Welcome to our coverage of advocacy news. In this section you’ll find stories on the major advocacy organizations and campaigns that are shaping cycling in Portland and beyond.

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Advocate! Tell the city how to change residential infill rules

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 18th, 2015 at 1:57 pm

2314-16 se salmon duplex built 1927
Built in 1927, illegal to build today.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Whether you hate demolitions, love garages, yearn to live in a duplex or just think the rent is too damn high, now’s your chance to let the city know.

All this year, the Real Estate Beat has been writing about the ways that Portland could increase the supply of homes in its bikeable areas without totally transforming its understandably beloved residential neighborhoods.

In March, we shared local microdeveloper Eli Spevak’s prescription for affordable infill, which drew praise from neighborhood association organizers. In April, we explored one of those ideas: charging lower development fees for smaller homes. In June, we looked at 11 medium-density buildings built before Portland’s 1959 zoning reform and asked why they should be illegal.


Let the city know (again) if you support diverters on SE Clinton

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 18th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

clinton speed
The issue on Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

In a digital companion to its Nov. 5 open house, Portland is circulating another online survey taking the political temperature of Clinton Street residents, businesses and users about traffic diverters on a busy stretch of Clinton Street.

It takes about 30 seconds to complete.

This is the second online survey asking how people feel about the city installing an experimental diverter in the 30th and Clinton area to see what happens to traffic patterns. The current proposal is to install one test diverter at 32nd, in addition to one planned for 17th.


Advocate: County survey needs input from rural road users, not just residents

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 29th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Family trip to Stub Stewart State Park-15-15
Riding on the County-maintained Skyline Blvd.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to one of the first in our series of occasional “Advocate” posts. These are quick, simple opportunities to get involved in making the Portland area better for biking.

Multnomah County is updating its wide-reaching long-range plans in ways that matter deeply to residents of the relatively few urban streets owned by the county government.

The result is that people who live on those streets — notably for bike users, Northwest Skyline Boulevard and Corbett in the western Colombia Gorge — have weighed in about the importance of bike transportation to the county, but most residents of the county haven’t.


Our May podcast: How biking advocates are made

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 19th, 2015 at 10:58 am

2013 BTA Alice Awards-18
Gresham High School health teacher Kristen Warren
accepting an Alice B. Toeclips advocacy award in 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

One of the five ingredients for building a great biking city is a steady flow of passionate and talented people motivated to shed sweat and tears to make their cities better.

But where do advocates come from?

That’s the question we explore in the latest episode of the BikePortland podcast, which is back after a several-month sabbatical (our volunteer producer, Lillian Karabaic, was busy riding bikes and catching trains in 10 countries, among other things). We’re joined by a native Portlander who thinks about this subject a lot: the cerebral, disarmingly humble executive director of the Community Cycling Center, Mychal Tetteh.


BTA launches five new campaigns at annual members’ meeting

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 15th, 2014 at 9:07 am

wide angle
Attendees of the BTA’s annual member meeting Thursday evening had plenty to talk about.
(Photos by Michael Andersen)

With “The Revolution will Not Be Televised” playing from portable speakers above them, almost 100 Bicycle Transportation Alliance members and staff gathered in the Portland Art Museum courtyard Thursday to drink Hopworks beer, eat food-cart tacos, recognize key volunteers and (most intriguingly) learn about the five major advocacy campaigns the organization had just launched.


Leading the march: 10 questions for Noel Mickelberry of Oregon Walks

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 7th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

noel 320
Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry.
(Photo courtesy Oregon Walks)

Few local nonprofits have changed more in the last few years than Oregon’s main walking advocacy group.

Since 2010, Oregon Walks has renamed itself, relocated its tiny office, passed most of its board seats to new volunteers and shifted its strategy away from direct oversight of local government and toward grant-funded partnerships with other community organizations.

When Executive Director Noel Mickelberry took the reins Monday morning, the group’s transition was complete. We caught up with Mickelberry, 26, as she prepared to start the 24-hour-a-week job to talk about the differences between walking and biking advocacy and the new vision she’s been hired to execute.


The BikePortland Podcast: The state of bike advocacy

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 8th, 2014 at 10:13 am

Bike Summit Lobby Day on Capitol Hill-13
Cycle Oregon Executive Director Alison Graves,
Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh and
Humans on Bikes founder Christopher Delaney at the
National Bike Summit in Washington DC last month.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Does Portland-area bike advocacy lack a unifying theme?

That’s one of the questions we tackle in the BikePortland podcast’s latest episode, about the state of bicycle advocacy in Portland and elsewhere.

“We don’t have a short-term goal for how we want bicycling to get better,” co-host Jonathan Maus says in this month’s half-hour show. “We just sort of follow a shiny object. Oh, Barbur road diet has to happen. Over here, there’s been some tragedy, we have to go focus on Vision Zero. Oh, let’s go talk about 20s Bikeway. There’s no fundamental, organizing principle that everybody can rally around. I think that’s a big gap we have right now.”


BTA announces 2014 Alice Award winners and ‘People’s Choice’ finalists

by on April 8th, 2014 at 8:53 am

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has announced this year’s crop of Alice Award winners. The awards, which debuted in 1995, are meant to put a spotlight on people and organizations “who have worked to make bicycling better in Oregon.” And new this year are a crop of ‘People’s Choice’ candidates that will be chosen online via the BTA’s Facebook page.

The Alice Award winners are: Kristin Dahl, Jenna Stanke, and the Regence Bike Commute Team. This year’s Emerging Leader Award goes to Briana Orr and the Bud Clark Lifetime Achievement Award has been given to Mike Cosgrove. According to the BTA each winner has, ” truly made an investment here in Oregon for healthier communities, for economic development, and for making Oregon a better place to live and ride.” (The theme of this year’s Alice Awards are “Investing in the Movement.”)

The People’s Choice Award will got to one of these three businesses: Hopworks Urban Brewery, New Relic, or VeloCult Bike Shop & Tavern.

The Friday Profile: Portland’s idea man has a big plan for eastside biking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 22nd, 2013 at 1:49 pm

This is veteran transportation activist Jim Howell’s new concept for the central east side: a bike-rail corridor and second-story commercial district running over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across three bridge landings.

Welcome to the first of a new feature on BikePortland: a brief look at the life or work of an extraordinary local person.

Jim Howell.
(Photo by J.Maus)

When Jim Howell was 37, he organized the first demonstrations that eventually turned Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park. At 40, working as an independent architect, he drew up the design for Northeast Portland’s Woodlawn Park. At 41, he sat on the citizens’ committee that recommended Portland’s first MAX line. At 48, while working for TriMet, he engineered the west-side bus node now known as Beaverton Transit Center. At 51, he co-founded a private van service between Portland and the Oregon coast, a predecessor to today’s Wave bus. At 77, he co-created the plan that became the most prominent alternative to the Columbia River Crossing.

Now, two months before his 80th birthday, Howell has designed his first transportation concept that puts bikes front and center.


BTA looks to expand reach with ‘Advocacy 101’ training

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 18th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

The BTA needs your help. And they’re willing to train.
(Photo by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.)

There are a thousand ways to improve biking in the Portland area, but the pros at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance only have time to focus closely on 16 of them.

That’s where you come in.

As part of a project to stretch their advocacy expertise further, the BTA is offering a free workshop tomorrow night to train people in how to make their neighborhoods better.