Monday, June 29, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 24: Late Nights

Almost there! The legislature has been running nightly committee meetings to jam through the final legislation.

The Transportation Bill, HB 2001 - Rumor is that as part of a compromise with environmentalists, the Governor was waiting to sign it until HB 2186, on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, was passed. Both houses passed it this week, so it looks like both 2001 and 2186 will be signed jointly.

House Bill 2377 - Passed the Senate, House concurred with amendments, and it's on to the Governor.

Finally, remember "legislative judo"? Both houses passed House Bill 3271, which was a crime bill. It contains in section 5 this language:
SECTION 5. (1) A person commits the crime of aggravated driving while suspended or revoked if the person operates a motor vehicle that causes serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person while knowingly violating ORS 811.175 or 811.182, if the suspension or revocation resulted from, or if the hardship or probationary permit violated is based upon a suspension or revocation that resulted from, a conviction for a criminal offense involving the use of a motor vehicle.
(2) Aggravated driving while suspended or revoked is a Class C felony.
Although the words "aggravated driving" have been substituted, the language is substantially the same as that in the earlier Senate amendments on "vehicular homicide."

For more see bikeportland and BTAblog.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bike Drill Team Practice on Sunday!

You may have seen the Irondelles, a tall bike troupe of ladies, in the Oregonian!

Tomorrow, Sunday, at 4pm in the calm, lovely streets of the Pringle Creek Community (map), at the old Fairview site, a Salem troupe will convene and practice some basic maneuvers! We don't know if there are any freak bikes in town, but we'd like to find out! Team organizers Robert and Debbie write:
Right now, we have an invite to the Monmouth 4th of July Parade next weekend.

If you have any interest in having some fun riding your bike (especially cruisers!) in some fun events at a slow pace (like 3 mph) come to the first practice:

We have a professional choreographer who is going to help us, wow! how cool is that?
There are other summer and winter parades and events that Robert & Debbie hope to enter, too!

Come on out on Sunday and let's have some goofy bike fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Legislative Update - Week 23: Sine Die in Sight

This week's update is short: It's all about Sine Die. Whether it's June 30th or sometime this week, the end is nigh, says the Legislative leadership.

The Transportation Bill, HB 2001, not signed; no change.
House Bill 2377 - The Statesman is reporting it's up for a Senate vote on Monday
House Bill 2554 - Governor signed

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Schedule for Breakfast on Bikes

A week from this Friday, on June 26th Breakfast on Bikes will be on the Union Street Railroad Bridge. We'll be at the east end between 7am and 9am. We'll have free coffee, pastries, and fruit for bicycle commuters.

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

On Friday, July 31st, we'll be at Winter & Mission.

On August 28th, we'll be at 12th & Chemeketa.

And in September, we hope to offer breakfast every Friday as part of the Bike Commute Challenge!

We're also lining up some additional treats and guided bike commutes for first-time commuters.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Call for Volunteers: Summer Bike Count!

Last summer's bike count was a great success! Already it is informing decisions about bicycle infrastructure, funding, and future demand.

And it's time to do it again! Help document the way biking is growing in Salem. We need volunteers to count bicycles at key intersections in the area. Counts are performed on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and occur during rush hour - either between 7am and 9am, or between 4pm and 6pm.

If you'd like to participate, we have free pizza and soda for you! On Wednesday, June 24th at 5pm, the City of Salem, Salem-Keizer Area Transit Study, and Mid-Willamette Valley Bicycle Transportation Alliance will hold a training and orientation. It will last about an hour. Please RSVP to salembikes [at] gmail [dot] com.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ride your Bike on the Marion County 150 Relay

(Photo: Aumsville, 1910)
There are lots of Sesquicentennial events going on this year, and one of the most interesting is the Marion 150 Relay, a 150 mile trip around historic Marion County:
From the site of the 1846 gristmill in Scotts Mills to the post office in Idanha to the railroad engine in Woodburn to the historic cemeteries in Gates, Hubbard and St. Paul, Marion County offers some important sites vital to the history of Oregon.

150 Miles for 150 Years contains unique sites to visit within each city in the county along with a treasure hunt type “clue” that the answer may only be found by visiting the site.

Marion County OR 150 Committee invites Marion County individuals, families and groups to participate in this self-guided “stay-cation” to learn more about the history of the county and its cities and relay event to see new sites that exist close to home in their own community.
The relay is being staged on five weekends, and the Salem Bicycle Club is carrying the baton carved by Ken Schaffner of Lyons next weekend, on Saturday, June 20th.

SBC Club President Jeffrey Harris invites bicyclists to join the festivities!
Ride all or part of this celebration.

Timepoints: Stayton, Community Center Park at 9:00am.
Sublimity, Chemeketa Community College/Santiam Campus at 9:30am.
Aumsville, Mill Creek Park at 10:30am.
Turner, Burkland Park at 11:00am.
Jefferson, Royal Wallace Park at 12:30pm.

For additional information see the full brochure and with quiz here, the full map here, and the full passport here.

Legislative Update - Week 22: In Hindsight

In Oregon Cycling magazine, Ray Thomas has a nice review of his personal impressions of the legislative session. (The article is not online at Oregon Cycling, unfortunately.) He writes,
If we could start the legislative session over again, we would...develop our materials and provide our proposed measures to Legislative Counsel earlier in the session. We would also make contact with the groups that might support or at least stay neutral on our measures so that press reports would not be the first presentation of our message. Finally, we could have done a better job in organizing our statewide bicycling community, particularly folks in the districts of key legislators, so that constituent voices would have been more difficult to ignore.

