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May is Bike Month 2017

It’s about that time of year again, time to ride even more! May is going to be a GREAT month for biking in Eugene and Springfield. It’s a good time for fair-weather cyclists to roll those steads out of the garage and for everyone who rides bikes to celebrate together. With over 30 bike rides and events happening during Bike Month it’s the perfect time to try out something new! Usually ride for recreation? Try out commuting! Casual cyclist who only rides for errands? Try a longer recreational ride! Want to get your kids riding more? We’ve got events for you! Come ride with us in May.

May is Bike Month Logos Together

A special thanks to the organizers and supporters of May is Bike Month. Along with WeBikeEugene volunteers and community members these partners help make this month of events come together and happen!

Bike Month Highlights

For a calendar of Bike Month of the 30+ events click hereMore events added as submissions come in. See how many you can do! Scroll below for complete descriptions of each event.

Continue reading “May is Bike Month 2017”

New I-5 Bike Path Coming Soon

So what can you buy these days for $13,393,802.39? Well that is what it costs to improve the I-5 @ Beltline Interchange’s current phrase. Here is what you will get:

  • A new bridge over I-5 to accommodate a reconfigured on ramp
  • Building a sound wall south of Beltline and east of Coburg Road
  • Adding an additional lane on eastbound Beltline from Coburg Road to I-5 on ramp
  • Extending the multi-use path for bike and pedestrian travelers. The multi-use path will be extended south from Harlow Road to Garden Way. Also the path will extend north to Old Coburg Road and exit near the Register Guard headquarters.
  • And don’t forget all the landscaping.

Northerly Route

I-5 @ Beltline Unit 4 - MU Path MapThe bike path will extend from Willakenzie Road (just north of the I-5 bike bridge) to Old Coburg Road. The raised path meanders around, under and through various openings in the existing freeway structure (very cool that they didn’t need to dig a tunnel and used existing portals).

Southerly Route

I-5 @BeltlinePathHarlowSouthThe multi-use path heading south will connect with the the existing path and go under Harlow Road Bridge along side the I-5 and then exits on to Garden Way at the intersection of Highway 105.

I-5HarlowSouth

Looking South from Harlow to the new I-5 path extension

This new extension avoids the difficult transition from North Garden Way and Harlow Road and will allow for safer bike travel from Downtown Eugene to Armitage County Park as well as many other destinations in North Eugene with fewer interactions with motorized traffic.

Transportation System Plan Gets Second Public Hearing

Via the City of Eugene’s InMotion newsletter:

For the last several years, the City of Eugene along with our partner agencies and many members of the public have been working to develop the Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan (TSP). The draft Eugene 2035 TSP provides a 20-year blueprint for the City of Eugene’s transportation system and serves as the transportation element of the Envision Eugene comprehensive plan. The TSP was developed based on extensive stakeholder input, analyses of our existing transportation system and relevant adopted plans and coordination with planning processes that are underway.

A final draft of the plan is now available and can be found at www.EugeneTSP.org. We greatly appreciate the time that many people have contributed to this plan as well as people’s patience with the length of this planning process.

We are now in the final phase of the Eugene 2035 TSP adoption process which includes two public hearings before both the City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners, and potential adoption by both the City Council and Board of County Commissioners. A City Council work session on the TSP was held on February 27, 2017. The first joint public hearing was held on March 6, 2017. The webcasts from both the work session and public hearing can be found at this website: http://eugene.ompnetwork.org.

The 2nd joint public hearing will take place on Monday, April 17 at 5:30 PM in Harris Hall located at 125 East 8th Avenue. 

To submit testimony for consideration by the City Council and Board of Commissioners, you may testify at the public hearing or email your testimony by noon on April 17 to City of Eugene Transportation Planning Manager Rob Inerfeld at rob.inerfeld@ci.eugene.or.us.

Stolen Sperry Tree Care Work Trailer

Sperry Tree Care had their Hauler Trailer stolen last week and could use some help keeping an eye out for it. If you see it or have information please contact them and help us get this trailer returned to this great local company.

Sperry Tree Care Trailer

The stolen trailer. Keep your eyes peeled: the signs are probably off.

This dark green trailer was custom made for Sperry Tree Care by Human Powered Machines at the Center For Appropriate Transport (CAT). The stainless steel deck is about 5 feet long by 4 foot wide, with an L- shaped tube linking it to the seat post. There are lower railings around three sides about 10 inches up, and two railings front and back at about 3 feet above the deck. Signage was slipped into rails attached to the posts for the upper railings. The upper railings supported an 8 foot ladder and polesaws.

