Category Archives: Car Free

Feedback request: Transportation Action Plan for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

I have been helping a community group develop an Action Plan for mitigating and adapting to climate change for Corvallis by developing the Transportation & Land-Use section.  There has already been a public forum to solicit community feedback and several emails and comments sent online, but I wanted to be sure to get suggestions from those most intimately involved in transportation advocacy.  So, please have a look at the latest draft — skip ahead to p3 for Objectives & Actions.  Feel free to leave comments below this post or by emailing me.  Feedback received by Thursday afternoon will have the greatest chance of being considered.  Thank you!

Bikepacking along the rivers: Clackamas, Breitenbush & Santiam

Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway

We just came back from our most recent bikepacking trip.  We followed the newly designated Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway along the Clackamas and Breitenbush rivers, starting in Gresham, and finished by following the Santiam to Lyons and then along wonderful backroads into Corvallis.  Except for 15 miles of windy, winding, steeply downhill, two-lane highway (HWY 22 from Detroit to Gates), the roads were wonderful — low-traffic and scenic. Continue reading

Lessons from animal-rights activists

I attended an afternoon workshop organized by animal rights activists (and others) at PSU last weekend.  Part of the message was the need to work across activist groups (environmental, political, animal-rights, etc.) and ended with an incredible panel including the founder of the Portland Black Panther Party (Kent Ford), a lawyer with the Civil Liberties Defense Center (Lauren Reagan) and the editor of the International Middle East Media Center (Saed Banmoura).  The ideas of working across groups got me thinking of what I should be doing to help improve our transportation options in Corvallis … more on that soon.

This was also the first time I had spent any amount of time with animal-rights activists.  One thing that struck me was that veganism was a default (as I guiltily ate my cream-cheesed bagel) — that is, their activism started with personal responsibility. Continue reading

What could $4.2 million buy?

4 buses including operating costs for 12 years,
8 miles of multi-use paths or physically separated bikeways,
20 miles of bicycle boulevards,
25 apartments for low-income families,
80 street closures (to allow people through but not vehicles),
1500 Corvallisites covered by universal health care for one year, or
Continue reading

Two-day touring: South Valley Loop & Velo B&B

Screenshot from 2014-06-02 06:42:49It was a late start to the bike-touring season and almost thwarted by the realization that our camping gear was in Portland (where my partner lives during the week and where our last tour ended).  Then we realized that we could pay for roof-over-our-head accommodations!

I found a bed and breakfast just south of Eugene which is now, far and above, my favorite bed and breakfast and up there on the list of my favorite businesses.  Velo B&B is run by Misha & Rob English.  The “English” name may be (correctly) recognized by bike aficionados as the English of English Cycles, Eugene-based hand-made bike creator.  Misha is a vegan baker who will make you question every disparaging thing you’ve said about things made without butter and conceiver of Morning Glory in Eugene.

Between delicious vegan breakfast (and bedtime cookie snacks) and bike friendliness, I was won over.  But then.  BUT THEN.  But then we found out that they are also CAR-FREE.  With two businesses up a non-trivial hill about 3 miles south of Eugene, I was duly impressed.  The place was cosy, affordable, quiet, clean, friendly, beautiful — not your grandma’s B&B.  Misha and Rob were wonderful hosts — great conversation and just the right amount of privacy. This is a place to try out and recommend widely.  Oh right — they also give a 10% bike-there discount.  So, you know, love all around.

The bike ride we took, directions here is also recommended.  A wonderful loop around the south Valley, with varied landscape (fields, rolling hills, forests of different types) and VERY low traffic (except in approaching Eugene, where the shoulder was wide).  When approaching the B&B keep your eyes peeled for a red wheel and look out for the house number.

Car Free Support Group – Anybody Interested?

Guest post by Mary Leigh (Marylee) Burke:

I’m 61, retired, and have been car free here in Corvallis for just over 6 months now. I helped lead a discussion group on car free and car lite lifestyles at the recent Transformation Without Apocalypse conference, and we’re doing another one at the library next May.

I think it would be awesome to have a group of like-minded people who get together to talk about this wonderful lifestyle, share ideas and solutions, and support each other in our choices for sustainability in general. My home is available for meetings and my energy is available for organizing it – I just need to see if there’s interest. I’m new to the area, though, so I don’t know a lot of people and live in a family neighborhood where everybody has cars.

So if you’re interested, comment on this post and I’ll say more in the next one.

Online survey on Intersection User Behavior

To all friends who care about bicyclists’ safety, please take the time to fill out this online survey that will help to gain insight on the behaviors of drivers and bicyclists at roadway intersections. This is part of a PhD research conducted at the Civil Engineering Department in Oregon State University.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participants need to be a licensed driver or bicyclist in the US between the age of 18 to 75.

Below is the link for the survey (if the link does not work, please copy and paste the link in a new tab of your web browser). Thank you all!

[guest post by Medha Jannat]