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Posts tagged "Oregon"

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Portland’s Tilikum Crossing: A Bridge for People, Not For Cars

In 2015, Portland, Oregon opened North Americas's longest car-free bridge The Tilikum Crossing, a bridge that allows travel for pedestrians, bikes and scooters as well as light rail, streetcars and buses!

It's a superb transportation marvel, not only elegant but it's surrounded by one of the most multi-modal places in the United States connecting logical routes not only right now but providing for the future as Portland's Southwest waterfront continues to go thru its ambitious development. It also connects to the equally exquisite aerial tram to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) which at its base boasts the largest bicycle valet service in North America!

Being around the area on a few summer days it's easy to see all this beauty and planned car-free options in action.

Here's Streetfilms' love letter to the Tilkum which easily makes the case for other cities considering transportation options near bodies of water. There are many great reasons to do it the same way. The bridge is nearly silent except for the periodic serenade of public transit. The footprint of the bridge is small since interconnecting off-ramps and large roads taking up valuable real estate is not needed, which in turn makes it much cheaper than a bridge with cars. The comfort for those using active transit (bikes and walking) was carefully considered with bike lanes on both sides, and wide pedestrian/running areas in either direction. Also, the fact that it can accommodate three different modes of transit: streetcars, light rail and three bus routes should be a huge selling point.

And the final wonderful feature: the LED lights on the span change colors based upon the temperature and water level of the Willamette River! Believe me on a beautiful summer night you want to stay on it forever.

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Portland Adds Nation’s First Bike Counter to Hawthorne Bridge

Good news for mathematicians who love watching throngs of cyclists stream by: Portland, Oregon just became the first U.S. city to install a bicycle counter!

You'll find the digital "bicycling barometer" on the AM inbound side of the Hawthorne Bridge. It was made possible by the non-profit group Cycle Oregon which  purchased the machine with a $20,000 grant. Lots of yummy extra details are over at Bike Portland, including an in-depth look at how the system works.

Seattle is reportedly just about to install one as well.  Which city/location in the U.S. should be next?  Where would you put one in New York City?

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Portland: Bike Rush Hour on the Hawthorne Bridge

The first time you visit Portland, Oregon, the gaggles of cyclists streaming over the Hawthorne Bridge during rush hour is a sight you will never forget. It's something other cities need to see and be inspired by.

On a recent vacation there, I couldn't resist cranking out a Streetfilms shortie, so I naturally hooked up with Crank My Chain's Dan Kaufman to capture the essence of the PM rush and talk to cyclists about what it feels like to be a part of the mass of cyclist humanity in Southeast Portland, Hawthorne corridor. As Greg Raisman from Portland's Bureau of Transportation pointed out: 20% of all traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge is bikes. And, Portland's number of cyclists has risen 600% in the last fifteen years and shows no sign of letting up.

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Great Public Spaces: Pioneer Courthouse Square

According to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse Square is one of the Top 10 greatest public spaces in the U.S. & Canada. I couldn't agree more. Affectionately referred to as the city's "living room" the charming and versatile block was once slated to be an 11-story parking garage in the 1960s. Thankfully the residents didn't let that happen.

Recently while grabbing lunch in Portland, I wandered into the "Festival of Flowers" - a beautiful urban meadow installation that was so pleasant and comforting, I just had to shoot some video. Ethan Kent from PPS has often said to me that the key to the success of Pioneer Courthouse Square (and many public spaces) is its amazingly diverse programming. He's right, I've been to Portland a dozen times and there always seems to be something wonderful going on there.

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Portland (Green) Bike Box!

At just about any public gathering I go these days, there's usually at least one person who will come up and give me an enthusiastic "Bike Box!", based upon our earlier, popular Streetfilm. In my heart I hoped there would one day be a sequel to Bike Box, and it all came together last week while in Portland at the World Car-free Conference. Earlier this year, Portland's Office of Transportation installed many high visibility bike boxes that are filled in lime green to help cyclist avoid right hook collisions. (Note: NYC now has a few green ones as well.)

What we were unprepared for was being stopped by random cyclists who wanted to lend their collective "Bike Box!" exclamations. So watch and see all the fun improv as it flows. Do you have Bike Boxes in your city? Want to be creative? Then upload a YouTube video and tag it "streetfilms" and we will feature it in our sidebar!

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Portland’s Sunday Parkways

Despite a very dreary and damp first half of the day, Portland's first Ciclovia-style street closure, Sunday Parkways, was a smashing success with countless thousands of city residents participating. It was like a giant community block party with walkers, bikers, joggers, bladers, families, and pets filling the 6 mile course.

