Portland area bike companies in Sacramento for North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Chad Smeltzer of Smeltzer Bikes in Gresham has made a name for himself with off-road capable drop-bar bikes. He shared this photo of one of the bikes he has at NAHBS.
(Photo: Chad Smelzter)

Portland area bike businesses will have a strong presence at the annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) that opened today at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Event poster.

NAHBS is bike industry institution that started in 2005. We’ve covered it here to varying degrees since Portland builders made a strong showing in 2006. Portland builders have a rich legacy at NAHBS, winning “Best of” awards at several past shows.

This year I noticed two new builders (that we haven’t even featured on the front page yet!) that will make their national debut at NAHBS: Simple Bicycle Company and Smeltzer Bikes.

Simple is owned by builder Oscar Camarena. He keeps a low-profile because he also builds on contract for several well-known brands (that’s also just how Oscar is). Now his bikes are due to make a name for themselves and we couldn’t be more excited for him. Chad Smelzter is behind Smeltzer Bikes. He’s found a niche in the red-hot gravel market by linking up with local adventure riding organizers Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM). He’ll debut two new OMTM collabs at NAHBS, including the sneak peek he shared with us which you can see in the lead photo.

Below are the rest of the Portland-based companies that will exhibit at NAHBS:

Builder Oscar Camarena of Simple Bicycle Co.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Chris King Precision Components
Civilian
Biciclista
DiNucci Cycles
Efficient Velo Tools
North St. Bags
Ti Cycles

And we’d be remiss to mention our friends from Eugene who will also be there: Rolf Prima Wheels/Astral Cycling, English Cycles, and Co-Motion Cycles.

It’s great to know that Oregon remains a hotbed of bicycle builders, and component/accessory makers. Good luck to everyone at the show!

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

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Thank you #ClimateStrike marchers!

Students from schools throughout Portland have massed downtown today for the #ClimateStrike event. Reports are that it’s a big success with crowds much larger than folks anticipated.

We just want to say thank you for standing up and creating more awareness for the climate crisis! As one of the old people in the room, I’ll do what I can to create a different future.

Also want to remind you that the transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon (39% of the total). We can reform transportation and significantly lower our GHG emissions (not to mention make our neighborhoods much nicer to live in), if we do everything we can to encourage the use of transit and bicycles, and discourage the use of cars and trucks.



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And in case you haven’t heard, the State of Oregon (with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s blessing) wants to widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter. This would encourage people to drive through Portland, spewing even more toxic emissions into our lungs and air. You can help stop this project by checking out No More Freeways PDX, an all-volunteer group of people who are just as concerned about climate change as you are.

Thanks again. See you on the streets!

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

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As bell tolls for victims, Portlanders at ‘die-in’ call on ODOT to end ‘traffic violence’

A woman and her baby made a strong statement in front of ODOT headquarters on Wednesday.
(Photos: Alex Milan Tracy)

In a silent and powerful protest on Wednesday, parents, children, and activists came together to draw attention to unsafe streets. There was fake blood and chalk-outlined bodies. Adding to the symbolism was that it took place in the courtyard outside the front doors of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 1 headquarters in northwest Portland.

“We’re lying here today to make it less likely that you’ll be lying in the road in the future.”
— Ted Buehler, participant

They laid down on the cold, hard pavement while someone struck a bell 467 times — once for each person who died on Oregon roads last year.

ODOT was the clear focus of this event. Organizers chalked “#DeathByODOT” on the sidewalk and used the hashtag in social media posts. In a statement about the event, Bike Loud wrote, “ODOT can no longer ignore the violence that occurs on their streets. We will not allow them to hide any further. We call on ODOT to stop the violence.”

“We’re lying here today to make it less likely that you’ll be lying in the road in the future,” said Bike Loud PDX volunteer Ted Buehler.

Edward LeClaire was one of the volunteers with Bike Loud PDX who participated. He showed up a bit early and found himself in ODOT’s lobby. I wasn’t at the event, so I asked LeClaire to share his thoughts on how it went. Here’s what he shared via email:

“I was astounded at how willfully out-of-touch ODOT staff were with the bike community. Before the event I happened to be in the lobby and I overheard staff saying things like, ‘What do they think is going to happen anyway?’ During the event while I was on the ground, looking up at the ODOT building, I could see several staff peering out and staring at us. Meanwhile, the bell was being rung to mark every death and it was somber as hell. The sun was going down the temperature was dropping and I was starting to shiver from the cold of the ground, but I didn’t want to get up out of respect for the dead while the bell kept ringing and ringing and ringing.



