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Month: November 2016

New skills trail, major upgrades proposed for Sandy Ridge trailhead

New skills trail, major upgrades proposed for Sandy Ridge trailhead

Velo Cult's party-barge parked at Sandy Ridge after an event last month. A major expansion to the parking lot will feature more room for tailgating and other uses.(Photo: Velo Cult Bike Shop)

Velo Cult’s party-barge parked at Sandy Ridge after an event last month. A major expansion to the parking lot will feature more room for tailgating and other uses.
(Photo: Velo Cult Bike Shop)

Since they first opened in 2010, the off-road cycling trails at Sandy Ridge have become such a resounding success that the Bureau of Land Management wants to double-down on its investment.

According to environmental assessment documents filed by the BLM, their Sandy Ridge Trailhead Access project is comprised of a slew of additions and upgrades that will add over four acres to the facility. The project includes: an expanded parking area with oversided stalls and “tailgate bumpouts,” a beginner skills trail loop and a bike demo area; a “bicycle hub” featuring a changing room, bike-wash station and a bus stop; a designated special events area; an upgraded entrace; and two short connecting trails.

Here’s a bit more info and a few images of the proposed improvements (taken from the BLM environmental assessment document):

Expanded Parking Area
sandy-proposed-improvementmap

In order to construct the parking area and additional amenities, a total footprint of 4.2 acres will be disturbed. To construct the parking area, 2.02 acres of the total footprint will be cleared of all vegetation, including small diameter trees if necessary for safety and overall design. The type of vegetation that would be removed includes small Black Cotton Wood, Red Alder, small Western Hemlock, Salmon Berry, California Hazelnut, and Vine Maple. The parking area will be asphalted and parking spaces will be delineated with strips and curbs.

The parking spaces are designed to be over sized spaces to allow for any size passenger vehicle to be parked comfortably and leave ample space to maneuver their gear in and out of the vehicles. Eighteen additional areas for tailgating or picnicking between three parking spots, or bump-outs, will be cleared, graveled, and outfitted with a picnic table for spaces on the exterior of the parking area (EA Figure 2). The expanded parking area will remove 19 standard parking spaces from the existing trailhead parking area, leaving 17 standard parking spaces; while adding 163 new standard parking spaces, four large vehicle parking spaces, and additional handicap designated parking. One additional vault restroom will be installed adjacent to the existing vault restroom to accommodate visitors within the expanded parking area. Two gates will be installed on either side of the expanding parking area loop near the large vehicle spaces to allow for winter season closure of a majority of the new parking spaces for public health and safety.

Beginner Bicycle Skills Trail
Within the interior of the expanded parking area a mountain bicycle beginner skills trail will be built. The skills trail area will encompass approximate 2 acres of the disturbance footprint within the expanded parking area loop (EA Figure 3). Vegetation within the 2 acres will remain in place, including large woody debris. The BLM will remove any non-native and invasive plant species and replace them with fruiting and flowering shrubs and understory trees, Western red cedar, and other vegetation as prescribed by the BLM Wildlife Biologist and Botanist to facilitate wildlife and migratory bird habitat. Construction of the beginner trails will be completed by either BLM or the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) through an existing assistance agreement for the Sandy Ridge Trail System. All trails constructed in the beginner skills area will follow IMBA and BLM non-motorized trail guidance and design features (EA Section 2.4.4).

Bicycle Hub Structure
sandy-bikehub-busstop

sandy-changingroom

A bicycle hub, wash station, changing room, and bus stop will be encompassed into one structure and installed south of the existing parking area (EA Figure 3). The structure will be built and installed in cooperation by a BLM non-profit partner. The hub itself will provide tools for small bicycle repairs as well as local area safety equipment and information. Changing rooms and a Mount Hood Express bus stop will also be added to the hub structure. All of the amenities included in the bicycle hub will have a total disturbance foot print of approximately 800 square feet.

The bicycle wash station will help reduce the spread of non-native and invasive species by providing an area for visitors to pressure spray dirt and debris from their bicycle before entering and leaving the trail system. The bike wash station would consist of a structure to hang the bikes on, a low pressure water source to spray bikes and gear off, and a stiff bristle brush to brush off any remaining dirt that cannot be sprayed off. A well head will be installed near the hub to provide less than 5,000 gallons a day of potable water for drinking and for the wash station, which would not require a water right according to the state water master of the region.

Designated Events Area
The existing parking area will be re-purposed to function as an area for permitted trailhead events and concessionaires, including bicycle demos and food carts (EA Figure 3). The Designated Events Area will be built within the center of the existing parking area. A bike demonstration event is where a mountain bike manufacturing or retail company brings a trailer of mountain bikes to Sandy Ridge Trailhead and allows potential customers to test ride the mountain bikes. There is a need to develop a formal bike demo and event area to allow for better accommodations and to reduce the amount of parking spaces used for events. In 2016, there have been 28 scheduled events at Sandy Ridge Trailhead.
A 125 foot by 150 foot pad will be cleared of vegetation, graded, and paved with asphalt within the interior of the existing parking area. Approximately 20 small trees will be removed from the areas in order to construct the pad. In addition to formalizing the event area for bike demos, the re-purposed area would allow for food trucks and carts, providing for a greater level of service for the community and visitors. The area will be available to reserve for events through the Northwest Oregon District SRP process.

