Report: Portland transportation emissions ‘increasing dramatically’

(Chart: City of Portland)

A 21-page white paper released today by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability says carbon emissions from the transportation sector are “increasing dramatically” and are currently 8% over 1990 levels.

“The increase… is largely the result of more people moving to Portland and driving vehicles on our roads.”
— from the report

The news about emissions from cars, trucks and other gas-powered vehicles is bad across the board. The 3,216,000 metric tons of CO2 they released into our air is 14% above their lowest levels in 2012 and have gone up year-over-year for the past five years, growing faster than population growth over the same period.

According to Multnomah County 2017 Carbon Emissions and Trends (PDF) the transportation sector accounts for 42% of local emissions. The report looked at sources and trends in Multnomah County from 1990 to 2017. Overall, our emissions are 38% below 1990 levels despite significant population and job growth. However, after emissions tumbled from their peak in 2000 to their lowest levels in 2012, the report found a plateau since then.

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Charts from the report tell the story.

Other sectors analyzed, like residential and commercial buildings and factories, are still headed down. But the same can’t be said for transportation. Here’s an excerpt from the report’s “deep dive” into transportation emissions:

Transportation sector emissions come from use of transportation fuels (gasoline, diesel, propane, ethanol, biodiesel) and estimated vehicle miles travelled. These emissions are the result of driving vehicles powered by gasoline, diesel and propane, the transportation of goods, off road vehicles and equipment used for construction, and a transit system dominated by diesel buses. In recent years there have been more electric vehicles on the road, but because these vehicles are fueled with electricity – charged in people’s homes and businesses without metering – the emissions are allocated to the buildings sector.

Vehicle miles traveled in the county has remained relatively flat since 2010 and people buy less gas than they used to; but the report says the increase in transportation emissions, “is largely the result of more people moving to Portland and driving vehicles on our roads.”

The report’s language is refreshingly direct and serious. The first line reads, “We are in a climate crisis,” and goes on to explain that in order to reach the goals set out by the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Portland must reduce local emissions by another 35% in the next 11 years. It’s “a daunting task,” the report reads, “Despite our successes, our emission reduction efforts clearly need to rapidly accelerate.”

This report comes out just two days before what’s expected to be a large-scale Climate Strike rally and demonstration set to begin at Portland City Hall on Friday.

Read the 21-page report here (PDF).

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

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Biking could score big in Metro’s latest ‘flexible funds’ offering

One of the projects on the list would add a new signal, sidewalks, and a multi-use path to the sketchy intersection of NE Columbia and Cully/Alderwood Road.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s that time again when our regional elected government needs help deciding which transportation projects to fund with a pot of federal dollars known as regional flexible funds. This opportunity only comes around once every three years, so it’s a golden opportunity to nab some cash for important projects.

Map of all projects. Click to enlarge.

This time around there’s about $43 million to spend and 23 projects have been proposed from the tri-county region (Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah). Metro has already done some technical evaluation and scoring based on four core funding principles: “advancing social equity”, “improving safety”, “implementing the region’s Climate Smart Strategy”, and “managing congestion”.

Now they need to hear what you think.

These funds are highly competitive because their “flexible” nature means governments have more discretion over how they’re used. With far more funding requested than available, Metro won’t be able to fund all of them. That also means public feedback can play an outsized role in what makes the final cut.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation submitted eight projects (as seen in the graphic below) worth about $36 million and the majority of them have significant bicycling elements.

City of Portland projects.

Below are PBOT’s project summaries along with a few others from around the region that caught my eye (see the full list and descriptions here). (Note: I’ve also included the Metro evaluation score graphic for each PBOT project. Here’s what they say about it: “Points further from the center of the chart show greater opportunity or benefit in the four policy priority areas. The project’s opportunity score measured the level of need in the policy area, while the benefit score measured how well the project addressed the need.”)

M1: 122nd Avenue active transportation
122nd Avenue: Sandy Boulevard to Burnside Street
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,543,700
Total project cost: $6,491,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority enhanced pedestrian crossings, bikeway improvements, and enhanced transit improvements along 122nd Avenue


M3: Belmont/Morrison biking and walking
Belmont and Morrison streets: Water Avenue to 13th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,523,400
Total project cost: $6,462,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes and enhanced transit improvements along the Belmont/Morrison couplet in the Central Eastside.


