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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Five Quick Hits of Transportation News

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM

1. Don't hit people with your U-Lock! Portlander Glen Glans was sentenced to attend anger management classes and pay $20 in restitution (enough for... half a pizza!) to a man he struck with his bike lock after an altercation on NE 20th Ave and Irving. The man was a passenger in a van that nearly right-hooked Glans, causing him to jump off his bike, nearly crash, and then try to spit on the driver. So, just a reminder: Hitting people is never the right idea, whether it's with your car or your U-Lock. (sidenote: The O reports that Glans had prior run-ins with the law while skateboarding 1995 and rollerblading downtown in 1997, earning him the superlative: Most Likely to Be Arrested While Engaging in Trendy Transportation).

2. The Hawthorne Offramp to MLK is Closed. Blame streetcar construction! The Hawthorne offramp will be closed for all of February to cars, though the bike lane and sliver of pseudo-sidewalk are still open.

3. Bike Route Coming to the NE/SE 50s! There's a big open house tonight about the planned 50s Bikeway Project which will plot a bike route for 4.5 miles from NE Thompson to SE Woodstock around 50th Avenue. The project involves mostly signage (that means painting big bikes on the road and sticking up wayfinding signs), improving intersections (which means putting in bike boxes and signals that can sense bikes, not just cars), and putting in features that slow down cars (like speed bumps and curb extensions). I'll post about it more tomorrow, but the open house is tonight from 5 to 8 pm at 5329 SE Woodstock Blvd.

4. North Williams Makeover is Imminent. The "North Williams Traffic Operations Safety Project" (not "bikeway" project) kicks off its public stakeholder meetings next week, with bigger public workshops slated for March. I posted a rundown of what's likely for the future of North Williams here—since it's such a busy street, whatever happens on the project will have a big impact on thousands of daily bus and bike commuters.

5. TriMet Union May End Standoff. TriMet's operators' union says it will drop its labor complaints against TriMet if the agency restores their full health benefits. The public transit agency and the union have been at a negotiation impasse for months... and, as Portland Afoot reports, the salary for the union's president has been rising fast, even as the union members are facing a wage freeze.

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