Entrance Redesign
sandy-bikerack

A new entrance will be developed that better meets the management objectives of the Sandy Ridge Trailhead. The entrance will incorporate the same style of design, material, art, structure, and sculptures that will be throughout the parking area. The new entrance design may feature an arch entry way that spans the width of the entrance road, with sculptures and stonework of mountain bikers and native wildlife. The location of the new entrance design will be in roughly the same location as the current entrance sign. Considerations for security and safety will be taken into consideration for the new entrance design. For additional design drawings, see EA Chapter 5.

Connecting Trails
Two small connecting trails, totaling 120 feet in length, will be built to connect to the existing trails that are near the trailhead (EA Figure 3). There is currently a loop trail that rings around the proposed parking area. A new trail will be built connecting the northern most portion of the trailhead to the existing loop trail.
Another connecting trail will be built to tie in a nearly completed trail from Barlow Wayside trail to the Sandy Ridge Trailhead. This connecting trail will be for pedestrians only, and trail constructing may include stairs or other built in obstructions to deter the use of bikes on the Barlow Wayside trail.

The BLM estimates about 90,000 people visited the Sandy Ridge trails in 2015, making it one of the most popular recreation spots in the entire region. They say these new amenities and upgrades are necessary in order to, “provide increased site access, improved safety, and to protect the natural environment to provide for a high quality recreation experience.”

The major increase in parking capacity for instance is proposed because many people park out on Barlow Road when the current lot with just 36 parking spaces gets full. There are an estimated 326 vehicles a day that use the lot during the peak riding season. When people park along the road it’s a, “serious safety concern” because of poor sight distances and high volume of trucks that use the road.

The BLM also wants to encourage people to not drive to the trailhead. They say the new bus stop, “would allow visitors that do not have access to privately owned vehicles the ability to frequently access the trailhead from the surrounding communities and the Portland-Metropolitan area.”

If you have concerns or want to show your support for this proposal you can share your feedback via this online form through December 8th. You can also contact NW Oregon District Recreation Planner Dan Davis via email at BLM_OR_NO_Rec_publiccomments@blm.gov.

We’re trying to track down a project timeline and will update this post when we hear more.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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St. Johns fatality fuels fire of neighborhood’s safe streets activism

St. Johns fatality fuels fire of neighborhood’s safe streets activism

Riding in st johns

Riding in downtown St. Johns.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The death of an innocent man on the St. Johns Bridge last weekend has spurred — and renewed — activism around transportation reform on many fronts.

Tired of freight trucks and reckless driving holding their streets hostage, on Monday the St. Johns Neighborhood Association will host a forum to delve deeper into the issues of traffic and transportation safety. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and representatives from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation are slated to attend. Local residents passed out flyers for the event at last week’s protest ride; but SJNA Board Member and Chair of their Safety and Livability Team Travis Parker tells us the event was planned prior to the collision that killed Mitch York.

Parker and other volunteers with the neighborhood association have spent over a year on a coordinated effort to make streets in St. Johns safer. In October 2015 anonymous residents erected fake speed limit signs in a desperate effort to get PBOT’s attention and get people to slow down on a wide section of North Smith Street.

The neighborhood — on a peninsula formed by the Columbia and Willamette rivers about 10 miles north of downtown Portland — has grown and changed considerably in recent years as housing prices have skyrocketed in close-in neighborhoods. In addition to more people living in the neighborhood there’s been a significant increase in freight truck traffic as the nearby industrial port distict has hemorrhaged shipping container business.







St. Johns is hemmed in by freight routes.(Map: PBOT, 2008)

St. Johns is hemmed in by freight routes.
(Map: PBOT, 2008)

St. Johns is ground zero for freight traffic because it sits between two major industrial areas (Rivergate and northwest Portland/Linnton) and is bisected by Highway 30 — a designated freight and National Highway System route that’s managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation. The St. Johns Bridge is part of Highway 30 so it’s not surprising that neighborhood activists like Parker feel like their work is now more important than ever. Adding to the sense of urgency in St. Johns is a feeling that the emergence of projects that improve cycling, coupled with major demographic changes (related more to income, not race like we’ve seen in areas like the Vancouver-Williams corridor) could lead to a backlash against street projects with some people seeing them as nothing more than signs of gentrification.

For Parker and others organizing for safer streets, it’s all about preventing more deaths and injuries.

