By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 2nd, 2020 at 9:02 am
While all the attention at today’s Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) meeting will be on the I-5 Rose Quarter Project, there’s another highway expansion mega-project that will take an important step forward.
The OTC is expected to give the Oregon Department of Transportation permission to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Washington Department of Transportation that will lay the groundwork for cooperation on a project to replace the I-5 bridges over the Columbia River. This is a resurrection of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project that came crashing down in 2013 after the Washington legislature backed out of their funding commitments.
But since massive highway expansion projects are the air that keep state transportation agencies alive, after spending eight years and over $200 million the first time around, Oregon and Washington are eager to try again.[Read more…]
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By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 1st, 2020 at 4:52 pm
A three-part series written by Rebecca Small and Shawn Small
Uncertainty is hardly a new sensation for small business owners. Throw in a pandemic, a statewide lockdown, and implosion of the national economy and our local entrepreneurs find themselves facing previously unknown levels of apprehension and sleepless nights. Lately it may seem like there are a million possible wrong choices.
Every one of the nearly 100 different bike-related business in Portland, from the biggest bike shop in town to a self-employed bike fitter, falls into the category of a “small business” – by definition, a company with fewer than 500 people. Most are much smaller: 9 out of 10 businesses in Oregon have fewer than 20 employees. Despite their size, they employ 55% of the state’s workers. They are critical economic engines of our community.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 1st, 2020 at 2:46 pm
By Sam Balto (Contributor) on March 31st, 2020 at 2:30 pm
The coronavirus has changed our lives forever. From here on out, we will think of life before coronavirus, and after. While these are very scary times, we are seeing some positive things appear. With calmer streets and less people driving, there’s been a surge of children and families riding bikes together.
If you’re one of them, it might be a good time to do a practice run to school (if you don’t bike there already).
As a Physical Education teacher at a K-8 school in north Portland I see daily the impacts physical activity — or lack thereof — has on my students’ well-being. In PE class we work to give children the skills they need to be a physically literate person. We are building students’ competence and confidence so they can live a healthy life.
I tell my students that doctors have studied why being physically active is important for children. The closer children are to the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the Center for Disease Control, I tell them, the better health outcomes they’ll see. Children who are more active do better in school, get in less trouble, have better relationships with friends, get sick less and live longer lives.
By Becky Jo (Columnist) on March 31st, 2020 at 12:08 pm
When I started this car-free adventure at the beginning of winter, I thought for sure my bike was not going to cut it. I thought it was a matter of time when I’d have to admit my little road bike just wasn’t the right bike for hauling groceries or getting me around town. I was 99% convinced I’d have to trade it in when I first started my daughter behind me on her little tag-a-long, and her lack of experience balancing nearly caused us a few bike dumps.
I had been looking up more “upright” and heavier/sturdier bikes, what I came to find out are called “mixte” bikes, when to my surprise, we all adapted rather quickly. My daughter started riding on her own, I got into a cadence with groceries, and I do really love having a super light and maneuverable bike when I want to go from North Portland to Montavilla.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 30th, 2020 at 4:22 pm
It’s strange that while many things have slowed down or paused during these virus-impacted times, there seems to be more news than ever coming toward us. Even as owner of a niche transportation media outlet, I’m working overtime to keep up with everything.
In an effort keep you informed and entertained in your at-home existence, here’s a roundup of coronavirus-related news tidbits and other fun things I’ve collected in the past few days.
Free Hot Soup needs bicycle delivery volunteers
Free Hot Soup is an all-volunteer, grassroots community group that feeds hungry people. Since they’ve been barred from distributing meals at all but one local park, the group has made their operation mobile. We heard from an FHS volunteer that this means they need a lot more people to make deliveries — especially folks with bikes that have cargo capacity. Here’s the message:
Free Hot Soup needs more volunteers. We’re looking for bikers with trailers, who can team up to deliver along the I-205 corridor. We will have vehicles to transport meals to trailheads, to be taken from there to camps along the trail by bike.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 30th, 2020 at 2:17 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 3:19 pm
I never thought I’d say this; but I’m happy the forecast calls for clouds and rain this weekend.
With virus outbreak mode at an all-time high in Oregon and nightmarish scenes unfolding across the country, it’s absolutely essential that we stay home and stay isolated as much as possible right now. (If you do head out, scroll down for my advice.)
Last weekend we had dreamy weather. Unfortunately it led to nightmarish scenes of overcrowding all over the the state as people fled to the outdoors. That decision came at the expense of public health and it increased fear and anxiety among residents of many smaller towns where our favorite trails, beaches and roads exist. It also led to a loss of open spaces as park and forest agencies have now opted to close everything down due to crowding fears.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 1:51 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 11:33 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 9:41 am
I wanted to take a minute and hear how you’re holding up amid these crazy times.
Are you riding? If so, what has your experience been out there? (Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to ride inside.)
If you’re not riding, how has that impacted you? [Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 26th, 2020 at 3:59 pm
We’re at that awkward stage in a highway mega-project when the agency in charge is under a cloud of controversy and still (after years of planning) doesn’t have an official endorsement to start construction, but still wants money to keep the project moving forward.
Of course I’m talking about the Oregon Department of Transportation and the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. And it seems whenever I do, there’s growing skepticism and concern from regional leaders about it.
Here’s the latest…
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 26th, 2020 at 11:08 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 3:34 pm
“When shit goes down, bikes rise up.”
That’s the rally cry from Ayleen Crotty, one of Portland’s most dedicated and prolific purveyors of bike culture. Crotty’s Filmed by Bike started as a local event but has grown significantly in the past 18 years and now includes tour stops nationwide and an impressive list of submissions from around the world.
Originally scheduled for May 15-17th at the Hollywood Theater, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Crotty to postpone the event until September. But the world needs bike films now more than ever, so Crotty announced today she’ll host the Global Bike Festival on April 4th.
“I’m doing what I know how to do best in times of adversity,” she shared with me today. “Digging in on a new project, challenging myself to the max, and innovating. Here we go!”
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 12:16 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 10:24 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 24th, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Local bike bag and apparel maker Chrome Industries calls their retail stores “Hubs”. Now those hubs — including their location in Old Town — are the center of a new effort to help battle coronavirus infections.
Chrome announced today they’re galvanizing their global legion of fans around a new mission: to help fill the nationwide gap in N95 masks for healthcare workers. (*Note: N95 masks require special material. Please see update below for more about this.)
“There is a basic need on the front lines, and our community has an opportunity to help,” said Chrome Industries President Steve McCallion in a statement from the company today. [Read more…]
By Becky Jo (Columnist) on March 24th, 2020 at 2:27 pm
In the Pacific Northwest it looks like we’ve hit that time in spring when we alternate sunny weeks with rainy weeks, which gets me thinking about what changes are in store for biking in spring. Does anything even need to change?
For example, you’ve helped me join the biking community in winter, arguably the worst time of year to commit to being car-free. I took your advice and got a bike rack, water-resistant panniers, better suited clothing, and bike fenders. It took me a bit to figure out the wet-pedal situation. I was thiiiiis close to replacing my pedals, when for my birthday in January I got myself a pair of the snazzy all-weather Vans. These have been a life-saver. They have enough tread grip I no longer noticed my stock-pedals being slippery, and the water resistance and high-top saved my feet and ankles. As you can see, in less than 4 months, they look like they’ve been around. I found out later the Bike Shop Girl in Colorado recommends them too for winter cycling, which made me feel like I’m getting this bike thing down.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 24th, 2020 at 10:24 am