There were plenty of fun activities in four northeast parks that were linked by the circuit, which was opened to bikes and pedestrian traffic only from 8 AM to 2 PM. For cities planning their own Ciclovias, here are some things I liked about Portland's event: knowledgeable volunteers, lots of fun chalk messages on the ground, easy to follow directions, lots of music & entertainment, and a huge number of bike stations for bike repair.

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Depaving Day!

The Towards Carfree Cities VIII kicked off Monday in Portland, Oregon with an exciting community event. Hundreds of conference participants helped break and remove asphalt from a 3000 square foot parking lot. Depave.org is the mastermind behind the Fargo Garden Project. They promote the removal of unnecessary concrete and asphalt from urban areas. Depave.org will continue to work with Goldsmith Properties to transform this now asphalt-free site into a community greenspace. Once completed, the site will be used to educate the public about pavement removal and storm water drainage management. Notice an example of Depave's work in this video at founder Arif Khan's house.Music by Reptet and Dreamtime Stilters.

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Intersection Repair

Ever dreamed of making the streets outside your abode more livable, pedestrian-friendly, and community-oriented?City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair.This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces. Over time the neighbors further enhance the transformation by adding amenities like benches, community bulletin boards, and introducing gardens & art. As you'll see, the possibilites are endless.StreetFilms visited three of the Intersection Repairs and spoke with Mark Lakeman co-founder of City Repair, Greg Raisman, the Portland DOT Liason, and scores of residents & volunteers about why they were doing it.

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Clarence: The Traffic Calming Sasquatch

Taking the Clarence: The Traffic Calming Maniac concept one step further...

This time in Portland, Oregon where Dan Kaufman from Crank My Chain! Cycle TV goes searching for the long lost bigfoot in an area well known for its traffic calming. He stumbles upon the ever-elusive, mythic character and finds that safer streets have coaxed him out of the wild.

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Portland: Celebrating America’s Most Livable City

Last Fall, many members of the Portland Office of Transportation and city administration were gracious enough to talk with me and show off some of the amazing features that make Portland, Oregon one of America's most livable places to reside.

You've previously seen bits and pieces of that trip here on StreetFilms, but we've never posted the entire half hour adventure which contains over 12 minutes of additional footage. And with the incredible turn in leadership in the past months and the speed at which changes are coming, it gives me hope that NYC could one day become as livable as Portland!

This is our first video posting over 15 minutes so we've tried to keep the file size as small as possible. Thus, the quality is a smidgen lower. Please send us feedback on how it looks and if your computer is able to play it.

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Bike Move!

These days it seems nearly every month somebody, somewhere in Portland, Oregon is moving from one house to another using only bike power.

In this re-edited archive from my bikeTV work, you'll meet members of Portland's warm and innovative bike community where dozens of folks regularly donate a few weekend hours with their bike trailers to help fellow cyclists move their belongings to a new abode.

As you'll see, sometimes it requires a little moxie, but the result is fun and environmentally-friendly. Just seeing it will make you want to move. Well, maybe...

Portland's SHIFT website even provides a place to post your move. And as one participant points out as a bonus: they have to help move you in too!

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Portland, Ore. – Traffic Calming: Diagonal Diverter

In this short segment, Greg Raisman from the Portland Office of Transportation explains the reasoning behind this traffic calming measure that keeps neighborhoods free of thru traffic.

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Portland, Ore. – Festival Streets

The Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) recently completed work on two Festival Streets, a new experiment that uses traffic calming and unique streetscape features to create a street that can easily be converted to public use on weekends or for special events. Here, Ellen Vanderslice (PDOT Project Management) and Lloyd D. Lindley (Urban Designer/Landscape Architect) explain a few of the street's pedestrian features and why it is so important for the surrounding Old Town/Chinatown community.

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Portland, Ore. – Older Adults Bike Program

The Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) recently launched a new program to re-introduce older adults to bicycling. Many of the participants haven't ridden a bike in over 50 years. Wow! Smiles and good feelings abound.

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Portland, Ore. – Bicycle Boulevards

Bicycle Boulevards in Portland are a thing of beauty, safety, and tranquility. They are also wonderful streets to live on. Mia Birk, former manager of City of Portland's Bicycle Program (1993-99), and Mark Lear of the Portland Office of Transportation explain a few of the many strategies employed to keep thru traffic off the boulevards and to make the riders using them safe.