received a Bud Clark Award for lifetime achievement
from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in 2001.
(Photo courtesy BTA.)
An often-forgotten forefather of Portland’s street-level bike advocacy movement died last week.
Sam Oakland, an English professor, poet and author who rode his bicycle to work at what was then Portland State College, started rallying bicycle riders to attend City Hall hearings in the late 1960s and led citizen actions in support of Oregon’s groundbreaking 1971 Bike Bill.
“There just wasn’t a lot of advocacy going on at that time,” said Karen Frost, who followed in Oakland’s steps 25 years later as the first executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. “He was really kind of a prime mover.”
He called his volunteer network the “Bicycle Lobby,” and referred to himself only as its “clerk.”