A Dozen+ Reasons Not to Move to Portland!

If you’re looking to move to Portland and you love the suburban home you have.

Don’t move here.

If you hate coffee, tea, beer or other related craft beverages.

Don’t move here.

If you’re looking to move to Portland because of a job, and don’t like to be outdoors.

Don’t move here.

If you’re looking to move to Portland because you like sunny weather, heat, snow, or clear skies.

Don’t move here.

If you like owning automobiles as a hobby.

Don’t move here.

If you don’t like bicycles, bicycling, or being around bicyclists.

Really don’t move here.

If you hate walking or being active throughout the course of a day.

Don’t move here.

If you don’t like transit options, hate Riding Transit or think trains are dumb.

Don’t move here.

If you like to spend a lot of time in your car.

Don’t move here.

If you love Republican ideology.

Don’t move here.

If you hate being involved in community, in the neighborhood or knowing your neighbors.

Don’t move here.

If any of these things are core tenants in your life, you’ll hate it living in the city of Portland. However, you probably could move to Beaverton, Gresham or one of the metropolitan suburbs and maybe be ok. But even the suburbs here are different in many ways than standard American suburbs. You’ll likely still be involved in your neighborhood. You’ll probably decrease the amount of driving you do even outside of the city in the suburbs here.

Thousands of Cyclists at Bridge Pedal

Thousands of Cyclists at Bridge Pedal

Tomorrow, I’ll line up the reasons why someone interested in moving to Portland may actually want to do just that. Until then, it’s raining again so I’m gonna go ride the MAX with my bike in it and then grab a drink os some coffee. Cheers!

Answering the Call… Bikeway on 3rd Ave

Today after biking a bit, taking care of the work day, and handling a few other things I’ll be answering the call for volunteers with Better Block PDX. We’re working on materials and constructing items needed to make 3rd Street Cycle Track Bike Lane Redesign a success! The residents could benefit, the businesses, the city, the cyclists going through the area – you name it. This could be a huge win for the area!

Have We Ridden Together? We Ought To…

Biking... (Guess where this is?)

Biking… (Guess where this is?)

I was just reading about a new way to measure cycling success. It wasn’t based on data or anything of that means. It’s much more simple then that. The measurement is just a mere notion of how many people you’ve met while biking. How many people you’ve introduced to cycling. Simply, how much more experience you’ve had in life from cycling.

Biking...  (can you guess where this is?)

Biking… (can you guess where this is?)

It made me ponder all those questions and ask myself, “have you ridden with me?” Because if not, we really ought to have a ride sometime. Do you ride? Even if you don’t, brush the dust off of that bike and let’s roll off to somewhere. Let’s take a ride to grab a beer or watch the river or catch some music or just shoot the shit. There’s more than a few things to do, more than a few places to go in Portland. If you’re not in Portland there’s still a good chance we ought to ride, because wherever I go I’ll likely have a bike, and we should take a ride.

Seriously, ping me @transitsleuth, let’s ride. If there is any hesitation, ping me anyway and I’ll fix that hesitation for you. First round is on me…  cheers!

Biking in Copenhagen...

Biking in Copenhagen…

Portland’s PMLR Project, Where I’m Moving (One of These Days)…

First point of context. The PMLR stands for the Portland-Milawukie Light Rail Project. The name is somewhat misleading, because it is dramatically more than merely a simple little light rail project. I’ll add more context to what exactly it is over the blog entries following this one. For now, I want to detail a particular chunk of the area where the PMLR is being built that I’ve decided I’d like to live one day.

As I’ve been traveling back and forth between southeast and downtown Portland I’ve made many trips through the inner southeast industrial area near OMSI. The Tilikum Bridge is going in just south of OMSI and a number of streetcar, light rail, road, bicycle and pedestrian amenities are being added to the area. It’s rather exciting for a future prospective resident of the area surrounding the line.

The Tilikum Bridge looking west almost a year ago.

The Tilikum Bridge looking west almost a year ago.

Currently I’m still pretty much a downtown urbanite Portlander and also have spent a few years living on the inner east side near Clinton (closer to Division for a year and closer to Powell for another year). But with the addition of the PMLR I intend to buy a house and move somewhere near the first 2-3 stops of the line on the east side of the river. At least ideally. Basically, somewhere in this area:

A simple map of the area around the PMLR where I'm intending to buy a home.

A simple map of the area around the PMLR where I’m intending to buy a home.

Here’s a map from Google Maps that shows more detail specifically where I’m looking and where some sweet spots will be in relation to the PMLR. There’s a bunch of others, but these are my picks so far.

