These investments will provide faster, more reliable TriMet service, improve safety and accessibility on West Burnside approaching the bridge, and facilitate more cycling trips across the river

2 – Broadway (from SW Grant to Broadway Bridge) 4th Avenue (from SW Caruthers to NW Flanders), and SW College – $6.6 million

This project would create a signature north-south bike facility on the 4th Avenue and Broadway couplet, while upgrading unsignalized pedestrian crossings in South Downtown. The couplet would increase access for people biking to major destinations and employers, including PSU and the downtown retail core, and increase crossing safety along both streets

3 – NE/SE 7th Avenue (from Sullivan’s Span to Division) and SE Grand Ave – $5.4 million

Coordinating to serve freight, auto, transit and bike needs, these projects would improve how people move through the heart of the Central Eastside. MLK and Grand would include Bus/Streetcar and Turn (BAT) lanes that could also accommodate freight. New pedestrian crossings of MLK and Grand would improve safety and access. Protected bike lanes on 7th Avenue would connect the Sullivan’s Crossing to the Tilikum Bridge. 6th Avenue, the likely location of the future Green Loop, would include new pedestrian crossings.

5 – SW Madison (from SW 5th to SW 1st) – $170,000

Moving the bike lane on Madison will eliminate weaving with the buses. Portions of the bikeway connections from the Hawthorne Bridge will be protected. Separating people biking on Madison from other vehicles will improve safety for all roadway users. To accommodate the BAT lane from 1st to 5th Avenues on SW Madison, all parking would be removed.

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6 – NW 14th (from Burnside to Front) – $530,000

NW 14th would create a protected bike lane from Burnside to Hoyt, and a wide bike lane from Hoyt to Savier. To accommodate the protected bike lane on SW 14th Avenue from Burnside to Hoyt, parking on both sides of the street
would be removed from Couch to Everett and one travel lane would be removed from Everett to Glisan.

7 – NW Everett (from Broadway to Steel Bridge) – $1 million

This project would make bus trips faster and more reliable by adding a Bus and Turn (BAT) lane on Everett approaching the bridge. It would address the ramps on the west side of the bridge that create merging conflicts, further improving transit commutes out of downtown. To accommodate a BAT lane on NW Everett from Broadway to 2nd Avenue, a travel lane would be removed.

8 – SW Salmon/SW Taylor/SW 1st – $3.9 million

… creating a protected bike lane on Salmon/Taylor. They would link to the Hawthorne Bridge via a new protected bike lane on SW 1st. Pedestrian crossing improvements on both streets and bus stop improvements on SW Salmon are also proposed. To accommodate protected bike lanes, parking would be removed along one side of Salmon and Taylor.

9 – SE Salmon – $490,000

SE Salmon community greenway would provide a family-friendly bike connection to the Eastbank Esplanade and the Willamette River. This project would include improved crossings at the intersections at Water, MLK, Grand, 7th, 11th, and 12th.

12 – SE Hawthorne (from viaduct to 12th) – $1.2 million

… transit priority at intersections on Hawthorne and Madison, protected bike lanes on Hawthorne. New transit islands on Hawthorne would increase transit speed and reliability while reducing conflicts with people driving and biking. To accommodate a parking protected bike lane, the northernmost lane on Hawthorne would become a pro-time parking lane; no parking would be provided on the north side of Hawthorne during the peak hour.

13 – NE Multnomah – $3.8 million

This project would improve the existing parking protected bike lane on NE Multnomah and address bus/bike conflicts (by building transit islands). A Neighborhood Greenway on NE 16th would provide a connection between this route and NE Portland neighborhoods. On NE Multnomah Street, the current buffered bike lane would become a parking-protected bike lane.

15 – NE Lloyd (from MLK to 12th) – $740,000

This two-way bikeway along Lloyd would provide a cycling connection from the Steel Bridge to 16th. It would connect to the forthcoming Sullivan’s Crossing – a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge to be constructed over I-84 at 7th Avenue. To accommodate the protected bikeway from Grand to NE 9th, one travel lane in each direction would be removed. To accommodate buffered bike lanes from NE 9th to NE 12th, the center turn lane would be removed.

16 – Pedestrian crossings of Burnside – $870,000

17 – Naito Parkway – $4 million*

This project would implement a year-round version of “Better Naito,” providing a two-way cycletrack and sidewalk along the west side of Waterfront Park. Modern signal equipment would be installed along the corridor to better coordinate signal timing. Smart signals will smooth auto access to I-5 by detecting vehicle queues waiting to turn onto the Morrison Bridge. To accommodate the two-way cycletrack, one north bound travel lane will be removed. PBOT studied moving the bikeway into Waterfront Park, but determined the tree impacts were too great

*Notice PBOT has decided against a version of the project floated by Mayor Wheeler (and championed by the Portland Business Alliance) that would have maintained existing auto capacity between Salmon and the Morrison Bridge. PBOT has also (very smartly) laid to rest the idea of making a bike pathway through Waterfront Park (another idea pushed by the PBA).

