Adaptive Biketown makes cycling with Parkinson’s possible

Carol Clupny, who has Parkinson’s disease, gets fitted by Adaptive Biketown Manager Ryan Ross.
(Photos and video: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The stability of having the two wheels in the back with a trike was really good for me.”
— Carol Clupny

The City of Portland is going all-in on adaptive cycling. “All” as in making cycling accessible to all Portlanders who want to give it a try. As we reported earlier this month, the transportation bureau has expanded their fleet of cycles available through the Adaptive Biketown program.

The move comes as the Portland Bureau of Transportation works to boost use of the program. After starting as a pilot with 10 vehicles in 2017, the program did well enough to become permanent in 2018. In 2019, PBOT says they had only 200 rides through the program and that number fell to less than half that during the pandemic year of 2020. Now there are 27 vehicles in the fleet and riders can choose from one of several types cycles. There are hand-powered, foot-powered, single-rider, electric-assist, tandems, and other options and accessories available.

The goal is to have something for nearly every type of need, whether it’s a movement disorder like Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, or Cerebral Palsy — or just a general discomfort or inability to manage a standard bicycle.


image
image
Continue reading
  5 Hits

Relive the Red R Criterium with racer interviews, video and photos

(Photos from Saturday’s race. Top two by Greg Schmitt, bottom two by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Saturday’s Red R Crit was another sign that bike racing is alive and well in Portland after the Lost Pandemic Year of 2020. With well over 200 entries, organizers with the Rainier Beer Cycling Team were able to enjoy the day of racing as volunteers and participants without having to worry about breaking even.

Hannah Moreas, intrepid race reporter.

The Red R took place in an industrial area of Swan Island (as crits often do). Criteriums are road races where riders complete a number of short laps. Some of the laps are “primes” (French for “gift” or “bonus”) where being the first one across the line actually means something. Otherwise, it all comes down to conserving energy and getting in perfect position for the final lap.

And there were some exciting final laps on ended up as a perfect day for bike racing.

Rider and reporter Hannah Moreas (@han_sanitizer) was on the scene to interview several of the day’s competitors (when she wasn’t racing herself) and shared some of her conversations with us…












image
image
Continue reading
  3 Hits

Reasons for optimism around major 82nd Avenue funding request

A lot is at stake for 82nd Avenue.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With less than one week left in the 2021 Oregon legislative session there’s one big question Portlanders still don’t have an answer: Will lawmakers choose to spend $80 million to kickstart a long-awaited process that will transfer jurisdiction of 82nd Avenue from the State of Oregon to the City of Portland?

According to Representative Khanh Pham’s Chief of Staff Robin Ye, it could actually happen. Rep Pham was an advocate for 82nd Avenue long before being elected to the House in 2020 and has continued her leadership on the issue from Salem.

Asked for an update on the $80 million request first made back in May, Ye told us via email on Thursday that, “Last we heard it was ‘positive’ about 82nd Avenue and funding will be appropriated for the safety improvements.”

Since the request isn’t part of a legislative bill, it’s impossible for the public to closely track its progress. The money would come from nearly $800 million in federal rescue plan dollars given out by the Biden Administration.


image
image
Continue reading
  2 Hits

Portland Police will de-emphasize minor traffic violations in move toward racial justice

Mayor Wheeler and Chief Lovell at today’s press conference.

“It’s not a directive change. Officers will still have the ability to do a lower-level stop if they need to… we’re just re-emphasizing our focus to the moving violations that are more safety related.”
— Chuck Lovell, Portland police chief

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell addressed media in an online press conference today to explain a new approach to traffic enforcement.

“Officers will soon be working under new directions to focus their enforcement on moving violations that represent an immediate danger to public safety,” Wheeler explained. “This will enable the Police Bureau to focus its traffic enforcement efforts on safety related issues, which must be our priority.”

The move comes as part of ongoing police reforms that have been demanded by many in the community since racial justice protests began in May 2020. According to 2019 Portland Police Bureau data that was released last fall, white Portlanders — who make up 75% of the total population — were subject to just 65% of PPB traffic stops. During the same period, Black Portlanders — who make up just 6% of the population — made up 18% of stops.


image
image
Continue reading
  3 Hits

Hundreds roll to honks of approval on Portland’s ‘loud and proud’ Rainbow Ride

(Photos by Amy Danger)

With both Pride Month and Pedalpalooza vibes very strong in Portland right now, we expected Saturday’s Rainbow Ride to draw a big crowd — and we were not disappointed!

