Archive for October, 2011

This week in Advocacy and Wonkery

Posted in News on October 31st, 2011 by Ted – Comments Off on This week in Advocacy and Wonkery

Blessing of the Bicycles at St. Stephens

Tonight: October 31st

Trick or Treating
This the one night of the year that your non-walking/biking neighbors will be out, on foot, in your neighborhood. If you’re at home, take the opportunity to meet your neighbors. Instead of handing out chocolate, splurge on some goodies like bike bells, reflective bands, bikey stickers, and PBOT Walking Maps for adults. Dusk.

Tuesday, November 1

North Williams Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting
“At this meeting the Committee will work on developing its own decision-making process, for making later decisions about the project’s scope, outcomes and alternative designs. This is an open public meeting. The public is welcome to attend and there will be a public comment period at the close of the meeting.” Expect about 25 committee members and 10 other members of the public. This meeting will be about the decisionmaking process, not the road design development.

Noon to 2:00 pm 3131 N Vancouver Ave, Red Cross Board Room (nice sunlght and leafy views) Link.

Sullivans Gulch Trail Plan Open House
The plans to put a multiuse path in “Sullivans Gulch” is moving forward. This would put a path along I-84/MAX all the way from the Lloyd Center to Gateway. It would have a dramatic improvement in the travel time and travel pleasure of riding between East Portland and Downtown.

This is the first big public event for this project and its very interactive. Come, expect to be wowed by the plans to make Portland’s first bicycle freeway. Plan on at least a half hour, more if you want to mingle, ask questions and leave comments. And if you expected to be wowed and you’re not, be sure you tell them what you wanted to see in this Bicycle Megaproject.

6:00-8:00 PM, presentations at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm, Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40 Ave Link.

Race Talks: N. Williams bike lanes
“Race Talks” is a monthly meeting to discuss racial issues in Portland. This month’s topic is the N Williams Ave. bike lanes. Bikeportland publisher Jonathan Maus is one of four panelists. Full description here.
6:00 – 9:00 pm, McMenamins Kennedy School Gym, 5736 NE 33rd Ave. Doors open at 6, program begins at 7.

OPAL Working Group
OPAL is Portland’s grassroots transit advocacy group. They have working meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, at the OPAL Office 2407 SE 49th Ave (TriMet #4, #14, #71) (unconfirmed).

Even if you’re not a transit rider, you benefit from OPAL’s peppery style because it jazzes up the usually-staid transportation advocacy scene and sets a high level of operational effectiveness that other groups can learn from. Their website

Clackamas County Bike/Ped Advisory Committee Meeting
This month’s agenda includes:
* Clackamas Regional Center Pedestrian/Bicycle Connection Project: Update
* Rural Bike Signage: Two rural segments to review: 1) Oregon City to Canby; 2) West
Linn to Tualatin.
* Hazard Elimination Program: Road Inventory / Potential Assignment
* Hwy 43: Project Update

Note date change — regularly on Monday, pushed to Tuesday for Halloween.

6:15 – 8:00 p.m., Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City. Expect about a dozen committee members, a few staffers, and a few members of the public. Public comment is at the top end of the agenda (about 6:20). link

Wednesday November 2nd

KBOO Bike Show
This month’s bike show features Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith and AROW advocate Steve Bozzone talking about changes being made to make the streetcar track network more bike-friendly. The bike show has been running once a month for many years. Tune in, listen, and call in if you have a question. 11:00 am – noon. 90.7 FM in Portland.
Link and Facebook page (where this month’s topics can be discussed)

Blessing of the Bicycles
St. Stephens Episcopal Church is home of the Portland Bicycle Shrine. The shrine was established in 2009 as a haven and respite for Portland’s bicyclists. Bicyclists are welcome to come in any time when the sanctuary is open.

