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Velodrome bill "unlikely" to move forward

Posted by on May 18th, 2007 at 9:49 am

I mentioned in my legislation update earlier this week that the chances of the velodrome bill (S.B. 926) passing were slim.

Now it seems like the final nail is in the coffin. Here’s what the Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee recently said in response to a reader’s email:

“In the context of other budget priorities, it is unlikely that this bill will move forward, so I do not now have plans to assign it to a sub committee or schedule it for a hearing.

Sincerely,

Mary Nolan
State Representative, District 36″

This is unfortunate and I still hold out hope that it has a chance. But in the end, if it doesn’t move forward, the effort has laid some very important ground work in Salem.

For the full story, check out my Velodrome Bill archives.

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Comments
  • James May 18, 2007 at 10:17 am

    This state should first provide health insurance for all children before it builds any velodromes. That’s just basic morality.

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  • ME May 18, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Let’s get down to the grass roots of it all. If it’s that important to the bike community, or a fraction of it, then can’t the money be raised in a way only bike riders know how? Afterall, it is a cutting edge mode of transport we are on the brink of nationally…so take it another step- be creative and get what is deserved…a beloved – out of this world velodrome.

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  • Jonathan Maus / BikePortland May 18, 2007 at 10:22 am

    James,

    with all due respect, I don’t think the pot of money that would go toward these velodromes is related to paying for kids health insurance in any way, shape or form.

    if it was, I would absolutely agree with you. than again, if the state put a higher priority on cost-effective and healthy community programs (like ones that would exist at these velodromes) we wouldn’t need as much money to keep kids healthy to begin with.

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  • James May 18, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Good point James, but I think it we need healthcare for EVERYONE who doesn’t isn’t insured, not just children. Not to mention that we should probably fix the other ten thousand things that are wrong with the state before we get new ‘dromes.

    … But ‘dromes would be nice.

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  • mmann May 18, 2007 at 11:13 am

    The money we’re talking about here is coming from state lottery funds. One way to look at it – the simplistic way in my view – is “money from the government”. But another way is that it’s an account set aside, a percentage of money spent in the state on a (supposedly) recreational activity – legalized gambling. Some of that money is earmarked to be spent on promoting recreation and tourism in Oregon and goes to the state parks. THAT’S the money that would pay for the velodromes. A very vocal and organized group of folks opposes this and would rather see all the money spent in the traditional way by aquiring new lands and building more traditional state park facilities. It’s the old dilemma of too many worthy projects competing for limited funding. The larger issue is getting those outside the bike community to see the worthiness (or not?) of the state being in the business of promoting bicycling (beyond paved bike trails). Think about it. When these funds pay for construction af a trail, that promotes a particular type of outdoor recreation. Is a velodrome -and skills park and cyclocross trail, etc. – a worthy use of state lottery funds? I personally think so. But I’d draw the line somewhere before the state choosing to build a motorcycle track. So someone else is choosing (for the time being) to draw the line here. Horses and hikers are ok, even paved bike trails are ok, but velodromes not (yet).

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  • Lennon May 18, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I would love to see a bunch more velodromes…and urban bike routes, and country trails for touring and MB riders, and about a million other transportation improvements. They can’t all get funded, though, and track racing is a pretty small (some might even say “elitist”) niche to be throwing a lot of capital-improvement funds towards.

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  • Jonathan Maus / BikePortland May 18, 2007 at 11:18 am

    very well said Michael. that’s exactly what’s going on here. I think education is the big issue.. .that’s why I say we laid some important groundwork. Because of the work of Steve Brown, Sen. Atkinson, Scott Bricker (BTA), and all the communities emails, etc… many more Salem lawmakers now know what velodromes and they’re beginning to understand that promoting bicycle use in state parks should possibly have more priority than it has had in the past.

    i hope to share more news related to this soon.

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  • SKIDmark May 18, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Maybe they should have just asked to build one Velodrome to replace the one that is falling apart.

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  • Anonymous May 18, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Track cycling is NOT an elitist or niche market. Take a look at the programs run at a number of velodromes and you will see that when done correctly the bulk of the users are not rubberized skin-suited wearing professionals, but they ARE recreational and fitness riders looking for something more dynamic than a spin class at the gym.

    The Forest City Velodrome in London Ontario has a large percent of it users coming from its Velokids program, which is now overflowing and from non-competitive fitness riders. It runs scheduled recreational sessions up to 15 hours a week. Along side its active racing and high performance programs, the track is booked from the early afternoon until 10 or 11pm most days of the week.

    The fact is with the higher speeds of traffic and all the dangers on the road these days, I feel much better about my kids riding around a velodrome than I do having them out on the road. Programs run through a vibrant velodrome community provide an opportunity to ensure that kids learn vital cycling safety skills that can be applied everywhere.

    It will be a shame if the State does not provide kids and adult cyclists with a safe place to ride and compete.

    Best of luck with your efforts out there!!

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  • Kirk Whiteman May 21, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Family, education(college scholarships), health, community. That is what a velodrome can do for our community. If you are afraid of healthy growth that everyone is working for, then a velodrome would not be a good idea. It’s all about the kids! If you look at the Air Products program in Pa. the youth programs at the velodromes in Houston and Dallas and see what it is doing for those kids and families you’d say that this project is worth it. They don’t even have as many people as we do in our community. So think of how many people can benifit this.
    It might be a handfull of people now, but I can tell you, handsfull of people will show up if yu have a facility that is not seasonal. Funny how it is. Portland puts on the biggest money track race in the country. Families taking in strangers(racers) to stay at their homes to be part of something big.. I guess I can say this for most people in America; the bike is our first encounter with freedom! Think back to how fast you wanted to go as a kid; how great you felt, how you hated to have to hit the brakes because you ran out of room! Not at a velodrome. Go as far as you want. As fast as you want!
    “For those who set the trend, not follow it”. It’s all about the kids!

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