We heard from ride co-organizer Sumi Malik (above, lower left) and attendee/photographer Amy Danger (@adangerpdx) that it was indeed a very special evening. In the words of Amy, it was a, “Hair-raisingly beautiful show of positivity, solidarity and the importance of continued engagement as we push for equity in our region and nationwide.”

Commemorative spoke card by Jesse Simpson.

Sumi reported that about 300 people showed up, many of whom were gifted a custom spokecard (right) created by Jesse Simpson (@noiserover on IG) as a memento of the event. Sumi, a transportation planner by day, says she got involved with this ride to support a community that’s near and dear to her heart. In 1990s she was an “AIDS Buddy” to a gay man living with HIV-AIDS and as a self-described “staunch feminist” she has always admired and worked with lesbian women leaders. Ride co-organizer Joshua Fackrel is an environmental science graduate student at Portland State University, who, according to Sumi, thinks of the experience of cycling with the LGBTQ+ community as, “A great way to marry inclusion and compassion between ourselves and the planet.”

We asked Sumi to share more about the event:




image
image
Continue reading
  3 Hits

No ‘Short Track’ series at Portland International Raceway this year

Racers and fans at a PIR Short Track event in 2011.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 bike racing season was nearly wiped out completely. This season has gotten off to a very promising start with huge field sizes and lots of enthusiasm; but this morning we got some bad news. The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association has announced that the Portland Short Track Series will not happen.

2021 would have been the 17th season for the beloved, weekday, off-road races that are held at Portland International Raceway (PIR) just north of downtown Kenton. Short Track is a discipline where people use mountain bikes to compete on a course that offers a mix of grassy double-track, tight singletrack through roots and trees, and the big highlight: whoops, berms, and drops on a motocross course. One of the best things about Short Track is how close it is to Portland, which means many people are able to bike to the event after work.

Interestingly, Short Track organizer Tony Kic said the cancellation happened due to a mix of factors (not just Covid). “After a long month of planning and deliberation PIR management has decided not to allow STXC [short track cross country] this summer,” Kic shared in an email to OBRA members. “Various issues and conflicts with the venue and other users have compounded over the years, the pandemic and some changes in leadership prompted new restrictions and priorities that squeeze out our little bike party.”

Advertisement


image
image
Continue reading
  2 Hits

Pedalpalooza Photo Gallery: Rocky Butte Sunset Picnic Dance Party Ride

Riders hang out atop Rocky Butte during last week’s dance party picnic ride.
(Photos: Eric Thornburg/No Lens Cap)

All photos by Eric Thornburg

By all accounts, Wednesday night’s Rocky Butte Sunset Picnic Dance Party Ride was a banger.

In what has become one of many cherished annual Pedalpalooza traditions, riders gathered at Irving Park and rode together to the top of Rocky Butte in northeast Portland. The panoramic views from Joseph Wood Hill Park (you do read historical plaques, don’t you?) is fantastic on almost any day — but add a huge group of high-spirited cyclists on a perfect summer evening and it becomes magical.

Photographer Eric Thornburg (@no.lens.cap on IG) was there to capture some of the revelry and even set up a photo booth for everyone who made the climb up NE Rocky Butte Road. I’m excited to be able to share a selection of his images. I love them because they communicate the sheer joy, love, and beauty that a shared love of riding bikes together adds to our community.










image
image
Continue reading
  5 Hits

Guest Opinion: Stop the freeway-widening slush fund

By Cassie Wilson, a 22-year-old resident of Clackamas County.

This spring, I celebrated getting my driver’s license, knowing it meant I could independently leave my neighborhood for the first time in my life. I can’t help but wish navigating my community wasn’t entirely dependent on traveling by car.

I am 22 years old. Because of a disability, coupled with a lack of nearby transit and sidewalks, I’ve been completely reliant on someone driving me wherever I need to go. I wasn’t interested in driving, but I knew it was the only way I’d be able to get a job or a higher education. Access to an automobile shouldn’t be a prerequisite for participating in society, but in almost all of Clackamas County, we simply haven’t invested in alternatives.

As someone who experiences firsthand the limitations of our existing transportation options, it’s disappointing to see elected officials continuing the status quo by prioritizing freeway expansions over investments in transit, road maintenance, or safer streets. That’s why I urge you to join me in opposition to House Bill 3055, which would create a slush fund for the Oregon Department of Transportation to spend hundreds of millions expanding I-205 and I-5 in Clackamas County by bonding against expected toll revenue.