Every November they have a Blessing of the Bicycles, where bicyclists wheel their steeds into the sanctuary and up to the altar for a blessing. This is a short service — lasting only 10 – 15 minutes. It’s advertised to start at 5:30, but to be in your pew, with your bicycle, you’re better off arriving at 5:15 to listen to the prelude music and settle in. Expect about 25 people, with a broad range of personal religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

The schedule:
* 5:15 — prelude music by Halley the Harper — Portland’s own Bicycling Street Harpist
* 5:30 — welcome and short bike-centric devotional
* 5:35 — blessing of the bicycles
* 5:40 — closing service
* 5:45 — punch, coffee and cookies

SW 13th and Clay. St. Stephens website here and the Bicycle Shrine website here.

Combined “Aloha-Reedville Study” and “TV Highway Corridor Plan” Open House
There’s two separate highway projects afoot in Washington County. They’ll have a combined Open House in Aloha.
* TV Highway — 8.5 miles of it, from Beaverton to Hillsboro. Project web page link.
* Aloha – Reedville — plans to improve transportation in this unincorporated chunk of suburbia. It’s a swath of land southwest of Beaverton. Project website link.

The web pages make little mention of making these corridors safer for bicycling. If you want to see bicycling prioritized in this area, it’s important to make your opinion known. 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Aloha High School, 18550 SW Kinnaman Road in Aloha. Drop in any time, short presentations at 4:30 and 6:00 pm. Expect to stay a half hour to review all the posters, and longer to leave comments, talk with staff, or network with other bicyclists. Link.

Shift to Bikes business meeting
Portland’s maverick Bike Fun organization, Shift to Bikes, has their business meetings at a bar on the first Wednesday of the month. Shift sponsors events like Pedalpalooza and World Naked Bike Ride. It’s all done on a shoestring budget and lots and lots of passionate volunteers. If you want to help make Portland’s Bike Fun happen, consider helping out with Shift. Shifties are a modest bunch — unassuming, low key, rarely self-promoting, but enthusiastic about welcoming newcomers. Expect about 15 people, come and go at any time, chips, salsa and beer provided!

6:30 – about 8:00, Browse’s place, 2222 NE Clackamas Street

Friday, November 4th

“Be Seen, Be Safe” rally & parade
The BTA is hosting a rally to promote bright winter riding apparell and accessories. They’ll have giveaways, free tuneups from the Bike Gallery, and a “best lit” contest. Link.

The schedule:
* 4:00 event begins
* 6:00 lit bike parade around downtown
* 6:45 fashion show/awards
at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Broadway and Morrison.

Saturday, November 5th

Portland By-Cycle Bike Shop Ride
This is the last ride of the first fall season — come out, bring a friend, and have an educational and fun ride. From their site: “Get that great “I just rode my bike” feeling year-round! Practice riding in all kinds of weather, make new friends, and have a little fun while learning something new.”

Alberta Park (NE 19th and Jarrett — one block north of Killingsworth). 10:00 am – noon. Forecast — 45 degrees, 70% chance of rain. Link

WPC Weston Awards gala
The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition is having its first ever annual gala — the Weston Awards. It’s a celebration of walking, featuring peppy speeches about getting around by foot, and exhibits of famous Portland shoes. U.S. Rep and former Portland City Councillor Earl Blumenauer is the keynote speaker. Ticket cost is $35, (I assume this includes dinner). Congrats to the WPC for kicking off this new annual event. Come support the WPC — expect about 100 people, wearing their finest footware. WPC webpage link and Weston Facebook page where the event is discussed.

Schedule:
* AROW pre-Weston Social Hour at Valentine’s on the Car-Free block Ankeny. 6:00 pm, 232 SW Ankeny St (free) Link.
* Weston Awards 7:00 – 9:00pm Mercy Corps Action Center, 45 SW Ankeny St

Upcoming

Tues Nov 8
* TV Highway Corridor Plan Open House, Hillsboro. Link.
Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee Link.

Tuesdays Nov 8, 15, 29
* Hearings for the Portland Plan in N, E, and downtown.

