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

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
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

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
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

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
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

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
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

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
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

Monday, February 17th, 2014
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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Criticisms leveled at the BTA: Their leader responds

Friday, March 9th, 2012

“We believe we can catch more flies with honey than we can with vinegar… I don’t think direct action will turn around city council or businesses.”
— Rob Sadowsky, BTA executive director

Back in January, Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder took to a public forum and dropped a pretty hefty insult on the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). The comment left by Burkholder on a widely read urban planning blog was notable, not just because the level of candor was rare for an elected official (especially in always-nice Portland), but because Burkholder is one of the BTA’s founders.

Burkholder’s opinion came out in the form of a comment on the popular Sightline blog. The blog post was a top ten list of the best things European cities are doing to improve bicycling conditions.

Here are some snips from Burkholder’s comment (emphasis mine): (more…)

How two leaders respond to thorny bike issues

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

“Together, let’s say, ‘I solemnly pledge to behave as considerately as possible no matter how I get around.’”
— Part of a crowd exercise led by Mia Birk in response to a fired up citizen

One of the many things that keeps my fire burning here at BikePortland is a sense that knowledge is power. I know it’s almost trite, but from where I sit, it’s something that proves itself almost every day. Bottom line is that when you know the context of an issue and you know how to respectfully convey your opinion, you can have a huge influence.

On that note, I wanted to bring to your attention two very smart people who have recently shared how they responded to two issues that have a long and storied history of thorniness in the bike world — helmet use and the ‘all-cyclists-are-scofflaws-and-we-need-to-start-enforcing-laws-against-them’ thing.
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An interview and “reflections” from BTA’s new leader

Friday, September 3rd, 2010
BTA Alice Awards 2010-36
Mr. Sadowsky is settling in.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The BTA’s new executive director Rob Sadowsky has been at the helm for about two months now. Between getting to know a new city and state (he moved here with his family from Chicago), setting the BTA’s course for the future, and trying to build an effective bike movement here in Portland, Rob’s got a lot on his shoulders.

Luckily for all of us, I believe Rob’s up to the task.

I look forward to sitting down with him next week for an in-depth chat about the BTA’s strategic visioning process and what the future holds for the organization. But for now, I thought I’d highlight a few recently published articles, one in Street Roots and the other from Rob himself, that tell us a bit more about what’s on his mind. (more…)

Guest Article: Another big idea: Make driving less convenient

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

[The following article was written by new executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Rob Sadowsky.]


Another big idea

“To make a significant dent in bicycling mode share in Portland…we need to take significant steps to limiting the convenience of driving a car.”

I was excited to read the various ‘Big Ideas’ submitted to BikePortland, even my favorite — the giant slide down Mt. Hood. To make a significant dent in bicycling mode share in Portland, and in the region, we need not only big bold infrastructure ideas, but we need to take significant steps to limiting the convenience of driving a car. (more…)

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