“In recent months we have had tragedies on two truck routes that place freight accommodation above all other users – especially vulnerable road users,” Parker wrote in a statement last week. “The St. Johns Bridge, where Mitch York was killed by a reckless driver October 29th, and Columbia Blvd, where high school student Bradley Trujillo was struck crossing before school, have freight designs that inherently do not dissuade reckless driving and seemingly restricts opportunities for improved safety and access for vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and ADA compliance.”

In addition to a focus on the bridge, Parker says he’s working with people from St. Johns and other adjacent neighborhoods who want to tackle various projects including: the creation of “better streets teams” and improving bicycle access and safety on North Willamette Boulevard.

At Monday night’s forum the goal will be to educate everyone on the latest projects and issues in St. Johns, listed to people’s concerns and perspectives, and map out a plan to realize shared goals. For more details, visit the event listing on our calendar or view the flyer on the St. Johns Neighborhood Facebook page.

Here’s the flyer:

stjohnseventflyer

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Weekly Video Roundup: Dream roads in Bali, a WTF moment, bagel slicing, local ‘cross, and more

Weekly Video Roundup: Dream roads in Bali, a WTF moment, bagel slicing, local ‘cross, and more

Welcome to the weekly video roundup! Sorry for skipping a week of the roundup. Perhaps one of these weeks I’ll actually catch up on my video queue. This first video is the best thing I’ve seen in a while. I like pro bike racing, and the GCN crew did a fun and creative race on Majorca’s Sa Calobra (aka Col del Reis). What really clinched it as a great video to me is that Carlton Kirby did the commentary- he is probably the best-known voice on Eurosport for racing (not just cycling, also Paris-Dakar and more). Anyhow, enjoy.


This is a fairly normal “look at the new road bike” promotional video, but I’m including it because it shows a lot of the beauty in the Malibu mountains. The big hairpin near the end is the Snake on Mulholland Drive, right near Rock Store, Jay Leno’s favorite little diner, famous among cyclists, motorcyclists, and drivers.

This is an artful video of riding (fixie) in Seoul. The concept seems familiar but it’s a new (very chill, very artsy) video. The dirtbike flat bars are distractingly wide:

The ambiance in this video about the Three Peaks cross race is nice. It’s light on showing the route or the race, but it’s a pleasant video. The bumpy ride at the 4 minute mark reminds me of some nearby roads.

More ambiance- riding in the Alps from a few months ago. It’s so pretty. This is a great “lean back and watch” video.

Isla seems to be the best brand for kids bikes, but here’s a video showing the flexibility in Trek bikes. I like the seat handle and adjustable cranks.

This “ride video” from Atlanta attracted me at the beginning for the bagel slicing. I wonder if the one fellow rode the full 200k on the bakfiets- if so, impressive.

Summer in Winter Park looks like fun:

If you like fondos (sportifs to the Euros), here’s GCN’s list of the top 6 fondos. I was surprised to see several in the USA.

In the “plans and dreams” category, look at these roads and trails in Bali.







GMBN has a good “how to ride loose [gravel] turns” video. Useful for MTB and CX types.

And this week’s GMBN episode is interesting- the hosts talk about their scariest cycling moments and about an AWD fatbike headed to the South Pole (at 7:40).

Sven Nys. Cyclocross skills. Trek’s factory track.

Brunelle and crew crashed into a motorcyclist in France, who chased and fought them. I’m confused what happened in the restaurant, though:

Racing

I didn’t come across any local race videos this week. Elsewhere:
Biketoberfest (in Maryland?). Starts slow.

Costume Cross V by State Bicycle Co in Tempe Arizona: (lots of handups, night racing, spicy language)

GCN quizzes pros on pro racing rules:

Local WTF moments

Local Joe Biel had a scary-close pass from a huge flatbed truck. (warning: spicy language)

Elsewhere: disturbingly close pass at night and another one.

Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions: wordless snippet of cycling in SF, PLP reviews the Exposure Joystick bike light/flashlight, Oregon Field Guide on Dufur (great place to go cycling), Giant’s factory-tubeless hydraulic disc brake race bike and what gentrification looks like in Tijuana, Mexico.

Inclusion criteria: If I’ve missed something, post it in the comments! I prefer videos published in the last week or so. Note if there’s a specific point in a long video that is worth highlighting. Also note if there is colorful language. I will delay videos containing pro racing spoilers by 7 days.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

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Stakes have never been higher for upcoming National Bike Summit

Stakes have never been higher for upcoming National Bike Summit

DC bike scenes

You might want to consider showing up this year.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the reality settles in that we are just two months away all three branches of our federal government being controlled by Republicans, people who advocate for cycling need to take stock.

Yes I know, cycling isn’t always a purely partisan issue, but let’s not be naïve: The fact is a large majority of powerful, high-profile Republicans tend to strongly support transportation policies that favor the use of motorized vehicles.

