US National

Man on bike seriously injured in SW Barnes Road collision

BikePortland - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 6:21pm
Southwest Barnes Road at Miller Road.(Image: Google Street View)

A man reportedly received life-threatening head injuries while biking on Southwest Barnes Road Friday afternoon, just west of the Washington/Multnomah County line on the street that is known, in Multnomah County, as Burnside.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Bob Ray told KGW that the man, who is in his 40s, was headed westbound on Barnes, possibly in or near the turn lane, when an SUV turned left in front of him onto Southwest Miller Road.

“The vehicle believed that he was turning,” Ray said in the interview.

There are no bike lanes on Barnes. Eastbound cars turning left at this intersection seem to have an arrow signal, so it’s not clear from Ray’s initial description what would have led to the left-turn conflict.

KGW reported that a “multi-vehicle crash” happened “around 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Barnes Road and Southwest Miller Road.” Here’s a tweet from the station’s news photographer:

A bicyclist & a car collide @ SW Miller & Barnes Rds. The cyclist is at the hospital. The driver on scene. @KGWNews

— Steven Redlin (@StevenRedlin) May 22, 2015

In his video interview with KGW, Ray said “he was riding what we classify as a street-type bike, so they’re pretty fast bicyclists and this is a pretty steep hill. So witnesses told us that he did have considerable speed going.”

We’ll be continuing to follow this story as we learn more.

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Categories: US National

Comment of the week: Portland’s road-diet deadline

BikePortland - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 6:03pm
Southwest Naito Parkway, pre-redesign.(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

How long is it supposed to take to drive across town?

Your answer to that question probably depends, more or less, on how long it took to do so when you moved to town.

That’s one of the ideas behind a comment BikePortland reader Carl Abbott added to Tuesday’s story about this week’s experimental redesign of Naito Parkway. Extrapolating a bit from the Naito situation, Carl speculated that as Portland’s buildings fill in and grow up, its streets might start filling up, too.

By reallocating traffic lanes on streets defined as having excess capacity, the city is essentially engaged in a citywide traffic slowing enterprise as drivers will keep seeking out alternative routes until all arterials move at the same slower speed (see the classic essay on The Law of Rush Hour Traffic Congestion by Anthony Downs). How the next 100,000 Portlanders fit with this goal is not clear, but there will certainly be tensions along the lines of the apartments without parking spaces conflict.

If those next 100,000 Portlanders make the same transportation choices that Portlanders make today, our city will choke on its own traffic. Meanwhile, it’ll get politically harder and harder for the city to do what it needs to do in order to change that fate: to reduce the space dedicated to cars in order to improve more space-efficient modes like mass transit, walking and biking.

It’s worth noting that only many Portland streets (for example, Southeast Powell and Southwest Barbur boulevards) traffic has actually been falling despite the region’s steadily rising in population. But it’s not clear whether that’ll continue — and if it doesn’t, it’s all the more reason that today’s generation of Portlanders owes it to those who’ll come in the future to act to improve our city while we can. Let’s find ways to reassign our road space before it’s too late.

Yes, we pay for good comments. We’ll be sending $5 and a little goodie bag to Carl Abbott in thanks for this great one. Watch your email!

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Categories: US National

Seattle’s antidote to aggressive driving on neighborhood greenways

BikePortland - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 4:44pm
It works.(M.Andersen/BikePortland)

I’m in Seattle today joining the second leg of a study tour for a group from Indianapolis that’s visiting Portland and Seattle to study neighborhood greenways, the relatively low-cost, low-controversy bike infrastructure Portland imported from Vancouver BC and has built into a pretty solid network on its eastside grid.

As we’ve reported, our neighbors to the north are following suit even as funding for further expansion of Portland’s system remains frozen.

Indianapolis, short on cash but ambitious about bike infrastructure, is one of several cities around the country who are also following Portland’s lead.

Portland’s active transportation planners are trying to put the pieces in place for further greenway investment in the coming years, funding (but not yet releasing) an in-house, data-rich study of how the system is working. Meanwhile, neighborhood advocates have been using many tactics to raise awareness of a problem on some of the streets: heavy car traffic, in some cases from people who are cutting through the neighborhood on their way to somewhere else and seem distressed by the idea of getting stuck behind a 10 mph bicycle.

Here in Seattle, the Indianapolis squad noticed something interesting: Seattle’s residential streets tend to be much narrower than Portland’s, especially huge expanses like those of Northeast Going, Northeast Alameda or (to a lesser extent) Southeast Clinton.

Add parking on each side and on some Seattle streets, like 58th Street in the Ballard neighborhood pictured above, you’ve got a single lane to carry traffic in both directions.

Say what you will for this setup — it definitely calms traffic. Bike traffic included.