M 4: Columbia/Cully freight
Columbia Boulevard: Cully Boulevard and Alderwood Road intersections
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $3,434,193
Total project cost: $5,084,193
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs intersection improvements at Northeast Columbia Boulevard at Cully Boulevard and Alderwood Road to enhance freight movement, including a new traffic signal, turn lanes and railroad crossing improvements. Includes separated sidewalks and multiuse path.


M6: MLK Boulevard safety and access to transit
MLK Boulevard: Cook Street to Highland Street
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,123,000
Total project cost: $4,723,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority enhanced pedestrian crossings and signal upgrades along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard to improve walking and biking safety and access to transit.


M8 Springwater Trail to 17th Avenue Trail
Springwater Corridor: 13th Avenue to 19th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $5,534,000
Total project cost: $6,534,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Extends the Springwater Trail from 13th Avenue to 17th Avenue and extends the 17th Avenue Trail from St Andrews Place to Linn Street, connecting to the Springwater Corridor.


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M9: Stark/Washington biking and walking
Stark and Washington streets: 92nd Avenue to 109th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $5,332,000
Total project cost: $6,532,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Implements roadway safety redesign and constructs enhanced pedestrian crossings, transit priority improvements, and protected bikeways in the Stark/Washington couplet in Gateway.


M10 Taylors Ferry Road transit access safety
Taylors Ferry Road: 49th Avenue to Capitol Highway
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $3,676,000
Total project cost: $4,276,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority walking and biking connections on West Taylors Ferry Road to provide active transportation access to Southwest Corridor light rail station areas.


M11: Willamette Boulevard active transportation
Willamette Boulevard: Richmond Avenue to Rosa Parks Way
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,456,000
Total project cost: $6,106,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Enhances existing bike lanes along Willamette Boulevard from Rosa Parks Way to Ida Avenue and extends bike lanes from Ida to Richmond Avenue. Incorporates pedestrian crossings, intersection improvements and transit access improvements.


This section of Highway 43 would get grade-separated bike paths.

C3: Highway 43 biking and walking
OR43 (Willamette Dr): Mapleton Drive to Barlow Street
Sponsor: City of West Linn
Requested amount: $6,468,000
Total project cost: $9,240,000
Purpose: Construction
Description: Provides continuation of grade-separated protected sidewalks and bike paths along Highway 43 from Mapleton Drive to Barlow Street. Creates walking and biking safeguards at intersections with raised corner bike refuge islands, multiuse marked crossings and other improvements.


C5: Monroe Greenway
Monroe Street Greenway: 21st Avenue to Linwood Avenue
Sponsor: City of Milwaukie
Requested amount: $3,860,788
Total project cost: $10,182,688
Purpose: Construction
Description: Creates a neighborhood greenway for safer walking and biking on Monroe Street. Connects Milwaukie’s central neighborhoods with downtown, the Trolley Trail, the 17th Avenue bikeway to the west, and the Clackamas Regional Center to the east.


C6: Trolley Trail Bridge replacement
Trolley Trail Bridge over Clackamas River: Portland Avenue to Clackamas River Greenway Trail
Sponsor: City of Gladstone
Requested amount: $1,228,800
Total project cost: $1,375,800
Purpose: Project development
Description: Plans, engineers and provides cost estimate for constructing a new walking and biking bridge connecting downtown Gladstone and downtown Oregon City.


W4: Cornelius Pass biking and walking bridge
Cornelius Pass Road pedestrian/bike crossing of US26: extension to Rock Creek Trail
Sponsor: Washington County
Requested amount: $628,110
Total project cost: $700,000
Purpose: Project development
Description: Designs a walking and biking bridge over Highway 26 just east of the Cornelius Pass Road interchange, filling a gap between the Rock Creek Trail and Cornelius Pass cycletrack and sidewalk.


You have from now until October 7th to get your comments in. An easy way to do it is via this handy survey. Or you can email transportation@oregonmetro.gov.

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

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Clara Honsinger snags podium spot in World Cup cyclocross opener

Portlander Clara Honsinger (Team S&M) enjoyed her first Elite Women’s World Cup podium at Jinglecross in Iowa on Saturday.
(Photos: Drew Coleman)

“Incredible. This was absolutely a surprise. For anyone who’s been watching her rise through the ranks this is something you dream of happening you just don’t expect it to happen so soon.”

