I’m excited to bring you this interview-by-bike with Portland City Council District 1 candidate Timur Ender. Timur is running to represent east Portland and he invited me on a ride on Tuesday to get a closer look at his district.
I’ve known Timur since he was fresh out of Lewis & Clark Law School. He showed up to one of our Wonk Night events in February 2013. Timur was a volunteer for tactical urbanist group Better Block PDX and was one of the leading organizers of their Better Naito pilot project that ultimately became the official City of Portland project that we all love riding on today. Timur has worked as transportation policy advisor for former City Commissioner Steve Novick and served a five-year stint at PBOT as part of their capital project team.
In short, I could think of no better person to give me a tour of bike infrastructure in east Portland!
In this episode, you’ll hear Timur and I talk about various bikeway treatments and projects as we pedal a loop (view route map below) from NE Glisan and 102nd, down to SE Powell, then over to 162nd and up to Glendoveer Golf Course. (Don’t worry about getting lost, we call out cross streets at regular intervals. Also note that photos above are in order.) Hear how vital shortcuts and opportunism (like his idea to pave a path through gravel on NE 113th between Oregon and Glisan to connect to a planned new traffic signal as part of a Safe Routes to School project) are key to making cycling better in east Portland.
You’ll also learn about Timur’s ideas for making streets safer and less car-centric — like his vision to create a Barcelona-inspired superblock bounded by 102nd, Glisan, Stark and 122nd.
One thing that struck me during our ride was how much impact a single, dedicated and thoughtful PBOT employee can have on how our streets work. At one point while biking on East Burnside, Timur pointed out a buffer stripe that gives the bike lane more space between car drivers. “I’m really proud of this buffer,” Timur said, as he explained how he was in a meeting and said, “Just paint another line.” And they did.
Timur is someone with a love of east Portland that really comes through in this episode. While biking across SE 122nd near Market he wanted to stop and point out one of his favorite intersections. I figured he’d talk about infrastructure, but he proceeded to point out several small businesses: an Ethiopian restaurant he loves, his favorite bodega, a community space where he had a memorable dinner, and so on.
Interspersed with talk about bus rapid transit (which he sees as “low-hanging fruit” on streets like 122nd, Halsey, and Stark), buffered bike lanes and housing policy (Timur supports more housing in inner neighborhoods because he feels it will decrease displacement in his district); you’ll hear Timur share why he (reluctantly) decided to run for council, how he first fell in love with cycling, why he chose to live in Portland, what it’s like being carfree in east Portland, and much more.
Listen to the full episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.