Put another way, interest groups that don’t make cycling accessible infrastructure a priority see a friendly ear in President-elect Donald Trump. And early signs make it clear that automobile-centric interests are lining up to take advantage their new friend in the White House. To counter what could be a transformative era (to put it mildly) in national transportation politics, people who care about bicycling need to line up against — or figure out a way to align with — these forces.

One place to do that is at the annual National Bike Summit hosted in Washington D.C. by the League of American Bicyclists.

I eagerly attended the Summit every year between 2006 and 2014 (except the year my son was born). In the last two years I felt like the Summit had lost its mojo (or maybe it was just me) and I didn’t feel a compelling reason to be there. Now I’m thinking it’s time to go back. Beyond the obvious implications of Tuesday’s election, there are forboding signs that bicycling advocates must acknowledge and prepare for.







News outlets reported yesterday that the auto industry has already started efforts to roll back fuel economy mandates installed by the Obama administration.

2016-11-11_09-52-48

“Stock prices for U.S. automakers rose sharply Thursday amid signs that fuel economy standards could be weakened under the administration of President Donald Trump,” reported Detroit News. And a story in Automotive News reported, “Major automakers are seizing on the infancy of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration to mount a push to ease regulatory headaches faced under President Obama.”

Cycling advocates have faced Republican administrations before. In 2007, the Bush administration’s secretary of transportation Mary Peters infamously quipped that “bike paths” are not transportation infrastructure.

But just like Trump presents a much different set of operating instructions than fellow Republican George Bush, it’s very likely his transportation secretary will too.

A story in the New York Times this morning says the adviser Trump has tapped to help him pick transportation and infrastructure staff is the chairman of a D.C. law firm who counts the National Asphalt Pavement Association as a client.

In a blog post Wednesday, NAPA said they’ve already starting working with the Trump transition team on issue “including funding for highways” and “Critical Commerce Corridors.”

Trump says he wants to pass infrastructure legislation in his first 100 days — which puts the National Bike Summit on March 6th through 9th right at the tail-end of that push. NAPA plans to join the Transportation Construction Coalition in D.C. for a “Legislative Fly-in” event on May 17th. “The fly-in will occur,” they say on their website, “at a critical time and your help will be needed to pass the Trump plan in Congress.”

See you at the Summit.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Weekend Event Guide: Blazers, a bike show, ride for pickles, cyclocross, and more!

Weekend Event Guide: Blazers, a bike show, ride for pickles, cyclocross, and more!

Blazer Bike Night-12.jpg

Let’s fill the bike parking at the Moda Center again! Join us for the game on Sunday!
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Hi Portland. Has this been a completely fucked-up week or what?!

Hang out with nice people and talk about bikes at Velo Cult's "Velo Cirque".

Hang out with nice people and talk about bikes at Velo Cult’s “Velo Cirque”.

Sorry for the strong language; but America is freaking out right now and I am too. As President-elect Trump and President Obama trade handshakes and shit-eating grins in the Oval Office, there are huge anti-Trump protests happening all over the country, widespread fear and anxiety, and some people feel so emboldened by their leader’s victory they’re assaulting innocent people because of how they look.

Damn.

A nice bike ride might be a great thing to do this weekend if you can manage it.

Here at BikePortland we’ll continue to do what we’ve done since 2005: document bike culture, give you information and inspiration you need to ride, offer a space to have your voice heard, help you plug into the cycling scene, hold powerful people and agencies accountable, and so on. Keep in mind you might notice a sharper and more aggressive tone from me because I’m sick of what’s been going on — on many different levels. A lot of things are broken and need to be fixed and I’m going to do what I can to help with that.

For now, we present to you a list of fun, bike-related things to do. As you know, the simple act of riding a bike can do wonders for your mind and body, so hopefully you have the time to grab some friends and turn pedals together this weekend.

Saturday, November 12th

Velo Cirque: A Modern and Vintage Custom Bike Show – 10:00 am ride, then show is 3:00 to 8:00 at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd)
Velo Cult is hosting a new event that will bring together bike builders, collectors, and the people who love them. Saturday will be a classic and vintage theme and will begin with a ride at 10:00 am followed by coffee and beer (and maybe a sandwich). The show will start at 3:00 and go until 8:00. It’s $5 to get in unless you bring an “old school & cool” classic or vintage bike. All genres welcome! More info here.

Sunday, November 13th

Cross Crusade #8 (Finale) – All day at Barton County Park (19298 SE Barton Park Rd)
The Crusade will end on Sunday, but the memories of a great season will last forever. Barton is a classic course that features a big run-up, lots of gravel, and some challenging descents. Fight for those final points and rankings and come bask in the glory as a racer or spectator. More info here.

