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Want more equity in transportation? There’s a ride for that

Posted by on July 12th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

street_life_Smokey_Box-5.jpg
People from different ethnic,
economic, and social
backgrounds will come together
for the Equity Bike Ride.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Equity is a very big topic in transportation circles right now. From a debate over how to allocate space on the newly carfree SW Ankeny Blvd in downtown Portland, to larger discussions about where our region should prioritize transportation spending, to its connections to health outcomes — equity has become a fundamental part of mobility discussions (just ask Mayor Adams).

If you’re interested to learn more about this issue, the Equity Bike Ride would be a great place to start. Now in its second year, the ride brings people from different backgrounds and a wide range of organizations together: Think of it like a transportation equity summit on wheels.

Ride organizer Shelli Romero, a community affairs manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the goal is to, “educate, heighten awareness and bring diverse communities together to learn about the geographic, racial, economic and environmental equity efforts underway in our communities and specifically in East Portland.”

Planned for August 25th, the ride will cover 6.5 miles in the Lents community and participants will hear brief presentations from organizations like the Native American Youth and Family Center, The Skanner Foundation, Latino Network, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and the Center for Diversity and Environment.

ODOT sees their I-205 multi-use path — a 16 mile, north-south non-motorized artery that runs from Marine Drive to Gladstone — as important bridge between inner and outer Portland neighborhoods. In an effort to make the path more appealing, they’ve planted over 4,000 trees (thanks to a multi-year effort with non-profit Friends of Trees and scores of volunteers).

Tackling the equity issue will take more infrastructure, education, and collaboration — and it seems Portland is moving forward nicely on all fronts.

The Equity Bike Ride meets at Lents Park (SE 92nd and Steele) on Thursday, August 25th at 6:00pm.

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Comments
  • Joe Rowe July 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Someone should invite members of the Albina Ministerial Alliance. Anyone got that phone number.

    Members of the Alliance were at the “Lost Black Neighborhoods” art presentation.

    This ride really needs a set of people to reach out rather than just host the ride and think “if you build it, people will come”

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  • Bill Stites July 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    This ride segues nicely into the CLF’s [Coalition for a Livable Future] Regional Livability Summit on 14 September.
    In the last couple of years, this event has emphasized the need for equity to achieve true sustainability.

    The interdependence of sustainability and equity could qualify as a ‘profound realization’ for me recently …

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  • Josh C. July 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Bill Stites
    This ride segues nicely into the CLF’s [Coalition for a Livable Future] Regional Livability Summit on 14 September.

    Right, Bill. It also dovetails in nicely with the 49th International Making Cities Livable Conference on True Urbanism: Planning Healthy Communities for All on May 20 – 24, 2012.

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  • middle of the road guy July 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    that guy looks like Eddie Guerrero.

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  • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Portland bicycle equity; a bike ride with colored people to make white people feel better.

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    • marshmallow July 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Why don’t you take your cynicism and shove it.

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  • redhippie July 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

    So, are the upside down american flags on the guy’s brow indicative of the political bent of this event?

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot July 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I’m looking forward to this! Thanks for spreading the word, Jonathan.

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  • Jean July 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Maybe one day, when I get around to it, I’ll pen my thoughts on diversity and cycling. For now, one should welcome whatever mechanisms it takes to encourage people to cycle more often and learn their local bike routes. Sometimes that’s all some folks need just a group ride or another cyclist to show them the better bike routes where it’s safer and better.

    Then people are off on their own, cycling away. It’s that simple.

    What people are forgetting that in cycling circles, whether it’s advocates, hipsters, mountain bikers, roadies, etc….these are social groups. And groups have a way of chatting up, socializing and using lingo specific to that social group.

    A newbie, by themselves must take the step forward and break the inner circle of already established cycling friends and acquaintances. It’s 10x easier if a non-white has had a pile of white, black good friends for a good chunk/most of their life.. It’s different if you are recent immigrant, etc.

    Think on the outside of the inner circle, whenever we talk about diversity and cycling. Just how many of you have a predominantly black group or Asian good friends that you hang out alot and confide to them? Rethink this, cycling, camaderie and social activities, not just solo cycling and hammering away on the road.

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