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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.
(more…)

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.

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Tonight: BTA hosts first-ever Bike Advocacy Clinic

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
bta-logo-orange-021cjpg-c16bdca0665b4987

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance wants more of the community to step up and become their own advocates for better biking. Tonight they host a Bike Advocacy Clinic that aims to give people with bike-related concerns and issues the tools they need to fix them.

The BTA has done free bike legal clinics for many years, but this is the first time they’ve offered a clinic on advocacy. The group’s engagement manager Carl Larson said today that they recognize there’s, “A need for informed advocates in our community and we can’t tackle every little problem.” “With some basic tools and and tactics,” he added, “our members and the public can make biking better.”

It’s sort of like getting to tap into the BTA’s 25-years of lessons and expertise. Topics that will be covered at tonight’s clinic will include messaging, defining success, figuring out who holds influence on your issue, finding allies, and the difference between pressure and persuasion.
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In letter to PBOT, BTA says Williams Ave work zone has led to injuries

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
zones-BTA-lead
Current conditions on Williams Ave.
(Photo by Carl Larson/BTA)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is fed up with the dangerous work zone conditions on Williams Avenue. Claiming that bicycle riders have been injured and put in danger due to misplaced construction materials and a poorly implemented traffic control plan, the Portland-based non-profit group penned a letter today to the Bureau of Transportation with a laundry list of demands to improve the situation.

While the BTA supports the city’s North Williams Avenue Safety Project and says they are excited to see the finished product, the letter (written by BTA Engagement Manager Carl Larson) points out several specific and ongoing safety concerns — some of which have led directly to injuries.
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Planners of future Hillsboro-Banks path ask for input on best route

Friday, November 14th, 2014
route options map
Two main options for one segment of the proposed Council Creek Regional Trail, in purple and in red.
(Source: Metro)

The multi-agency team that’s planning a future off-road path across Washington County is trying to decide, among other issues: straight along the rails, or winding along the river?

The deadline for public input is next Wednesday, Nov. 19.

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Car2go’s new bike racks have passed the Portland test

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
tallbike
Yes, Virginia, a seven-foot-tall tandem tallbike can be carried on one of car2go’s new rear racks.
(Photo: Carl Larson, Bicycle Transportation Alliance)

Last week, we reported that floating-fleet carsharing service Car2go was preparing to start testing a new feature in Portland: external bike racks.

Yesterday, Bicycle Transportation Alliance staffer Carl Larson helped the company test whether their product was up to the job of hauling the full diversity of our local bike fleet.

(more…)

Car, freight, bike and transit advocates agree to back Oregon gas tax or fee hike in 2015

Monday, November 10th, 2014
6175048141_311d91dda5_z
The Oregon Trucking Association, AAA and petroleum industry agreed last week not only to back a possible gas tax hike but to support indexing the tax for future automatic increases.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Oregon’s 2015 legislative session is sure to include lots of plot twists for transportation policy. But at least among the key lobbyists, a grand bargain has been struck.

A group of advocates for biking, driving, urban density, public health, the gasoline industry, truck freight, rail fright, cities and public transit agencies — Oregon’s broadest-based organization of transportation interest groups — voted unanimously Thursday on the basic terms of a proposed transportation bill.

The deal brokered by members of the Oregon Transportation Forum would use a gas tax and/or auto fee hike to raise hundreds of millions of dollars over two years for infrastructure around the state.

(more…)

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