Monday, April 27, 2009

Breakfast on THE Bridge - Wrap

Even though it was a little cool out at first, the sun did shine, and Friday's breakfast represented perhaps the first "fair-weather" breakfast of the season!

We served 34 cyclists in addition to the crew, and several were new to breakfast. It was great to see some new faces!

Everyone had good things to say about the bridge, and it's clear it's on it way to being loved!

Being on the bridge for the first time, it's a great moment to give another shout-out to Portland's Breakfast on the Bridges. They provided help with the template and inspiration when we first started organizing Salem's B on B! At the Bike Summit, we talked to some folks in eastern Oregon, and we hope they'll start doing their own version. Spread the bike love!

Thanks to Tim Ehlers for the photos!
TRE Photography
www.timehlers.com
trephotos.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 15: Post-Summit

[updated Monday]

Rockstar legislators took a bike ride around Salem during the Bike Summit last week! Check out the article and slideshow on Bikeportland. Sadly, no Salem-area legislators joined the ride. Here's Margaux's Summit report on the BTAblog.

The deadline for scheduling work sessions has passed, and since a work session is a requirement to move a bill to the floor of the Senate or House, those without work sessions are no longer viable.

Of course there's an exception! HB 2001, the Transportation gut and stuff, may take on the contents of any of those bills as one or more amendments.

This makes for more back-room dealing and less transparency, alas. So for a bit it may be more difficult to track the progress of bills. Here's the latest on the BTAblog.

A new bill on the radar, not explicitly about bicycling, is House Bill 2377, a proposed ban on cel phone use while driving a motor vehicle. Bikeportland has a story here. The bill moved out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation on Thursday.

Other bills still active:

House Bill 2001 - This is the gut and stuff, so the bill as introduced is pretty useless. No amendments are published yet. Work session scheduled for Monday, April 27.
House Bill 2106 - no change
House Bill 2554 - Passed with amendment to add "person operating a motorcycle" to list of vulnerable roadway users - Referred to Senate Business and Transportation Committee.
House Bill 2946 - Work Session scheduled for Tuesday, April 28.
House Bill 3399 - Work session scheduled for Monday, April 27.

Work Session information:

HB 2001 - House Transportation Committee - Monday, April 27. 1:00 P.M. in HR D
HB 2946 - House Land Use Committee - Tuesday, April 28. 3:00 P.M. in HR E
HB 3399 - House Judiciary Committee - Monday, April 27. 1:00 P.M. in room 357

[Monday update - 2001: A Transportation Odyssey continues its windy ways. Today's worksession did not cover the BTA's amendments, and Chair Beyer carried over the worksession to tomorrow. The big item was amendment "dash eleven," which contained the Land Use Planning and Greenhouse Gas emissions language.

Also, Bikeportland has a story on the Vehicular Homicide Bill, HB 3399, which today did not make it out of commitee.]

Bills without Work Sessions:
Senate Bill 267
Senate Bill 276
Senate Bill 291
Senate Bill 292
Senate Bill 635

House Bill 2120 (All the action's on HB 2001)
House Bill 2681
House Bill 2690
House Bill 2902
House Bill 2971
House Bill 3008
House Bill 3137
House Bill 3164
House Bill 3252 (This was the driver ed bill, not about bicycling explicitly)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Summit: It's a Wrap! - Quickie News Digest

The coverage begins with bikeportland, and a great slideshow of the legislative ride this morning. The Travel Oregon Website, "Ride Oregon." A slideshow from yesterday. More on the legislative agenda.

At the Merc, an article on legislators and lobbying.

And at BTA-HQ, more on legislators and lobbying.

Look for more updates later tonight and tomorrow. Maybe some comments from Salem folks who attended, too.

HB 2001, which folks confirmed was in fact an omnibus gut and stuff transportation bill, generated lots of confusion and uncertainty. Who knows what's in it? Folks reported fresh-off-the-printer engrossed versions and amendments, but nothing's posted to the legislature's website yet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome Summitteers!

If you need a break from the Bike Summit - for coffee, a pastry, lunch, or a frosty adult beverage, here are three independent and bike-friendly businesses within two blocks of the convention center. Support business that cares about the environment and active transportation!

Cascade Baking Company
Coffee House Cafe
Venti's Cafe

Venti's is sweetening the deal! - "we are going to offer $1 off the entire ticket for participants" Bring your registration badge and show 'em the love!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mayor Rides Bike Across Bridge! & More Statesman Bike Coverage

Hundreds of people lined up to walk across the new Union Street Railroad Bridge during Saturday's Grand Opening Celebration.