After I took the photo above (and after she negotiated a face-to-face standoff with a car coming the opposite direction in which both driver and rider stopped and waved the other one to proceed), I jogged beside the woman biking for a moment and asked if conflicts like that were annoying, or whether it was worth it because of the slow speeds.

She seemed noncommittal.

“Part of living in a city, I guess,” she said.

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Categories: US National

Happy Hour Anyone? Mapping Liquor Licenses and Crime in Dallas

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 4:00pm
Questions of how to regulate the sale of alcohol, how to enforce public intoxication, and whether or not alcohol leads to crime can quickly divide communities into factions. So what evidence exists to help cities answer these questions?
Categories: US National

Portland Streetcar Considers Fare Hike, Expanded Service

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 3:00pm
Long one of the rosiest of transit services in the country, thanks to low fares and its status as progenitor of a streetcar renaissance of sorts, changes are coming to the Portland Streetcar.
Categories: US National

Montgomery County, Maryland Rolling Out a Bike Master Plan Update

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 2:00pm
Just to the north of Washington D.C., Montgomery County will soon begin an update to its Bicycle Master Plan in the hopes of taking advantage of the evolving world of alternative transportation.
Categories: US National

Study Finds a New Narrative About Racial Segregation

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 1:00pm
New analysis of U.S. Census data dating back to 1880 reveals more about the breadth and depth of patterns of racial segregation.
Categories: US National

House Passes Two-Month Transportation Funding Patch; Senate Likely to Follow

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:00pm
The House voted 387-35 on Tuesday to extend transportation funding for two months—using the remaining funds in the Highway Trust Fund.
Categories: US National

Friday Eye Candy: 'Time-Lapse Mining' Reveals a Changing Planet

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 11:00am
Someone's done the hard work of finding, sorting, and stitching together millions of photos from the Internet to create animated portraits of the evolution of places.
Categories: US National

Bike Milwaukie raises money for public bike repair stand outside City Hall

BikePortland - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:59am

This year, the city just south of Portland is getting a new light rail line and an excellent new bike path extension alongside McLoughlin Boulevard. The co-founders of the group Bike Milwaukie want to add another amenity: a public bike repair stand.

“Over the past four and a half years, we’ve gone on over 50 rides with hundreds of participants, and it’s been a lot of fun,” group co-leader Greg Bartz-Bowman explains in the Kickstarter video above. “The only thing what hasn’t been fun is that when we have that occasional breakdown, there’s nowhere in town to get your bike fixed.”

Though Milwaukie has great access to the Springwater Corridor and Clackamas County Trolley Trail, plus an improving on-street bike network and a bike-friendly city council, the city of 20,000 doesn’t yet have a bike shop of its own. Bartz-Bowman and his collaborator Matt Menely hope the repair stand will make it convenient for bike users in the area to get quick access to a hand pump and a series of tools on retractable cables: Phillips & standard screwdrivers, steel core tire levers, a headset/pedal wrench, an 8/10mm cone wrench, a 9/11mm cone wrench and a Torx T-25 hex key set.

They figure that buying, shipping and installing the stand will cost $2,600. They’ve raised $1,130 so far with 27 days to go. Check out their campaign and chip in if you’d like to help.

Bike repair stands are an increasingly common amenity. Portland’s first public one, installed in 2009, is near Salmon Street Fountain in Waterfront Park, provided by Kerr Bikes. They’re now standard at many large new apartment buildings in Portland; in February we reported that Washington County will be installing five of them on its own land around the west side.

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Categories: US National

#BetterNaito demo kicks off two-week trial of multi-use path west of Waterfront Park

BikePortland - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:47am
(Photos: Greg Raisman)

Backed by a slightly bleary-eyed team of Portland State University engineering students, community volunteers and city staffers, local street redesign group Better Block PDX brought its latest city-approved demo to the easternmost lanes of Naito Parkway at 6 a.m. Friday.

The temporary treatment will convert the bike lane and rightmost mixed-traffic lane alongside Waterfront Park to a multi-use path for northbound bike traffic and for people walking.

It’s intended as a response to thick pedestrian spillover during the Rose Festival that starts this weekend, but will double as a way to test whether Naito would experience any traffic problems if the space were permanently dedicated to human use.

Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and Better Block have described it as a way to improve safety on Naito, reduce biking-walking conflicts in the park’s existing riverside path and to build on the legacy of Gov. Tom McCall, who in the early 1970s backed the plan to build the park in place of the former Harbor Drive expressway.

The Better Block installation team.

Both Jonathan and I happen to be out of town today, which is sort of killing us, but we’re eagerly watching photos come in over social media. Here are a few from during and after installation.

