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New bill in Salem would create legislative Vision Zero task force

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
buczek walking
SW Barbur Boulevard, a state-run street.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Under a bill due for its first reading in Salem this afternoon, the state of Oregon would create a new task force to “examine strategies to reduce and eliminate traffic crashes … by a specific target date.”

House Bill 2736 would be “kind of the first step in the conversation” about a statewide Vision Zero policy, Bicycle Transportation Alliance Director Rob Sadowsky said in an interview Wednesday.

In addition to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the task force will include representatives of the Oregon Health Authority and State Police.

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Guest post: What you can do to improve bicycling in Portland right now

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Utrecht study tour-9
Gerik Kransky, in brown.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Editor’s note: This post is from Gerik Kransky, advocacy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Last week was a big week for conversations among people who ride bikes, advocates, activists, media, and the general public. Everyone is talking about the petition to rescind Portland’s Platinum bicycle-friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists.

So what’s next? How do we push today to improve conditions for bicycling tomorrow? Here are five ideas for immediate action.

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BTA announces 2015 Alice Award winners

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
rosewood initiative
The Rosewood Initiative, a community development organization in east Portland, is one of this year’s winners.
(Photo courtesy Rosewood Initiative via the BTA)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has just announced their latest round of heroic bike advocates who have earned Alice Awards.
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Bike/walk advocates unveil plan for Oregon to zero out road deaths

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
vz cover
The cover of the new report.

Two Portland-based advocacy organizations have released Oregon’s first detailed proposal for a “Vision Zero” policy that they say could completely eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

The plan from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance describes itself as “A Unifying Vision for Street Safety for Oregon.”

The two groups assembled the report with input from officials at various government agencies, including the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation. It’s the first big component of a coordinated campaign by the two organizations, part of a national effort to spread the Vision Zero concept.

What’s inside? Maybe the most significant ingredient here is the five-page list of specific recommendations at the end. Here are nine particularly interesting selections from that list.

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Reflective clothing mandate, other bike bills up for hearing in Oregon house – UPDATED

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
People on bikes-34
One bill would ban nighttime biking
without reflective clothing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE: Davis’ office says the reflective clothing idea will not move forward. See our update here.

Oregon’s biggest legislative session for bike-related issues in years will come to its first peak on Monday, but many biking advocates have a prior engagement.

Awkwardly, five separate bills that could make big differences for biking will get hearings in Salem on the same day that dozens of Oregon biking leaders and professionals are scheduled to gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The bills to be tackled include HB 3255, which would ban nighttime bike use for people not wearing reflective clothing; SB 533 A, which would permit someone on a bike or motorcycle to proceed through an unresponsive red light after a full cycle; HB 2621, which would let Portland issue speeding tickets on its high-crash corridors using unmanned photo radar; HB 3035, which allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets; and SJR 16, which would refer a bill to the voters in 2016 that would allow car-related taxes and fees to be spent on off-road transportation projects.

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Advocates mount effort to keep transportation hierarchy in city policy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
green hierarchy
Created in 2009 for the city’s Climate Action Plan, it’s
maybe the city’s single most progressive statement of
transportation policy.

The City of Portland says (PDF) its new 20-year comprehensive plan is informed by three city documents that created a prioritized ranking for transportation needs.

But it’s an open question whether the “green transportation hierarchy,” as it’s been known since its creation in 2009, will be fully enshrined in the 20-year comprehensive plan as it previously was in the Sam Adams-era Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Plan for 2030 and Portland Plan.

Members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee are making it one of their top requests to the city to keep the chart in place and intact.
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NYC and DC advocates top the agenda at Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
National Bike Summit - Day three-3
Paul Steely White at the
2009 National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Paul Steely White, executive director of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives, is known in the biking advocacy world as a charmer who has been right in the middle of his city’s 15-year turnaround to become of the country’s leading cities for transportation innovation.

Melissa Wells is an up-and-coming transportation advocate for PolicyLink, a broad-based research institute that studies economic and social equity.

Next month, the pair will be in Portland keynoting the Oregon Active Transportation Summit. Organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the summit is the largest gathering of biking, walking, and transit advocates in the state.

Also on the three-day agenda: mobile workshops of Portland infrastructure and advocacy, a raft of breakout sessions with Oregon’s wealth of biking and walking pros and a pair of networking receptions, including an after-hours round of Pecha Kucha slideshows that I’ve been looking forward to for the last year.
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London’s cycling czar swings through Portland for two events this week

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
plowden
Ben Plowden.
(Photo: London Cycling Campaign)

After years of staring morosely at the world’s best bike cities just across the English Channel, London is on the brink of big changes. One of the people responsible is coming through Portland on his victory tour.

As director of surface transport strategy and planning for the regional Transport for London agency, Ben Plowden oversees almost everything on his city’s streets. In the 15 years since London regained regional autonomy, the city has introduced a hugely successful anti-congestion charge on cars entering the central city, one of the world’s first major modern bike sharing systems (now 10,000 bikes strong) and, two weeks ago, an 18-mile protected bike lane through the heart of central London.

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Safety advocate to Novick: Where’s the Barbur study you requested?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Street fee press conference-1
Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick in 2014.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

When is a traffic study not a traffic study?

“Let’s work together to make Barbur safer,” Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick wrote in October 2013, promising that “the Portland Bureau of Transportation will commit the time and resources to work with ODOT and engage the surrounding communities to see the impacts of a possible road diet and find the right solution.”

Now, some of the advocates who helped persuade Novick to make that commitment are saying it’s still unfulfilled.

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Strong open house turnout might close gap in SW 185th bike lanes, BTA says

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
tv highway 185th intersection
The bike lanes end just before they cross a big state road.
(Image: Google Maps)

Strong turnout for bike supporters at a state open house next Wednesday could lead to major improvements to one of Washington County’s most annoying bike-lane gaps — and set a precedent for similar gaps around the region.

(more…)

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