Wed Nov 9
* Skyline Blvd Traffic Safety Community Forum Link.
* Multnomah County Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee meeting (unconfirmed) Link.

Tues Nov 15
* Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting Link

Wed Nov 16
* BTA’s Bicycle Legal Clinic Link.

Thurs Nov. 17
* Bicycle Brownbag Link.
* N/NE Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting Link.
* BTA Open House Link.

Mon Nov 28
* North Williams Community Forum Link.

Wed Nov 30
* Deadline for comments on The Portland Plan

Safe Routes to School events
PBOT has events scheduled throughout the winter months, beginning with a “How to start a Bike Train” workshop sometime in November. See the full roster here.

Comments, corrections, additions?

What are in your plans this week?

Ted Buehler

Join AROW for a Pre-Weston Awards Social Hour!

Posted in News on October 31st, 2011 by Rebecca – Comments Off on Join AROW for a Pre-Weston Awards Social Hour!

The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, the beloved band of 501(c)3 rockstars who work to make our city a walkable wonderland, is hosting its first annual Weston Awards and auction on Saturday, November 5.  There are quite a few of our active transportation advocates involved with this show – some AROWs are organizing auction items for this event, some are organizing the event itself, and at least one person on our discussion list is the Director of the whole organization.  It seems the least the rest of us could do is show up and drink their beer.

It would be great to get a block of AROWs together to attend, and we haven’t had a meet-up in awhile.  I’ve got my ticket and am planning to meet up with a few friends at the nearby Carfree Street on SE Ankeny between SE 2nd and 3rd Ave around 6pm for a pre-party social hour.  We can grab a pint, schmooze, wonk, and catch up on our individual projects before walking over to the Westons at 7:00 pm.  Meet us at Valentine’s: 232 SW Ankeny, Portland, OR 97204

The Weston Awards!

Willamette Pedestrian Coalition’s first annual Weston Awards and auction pays tribute to the feat and feet of walking. Join us for a special evening celebrating the shoe leather that passionate people just like you tread in the quest for a healthier, more livable future.

Saturday, November 5, 2011
7:00 – 9:00pm
Mercy Corps Action Center
45 SW Ankeny St., Portland OR

Hacia Ciudades Libres de Autos (Towards Carfree Cities) X in Guadalajara, Part 2

Posted in News on October 27th, 2011 by Alexis – Comments Off on Hacia Ciudades Libres de Autos (Towards Carfree Cities) X in Guadalajara, Part 2

Note: This post is the third in a series of posts about my experience at Towards Carfree Cities X in Guadalajara. The first and second are here and here. This one covers my own and other shorter talks. In upcoming posts, I’ll discuss the later keynotes and overall conference themes.

Portland Bike Map Streetcar AnnotationMy talk, Friendly Streets for Bicycles and Streetcars?: Lessons from Portland, covered AROW’s recent work with Streetcar as well as the history of streetcar and bikes in Portland. My goal was to show that Portland’s intersection of bicycles and streetcars was unique — both became repopularized at the same time, leading to difficulty with designing shared facilities — but nevertheless had valuable lessons for all cities considering mixing the two. I was originally scheduled to present with someone advancing the idea of streetcars for Zapopan (the municipality centered northwest of Guadalajara proper), but a mixup meant that I shared time with someone else. For that reason and others, my presentation didn’t fit in as well as I’d hoped.

Of the other short presentations, I particularly enjoyed a pair on Ciclovia from Sergio Montero and Bobby Gadda. Sergio explored the spread of Ciclovia from Bogota to San Francisco and around the world through the networks of mayors, activists/planners, and experts. Mayors provide leadership, activists and planners bring information and awareness to mayors, and experts (experienced implementers) meet and exchange ideas, fueling the spread. It was informative to see the differences in the way ciclovia is done in different places.