And the Mayor biked across it!

See the full Statesman coverage here. (pdf here) For a Statesman Photo Gallery, click here.

There's also a Sunday front page article on the state of bicycling in Salem. Here's the pdf.

A few additional thoughts on Friends of Two Bridges.

(Photo: Thomas Patterson, Statesman Journal)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 14: Ready for the Summit

If you're not already registered for the Oregon Bike Summit, consider attending. Its focus this year is on the legislature, and getting the bicycle agenda passed is not going to be easy. Wednesday will feature a bike ride with legislators and face-to-face lobbying.

BTA-HQ joined the legislative blogroll last week! Check out their own legislative update each Monday.

Bikeportland has an article on a cel phone ban for motorists. Also on Bikeportland is an assessment of the status of House Bill 2690, the "Idaho Stop" bill. [see below for update]

Finally, House Bill 2001 appears to be a dummy bill headed for an omnibus gut-n-stuff effort. There's a crazy number of hearings scheduled for it, and I wonder if it will take on much of the content in House Bill 2120, the Governor's Transportation Bill.

Old Business:
Senate Bill 267 - no change
Senate Bill 276 - no change
Senate Bill 291 - no change
Senate Bill 292 - no change
Senate Bill 635 - no change

House Bill 2106 - no change
House Bill 2120 - no change - OLCV is reporting that "The Oregon Home Builders are working hard to strip the transportation package of key planning tools that will provide jobs, lower transportation costs, and empower cities to build stronger, healthier communities."
House Bill 2554 - Passed with amendment to add "person operating a motorcycle" to list of vulnerable roadway users - moved to Senate
House Bill 2681 - no change
House Bill 2690 - no change [update: Bikeportland quotes Doug Parrow, Chair of BTA Legislative Committee that the "Idaho Stop" bill is dead and the BTA will focus on their other bills.]
House Bill 2902 - no change
House Bill 2946 - Work Session scheduled for Tuesday, April 28.
House Bill 2971 - no change
House Bill 3008 - no change
House Bill 3137 - no change
House Bill 3164 - no change
House Bill 3399 - Work session scheduled for Thursday, April 23.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Breakfast on THE Bridge

Next Friday, April 24th, Breakfast on Bikes will be on the Union Street Railroad Bridge between 7am and 9am. We'll have free coffee, pastries, and fruit for bicycle commuters. Come celebrate this terrific new connection across the river!

Please support our generous sponsors, Cascade Baking Company, Coffee House Cafe, LifeSource Natural Foods, Salem Bicycle Club, and Willamette University.

Bridge Opens Tomorrow!

The Union Street Railroad Bridge Grand Opening is tomorrow at 10am! Over at Friends of Two Bridges they've got all the details.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Bicycling Articles in Statesman

Two Nice pieces about bicycling in the Statesman today! Both focus on links between bicycling and healthy living.

First, Henry Miller profiles Salem Bicycle Club Member and Monster Cookie Coordinator, Larry Miles, who had a stroke in 2004, by-pass surgery in 2006, and is using bicycling as an important part of his fitness plans.
As a two-year member [of the SBC], Miles said he logs about 1,000 miles a year taking part in about two-dozen club rides, along with five full century 100-mile events.
The article also features information on the Monster Cookie. It notes that Larry still needs volunteers. For more information, whether to register or to volunteer (or both!), see the SBC page here.

Also in the paper is an article on two Monmouth-Independence riders who will ride around the state as part of a Central Lions Club benefit on May 5. Greg Pierce and Marc Powell will ride to Pendleton to attend a statewide Lions convention. On the way they will highlight illnesses that impair vision and hearing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

City Council Tonight - No to Greenhouse Gas Reduction?

City Council's Legislative Committee recommends that City Council oppose with a "high priority" the provisions of House Bill 3311, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by cars and light trucks:
(1) 10 percent below the 1990 levels by 2020;
(2) 50 percent below the 1990 levels by 2035; and
(3) 75 percent below the 1990 levels by 2050.
The Committee says:
While this is a worthwhile goal, it is extremely difficult for a local government to achieve. The vast majority of green house gases from an urban area come from automobiles. Unless the automobile industry significantly improves emissions from its vehicles the goal cannot be achieved.

Assuming that this bill does not assume a substantial reduction in vehicle emissions what would then be required is extensive reliance in mass transit and compact development....