Super extra big bike lane on Naito for the next two weeks. Thanks #betterNaito

— Mike Vogel (@mikev) May 22, 2015

Best ride I've ever had down Naito. Sure is a #betternaito already. Thanks volunteers at @BetterBlockPDX!

— Zach Holz (@ZachHolz) May 22, 2015

Traffic flowing well at north end of #BetterNaito

— Peter Koonce (@pkoonce) May 22, 2015

@AltheaM3 #BetterNaito safety stencils!

— Althea Mickiewicz (@AltheaM3) May 22, 2015

Single lane uncontrolled pedestrian crossing south of Salmon is safer; eliminates double threat #BetterNaito #safety

— Peter Koonce (@pkoonce) May 22, 2015

Got shots of your own? Share with the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram and we’ll get some more up.

Update 2 p.m.: Here are some more:

Oh hey guys! Check out these colorful #betterblockpdx volunteers who stopped by to give us a hand tonight for #betternaito.

A photo posted by Yelena Prusakova (@yesthatmountain) on May 20, 2015 at 9:07pm PDT

A cargo bike volunteer moves supplies along Naito Blvd. #betternaito #betterblockpdx

A photo posted by Yelena Prusakova (@yesthatmountain) on May 22, 2015 at 1:06pm PDT

Ryan Hashagen of Better Block / Portland Pedicab giving cone distribution direction to our volunteers. #betternaito #betterblockpdx

A photo posted by Yelena Prusakova (@yesthatmountain) on May 22, 2015 at 1:00pm PDT

Better Naito launched at dawn with incredible participation from the Portland public. A crowd gathered at Salmon Fountain to improve human safety in a high use road area. Thank you all for your phenomenal attitude and zest. #betternaito #betterblockpdx

A photo posted by Yelena Prusakova (@yesthatmountain) on May 22, 2015 at 12:54pm PDT

Temp traffic control via bike! #betternaito

— Kate (@cyclingharpist) May 22, 2015

Fav part of #BetterNaito? Seeing coworkers and the tubular markers…everything is better with flowers! #stressfree

— Kristen Svicarovich (@ksvicarovich) May 22, 2015

#BetterNaito engineering by @PSUEngineering students. Thx 2 partners @AARPOR @PBOTinfo @PDXRoseFestival @OregonWalks

— Timur Ender (@timurender1) May 22, 2015

Disclosure: My other day job is as a staff writer for Colorado-based advocacy group PeopleForBikes, which has become a lead sponsor of the BetterNaito project thanks to support from Clif Bar. I didn’t make any funding decisions but will be minimizing my own coverage of this on BikePortland to keep things as clean as possible. Expect more coverage once Jonathan is back in town next week!

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Categories: US National

Grant Funding Rewards Innovation in Community Engagement

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:00am
The Citi Foundation and Living Cities announced $3 million in grant funding to help cities adopt innovative practices in community engagement. Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Seattle will have 18 months to empower citizens.
Categories: US National

What the New Census Data Reveals About the Urban Suburban Divide

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 9:00am
Newly released population data provides entre for a discussion about the nature of cities.
Categories: US National

China's Inland Cities Hit Their Stride

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 8:00am
China has added to the ranks of the world's megacities at a ridiculous clip. Even so, inland cities have tended to languish in anonymity. With new policies and economic orientations, the Chonquings are starting to compete with the Shanghais.
Categories: US National

Glut of Luxury Buildings Blamed for Rising Rents

Planetizen - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 7:00am
A Wall Street Journal trend piece argues that a shift toward luxury apartments in cities across the United States is driving up the cost of rent throughout the market.
Categories: US National

Questioning the Wisdom of Crowd Funding

Planetizen - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:00pm
After a splashy project recently hit its crowdfunding goals, one write dares to suggest that such fund raising methods might not be the best idea.
Categories: US National

Winter's Discontent Found in Architectural Billings Index

Planetizen - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 3:00pm
The Architecture Billings Index fell for the second time this year, but so far it seems the rough winter is more responsible for the downturn that a potential double dip of the Great Recession.
Categories: US National

Fracking Permits Temporarily Halted in North Carolina

Planetizen - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 2:00pm
Natural gas drilling was recently approved in North Carolina, but new operations are now on hold until the state Supreme Court resolves an issue about the process for appointing environmental review positions.
Categories: US National

Weekend Event Guide: Filmed by Bike, Corkett fundraiser, fast recumbents, and more

BikePortland - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:34pm

The glamour, fun, and films make Filmed By Bike a special festival. (Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.

It’s quite a weekend ahead. The Naito Pilot Project opens up at rush-hour tomorrow and Filmed By Bike takes over the Hollywood area all weekend long. And for many Portlanders (including me!), Friday morning is the start of the grueling Oregon Outback, a 360+ mile ride (75% dirt) from Klamath Falls to the Columbia River.