Honsinger didn’t let a tough start bother her.

Those were the words of television commentator Tim Johnson at the precise moment Portlander Clara Honsinger surged into the lead of the Jinglecross World Cup cyclocross race on Saturday in Iowa.

Honsinger, who rides with Sellwood-based Team S&M, served notice that her exciting results last season were not a fluke. Honsinger started in the second row and found herself behind 19 other riders in a messy and difficult sand pit section on the first lap of the six-lap race. Forced to dismount, the 22-year-old kept her cool and kept her legs moving forward. By the second lap she was in ninth place. The sand pit that trapped her on the first lap ended up being what catapulted her into contention.

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While every racer in front of her stayed to the left in the sand, Honsinger found a line on the right and powered past them (see video above). On lap three, she used this move to fly into third place. By the fourth lap she found herself off the front with two other (far more experienced) riders. Midway through the race, Honsinger, oozing confidence, passed decorated Canadian rider Maghalie Rochette into first place.


Honsinger never faltered and hung on for third place. It was a fantastic finish for a humble “kid from Oregon” who now finds herself among the best cyclocross racers in the world. It’s a testament not only to Clara’s cycling ability but to the support of her team.

Way to go Clara and Team S&M!

We were lucky to have had Drew Coleman on hand to see this race. Enjoy more of his photographs below…




Post-race hug from mechanic, manager and #1 fan Brenna Wrye-Simpson.

She’ll have to get used to lots of attention.

High-fives at the finish.

Honsinger with Maghalie Rochette (center) and Evie Richards.

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

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Cyclocross season is off to beautiful start (photo gallery)

Lucas Strain knows what to do after falling in the sand at Vancouver Lake during last weekend’s Het Meer race: Smile and get back into the fight.
(Photos: Drew Coleman)

Early season cyclocross is a special time. The air is still warm and the ground is (mostly) still dry. It’s the perfect way to ease back into this demanding sport that will change dramatically once the cold and mud set in.

Regardless of the forecast, ‘cross is a beautiful discipline. It combines the elegance of road racing, the grit and grime of mountain biking, and the grace of ballet as riders attempt to maintain balance while jumping off-and-on their bikes to run up-and-over obstacles. It’s hard to do it justice in words, so we’ve partnered with photographer Drew Coleman to bring you photos from all the local action throughout the season.

Drew was at the first two races of the Gran Prix Luciano Bailey (David Douglas and Het Meer) and we’ve got some of his best images to share.

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Peruse the gallery (below) to inspire your training and racing. You’ll notice this first batch features some of the fastest and fittest racers in the region (we’ll try to feature a larger swath of participants next time around). If you want to improve your ‘cross skills, photos can be a good tool to learn proper technique. Look at the body positioning of these top racers. Where do they grip their bars? How they set up their bikes? I learn a lot from watching people who are faster than I am.

Another thing I like to do is check out all the fresh new kits. Everything is bright and shiny at the start of the season and I love seeing the colors and styles chosen by local teams.

Enjoy this week’s gallery and we to see you out at the races!

GPLB #1 David Douglas CX








GPLB #2 Het Meer (Vancouver Lake)
















— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

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A night on the ‘East Buttes’

Lights on and ready for our next dive into forested darkness.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last night I learned the buttes overlooking east Portland are full of hidden gems that are much easier to appreciate with an experienced guide.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in the 15 years I’ve in Portland, I’ve only ridden Powell Butte once or twice. And I’ve never ventured into lesser-known Clatsop Butte or the string of other parks and natural areas southeast of downtown Lents. That’s why I’ve always wanted to join one of the weeknight adventures led by Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) known as the East Buttes. Last night I finally got my chance.

After meeting up at Gates Park (SE 136th and Holgate), a group of about 10 of us rolled east up into Powell Butte. It was a perfect night. Warm and dry, yet the ground was moist from recent rains and the air had a humid, earthy feel to it. After cresting our first butte, we crossed the Springwater Path and headed south into Pleasant Valley and then looped back west through Happy Valley and ultimately through Mt. Scott before dropping back into Lents.


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An assortment of the bikes from the ride.

