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Q&A: The League’s outgoing president on state of biking in Portland and beyond

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
National Bike Summit Congressional Reception-5
Andy Clarke at the Congressional Reception of the 2013 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.
(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.”
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Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams named to League of American Bicyclists board

Friday, June 5th, 2015
adamspic
Sam Adams
(Photo: World Resources Institute)

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…)

Seven years after ‘Platinum,’ Portland’s collision and fatality rates remain well above its peers

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
building blocks of bfc
An infographic by the League of American Bicyclists showing the average performance of the communities they identify as bike-friendly.
(Zoomable PDF.)

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.

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Utah and Massachusetts jump past Oregon in bike-friendly state rankings

Monday, May 11th, 2015
Look Forward
Riding in Salt Lake City.
(Photo: Jake Cain)

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.

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Petition launched to strip Portland of ‘Platinum’ bike-friendly status

Monday, April 13th, 2015
vanluelead2
Petition at Change.org.

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…)

DeFazio leads trio requesting GAO investigation into bike/walk safety

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Transpo bill press conference-4
Rep. DeFazio in September 2010.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.”
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Ferguson, equity, and active transportation

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
leagueslideslead
A slide from Seeing & Believing in Bike Equity

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.
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Watch out bike-friendly cities, Steve Clark is coming for you

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Steve Clark - League of American Bicyclists
Steve Clark in Portland last week.
(Photo by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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…)

Oregon ranked 5th most bike-friendly state by the League

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The League of American Bicyclists has ranked Oregon the fifth most bike friendly state in the nation. This ranking marks a slip of two places from our third place ranking last year. Since these rankings debuted in 2008, Oregon has only been out of the top five one time with an eighth-place in 2011 (which the Oregon Department of Transportation took exception to).

While no ranking system is perfect (and most of them are nothing but click-bait garbage) the League of American Bicyclists does have some credibility and they have a rigorous set of criteria that they use to weight a state’s success in integrating bicycling into transportation plans, policies, and projects.
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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…)

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