Owning a car is an expensive privilege; automobility is a luxury that comes and goes with age and ability. Lacking a car shouldn’t prohibit anyone from commuting and accessing health care or education. Investing in freeways instead of building age-friendly, walkable neighborhoods implicitly prohibits many from acquiring basic independence. Even with my new license, I’m caught in a vicious cycle of needing a job, needing an education to get a job, and needing to pay for a retrofitted accessible vehicle to physically access either. How am I, a young disabled person living off SSI’s $529 per month, supposed to pay thousands for a vehicle conversion?


image
image
Continue reading
  5 Hits

The Monday Roundup: Cherokee riders, vehicular violence, Honsinger’s big day, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most notable items BikePortland readers and editors came across in the past seven days:

‘Remember the Removal’: Six riders from the Cherokee Nation and three members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians completed a 950 bike tour that followed the infamous Trail of Tears to remember their ancestors who were forcefully removed from their homelands more than 180 years ago.

Vehicular violence, part 1: A mother of two who was attending a vigil against police violence was killed when a man drove his SUV into the event in Minneapolis last Sunday.

Vehicular violence, part 2: A man driving a huge Ford pickup truck, intentionally rammed it into people who were participating in a charity bike race in Arizona. Six people were seriously injured before the police chased down and shot the driver.


image
image
Continue reading
  6 Hits

Meet BikePortland supporter Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson and her crew.
(Photo: Johnson Family)

Hi everyone.

It’s the end of another wild week here at BikePortland. Before we sign off for a bit, I wanted to share a profile from one of our supporters.

If you’re not one of our hundreds of financial supporters, subscribers, or Patreons (become one here!), you don’t get the weekly Insider Newsletter that goes out (mostly) every Friday. That’s where I share a personal note with readers, housekeeping stuff about the business, a recap of all our stories from the week, and other little tidbits I can squeeze in.

Each week I ask folks to send in a profile about themselves and why they decided to support us.



Continue reading
  8 Hits

Opinion: It’s time to rally support for a carfree South Park Blocks

A plan to prohibit driving to create carfree spaces on several blocks of the South Park Blocks, as drawn by Portland Bureau of Transportation in Appendix B of the South Park Blocks Master Plan.

This is an opinion from BikePortland founder, editor, and publisher Jonathan Maus.

It’s unfortunate that the discussion about the future of the South Park Blocks has been poisoned by a misleading opposition campaign.

What we should be laser-focused on is something city planners call the Connected Cultural District Concept that would create the most exciting and significant carfree space in downtown Portland since a parking lot was turned into Pioneer Square in 1984. I mentioned this concept briefly in our story about the South Park Blocks Master Plan Update on Monday, but it deserves a much closer look.

Nine block faces currently open to car driving and parking would not be, if the concept became reality.






image
image
Continue reading
  13 Hits

Weekend Event Guide: Red R Crit, Asian Snacks, Pride ride, roses, and more!

No matter how you roll, there’s an event for you.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

With so many bike events bursting onto the calendar in the past few weeks, it can be overwhelming to find the right one(s). Our job is to filter through all the calendars and present you with a well-rounded, hand-picked selection to make your life easier.

On that note, I present to you our carefully chosen ride and event menu for the next three days (and by the way we’re back to custom descriptions instead of copy/pasting from ride organizers). Because no matter how you like to roll in Portland, there’s bound to be something that suits you.

Friday, June 18th

WTFNB Unity Ride – 7:00 pm at Esplanade Floating Ramps (SE)
It’s a space theme for this edition of the Unity Ride. Organizers welcome everyone who is not a cis man to join them to build community, dismantle the patriarchy, and celebrate Dr. Sally Ride, the first gay American in space. More info here.

Saturday,

Albina Vision Trust Teach-In – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm online
What better way to recognize Juneteenth than learn about the history of destruction and possibilities for rebirth of Portland’s Albina neighborhood? This workshop will be led by Albina Vision Trust Board Member Rukaiyah Adams and will feature a panel with Congressman Earl Blumenauer, State Senator Lew Frederick, and PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. They’ll explore, “rich history, discuss present dilemmas, and get involved in shaping the future of Albina!” More info here.


image
image
Continue reading
  14 Hits

Oregon congressmen to ODOT: Build robust I-5 caps, we’ll give you money for Rose Quarter project

In a letter (below) sent to Governor Kate Brown today, three members of Oregon’s congressional delegation gave the Oregon Department of Transportation an ultimatum: Create buildable caps over Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter, and they’ll bring home federal funding for the state’s highest transportation priority.

