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Advocacy

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

Monday, July 7th, 2014
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.

(more…)

The BikePortland Podcast: The state of bike advocacy

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
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.”

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

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

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

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
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.

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BTA looks to expand reach with ‘Advocacy 101′ training

Monday, November 18th, 2013
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.
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Major new pro-transit advocacy group prepares to launch in Portland

Monday, July 8th, 2013
David Knowles
David Knowles, a longtime politico,
is leading the new effort.
(2012 photo by Portland Afoot)

A new nonprofit advocacy group is setting out to be public transportation’s answer to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Using Seattle’s Transportation Choices Coalition as their working model, a small group of Portland-based advocates has been working since December under the leadership of David Knowles, the top Portland executive at government contractor CH2M Hill, to discuss the nonprofit startup.

The group is in the process of recruiting its founding staffer.

“I think this region has generally been committed to transit, but a focused effort to expand transit is really needed at this time,” Mara Gross, interim executive director of the Coalition for a Livable Future and a participant in the conversation, said Monday. “Lower-income communities and communities of color are increasingly living in a ring around the central cities. They’re in East Portland, east county, Washington County, Clark County … regions that are harder to serve by transit.”

Rob Sadowsky and Steph Routh, executive directors of the BTA and Oregon Walks, have also been invited to the talks, as have TriMet, Bernie Bottomly of the Portland Business Alliance, the anti-sprawl nonprofit 1000 Friends of Oregon, and representatives of many local businesses including chipmaker Intel, planning firm David Evans and Associates, architects Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and downtown real estate firm Melvin Mark.
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Bike stars shine at BTA Alice Awards

Monday, May 6th, 2013
2013 BTA Alice Awards-37
Alice Award winners Kristen Warren (L) and Alison
Hill Graves with former Bike Gallery owner
Jay Graves and the BTA’s Rob Sadowsky.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Saturday night, the stars of bike advocacy from around the region aligned in northwest Portland for the 18th annual Alice Awards benefit auction. Known as “Alice,” it’s the largest fundraising event of the year for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). With hundreds of people in attendance (each of whom paid $125 to be there), the night is full of fun, socializing, and shopping for a good cause.

With a nod toward celebrating the 50,000th grade school student to receive the BTA’s Bicycle Safety Education program, this year’s theme was “Tomorrow’s riders start today.” The main events of the night were the live auction, the crowning of award winners, and a nod to one very special bike advocate.

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BTA 2013 legislative push: More funding, lower speeds, more enforcement

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky
at Velo Cult last night.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has embarked on their 2013 legislative campaign. Last night they revealed that the three bills they plan to lobby for center around funding, speed limits, and enforcement.

The bills are substantial and they mark a full-force return to lobbying in Salem after the BTA opted to lay low and rebuild relationships with legislators in the 2011 session.

At a BTA-hosted happy hour event at Velo Cult Bike Shop last night, Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky shared that their “three-pronged approach” is “all about safety.”
(more…)

BTA-led coalition seeks to restore active transportation cuts in City budget

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
BTA’s Gerik Kransky (L) and freight
advocate Corky Collier after the PBOT Budget BAC
meeting yesterday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the face of severe cuts to active transportation in the PBOT budget that came to light last month, a coalition led by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) presented a proposal yesterday to restore nearly half of them.

With dwindling revenue forecasts, PBOT has had cut their budget for several years now. This year’s gap was estimated to be $4.4 million. Of that, PBOT proposed $1.5 million in cuts to active transportation — $1 million from projects and $500,000 to programs and staffing. The cuts would impact programs like Sunday Parkways, Safe Routes to School, neighborhood greenway projects, and more. (more…)

BTA hears top project ideas for ‘Blueprint’ effort

Friday, October 19th, 2012
BTA Blueprint meeting at City Hall-3
Steve Hoyt-McBeth jots down his group’s ideas
at yesterday’s event in City Hall.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

At City Hall during the lunch hour yesterday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) enlisted the help of Portland’s brightest biking minds to prioritize the “world-class bikeways” that will act as the organization’s ‘Blueprint‘ for the future.

The event was hosted by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) as part of their monthly “Bicycle Brown Bag” discussion series. Around 40 people showed up for the participatory discussion (10 of which were women, if you’re counting). BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky and Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky opened the event by offering some historical context.
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