Harvard University professor Naomi Oreskes writes a defense of NIMBYism, asking that we rethink he use of the term by considering the community-protecting motives of many NIMBYs.
Ahh – can you feel that? That’s a successfulpostcard campaign from 15 years ago.(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
There’s nothing new under the sun, but effective political tactics have a way of staying effective.
That’s what reader and legendary bike advocate Phil Goff observed this week in a comment beneath Tuesday’s post about a series of postcard campaigns by activist group Bike Loud PDX:
This is exactly what I did 15-16 years ago to create the political pressure to bring in funding for the Morrison Bridge sidepath project. On two occasions, I had 300-400 signed postcards mailed to Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein (to get the County’s attention) and then 6 mo later to Metro Council chair Rod Monroe during the MTIP process. In the age of e-mail, Twitter and FB, a simple postcard campaign can pack a lot of punch. Its great to hear that advocates are reviving the tactic for other projects. Good luck BikeLoudPDX!
If you’ve never heard the story of Goff’s 12-year campaign to turn what was a temporary construction detour into a permanent, comfortable route over the Morrison between the heart of downtown and the central eastside, you can read Goff’s account of it in this 2010 guest post. It’s a great rainy-week reminder that if you keep at it, the sun always breaks through the clouds eventually.
— Barring any breaking news, Jonathan and I are signing off for the weekend. Thanks for another great week of comments — all 900 or so of them!
The post Comment of the Week: The slow, possible work of progress appeared first on BikePortland.org.
Williams and it’s brand new, left-side bike lane has been a hot issue this week.(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
“I ride N Williams every day and am experiencing some difficulties myself.”— Leah Treat, Director of PBOT
This week marked a very positive milestone for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT): They seem to be opening up a bit about joining the comment section here on BikePortland. I think this is a great development because it shows they understand the value of direct online engagement with their customers (us) and it could be a sign that they’re gaining confidence around the bicycling issue. PBOT staff have been commenting on BikePortland ever since Day One. But in recent years, changes in media protocol coupled with a bit more critical tone toward the agency from this site, has scared some of them away (not to mention all the talk of stagnation might have sapped some staffers’ mojo).
However, I’m happy to report that in the last 24 hours, we’ve gotten our first comment ever from PBOT Director Leah Treat and an official statement from Diane Dulken, one of PBOT’s media relations staffers. Both of the comments are in response to our recent coverage of the Williams project.
Treat’s comment was unexpected — and unexpectedly candid. Here’s the comment she left last night:
“I ride N Williams every day and am experiencing some difficulties myself. There are some good questions posed here and I or my staff will post a response tomorrow.”
I think it’s a great sign that PBOT’s top staffer has shown this degree of candor on such a hot-button issue without hiding behind a spokesperson or politi-speak. It also shows that she respects other commenters — which is something I believe is key to hosting a productive online community. (And yes, I did confirm that Treat is the real author of that comment.)<\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>-->
Then, just a few minutes ago, Treat’s promise of a response panned out. Agency spokeswoman Diane Dulken left a statement in the comment section of our 10/17 story on concerns that traffic from Williams is spilling onto Rodney:
On behalf of PBOT, we want to say thanks so much for all of these comments. We really appreciate the feedback. It helps as we keep rolling out the new road design for North Williams.
The biggest thing we want to stress is that Williams is still an active construction zone – you know that, but it bears emphasis: there are still elements of the bike lane that we haven’t installed yet. Part of the issue is all of the rain we got this week. We need to wait for some dry weather to stripe and install other segments.
We’re also very aware that an expanded left hand bike lane is an unusual treatment in Portland. Whether folks are walking, biking or driving, it’s going to take some time getting used to. To help with that, we are conducting the “A Safer Place for Everyone” education campaign (you can check that out here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/502852). We’re also passing out brochures and other info through the neighborhood and we plan to keep up education and outreach to help all travelers adjust to the new street design. For now, the biggest message is to please ride, drive and walk with care. We have to look out for each other out there.
