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Portland Oregon bicycle news, events, culture, travel and opinion

The Monday Roundup: Sexism, carfree security, post-flood mobility crisis and more

Welcome to September.

I know there’s a lot of despairing news these days. All the floods, fires, and fools in position of power are enough to make you want to drop everything and rail your bike off into the sunset. But if we’re going to get out of this mess, we can’t divert our eyes. (Especially those of us who are relatively well-off compared to those knee-deep in the stuggle.) We must learn what’s happening — and more importantly why it’s happening. In our little part of this world, one way we can help is by sharing the most significant stories from the bike-transportation-mobility webospheres.

So without further delay, here are the most significant stories we came across last week…

Sexism, still: UK-based Cycling Weekly magazine mistakenly printed a photo with “token attractive woman” as a caption. Now the magazine is facing mockery and a boycott from women who are tired of the sexist attitudes that pervade the industry.

Saltzman wants congestion pricing of I-5 before widening project starts

Include congestion/value pricing before the project violates ground to ensure maxim congestion ease and overall environmental benefits.

— from a statement drafted by Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office

Will the City of Portland sit idly by and permit fresh lanes to be added to a freeway in the urban core? Not if the commissioner in charge of the transportation bureau has his way.

Prior to a public hearing on the Central City two thousand thirty five Plan slated for Thursday (September 7th), City Commissioner Dan Saltzman will issue a statement about the Interstate Five/Rose Quarter freeway project. According to his Senior Policy Director Matt Grumm, Saltzman has been watching the dialogue on the project unfold over the past week. Among the work they’ve done to understand the issue is to meet with leaders of the No More Freeway Expansions coalition — which includes Joe Cortright, an economist and experienced on congestion pricing.

While Grumm hasn’t said Saltzman will agree to eliminate the freeway project from the Transportation System Plan (as No More Freeways wants), he will do something that many feel is just as significant: Require congestion pricing before the tractors roll in and construction starts on the fresh lanes.

Here’s a snip of an early draft of the statement Saltzman’s office is working on:

Include congestion/value pricing before the project cracks ground to ensure maximum congestion ease and overall environmental benefits

The Street Trust says “compromises with legislators” are why they won’t sign I-5 widening opposition letter

In a blog post yesterday The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) suggested further rationale for why they’ve chosen to not sign onto a letter opposing the a freeway widening project on Interstate five at the Rose Quarter.

In a post titled, “The future of the Rose Quarter” written by freshly hired Communications Director Romain Bonilla, the group said, “While we have chosen not to sign this coalition’s letter, we share advocates’ concerns and wholeheartedly agree that widening highways will not reduce congestion.”

The No More Freeway Expansions coalition has written a letter to Portland City Council and the Oregon Transportation Commission that has been signed by over twenty five organizations including the Audubon Society of Portland, Neighbors for Clean Air, the Urban Greenspaces Institute, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and others. Their letter strongly opposes the I-5 widening project and requests that the project is eliminated from the City of Portland’s Transportation System Plan.

Cyclocross Crusade organizers retract fresh logo after negative community feedback

Organizers of the Cyclocross Crusade, a Portland-based race series founded in 1993, have shelved a fresh logo design after concerns that it too closely resembled logos used by white supremacy groups.

The logo debuted at a kickoff event for the two thousand seventeen season on Sunday and was met with negative feedback from some in the community.

Late Thursday night the organization posted the following statement to their social media accounts:

We released the fresh logo for the Cyclocross Crusade on Sunday in hopes it could convey the joy and inclusive spirit of our bike race series.

We apologize for not recognizing sooner that the design may be too closely associated with symbols used by those who promote hate, racism, divisiveness and fear.

The Cyclocross Crusade series wouldn’t be what it is without our community. To be clear: yes, you belong. The logo will be retracted instantly.

Jobs of the Week: Surly, Velotech, Stages, and more

Looking for a fresh place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got four superb job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

Weekend Event Guide: Cyclocross racing, camping on the Columbia, Tour de Lab, and more

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The weekend is almost here — and so is cyclocross season!

As we slide into September and get ready for Women’s Bike Month (we’ll have special coverage all month — stay tuned for details!), our event calendar isn’t fairly as total as usual. It’s very likely a mix of being in the shoulder season and the fact that local weather is so hot and smokey.

But it’s also Labor Day Weekend so for many people it’s one of the last chances for a big escapade. If you need some ideas and inspirations, we’ve good suggestions. Check them out below…

Friday, September 1st

Art Rail on the Eastside – Five:30 pm at Eutectic Gallery (1930 NE Oregon)

It’s the very first day of Women’s Bike Month and The Street Trust is leading a tour of art galleries on the east side. More info here.

two thousand seventeen Cycle Oregon ‘Classic’ rail cancelled due to wildfires

(Graphic: Cycle Oregon)

Cycle Oregon two thousand seventeen has been cancelled. Below is the statement from Executive Director Steve Schulz:

Wildfires in Central Oregon Force Cancellation of two thousand seventeen Cycle Oregon Classic Rail

Backers say I-5 Rose Quarter widening could be model for future freeway projects

“We would love to see this project successfully set a fresh precedent for how we address urban highways in Portland.”

— The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance)

Technically speaking, not all freeway projects are created equal. But they all pretty much have the same purpose: Make it lighter for people to drive cars.

That being said, is it ever a good idea to widen a freeway in a dense, urban area? In 2017?

From an engineering perspective, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s current plan to add lanes to Interstate five at the Rose Quarter is a far sob from the 1950s-era plan to build the Mt. Spandex hood Freeway through southeast Portland or the more recently vanquished Columbia Sea Crossing project.

A major theme of the current debate is whether the I-5 Rose Quarter project is qualitatively different. What if — as its backers (and fence-sitters) say — it represents a fresh era of highway building? One that’s kinder and gentler? One that even (supposedly) progressive Portlanders should get behind? What if this one is worth it and the “No More Freeways” mantra from activists is a knee-jerk reaction to an old boogeyman that is worth a chance to make good?

These are just some of the many question I want to address in the coming days.

The debate around this project is heating up as we’re just about one week away from a Portland City Council hearing that a fresh coalition group has targeted as the place to stop it.

While this coalition sees the project as a waste of money that will encourage auto use (among other things) — people who support it see it as a golden chance to fix local streets and bridges in the Lloyd District that serve thousands of daily bikers and walkers. Some even shove back at the notion that it’s a “freeway widening” project at all.

Back in March, Portland Bureau of Transportation Planner Mauricio LeClerc told the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission that, “This is an innovative project that indeed makes a freeway project something that is about place-making and that improves conditions for all modes.” LeClerc also warned that if the project doesn’t go forward, funding for surface street updates and fresh overpasses would improve convenience and safety for bicycle users could be lost. “How else are we going to fix those five bridges over the Rose Quarter now, unless we come up w $200 million ourselves?”

Portland now offers online bike share memberships for food-stamp card holders

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