US National

Seattle's Struggle to Build Affordable Housing

Planetizen - 7 hours 16 min ago
The Emerald City's affordable housing difficulties mirror those of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and others: too much demand and too few resources.
Categories: US National

Sierra Nevada Snowpack at 500-Year Low

Planetizen - 9 hours 16 min ago
Unusually scarce precipitation last winter has left little snow on the mountains, endangering a key California water reserve.
Categories: US National

Who Will Pay to Fix San Diego's Broken Sidewalks?

Planetizen - 11 hours 16 min ago
San Diego quest to find solutions to repairing damaged city sidewalks continues, with home and business owners potentially facing liability for trip-and-fall accidents
Categories: US National

Audit: Arizona DOT Facing $62.7 Billion Budget Shortfall through 2035

Planetizen - 13 hours 16 min ago
Something needs to change if Arizona is going to be able to pay the bills for maintaining and building new roads, according to the findings of an audit by the state.
Categories: US National

Educational Level Linked to Traffic Fatalities

Planetizen - 15 hours 16 min ago
A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked an increase in the likelihood of being in a traffic fatality to a person's educational level.
Categories: US National

Standards of Scrutiny for Transit Projects Not Extended for Highway Projects

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 4:00pm
A case study of media coverage in Connecticut finds a double standard between the CTFastrak and Interstate 84 projects.
Categories: US National

How to Design a Better Bus Transit Map

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 3:00pm
Not all transit maps are created equal. The new Portland TriMet map, for instance, does a much better job of illustrating the usefulness of its high-frequency network.
Categories: US National

Pope's Visit Converts Car-Free Believers in Philadelphia

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 2:00pm
The decision to shut down a 4.7-square-mile swath of Philadelphia's Center City on the occasion of the Pope's visit last weekend has converted a lot of new believers to the open streets cause.
Categories: US National

King County, Sound Transit Announce $83 Million for Transit Oriented Development

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 1:00pm
A new regional transit oriented development initiative in Seattle will focus on affordable housing and walkable communities. The Executive's Transit Station Housing and Development Initiative will partner King County and Sound Transit.
Categories: US National

EPA's New Ozone Standard Pleases No One

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:00pm
The EPA chose to reduce the current standard of 75 parts per billion, unchanged since 2008, by 5 ppb. Public health and environmental groups insist that a safe standard would be 60 ppb, while businesses point to the high costs to comply with 70 ppb.
Categories: US National

Tilikum Crossing takes pressure off crowded Hawthorne Bridge

BikePortland - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 11:34am
Tilikum Crossing during Sunday Parkways last weekend.(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s a riddle to ask grandchildren: How did Portland make its most popular biking bridge better to use while simultaneously getting fewer people to use it?

The answer, of course, is “it built a totally different bridge a little way upriver.”

The Sept. 12 opening of Tilikum Crossing has cut Hawthorne Bridge bike traffic 33 percent, according to the bike counters on the two bridges.

Basically all of that reduced traffic seems to have shifted to the new Tilikum.

There’s no sign yet that the two-bridge combo is already drawing more bike traffic than the Hawthorne alone. Though the bridges’ combined bike count for September is 9 percent above the Hawthorne’s previous September high (captured in 2012) celebratory events like Sellwood Sunday Parkways seem to fully account for that jump.

- Advertisement -

When asked about daily bike traffic numbers on the Tilikum, Portland Bureau of Transportation Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller thinks it’s still too early for a full analysis. “There’s still a lot of curiousity about the bridge,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s still kind of a destination. A novelty. It takes at least three months for people to figure out whether the bridge makes sense for them to use or not.”

Geller added that Metro is leading an effort in partnership with PBOT, TriMet, and researchers at Portland State University to collect baseline traffic and origin/destination data for bike trips across the bridge.

During its first two weeks open, Tilikum actually carried 15,000 more bikes than the Hawthorne. This week, though Tilikum traffic has fallen back to about half of Hawthorne traffic, which seems likely to be closer to its long-term state.

But the shift is already great news for people walking and biking on the Hawthorne, which has suffered from summertime bike congestion for years.

