Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008

I attended the 15th International Symposium on Bicycling and Walking (aka Pro Walk/Pro Bike) that was held in Seattle, WA from September 2-5, 2008.

My stories from the event are listing below.

See my photo gallery here

Oberstar looks to history, future, during conference keynote

Posted on September 8th, 2008 at 2:21 pm.

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Rep. Jim Oberstar addressing the
Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference
in Seattle.
(Photos © J. Maus)

In the closing address of the 2008 Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in Seattle on Friday, bicycling’s Grand Man in Congress, Jim Oberstar, shared a history of America’s bike movement, and inspired the assembled crowd with his trademark energy and bravado.

For nearly two decades, Oberstar (D-Minnesota) has been one of bicycling’s most effective champions. He was present at the inception of the modern bike movement in the late 1980s when he began to lay the groundwork for ISETEA (the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act) in 1991. Prior to that transportation bill re-authorization, Oberstar is credited with laying the groundwork of the bike movement’s presence on the national political stage.


What did you learn from Pro Walk/Pro Bike?

Posted on September 8th, 2008 at 12:13 pm.

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PDOT’s Timo Forsberg (L) and
Jeff Smith (R) at last weekend’s Pro
Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle.
(Photos © J. Maus)

I’ve still got a few notes and stories I’d like to share from my trip to the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle over the weekend.

On the last day of the conference, I asked a few members of the Portland delegation to share their most memorable new insights from the conference. Here are their responses:

Lynn Mutrie is the statewide youth education and outreach manager for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA):


Mini-bikes take center stage at Pro Walk/Pro Bike

Posted on September 5th, 2008 at 4:00 pm.

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Mini-bikes were a big hit at
the conference party last night.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last night, conference organizers put on a great party in the old South Lake Union Armory building.

The highlight of the night was the mini-bike racing. By mini-bikes, I don’t mean kids bikes like the Zoobombers ride, I mean tiny bikes with wheels the size of cookies.


From Seattle: How we’re coping with fourth place

Posted on September 5th, 2008 at 3:30 pm.

Now that the whole country thinks Oregon isn’t in the top-three best states to bike in, you might assume the Beaver State delegation here at Pro Walk/Pro Bike would be sulking and demanding a recount.

Not exactly.

When the League of American Bicyclist’s executive director Andy Clarke announced the rankings at a party at the South Lake Union Armory last night, people almost immediately began embracing our new, out-of-medal-contention placing.

After the party, many of us from Oregon went on a spirited and star-lit ride around the city (via the Burke-Gilman Trail). I think the photo below will give you a good idea how we’re dealing with the No. 4 news:


In Seattle: A science fair for transportation wonks

Posted on September 5th, 2008 at 12:12 pm.

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Conference-goers in action
during a “Poster Session”.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Besides the 80 workshop sessions here at the Westin Hotel and the myriad “mobile workshops” (that take conference-goers around Seattle in search of sharrows, bike parking, and other things) there’s an ongoing display of information in the “Poster Sessions”.

Displayed in rows of tables and bulletin boards, the feeling is sort of like that junior high school science fair all over again; except in this case, the information is from the nation’s top professionals and experts in the fields of bicycle and pedestrian planning.
I took a walk through the Poster Sessions yesterday and here’s what I saw.


Oregon ranks fourth in new Bike Friendly State rankings

Posted on September 4th, 2008 at 7:33 pm.

ORegon Bicycle Summit
A dream deferred.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Oregon placed fourth in a new ranking of Bike Friendly States that was released tonight by the League of American Bicyclists.

Washington took top honors, followed by Wisconsin and then Arizona. At the bottom of the list were Alabama and Georgia, with West Virginia coming in last.

Yesterday, I sat down with the League’s executive director Andy Clarke and Bike Friendly State program manager Jeff Peel to learn more about the rankings.


In Seattle: An update on the U.S. Bicycle Route System

Posted on September 4th, 2008 at 5:10 pm.

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Ginny Sullivan, routes coordinator for the
Adventure Cycling Association.
(Photo © J. Maus)

During a morning poster session (where bike and ped professionals offer up their latest research in science-fair style) here at Pro Walk/Pro Bike, I ran into Ginny Sullivan, the new routes coordinator for the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA).

Sullivan stood in front of an attractively designed new poster for an exciting project, the establishment of the United States Bicycle Route System. Once completed, the system will be a complete network of officially recognized, interstate bike routes.


Seattle rolls out on-street bike parking

Posted on September 4th, 2008 at 8:37 am.

On-street bike parking in downtown Seattle.
(Photos © J. Maus)


In Seattle: Conference opens with a golden moment and overdue recognition

Posted on September 3rd, 2008 at 8:08 pm.

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Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (L) and Andy Clarke at the
opening of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference
this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Today at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle was the official opening day of the Fifteenth International Symposium on Walking and Bicycling, a.k.a., the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference.

Held every two years and put on by the National Center for Walking and Biking, the conference is a meeting of the minds of America’s best and brightest in the fields of bikeway and pedestrian planning, engineering, design, education, advocacy, and so on. They’ve come to learn from 80 workshops, network with others in their fields, and get an up-close look at Seattle.


Headed to Seattle for national conference; Bike Friendly State rankings to be unveiled

Posted on August 29th, 2008 at 12:20 pm.

I’m headed to the 2008 Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle next week along with a large contingent from Portland. Among the highlights will be the unveiling of the first-ever Bike Friendly States rankings by the League of American Bicyclists.