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A couple of ODOT staff took the time to be outside during the event but they chose to stand apart and refused to participate. Bicyclists are obviously the ‘other’ not deserving of their respect. Given that staff were aware of the event and discussing it inside, I had sort of hoped that possibly a few ODOT staff who commute by bike might come out and at least say, ‘Hey we ride bikes too.’ But they did not. We had an open microphone to allow anybody to talk and I honestly expected ODOT’s public information officer (who was there) to take the opportunity to say bland words about how, ‘ODOT cares deeply about the safety of all road users, and we work hard every day to keep people safe, we lament the death of every person killed on our roads, etc. etc.’ But that they could not even say kind bland words when given the direct opportunity in front of the evening news crews — it really struck home just how ODOT staff view bicyclists and pedestrians not as humans but as the freakish weirdos who strangely keep choosing to die on their roads.”

See more coverage of the event from KATU News.

Images by Alex Milan Tracy

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

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First look at TriMet’s new Bike & Ride parking at Goose Hollow

The new facility is tucked behind the existing waiting area.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Goose Hollow MAX light rail station in southwest Portland has more cycling activity than any other one in TriMet’s system. That’s not surprising given that it’s at the bottom of a hill and along a major commuter corridor that connects downtown to the west side and Washington County.

Once it’s open, just tap your Hop card to get in.

To get a better handle on those bikes and to encourage people to not take them on crowded trains, TriMet has installed a new, state-of-the-art “Bike & Ride” station at Goose Hollow that is almost ready for use. As a TriMet bike planner shared with us in 2017, the new bike parking structure was funded with a grant from the State of Oregon.

“This station provides a critical connection for east-west trips,” a TriMet spokesperson shared with us this morning. “We’re looking forward to opening the secure areas of our new bike and rides to help broaden mobility options throughout our region. In the meantime, riders are welcome to use parking that is available outside the cages at Beaverton Creek and Goose Hollow, which is within the coverage of our security cameras.”

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Squeezed into a tight space behind the existing waiting area for eastbound MAX trains, the new Bike & Ride at Goose Hollow has space for 30 bikes: 16 on racks inside a structure and 14 on staple racks outside. To keep bikes safe from thieves, there’s a security camera in place. What makes this parking special (along with two similar structures currently being built at Beaverton Creek and Gateway transit centers) is that users can simply tap their Hop Fastpass card on the door to gain entry.

TriMet encourages riders to keep bikes off trains during peak commute hours. As bike parking facilities get better and more secure, TriMet hopes people will start to keep a “station bike” at the Bike & Ride. “With secure parking at a Bike & Ride or in an electronic bike locker, you can park your bike overnight, then take a bus or train to the transit center and finish your commute by bike,” reads a tip on the TriMet website. “You get the fun and exercise of biking to work or school, without the hassle of hauling it back and forth on MAX every day.”

For more on using bikes on the TriMet system, check out TriMet.org/bikes.

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

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Better Block’s annual request for proposals is your chance to be an urbanism superhero

It’s that time of year when Portland’s tactical urbanist group Better Block PDX considers your requests on how best to re-invent streets and public spaces.

What is Better Block? Inspired by a national nonprofit, it’s a group founded in 2013 by volunteer planners, engineers, students and activists. Among their accomplishments is lighting the fires under the Portland Bureau of Transportation that led the agency to construct the SW 3rd Ave/Ankeny Street plaza and Better Naito just to name a few. Their approach is simple, yet profound: To create temporary “pop-up projects” that re-imagine streets and public spaces to be human-centered, inviting and fun. When done correctly, these exciting pop-ups might even become permanent (as was the case with the two aforementioned examples).

The official opening date for the 2019 BBPDX RFP begins this Friday February 1st and runs through March 1st. According to BBPDX, “The projects selected will go through Portland State University’s Project Pathway program where urban planning, civil engineering, and communication students produce public engagement, traffic analysis, and design plans for the projects.” In other words, they can take your idea and vision and turn it into reality.

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View the RFP below:

RFP-Draft-1-25.2

When you’re ready to submit your idea, you’ll need to write up an outline, demonstrate community support, have an idea of success metrics, and sketch up a rough site plan.

Projects suitable for the RFP include: community events, block parties, street seats and parklets, pedestrian plazas, bicycle facilities, open streets, pop-up crosswalks, and signane. Good pop-up projects will have a community engagement component, need limited resources for implementation, and attract attention, curiosity, and conversations.

The submission form is available online.

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

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PBOT’s $2.1 million plans to tame dangerous section of N Columbia Blvd

PBOT rendering of new crossing of N Columbia Blvd at Bank, just outside George Middle School.

Prior to the start of the school year in 2016, the dangerous section of North Columbia Blvd near George Middle School in St. Johns was on the city’s radar as a “high crash corridor”; but there wasn’t any momentum or urgency to make it safer. That all changed when then 15-year-old Bradley Fortner was hit and seriously injured by a driver while walking to school.