Lane ACT Looks For Active Transportation Member

The Lane Area Commission on Transportation (LaneACT) is seeking a new bicycle and pedestrian representative.

The 30-member LaneACT includes representatives from Lane County and every city, transit agency, port or tribe in Lane County, as well representatives of various transportation interests. The Lane ACT ranks and provides advice to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on funding for various transportation projects, including recently many bicycle and pedestrian projects using the ConnectOregon funding, including funding approved in 2014 for Eugene’s Bike Share that will be launching this September.

The two previous representatives for active transportation on the Lane ACT were Emily Swenson and Holly McRae, both moms with young children who have participated in Kidical Mass and other local rides and events. Holly also served on the Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (now the Active Transportation Committee or ATC).  They both brought a great perspective of a ‘normal rider’ who wasn’t a hardcore cyclist. However, as one voice in a generally male-dominated and auto-oriented committee it seemed a struggle at times to be heard and appreciated. I am certainly thankful that they were the voice at the table and I hope the next representative is also able to speak for the under-represented people who need better transportation for themselves, their children and/or their community.

If you are interested in applying for the position please contact Denise Walters of Lane Council of Governments at dwalters@lcog.org.

New Bike Coffee Cart Coming to Eugene

This summer there’ll be a new bike working the streets, parks, and events of Eugene, and for those who love their coffee it will provide a special treat.

Wheelys Café Oregon — essentially a pedal-powered, mobile barista cart — is a new business started by Becky and Jason DeAngelis based on the successful Wheelys Indigogo project.

Wheelys Coffee Cafe Bike

The New Eugene Coffee Bike

Wheelys, based in Switzerland, now has more than 200 of these special café bikes in over 45 countries, but the DeAngelises are only the second in Oregon to purchase a bike. Another operator in Beaverton is also just getting started. There are about five bikes operating the United States now, with others attempting to open but dealing with permitting and regulation issues.

Wheelys ScreenshotThe DeAngelises purchased their bike last summer and though they had hoped to open by this past fall, preparations and permitting have taken some time. They now hope to do a “soft opening” this Spring and be ready to share the coffee-bike love by this Summer. Continue reading “New Bike Coffee Cart Coming to Eugene”

Local Shop Offers Bike Fitting Clinic

The following bike fit clinic was shared via GEARs, the Greater Eugene Area Riders:

BikeFitGetting Fit to Be Fit!
A Bicycle Fitting Clinic with Jay Loew, Licensed Body Geometry Fit Expert
Sunday, March 26th, 2:00 to 4:00
Collins Cycle Shop, 60 E. 11th

Do your hands tingle, knees hurt, feet burn and shoulders ache on long rides? Do you wish you got more power out of your pedal strokes on big hills? Do you want to go longer without needing to take breaks? If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”, then you should consider getting your bicycle “fit” by an expert. At this clinic, Jay Loew, Licensed Body Geometry Fit Expert with Collins Cycle Shop, will talk about the benefits of getting your bicycle best fit to your body. He’ll go over how a fit is different than a sizing, the reasons for getting a fit, the latest technology, how a fit can help with common aches and pains, and ways a fit can improve your performance. This clinic is open to everyone and free of charge. Please come and bring a friend!

Bike Theft Down in Eugene (but have you registered your bike?)

After a spike in 2015, the City of Eugene reported in this month’s InMotion newsletter that the Eugene Police Department (EPD) “registered more bicycles and had fewer bicycles reported stolen in 2016 than in 2015.”

That’s good news, especially since Eugene has been recognized as one of the worst places in the nation for bike theft.

However, it’s worth noting that we haven’t made “Kryptonite’s Top 10 Worst Cities For Bike Theft” since 2006 and our high theft rate also correlates to one of the higher per-capita bike ridership numbers in the nation (8.7%), second only to Boulder, Colorado (10.5%) for medium-sized cities (population of 100,000–199,999).

Most readers have their Eugene bike theft story, we have a “stolen bike listings” page, and we even know the worst spots in town thanks to a report last year from EPD.

But what are people and organizations doing to reduce bike theft in Eugene? Let’s look at some of the numbers and what people can do to reduce the chances that their bikes are stolen. Continue reading “Bike Theft Down in Eugene (but have you registered your bike?)”

