Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 8th, 2005 at 3:34 pm
Tomorrow, the BTA will release a statement that outlines their response to the recent rash of bike/car collisions in the Portland metro area. I have received advanced permission to publish this press release to the bike community here on BikePortland.org.
The release of their “Five Part Plan” follows their recent Op-ed that ran in the Oregonian and it reinforces their commitment to cyclist’s rights.
- (1) Identification of, and advocacy for, site-specific engineering safety improvements.
They will visit crash scenes and advise city engineers on how to make them safer.
- (2) Advocacy for appropriate enforcement actions.
Make sure the guilty party receives a punishment equal to the crime.
- (3) Expanded driver and cyclist education efforts.
They will work to add bicycle awarenss to the DMV’s driver’s ed. test.
- (4) Improved identification of dangerous areas.
They will ask the city to fund an online, interactive crash reporting system.
- (5) Advocacy for a fair share of safety funding for bike and pedestrian projects.
They will lobby for more equal representation for cyclists in transporation funding.
Continue reading for the full release…
Bicycle Transportation Alliance Announces
Plan in Response to Cyclist Deaths
For Immediate Release August 9, 2005
Contact: Evan Manvel, Executive Director, 503-226-0676 x 12
In response to the Portland-area bicyclist fatalities this summer, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has called for a comprehensive community response to the recent bicycle fatalities, and announced its own five-part plan of action.
“While bicycling has become safer over time, we need to make sure we’re doing all we can. Everyone in the community needs to do their part to make sure our friends, neighbors, and family members will be safe when they choose to bike,” said Evan Manvel, Executive Director. “The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a natural leader in the effort to ensure that we share our roads safely. We’ve been doing a lot, but we’re planning on doing even more.”
As the state’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, many of the BTA’s programs promote bike safety. The BTA has lobbied for new laws, pushed for high-quality bike facilities, taught over 25,000 kids how to bike safely, provided resources to new adult bike commuters, and run a variety of public education efforts, including a bimonthly legal clinic for cyclists.
In response to the five recent fatalities in the Portland area, the BTA has set up a staff “crash team”, wrote an article about how the community should respond (read it at www.bta4bikes.org), and created its own five-part plan to reduce future crashes, and related injuries and fatalities.
The BTA’s plan:
(1) Identification of, and advocacy for, site-specific engineering safety improvements. The BTA’s crash team will review crash sites in the Portland Metro area and make recommendations to transportation departments on how to improve bike safety with engineering changes.
(2) Advocacy for appropriate enforcement actions. The BTA’s crash team will work with police departments and district attorneys’ offices and call for proper citations and charges in response to crashes.
(3) Expanded driver and cyclist education efforts. The BTA is working to expand its existing share the road education effort (see www.easytoshare.com). It is also working to improve the Department of Motor Vehicles’ education efforts, including expanded information in the Oregon Drivers’ Manual.
(4) Improved identification of dangerous areas. The BTA is asking the City of Portland to fund a web-based crash reporting system to identify dangerous areas, drawing on the experience of the ghostcycle.org database.
(5) Advocacy for a fair share of safety funding for bike and pedestrian projects. The BTA is calling for bike and pedestrian facilities in Oregon to receive Federal highway safety improvement money in proportion to the number of bikes and pedestrians that are killed. In the most recent data reviewed (2001-02), 14% of the fatalities in Oregon were pedestrians and bicycles, yet none of the Federal money earmarked for highway safety projects was spent on bike-pedestrian focused improvements. The BTA will advocate for a law requiring a fair share in the 2007 Legislature, and will lobby for individual projects until then.
While the recent deaths have received significant community attention, leading some to worry about safety, bicycling is becoming safer as more people bike. The number of bikeway miles and the number of cyclists have more than tripled since 1990, while the number of fatal crashes has remained relatively constant.
If members of the public are interested in volunteering with the BTA’s crash team, or have other suggestions on how to make biking safer in our region, e-mail the BTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (503) 226-0676.
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a non-profit grassroots organization creating healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safer, more convenient and more accessible. The BTA works to protect and promote the rights of cyclists on the grassroots and legislative levels, and educates kids and adults about safe and legal bicycling.
For more information about the BTA, please visit www.bta4bikes.org.