This Friday, April 30th, the section of the South Bank Willamette River Path that runs under Interstate 5 between the Knickerbocker Bridge and Franklin Boulevard and the Glenwood area will be closed to all bicycle and pedestrian traffic from 7 am to 7 pm. The closure is part of the ongoing construction of the new I-5 Willamette River Bridge.
This is a rare case where there will probably not be a clear detour to get cyclists to a convenient alternate route. This particular stretch of the South Bank Path, pinned between the river and the railroad tracks, just doesn’t have many other options. If your ultimate goal is connecting from downtown Springfield to Eugene, the network of North Bank Paths will connect up just fine (see below for the current state of the detours there). The direct connection from Glenwood to Eugene is another issue, though. Cyclists could skirt the south edge of eastbound lane of Franklin Boulevard, since a combination of gravel path and narrow walkway along that side of the road is passable with a mixture of riding and walking (Keep a sharp eye out for bikes or peds coming the opposite direction, since the westbound half of Franklin has no safe margin for non-motorized traffic!). Or, splurge on a little bus fare and treat your bike to a ride inside the EmX to get over the construction zone in style on Friday.
It was about a month ago, at the beginning of April, that a friend and I noticed something unusual as we cycled south on Charnelton Street.
The timing was impeccable, since it was installed just in time to be admired by the wave of pedestrians who hit the streets of downtown Eugene for the First Friday Art Walk. Not only was the bike rack on the corner of Charnelton and Olive wearing an impeccably-tailored sweater, but many of the animal sculptures along the street sported jaunty scarves as well.
The Eugene Parking Service Office has determined that the current parking fine structure is not effectively motivating drivers to “make better and safer parking decisions” such as not parking in bike lanes, sidewalks, or in front of driveways. As a result, fines will be increased for parking in bike lanes from $25 to $40, and the fine for parking on sidewalks and in front of driveways will be increased from $15-$25. The new fine structure will come into effect May 3rd, 2010.
Is it refreshing that the City of Eugene is beginning to take dangerous parking practices seriously, and we can hope enforcement will also be increased. When I reported a car parked in the Pearl St Bike Lane last November during rush hour, I was told that it would take several hours for an officer to come and ticket the car. Luckily, no-one was injured during the wait (as far as I know).
Read the full text of the announcement, how to report cars blocking bike lanes, and see more photos after the “jump.”
Leaders of local mountain bike club Disciples of Dirt (DoD)MTB Eugene plan to speak at Monday’s April 26th, Eugene City Council meeting in support of re-opening the Ribbon Trail to cyclists. They will urge the city to reconsider the recent decision, and would like as many cyclists in the audience as possible to help show support. This is a chance for Eugene’s splintered cycling factions to begin to unite and support each other on key advocacy issues. The group is meeting in front of the City Council Chambers (on Pearl Street between 7th and 8th) at 7pm to go over details, and then will enter together shortly before the meeting begins at 7:30.
An announcement posted on the DoD webpage explains their position:
Attention Mountain Bikers and Trail Supporters!! In light of the City of Eugene’s recent decision to ban Mountain bikes from the Ribbon trail (the newest addition to the Ridgeline trail system) we are going to go to the Eugene City Council Meeting next Monday to let them know that we are disappointed in this decision. We will present numerous reasons why Mountain bikers should be allowed to share the use of this trail, as well as many of our other local trails. We hope to inform the City Council that this issue is important to many people, and educate them about how more mountain bike trails are consistent with the City’s stated goals and values.
The Hell of the North-west? Maybe for some, but this 13-Mile loop Circuit Race is unlike any other road race here in Oregon: it’s got gravel (1.5 miles of gravel, that is). For most of us it is the closest thing we will ever get to racing the prestigious Paris-Roubaix. And it is right in our backyard (check map for race location)- the Eugene Roubaix!
The UO Bike Program received a $10,000 grant from Lane Country Tourism for the purchase of a Biker Bar and one Mundo Bicycle, speaker rental, and general event costs. EWEB contributed $5,000 towards the event, and the UO Student Sustainability Fund contributed another $2,675 towards the purchase of an additional Mundo Bicycle.
Adventure Cycling held a launch party for their new 2,392 mile Sierra Cascades bicycle route at REI in Eugene on April 8th. Adventure Cycling cartographer Jennifer Milyko presented the new route to a crowded room. WeBikeEugene estimates it was full to capacity with between 50 and 2 million viewers (probably closer to 100.) The route was launched in Portland the night before, and according to BikePortland.org‘s twitter, the event was so full that people were being turned away. Never to be outdone by Portland, we can assume that we probably had more people, and therefor must have a bigger REI. A double win for us!
Why did we wait so long to cover this story, you ask? Never one to slack (much), WBE waited until we got our grubby, bike-glove smelling mitts on a stripped-down version of the presentation, so that those of you who missed it can still share in the fun. Take the “jump” for more pictures of the event, information, maps, and an embedded copy of the presentation!
The UO Bike Program‘s most recent Bicycle Appreciation Day (BAD) was a big success. We hauled a full set of tools, six collapsible stands, two tables, two pumps, and four people from the Barn to 13th Ave. next to Lillis Hall. Bike Program staff, Outdoor Program staff, volunteers, and mechanics from Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life performed free minor repairs on dozens of bikes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We also distributed an informational zine we made, free lights from the Oregon Department of Transportation Safety Division, and coffee from Holy Cow.
An interesting difference from past BADs: many bicyclists hoisted their steeds into the stands themselves in order to mount their free lights, and soon were performing some of their own maintenance, transforming the scene into an inspiring show of do-it-yourselfersim.
BAD also received mention in the Oregon Daily Emerald and this message from UO VP for Student Affairs Robin Holmes:
I walked by the Bike Appreciation Day booth yesterday and it seemed to be a rousing success!! I am continually impressed with the Bike Loan program and am excited to help in any way to assist this program to grow and be even more successful. You are all doing a wonderful job and providing a very important service to our university community. Keep up the good work and thanks!
WeBikeEugene previously reported that the City of Eugene plans to fix the dangerous and deep cracking on the Fern Ridge Bike Path between Van Buren and Chambers this summer. While this is wonderful news, it raises the question: “Why is the area of the path between Chambers and Garfield not being repaired, even though it’s just as damaged and dangerous?” There are only a few feet of safely rideable path in some sections within that area. This is alarming because it is a path often ridden by children and novice riders.
Confused, I sat down with City of Eugene Associate Transportation Planner David Roth over coffee and cupcakes, and he explained the decision. It turns out it all boils down to the Amazon Channel, Community Gardens, and not having enough money.
Last week was a week of meetings, and I sat through them all just for you! Although I must confess, it really wasn’t so bad. The Alder St. Workshop was a pleasant discussion on bike priorities, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting fed me cake.
Topics covered in this post include Alder St. progress and updates, City Councilor Jennifer Solomon’s apparently contradictory bike policies, Transportation Enhancement grants, and downtown EMX routing.