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Bike Summit: Day one in the books

Posted by on March 1st, 2006 at 8:20 pm

national bike summit

[Blumenauer and his Trek]

Finally back to my hotel room after the first full day at the Bike Summit. My head is sort of spinning from all the new things I’m hearing and seeing. There’s something surreal to me about looking down the street at the White House U.S. Capitol Building (it’s just a few blocks from my room).

The day started out with an opening panel discussion all about Portland. Jay, Jerry, Evan and Mia got to gush about what a great bike city we live in. Jay kept everyone smiling with his anecdotes, especially the one about Commissioner Randy Leanord‘s metamorphosis from brawny firefighter tough-man to bike commuter. The Trek Portland also made an appearance when Congressman Earl Blumenauer rolled his out on stage.

national bike summit
[Jay Graves, Jerry Norquist, Evan Manvel]
National Bike Summit

[A proud Evan Manvel]

I hoped to have some big mountain biking news (sorry, it has nothing to do with Forest Park), but I’ve decided to wait and bring you the full story when I know more details.

Here’s a few other bits from my scribbled notepad:

  • I ran into Jay Ferm. Jay is the advocacy guy from Planet Bike who has been supplying lights to the “Get Lit” program. I gave him a big “thank you” and he said many other communities have contacted him after hearing about this program from Portland.
  • I met Leah Shahum, the director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition and found out that just yesterday they introduced a bill to have Golden Gate Park be carfree on Saturdays. We should do this in Portland….but where?
  • I talked to the folks at BikeStation and found out that PSU is their top preference for placing one in Portland. They’ve also looked at Pioneer Square, the Lloyd District Transit Center, the Rose Quarter and Union Station as outside possibilities.
  • The folks at the League of American Bicyclists are reporting record turnout this year of about 375 attendees. That’s quite a jump from the 30 or so that I’ve heard attending the first Summit back in 2000.
  • I ran into Jim Sayer, Executive Director of the Adventure Cycling Association. He’s spearheading an ambitious plan to establish a national network of bike trails called the “U.S. Bicycle Route Corridor Plan.” Wow.
  • Tomorrow is the big day when we walk to Capitol Hill and meet with our Congressional reps. This will be a new experience for me and I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing….not to mention that we’ll be walking around all day and I’ve managed to get some heinous blisters (long story). Oh well.

    Luckily the League had an advocacy training session to help newbies like me. Here are some interesting stats they shared:

    • 10,000 bills are introduced each Congressional term.
    • Only about 5% of those get passed.
    • 33% of those that pass are for renaming a post office or federal building.
    • The average meeting time with a member of Congress is 7.5 minutes.

    So that’s it for now, I’ve got tons of other ideas and things I want to write about, but I’ve really got to get some sleep. Sorry to everyone who has emailed the past few days, I know I’m lagging on replies.

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    Comments
    • Scott Mizée March 1, 2006 at 9:06 pm

      Are you biking in D.C.?!!??? (e.g. Welcome to D.C. Now Get on your Bike!)

      It would be hard to imagine a group gathering from all over the country to talk about bikes without actually riding bikes! It’d be a great way to get from the White House to the Capitol! :)

      Speaking of traveling with bikes, are there any Bike Friday folks there? I realize you probably won’t have time to respond to this, but maybe someone else will.

      Keep up the good work there, Jonathan.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Donna Tocci March 2, 2006 at 6:26 am

      Thanks for keeping us all updated on your adventures, Jonathan! Keep up the great work.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • john bloss March 2, 2006 at 9:13 am

      Jonathan et al,

      Thanks for informative reports and representing Portland and biking to officials in Washington.

      Keep up the good work!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Nick March 2, 2006 at 10:58 am

      This “BikeStation” sounds interesting. Personally I think the empty spot wher the Pioneer SQ Powell’s travel store was may be a great spot for this. The Tri-met office is in the same location.

      PSU, would be nice too, however having this near the bus mall and the central city would keep the most people in mind.

      Keep-up the great work in Washington!

      ~n

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Aaron March 2, 2006 at 12:19 pm

      A few thoughts. First of all thank you for this amazing report.
      I know you’re terribly busy, but there are no photos of Jay Ferm. The link is broken.
      Regarding our version of Golden Gate park, Portland is lucky that we don’t have the car-park problem that other cities like San Francisco or New York have (www.carfreecentralpark.org). All of our parks are solely for recreation and fun. The only suggestion I can think of is the Sellwood Riverfront park. It has lots of parking which removes from the peace of the area. But a more central place would be the Rose Quarter.
      I hope your enjoying your camera over there. The photos I see are nice, so I’ll assume everything worked out.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Clark March 3, 2006 at 12:26 pm

      One of the major roads popular with cyclists near where I grew up in California did just that—one weekend day a month was car free. Needless to say it was very popular. It would be the equivalent of closing Marine Drive, if Marine Drive didn’t already have a nice bike path.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • gwadzilla March 3, 2006 at 6:07 pm

      wow…
      sounds like we have some people doing some good things
      hope there was a warm response on The Hill

      Recommended Thumb up 0

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