For months, ODOT has been wrangling with consultants, neighborhood advocates, local electeds, and backers of Albina Vision Trust over the highway caps issue. ODOT supports caps, but they have been loathe to commit to caps that would be large enough to build the type of housing and other developments that could actually create a neighborhood. ODOT’s concept thus far has been more about creating open space, parks, and plazas on the caps; while Albina Vision Trust (who walked away from the project in opposition last summer) wants to see apartments, condominiums, restaurants and shops.

The Willamette Week, who has done excellent reporting on this issue in the past weeks, reported just yesterday that one reason ODOT doesn’t want to build more robust highway caps is because it would cost about $200 million more.

Now Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Representative Earl Blumenauer have seen enough. Their letter makes it clear to ODOT that if they want federal funding for the I-5 Rose Quarter project, they need to meet the demands of Albina Vision Trust and others who see the project as an avenue to truly rebuild a neighborhood and not just widen a freeway through it yet again.

Here’s a copy of the letter:
FILE_3843

image
Continue reading
  11 Hits

Huge crowds welcome back Mount Tabor Circuit Race

Picnickers enjoy the show as racers stream by atop Mount Tabor last night.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Back for its 69th season after being dormant in 2020, the River City Bicycles Mount Tabor Series is stronger than ever. The only weekday bike race in America that happens on an extinct volcano, the 1.3 mile loop is as challenging for riders as it is enjoyable for spectators.

It was perfect weather last night and hundreds of people crowded the start-finish area for a chance to see the action. Sun filtered in through the big trees as the “voice of OBRA” (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) Luciano Bailey kept everyone apprised of what was happening out on the course.

Advertisement

Last night was week three of six, so there’s still time to get up there and experience it for yourself.




image
image
Continue reading
  15 Hits

Q & A with Black Liberation Ride organizer Stephen Marea

Stephen Marea in June 2020.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Stephen Marea is working to create welcoming rides and spaces for Black Portlanders. He co-organized the Black Liberation Ride (with Jené Etheridge) last year and will be the leader of Saturday’s ride as well. He’s also just launched a new weekly series of rides for beginners.

I caught up with Stephen to learn more about his work. (Edited for clarity and brevity.)

How does this year feel different to you than last year? Or does it feel different to you at all?

“It does feel very different. I think there is not the same enthusiasm as last year. Last year by the time of the ride we wound up having like over 700 people RSVP on Facebook, which was a huge thing. This morning I checked in and the RSVPs are at 39. It’s definitely a different energy. But I think ther are a couple of factors… Now that people are mostly vaccinated, there are lots of other events. The day is packed from the morning until the evening, so I know that’s kind of splitting the people that would normally come. They’re just busy. It’s also kind of like, out of the news cycle. Last year, unfortunately, with all the tragedies that were happening, the Juneteenth bike ride was there at a perfect time for people to be able to put their focus on it. So now it’s kind of almost back to normal.”




image
image
Continue reading
  12 Hits

Good news: ODOT will stripe bike lane at dangerous Lombard/42nd Avenue gap

View westbound on Lombard under 42nd Avenue overpass. The white line in the foreground is end of bike lane.

On December 12th, 2015, new Portland resident Martin Greenough was riding home from work on Northeast Lombard. As he pedaled eastbound at the 42nd Avenue overpass he was hit from behind and killed by a drunk driver. Greenough was struck in a section of Lombard where there was a gap in the bike lane and the shoulder narrowed significantly. The City of Portland (who owns 42nd Avenue) and the State of Oregon (who owns Lombard/Hwy 30) both settled a lawsuit with Greenough’s family and the Oregon Department of Transportation built a separated path at the location two years after his death.

But ODOT’s work was only half-done: Unfortunately, the same conditions exist on the other side of the street in the westbound direction. It’s another dangerous gap in a bike lane that throws bicycle users into a shared lane where people drive cars at 45 miles per hour. Fortunately, a fix is finally in sight.