But the fact is that in 2009, the legislative agenda was just too ambitious for the times...we failed to include several other legislative ideas that had merit, but were of less consequence.
The session is definitely slowing down and preparing to wind up. Sponsors of bills are playing the end game, and trying to execute final maneuvers. Some legislative judo is possible, but not likely.

The Transportation Bill, HB 2001, is not yet signed.
House Bill 2377 - still in committee
House Bill 2554 - not yet signed

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tuesday Open House: First Step in Making Downtown Bike Friendly

The city of Salem is holding an Open House (full details here) on the Commercial Street restriping project on Tuesday, June 16th, from 4:30 - 6:30pm. It will be at 350 Commercial Street NE, in the Urban Development conference room.

The city proposes to put a bike lane and sharrows on Commercial from Trade to Marion. For more information on the plan, see here. Please let the city know you support this step in making downtown more bike friendly!

Saturday Market Bike Parking & Rumors of Bike Drill Team

After another late night thunderstorm, the roads are a little wet, but the pollen's knocked down! Remember bike parking at the Saturday Market. Look for the red "specialized" awning off of Union street, the north side of the lot.

Speaking of thunderstorms, over at Pacific Pedaling there are a couple of nice pieces on ways that people fit bicycling into inconvenient situations - and find pleasure!

Tina Brubaker commuted home in last week's big one - the one with the Silver Falls tornado warning - and wrote about the fun of biking in the elements and extreme weather. I think we all feel more alive when we bicycle!

Paul's also wrote about test-driving folding bikes and working out the compromises on a long family road trip that will permit him to get in some rides.

The Irondelles, a tall bike troupe of ladies, have charmed the Oregonian!

Several folks around town are heading to Portland for Pedalpalooza this weekend. But here in town, there's new talk of our own bike drill team! The idea's been batted around for a year or more, and some new enthusiasm is behind it. The State Fair will have a bike parade, and the PGE Festival of Lights needs an "absolutely glowing" bicycle corps! Stay tuned!

Update: Here's an image from the market today! It was a little drizzly at times, and occasionally we had more staff than bikes. But there were some new faces!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pedal Power Clinic and Bike Commute Workshop

Don't forget about the Pedal Power legal clinic on Wednesday!

Bicycle lawyer Ray Thomas, of Swanson Thomas & Coon, presents his Pedal Power legal clinic on Wednesday, June 10 from 6pm to 7pm, at the Anderson Room in the Salem Public Library. Ray Thomas will talk about bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities on the road. A question and answer period will follow.

RSVP and take home a free copy of Pedal Power, a Legal Guide for Oregon Cyclists.

RSVP by email to salembikes [at] gmail [dot ] com

Also, Today at noon, DAS Facilities Parking & Commuting Services is sponsoring Doug Parrow of the BTA for a Bike Commute Workshop. It is one hour long and will be held in the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, Room 160. No RSVP is necessary. The workshop is aimed at State employees who would like to commute by bike, but anyone is welcome to attend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The High Cost of Parking: Monday Night at City Council

Council has a couple of interesting agenda items for Monday.

One is a Safe Routes to School grant application for Hallman Elementary School. It asks for $382,000 in Federal funds through ODOT in order to build and improve sidewalks so kids can more safely walk and bike to school.

More interesting is renewing the Downtown Parking District Tax. The tax rate is $130.69 per spot next year to maintain a parking spot in downtown Salem. The total tax levy of the district is $373,550 for the next fiscal year.
$97,289.41 is the cost for the Chemeketa Parkade (26.04%),
$57,282.55 for the Liberty Parkade (15.33%),
$161,088.23 for the Marion Square garage (43.12%).
Total number of spots is 2809.

The total cost to run the District next year is apparently $2,217,690 or $789.49 per spot. Over a 20 year life of a spot, at these rates a spot is worth $15,789.80.

Legislative Update - Week 21

Not much of importance this week. The Transportation Bill, HB 2001, is not yet signed, and analyses are still coming in.

But the nub is this: It is substantially a highways bill that encourages driving, not a balanced transportation bill that moves towards a multi-modal approach to moving people, goods, and services in the most efficient way.

In other news:

House Bill 2377 - The cel phone ban moved out of Senate Consumer Protection and Public Affairs committee and shuttled to Senate Rules committee. Existing provisions carve out exceptions for using a phone while driving when your employment requires it, when you are an emergency responder, and when you have an amateur radio license.
House Bill 2554 - no change

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bike Parking All Over!

Don't forget tomorrow: Valet Bike Parking at the Salem Saturday Market! We're sorry about last weekend, Paul! But look for the bike parking on the north side of the lot, a little to the east of the band stage. Look for additional news on the FSSM blog!

There are also a couple of other bike parking projects that are in the conceptual phases, and hopefully we'll have concrete news on them within the month!

Some parking has also been improved! When the Bike Summit was in town last month, everyone noticed the bike rack installation. It was too close to the wall, and it was in the smoking area.

Now it's relocated to a more visible location, is almost as sheltered, and is separated by a wall from the smoking area!

Thanks to Chrissie Bertsch, General Manager of the Salem Conference Center, who met with bicycle advocates to discuss the installation. She identified a different site and arranged to move the rack.

(Middle Photo: Jonathan Maus/Bikeportland)