Bill that could make rural roads safer on its way to Governor’s desk

Two people died on Sunday and a 4-year old was injured in this crash on McKay Road in the Willamette Valley.

A bill that has received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate will give counties throughout Oregon a new tool to improve safety on rural roads.

House Bill 3213 creates a pilot program that will allow five counties to designate a dangerous stretch of road as a “safety corridor”. The legislation is meant to stem the tide of serious and fatal crashes that plague rural roads throughout the state. During committee hearings for the bill, lawmakers heard that many of Oregon’s once quiet farming roads now see increased levels of driving due to population growth and people who want to avoid congested interstates.

Some of these rural, county-owned roads also happen to be popular for bicycle riding.

“While Oregon backroads are some of the most beautiful drives in Oregon, they can be some of the most dangerous.”
— Shelly Boshart Davis, state rep who sponsored the bill

The first I heard of this bill came in a story published yesterday by KATU about McKay Road, south of Champoeg State Park in the Willamette Valley. The headline, “A dozen fatalities plagued Marion County’s McKay Road in past year,” caught my eye. I’ve ridden on McKay Road and it crosses the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway route.

Dennis and Sylvia Melcher are farmers who’ve lived in St. Paul near McKay Road for 60 years. “We have witnessed this road being transformed from a country road to a major highway thoroughfare,” they wrote in committee testimony, “Drivers are traveling on this road at 70 MPH or faster!”


The bill’s chief sponsor was State Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, a Republican who represents the rural farming district around Albany south of Salem. In a letter of support for her bill, Boshart Davis wrote, “While Oregon backroads are some of the most beautiful drives in Oregon, they can be some of the most dangerous… Law enforcement and county governments around the state are looking for ways to make these roads safer… By allowing county governments the power to bring awareness of the dangers of backroad driving, we give them another tool in their toolbox to save lives.”

The county version will be modeled after the existing program already in place at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Once a safety corridor is identified (must be 2 to 10 miles long and have a documented history of serious and fatal crashes), the transportation department can install caution signage and fines for traffic violations are doubled.

The bill also calls for the establishment of an advisory committee made of up county representatives. While this new program would be modeled after ODOT’s existing program, it’s likely to give county governments more flexibility to address safety concerns.

I asked a Multnomah County if they were aware of the bill and/or if they had any plans to take part in the program. Spokesman Mike Pullen said they haven’t identified any safety corridors as of yet, but they recognize it could be another tool to address safety.

This is an interesting development. I’ve personally been dreaming of a “bicycle safety corridor” designation for a few years now that would be modeled on the same program. Along with increased fines and caution signage, I’d like the designation to come with things like a “move over” passing law when a bicycle rider is present, implementation of bicycle turnouts, a speed limit reduction, and so on. Perhaps next session!

Learn more about HB 3213 here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Family Biking: Join Kidical Mass for a weekend camping trip to Oxbow Park

Kidical Mass PDX rides to camp, 2014.
(Photo: Andy Schmidt)

Who doesn’t love a last-minute weekend adventure? We’ve got a few spots left for our annual Kidical Mass PDX family group camping trip this weekend and we’d love to have you come along. There are even still some scholarships available (email kmasspdx[at]gmail[dot]com for scholarship information). Keep reading for all the details!

Kidical Mass PDX lunch stop at Gresham Main City Park, 2013.
(Photo: Andy Schmidt)

It’s happening this weekend. Here’s the gist from Kidical Mass PDX:

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

We’ll leave from Woodstock Park (at the play structure by SE 47th Ave and SE Harold St) in Southeast Portland at 10am Saturday morning and ride approximately 20 miles (picnic lunch stop halfway in Gresham’s Main City Park) to beautiful Oxbow Regional Park, where we’ll camp, swim, and sit around by the fire. The ride will be at a leisurely pace suited to family biking, and will mostly be on off road trails and quiet country roads.

We’ll ride back together the next day. There’s a big hill coming out of Oxbow, and we will have a truck and trailer to pull bikes and gear up the hill. There will also be several carseats installed in the truck, so we can haul families as well.

Each site is $20, and please bring cash to give to the ride leader day of. Please bring extra for firewood while we camp.

Oxbow Park play structure.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

The campground

I took a day trip out to Oxbow in March and found it to be spectacular! It’s enormous and has everything one could want when camping with kids: play structure, visitor center, lots of paths, restrooms, a refreshing river, a paper kids’ activity guide, and trees galore. But note: no pets or alcohol allowed.


