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Comment of the Week: The slow, possible work of progress

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Morrison Bridge bike-walk path dedication event-24
Ahh – can you feel that? That’s a successful
postcard campaign from 15 years ago.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There’s nothing new under the sun, but effective political tactics have a way of staying effective.

That’s what reader and legendary bike advocate Phil Goff observed this week in a comment beneath Tuesday’s post about a series of postcard campaigns by activist group Bike Loud PDX:

This is exactly what I did 15-16 years ago to create the political pressure to bring in funding for the Morrison Bridge sidepath project. On two occasions, I had 300-400 signed postcards mailed to Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein (to get the County’s attention) and then 6 mo later to Metro Council chair Rod Monroe during the MTIP process. In the age of e-mail, Twitter and FB, a simple postcard campaign can pack a lot of punch. Its great to hear that advocates are reviving the tactic for other projects. Good luck BikeLoudPDX!

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BikeLoudPDX postcard campaign amplifies the grassroots

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
zed ted marsha
Bike Loud volunteers Zed Bailey, Ted Buehler and Marsha Hanchrow show off signed and stamped postcards in favor of permanent traffic diverters gathered from people using Clinton Street.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s newest bike advocacy organization is bringing back the postcard.

In the last few weeks, three Portland city officials have received an estimated “three or four hundred” individually stamped postcards from Portlanders sharing their opinions about local transportation projects on Southeast Clinton Street, Southwest Third Avenue and Northeast Rodney Avenue.

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Safety advocates win on Clinton: city installs barricades during Division detour

Friday, August 29th, 2014
type three barrier
The city’s two new temporary barricades at 26th and Clinton created a visual cue that reduced detour traffic onto the SE Clinton Street bike boulevard.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Hours before a pair of protest rides were planned to start, the City of Portland on Friday used light barricades to reduce through auto traffic on Clinton Street during the remaining week of a detour for eastbound traffic on Division.

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Community demands change as SE Clinton remains in the spotlight

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
bikeloudontv
Bike Loud PDX founder Alex Reed made
local TV headlines in his group’s
first-ever protest action.

Traffic conditions on SE Clinton have created a perfect storm for concerned members of the community who are pushing to maintain the street’s status as a low-stress bicycle boulevard.

Three years ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation was so eager to show that Clinton was a bicycle route that it became the first street in the city to receive special, bike-inspired signage. It was a marketing push PBOT called the Clinton Street Bike Boulevard Enhancement Project.

But those signs don’t seem to be doing much. Since then, Clinton has become a popular cut-through for drivers looking to avoid SE Division. Even before the City threatened to detour auto users onto Clinton during the recent paving project on Division, we had already reported about concerns and calls for more diverters to keep them away.

Thankfully, after community outcry the City reversed its detour plans. But the problem remains and now volunteer activists have taken to the street in hopes of strengthening their calls for change.
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New activist group off to fast start: First protest ride is tonight – UPDATED

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
First meeting of BikeLoudPDX-6
On Saturday at a brewpub in southeast, concerned citizens got down to the business of making Portland a better biking city.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Spurred into action by Portland’s Great Bike Stagnation and a growing realization that this town needs a bike advocacy shot-in-the-arm, a group calling itself BikeLoudPDX held its first ever meeting on Saturday.
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