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‘Nerds vs Jocks’ and more fun rivalries on the way in Bike Commute Challenge

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Fall is coming, and in Oregon, unlike in the many places that foolishly declare May to be their official bike month, that means it’s time for the annual Bike Commute Challenge.

A major annual project of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, it’s grown into one of the most popular and successful bike-to-work challenges anywhere, spawning fun rivalries like the Intel-vs-Nike matchup highlighted at right. (More on that in a moment.) In the last two years, the friendly workplace-to-workplace competition has attracted 12,000 Oregonians on about 1,400 teams logging their trips by both frequency and distance.

“Per-capita participation in our program is bigger than in any other program I’m aware of,” BTA Deputy Director Steph Noll said Wednesday.

This year, Noll’s team is making it easier for blue-collar workers to participate by offering cards with radio-frequency chips in selected workplaces.

(more…)

BTA’s new ‘Blueprint’ prioritizes 16 bike projects for Portland region

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
The state’s bike advocacy group chose 16 “almost metaphorical” projects in four categories.

Oregon’s leading bike advocacy group has named sixteen projects in four categories as their top bike infrastructure priorities for the region.

Released Tuesday, it’s the first update of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance‘s “Blueprint for World-Class Bicycling” since 2005, when the organization named 40 such projects. This time around, the group sought to focus on a smaller number in an effort to increase the pressure on behalf of the selected projects. (more…)

BTA joins with Joey Harrington to mark 50,000th bike safety graduate

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
BTA Bike Safety Class at Prescott Elementary
Prescott Elementary students at a BTA
bike safety class in 2005.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) will mark a big milestone this week: the 50,000th student to graduate from their bike safety education program since they began teaching in Portland schools in 1998. To celebrate the occasion, they’ve teamed up with the Harrington Family Foundation for an event and ceremonial bike ride with fifth graders on Thursday in northeast Portland.

The Harrington Family Foundation was started by former NFL player and University of Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington. Back in August 2011, a person struck Harrington with their car while he was biking on SE Foster Road. That collision thrust Harrington and his foundation into bike safety activism and they created the Bridges to Breakers charity ride as a result. The stated mission of that ride is to, “create safer streets for bicyclists through education with the aim of reducing and preventing injuries to children.” (more…)

BTA now offers bike education courses at two local colleges

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Fall scene in South Park Blocks-1
A student rides on the South Park
Blocks on the PSU campus.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has a new front in their effort to teach people about bicycling: They now offer college-level bike training courses in partnership with Portland State University (PSU) and Portland Community College (PCC).

The PSU class, Bike PDX: How to Commute by Bicycle, will be offered in two different sessions during PSU’s spring term which begins April 1st and runs through June 18th. Students can accrue one course credit for completion of the class.

Here’s the course description: (more…)

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 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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The BTA releases status report on ’05 ‘Blueprint’; launches new effort

Friday, August 10th, 2012
BTA Annual meeting-1
BTA Board Chair Stephen Gomez at
their annual member meeting
Wednesday night.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

At their annual meeting Wednesday night, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) launched an effort to identify and prioritize a list of projects that will update their ‘Blueprint for Better Bicycling.’ The BTA’s first Blueprint, a report that identified a list of their top 40 infrastructure projects around the region, was released nearly seven years ago.

Along with announcing the start of a process to develop a new Blueprint report, the BTA offered an update on how those projects have fared since 2005. Addressing the crowd of members as they milled around the Portland Art Museum Sculpture Garden dining on tacos and beer (served by bike by Taco Pedaler and the Hopworks Beer Bike), BTA Board Director Stephen Gomez reflected on the 2005 project list. “I can’t say we’ve had success with everything on this list. But the list, it really matters.” (more…)

BTA leader calls out UO football players’ dangerous driving record

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Rob Sadowsky-1
Rob Sadowsky
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

University of Oregon players are on a roll when it comes to football victories; but they’re also racking up quite a few traffic violations. And we’re not talking about minor stuff like parking tickets and rolling a stop sign.

Fed up with the dangerous driving, the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) had a letter published in The Oregonian today calling on UO to “take action now.”

Here’s why Sadowsky is so concerned…
(more…)

BTA launches privately funded ‘Jump Start’ program – UPDATED

Friday, January 20th, 2012
Training for a lifetime of bike rides
(Photo courtesy of the BTA)

Remember the old saying, “If you give someone a fish, they will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and they will eat for a lifetime”?

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is applying the idea in their Walk+Bike Jump Start program by training teachers in bike safety curriculum and giving schools a fleet of bikes to use for a full year. What makes this new program even more interesting though, is that the equipment for the program is being purchased with private donations instead of the state and federal grants the BTA usually relies on.

The BTA has partnered with the Gresham-Barlow School District and other organizations for a pilot of the program which will launch in September.
(more…)

Washington County transpo chief says future plans will prioritize bicycle infrastructure

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Andrew Singelakis at an Active
Transportation Forum in Oct 2010
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

Andrew Singelakis started his job as Washington County’s Director of Land Use and Transportation (LUT) In March 2010. Since then he’s overseen five county divisions, a department of about 300 employees, and an annual budget of just under $200 million.

The first 22 months of his time on the job have presented challenges; but he’s very optimistic about the future, including how the transportation network in Washington County can better serve bicycle traffic.

I connected with Singelakis recently via email to get his thoughts on Washington County and how he sees pedal-powered transportation continuing to develop in the suburbs.
(more…)

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