Bobby’s presentation on CicLAvia was an excellent followup, showing the concrete details of ciclovia in LA, which is run by a citizen group. This is an interesting contrast with Portland, where the Bureau of Transportation is heavily involved with Sunday Parkways. CicLAvia is charged money to get a traffic plan for the street closures, since they are a separate entity for which city time is being used. LAPD insists on police officers at all route crossing points (no volunteers as in Portland, in part because the route uses larger streets). No parking is allowed on streets during CicLAvia. The wide streets allow a lot of room, but even so, it’s been such a huge success that the second event was suffered from overcrowding, and the number of bikes can be intimidating for people walking or using other forms of transportation — something we also struggle with here. To me it’s a sign that we are not meeting the demand for carfree streets! Open them and they will come.

Unfortunately, I changed rooms instead of staying to hear the presentation on Guadalajara’s Via Recreativa (and I also timed my visit, even more unfortunately, to miss the real thing). I also missed the presentation of Ciclovista Guadalajara, but fortunately they were selling copies and I picked one up. It’s a beautiful book showing views of Guadalajara through a bicycle mirror.

Demo bus with rooftop garden

Demonstration bus with garden at ITESO

My other favorite presentation was Marco Castro’s Busroots. A combination art project and creative sustainable concept for public transportation, Busroots places plants on the roof of a bus, creating a mobile garden which can help with the heat island effect and contribute to stormwater management. It reclaims unused space and greens the city. Currently it’s just a concept bus, but I enjoyed the idea and had fun imagining how it might work in our mild and wet climate. The transit mall could become a linear garden at rush hour!

This week in advocacy/wonkery

Posted in News on October 24th, 2011 by Ted – 1 Comment

Do you like riding on roads like this? Do you want them to be improved so people can choose to travel by bicycle? Come to the Highway 43 Bike Facility Meeting

Want to get involved this week? Here’s how.

Monday, October 24th

CRC EIS Public Comments due.
Send to feedback@columbiarivercrossing.org by midnight on Monday. EIS Link. Speak up or assume that your elected officials think you love this 5 mile 10-20 lane freeway megaproject.

Workshop: Bike Safety on Highway 43
Clackamas County is spearheading a bicycle safety improvement project on Highway 43 from Lake Oswego to Portland
• Learn about design alternatives and their potential impact
• Discuss information collected on traffic flow and lane use
• Give your input on the alternatives
• Talk about next steps for making changes in the corridor
Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Links: Project overview and BTA blurb on the meeting.

Tuesday, October 25th

SW Arterials Sidewalk Open House
Come see the plans that PBOT has to add sidewalks to arterial streets in SW Portland. Sidewalk plans include:
* SW Vermont
* SW Spring Garden Road
* SW Huber Road
and others. Come support this important step to bringing SW Portland’s walkability levels up to a higher standard. Figure on about 30-60 minutes to review the posters, ask questions, and leave comments. Multnomah Center, Room 30 7688 SW Capitol Highway, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Link.

Clark County Bike/Ped Committee Meeting
The committee will review the final version of the County’s bike/ped plan and other items. Expect about a dozen committee members, Clark County staffer Laurie Lebowsky, and a handful of members of the public. The last 15 minutes of the meeting is reserved for public comment. 6:00 – 8:00 pm, 1601 E Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA Link

Wednesday, October 26th

W Burnside Crosswalk Enforcement
Crosswalk enforcement comes to SW Burnside. Come and see the Portland Police in action stopping motorists and bicyclists who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. And if you support this type of enforcement, be sure to let your elected officials know. Law abiding motorists make the streets safer for everyone. Link.

NECN Land Use and Transportation Meeting
The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods in Portland’s monthly Land Use and Transportation meeting. Expect about 20 members, a handful of visitors, and an agenda about specific items in individual neighborhoods that have implications to othe neighborhoods. 7:00 – 8:30 pm, NECN Offices at King School (NE 7th between Going and Alberta). Link.