City Offers First Report on South Willamette Street Improvements

New data about the re-striping of South Willamette Street shows the street is functioning well — and that critics’ concerns about major back-ups and decreased business activity have not come true.

Chris Henry, a city Transportation Planning Engineer and the Project Lead for the South Willamette project, shared data on the South Willamette Street Improvement Plan at a City Council work session in January and then at last week’s Active Transportation Committee, formerly the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Henry has come to ATC a number of times to talk about the project and gather feedback, but this was the first time he had numbers on how the current design is working.

Old South Willamette

The old street design

Here are a few slides from the presentation that show what some of the pilot study results are so far:

S. Willamette Travel Time

It’s taking people about 3-10 more seconds to get through the corridor at the evening peak travel time.

S. Willamette Traffic Speed

More people are actually traveling at or below the speed limit

S. Willamette Neighboring Streets

Almost all neighboring streets have actually seen a reduction in traffic, not an increase.

S. Willamette Traffic Volumes

The number of cars on Willamette Street have actually increased!

In summary, despite the fear and concern among some opponents of the re-striping that there would be major delays and that people would stop using South Willamette Street, what we are seeing so far is that those predictions just aren’t coming true. In fact, what we are seeing is more in line with what city staff and consultants projected and even better than their predictions.

It’s taking people about 3-10 more seconds to get through the corridor at the evening peak travel time. If you’ve driven or ridden the corridor you know that any backups occur southbound in the evening, and they are not that bad. If you’re on a bike you might pass a long line of cars, but they still make it through the corridor pretty quickly. A little bit more time through down the street (at a reasonable speed and with less jockeying in the four lanes) allows for them to see what businesses are actually on the street.

More people are traveling at or below the speed limit. Before the change about half the people going through the corridor were breaking the speed limit of 25 mph. Since the change that has dropped to half the drivers doing 22.3 mph or less through the corridor. The 85th percentile (the maximum speed at which 85 percent of all traffic on the street travels) has dropped from 31.2 mph to 27.5 mph. The design of the street is affecting how fast people drive and bringing it closer to the legal speed limit.

Almost all neighboring streets have seen a reduction in traffic, not an increase. Those opposed to the new street design said people would flee South Willamette and disrupt the neighborhood side streets. The numbers show that isn’t happening. It’s not taking much more time so it’s not worth people going out of their way to use the neighborhood streets and only Hilyard saw any increase in traffic and that’s another arterial that is built to handle the traffic.

The number of cars on Willamette Street has actually increased. More eyes on the street! Again, despite some business concerns about people fleeing South Willamette and then not seeing (or stopping) at their business, we see that even more people are using the street now that it’s a better designed street for all users.

S. Willamette Traffic

Traffic Backup?!

We still have until the summer of 2018 before the paving of South Willamette makes this design permanent and the City Council will still have to decide and vote on that change. City staff will continue to collect data including numbers on crashes and collisions, bicycle and pedestrian counts and some financial numbers from the small percentage of businesses who are participating in the financial impact analysis portion of the study.

Then even with the numbers it will be a political discussion and City Council will decide what will actually go down as a permanent design for this street. It’s hard to imagine going back from the current design that is actually working well for all users but as with any political decision you never know until the final vote is cast.

S. Willamette Josh Skov

Active Community Member Josh Skov Approves of the New Design

Amazon Corner & Active Transportation

Two projects on the drawing board have the potential to bring some great active transportation improvements to the south side of the Amazon Path system over the next couple of years: a city-planned cycle track on East Amazon Drive and the proposed Amazon Corner mixed-use development.

First, the Amazon Corner development: Planned for a lot at Hilyard and 32nd Avenue, the project is currently in the permitting stage and could bring housing, retail, and even some improvements for cycling and walking.

The former South Hills Assemblies of God church property was purchased last year by a local company owned by the Coughlin family and was torn down this winter to prepare the space for the new five-story project.

Amazon Corner Picture

Artist’s rendering of Amazon Corner

Mike Coughlin is a local businessman who has been involved in a number of businesses over the past 35 years and is the owner of Burley Designs, a manufacturer of balance bikes, tag-a-longs, strollers, and of course bike trailers. He says the new project will be a pedestrian and bicycle friendly project with a plaza that is inviting and open to the public, anchored by retail shops that bring life to the corner, some ground floor residential units at the edges that provide active engagement and character along the street frontage, engaging artwork, a bike repair station, quality long-term bike parking for tenants, and accessible bike parking for clients of the retail shops. Continue reading “Amazon Corner & Active Transportation”