Staff recommends that Council strongly oppose this bill.
HB 3311 may or may not be a good bill. But what is most interesting is the flat-out refusal of interest in mass transit and bike-friendly development patterns. How can we expect Cherriots to prosper if the City shows this kind of indifference? Or maybe it's defeatism.

It's probably too late, but let your Councilor know that scientists just released a new study showing arctic ice could be gone in 30 years. Transit, bike-friendly development, and a reduction in vehicle miles traveled are good things!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Black Rock Raffle and Fund-Raiser

The good folks at Santiam Bicycle sent out this Black Rock news:
WOW time is flying but there is still time, time to purchase RAFFLE TICKETS for the 2009 Annual BRMBA Raffle Fund Raiser!

Yes it’s been a tough year all over but the BRMBA supporters are still out there and still donating some AWESOME raffle prizes. So far we have over $18,000 dollars in donations with things like:
Huge package from Dakine with hydro packs, shorts, jerseys and armor,
Complete Bike from KHS an XCT 535,
Kore Wheelset from J&B,
Jersey and shorts from Loeka,
G2 Chain Guides from MRP,
2 SWEET sets of Next Cranks from RACEFACE (one is carbon!),
Multi tools from SKS,
goggles from Smith Optics,
Sunglasses from SPY Optic and Tifosi,
Rock Shox Boxxer Race fork from SRAM Corp,
complete bike from Norco a Havoc dirt jumper
and MANY MORE ITEMS!
Tickets are still $25 each, we’ll sell a max of 1000 and there are still more items coming!

You can purchase tickets from:
Santiam Bicycles in Salem and Dallas
Bike Peddler in Salem
A&N Home Town Grocery in Falls City (say hi to Nils and be nice to Debbie!)
And on the trail if you see Rich…

NEW THIS YEAR, bring your bike, everyone is welcome to come to the Oregon State Fair grounds after the raffle for our first Jump-Jam. The Oregon State Fair and BRMBA are hosting an Open House at the covered dirt jumps and pump track located in the 4-H barn off Silverton Road.

Better yet by an extra ticket or two to improve your chance to win the P3 Dirt Jumper donated by Specalized Bicycles (see it at Bike Peddler in Salem)! How sweet is that win the bike and ride it that afternoon at the indoor park!

Come hang out with Race Face Pro Riders Wayne Goss and Mike Kinrade!

Tickets are ON SALE NOW, get them quick as the raffle is Sunday April 26th at 1:00 PM; same place as usual Northern Lights Theatre Pub (thank you Kevin) is hosting the raffle event. COME HUNGRY and get some great food at Northern Lights (click on link for directions).

If you have questions please email raffle@brmba.org. Good luck and thank you for supporting BRMBA!

Legislative Update - Week 13

It's mid-session, and legislators are beginning to show a few more of their cards. In the House Transportation Committee, out of which nearly all of the key bicycle legislation will need to pass, two Republican legislators have made some interesting observations.

Last Sunday, Rep. Jim Weidner (R-Yamhill), who sits on the House Transportation Committee said in an editorial in the Statesman:
Government has it backward....Unfortunately, the Legislature is working on issues like whether bicycles should be required to stop at stop signs and whether teachers can have junk food in their lounges.
Watching Rep. Weidner in the hearings, it's all too clear he's no fan of bicycles.

At last Monday's House Transportation Committee hearing on HB 2902, which would create a Nonmotorized Vehicle Transportation Fund, Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem), who hasn't been very active with questions in hearings on bicycle-related matters, came with some pointed questions. The most pointed, and the one for which there didn't seem to be an obvious answer, is the question of maintenance. She highlighted the shoulder and bike lane areas on Highway 101, along the coast, and the multi-use path along Highway 22 in West Salem and approaching Rickreall. Both are in lousy condition, are poorly maintained, and not used as much as they might be. She recalled bicycling along the coast in the 80s, when 101 was pleasant, and a recent visit to the coast, when it was not, and wondered if we needed to maintain existing infrastructure before building new.

Also on Monday, Bikeportland reported that BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker, whose previous role had been lobbyist, and Salem's own Doug Parrow, current chair of the legislative committee, will be the BTA's principal representatives during the remainder of the legislative session. Sue Marshall and David Moscowitz of Confluence Consulting (no website) have also been retained.