Friday, October 28th

Breakfast on the Bridges
The “Bike Fun” group Shift 2 Bikes sponsers breakfast for bicycle commuters on the last Friday of each month. If you’re riding, stop for pancakes and coffee. If you want to be involved in this low key, yet effective support of bicycle commuting, come down and help out. Folks mix and mingle, talk shop or just chitchat. Expect about a dozen Shifties at each bridge, and a dozen bicyclists stopped at any given time. Bring food to share, or just bring yourself.

7:00 – 9:00 am, 2 locations — Westbound bike lane at the Hawthorn Bridge, and the Lower Deck of the Steel Bridge, on the East side of the river. Forecast 50 and overcast. Link

Metro TPAC Meeting
Metro’s “Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee’s” monthly meeting is from 9:30 am – 12:00. The 21-member committee makes recommendations to Metro on proposed changes to policy. This month’s agenda includes:
* Proposed revisions to the Oregon Transportation Plan
* Proposed amendments to the Transportation Planning Rule
* Review scenarios to reduce state greenhouse gas emissions
Expect a handful of ordinary citizens, you can come and go at any time. Metro Building, 600 SE Grand Ave, Portland OR. Links: committee description, meeting announcement, and Agenda

Seminar on Understanding Sight Distance
PSU’s weekly transportation seminar is on how students can understand “sight Distance” and “Stopping Sight Distance.” These terms refer to how fast a vehicle can stop after they see something like a bike in the road, a stop sign, or a red light. Drivers need to have a fair bit of time and distance, otherwise they’ll crash into things. These are important elements to designing bike/ped infrastructure to ensure safe passage of bicycles across busy streets and safe travel of bicycles on busy streets.

Apparently this is a difficult concept for engineers to grasp. And this lack of comprehension is manifest in the designs of roads that put vulnerable users at risk of being turned into roadkill. This seminar will discuss not only the concepts themselves, but also they can be more effectively taught to engineering students. Come and learn with the engineers, then put your knowledge to work in asking for better engineering of your streets.

PSU Urban Center (SW 6th and Mill), Distance Learning Wing, room 204. If you can’t attend in person, you can watch it on your computer from the podcast. Link. 12:00 – 1:00

Upcoming

Tuesday Nov 1
Clackamas County Ped/Bike Committee Meeting (unconfirmed) link

Wed Nov 2
* KBOO Bike Show Link

Sat Nov 5
Portland By-Cycle Bike Shop Ride Link

Tues Nov 8
Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee Link.

Tuesdays Nov 8, 15, 29
Hearings for the Portland Plan in N, E, and downtown.

Nov 30
Deadline for comments on The Portland Plan

Safe Routes to School events
PBOT has events scheduled throughout the winter months, beginning with a “How to start a Bike Train” workshop sometime in November. See the full roster here.

Comments, corrections, additions?

Ted Buehler

How Walkability Saved a School

Posted in News on October 18th, 2011 by Nick – 4 Comments

Portland Public Shools is about to make a decision about whether or not to a fire damaged school in SE Portland. Do they rebuild the current location,  or, do they move the school to a currently vacant school a mile farther northwest?

There are supporters on both sides of the question, but one factor that seems  to be tipping the balance is walkability. From the Oregonian article:

“But board members said they think restoring Marysville students to a school in the heart of their neighborhood where all students can walk to school would be a big plus.

Congratulations to the PPS school board for recognizing the importance of urban design and context in the decision of parents to let their children walk to school.

Marysville is a small-scale building nestled within a tight knit walkable neighborhood, with a structure that interacts with the surrounding community on all sides. Kellogg is a much larger-scale building, setback from the street and surrounded by a sea of parking and lawn, not to mention, it’s location on Powell blvd. Many of the students would be unlikely to walk across such a hostile street to get to school.

The decision will be finalized in November and offering support is likely to help seal the deal:  schoolboard@pps.net

 

View Marysville vs Kellog in a larger map