A few other specifics: We plan to add signage on Broadway to make traffic patterns clearer, which should help reduce conflicts and confusion.
The issue with cars driving through the Rodney diverter is also on our radar and we’re discussing some possible solutions to that.
If you have addition comments, concerns or want to share some more info with us. please reach out to Dan Layden on our staff next week. He’s at a conference today, but will be back Monday. You can reach him by email at email@example.com or by phone 503.823.2804. Thanks again for engaging with us.
So there you have it: PBOT is listening — and responding — to your feedback and they’re engaged in these important issues. That’s nothing new actually, I’ve always found them to be highly attentive. But what is new, and encouraging to me, is that they’re engaging with you and I directly here on BikePortland.
The post PBOT, via blog comments, responds to “difficulties” of Williams project appeared first on BikePortland.org.
Research suggests China’s current urbanization policy forgoes $2 trillion in growth over the next ten years. That is, unless the government funnels even more migrants into major population centers and develops for density.
Small towns in Georgia, such as Doraville along I-285, are making millions of dollars a year by issuing traffic tickets.
New research from the American Heart Association measures sudden cardiac death and proximity to major roadways, showing that cardiac risks posed by environmental exposure have been under-appreciated. The next step is to find the specific cause.
As the redesign for LOVE Park begins, Ashley Hahn reminds us of the park's role in supporting and maintaining civic life in the city of brotherly love.
A Bike Swarm ride passes a Portland gas station in 2012.(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
Oregon keeps inching toward its goal of replacing or supplementing the gas tax it invented, back in 1919, with a Prius-proof mileage tax.
Next July 1, the first 5,000 volunteer drivers will get a chance to opt out of gas tax and into a so-called “usage charge.” As the state gets ready for that test, a meeting in Portland this Monday will be the last stop on a statewide tour to gather input about the concept.
It’s theoretically possible that a per-mile tax could eventually be made to vary based on location, creating an anti-congestion tool similar to the ones that have been effective in London, Singapore and San Diego. It’s also possible that the fees could vary by vehicle weight, which could preserve the gas tax’s energy efficiency incentives.
Oregon’s “2014 statewide listening tour” and the pilot project it’ll lead to are the results of a state law passed in 2013 that created the country’s first road usage charge program on a trial, opt-in basis.
Here’s the official summary of how the pilot program will work:
Oregon’s new road usage charge system will automatically collect mileage data from vehicles. Motorists will choose a mileage reporting device to interface with their vehicle and be paired with software to send mileage totals to a private account manager. ODOT will contract with private companies to maintain customer accounts, calculate charges and credits, and submit charges to the Oregon Treasury.<\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>-->
The basic reason for the experiment:
Funding for transportation system maintenance and construction has been declining in Oregon and around the country since the 1990s. This is due in part to more fuel efficient vehicles purchasing less gas, thus paying less in gas taxes – which go toward maintaining and building roads and highways.
Another factor here is essentially the same as the one behind Portland’s effort to create a new income tax for transportation: Americans are driving less, Oregonians most rapidly. Our drop in miles driven per person began in 1999, one of the earliest states to see this trend, and by 2011 it was down 18.7 percent, the biggest decline in the country. (That’s due both to our unusually car-lite cities and our unusually struggling rural areas.)
Even if vehicle efficiency weren’t rising, Oregon’s highway expansion schedule is premised on traffic volumes rebounding, and its road maintenance requirements depend on people continuing to pay into the system.
Next week’s meeting is Monday, Oct. 27, at Portland’s World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon St. downtown, from 9 a.m. to noon. The state is inviting “business leaders, elected officials, city/county public officials, transportation representatives, media and other stakeholders” to attend.
The post Oregon prepares to launch its opt-in test of a vehicle mileage tax appeared first on BikePortland.org.