Whatever is in your plans, have fun and enjoy the weekend.

Friday, May 22nd

Better Naito Set-up Volunteer – 4:00 am (!) at SW Naito Pkwy and Salmon Help Better Block PDX set up the Naito Pilot Project which will create a temporary multi-use path on Naito Parkway. Cargo bikes are especially needed to help cart traffic dividers and other tasks. More info here (FB).

Filmed by Bike New Belgium Street Party – 5 to 9:30 pm at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd Ave) This is the annual free, all-ages, super-fun kickoff to Filmed by Bike! The festival runs all weekend and what better way to start things off than a big party just a few blocks from the Hollywood Theater were all the magic happens. Expect live music, dancing, Sprockettes performance, and more! More info here.

Filmed By Bike – 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm at The Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) Two big showings on opening night, both of which include the infamous prize raffle with tons of great stuff to win. More info here.

Saturday, May 23rd

Human Powered Challenge – All weekend at Portland International Raceway north of Kenton The Oregon Human Powered Vehicle Association puts on two full days of races that feature some of the coolest — and fastest! — two wheeled machines (a.k.a. recumbents) you’ll ever see. Compete or just come out and soak in the festival atmosphere of this fun event. More info here.

Filmed By Bike – 5:00 pm at The Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) A special showing of “Half the Road: the Passion, Pitfalls and Power of Women in Professional Cycling” followed by a panel discussion at Velo Cult about women who race bikes. More info here.

Filmed By Bike – 7:00 pm at The Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) It’s Adventure Night, a collection of films that will stoke your wanderlust. Followed by the festival awards ceremony. More info here.

Sunday, May 24th

Slow Ride – 11:00 am at SE Clinton and 12th Part of the Clinton Neighborhood Greenway’s 30th birthday celebration, this ride will literally stop and smell the roses. “Lollygagging and rubbernecking highly encouraged,” say the organizers. Expect a much different experience than the hectic commute! More info here.

Bike Swap Fundraiser for Alistair Corkett – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at O2 Endurance Center (3015 SE Berkeley Pl) Help Alistair raise money for medical expenses and a new leg prosthesis after his terrible collision on May 10th. More info here.

Filmed by Bike – 5:00 pm at The Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) Final and full day of this year’s fest. VIP screenings, a ride with the filmmakers, and a filmmaker Q&A are all in the lineup. Full schedule here.

— Did we miss anything? Let us know via the comments and make sure to drop us a line if you have an upcoming event you’d like us to feature next week.

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Categories: US National

Pedal-powered freight delivery firm partners with Central Eastside food hub

BikePortland - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:12pm
B-Line founder Franklin Jones in 2010.(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s biggest trike-based urban cargo company is about to get bigger.

“You don’t want to be on the streets delivering product, you want to be in the office building your business. That’s where we come in.”— Franklin Jones, B-Line

As part of a partnership with the nonprofit conservation group Ecotrust, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery will move into a renovated building in Portland’s industrial inner east side that will be filled with people bringing local agricultural products to market.

In addition to serving its fellow tenants at Ecotrust’s new two-building campus, the move will let B-Line add two to four new trikes to its fleet and expand its overall delivery capacity by 25 percent.

“Our role is to kind of step in as a logistics provider for that campus,” said Franklin Jones, B-Line’s founder and CEO, in an interview Tuesday. “Also, that’ll allow us to provide more of a role as an aggregator and consolidator in the Central Eastside, thereby reducing more vehicle trips. … Once those products are dropped off, we’re kind of able to consolidate products across industries and combine them into one trike-load into the downtown core.”

Jones said the new setup will improve B-Line’s ability to bring products to the New Seasons grocery chain, which has its main kitchen in the Central Eastside and contracts with B-Line for some of its product deliveries. He said B-Line has found a niche serving small companies that have outgrown directly delivering their own products to stores but aren’t yet big enough to sign on with a large distributor.

“This new facility is going to enable us to offer a greater capacity not only to New Seasons directly but also to the vendors who may be selling into New Seasons,” Jones said. “Let’s say you’re a hot sauce guy and your product is starting to take off. You’re working out of your garage and you don’t have any storage capability. You don’t want to be on the streets delivering product, you want to be in the office building your business. That’s where we come in.”

“We’re able to extend the runway before they have to go into one of these primary distributors,” Jones went on. “If we can get that runway a little bit longer, there’s going to be more value back to the producer. It ultimately gets back to the ranchers, the fishermen, the farmers, the growers.”

The new Ecotrust building, called the Redd, is between Southeast 7th, 8th, Salmon and Taylor. Jones said B-Line’s relocation is scheduled for early September.

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Categories: US National