The route

Why do campgrounds always involve a big hill?! I used my road bike for my test run and needed to stop and rest early in the climb back up the hill. Some families will probably bike the hill in the morning, but for those who don’t want to we’ll have vehicle support. I think I’ll personally send my reasonable kid and all the gear up in the truck and pedal up with my more adventurous kid.

Other than the pesky hill, our only other tricky spot is an uncontrolled crossing of Highway 26 at mile 14.5 (I’ve got it marked with a caution icon on our route map) which might take a long time while waiting for a break in traffic. Much of the trip is along the Springwater Corridor Trail and the country roads are quiet ones.

Most of us will bring all our food from home, stopping for a picnic lunch in Gresham’s Main City Park halfway along. However, there’s a bagel place close to Main City Park and for bagel needs even before reaching Gresham, we’ll pass by Cartlandia three miles into our trip. And at the other end of the ride, Weece’s Market is three miles before Oxbow Park. It’s small, but it’ll do the trick!

Camping tips
Next year we’ll be organized enough to finally do that family bike camping workshop/meetup we wanted to organize last year, but this year will be the usual: make new friends on the day of the trip, remember how to use our camping gear since it’s our only trip of the year, and share snacks, hot water, books, and toys with our new friends. Check out my packing list and family bike camping tips on my Family Ride blog.

If you’re able to join us this weekend, check out the details below:

KMPDX Camping Trip 2019
Saturday, June 22 10:00 a.m. – Sunday, June 23
Meet at Woodstock Park Playground
Camp at Oxbow Regional Park in Gresham, OR
Facebook event page
Eventbrite registration page **Registration required
Route on Ride with GPS

Thanks for reading. Have you been bike camping? With kids? At Oxbow Park? Please share your advice!

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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In bid for more accessibility, Portland OKs 725 electric scooters with seats

One of the 500 new Razor scooters to hit Portland streets.
(Photo: Bryn Dearborn)

The City of Portland has granted a permit for a new type of electric vehicle: a scooter with a seat.

According to a Bureau of Transportation statement, two companies — Razor and Shared — have been granted permits as part of the City’s e-scooter pilot program. Between them 725 of these scooters have the right to be deployed on Portland streets as of today.


“We prioritized accessibility in this second Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program, and I am pleased to say that both Razor and Shared delivered with these seated e-scooters,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “There is still a significant amount of work to be done to achieve equity in transportation, but the addition of seated e-scooters to our local fleet opens up this mode of transport to many more Portlanders.”

PBOT says this move comes in response to feedback from the community that many people didn’t feel comfortable or weren’t able to use the more traditional, stand-up scooters. These new scooters not only have a place to sit, they also have larger and wider tires — which means they’ll also appeal to people who are concerned about hitting potholes/bumps or just tipping over on the existing scooters.

Combined with what’s already on the streets, these new offerings from Razor and Shared bring the total number of permitted scooters to 1,975.

According to Razor’s website, their sit-down scooters have a thumb throttle, rear disc brake, and front and rear lights.

Like the stand-up scooters, these new sit-down versions will be allowed in what we typically refer to as bicycle lanes.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Weekend Event Guide: Bookstore crawl, fountain splashing, Multnomah County Bike Fair, and more

Put on your bathing suits and get ready to splash around!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s the middle of June, the middle of Pedalpalooza, and the middle of a warm weather trend. This weekend is likely to be truly epic.

To help you make plans, we’ve got a selection of rides and events below. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 14th

Diablo’s Wild Ride – 8:00 pm at Devil’s Point (SE)
The 10th annual party ride led by the inimitable Diablo is sure to press all your fun buttons. More info here.

Midnight Mystery Ride – 11:30 pm at Hopworks Pub & Beergarden (N)
It’s June, so it’ll be the biggest MMR of the year. More info here.

Saturday, June 15th

Skull 120/60/30 – All day in Burns
I’m headed east to Burns for the annual Skull 120, what organizers say is the toughest gravel race in the country. I can’t wait! More info here.

Group Ride! – 10:00 am at Tough Luck (N)
Meet and train with fellow Cycle Oregon fans at this monthly series of rides sponsored by Bike Gallery and Nossa Famlia Coffee. More info here.

Read and Roll Bookstore Crawl – 12:00 pm at Sewallcrest Park (SE)
Join Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie for a leisurely, 8-mile loop that will stop at six independent bookstore to browse and learn about the history of each one. More info here.

Splish! Splash! Wet Portland Ride – 2:00 pm at Jamison Square (NW)
A proud local tradition, this ride will visit several of our best fountains to sample the water. Wear your bathing suit! More info here.