Despite a veto by Governor Jerry Brown, California’s Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins should keep trying to pass legislation to encourage preservation, says Bay area preservation architect Jerri Holan.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
A traffic diverter is a barrier placed in an intersection to prevent auto traffic from going through it. The goal is to make certain streets less attractive to auto drivers and reduce auto traffic volumes overall. So, when it’s relatively easy to drive through one — which is the case with a new diverter in northeast Portland — it sort of defeats the purpose.
The Bureau of Transportation recently installed a diagonal diverter on NE Rodney at Ivy. As we reported a few weeks ago, it was installed at the urging of the Eliot Neighborhood Association. With changes afoot on N Williams Ave, residents were concerned that Rodney would become a busy speedway full of impatient drivers cutting-through their neighborhood in search of a quick route north.
They were right. Since the lane changes on Williams (they’re still not fully complete), Rodney has seen a significant increase in auto traffic during the evening rush. And that’s where the diverter comes in.
Here’s what it looks like…Looking north on Rodney at Ivy. Note the tire tracks. Note the tire tracks.
As you can see, the new diverter on Rodney consists of three separate median islands that stretch from the southeast to the northwest corner of the intersection. They’re only a few inches high and about a foot deep. On top of the concrete curbs are four foot high plastic bollards — a.k.a. “candlestick wands” — that are bright white with reflective tape at the top. In order for bicycle riders to be able to easily pass through, there are two openings in the median curbs which are about six to eight feet wide.
Unfortunately it turns out that that’s just wide enough for cars.
Last night I sat at NE Rodney and Ivy for about 30 minutes with my camera at the ready. It only took about 30 seconds to realize that the rumors I heard last week were true.
In the video below, you can see how easy it is for people to drive through. This person barely even slows down!
And here are several others caught in the act…<\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>-->
It’s also worth noting that every person who drove over it was coming from south (on Rodney) to north.
While this shockingly lawless behavior is certainly nothing I would personally partake in, let’s give these folks the benefit of the doubt: The physical footprint of the diverter is relatively minimal and there’s no signage explicitly advising drivers that it’s illegal to drive through it. And heck, their cars fit, so why not try it?
The lightweight design of this diverter might have something to do with the fact that PBOT says it was installed only as an experiment and that it can be removed if the traffic data and/or public feedback warrants it.
Last night, volunteers from Bike Loud PDX led a ride on Rodney to encourage calmer traffic and show support for the diverter. One topic of conversation was how this diverter could be designed to work better. The trick is, the openings have to be wide enough for a large cargo bike, a handcycle, a trike, or a bike pulling a trailer to fit — yet narrow enough so cars aren’t tempted to squeeze through.
(The problem with this diverter reminds me of other situations around town where PBOT seems afraid to install infrastructure that appears too anti-car; like those “fire-friendly” speed humps that have slots where car tires can easily fit through. These devices don’t achieve desired outcomes and only end up annoying all road users.)
I think the answer on Rodney is to provide a second row of barriers with off-set openings that a bike rider could easily navigate but a driver could not. My favorite diverter in the entire city is the one PBOT installed on N Central and Tyler (in photo below). Perhaps — if it becomes permanent — the city will consider doing something similar on Rodney…
In the meantime, please tell your friends and neighbors that driving through a diverter is illegal, dangerous, and uncivilized.
The post People are driving right through new diverter on NE Rodney appeared first on BikePortland.org.
The skills and location data of over 175 million LinkedIn members were mined to produce a map displaying the industries most common in major cities throughout the United States and Europe.
In a new coming-of-age sign for the technology industry in Los Angeles, the San Francisco based start-up RidePal unveiled its first private shuttle bus partnership in LA this week.
A Detroit reborn sounds great, but what if the residents of “blighted” areas don’t want to leave? Many feel they have no choice in a process that has been compared to racial relocation. Meanwhile, activists scramble to give residents options.
