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BTA will change name, expand mission to walking, transit and political action

by on June 6th, 2016 at 10:01 am

2013 BTA Alice Awards-17
BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky says the changes will usher in a new era of progress.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Change is afoot once again at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. The Portland-based nonprofit organization announced today that they’ve embarked on a major transition that will result in a new name, a new mission, and a new entity that will allow them to be more engaged in political lobbying.

“This is about building a broad political tent that can move policymakers.”
— Rob Sadowsky, executive director

The organization plans to no longer focus solely on bicycling and will expand their mission to include advocacy for better transit and walking. In addition, the BTA board has voted in favor of creating a 501c4 alongside the 501c3, a move that would give the BTA more tools to influence elections and politics through endorsements, direct political lobbying, phone-banking for candidates, and so on. The 501c4 would also offer memberships to other organizations with aligned missions: like Oregon Walks, the Community Cycling Center, 1000 Friends of Oregon, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and others. After the reorganization is complete the BTA could lead a new political action committee (PAC) that could have wide-ranging impacts on elections and policy measures statewide.

In an interview with BTA leadership last week I learned that this change has been in the works for many years.
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Join us Monday to learn about the history of Portland bicycling

by on April 22nd, 2016 at 2:23 pm

KEN History POSTER FEB 16 copy

Bike transportation is essential to the future of Portland. But every year it also becomes more and more a part of Portland’s history.

At a free event next week, a local biking writer and three Oregon biking advocates will meet up at a brewpub to talk about the history of biking in Portland — both its early heyday in the 1890s and the modern renaissance that began around 1970.

First, Portland author April Streeter (of Women on Wheels and Treehugger) will talk about seven “unforgettable characters who have shaped Portland’s bike culture,” going back to the 1800s.

Then Mychal Tetteh of the Community Cycling Center, Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Steve Schulz of Cycle Oregon will join a panel about the movement’s modern history. I’ll be moderating.

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BTA and environmental groups line up against bill that could boost bus service 42%

by on February 10th, 2016 at 2:08 pm

First snow day of 2014-1
The proposed tax hike would be enough to upgrade
20 bus lines to frequent service.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A coalition of transportation and environmental groups is opposing a payroll tax that would create a massive boost to TriMet bus service.

As reported Wednesday by The Oregonian, they’re doing so because the tax would fall flatly on both rich and poor workers, like TriMet’s existing payroll tax does.

The main differences: unlike TriMet’s employer-side payroll tax of 0.7337 percent, which is invisible to employees, this tax of 0.185 percent would appear on paychecks alongside Social Security and Medicare; and the revenue could be spent only on bus service, unlike other payroll taxes that have been earmarked for new rail service, bus service or construction projects.

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Portland-based director quits as national advocacy group faces unclear future

by on December 15th, 2015 at 10:14 am

breen
Breen Goodwin.
(Photo: Alliance for Biking and Walking)

The Alliance for Biking and Walking, part of the country’s web of nationwide biking advocacy groups, is facing a big funding gap and is likely to change in big ways.

Alliance executive director Breen Goodwin, a Portlander, had joined the staff on Sept. 1 but resigned last week, effective Dec. 31. Her plan had been to work remotely for the Washington D.C.-based Alliance.

Since its founding in 1996, the Alliance’s main role has been to provide support, training and coordination for the many local active transportation advocacy groups in the U.S. and Canada, such as the Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Community Cycling Center and Oregon Walks.

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State’s proposal to improve bike crossings of Powell: Remove bike lane from 26th

by on August 13th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

26th powell bike box
About 600 to 800 people a day currently bike on 26th to cross Powell. The city wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless the lanes and bike boxes at 26th are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is facing pressure from its counterparts at the Oregon Department of Transportation to do something it’s almost never done before: remove bike lanes from a street.

An ODOT official said she could not cite evidence other than the site-specific judgment of her engineering colleagues that removing the bike lane on SE 26th Avenue would improve overall road safety. But she said that because 26th is not as safe to bike on as 28th would be, it stands to reason that the bike lane on 26th should be removed in order to encourage people to cross at 28th.

Therefore, ODOT has agreed to approve the city’s request to add a new traffic signal at 28th and Powell only on the condition that the city remove the bike lane and bike box from 26th.

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New head of national bike-walk advocacy group will live in Portland

by on August 5th, 2015 at 12:14 pm

breen
Breen Goodwin.
(Photo: Alliance for Biking and Walking)

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.

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BTA statement on 26th and Powell collision questions state priorities

by on May 13th, 2015 at 11:22 am

robquotelead
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Rob Sadowsky, the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has issued a public statement about the serious injury collision that happened in southeast Portland on Sunday.
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Vision Zero coming into focus in Portland

by on November 12th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

BTA Annual meeting-2
BTA’s Rob Sadowsky sees a bright future for
Vision Zero in Portland.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Vision Zero (also known as Towards Zero Deaths) is a bold goal that’s also the name of a growing national movement to end the acceptance of fatalities and injuries on our roads as mere “accidents.” Advocates instead want to completely change our approach to street design and policy so that no one is hurt or killed while using them.

We’ve been talking about Vision Zero for years here in Portland, but there seems to finally be some tangible movement forward.

Tomorrow in New York City is the opening day of the Vision Zero for Cities Symposium and there will be several Portlanders making the trip. Rob Sadowsky, the leader of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Aaron Brown, a board member with Oregon Walks will be there. The City will send Gabriel Graff, the operations manager of the Active Transportation Division at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. (We’ve also heard that PPB Traffic Division Capt. Kelli Sheffer will also be at the symposium, but we’ve been unable to confirm her attendance.)
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Panel ponders Portland’s slide from cycling superstardom

by on September 23rd, 2014 at 1:34 pm

PBOT Lunch and Learn panel-1
Moderator Michael Andersen (on the left) and panelists Rob Sadowsky, Roger Geller, and Jessica Roberts.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

What happened to Portland? Did we really deserve to lose our spot atop the podium of America’s best bike cities? Is this whole stagnation thing for real?
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Q&A on ‘Vision Zero’: Three fatalities put city’s new safety promise to the test

by on February 17th, 2014 at 9:14 am

BTA Alice Awards 2010-36
We asked Bicycle Transportation Alliance Director Rob
Sadowsky to discuss Vision Zero in more detail.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Yan Huang, 78, was crossing Division Street on Valentine’s Day with her 80-year-old husband, walking in an unmarked crosswalk from curb to rounded-off curb across five lanes of auto traffic. She never reached the other side; a man in a left-turning pickup didn’t see the couple and steered into them, killing Huang.

The next day, Saturday, a silver minivan, whose driver remains at large, left the scene of its fatal collision with a person on foot on Southeast Powell at 124th.

On Sunday, a man was killed in a car when the drunken driver he was riding with slammed into a utility pole at Northeast 102nd and Fremont.

Deaths like these make news, but they’re not new. About one in 50 Americans will die an automobile crash. What’s new is that Portland’s transportation director says the city can and will begin to do something systematic to change this.

Safety advocates are urging fast action. Early Monday morning Oregon Walks launched a #PDXVisionZero Twitter hashtag and a petition to urge the city to follow through on Director Leah Treat’s promise to move toward “Vision Zero,” the philosophy that there is no acceptable level of traffic fatality.

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