bike

In case Alan's texting while driving PSA is a bit too gory for you, this one doesn't have blood, just Legos.

A little Lego reminder from www.bikingrules.org

While Portland and other cities are putting forward innovative bike and transit friendly transportation projects for a $1.5-billion pot of flexible, green-oriented federal stimulus funds, Eugene only wants yet more roads.

Portland's Metro planning agency selected $76 million in active, bike, walking and transit projects to apply for federal TIGER funding, according to the bikeportland.org blog.

One $38-million project would saturate the city with bike lanes and separated trails to serve as a national model of green transportation to fight global warming and increase livability. Here's a draft map:

Another $17 million grant application would build a bike trail from Portland to the foothills of Mt. Hood, allowing city-dwellers non-motorized access to the scenic area. The rest of the money would fund improved pedestrian and bike access to light rail stations.

Other cities have also put together innovative green transportation proposals for the rare pot of non-freeway centered federal transportation money. For example, Kansas City wants a trolley and Washington, D.C. a bike sharing program.

But in Eugene/Springfield the focus is on more road construction, according to a memo from the local LCOG planning agency. The city of Eugene wants to reconstruct Highway 99 with another turn lane at Roosevelt and added driveways and resurface 5th Avenue and add a roundabout to accommodate industrial truck traffic in west Eugene. Springfield wants to widen Franklin into a boulevard concept that will include EmX transit lanes but not lined bike lanes.

Portland Metro spent the summer soliciting ideas in a public process to come up with its green list. But LCOG's dirtier, non-innovative transportation stimulus ideas apparently came solely from secret meetings within the undemocratic agency's unelected bureaucracy.

Long dreamed local green transportation projects that didn't make LCOG's dirty list include:

  • A river bike path and bridge all the way to Mt. Pisgah.
  • A trolley down Willamette Street.
  • Bike lanes, wide sidewalks, trees and pedestrian crossings on south Willamette Street.
  • Extending the riverfront bike path through Glenwood.
  • A bike bridge over Beltline to Chad Drive.
  • A separated cycletrack (bike path) down High Street connecting the Amazon trail to the riverfront trail.
  • A dramatic expansion of Eugene's bike lane system.
  • Funding to accelerate the buildout of the EmX system into west and north Eugene.

The City of Eugene plans to close one of the most popular bike commuter routes in Eugene this summer for repairs.

The city will close sections of the Amazon off-street bike path starting July 6 with work scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Unlike most road repairs, the sections of the bike path under construction will be entirely closed in both directions with bikers and pedestrians forced to take more dangerous alternative routes.

One detour suggested by the city includes south Willamette Street, where citizens have complained of hazardous narrow sidewalks and no bike lanes for decades without the city taking any action to solve the pressing problem.

The city has not disclosed exactly when various sections of the Amazon bike path will be closed during the phased reconstruction from 19th to 31st avenues. The city said it needs to reconstruct the cracked concrete path now because it did a poor job of building the foundation of the path in the 1970s.

The path runs through sensitive restored wetlands, sites with endangered plants and along Amazon Creek. The city's website does not mention any special environmental precautions for the highly visible heavy construction project. In the past, city projects have violated the city's own ordinances designed to protect waterways from construction runoff.

From the city's project website, here's the map of the project and detours:

Local cyclists are wowing on this urban bike parkour video from Scotland:

The Eugene City Council voted 7-1 to change the city's position on a proposed law allowing bikes to carefully yield and roll through stop signs from opposition to neutral.

A proposal to change the position to support the state legislation failed 5-3. Proponents said the law has worked successfully in Idaho for almost two decades and should also be enacted in Oregon.

Check out this artsy video of Eugene's funky bike culture:

See anyone you know?

This 1972 film (in two parts) shows the beginnings of Eugene's bike system—one of the most popular things ever built in Eugene. Some of the film is quaint, but a lot still applies today. In many ways Eugene has come a long way. But in many others we've gone backward, as shown by the footage of the lively downtown and crowds of kids biking to school. Compare the ambitious vision 35 years ago for greener transportation with today's vision:

I-5 Beltline

A Stanford trained global warming scientist that has been biking around the world to raise awareness about global warming will be in Eugene on Thursday.

David Kroodsma will give a presentation at 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 30th in the Bascom/Tykeson Room, Eugene Public Library.

Over the past two years, Kroodsma has biked from California to the southern tip of South America and has recently biked from Boston to Seattle. He is now biking south and will finish this journey in the San Francisco Bay Area in September, according to a press release. For more information, check out his website.

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