Sunday, June 16th

Milwaukie to Oregon City on the Trolley Trail – 10:00 am at Milwaukie Bay Park
If you’ve been wanting to ride south of the city and discover this gem of a path, here’s your opportunity. 20-mile loop and no one will be left behind. Includes a ride on the municipal elevator in Oregon City! More info here.

Live Freeways Ride – 11:00 am at Goose Hollow MAX Station (SW)
Join a knowledgable ride leader John Russell and ride on 25 miles of local freeways from Portland to Oregon City. More info here.

Storytime Ride – 11:00 am at Woodlawn Elementary School (N)
Local artist (and Pedalpalooza poster creator!) Cat Odell will lead this family-friendly event in the park. She’ll share her new children’s book and then the kiddos can ride the fun paths in the park. More info here.

Multnomah County Bike Fair – 12:00 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE)
A day of silly and fun bike events and camaraderie with fellow bike funnists. Come say goodbye to the Sprockettes and delight in the antics of Olive & Dingo. More info here.

Photo Ride – 6:00 pm at Salmon Street Springs (SW)
Photographer Eric Thornburg will lead this gathering of camera and cycling enthusiasts. Come geek out on lenses and accessories or just show up and be a willing subject for all the photogs. Ride will visit prime photo locations and have a prize for best image taken. More info here.

Full Moon Naked Ride – 8:30 pm at Coe Circle (NE)
Because not everyone can wait for the World Naked Bike Ride. And for what it’s worth, I can vouch for the leaders. They’re good and fun-loving folks! More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Jobs of the Week: Bike Friday, Ride Report

Two new jobs posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Technical & Customer Support Team Member – Bike Friday (Eugene)

–> Office Administrator – Ride Report


For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

Be the first to know about new job opportunities by signing up for our daily Job Listings email or by following @BikePortland on Twitter.

These are paid listings. And they work! If you’d like to post a job on the Portland region’s “Best Local Blog” two years running, you can purchase a listing online for just $75. Learn more at our Job Listings page.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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This Pedalpalooza ride paid homage to the color teal, and nearly 100 people showed up

The teal is strong with this one.
(Photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap)

Some of the best Pedalpalooza rides are often the ones with the simplest theme. Case in point: Last night’s Teal Ride.

“Teal for Real! Who doesn’t love the color teal… it’s a little green… it’s a little blue. It’s perfect,” read the ride description. “Bring your teal bikes, helmets or dress in teal for this fun and short ride.”

Why a teal ride? Here’s what ride leader Andrea Chin said when we asked her that question:

”It started on the 2017 Pedalpalooza kickoff ride with a few of us pointing out teal bikes, and chatting with those who had teal bikes. We all connected over the love of teal, and by the end of the night, we had teal catchphrases, and had made up a teal squad vest, slightly a parody of bike clubs. Last year, someone proposed getting a teal ride on the Pedalpalooza calendar (because why not?) and it was a success! With all of the previous year’s hype we decided it should be an annual installment. It shows that even a seemingly simple thing as a color can bring people together.”

Our Pedalpalooza embed Eric Thornburg was there to capture it. He said there were at least 80 people by the time the ride left Laurelhurst Park. Ride leaders made it clear that everyone was welcome — teal or no teal — “As long as they had teal spirit.” And judging from his photos, there was plenty of it.

Eric said riders rang bells at every teal-colored object; be it construction pipes on the side of the road, a teal vehicle, or teal paint on a house. The group photo was in front of a teal-colored building at SE 10th and Taylor. Scroll down for the gallery…


Check the Pedalpalooza Calendar for more great events and browse more of Eric’s photos here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Commissioner Eudaly’s big move for bus-only lanes

There’s more of this to come.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The cat is officially out of the bag.

In a story posted this morning, the Willamette Week reported that PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wants to go big for bus only lanes.

In 18 months, Portland streets could see the most dramatic change in public transit since the arrival of the streetcar. All it will take is gallons of red paint.

Deep in the bowels of city bureaucracy, Portland transportation officials under the direction of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are preparing to debut what they’re calling the “Red Lane Project”: removing miles of roadside parking and traffic lanes from Portland streets to make room for uninterrupted routes for buses.

While this is the first major report of the plan, Eudaly’s office has been working on it behind the scenes since last year. Eudaly’s Director of Policy Jamey Duhamel shared details of it with me back in December. At that stage she wanted help connecting to various community leaders and groups that might be impacted and/or might want to get involved in organizing support for the plan.

The plan also builds on a foundation already built by PBOT that includes the Enhanced Transit Corridors and Central City in Motion plans.