Old Business:
Senate Bill 267 - no change
Senate Bill 276 - no change
Senate Bill 291 - no change
Senate Bill 292 - no change
Senate Bill 635 - no change

House Bill 2106 - no change
House Bill 2120 - no change
House Bill 2554 - Amended to add "person operating a motorcycle" to list of vulnerable roadway users
House Bill 2681 - no change
House Bill 2690 - no change
House Bill 2902 - Hearing held Monday, April 6
House Bill 2946 - no change
House Bill 2971 - no change
House Bill 3008 - no change
House Bill 3137 - no change
House Bill 3164 - no change
House Bill 3399 - Work session scheduled for Thursday, April 23.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 12

Last week BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker sent this call for action:
It is critical that key legislators hear from you about the need for the "Connect Oregon for Trails" fund to support investment in non-motorized transportation. On Monday at 1pm, the House Transportation Committee will hear these bills.

The Oregon Legislature is considering two identical bills, House Bill 2902 and Senate Bill 635, which would create "Connect Oregon for Trails", a new Nonmotorized Transportation Fund to support the construction of multi-use trails, paths, bike highways, greenways, and similar facilities throughout the state.

HB 2902 and SB 635 would provide funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities that cannot be supported by highway fund dollars because they are OUTSIDE the road right-of-way. This is the one piece of the multimodal transportation system currently neglected by state transportation investments.

Please send an email letter or place a phone call to your Legislator AND the chairs of the House and Senate Transportation Committees to support HB 2902 and SB 635.
For a more detailed discussing, including a fact sheet, talking points, and a sample letter, see the post on the BTA blog.

On Monday, the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on HB 2902. Here's the information:
Date: Monday-April 6
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Room: HR D

Public Hearing
HB 2902 FIRST PUBLIC HEARING - Authorizes issuance of lottery bonds for transportation projects for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians.

Staff respectfully requests that you submit 25 collated copies of written materials at the time of your testimony. Persons making presentations including the use of video, DVD, PowerPoint or overhead projection equipment are asked to contact committee staff 24 hours prior to the meeting.
No new business.

Old Business:
Senate Bill 267 - no change
Senate Bill 276 - no change
Senate Bill 291 - no change
Senate Bill 292 - no change
Senate Bill 635 - no change

House Bill 2106 - no change
House Bill 2120 - no change (1000 Friends of Oregon reports that it is "stalled in the House Transportation Committee as leaders in both chambers continue behind-closed-doors negotiations about what to include in a revised bill.")
House Bill 2681 - no change
House Bill 2690 - no change
House Bill 2902 - Hearing on Monday, April 6
House Bill 2946 - no change
House Bill 2971 - Work session held on March 31st
House Bill 3008 - no change
House Bill 3137 - no change
House Bill 3164 - no change
House Bill 3399 - Hearing held on April 3rd

During the hearing on the proposed Vehicular Homicide law, HB 3399, several speakers indicated some technical and procedural details that might require redrafting language in the bill. A work session has not yet been scheduled.

Lastly, the BTA has changed its approach and personnel on lobbying at the Capitol. Bikeportland, the Oregonian, and the Portland Mercury each have articles.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Video: Bike Boxes, Boulevards, and Education

Want to learn more about Bike Boxes, Bicycle Boulevards, and Bike Safety Education? Check out Oregon Public Broadcasting's Oregon Field Guide on "Portland Biking." The video segment is just under 8 minutes long and gives you a nice overview of traffic engineering in Portland and the ways they are improving the safety and experience of urban cycling.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

President Obama Extends Tax-Breaks to Bicycles

You may have read in the Wall Street Journal or elsewhere that President Obama has approved a "measure in the recent giant federal-stimulus package allows consumers to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes on a new car purchase."

Bicycle advocates and the bike industry were staggered, shocked, and awed, when today President Obama indicated that he would extend the deduction to purchasers of new bicycles and offer additional tax credits.

In a statement Obama said
while we realize that the auto industry is in dire straits, and that the interpenetration of the auto supply chain into the entire economy is of such magnitude that the auto industry must be propped up, we also realize that the future of transportation does not, and cannot, rely on petroleum. The most efficient vehicle ever invented is the bicycle and the millions of bicycle shop owners across the country, most of them small business owners with deep connections in their communities, will appreciate the additional jobs this measure will produce.
Andy Barke, League of American Wheelmen president, said,
President Obama, legions of American wheelmen appreciate the gesture. As the nature of the global economy changes, and as the world heats up, a return to better times will be central: the 19th century values of self-reliance and simpler technology will be vital parts of a new, cleaner, more local economy.
Neither the IRS nor the Congressional Budget office have released figures for the projected increases in bicycle sales.

Since Oregon has no sales tax, the impact here is expected to be minimal. Nevertheless, local retailers and mechanics expect additional business from the nation-wide surge in interest.