A new study from Virginia Tech reclassifies what defines multi-modal commuters.
South Miami, population 11,657, has had enough with the Florida legislature's intransigence at combatting climate change, so it has launched a secession movement for 24 southern counties to secede from the northern part of the state.
It’s ‘Thrill the World’ weekend and Kidical Mass will be there to join in the creepy fun.(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)
Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.
I know what you’re thinking… Who the heck wants to ride in all this rain!? Well, the truth is, riding in the rain isn’t so bad, especially with friends. And besides, there’s bound to be a break in the clouds here and there, so why not be prepared with a list of all the fun bike stuff to do?
Grab your jackets, get your fenders on, and have a great (wet) weekend..Friday, October 24th
Gold Sprints with Revolights – 7:00 pm at Chrome Retail Hub (425 SW 10th Ave) Revolights, a California-based designer of very cool bicycle lights, is in Portland. Join them at the Chrome store tonight for some fun and gold sprinting. $5 race entry and winner takes all. More info here.
EcoSpeed Kickstarter Crush Party – 7:30 pm at 2330 SE Clatsop The crew at EcoSpeed wants to celebrate their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Join them for a big party that will feature a DJ, free beer and food, a prize giveaway, and lots of lofty prognostications for what will surely be an exciting future. More info here.Saturday, October 25th
Bike Shop Tour – 9:45 am at New Seasons (SE Hawthorne and 41st) The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Active Transportation Division will lead this tour of local bike shops. See what makes them tick and why our local shops are so fantastic. More info here.
Bike to the Ballot with Congressman Blumenauer – 9:45 am at Yes on 92 HQ (727 NE 24th Ave) Portland Congressman Earl Blumenauer is leading a ride to drop off ballots and raise awareness for Measure 92 (GMO labeling), the re-election of Senator Jeff Merkley, Governor Kitzhaber, and other issues Blumenauer supports. Expect an easy ride from northeast to the County Elections Division office at SE 10th and Morrison.
Western Bikeworks Shop Ride – 10:00 am at the shop (1015 NW 17th Ave) Your basic shop ride led by the awesome and fun Maria Schur. Route depends on weather. If it’s really bad, she says they’ll just do a short urban loop. More info here.
Biking About Architecture – Montavilla – 11:00 am at Milepost 5 (900 NE 81st) Residential architecture lover Jenny Fosmire leads another one of her fun adventures. This one will have a Halloween theme with ride-bys of the Munster Mashup, Terry Gilliam funhouse, a bunker home, the grotto, and lots of fun art gardens. Expect an easy, 8 mile route. More info here (FB).
Tour De Brew – 12 noon at Oregon Public House (700 NE Dekum Street) Not your average pub crawl, this tour of north Portland’s best breweries is a fundraiser that aims to help the water crisis in the Central African Republic. The route will start in Woodlawn and hit the Hopworks BikeBar, Ecliptic Brewery, and end at Ex Novo on N Flint. Limited to first 100 riders and there’s a minimum donation of $50 (entry comes with some nice freebies). More info here.
Kidical Mass Thrilleride – 1:45 pm at Dawson Park (145 N Stanton) Get your zombie makeup on and join the fun folks from Kidical Mass for a ride to the annual “Thrill the World” dance performance (yes, it’s a thing). Don’t forget to throw some candy in your bag to keep the kiddos smiling bright throughout the night. More info here.<\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>-->
The Athletic – Shop Opening Party – 5:00 pm at 925 NW 19th Ave Founded by bike industry creative giant Jeremy Dunn (behind the Embrocation Cycling Journal among other things), The Athletic went big with their Portland Airport Carpet socks. Now they’ve got a large and quite beautiful line of socks that are sure to make you look better on or off the bike. Join them to celebrate the opening of their first retail store and you’ll also get a sneak peek at the Chris King/Cielo Cyclcross team and their drool-worthy steeds. More info here.