National Pickle Day Ride – 10:00 am at Woodstock Park (SE 47th and Steele)
Portland Wheelmen Touring Club ride leader Benn will show you the gorgeous rural roads of East Multnomah county — maybe even a pickle farm! — on this 32-mile ride. Expect a social pace, a stop at a bagel joint in Gresham, and other fun times. More info here







Sunrise Corridor Bike & Walk – 1:00 – 3:00 pm at The Missing Link Bicycle Shop (10999 Southeast Main St in Milwaukie)
Join Puddlecycle for a ride to Mt. Talbert Nature Park via the newly constructed Sunrise Corridor biking and walking paths. Ride will be about 10 miles long. More info here.

Velo Cirque: A Modern and Vintage Custom Bike Show – 3:00 to 8:00 pm (1969 NE 42nd)
Velo Cult is hosting a new event that will bring together bike builders, collectors, and the people who love them. Sunday is the Modern Custom Frame Show. Organizers say you can show any type of bike to, as long as it was made by a fully-custom builder who’s currently taking orders. More info here.

Blazer Bike Night/Transportation Night – 6:00 pm at the Moda Center
It’s Transportation Night at the Moda Center and we’re going to make sure that walking and rolling are front-and-center. Join us and our friends from the Community Cycling Center for a very special night. Get your special discounted tickets here. You can also choose to meet up with Oregon Walks for the Rip City Walk which leaves from a few blocks away. Go Blazers! More info here.

Did we miss anything? If so, give it a shout out in the comments.

For more fun events, including great stuff next week and beyond, visit our full events calendar.

Looking for a great way to promote your company or organization? We’re looking for a partner who wants to sponsor our calendar and event coverage. This is a primo opportunity. Get in touch!

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Fact check: The St. Johns Bridge does not need 19-foot wide lanes for freight traffic

Fact check: The St. Johns Bridge does not need 19-foot wide lanes for freight traffic

The St. Johns Bridge looking west. (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

The St. Johns Bridge looking west.
(Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

Despite multiple demands over the years to improve bike access on the St. Johns Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation has used many different excuses for why the current lane configuration simply cannot change. And it turns out their latest excuse — that state design guidelines for freight traffic require 19-foot wide lanes in both directions — is untrue.

ODOT is facing renewed pressure to make the bridge safer for cycling after 55-year-old Mitch York was killed while biking on the bridge on October 29th.

The claim about lane width first raised eyebrows on October 31st when ODOT spokesperson Kimberley Dinwiddie told KGW News that state law mandated 19-feet of width. We immediately questioned the figure in a Twitter post and a KGW reporter then followed-up with Dinwiddie in an effort to clarify the information.

In a Q & A posted as an update to the original KGW story, Dinwiddie repeated the claim…

Snips from KGW story.

Snips from KGW story.







I checked both the relevant Oregon law (ORS 366.215) and the Oregon Administrative Rule that implements that law and found no reference to 19-feet, so I also asked Dinwiddie to clarify the statement. On November 2nd she reiterated the claim she made to KGW. The 19-foot lane width is, “a guideline we use statewide to make sure freight can move over a variety of different kinds of highways and bridges,” she said via email. When I followed up again two days later to ask whether or not it applied to both directions (meaning they’d need 38-feet of width for freight), ODOT’s Public Information Coordinator David Thompson also mentioned the 19-foot guideline. Thompson then said he’d check with ODOT’s Motor Carrier Division just to make sure precisely when the 19-feet stipulation applies.

As promised, yesterday I heard back from ODOT Region 1 spokesperson Don Hamilton who met with the agency’s freight experts in Salem. Hamilton said the 19-foot guideline applies only during construction. “In our earlier communications with you, we misunderstood this guideline,” Hamilton said. “Our apologies.”

So, just to be clear, ODOT does not need to preserve 19-foot lanes in each direction on the St. Johns Bridge.

The other excuse they gave KGW for why there’s no room to improve bicycle access on the main bridge roadway was, “because of the congestion and dangerous situations that could occur from that.” That claim also doesn’t quite match up with the facts and deserves much more scrutiny.

In fact, the more I learn about this issue, the more it seems like ODOT doesn’t have any legitimate excuse for not considering design changes on the St. Johns Bridge; changes that could vastly improve safety for all users. So why aren’t they more open to ideas? That’s a good question.

Stay tuned.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30

First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30

New striping on Highway 30-2.jpg

Riding the shoulder bikeway through Linnton on Highway 30.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has completed a major repaving project on a key section of Highway 30 that’s a popular bike route between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island.

Back in March we said this was a “golden opportunity” to make the highway better for bicycling. Unfortunately ODOT didn’t make any major improvements to bike access; but the shoulder is now a more consistent width throughout the project’s seven-miles (between the bridge and McNamee Road). We were also disappointed that the shoulder wasn’t striped until a few days ago — well over a week after all the lanes for auto use were completed and striped.

