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‘Policymakers’ get taste of Portland’s good, bad, and ugly bikeways

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Policymakers Ride 2014-46
Oregon State Senator Ginny Burdick and former Portland Mayor Bud Clark rode in the (narrow and outdated) Naito Parkway bike lanes during the Policymakers Ride last Friday.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

For ten years now there’s been one annual organized ride that might have more impact on biking in the Portland region than any other. It’s not the largest or the most high-profile ride, but it’s list of invitees definitely carries the most clout: I’m talking about the Policymakers Ride.
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Mayor Greg Ballard will bring wisdom from Indianapolis to Portland next month

Friday, June 20th, 2014
ballardbyannis
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.
(Photo by Rob Annis)

Though the flow of gawkers from other city governments to Portland may have ebbed a bit, our city still draws its share of leaders from around the country to see our streets in action.

But next month, Cycle Oregon is turning that tradition on its head: at the suggestion of Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller, it’s bringing the mayor of Indianapolis on its 10th annual Policymakers’ Ride (a.k.a. the Visionary Voyage), so one of the country’s bike-friendliest mayors can offer insights to his counterparts here in Portland.

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Columbia River Gorge lays out a feast for pedaling policymakers

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-17
Elected leaders and transportation officials from Oregon and Washington got on bikes last weekend and got inspired by the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Friday, the Columbia River Gorge put its best face forward, and the timing couldn’t have been better.
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Bigwigs set to roll on 8th annual ‘Policymakers Ride’

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Policymakers Ride-39
In 2010, the ride showed regional officials
just how bad the Interstate Bridge is for bikes.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the spirit of the ancient proverb: “Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand,” on Friday, dozens of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s most prominent politicians and powerful bureaucrats will hop on bikes for the eighth annual “Policymakers Ride.”

The invite-only ride, hatched in 2005 by staffers from Metro and Cycle Oregon, has grown considerably over the years. Its intent is simple: Instead of testifying to them at public meetings and writing them letters, get key decision makers onto a bike and show them the good, bad, and ugly of our regional bikeway and trail network (or what Metro calls “the Intertwine“.)
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Policymakers connect on bi-state ride

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
Tour of Tomorrow
Former Mayors Bud Clark
and Vera Katz.
(File photo)

The meaning of last Friday’s Tour of Tomorrow bike ride can be summed up by one simple fact: a majority of the Metro Council (4 of 7 members) rode the entire 40 mile, bi-state route.

The ride — which was created by Oregonian columnist and Cycle Oregon founder Jonathan Nicholas and Mike Houck from the Urban Greenspaces Institute — is meant to foster connections between decision makers and create a, “shared vision for a regional bicycle route network.”

With over 100 hand-picked politicos, planners, and advocates, and deluxe support from the Cycle Oregon crew, the ride has become an annual outdoor networking and educational opportunity like no other. (more…)

Tour of Tomorrow will put policymakers in the saddle

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Roll On Columbia! ride
Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard and
Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder
on last year’s ride.
(File photo)

For the third year, a who’s-who list of regional bigwigs and policy makers from Portland and Vancouver will escape from their cubicles for an up-close look at the highs-and-lows of our regional bikeway network.

The “Visionaries Voyage” was the brainchild of Cycle Oregon founder Jonathan Nicholas and Mike Houck of the Urban Greenspaces Institute.

I was lucky enough to be invited last year and it was a memorable experience (read my report and see photos here). Highlights included riding across the I-5 bridge with Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, and getting to know a whole host of planners and politicians.
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Velo visionaries gather for two state tour

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
Roll On Columbia! ride
[Jonathan Nicholas
emceed the event.]

Last Friday over 100 bigwigs assembled at PDX Airport for the second annual “policymakers ride”. Organized by Cycle Oregon, the idea behind this invite-only affair was to bring together a high-powered group of bureaucrats, planners, advocates, and politicians to experience the highs and lows of our regional bikeway network first-hand.

Why is Cycle Oregon behind a ride like this?

Besides putting on their famous week-long tour each year, Cycle Oregon is working to create a statewide system of scenic bikeways. What better way to create awareness for gaps in the network (and do some lobbying) than to get all the decision makers on a beautiful ride, feed them, and give them free stuff (we got jerseys, gloves and socks from Pearl Izumi, which is owned by Vancouver-based Nautilus Inc.)?
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Cycle Oregon announces Visionaries Voyage ride

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006
Cycle Oregon/Scenic Bikeway ride
[Jonathan Nicholas at
last year's ride.]

Last year Metro and Cycle Oregon teamed up to host a bike ride from the Eastbank Esplanade to Champoeg State Park. They informally called it the “Policymakers Ride”. It was an invite-only affair to showcase a future Portland-to-Champoeg leg of Oregon State Parks’ Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway Route.

On the ride were all sorts of bike and transportation bigwigs including former Mayor Bud Clark and reps from Metro, Oregon Parks and Recreation, BTA, PDOT, and others.
(more…)

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