Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Breakfast on Bikes - This Friday

Breakfast on Bikes will be at 12th & Chemeketa on the Promenade just east of the railroad tracks on Friday, January 29th, We'll have free coffee, pastries, and fruit for bicyclists between 7am and 9am.

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

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Union St. RR Bridge Recognized for More than Just Trails

The Union Street Railroad Bridge has won the 2010 Engineering Excellence Grand Award for Transportation from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon.

The City's release notes that "Salem officials have made the bridge an integral part of the City's trail system, connecting businesses, parks and people on both sides of the river."

This is a deserved award, the bridge a terrific and creative example of reuse!

Hopefully the award's recognition of the structure as part of the transportation infrastructure will spur the City towards finishing the job! The "trail system" is connected, but the bridge is currently orphaned from the wider streetway connections. It doesn't yet function fully as a transportation corridor and to talk about business connections is perhaps a bit optimistic yet. Crossing Edgewater NW and Liberty NE remains difficult, and crossing Wallace NW and Commercial NE nearly impossible.

Congratulations to the City and we look forward to continuing progress.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Call for Race Officials - Training Feb 6th

Capitol Velo Hero and Race Organizer Jesse Finch Gnehm sends out a call for Race Officials:
With more and more races taking place in Willamette Valley, there is a growing need for 'local' officials. Being an official is a great way to support local racing while also putting a small amount of cash in your pocket at the end of the day. Officials make $40-90 per event + mileage at $0.45/mi. Once you're trained, OBRA could likely have you busy every weekend you wanted to work.

February 6, 2010, 10am - 4pm.

The training will be held at the Kroc Center, 1865 Bill Frey Dr. NE, Salem.

This training is for new and novice officials. We will be training both referees and judges.

How to Register:
There will be no charge for this training. To register, please sign up here. You will need to specify if you are planning to train as a referee or a judge. You can not do both at this training.

Official's training material can be found on the OBRA Training Wiki (a work in progress).

For more information, please contact Seth May (sethmay [at] gmail [dot] com).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Legislative Hearings Wednesday: Greenhouse Gases & Vehicular Homicide

The Legislature is gearing up for the February short-session, and two hearings on Wednesday touch on important matters for bicyclists.

In the morning, the Judiciary Committees will be holding a hearing on prospective vehicular homicide legislation. Testimony is by invitation only, but the hearing is open to the public. For more info see BikePortland.
Date: Wednesday-January 13
Time: 8:00 A.M.
Room: HR F
This is a joint meeting between the House Interim Judiciary Committee and the Senate Interim Judiciary Committee.

Vehicular Homicide - Invited Testimony
Doug Parrow, Board Member, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Ray Thomas, Attorney, Swanson Thomas & Coon
Mary O'Donnell

In the afternoon, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Greenhouse Gas Task Force will present recommendations. From the Oregon Environmental Council:
Co-Vice-Chairs Gail Achterman and John Van Landingham will be presenting the recommendations of the MPO GHG Task Force to two legislative committees on Wednesday, January 13.

House Interim Committee on Transportation
Date: Wednesday-January 13
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Room: HR F

Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Date: Wednesday-January 13
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Room: HR A

Typically, you can listen to or watch these hearings online. First double-check the time and find out the hearing room at Then go to and click on the audio/visual for the hearing room.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Drive-Alone Trips Likely Drive Area Quarry Expansion

Quarries are in the news lately, and they have impacted many around the area. Unfortunately, it's difficult not to think that the increase in demand for aggregate is related to our thirst for roads.

Last year the legislature passed a large transportation package, House Bill 2001. In 2008, Salem area voters passed the Keep Salem Moving road bond.

These very large public works packages of road building and road expansion drive a significant increase in the need for aggregate. It can hardly be a coincidence, therefore, that three quarries have been proposed in Marion County this past year:

White Cloud property on Skyline Road in May 2009

Expansion of an existing quarry at 8425 Windsor Island Rd in Keizer in September 2009

And this morning comes news of approvals for another one near Stayton.

Unfortunately, these projects impact adversely our homes, our neighbors, our recreation sites, and our quality of life. But they are an indirect cost of our wish to expand the roadway system.

One way to reduce our hunger for new sources of aggregate is to reduce our reliance on road expansion and the drive-alone auto trip. If we all used our cars less, and instead car-pooled, used public transit, biked, or walked, we would more efficiently use and better conserve the roads we already have. Freight, after all, moves just as efficiently on less crowded roads as on bigger roads. Then we could reallocate tax moneys to other kinds of projects that would better improve our lives and not be rendered obsolete as oil and energy become increasingly expensive.