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Oregon Active Transportation Summit

This annual event (originally started in 2006 as the Oregon Bicycle Tourism Summit) brings together policymakers, advocates and citizen activists to learn, network, and actively lobby the state legislature to improve bicycling, walking and public transit.

BikeLoudPDX hits Active Transportation Summit with “not-so-cool infrastructure” flyer

by on March 15th, 2016 at 11:42 am

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Bike Loud PDX co-chairs Emily Guise (L),
Jessica Engelman, and Ted Buehler.
(Photo: BikeLoudPDX)

Leaders of the all-volunteer transportation activist group Bike Loud PDX were at this week’s Oregon Active Transportation Summit with a message you don’t usually hear at those type of events: Portland ain’t all that.

Bike Loud PDX passed out a two-page flyer to summit attendees encouraging them to not only learn about Portland’s success but also “talk about the not-so-cool infrastructure we have too.”

Here’s the text from the flyer: (more…)

Could it work here? How Seattle’s big new housing compromise came together

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 15th, 2016 at 9:44 am

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Seattle’s recent housing breakthrough may have lessons for keeping bikeable parts of Portland affordable.
(Photo: Adam Coppola)

Here’s one way to think about the political battle over housing in growing cities, spelled out Monday at an Oregon Active Transportation Summit panel: it’s got three main interest groups.

One group is social-justice advocates and tenants. These people are generally interested in keeping prices lower one way or another, especially for the lowest-income people.

One group is environmentalists, businesses and the development industry. These people are (for various reasons) generally interested in increasing the number of people living in the city.

The third group is a highly active subset of single-family homeowners. These people are generally interested in maintaining or increasing the value of their property, especially while keeping things the way they were when they bought it.

(more…)

Faces in the crowd at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit

by on March 14th, 2016 at 3:39 pm

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About 300 people at the summit this year.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

BikePortland is covering the Oregon Active Transportation Summit today and tomorrow. We’ve been tweeting updates via #ATSummit and you might have caught our previous post with a recap of the action from the opening speech by Lynn Peterson and a few of the morning sessions.

Between speeches and panel discussions, I try to talk with as many people as possible. The summit serves a wide variety of interests — from agency directors to planners, citizen activists to non-profit staff and volunteers. It’s fun to catch up with such a diverse group and find out about the interesting projects and programs they’re working on. Below are just a few of the folks I ran into…

John Landolfe, transportation options coordinator at Oregon Health & Science University

(more…)

Active Transportation Summit dispatch: Vision Zero and the myth of freight

by on March 14th, 2016 at 1:12 pm

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Lynn Peterson, former Director of Transportation
for the State of Washington, spoke at this
morning’s opening plenary.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The “shared vision” of transportation reform advocates was literally on display at the kickoff of the Oregon Active Transportation Summit this morning. The event, organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, is being held at the Sentinel hotel in downtown Portland today and tomorrow.

I’m covering the action for the first part of the day, then our News Editor Michael Anderson will take over in the afternoon.

The summit started with an opening speech by Lynn Peterson, the former transportation policy advisor to former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber who was recently forced out of her position as director of Washington’s Department of Transportation.
(more…)

2016 Active Transportation Summit will tackle freight, housing, the Gorge and more

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 22nd, 2016 at 4:28 pm

OR Active Transpo Summit-35
A plenary session at the 2013 Active
Transportation Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Once a year, Portland’s biking, walking, transit and public-space wonks gather to share what they’ve been learning and thinking lately.

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit, which runs March 13-15 at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland, isn’t cheap to attend, unless you compare it to almost any other conference. But it’s a feast for the brain, and this year’s agenda has quite a few interesting sessions.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Lynn Peterson, Washington’s recently ousted state transportation secretary; Seleta Reynolds, general manager of Los Angeles’ transportation department; and Jim Sayer, executive director of the Adventure Cycling Association.

(more…)

Portland’s joyfully nerdy new Multimodal Singers quartet brings poetry to motion

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 1st, 2015 at 9:02 am

ellen arms up 600
Retired PBOT staffer Ellen Vanderslice is one of four vocalists (all with architecture degrees) behind the new Multimodal Singers quartet.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Read more of our coverage from the Oregon Active Transportation Summit. (more…)

Weak links: City finds traffic hot spots on neighborhood greenway system

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 31st, 2015 at 9:55 am

auto count map

The first numbers are rolling in from the first comprehensive analysis of the country’s first connected bicycle boulevard network, and they show some clear problem spots.

SE Clinton at 22nd.

The side-street bikeways are known in Portland as neighborhood greenways to capture their appeal as places to walk, jog, shoot hoops and so on. But the City of Portland’s project shows that six — inner SE Clinton, SE Lincoln near 53rd, NE Tillamook near Grant High School, SE 86th near Powell, inner Northwest Johnson and upper NW 24th — clearly fail national standards for auto counts on bike boulevards.

(more…)

Q&A: NYC’s top biking advocate wants you to talk more about death

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 27th, 2015 at 10:50 am

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Paul Steely White at the 2010
National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Talking about “livable streets” is out; talking about “safe streets” is in.

That’s the advice from Paul Steely White, executive director of the country’s largest local transportation advocacy group. The executive director of New York City-based Transportation Alternatives since 2004, White was a major force behind the city’s emergence as a national leader in reimagining streets as pleasant public spaces.

But as he heads to Portland for a keynote address Monday to the Oregon Active Transportation Summit, White is urging his fellow believers in livable streets to readjust their message when talking to politicians and the public. We spoke by phone on Thursday about why and how his organization has put Vision Zero, the campaign to completely eliminate road deaths, at the middle of their message.

Are you on a national Vision Zero tour, or is this a one-off thing?

(more…)

Q&A: Melissa Wells on everyone’s stake in transportation equity

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 27th, 2015 at 9:34 am

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Melissa Wells, program associate
for the equity think tank PolicyLink.
(Photo via Bicycle Transportation Alliance)

In 25 years, half the U.S. workforce will be of Latino, black or Asian descent — so if you ever plan on having a nurse, you’d better start caring about social equity.

That’s the way Melissa Wells, a program associate at D.C.-based equity nonprofit PolicyLink and co-leader of the national Transportation Equity Caucus, explains every American’s stake in racial justice.

Wells, who’s headed to Portland for a keynote address Monday to the Oregon Active Transportation Summit, spoke with me by phone on Thursday about the dilemma of improving neighborhoods without raising rents and whether a new president is likely to roll back federal transportation policy changes.

(more…)

Reflective clothing mandate, other bike bills up for hearing in Oregon house – UPDATED

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 25th, 2015 at 9:24 am

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One bill would ban nighttime biking
without reflective clothing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE: Davis’ office says the reflective clothing idea will not move forward. See our update here.

Oregon’s biggest legislative session for bike-related issues in years will come to its first peak on Monday, but many biking advocates have a prior engagement.

Awkwardly, five separate bills that could make big differences for biking will get hearings in Salem on the same day that dozens of Oregon biking leaders and professionals are scheduled to gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The bills to be tackled include HB 3255, which would ban nighttime bike use for people not wearing reflective clothing; SB 533 A, which would permit someone on a bike or motorcycle to proceed through an unresponsive red light after a full cycle; HB 2621, which would let Portland issue speeding tickets on its high-crash corridors using unmanned photo radar; HB 3035, which allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets; and SJR 16, which would refer a bill to the voters in 2016 that would allow car-related taxes and fees to be spent on off-road transportation projects.

(more…)