Now, three years later, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has nearly settled a suite of updates that could slow drivers down, limit their turns, and significantly improve safety.

After the collision, we learned locals have been afraid to cross the street in front of their homes for many years. The wide and fast conditions on Columbia Blvd make it a de facto highway that has all but cutoff an entire residential area from schools, restaurants and other destinations. Fortner’s collision forced PBOT and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek to take notice.

At Portland City Council this week, PBOT will accept a $1.5 million grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation. The funds will allow PBOT to make final design decisions and build several updates to nearby streets later this year. PBOT has already used $650,000 in System Development Charges to get the project to this point.

Since our last report in February 2018, PBOT has come up with designs based in part on feedback from the community. The project will be a mix of “access management” that will constrain driving movements from adjacent streets, and a new signal and crossing updates on Columbia. PBOT is also studying whether or not to remove or retain the existing overpass that has fallen into disrepair and gets little use.

Below is the official rendering of the access management elements of the project just east of George Middle School.

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And here’s what PBOT says about it:

“Due to concerns from the community, PBOT is recommending the installation of two access management islands on Columbia Blvd at Midway and Oregonian. Almost half of the traffic from Columbia turns left on the local neighborhood street, Midway St. By eliminating the left turn access from Columbia to Midway and Oregonian, we will be forcing traffic to use the existing traffic signal at Macrum. By installing these two islands we also understand that we will need to modify the timing on the existing signal at Macrum.”

The main piece of the project will be another set of medians and a full traffic signal at or near the intersection of Columbia and N Bank Street. PBOT has drawn-up two options and they’re asking for community feedback before making a final decision.

Here’s Option A:

And here’s Option B:

Winton Sandino is the PBOT project manager. If you have specific feedback about the proposals, email him at winston.sandino@portlandoregon.gov.

According to a city spokesperson, PBOT is still doing some outreach and a final decision about the design should happen in the “next month or so.” Construction is scheduled to begin in fall of this year.

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

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Police stopped 34 people during a ‘crosswalk enforcement mission’: Here’s what they got cited for

East Glisan at 134th Place.

The City of Portland recently conducted one of their regularly scheduled “crosswalk enforcement missions” (a.k.a. traffic stings) on Northeast Glisan at 134th Place. Portland Police Bureau officers made about one stop every three minutes during the 90-minute mission and handed out a mix of citations and warnings for everything from careless driving to failure to wear a seatbelt.

These missions aren’t new. We’ve reported on them since 2008 (when a PBOT staffer acting as a decoy was nearly run down). As per usual, PBOT announces the location beforehand (in this case, a daunting section of Glisan that’s slated for safety updates this coming spring) and then issues a follow-up statement about how many stops where made. This time however, they shared a specific list of infractions. The list gives us a tiny window into the rampant abuse of traffic laws that happens all over our city every hour of every day.

On Wednesday, Traffic Division officers made 34 stops, issued 28 citations and gave six warnings (15 of the people stopped opted to take the driver safety education class in lieu of fines). Here’s the breakdown of violations:

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Failure to Stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian: 12 citations and 5 warnings

Failure to Carry proof of insurance: 3 citations

Passing a vehicle stopped for a crosswalk: 1citation

Driving With a Suspended License : 5 citations

Failure to wear a seatbelt: 1 warning

Driving uninsured: 2 citations

Cell phone use: 2 citations

Switched plates: 1 citation

Failure to Register Vehicle: 1 citation

Careless Driving: 1 citation

Keep in mind that the intersection of 134th Place has a marked and signed crossing that includes a median island. Imagine how many people they would have caught if this was held at a completely unmarked crosswalk.

Thankfully PBOT has changes planned for this stretch of Glisan that should improve driver behavior and make it safer to use and cross. Learn more about the upcoming project here.

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

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Bicycle rider injured in right hook collision on SE 7th at Hawthorne

Scene from the collision.
(Photo: E.S.)

Two people were involved in a collision while using Southeast 7th Avenue around 1:30 pm yesterday. One person was riding a bicycle and the other was driving a car.

The Portland Police Bureau didn’t give us many details; but they’ve confirmed it happened and they say the bicycle rider has non life-threatening injuries. Images and updates posted to Twitter show a bicycle pinned under the right front wheel of a mid-sized Volkswagen SUV. It happened on the southeast corner of Hawthorne and 7th. The auto user was going northbound on 7th and was trying to turn right on Hawthorne. Police and an ambulance responded to the scene. The bicycle rider was conscious before being taken to a local hospital.

Current conditions of SE 7th looking north at Hawthorne with an “X” marking the spot of the collision.

The current cross-section here allows auto users to drive in five lanes (two are for parking their cars). There’s a five-foot wide, unprotected bike lane with green coloring as it approaches the intersection. There’s also a bike box here (it’s unclear whether the collision happened on a green signal or a red signal).

