league of american bicyclists
The organization that supports and coordinates the country’s state and local active transportation advocacy groups has a new boss, and she’s a Portlander.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking, which counts the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Oregon Walks among its many affiliates, announced Monday that it’s named Breen Goodwin as its new executive director. Though the Alliance has been based in Washington, D.C., since its founding in the late 1990s, Goodwin will be based in Portland.
“This is a special place for my family,” Goodwin, who grew up in Tacoma and who still has family there, explained in a brief interview Wednesday from her current workplace.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
If Andy Clarke has had a single mission in more than a decade at the League of American Bicyclists, it’s this: turning the U.S. bicycling movement from what he calls “a narrow special-interest group that by and large people don’t like” into “a public-interest group.”
Sam Adams might have left Portland for a job in Washington DC back in January; but it looks like the biking bug he caught while serving as our city’s mayor between 2008 to 2012 traveled with him.
Adams, who — for better or for worse — was a champion for bicycling throughout his political tenure in Portland, is now the newest member of League of American Bicyclist’s board of directors. In an announcement by the League yesterday they described Adams as “a strong advocate for safe bicycling and pedestrian options” who “helped expand Portland bikeways system by 75 miles, and focused new investments.” (more…)
Though Portland has been justly praised for regularly making it through many calendar years with zero deaths of people biking, it is clearly the most dangerous of the four cities recognized as the nation’s bike-friendliest.
For the years 2009-2013, Portland’s fatality rate per bike commuter was 75 percent higher than the officially listed average for the League of American Bicyclists’ four “Platinum” cities: Portland; Fort Collins, Colo.; Boulder, Colo.; and Davis, Calif. Its reported collision rate per bike commuter was 94 percent higher.
For the second time since the League of American Bicyclists began ranking U.S. states’ bike-friendliness in 2008, Oregon didn’t make the top five.
As it has in every year, Washington led the 2015 ranking that the League announced on Monday. Washington was followed this year by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts and Utah, then Oregon at sixth.
Though Oregon’s slip from third in 2013 (its all-time peak) to fifth last year to sixth this year certainly has echoes of the recent #DowngradePortland campaign launched by local bike advocates in an effort to persuade the League to rescind Portland’s “platinum” rating as a bike city, this statewide ranking is different. It’s also a ranking rather than a rating system, based on a 100-point scale that the League bases on a national questionnaire.
It’s been nearly seven years since the League of American Bicyclists bestowed Portland with its highest honor; a Platinum-level bicycle-friendly community designation.
Now there’s an effort to strip Portland of that award.
Platinum is the highest ranking possible in the League’s widely-respected program that judges cities with a combination of technical analysis, local expert interviews, and an application process. Portland is the only large city to reach this status — the other cities are Fort Collins and Boulder in Colorado and Davis, California. (more…)
Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio — who likes to mention in speeches that he’s the only member of Congress who has ever worked as a bicycle mechanic — is taking his fight for safer bicycling to the United States Government Accountability Office.
Citing a “troubling increase in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in recent years,” Rep. DeFazio has joined with fellow House Democrats Rick Larsen from Washington state and Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District of Columbia to request a GAO investigation into the issue.
In a statement released today, the trio said they want the GAO to investigate, “trends and causes of accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles and to make recommendations about improving safety.”
Like many of you, I’ve been following the events in Ferguson and around the country very closely these past two days. Flipping from headlines to my social media feed, my head has been spinning with thoughts on issues ranging from racism and white privilege to our justice system and media culture. As last night’s protests spilled into the streets and freeways across America last night, this story came even closer to my own sphere of activism.
The shooting of Michael Brown and the decision by a Grand Jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson isn’t a BikePortland story. We cover bike news and culture. But we also cover social issues — like sexism, racism, gentrification, and so on — that often intersect with bicycling.
So this morning, when I followed a link (shared by Elly Blue on Twitter) that led to a publication of the League of American Bicyclist’s Equity Initiative, I knew it was something I wanted to share here on the Front Page.
If your city proudly proclaims its Bicycle Friendly Community designation, you might want to re-read your application and make sure you didn’t exaggerate. That’s because Steve Clark, the new staffer in charge of the program for the League of American Bicyclists, is on a three-year, 300 city tour to find out if they live up to the hype. (more…)