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2016 Active Transportation Summit will tackle freight, housing, the Gorge and more

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 22nd, 2016 at 4:28 pm

OR Active Transpo Summit-35
A plenary session at the 2013 Active
Transportation Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Once a year, Portland’s biking, walking, transit and public-space wonks gather to share what they’ve been learning and thinking lately.

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit, which runs March 13-15 at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland, isn’t cheap to attend, unless you compare it to almost any other conference. But it’s a feast for the brain, and this year’s agenda has quite a few interesting sessions.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Lynn Peterson, Washington’s recently ousted state transportation secretary; Seleta Reynolds, general manager of Los Angeles’ transportation department; and Jim Sayer, executive director of the Adventure Cycling Association.

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BTA and environmental groups line up against bill that could boost bus service 42%

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 10th, 2016 at 2:08 pm

First snow day of 2014-1
The proposed tax hike would be enough to upgrade
20 bus lines to frequent service.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A coalition of transportation and environmental groups is opposing a payroll tax that would create a massive boost to TriMet bus service.

As reported Wednesday by The Oregonian, they’re doing so because the tax would fall flatly on both rich and poor workers, like TriMet’s existing payroll tax does.

The main differences: unlike TriMet’s employer-side payroll tax of 0.7337 percent, which is invisible to employees, this tax of 0.185 percent would appear on paychecks alongside Social Security and Medicare; and the revenue could be spent only on bus service, unlike other payroll taxes that have been earmarked for new rail service, bus service or construction projects.

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Guest post: Advocate and bike scene veteran Carl Larson says goodbye

by on January 15th, 2016 at 3:23 pm

2014 Bike Fair-10
Carl Larson at the 2014 Multnomah County Bike Fair.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This is a guest post from Carl Larson, a Portland bike advocate and all-around bicycle culture Renaissance man. Amid many other bike-related activities including bike polo, World Naked Bike Ride, Mini Bike Winter, Zoobomb and Pedalpalooza, he’s worked for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance since 2008, currently as its engagement manager. The BTA is eliminating the job on Jan. 31.

“I feel sheepish about suggesting anyone would care about my memories but they’re not just mine,” Larson writes. “These highlights remind me of what a ride so many of us have been on and it’s been really fun to look back at some of them. It has helped me, and will hopefully help others, recognize the BTA at its best.”

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As a big election year looms, Bike Walk Vote PAC is looking for new leaders

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on December 24th, 2015 at 11:54 am

Bike Walk Vote candidate party-11
Future Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick speaks at a 2012 event for Bike Walk Vote-endorsed candidates.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2016, Portlanders will vote on a local gas tax, a new mayor, a transportation commissioner, a regional council and a governor.

If you make between approximately $7,000 and $100,000 a year, you’ve probably got $50 in free money from the State of Oregon to spend in 2015 on a candidate or political committee of your choice.

That’s the fact of Oregon’s unusual but underused political tax credit system.

But for people who believe that Oregon should be reducing its dependence on cars, the odd complication is that no political committee active on those issues seems to be asking for that money — even as Portland heads into an election year that will shape transportation issues for years to come.

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New BTA policy looks to make its biking advocacy more racially equitable

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on November 12th, 2015 at 9:08 am

diego hernandez
Diego Hernandez, a Reynolds School District board member running for the state legislature, speaks at a BTA event Tuesday advocating for Metro to fund safer streets in East Multnomah County through a regional Safe Routes to School program.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s largest biking advocacy group has, for the first time, created a written policy to help it fight racial disparities in transportation.

“The reality of Portland is that while we are one of the whitest cities in America, it’s not going to be a white city forever.”
— Rob Sadowsky, BTA

As the most bikeable areas of Portland grow even whiter and many less bikeable areas grow even more diverse, the group says it needs to focus more on building “a community where everyone from all racial backgrounds has access to safe, healthy, and affordable transportation options.”

“The reality of Portland is that while we are one of the whitest cities in America, it’s not going to be a white city forever,” Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said Wednesday. “Over half of Portland Public Schools students already are students of color.”

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Legislators’ letter urges Metro to fund regional Safe Routes to School program

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on October 8th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

saferoutes
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Eight state legislators are chiming in their support of regional government Metro creating a regional Safe Routes to School program.

The proposal, which comes from a coalition of local transportation, health and justice advocacy groups, already has formal backing from the cities of Beaverton, Tigard, Milwaukie and Forest Grove, as well as the Beaverton School Board. It’s currently on track to become a major public issue next spring.

The idea is to dedicate some of the increasingly flexible federal transportation money that flows through Metro to giving elementary schools throughout the region an option to get a few classes in safe biking and walking, and to focus money for better crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways around the same schools.

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Street party caps Bike Commute Challenge, BTA says event will move to May

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on October 8th, 2015 at 11:15 am

bcc awards drawing
Eagerly awaiting awards for the most dedicated bike commuters.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

More than 200 people came to the parking lot of Portland Design Works Wednesday to celebrate the 2015 Bike Commute Challenge — which may also be the last one to be held in September.

In 2016, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance announced, the BTA will move its annual friendly competition to May to coincide with National Bike Month.

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Local traffic victims’ families will band together to form new voice for safety

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on October 6th, 2015 at 10:00 am

kristi finney families for safe streets

Kristi Finney talks to fellow safety advocates Monday to plan the launch of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A group of people who’ve lost family members on Portland-area streets has seen the success of their peers in New York City and is preparing to launch a similar organization here.

“I really am interested in behavior change, cultural change.”
— Kristi Finney

If you know anyone who has lost loved ones to traffic — whether the victim was walking, biking or driving — Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets is building its network in advance of a planned Nov. 15 launch.

Families for Safe Streets has been a key force behind New York’s rapid adoption of a Vision Zero policy that prioritizes traffic safety over traffic speed. This spring, NYC transportation advocate Paul Steely White told us he’d “never seen a campaign have so much influence over elected officials in such a sort time.”

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BTA’s new Women Bike program aims to link up Portlanders who ride

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on August 19th, 2015 at 9:49 am

Cyclofemme ride-25
The program will be
modeled on ones in DC and Philadelphia.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With companies and groups for female bike users popping up across the Portland area, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has launched a new program aiming to stitch together their social scenes.

From the women’s cyclocross course at Gladys Bikes to the women and trans wrench night at the Bike Farm to the mom-focused Andando en Bicicletas en Cully club to the Ride Like a Girl training program, lots of Portland-area bike lovers have been throwing themselves into making it easier and more fun for women to ride.

Thanks to a new grant from Metro, the BTA now has a half-time staffer to support those efforts and build other such networks of women who bike. The advocacy group’s first Women Bike commute clinic is tomorrow (8/20).

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Protected bike lanes on east Powell? Meeting Monday could sway plan

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on June 5th, 2015 at 4:05 pm

outer powell street view
Google Street View of Powell near 149th.

If the four-mile stretch of Powell Boulevard east of Interstate 205 is completely rebuilt in a few years, it could get some of Portland’s highest-quality bike lanes.

Some advocates say a meeting this Monday evening is the best chance yet to support Dutch-style raised bike lanes on outer Southeast Portland’s most important east-west arterial.

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