For those of use not navigating those bridges in rush hour, what matters will be how the increased comfort of the Hawthorne, the existence of the attractive new Tilikum, and the opening of the vastly improved Sellwood Bridge in a few months shape Portlanders’ habits over the course of the next few years.

Have you noticed a difference on the Hawthorne? Has Tilikum proved to be a better crossing for some of your trips? Will the new Sellwood?

Jonathan Maus contributed reporting to this story.

The post Tilikum Crossing takes pressure off crowded Hawthorne Bridge appeared first on

Categories: US National

Weekend Event Guide: Beers, bikes, fruit, kids in the dirt, and more

BikePortland - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 11:07am
That one time, at the Bike & Beer Fest, when they had a Huffy toss competition.(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This menu of delicious rides and events is brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Their support makes BikePortland possible.

This weekend two of Oregon’s most beloved passions — bikes and beer — seamlessly merge into one spectacular event. The Handmae Bike & Beer Fest is the place to be this weekend. You should also do yourself a favor and get out to Cascade Locks in the Gorge to partake in what is shaping up to be the best Take a Kid MTB’ing Day ever. NW Trail Alliance has really done fantastic work putting the event together.

The forecast for the next few days looks to be excellent (in the short term that is, it sure would be nice to get back to normal weather patterns, but I digress): warm and sunny.

What do you have planned? Whatever it is, we hope it involves a bicycle. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, October 2nd

BikePortland’s 10th Birthday Party – 6:00 pm at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd) It’s time we celebrated a bit, don’t you think? Come over to Velo Cult tonight and help us commemorate a decade of bike blogging — and wish us well as we embark on a whole new chapter. More info here (FB).

Saturday, October 3rd

Heiser Farms Cyclocross Race/GPRM #5 – All day in Dayton, Oregon The final race in the Grand Priz Rhonda Mazza series happens at Heiser Farms. Expect a mud bog, twisty turns through the corn maze, and all the farm fixins. Bring friends and family for a hay ride and bring home the perfect pumpkin from their patch after enjoying a pint from the beer garden as you look out at the gorgeous vistas of the Willamette Valley. More info here.

Women-Only MTB Ride – 9:00 am at Family Man Parking Area in Hood River As part of their annual Trail Fest, the NW Trail Alliance is hosting a womens-only no-drop MTB ride out at Post Canyon in Hood River. All abilities are welcome. After the ride, grab lunch and check out the fun and festivities as the Take a Kid MTB’ing Day in Cascade Locks or head back to Portland. More info here.

Harvest Fruit Trees By Bke – 9:30 am to 1:30 pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (3883 SE Brooklyn St) Join the Portland Fruit Tree Project in the Richmond area of southeast Portland for this harvesting event. They’ll provide tools and if you have a cargo bike or large bike trailer, consider bringing it to help haul all the fruit! More info here.

- Advertisement -

Slow Poke Ride – 9:30 am at Wilshire Park (NE 36th and Skidmore) The Portland Wheelmen (and women!) will lead this 27-mile jaunt through N/NE Portland. Expect a relaxed, conversational pace of about 10-12 mph. More info here.

Handmade Bike & Beer Fest – 12:00 to 9:00 pm at Hopworks Urban Brewery (2944 SE Powell Blvd) This is it folks! In what looks to be the best-ever event they’ve put together, Hopworks and the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association have brought together over 30 vendors for this show. See all the best custom, handbuilt bikes from Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Also come for the excellent beer from 12 different brewers along with live entertainment, music, and more. More info here.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day – 4:00 pm at EasyCLIMB Trails in Cascade Locks This annual event organized by the NW Trail Alliance is perfect for mountain-bike curious families with kids of any age. There’s tons to do including a Kiddy Kat Rally trail ride, professional skills instruction, food, games, prize raffle and entertainment for adults and little ones. Register on-site starting at 3:30 pm. More info here.

Sunday, October 4th

Cross on the Mountain – All day at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort on Mt. Hood Come out to race and be a part of a brand new ‘cross venue! The fall colors will be blooming at Cooper Spur, where racers will enjoy lots of singletrack, a bit of grass, gravel, and other surprises. The course is at 3,500 on the north slopes of Mt. Hood. More info here (PDF).