Portlander Ira Ryan (co-founder of Breadwinner Cycles) pointed out the lack of striping in a post on Instagram:

I contacted ODOT about the lack of shoulder striping and pointed out that it created dangerous conditions for bicycle riders — especially on a highway that has a 50 mile-per-hour speed limit, a high volume of truck traffic, and is very popular for cycling. ODOT Community Affairs Coordinator Susan Hanson said the striping wasn’t finished because the contractor didn’t have enough days of dry weather to do the installation. In a follow-up question I asked Hanson to try and understand how it feels to be a bicycle rider when all the striping needed for driving was prioritized and completed despite the weather.

“I do understand your view on the order the striping was done in,” Hanson replied. “We will definitely keep that in mind for future projects for the shoulder striping to be done earlier by the striping sub-contractor.”

Hanson also shared the details on how this project has improved the shoulder for cycling:

The lane and shoulder widths have been standardized to make them more consistent throughout the corridor and provide a wider and more consistent shoulder width for cyclists in response to their concerns.

…The inside lane will be 11 feet wide and the outside lane will be 12 feet wide. The 12 foot outside lane is required for trucks and buses and the 11 foot inside lane is very adequate for cars. This change often results in wider shoulders that are better for cyclists safety.

The shoulders on US 30 in the project area will now be a minimum of 6 feet wide wherever possible. There are a only couple of areas: one just south of Linnton and one around Bridge Avenue where the shoulder will only be 5 feet wide for a short distance.







I rode in the area on Tuesday and can confirm that the striping is finally complete.

It’s important to note that there is a distinction between a shoulder and a bike lane. The stretch of Highway 30 between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island is technically considered a shoulder. This means it doesn’t have the same legal standing that a bicycle-only lane would have. It also comes with just a four-inch white stripe (fog line) instead of a six-inch stripe. And you won’t see any bike lane symbols.

Here are some photos of how it looks starting northbound south of the Linnton neighborhood where the speed limit is 35 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-1.jpg

The new pavement is nice and smooth; but I worry that it only encourages higher speeds because people don’t have bumps or potholes to worry about.

As you get into Linnton, the same danger spots remain. This fabrication shop’s truck is always pinching the shoulder in this location…

New striping on Highway 30-3.jpg

Then you have the section with lots of big driveways where the shoulder narrows and drops several times…

New striping on Highway 30-5.jpg

North of Linnton, the shoulder opens way up and there aren’t any driveways to worry about. Unfortunately the speed limit goes up to 50 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-7.jpg

And unfortunately ODOT’s sub-contractor doesn’t appear to care at all about people who travel in the shoulder. They placed several of these signs on both sides of the highway, forcing me to merge with people driving over 50 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-8.jpg

In the southbound direction, I was happy to see that ODOT has added bumps to the shoulder lane stripe. These will hopefully be a visual and audible reminder to people in cars to stay away from the shoulder unless they need to park for an emergency…

New striping on Highway 30-9.jpg

New striping on Highway 30-10.jpg

While ODOT is proud of what they’ve done for bicycle riders in this project, I didn’t feel much difference overall. The fact remains there’s a lot more that should be done. Given the importance of this this segment of highway in the regional bike network, it should be considered a bicycle safety corridor with striping, signage, and other design elements that make cycling as low-stress as possible and makes it clear to users they should expect bicycle traffic. As you can see in the overhead image below there’s a painted center median and the standard lanes give motorized vehicle users more than enough space.

New striping on Highway 30-11.jpg

Hopefully in the future we can make more — and more significant — bicycle access upgrades on Highway 30. Until then, ride with caution and make sure you use the ORCycle app to report problems and maintenance needs directly to ODOT.

Have you ridden this yet? What do you think?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30 appeared first on BikePortland.org.

First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30

First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30

New striping on Highway 30-2.jpg

Riding the shoulder bikeway through Linnton on Highway 30.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has completed a major repaving project on a key section of Highway 30 that’s a popular bike route between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island.

Back in March we said this was a “golden opportunity” to make the highway better for bicycling. Unfortunately ODOT didn’t make any major improvements to bike access; but the shoulder is now a more consistent width throughout the project’s seven-miles (between the bridge and McNamee Road). We were also disappointed that the shoulder wasn’t striped until a few days ago — well over a week after all the lanes for auto use were completed and striped.

Portlander Ira Ryan (co-founder of Breadwinner Cycles) pointed out the lack of striping in a post on Instagram:

I contacted ODOT about the lack of shoulder striping and pointed out that it created dangerous conditions for bicycle riders — especially on a highway that has a 50 mile-per-hour speed limit, a high volume of truck traffic, and is very popular for cycling. ODOT Community Affairs Coordinator Susan Hanson said the striping wasn’t finished because the contractor didn’t have enough days of dry weather to do the installation. In a follow-up question I asked Hanson to try and understand how it feels to be a bicycle rider when all the striping needed for driving was prioritized and completed despite the weather.

“I do understand your view on the order the striping was done in,” Hanson replied. “We will definitely keep that in mind for future projects for the shoulder striping to be done earlier by the striping sub-contractor.”