Transport-astic Studio Opener – 6:30 pm at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (SE 10th and Division) Join the voices and personalities behind the Sprocket, BikePortland, and (new!) Transportini podcasts in this fun event at the home of Open Roads Broadcasting. We’ll be doing live radio, doing “urban growth boundary Twister” (I have no idea what that will entail), and sharing good drinks. Join us! More info here (FB).Sunday, October 26th
Cross Crusade #4 – All day at Washington County Fairgrounds (Hillsboro) It’s going to be funny and muddy out there. Add in the big Tailgator Competition and who knows how this weekend will turn out. Regardless, you know you’ll feel left out when everyone’s talking about how epic it was. More info here.
Pumpkin Carving at Velo Cult – 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd Ave) Bring a pumpkin to Velo Cult and carve amongst friends (and beer and fine bicycles). More info here
— If we missed anything, feel free to let us know and/or give it a shout-out in the comments.
The post Weekend Event Guide: Thriller, a brewery tour, podcast party, and more! appeared first on BikePortland.org.
Cherokee+Schill.jpg This week, my colleague, Steve Clark, wrote about his experience riding with Cherokee Schill and the conditions she faces while biking to work in Kentucky. Her fight for her right to road reflects our society’s decisions about how we create roads, how we create laws for those roads, and the culture of safety we choose to create for our roadways. So what's the legal background for her fight? And are their signs of hope for Kentucky’s future? Keep reading...
A study comparing urbanization and per capita GDP between 1980 and 2011 questions common assumptions about the connections between economic growth and cities.
A motion passed earlier this month calls for landowners to receive tax breaks for leasing vacant property for agriculture and farming.
New multi-use path goes east-west just south of MAX line/UPRR tracks between SE 7th and 17th.(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
It’s less than one year to go until TriMet takes the wraps off the Orange Line, a 7.3 mile extension of the MAX light rail system that will connect downtown Portland to Milwaukie in northern Clackamas County. While the marquee component of the $1.5 billion project, the Tillikum Crossing Bridge, won’t open until next fall, many parts of the new project are already open for business.
Among the $40 million the project will spend on infrastructure for bicycling and walking, is a series of new multi-use paths and bike lanes that will connect the eastern end of the Tilikum Bridge to SE McLoughlin Blvd via new connections on SE Caruthers and SE 17th. While some final details remain, enough of this section is open that I figured it warranted a closer look.
Our (north to south) tour starts at SE 7th and Division Place where the beginning of the new multi-use path isn’t open yet, but you can see it behind some barriers. You can also see the nice new sidewalk being build on SE Caruthers as it goes under the MLK/Grand viaduct.Looking west toward downtown at SE Caruthers. Start of multi-use path.
The new multi-use path is open right now starting at SE 8th and Division Pl. There’s a wide curb ramp that is a combo path/sidewalk at first that then splits into path-only and follows the new rail line to the multi-pronged intersection of SE Clinton, Milwaukie, 11th and 12th. At 11th and 12th, bicycle riders will wait for a signal and cross in the crosswalk…Headed east at SE 8th/Division Place. At SE 11th and Clinton. Crossing onto path island between 11th and 12th.
Then, at the new MAX station at SE 12th and Clinton, the bike route goes onto SE Gideon where they’ve installed sharrows for two long blocks until the dedicated path starts up again. This path connects right to the new bridge over SE Powell. (Note the temporary bike route directional signage. I assume this will be made permanent eventually.)View of sidewalk looking east from SE 12th/Clinton MAX station. Gideon (bike route) is to the right. <\/scr"+"ipt>"); //]]>--> I want a t-shirt that reads: “I spent $1.5 billion on a new transportation corridor and all I got was this sharrow.” Kidding! Transition from shared-lane environment on Gideon back onto path.