I was giddy from start to finish following ride leader Ryan Francesconi (remember him?) on a magical mystery route that I still think must have been a dream. Somehow we just kept connecting trails and paths from one to the next. Every few miles we’d pop out into a subdivision of new homes or a park where people were walking dogs, then we’d make a sharp turn, bunny-hop a curb and drop back into another forested fantasyland. As darkness fell and our headlights blinked on, the trails got narrower and the stoke got stronger.

Turns out Portland is full of great off-road trails, you’ve just got to know where to look.

If you’d like to join the next East Buttes Ride, get on the Unpaved email list. You can also check out OMTM on their RideWithGPS page.

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

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Jobs of the Week: Stages Indoor Cycling and Speedvagen/The Vanilla Workshop

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got five great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Speedvagen Customer Service – Speedvagen / The Vanilla Workshop

–> Customer Service Representative – Stages Indoor Cycling

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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 jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

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Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio is very skeptical of congestion pricing

ODOT Assistant Director Travis Brouwer (left) and U.S. House Rep. Peter DeFazio at the hearing yesterday.
(Photos: C-SPAN)

It’s not easy to make an Oregon Department of Transportation official sound like a progressive on any transportation issue; but that’s exactly what U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio did at a House Transportation Committee hearing in Washington D.C. yesterday where the veteran lawmaker’s skepticism around congestion pricing was on full display.

“You can’t just price people off the roads and say, ‘Hey, we solved congestion’.”
— Peter DeFazio, U.S. Congressman

A panel of experts and electeds from around the country offered testimony and answered questions from lawmakers at a House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing titled, “Pricing and Technology Strategies to Address Congestion on and Financing of America’s Roads.” Among the panelists was ODOT Assistant Director Travis Brouwer.

Brouwer’s presence wasn’t a surprise since Rep. DeFazio chairs the committee and Oregon is actively working a tolling program. ODOT is also considered an innovator when it comes to road pricing. We passed the nation’s first gas tax in 1919 and ODOT has made significant progress on their pay-by-the-mile pricing program. What was a surprise was to see the stark contrast in their opinions.

In his opening remarks and during a tense exchange with Brouwer, DeFazio made it known that he’s not a fan of congestion pricing. This is despite the fact that ODOT and the Oregon Transportation Commission are currently working with the Federal Highway Administration on how to implement a plan on Portland-area freeways and the idea of pricing roads enjoys strong support from regional elected leaders.

More spending on infrastructure is what DeFazio is most well-known for on Capitol Hill. His proposal is to raise gas and diesel taxes and bond against the increase to create new revenue for projects. “We haven’t adjusted the gas tax since 1993 and it’s embarrassing we can’t do it,” he said at the hearing.

What’s notable about DeFazio’s position is that he believes the cure to congestion is to build more infrastructure that gives people options to avoid it; but he appears to be very skeptical of using congestion pricing to raise the money to pay for those projects. Listen to how he frames pricing at the end of his opening remarks:

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“Now, we’re going to hear some things today, you know, you’re going to say, congestion pricing. Congestion pricing with what kinds of alternatives for people? You can’t just price people off the roads and say, ‘Hey, we solved congestion’. That person doesn’t set their schedule to go to work and they don’t have a lot of options. Unless you build sufficient options you can’t just price people off the road.”

He then referenced tolls in D.C. that can reach $4.70 cents a mile and said, “That’s not even a ‘Lexus Lane’, that’s a chauffeured limousine lane. Who can afford that?!”

DeFazio continued:

“Some of the legislators and mayor of Portland have decided, well, maybe we ought to just toll parts of our freeways. But of course it isn’t even going to be like a HOT [High Occupancy Travel] lane. No one is going to have an option. You’ll either use it or not use it. What about diversion? What about people who have to go from the east side of Portland to the west side of Portland to Intel to go to work? Sorry, it’s going to take you two hours or it’s going to cost you a bunch of money you can’t afford.”

Instead of pricing, DeFazio wants more federal investment in infrastructure and he’s also a huge fan of “smart technology”. He made several references to “smart” traffic signals during his remarks (and since there are no signals on freeways, it was kind of an awkward point).

The exchange between DeFazio and Brouwer came later in the hearing when the congressman asked about how the public would react to tolls.

DeFazio:

“What kind of public acceptance do you think that’s going to have? And how high do you have to price it to get to your targets to reduce congestion?”