As Portland’s population has exploded, so has the amount of traffic and congestion. Eudaly has decided that faster bus service is the best tool to make streets more efficient. The plan is just the latest manifestation of TriMet and the City of Portland’s growing effort to speed up bus service. Back in November, PBOT’s Central City in Motion Plan was adopted by City Council with several transit-centric projects on its high priority implementation list. Back in May, PBOT worked with TriMet to give bus operators more space at an intersection on NE Fremont and created a bus/bike only lane on SW Madison.


For Eudaly — who’s built a reputation for her work on tenant protection — bus users are the transportation equivalent of low-income renters. And to take that analogy a bit further, drivers would be landlords. Eudaly sees bus users as needing help in a system that is stacked against them. Here’s more from the Willamette Week’s story:

“Transportation intersects very dramatically with all the things we really care about,” says Eudaly’s policy director, Jamey Duhamel, adding that the commissioner and her aides asked themselves: “What can we do within transportation to really affect people’s lives, the most vulnerable in our community? What we heard over and over was: ‘How are you going to get buses out of traffic?’”

In that story, Eudaly said another reason she’s decided to act is that the “clock is ticking on climate catastrophe.”

As for voices that might oppose the plan, it’s worth noting Eudaly’s office has already lined up support for the plan — both on City Council and among myriad community groups (who will no doubt be asked to turn out their members/supporters once the plan is officially launched). Our transportation commissioner has also shown signs that she’s not afraid to start a debate about transportation policy.

Details on the plan are still to come, but Eudaly’s office is likely to choose a list of a dozen or so routes that will be sped up and then implement the changes on a pilot project basis.

Read more in the Willamette Week and stayed tuned for more details, opportunities to give feedback, and how bicycling will be impacted.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Pedalpalooza Mural Ride photo gallery recap

Bikes just might be the perfect mural-viewing vehicle. (Photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap)

Sunday’s Mural Ride had a great turnout with about 100 people showing up to see a few of Portland’s many intriguing public paintings.

The ride was led by veteran Portland bike fun instigator Meghan Sinnott and local artist and photographer Mel Christy.

Our Pedalpalooza photographer Eric Thornburg tagged along and captured the vibe. Here’s what it looked like through his lens…


— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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These summer bike camps still have a spot for your kid

Bike camps teach riding skills, bike maintenance, safety, and friendship.
(Photo: Nat Shreffler for Community Cycling Center)

Portland has a wide variety of summer bike camps: Everything from learn-to-ride camps that ease kids onto two wheels to camps that teach advanced riding and repair skills. You might think it’s late in the game to find a spot in one of them, but most area bike camps still have spaces in some sessions.

My son attended his favorite bike camp back when he was five. He decided he wanted “bike racing camp” instead of “regular bike camp” and I found a new camp offered at a bike coaching facility. They started each morning of the week watching Danny MacAskill bike trick videos before pedaling off via multi-use path to a park where the instructor had stashed an obstacle course in the bushes. In addition to the emphasis on riding and tricks, he came home with more art projects from this camp (we still have a precious old bike cranks and duct tape creation) than from the larger, more traditional bike camps he’s attended.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I’ve called around to find out which bike camps still have spots. Check out my list below. If you’re aware of any camps I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post. (Note: all grades reflect the campers’ grade in the fall.)

Community Cycling Center
$360-$425 per week

Spots are available in Cruisers (grades 5 and 6), Freewheelers (grades 7 and 8), Food Cart Seekers (grades 7 and 8), Girls Mechanics (grades 7 and 8), and Voyager (NEW! grades 9 and 10).

Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp enters its 18th year this summer. At camp, our goals are to:
➤ Develop the skills of youth in a fun, safe, and supportive environment
➤ Provide opportunities for cooperative learning and decision making in a team environment
➤ Develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for the bicycle
➤ Connect youth with Portland’s cycling infrastructure

CCC is also partnering with Hacienda CDC, Urban Nature Partners PDX, Home Forward, and Catholic Charities to bring Bike Camp to the Cully neighborhood, New Columbia neighborhood, and McCoy Village this summer thanks to Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant and City of Portland’s Expanding Opportunities for Youth grant. Through these community bike camps, participants will attend a week of bike camp at no cost and receive a bike, helmet, and lock at the completion of their week.

— Learn more at

Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park
$425 for full day per week, $49 for half day per day

Lumberyard’s website has current availability listed, with quite a few camps still with room.

With early drop-off, snacks provided, aftercare available, free park access with guardian supervision the rest of the day, and 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to shred, Lumberyard is sure to entertain (and tire out!) your lil’ shredder. The Greenhorns Half-Day Summer Camps for balance bikers on Mondays and new pedalers on Fridays are fun for the aged 3-6 set not yet ready for a full day or full bike park. Rental bikes (as well as rental balance bikes) are available for camps, too.