Handmade Bike & Beer Fest – 12:00 to 5:00 pm at Hopworks Urban Brewery (2944 SE Powell Blvd) This is it folks! In what looks to be the best-ever event they’ve put together, Hopworks and the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association have brought together over 30 vendors for this show. See all the best custom, handbuilt bikes from Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Also come for the excellent beer from 12 different brewers along with live entertainment, music, and more. More info 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.

The post Weekend Event Guide: Beers, bikes, fruit, kids in the dirt, and more appeared first on

Categories: US National

Chicago Rule Change Encourages Affordable Housing

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 11:00am
This month, changes to Chicago's Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) will go into effect, raising the in-lieu fees developers must pay to opt out of building affordable units downtown.
Categories: US National

DUIDs Rival DUIs as Cause of Driver Fatalities

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 10:00am
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, be they prescription, illegal, or marijuana, now accounts for 40 percent of driver fatalities, about the same as alcohol-related deaths, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Categories: US National

APA Announces the 2015 'Great Places in America'

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 9:00am
The APA's flagship program is back with its 2015 iteration—celebrating the best neighborhoods, public spaces, and streets in the United States.
Categories: US National

The Charms of 'Illegal Neighborhoods'

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 8:00am
A longtime resident of an old, eclectic neighborhood reflects on what makes the area so desirable and why new places like it are effectively outlawed today.
Categories: US National

Friday Eye Candy: Explore Manhattan in 1609

Planetizen - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 7:00am
A new online interactive project allows new access to the history of Manhattan before Dutch settlers began taking residence on the island in 1609
Categories: US National

Fund drive launched for bike repair station on “Dirty 30”

BikePortland - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 5:14pm

If all goes according to plan there will be at least one oasis for bicycle riders on what is now a pretty miserable stretch of Highway 30 known among many who ride it as “Dirty 30.”

The bike lanes on Highway 30 north of downtown Portland are infamous. They are strewn with shards of every type of material imaginable, they are often taken over by large trucks accessing the many large driveways, and they are adjacent to fast-moving traffic. Flats are a common occurence and there aren’t many destinations where you’d feel like stopping to take a break.

That’s why we’re happy to report that the owner of the Union Market and Deli at 5515 NW St. Helens Road (between Kittridge and Saltzman – map) wants to install a public bike repair station. Martha Cole has lauched a campaign on to raise $1,550.

- Advertisement -

Here’s more from the project description:

“Traveling on Hwy 30 through the NW Industrial Area and Linnton can be terrible on your bike and so many Portlanders make this commute 5 days a week. In addition to the recreational riding is very popular in this area as well.

As a member of this community and a Portlander, I believe a bicycle repair station would be a wonderful gift to present our bicycling enthusiasts. The Union Market and Deli has agreed to allow a self-service repair stand to be placed on their property, which will provide cyclists a safe secure location off the road to complete repairs.

Everything is in place to make this happen, but we lack the funding to go forward. The price of a deluxe (meaning with a pump, tools and tire rack) is $1495.00. This is where you come in…we need your help in raising the money to purchase and install the repair station. Anything will help. Even if you cannot donate to our fund, please at least spread the word. It may not seem like much, but even the smallest contribution to something can help make the world a better place.”

Getting this repair stand funded and installed would be a nice little victory in a part of town we don’t often have nice things to report on. Check out the funding campaign, share it with your friends, and let’s see if we can make this happen.

The post Fund drive launched for bike repair station on “Dirty 30” appeared first on

Categories: US National

Planning for the 'Big One'—In Salt Lake City

Planetizen - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 4:00pm
Many people outside of Salt Lake City might not realize that the city's proximity to the Wasatch Fault puts it at risk for an earthquake likely in the range of 7.1 on the Richter scale.
Categories: US National

Golf Course Plans for 280 Acres of State Park Land Abandoned in Oregon

Planetizen - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 3:00pm
A controversial and unprecedented deal that would have privatized 280 acres of state-owned Bandon State Natural Area have fizzled out thanks to new requirements from the Bureau of Land Management.
Categories: US National