Hanson also shared the details on how this project has improved the shoulder for cycling:

The lane and shoulder widths have been standardized to make them more consistent throughout the corridor and provide a wider and more consistent shoulder width for cyclists in response to their concerns.

…The inside lane will be 11 feet wide and the outside lane will be 12 feet wide. The 12 foot outside lane is required for trucks and buses and the 11 foot inside lane is very adequate for cars. This change often results in wider shoulders that are better for cyclists safety.

The shoulders on US 30 in the project area will now be a minimum of 6 feet wide wherever possible. There are a only couple of areas: one just south of Linnton and one around Bridge Avenue where the shoulder will only be 5 feet wide for a short distance.







I rode in the area on Tuesday and can confirm that the striping is finally complete.

It’s important to note that there is a distinction between a shoulder and a bike lane. The stretch of Highway 30 between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island is technically considered a shoulder. This means it doesn’t have the same legal standing that a bicycle-only lane would have. It also comes with just a four-inch white stripe (fog line) instead of a six-inch stripe. And you won’t see any bike lane symbols.

Here are some photos of how it looks starting northbound south of the Linnton neighborhood where the speed limit is 35 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-1.jpg

The new pavement is nice and smooth; but I worry that it only encourages higher speeds because people don’t have bumps or potholes to worry about.

As you get into Linnton, the same danger spots remain. This fabrication shop’s truck is always pinching the shoulder in this location…

New striping on Highway 30-3.jpg

Then you have the section with lots of big driveways where the shoulder narrows and drops several times…

New striping on Highway 30-5.jpg

North of Linnton, the shoulder opens way up and there aren’t any driveways to worry about. Unfortunately the speed limit goes up to 50 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-7.jpg

And unfortunately ODOT’s sub-contractor doesn’t appear to care at all about people who travel in the shoulder. They placed several of these signs on both sides of the highway, forcing me to merge with people driving over 50 mph…

New striping on Highway 30-8.jpg

In the southbound direction, I was happy to see that ODOT has added bumps to the shoulder lane stripe. These will hopefully be a visual and audible reminder to people in cars to stay away from the shoulder unless they need to park for an emergency…

New striping on Highway 30-9.jpg

New striping on Highway 30-10.jpg

While ODOT is proud of what they’ve done for bicycle riders in this project, I didn’t feel much difference overall. The fact remains there’s a lot more that should be done. Given the importance of this this segment of highway in the regional bike network, it should be considered a bicycle safety corridor with striping, signage, and other design elements that make cycling as low-stress as possible and makes it clear to users they should expect bicycle traffic. As you can see in the overhead image below there’s a painted center median and the standard lanes give motorized vehicle users more than enough space.

New striping on Highway 30-11.jpg

Hopefully in the future we can make more — and more significant — bicycle access upgrades on Highway 30. Until then, ride with caution and make sure you use the ORCycle app to report problems and maintenance needs directly to ODOT.

Have you ridden this yet? What do you think?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post First look: New striping and pavement on key stretch of Highway 30 appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Trump in, Novick out: Recap and thoughts on the election

Trump in, Novick out: Recap and thoughts on the election

Eudaly scores upset win for council spot while Clinton's win in Oregon wasn't enough to carry her to victory.

Eudaly scores upset win for council spot while Clinton’s win in Oregon wasn’t enough to carry her to victory.

Last night’s election was full of surprises both nationally and locally. And that’s a huge understatement.

Donald Trump was elected president with 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228 (so far). She becomes just the fifth candidate to lose after winning the overall vote count (her national popular vote margin over Trump was 166,443 as of 7:45 am this morning). His win comes despite — or more likely because of — the fact he was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan, was dismissed by the political and media establishment, is an unabashed misogynist, told blatant lies throughout his campaign and repeatedly hurled vulgar and dangerous insults at a long list of public figures. Trump also connected strongly with a large voting block of rural white Americans who are fed-up with business as usual in Washington and he offered them a clear and simple choice.

Since last night, Trump and his staff have moderated the fiery tone they had on the campaign trail and both President Obama and Clinton have given respectful and hopeful concession speeches. “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” Clinton said this morning. “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

While several hundred Portlanders were so angry about Trump’s victory they held a protest march on I-5 late last night, others looked at local victories for a silver lining.

The most surprising local story is that Chloe Eudaly came out of nowhere to unseat incumbent Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick by a margin of 54 to 46. Eudaly put the rent and housing crisis at the top of her agenda and she tapped into wide dissatisfaction with Novick. Eudaly, the owner of a bookstore with no former political experience, also made equity and inclusion a top priority in her campaign. BikePortland readers will recall that she expressed serious concerns that Portland’s bike share system wasn’t accessible by people with disabilities. In part due to her advocacy on the issue, PBOT decided to add adaptive bikes to the Biketown mix.