Central City in Motion project #3. This rendering shows 7th one block north of Hawthorne.

Right hooks have plagued Portland for many years. It’s a problem that could be significantly mitigated with more protective space and material between the bike lane and the adjacent lane. And that’s exactly what the Portland Bureau of Transportation has planned for this section of SE 7th. Project #3 of the recently adopted Central City in Motion Plan calls for protected bike lanes on 7th between the Lloyd District and SE Division (at the Orange Line MAX). The project is on the first-phase implementation list that’s scheduled to be built in 1-5 years.

We’ll update this post if/when we get more details from police.

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

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The post Bicycle rider injured in right hook collision on SE 7th at Hawthorne appeared first on BikePortland.org.

A few images from a week in Baja California

Two-way protected bikeway on Calle Blvd Antonio Mijares in San Jose del Cabo.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

I’m just back from my first-ever trip to Baja California Sur. I was not there for work; but I did manage to snap a few photos of people on bikes and various infrastructure and street scenes.

My significant other Juli (the one whose grace and patience has allowed me to work on this blog for the past 13 years) and I split our week between Todos Santos and Los Cabos. The southern tip of Baja is a fantastic place and I highly recommend visiting. I can’t believe I’ve lived half of my life and am just now discovering this part of the world!

Before I jump back into the news and our other offerings, I have a few images that I thought some of you might appreciate…



The shots above are a protected bikeway on Calle Blvd Antonio Mijares, a major thoroughfare in San Jose del Cabo (which, along with Cabo San Lucas, makes up Los Cabos, or “The Capes” in English). I didn’t see too many people using them, but I wasn’t there in the evening when most people are out and about. The on-street version has a similar method of protection — plastic posts and curbs — as the City of Portland has used. It looked similar to Better Naito, but not quite as wide. The off-street version was quite nice. Biking space was visually separated from walking space with green coloring. This bikeway is about 1.75 miles long and connects to many important destinations for tourists and locals alike.

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The scenes above are from Plaza Mijares, the main square in San Jose del Cabo. This place was a big highlight of the trip for me. I can never get enough of large, well-designed and well-used public plazas, no matter what country I’m in. At night, Plaza Mijares comes alive with artists, food vendors and locals. In one of those images you can see a father teaching his young daughter how to ride a bike. There were several couples using the plaza as a roller-skating rink, teens flying around on long skateboards, people practicing traditional dances, and so much more. Great public space is so valuable. I love seeing it used and appreciated by so many different types of people.


While walking around the neighborhoods in San Jose del Cabo I spotted this “Exclusivo” parking spot outside someone’s home. It didn’t look official; but who knows? The person even put the make, model, and license plate number of the car the space is exclusively for.


One thing I noticed throughout Los Cabos was the ample space given to people with disabilities. These spaces on Playa el Chileno (a public beach south of San Jose del Cabo) are for people using mobility devices. They are at the end of a wide and gradual boardwalk. I’ve never seen anything like this on a beach before. Major kudos to the local government for doing this.


Nicely marked spaces for parking bicycles right near the main entrance of Playa el Chileno.


This dude hanging out on Playa los Cerritos (a rustic and relatively undeveloped town near Todos Santos) had it all figured out. He rolled up with his board, chair, tent and all his other trappings strapped to his bike.


These last two are just street scenes from Todos Santos, a cool small town on the west cape that I hope to return to someday. I hear mountain biking in the nearby Sierra de la Laguna mountains is really good.

Thanks for indulging me. I have a bunch of catching up to do. Sorry for the missed emails, events, and stories these past couple days (I did manage to post a few things while away). I’m eager to get back to work!

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

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River City Bicycles employee dies in kayaking accident

Kevin Neidorf, 1990-2019.
(Photo courtesy River City Bicycles)

Portland’s close-knit community of bicycle lovers is mourning the loss of Kevin Neidorf.

According to the River City Bicycles website, Neidorf’s kayak rolled over in a Class II rapid on Hood River on Saturday and attempts to revive him were not successful. He died at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Neidorf was 28 years old and worked at River City Bicycles as marketing and creative content director. Here’s more from the shop’s General Manager Hayes Kenny:

All of us at River City Bicycles are reeling from the unexpected loss of our close friend and esteemed coworker Kevin Neidorf… As we endure this hardship together as a community and as the tightly-knit family that is RCB, we strive to focus on the energy, the passion, the bravery, and the love with which Kevin lived his life.

We all know Kevin as an artist; he worked out of our Belmont shop as River City’s creative director, putting out many imaginative and often hilarious advertisements, video projects, photo features, and much of the other media content our brand has produced over the past few years. 继续阅读“River City Bicycles employee dies in kayaking accident”