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Portland Trees Unleash Organized Assault on City Bike LanesBy Johnny Ratt
Portland commuters woke up to a nasty surpise this morning – an overnight attack has left the bike lanes covered with slippery, wet leaves. Thanks to PortlandBike field correspondant Twitchy Fixrider we now know that this was an organized attack led by Portland's old-growth trees, and carried out by the lower branch members of the organization. Mayor Ted Wheeler was interviewed regarding this crisis:
We can't have these organized Leaf Groups coming to our fair city thinking they can attack our citizens in this manner. These are hard working commuters just trying to go about their day and it is unfair to them to have their lives disrupted like this. This is why I am introducing legislation to prevent these sort of Arbor-Right groups from orgainizing. This will give PBOT full axing rights so that they have the tools they need to deal with the root of this growing menace.
Environmental groups are not happy about this proposed legislation. They say giving the mayor full power to choose which trees are allowed to distribute leaves and which are not is a violation of their Birch Amendment rights. Oregon Envionmental Council member Moonbean Sunshine had this to say:
We [at the Oregon Envionmental Council] believe it is not humanity's role in deciding which trees live and which die. We certainly feel for the bike commuters, but in the end, we all need to get where we are going and putting the safety of a few bikers over the rights of our forests simply is not worth it.
Meanwhile, as Portlanders continue to go on with their day to days, the cleanup effort continues. Some cyclists have even taken to using the e-scooters as leaf plows, attaching them to cargo trikes and dragging them along the bike lanes to clear leaves. PBOT says they should have most of the leaves clear by next March at the latest. We will continue to keep you updated on this developing story.
City Refuses to invite Professional Bike Blogger to Important MeetingBy Johnny Ratt
Portland held a secret meeting today to discuss the Central City in Motion project, however neglected to invite very important and influential bike blogger, Johnny Ratt (full disclosure: that's me). Said bike blogger was quoted in saying:
This is very unfortunate for the people of Portland to not have had me included in this secret meeting. I am quite upset about it, as I suffer from a clinical case of FOMO.
Portland's Central City in Motion plan aims to make downtown Portland more friendly towards cars by forcing bikers onto sidepaths to allow for increased car travel. Planning has been in the works since late 2012. The reason for the delay is that planners could not agree on what color the cover should be. When they finally decided on green in early 2015, the process of sending PBOT officials on fancy vacations to Copenhagen to "study bike infrastructure" began. In February of 2016, the manager in charge of this project was fired for allegedly playing Justin Bieber music too loudly. This brings us to today where planning has finally started, however I was not invited so nya nya nya.
It is complete mystery as to what was discussed at this meeting since the bike blogger (full disclosure: still me) was not invited, however I will speculate anyway. The city likely was presented with a map of the Central City and asked to mark on the map where they would like to install fun emoji-inspired bike lane markings. Portland has a decided lack of whimsy in its bike infrastructure, so it is important to tackle this issue first. They then moved on to discussing how many parking spaces would be acceptable to remove for this project and came to the conclusion that zero is the only option, as this is in line with PBOT's Vision Zero initiative.
Stay tuned here for further updates.
Central City in Motion Project to be Boon for CarsBy Johnny Ratt
Portland's Central City in Motion project is well underway. This project aims to prioritize getting bikers and bus riders out of the way for cars, and is quickly making its way through planning commissions. PBOT's ambitious plans will transform the Central City from a space friendly to bikers to one that eases traffic congestion for private automobiles. The Transportation Bureau aims to do this by carving out separate-but-equal space for bikers to go so that they are unable to slow down traffic.
Braden Blick, a resident of downtown aggress with PBOT's plans.
I think this will greatly improve travel downtown. Finding parking is a constant struggle for me because of all the bikes, and getting them out of the way for my car will greatly improve my quality of life. Who even rides bikes anyway, those are for kids and scofflaws! Some of us have jobs to go to, you know!
Dianna Durgan, a representative for the Business Allies of Portland thinks the plan will help Portland's struggling downtown businesses.
Everyone knows Portland's bike-friendliness is hurting our businesses. The city's insistence on allowing bikes on our crowded downtown streets is a big reason why downtown is struggling as much as it is. This plan will literally and figuratively put bikers in their place, and allow real people to support our local downtown businesses.
Make sure to follow us here for more coverage as the city continues to refine and improve the Central City in Motion plan