Brouwer:

“Our initial analysis shows we are at a point of hyper-congestion on the Portland system where we have so many vehicles during rush-hour that our system is breaking down and through-put collapses. Our consultants have told us if we move a relatively small number of vehicles off the system at rush-hour it will flow much better and we can actually see our throughput increase greatly.”

DeFazio (with a dismissive tone and body language):

“So you think there are a lot of people optionally umping into the curves, in backed up traffic, they’re not doing that because they have to get their kids to soccer or to work at a certain time? It’s just people who decide who go out and therefore they won’t come anymore and they’ll change their schedule? You think there are enough people out there optionally that that’s going to solve this?”

Brouwer:

“I think there are a relatively limited number of people who are in that situation; but if we can move a few of them off… We did opinion research and saw people said one of the best arguments in favor of tolling with variable rates is that there are some opportunities for people to change their schedules, to move by a different mode, or to telecommute or take other ways of getting to work…”

DeFazio (interjecting):

“Well some people may have that flexibility. The question is, how many.”

DeFazio then quickly changed the subject back to technology and smart traffic signals.

Watch the full hearing via C-SPAN.

In related news, the Portland Business Alliance will host a forum on congestion pricing next Wednesday (9/18) at 7:30 am at the Hilton-Atrium Ballroom (921 SW Sixth Avenue).

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

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This locally-made, pedal-assisted trike wants to conquer last-mile deliveries

Michael Chen with Silver Eagle Manufacturing in northeast Portland with the Rytle MovR cargo trike.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A Portland manufacturing company is confident that a pedal-assisted, light electric vehicle can play a big role in the future of urban delivery. Since January of this year, Silver Eagle Manufacturing in northeast Portland has carved out space in their large factory for a three-wheeled cargo trike that can haul up to 400 pounds and runs on two legs and two lithium-ion batteries.

One of the main reasons they’re so bullish on this vehicle? At just 48-inches wide, the trike is fully bike lane legal. That means a rider can haul its 60 cubic foot cargo box around the city without worrying about congestion.

Silver Eagle has purchased the U.S. rights to produce and sell the MovR, which was developed by Rytle, a company based in Germany. The MovR weighs nearly 300 pounds (without a rider) and with its stout aluminum frame it rides more like a tiny truck than a large trike. In addition to two independent hub motors on the rear wheels (which means no drivetrain axle needed to connect them), the MovR has a throttle (which comes in handy at dead stops), turn signals, and even a reverse mode. Speed tops out at 15 mph.






Michael Chen is Silver Eagle’s marketing guy. He sees this as the future of last-mile delivery for companies large and small. During a recent demo of the trike, he said the MovR is a new direction for his 80-year-old company. Silver Eagle’s bread and butter are cargo trailers for the U.S. military and trailer parts for United Parcel Service (UPS). Instead of a bicycle-oriented company moving into the freight delivery/cargo market, Silver Eagle is a freight company moving into the pedal-powered realm. “In some ways, the MovR is punching under our belt, but it’s also something new for us. Everything is moving in this direction,” Chen shared.

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(Video: Watch Chen reverse the MovR into place and attach the cargo box.)

Detachable box can be left behind and swapped out at the end of the day.

The boom in online sales and Amazon’s delivery dominance has put pressure on the entire freight industry to invest in more efficient and innovative last-mile solutions.

Silver Eagle’s 40-year relationship with UPS is key to their future with the MovR. UPS has jumped into the pedal-powered last-mile delivery market with a pilot project launched last fall in Seattle which included a test of the locally designed Truck Trike made by Stites Design. UPS is actively using 30 MovR trikes in Germany (one of our readers spotted one on the streets of Munich last week) and Canadian delivery giant Purolator purchased 20 MovR trikes for its new delivery hub in Toronto.

Chen says it’s not just global delivery juggernauts that can benefit from the trikes. He’s looking for all types of buyers — from small businesses like bakeries and florists, to colleges who need to move cargo on a large campus. In addition to its impressive cargo capacity and much smaller footprint than a truck, because the MovR is a Class II electric bicycle, you don’t need a license or registration to operate it.

Speaking of operation, I got in and was able to take it for a spin down the street with relative ease. Unlike a truck, it corners and turns-around on a dime and I maneuvered through a cramped parking lot without stress.

Beyond just hauling cargo, the MovR can also leave it behind in a secure box. The box is detachable and has wheels so it can be unhinged from the trike and rolled onto elevators, up ramps, and left in storage areas. And at $18,000 (box included), some customers might want to take advantage of the 55 square feet of advertising space on the box’s side to recoup some of their investment.