— Learn more at


OBRA Junior Track Camp
$150 for three days

Juniors aged 10-18 with OBRA licenses can attend a track camp June 27-29. Kids 13 and up will camp overnight at Alpenrose Velodrome while 10-12 year olds will join for the daytime activities. The weekend includes a shred session and pizza party at Lumberyard on Sunday. Those who own track bikes should bring them, but the camp fee includes track bike rental if needed as well as Lumberyard bike rental.

— Learn more at

$305.00 member/$382.00 non-member per week

As of this writing Bike PDX for grades 4 and 5 has space for the week of July 29th. This class is taught by Community Cycling Center’s fun instructors and meets at OMSI for 4-15 mile explorations of the area around the museum. Extended care is available and bikes can be stored at OMSI overnight. “Take science on the road!”

— Learn more at

Trackers Earth
$235 half day per week

Learn to Bike: Road Rovers has some spots available at all three Trackers locations. This class is for kids entering kindergarten and 1st grade who are just learning to ride. The class is just 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., but it’s action packed with personalized instruction, crafts, and games. Includes a bike to use if the camper doesn’t already have one.

— Learn more at

Learning to throw their bikes down chain-side up before sprinting across the field.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

WashCo Bikes
$295 per week

Washington County kids aged 9-12 will love Saddle Up Summer Bike Adventures. The Hillsboro camp is full (but there’s a waitlist), but other cities — Beaverton, Forest Grove, Tigard, and Wilsonville — each have one open one-week camp spaced throughout the summer.

Campers will bike to different programs and activities in 2-5 mile increments, building their fitness levels over the course of the week as they gain riding skills and repair knowledge. Using project-based learning each camp will explore parks, watersheds, and cultural sites in and around the communities of Washington County. In addition to riding, kids will do art, environmental projects, community building activities, play interactive games, and journal about their adventures.

Note: scholarships application are still being accepted online, and no campers will be turned away for lack of resources.

— Learn more at

YMCA Camp Collins
$835 per week overnight camp

Camp Collins Questers in grades 7-9 leave the comfort of their extraordinary Treetops Village for camp activities each day, including 2-3 hours of a specialty focus. For sessions 1, 3, 5, and 7 (June 23–29 Harry Potter theme, July 7–13 Color Wars theme, July 21–27 Jurassic Adventure theme, and August 4–10 Star Wars theme) Questers can select mountain biking as their specialty (note: Camp Collins does its best to assign each Quester their first or second choice specialty so no guarantee you’ll be biking).

Questers learn basic riding skills, maintenance, and bike safety. They’ll explore the trails of Oxbow Regional Park and enjoy a long trail ride off camp. Bikes and helmets are provided.

— Learn more at

Did I miss any? Or do you have a fun bike camp story to share in the comments? Thanks for reading!

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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‘Missing middle’ housing bill needs a push in Salem

Plenty of “middle housing” in Montreal is one reason why it’s such a great city for biking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important bills we’ve been tracking this legislative session is hanging in the balance.

House Bill 2001 would allow “missing middle” housing (a.k.a. multi-family dwellings) in places currently zoned for only single-family housing. It would have a vast impact on cycling because it would enable more people to live in closer proximity to jobs and other destinations — making a trip by bike more feasible.

According to advocates who support the bill, the time is now to press legislators to move the bill forward. Below is a message from southeast Portland resident Doug Klotz:

This is the crucial time to make your voice heard in Salem in support of House Bill 2001, Speaker Kotek’s bill to legalize duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes statewide. It would require cities overt 10,000 to allow duplexes everywhere in single-family zones, and triplexes and fourplexes somewhere in those zones as well.

Most Democrats [who hold a super-majority] wants to do the right thing, lift the ban on missing-middle housing and make affordable housing possible in every neighborhood. But they need to know, right now, that you’ve got their back on this. Can you take four minutes to find your state legislators here — you’ve got one senator, one rep — and ask them to support HB2001?


Those in Southeast Portland and Milwaukie should know that our Senator is Kathleen Taylor (503-986-1721), who is on the fence about it. You could also call Representative Rob Nosse (503-986-1442). I don’t know his position on it. If you’re in other districts, look up your legislator here.

Votes are being counted right now. There’s a hearing Tuesday and it could go either way. It won’t go to the floor unless there are enough votes counted among the members, even those who are not on the committee. Your call could make the difference.

For more information on this bill re-read our past coverage in the related posts below and check out

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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