Transportation isn’t listed as an issue on Eudaly’s website, but we’ve covered her thoughts on the issue and she’s been an active participant in conversations on BikePortland via the comment section. Back in May we featured one of her comments where she told us she lived carfree for many years while in her 20s and said, “Safe and accessible streets for pedestrians and cyclists are a priority for me and we need to be creating them across the city.” But she tempered her cycling enthusiasm by saying she feels it should be a higher priority to make sure people can safely walk and use mobility devices. “I’d personally love to see continued and increased collaboration between bicycle advocates, disability advocates, and neighborhoods around these issues,” she said.

Portland Mercury News Editor Dirk Vanderhart just tweeted this map showing where Novick and Eudaly got the most support:

Novick is currently the commissioner-in-charge of the Bureau of Transportation. His ouster guarantees new leadership on that front. Incoming Mayor Ted Wheeler will decide who gets what bureaus and so far we haven’t heard any rumors about where PBOT will end up.

Yes indeed.

Yes indeed.

A measure that raises nearly $260 million for affordable housing in Portland also enjoyed a solid win. The 20-year tax is estimated to cost the average Portland homeowner $74 annually and will go toward building 1,300 housing units. The new housing will be set-aside for people who make less than 30 percent of the median income.

A renewal of Metro’s natural areas bond measure also passed by a big margin of 73 to 27. This means Metro can move full-steam ahead on key projects like the new off-road biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains near Forest Park.

Regionally, three cities (Tigard, Cornelious and King City) voted against a gas tax increase that would have raised money for road repairs and maintenance. Clackamas County followed suit by rejecting a six-cent per gallon gas tax by a 63 to 37 margin. While Tigard said no to a gas tax, it appears like voters have said yes to the possibility of light rail by the narrowest of margins.

Another bright spot is that Jim Bernard was voted chair of Clackamas County Commission. He ousted John Ludlow who is a loud voice for highway spending and has been publicly against investments in cycling infrastructure. While Ludlow criticized Metro and told the Portland Tribune in 2014 that, “When they continue to pour in money to bike paths they take it away from roadways” and “Freight can’t use a bike path,” Bernard has much more positive tone toward cycling — and towards Portland-style transportation planning. Ludlow was famous for his stance against “Portland creep,” but in a speech at the opening of TriMet’s Orange line, Bernard said he was, “Happy to welcome the suburb of Portland into Milwaukie.” Bernard also said one of the reasons he wants to be chair is, “Because investments in bike and pedestrian should not be a bad thing. It makes sense for quality of life and economic reasons.”

Statewide, Democrat Kate Brown easily won the race for governor. She’ll be instrumental in the major debate about transportation funding that’s coming in the 2017 legislative session. That debate will be much different now that Measure 97 failed at the ballot box. That measure would have raised $3 billion for state services by taxing corporations. Without that boost to the budget legislators will have a massive shortfall that will make infrastructure spending an even trickier conversation than usual.

You can check the latest Oregon election results here and learn more by reading The Oregonian’s key takeaways.

Another transportation bright spot last night was the number of victories for transit-related funding measures that passed — including Measure M in Los Angeles. NextCity.org says the estimated $200 billion in funding just approved by voters nationwide is the largest victory for transit in U.S. history. However, there’s a cloud looming: Transit (like all infrastructure spending) is heavily reliant matching funds from the federal government — funds that might not be available in a Trump administration that’s complemented by Republican majories in the House and Senate.

This has been a horrible election where America’s democracy and ideals have been severely tested. Many people are rightfully scared at what a Trump presidency might bring and we must be vigilant and be ready to work hard to keep the hatred and divisiveness that has taken root during this election at bay.

Stay tuned.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Trump in, Novick out: Recap and thoughts on the election appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Election Day Open Thread

Election Day Open Thread

Fourth of July party-11

Everyone is a superhero when they use our democracy.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The big day is finally here.

We know this campaign season has been very stressful for people on all sides of the political spectrum.

We also know most of you will be transfixed to election news and results so we aren’t planning any news stories today. All we can offer is this photo of a proud American on a bike — two things that have been, and always will be, great.

If you want to meet up with other bicycle lovers for an election night party, head over to Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd) where they’ll have cable TV on the projector and 12 kegs of beer and cider on tap (as well as tea, coffee, and other treats). And note that the regularly scheduled City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting has been cancelled.

Good luck with the issues and candidates you care about. You can still drop off your ballot and it’s a gorgeous day to do it by bike. Here’s a map to ballot drop-off locations.

If you have thoughts on how you’re feeling about the election or want to share how you’re coping with all the excitement – feel free to share in the comments below.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Note: this thread is for discussion of national and local politics. It’s acceptable to advocate for or against a candidate or position, but it’s still not acceptable to be mean or to attack others. It’s a fine line and a hassle to moderate, apologies in advance as we try to leave these comments open but still humane.

The post Election Day Open Thread appeared first on BikePortland.org.