Going up and over the path on the new SE Powell flyover bridge (which has been open since last year) shifts your direction to the south. If you want to continue south, there’s a new bike/walk crossing facility just before SE Pershing Street. The crossing is push-button activated and comes with ample signage, flashing lights, and a voice that blares “Cross street with caution, vehicles may not stop!”. You’ll note that this crossing is meant specifically for bicycles because of the color treatment — yellow for walkers, green for bikers…These folks are headed north up onto the flyover of SE Powell. New crosswalk/bike looking south. New crosswalk/bike looking north toward Powell. Bikers on the left, walkers on the right.
Continuing south you are now on SE 17th, which has been striped with new buffered bike lanes from SE Powell all the way down to Holgate. The bike lane feels like a standard 5-6 foot width plus a 1-2 foot buffer…Buffer goes away when things get too narrow. Out in the great, wide open.
Coming back north from Holgate, it’s pretty much the same. It’s a buffered bike lane from Holgate to Pershing, then the bike lane lead directly up onto the sidewalk/path that will get you back to the Powell Blvd bridge…Route goes by TriMet Central yard, which means 17th has lots of bus traffic. Use caution around these driveways. Moving cars on one side, door-zone on the other. Bike lane transitions back to path/sidewalk just south of Powell.
Now that you have a sense of what’s out there, here are a few thoughts I scribbled in my notebook:
— In the northern section there are pretty good crossings over the tracks to access SE 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th. However, once you cross the tracks, you’re left with pretty much nothing in terms of dedicated bike infrastructure — so brace yourself!Good luck!
— It’s great to see all the bike parking at the new Clinton/12th MAX station, but it seems — especially if we have $1.5 billion to spend — we should at least add some sort of roof over it.A little roof to stay out of the rain would be nice.
— The public art poems, scrawled anonymously in the sidewalks and paths, are a fun diversion. Two of them in particular stood out: “Some have evolved to commute upright smiling,” and “Pass carefully by Ladd’s spiderweb of streets.”
— This sign placement on the ramp up to the new Powell bridge is unfortunate. One insignificant sign causes a jog in an otherwise direct path. I hope they add some reflectors to it before someone rides into it in the dark… UPDATE, 9:50 pm – According to our friend @Howrad on Twitter, PBOT has already added safety signage on the pole to prevent folks from running into it.
— The buffered bike lanes on SE 17th are better than nothing; but I can’t help but think it was a huge missed opportunity to not get a protected bike lane here. There’s a nice planter strip in some sections that should have been the outside edge of a protected bike lane. I just don’t understand how we spend $1.5 billion on a transportation project that started with a clean slate and we build what amounts to 1990s bike infrastructure. When I ride 17th with my kids, I’ll probably use the sidewalk.Every mode here is protected — except cycling. Technically a sidewalk, but safer than the bike lane.
Reader Carrie Leonard said the changes have “had a significantly positive impact” on her family. The Leonards live on SE 19th in Westmoreland (north of Bybee). Carrie’s daughter goes to Cleveland High School and uses the new bike lanes on 17th and the new paths along Powell. “She has done this the past two mornings at 6:30 am,” Carrie shared with us via email, “and it’s So Much Better with the buffered bike lane and one lane on 17th (and the dedicated bridge over Powell) than crossing at 26th.”
My few quibbles aside, this project will have a huge and positive impact on biking in this area. The presence of SW Powell and other large and fast streets, as well as the impenetrable Union Pacific Railroad tracks made bikeway connectivity in this area abysmal before these changes came. (The Springwater is great, but it’s not convenient for running errands, meeting friends, or getting things done on Division or other points north of Powell.)
“The link between Westmoreland, SE 17th, and then SE Clinton just makes it easy and safe to get North,” Carrie said, “We are dedicated bike people, but even for us there were barriers to getting north of Powell from our location. This bridge and the improvements on 17th have removed that barrier.”
The post First look: New bike facilities open along MAX Orange Line appeared first on BikePortland.org.