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Biking matters most to lowest-income local households, new data shows

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
34% of Portland-area bike commuters come from the poorest 25% of local working households.
Source: Census Transportation Planning Projects. Chart by BikePortland.

Last week, we shared some new Census data showing that people who bike to work in Portland have quicker commutes than you might expect. This week, let's look at a different question: who bikes? (more...)

4 things U.S. college towns could teach planners about biking

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Thousands of bicycles
The University of Oregon campus in Eugene.
(Photo by Gene Bisbee.)

Here's a secret you won't hear often: The United States has many cities where biking is far more popular than in Portland.

Two of them are just a two-day bike trip away.

They're called college towns. And it's time for urban planners to stop ignoring how well they work and start learning from them.

(more...)

Six lessons for Portland from the League's new 'Women Bike' report

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
woman on a bike
Common, but not quite common enough.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Even in Portland, people who really ought to know better (links to FB) still claim now and then that biking is a thing for young dudes.

Still, in a town where only 31 percent of people on bikes tend to be female (it's about 25 percent nationally) we've got a long way to go until, as in Germany or the Netherlands, our biking population is evenly split by gender. Portland's failure to change this ratio for 10 years can be discouraging to people who think everyone deserves to feel welcome on a bike.

That's why there's a lot to celebrate in a new report by the League of American Bicyclists that rounds up dozens of statistics about women and bikes. Culled from industry reports, political polls and academic studies, a few of the report's figures are pretty surprising...

(more...)

Oregon moves up to third in new Bike-Friendly State rankings

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Oregon Bicycle Summit
Bike rack in Sisters, Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The League of American Bicyclists released their annual Bicycle Friendly States rankings today. Oregon came in third place, which is up from fifth place in 2012 and represents a significant improvement over our eighth place ranking in 2011. The top state in the 2013 rankings is our northern neighbor Washington (they were also #1 last year), Colorado came in second, and Minnesota and Delaware rounded out the top five.

The rankings, which first came out in 2008, are determined primarily through a questionnaire sent to each state's bicycle coordinator (in Oregon that title belongs to Sheila Lyons at the Oregon Department of Transportation). Answers from the questionnaire are then fact-checked by League staff in collaboration with leaders from bike advocacy groups. The League scored each state on how well they performed in five categories: legislation and enforcement; programs and policies; infrastructure; education and encouragement; and evaluation and planning. Among those five categories, Oregon fared poorly in the "infrastructure and funding" category, earning just 20-40% of the total possible points. (more...)

Inspired by Copenhagen, League reveals more about 'Diamond' program

Friday, April 19th, 2013
Marching orders from the League.

Portland is one of just three cities in the U.S. to have achieved a Platinum level designation for bike-friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists. Platinum used to be the highest level a city could earn; but now there's Diamond and the League just announced details on what it will take to reach it.

Does Portland have a chance? Do we even care?

In the current issue of their American Bicyclist magazine, the League's Bill Nesper writes that they worked with none other than Andreas Rohl, head of the bike program for the City of Copenhagen, to help design the Diamond program. (You might recall Rohl from his appearance at the 2009 National Bike Summit.) Like the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, Nesper says Diamond eligibility will be, "based on tangible metrics and citizen satisfaction." He also unveiled "Five key performance areas of he Diamond assessment":

» Percentage of trips to work and school by bike.
» Bicyclist safety.
» Public perception of safety.
» Public satisfaction.
» Quality of bicycling network, programs and policies

The League will award points based on those five areas on a 100-point scale: (more...)

The national security argument for Safe Routes to School

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Buckman Elem. bike safety class
More cycling = more soldiers.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland

In case you haven't heard, there's a battle royale going on in the U.S. Congress over the transportation bill right now. Members of the House and Senate are in negotiations to come up with some sort of agreement about how to actually pass a bill, instead of just extending the current one for the umpteenth time.

Included in these high-level talks are, once again, threats to change how cities and states fund projects that improve biking and walking. House Republicans and some Senators say they want to take away local control over spending on key programs like Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails.

Suffice it to say, League of American Bicyclists president Andy Clarke isn't taking it well. He's pressing California Senator Barbara Boxer to reject the Republicans' "small-minded and vindictive attacks" against bicycling and keep her promise to maintain these programs and retain local control over them. In a blog post this week, Clarke listed his top 10 reasons why Congress should not mess with biking and walking programs. (more...)

Two more Portlanders will add their voices to League of American Bicyclists Board

Friday, January 28th, 2011
Oregon Bike Summit 2010-32
Alison Hill Graves
(Photo © J. Maus)
Steve Durrant
(Photo: Alta Planning)

(more...)

Oregon slips to 5th in bike-friendly state rankings

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
... After they're done dreaming about
WA, WI, ME and MN.

The League of American Bicyclists has released rankings for their Bicycle Friendly States program. Oregon earned the fifth spot this year, slipping from the fourth spot we've held the previous two years. For the third year in a row, Washington retained the top spot with Wisconsin coming in second.

Moving up to take fourth place away from Oregon this year was Minnesota -- home to Minneapolis, the city that unseated Portland from the top spot in a recent list of bike friendly cities by Bicycling Magazine.

Here are the top five: (more...)

Bike Gallery named Platinum-level bike friendly business

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves
working on a bike during the
Cycle Oregon weekend ride last
summer.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Bike Gallery -- a company that runs six bike shops in the Portland area -- has been named a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists.

The family-run shops, now headed by Jay Graves, are one of only two businesses in the country to achieve the Platinum designation, which -- similar to their Bicycle Friendly Community program -- is the League's highest honor (the other is New Belgium Brewing based in Colorado).

The Bicycle Friendly Business program is in its second year and 34 businesses have been chosen so far. Other Portland area businesses that have been recognized through this program are; Alta Planning + Design (Gold), Portland Providence Medical Center (Silver), and Beaverton-based Easystreet Online Services (Bronze). (more...)

Press Release: SRAM Gives $400K to Advocacy Groups

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Great news on the advocacy front: SRAM has announced a $400K grant to the Thunderhead Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists. Here is the press release:

SRAM Cycling Fund Awards $400,000 to the League of American Bicyclists and Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking

SRAM has announced a grant of $400,000 to the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists to boost the advocacy capacity of local cyclists. (more...)

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