This trike is just the latest vehicle looking to use Portland’s bike lanes. Portlanders on bikes already share these (mostly) carfree lanes with electric scooter users, e-boarders, one-wheelers, Biketown rebalancers, delivery riders from B-Line, Portland Pedal Power, and other courier companies, and so on. With the entry of trikes like the MovR, it’s probably time to rename bike lanes to something a bit more inclusive and make them wider and more connected so we can finally see their full people-and-cargo-moving potential

Learn more about the MovR on Silver Eagle’s website.

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

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Oregon Transportation Commission offers Kris Strickler job as next ODOT Director

Kris Strickler

“This move signals more of the failed status quo by the OTC and is a huge
disappointment.”
— The Street Trust

The Oregon Transportation Commission has offered the job of leading the Oregon Department of Transportation to someone who already works there: Kris Strickler.

Strickler is currently ODOT’s Highway Division Manager and — if he accepts the offer and is ultimately approved by the Oregon Senate — he’ll oversee an agency with a $3.8 billion budget and 4,500 employees.

The non-profit Street Trust, one of several organizations who was watching this appointment closely and was part of a stakeholder group that heard presentations from Strickler and two other final candidates, published a letter today (PDF) saying the OTC’s choice of Stricker, “signals more of the failed status quo… and is a huge disappointment.” They said Oregon needs to dramatically alter its approach to transportation in light of the safety, mobility, and environmental challenges we face. “There is nothing in Strickler’s experience that suggests he is prepared to lead this shift,” states their letter. “He offered virtually no substance in his presentation to a group of stakeholders who got to meet with three to candidates for the job.”

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Strickler’s recent work experience includes being deputy director of the Columbia River Crossing project for the Washington Department of Transportation. That project burned through nearly $200 million in planning and failed spectacularly in 2014. Learn more about Strickler’s career via his resume (PDF, pasted below).

strickler-resume

In a statement this afternoon, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said, “Kris has made a big impact on ODOT in his short tenure at the agency. He has driven the agency’s vision for how to address the complex mobility needs of our region and brings strong interstate partnerships to bear. He’s the right person to help ODOT continue its transformation, and I am looking forward to his continued and expanded leadership.”

For his part, Strickler said he plans to accept the offer and looks forward to implementing the $5.3 billion transportation spending package passed by the legislature in 2017. “I’m eager to lead the agency in this dramatic time of growth in our state and to work to modernize our transportation network, diversify the department’s workforce, and bring innovative solutions to achieve Oregon’s transportation, environmental and economic goals,” he said.

ODOT released this background video about Strickler today…

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

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The Monday Roundup: Untokenizing, emissions omissions, De Blasio’s blunder, and more

This week’s roundup is brought to you by Harvest Century, the last major organized ride of the season which comes to the beautiful roads of rural Washington County on September 22nd.

Welcome to the week. Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

“Little concrete evidence”: Turns out when researchers actually look closely at the “distracted pedestrian” phenomenon, it’s not really much of a thing at all.

Untoken influence: Bike blogger Christina Torres is calling on the bike industry to make a bigger effort at empowering diverse influencers around their brands.

Novel protest: People who live in a small Utah community are so afraid of a new multi-story residential tower they staged a “park-in”.

Auto emissions omissions: Streetsblog breaks down climate change plans from Democrat presidential candidates and points out the lack of engagement on transportation issues.

Questions about the climate: Instead of straws and electric cars, here are the questions about climate change we wish the national media would be asking candidates about.

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Kids in cars: Automakers care enough about problem of children being left in hot cars that they’ve agreed to install sensors that warn people of their presence.

Oh how the mighty have fallen: Once an inspiration for bicycle advocates nationwide, New York City is now a laughingstock due to a mayor who has no clue what he’s talking about.

Amazon’s streets: A deep dive on how Amazon exploits a system of package-driving contractors to avoid responsibility for traffic crashes.

Japan > Houston: You know times are changing when the Houston Chronicle publishes an op-ed that touts investment in trains and rail because, “building wider highways makes little economic sense.”

Culture and traffic safety: I generally agree with this perspective from The Urbanist that culture is more powerful than budgets when it comes to making streets safe.

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

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