18 – NE Broadway/Weidler (phase I) – $1.5 million

This project would reconfigure travel lanes where feasible to create protected or buffered bike lanes for improved safety and circulation. The project would extend from the Broadway Bridge to NE 7th Ave to connect with existing bike lanes in the Lloyd neighborhood.

Is it starting to sink in yet? This is stuff PBOT will start building next spring. Here’s how they’ll pay for it…

The Funding

This first tranche of projects is estimated to cost about $36 million (total cost of all projects in the plan is twice that). Lest you think this is a repeat of the 2030 Bicycle Master Plan which had no dedicated funding, PBOT says they have about $25 million in their pocket, ready to spend. It comes from a combination of a federal grant, assistance from TriMet, and fees paid to PBOT by developers.

The city is still $9 million short for this first phase and would still need another $36 million for the 6-10 year projects.

Keep in mind, that all this stuff is fluid and PBOT is likely to find more money and even switch projects around from the two phases. PBOT is a pragmatic and opportunistic agency and while they need a certain amount of specificity to pass the plan at City Council, by no means is all this stuff set is stone.

In these final days before the hearing, PBOT and their advocacy partners are prepping presentations and testimony. Check out the plan on PBOT’s website and stay tuned for more updates and coverage early next week.

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

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Bike Lane Street Sweeper

Bike Hugger - Thu, 11/08/2018 - 16:03

Designed and manufactured by Bill Stites, this pedal-powered Bike Lane Street Sweeper was spotted in Portland.

If you’ve read about the UPS cargo trike, that was designed by Bill too. Here’s a very early version of it I saw in 2010.

As Bike Portland tells the story, like many of you, Bill was tired of having to ride through the slippery leaves that often block or narrow many Portland bike lanes this time of year. So he built his own sweeper.

Bill’s sweeper creates a clear path about 36-inches wide by pushing debris to the curb. He estimates he could make them available for about $1,500 a piece (the heavy-duty brush-heads alone are $200 each). With a modified hitch that could attach to more types of bikes, perhaps neighborhood associations, local tool libraries, and other organizations could purchase one of these and loan it out to volunteer sweepers.

 

The post Bike Lane Street Sweeper appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Tired of leaves in bike lanes, this Portlander made a pedal-powered sweeper

Bike Portland - Thu, 11/08/2018 - 15:30


*Many major bikeways in Portland are covered in leaves this time of year. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Bill Stites of Portland-based Stites Design likes to create human-powered vehicles that can do amazing things.

Bill Stites

His most successful product so far is the “Truck Trike” which has been used to re-balance bike share fleets and by delivery giant UPS to deliver packages.

And like many of you, Bill is tired of having to ride through the slippery leaves that often block or narrow many Portland bike lanes this time of year. As we saw last week on SW Terwilliger, the presence of leaves in bike lanes isn’t just a minor inconvenience, it can put people at risk and it contributes to already-frayed nerves. At a time when we must do everything possible to promote cycling, this is just one more hazard people face.

We’ve heard from readers who’ve slipped and fallen this year, and several who fear they might. The issue comes up every year, and while PBOT eventually cleans most of it up (they’ve already swept Terwilliger, Willamette, and many other bikeways in the past week), there’s got to be a better way to deal with it. And it’s not just the leaves. Soon it will be snow, then ice, then gravel. People who ride bikes deserve better.

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PBOT’s smallest sweeper (seen here on Williams Ave last week) is still too big for some of our new protected bike lanes.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortlanD)

In 2013 the City of Portland added a mini-sweeper to its maintenance fleet with the expressed intent of using it to clear bikeways. But that’s just one sweeper. And at 7 1/2-feet wide, it won’t be able to squeeze into some the newly protected bikeways PBOT has built in the past few years.

Enter Bill Stites’ latest creation: A trailer outfitted with swiveling brushes pulled behind his electric trike. It’s simple and effective.

(Photos: Bill Stites)

Here’s a video of it in action on SE Morrison…

Bill tells us it’s still just a prototype. His ultimate goal is to create a “human scale, appropriate energy consumption,” solution at a reasonable cost.

About a year ago, before he started to work on this sweeper trailer, Bill met with PBOT maintenance staff to talk about the problem. “Our discussion revealed a sticking point,” he recalled via email today. “They insisted that the detritus needed to be picked up for liability reasons. Pushing to the side without picking up was not acceptable (the only exception being snow).”

Bill says designing a system to capture the leaves would up the cost, complexity, and energy consumption. He wants to keep things simple so he plans to keep refining his trailer design. “Personally, I think the design is pretty close,” he says.

Bill’s sweeper creates a clear path about 36-inches wide by pushing debris to the curb. He estimates he could make them available for about $1,500 a piece (the heavy-duty brush-heads alone are $200 each). With a modified hitch that could attach to more types of bikes, perhaps neighborhood associations, local tool libraries, and other organizations could purchase one of these and loan it out to volunteer sweepers.

In the spirit of bike-powered trash-hauler Danny Dunn, we salute Bill Stites and hope to see a fleet of his sweepers on Portland streets in the very near future.

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

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