Why I bailed on Portland

After only 18 months, I bailed on Portland – why? I had my reasons, but may I start with why I moved to Portland in the first place? I had family there and I would move into the same high-rise apartment building downtown. That was a big plus. The MAX line, Portland's light rail service, could take me wherever I needed to go. I could bring my bike onboard, for a meeting across the river or to a bike-overnight. Portland is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community, as rated by the ... Continue Reading

Little Boy Bennett

I must have looked lost, too. "Can you find my dad?" A little boy was standing there, calmly asking me. I felt like I was 10 feet tall, he was that small. His urgent appeal snapped me out of my own search. I was standing just off the busy path at the farmers market at PSU – I was looking for my wife. He must have sensed that. Just the moment before I'm observing the crowd – some sitting eating, others hustling by, while others stop, exclaim hellos and embrace friends. This sight ... Continue Reading

Learning Bikeshare one-way at a time

Google Maps showed it was only 3.9 miles away – not far for a bike ride to coffee in Hollywood. The route, the blue line, appears so effortlessly, but I had qualms – there are busy roads along the appointed way. I decided to take the MAX and I was glad I did – at 7:30am I was opting for the easy way to get there. Next time I'll budget a few more minutes – I got there right on time. When the meeting was over I assumed I could hop on a Bikeshare and pedal myself home. It's ... Continue Reading

What Raccoons and Cyclists Have in Common

I love my dog and he loves raccoons, so to get him going I turned on a TV documentary, Nature: Raccoon Nation. Usually he prefers movies with ponies, or movies about other dogs, even animated dogs get him barking and jumping at the screen, but during this raccoon show I had to restrain him. Too much teasing? He's a big-brained dog with a 200-word vocabulary if you believe what my wife claims; 20 might be more like it. He likes to sit on the couch and watch movies with us. This old ... Continue Reading

Breakers Drive Memories, Peg Parrott

Sisters Peggie and Bonnie grew up on Breakers Drive. They own homes next to each other. Recently they've both torn down the old homes to build beautiful beach homes. Peg's home is for sale and before she leaves the neighborhood I asked her to share some of her stories growing up at Big Corona beach. Mr. Tate ran the beach when we first moved to Breakers Dr. He lived in a one-story home at the end of the block on the sand side. He was a burly man and a little gruff. Every morning he would ... Continue Reading

Summit Sentiments

The Bloomberg Administration is in its final months, but NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn had nothing to say about where she'll land next. She has little to worry about; JSK will land on her feet in some major metropolitan area. Today vital cities are competing for the companies that provide the modern high-tech jobs that attract people who want to walk their neighborhoods and bike to work. The era of aspiring to a big house miles out of town that comes with a long commute ... Continue Reading

Wayfinding Webinar: Try Finding Your Way Out Of This Mess

I got an invitation to attend a webinar at OCTA. The subject interested me — pedestrian wayfinding signs and the cities that have undertaken big projects to make visitors more comfortable as they navigate tourist sites. Maybe 2 years ago I organized a webinar for Angel Capital Association, so I was familiar with the format. Unless someone, like I did, insists on something other than the typical format — show a slide and read the bullets to the audience — these webinar ... Continue Reading

New Year’s Paranoia

Cars make me paranoid, but I wasn't always like this. Once upon a time I was happy to hop in the car and drive just about anywhere, but now that I know how dangerous driving can be, I think twice. To feed teenagers last night we ordered a pizza for delivery; two it turned out. I hesitated at first, but went along with the idea; it was early still. Later when our 21 year-old came home with twenty of his friends, pizza delivery came up again. "It's bad karma," I objected, "We're putting the ... Continue Reading

Advocate of the Year, April Morris

She doesn't even live here, but like many others, she rides these streets. This Anaheim cyclist decided to get very involved in Newport Beach bike advocacy when she proposed a Memorial Ride after the deaths of two women cyclists in September. Meet April Morris, cdmCyclist's Advocate of the Year. Then Mayor Nancy Gardner called her back the day after a crowd of 160 angry, grieving cyclists appeared at a Bike Safety Meeting — the City was interested in her suggestion for a ... Continue Reading

Culture Clash

The basket looks like it weighs more than the road bike I was ogling this morning. Since then I've been suffering a bad case of culture clash. Let me explain. In 8 days in the Netherlands last week I saw 10,000 bikes, but only 3 road bikes and no carbon fiber beauties like the one I was hefting at 10am this morning at the mid point of the Pre-Thanksgiving Ride. John lured us into Out-Spoke-N in Sunset Beach; I went of my own free will. The siren song of the carbon fiber bikes we found ... Continue Reading