The prospective areas I'd like to move to, rated by priority choice (at least at this time, maybe that'll change)

The prospective areas I’d like to move to, rated by priority choice (at least at this time, maybe that’ll change)

The areas that have ? marks in them have planned development, mostly towers or higher density housing stock. This could be cool, but also could be super lame, I’ve no idea nor is anything certain in that area. I’d also like to not look directly at an interstate or major highway of any sort. The further from a primary arterial and the closer I can be to people and places that depend on bicycles, transit or walking the better.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to add a lot more information about the PMLR and why it’s acting as a major impetus to actually move to the area and buy (of course, depending on a number of other things that take place in the next few years in this nation and based on the actions that this date kicked off).

Anyway, enjoy, the countdown has begun. Trimet even posted a massive countdown clock!

PMLR Countdown Site (Officially 358 days from opening!)

PMLR Countdown Site (Officially 358 days from opening!)

A Cascading Seat Post Collision and The Green Line

I sat pondering as I waited for departure, how I’ve ridden the Green Line more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 5 years. Mainly because I can get on at 5th and Madison, closer to where I call home these days, and get out to Hollywood District that anything to do with the Clackamas connection the Green Line was built for. But I digress…

I’ve been riding transit a lot more these last few days because I had my seat post and saddle stolen off of my bike last Friday. In turn I took the saddle and post off of my fixie, which wasn’t the right seat post size. This caused a problem itself, mainly that the seat wouldn’t really stay put. I rode the MMR (Midnight Mystery Ride) anyway, just standing up the whole time, but that’s an easy fix. When I got home I pulled the seat post and seat from that bike and set it to the side. I then retrieved Mona, my Surly 1×1 with fatties and sick disk brakes, but the rear tire was flat so I dropped it at my girl friends place and took transit home. Monday however I was also able to pick up a new Brooks Saddle and a proper seat post.

So my current situation is: Surlac, a Surly Crosscheck which is my main ride, has no seat or seat post installed yet. Mona, my Surly 1×1 custom with fatties, is up in NOPO, my fixie is without an installed seat post and saddle, and my other two fixes either are missing a front wheel (stolen) or have shredded tires (flats). All in all, pretty insane to have that many bikes in some strange state of disrepair.

With that being the current state of affairs I am now currently riding, and hacking as usual, the Green Line out to Hollywood Transit Center. Then it’s off to Case Study Coffee for more hacking and a good coffee brew or three. Always aiming for the daily 4 cups of coffee and a couple pints of water and beer. Ya know, because healthiness. :o

Other than that, my Green Line was on time, by other buses, streetcars and light rail over the last few days were all on time. So no complaints, no problems and good times. Albeit bike thieves should all be put to death. But that’s neither here nor there.

A New Day of Transit Sleuthing

As I Ride the Yellow Line and think about things I need to get done, one thought resounds as I hack away on the light rail. The air conditioning blowing on a hot day like this is nice, the thought of the 190+ blog entries that sit in my queue incomplete because I’ve been somewhat demoralized about so many things related to transit and other matters as of the last few years. Even though transit, bicycling, low car options and other life improving realities exist in Portland, New York, Seattle and so many other places in the US, it seems sometimes like meager and nonexistent progress. The vast majority (albeit shrinking) of Americans still are not just auto-users, but auto-dependent. In other words, just to live and sustain their lives in any way they must have an operational car at almost every hour of the day. Without it they would suffer immensely.

These people in America, the vast majority, have this one vast single point of failure that the nation spends hundreds of billions of dollars (excluding any military expenditures) on to make it as pain free and easy as possible. Yes, that’s hundreds of billions per year. With that it just seems that the nation is hopelessly spiraling toward a future of ongoing problems related to the automobile and no solutions in sight.

But I’ve stepped back recently and started to look at the progress we do have for what it is. Progress in a long story of resolving the massive catastrophe that is auto-dependence. Portland is still, albeit some steam being lost in the last 2-3 years, moving forward as a leader, if not the leader in alternate modes of transportation and increasing options for everybody. The city, when compared to other cities in the country is doing a spectacular job still!

With that thought I realized I really ought to get back to doing what I really love to do, which is blogging the movement forward that Portland is regularly making. Not just Portland though, all of Cascadia with a few notes on other places I visit. I enjoy, so I really ought to get back to it. I just have to endeavor to avoid the negatives that come with following these topics to closely at the political level. For in the politics, there’s a whole metric shit ton of horrible politics based on fear, uncertainty, doubt and an altogether feeling of loss and failure. I’m impressed to this day that some can move forward through the process with all the workings against making progress. To them, I commend them on their efforts.

With that, I make this as the day I officially resume blogging. It won’t be everyday, but I’ll see what I can do. After all, I have over 190+ blog entries that I just need to wrap up!

Cheers, have a safe trip and enjoy the ride (everybody on all the modes)!

Today Marks a Very Decisive Day For Me…

I’ve decided to pursue very specific actions in reflection of the current actions of certain people in the United States. At the same time to prepare myself to make the final decision for myself in the coming few years.

A simple declaration with far reaching implication for myself and for Transit Sleuth. I will maintain updates here on the site. Until then, time to get working on preparing for those choices.