The reason for these gaps are support columns for the 42nd Avenue overpass that narrow the right-of-way. When the Portland Bureau of Transportation unveiled plans for a new 42nd Avenue Bridge back in February of this year, we reported it wouldn’t have those problematic support columns and would give ODOT an opportunity to finally address this scary pinch point.

Advertisement



Continue reading
  12 Hits

Celebrate Juneteenth by bike in Portland

Photos from 2020 Black Liberation Ride by Ebony Hall for BikePortland. Poster art by Jarren Smith/FINE.

This Saturday is Juneteenth, a newly-named official state holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, and there are a lot of ways to celebrate by bike.

The headline event is the annual Black Liberation Ride, back after its huge success last year. “So much has happened since the 2020 ride, and this ride will be centered around community, BIPOC allyship, and taking up space together on Portland streets,” writes ride organizer Stephen Marea. “We rolled so deep last year and it is time to make the ground shake again.” Marea (stay tuned for more from him here on the front page) also wants folks to know that the ride is only for, “Black riders and POC [people of color] allies.”

If the ride isn’t your thing, roll on down to the North Park Blocks where the Vanport Mosaic Festival have put together the “History Is Now” exhibit as part of the City of Portland’s public plaza program. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of the Vanport neighborhood and the flood that wiped it out 73 years ago. The exhibit features educational storefront window displays, free zines from the Zine Machine, and more.

Advertisement




image
image
Continue reading
  13 Hits

Budget cuts to Burnside Bridge project could mean narrower bike lanes, no Esplanade ramp

Multnomah County is looking to shave about $180 million off the cost of the new Burnside Bridge. A smaller budget for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project could lead to a narrower cross-section that has less space for walk and biking. Another potential cut could be the cycling ramp from the Eastbank Esplanade up to the new bridge deck.

The County announced at a project task force meeting on Monday night that they’ve begun a series of cost-saving studies to determine which course of action will save the most money and have the least negative impacts for users. The budget tinkering is being done to make the project more competitive for looming federal funding opportunities, made even more crucial to the county since the $150 million they hoped to secure from the Metro transportation funding measure failed to come through.

With the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement back in February, Multnomah County was ready to move into awarding construction contracts this coming winter and start construction on the $900 million project in 2024. Now they’ll push the timeline back six to 12 months to do the cost studies and develop a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement based on what they find. With just $300 million set aside for the project so far, the County needs to win a federal grant from the Biden Administration and they hope bringing the cost down will make that more likely.

Advertisement






image
image
Continue reading
  15 Hits

ODOT ‘envisions’ zero traffic deaths, but their safety plan needs your help to get there

As long as ODOT thinks roads like this (SW Barbur Blvd) are OK, we will never reach that vision (taken from ODOT Transportation Safety Action Plan).
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The 502 people who died while using Oregon roads in 2018 was a 15-year high. So far this year, fatal traffic crashes are up over 24% from 2020 levels. Oregon has a lot of work to do if we want to reach our goal of zero deaths or life-changing injuries by 2035.

The roadmap to get us there is the Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP), a document required by federal law and created by the Oregon Department of Transportation. A draft version of the latest TSAP is out now and public comments are being accepted until July 9th.

The TSAP is an important tool for advocates and policymakers for many reasons. For one, money flows directly from its findings and recommendations toward programs, city grant disbursements, and so on. The plan can also be a powerful way to hold ODOT accountable for how they manage the transportation system. According to ODOT, this TSAP update,

“… will analyze what has changed since the adoption of the 2016 plan, evaluate the progress towards achieving the elimination of fatalities and serious injuries on Oregon’s transportation system, and identify solutions to address system needs for all travelers.”






image
image
Continue reading
  11 Hits

Critics of South Park Blocks plan say ‘Green Loop’ will lead to mass tree deaths

Riders in the South Park Blocks.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Does the City of Portland want to swap dozens of historic trees for cycling access in the South Park Blocks?

According to a campaign launched by critics of South Park Blocks Master Plan, that’s exactly what Portland Parks bureau has in mind. But is their opposition really about protecting trees? Or is it rooted in anti-cycling bias and a desire to maintain a status quo that includes ample space for cars?

A Change.org petition (right) started by a downtown art gallery and a blog post (titled “Rape of South Park Blocks” according to its URL) from a board member of the Architectural Heritage Center have raised the spectre of the death of 86 trees in order to build out the designs in the plan that was adopted by Portland City Council late last month.












image
image
Continue reading
  23 Hits