BikePortland

“Father of the Bicycle Bill” passes away


[Update: Obituary published in local newspaper.]

I just got word that Don Stathos has passed away. Back in 1971, Stathos introduced the Bicycle Bill into the state legislature. The bill demanded that a minimum of 1 percent of highway construction funds went to building bike paths on newly built and reconstructed roads. At the time this concept of committing public money to bike lanes was revolutionary. In 2001 the BTA awarded Don with the Bud Clark Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to cyclists.

Stathos believed the role of government was to improve the quality of life for citizens-including preserving our option to walk or bike. Narrow roads without shoulders or sidewalks took away that choice. His bill passed into law as ORS 366.514.

Here are a few quotes attributed to Don Stathos:

“If you wanted to do something you were going to drive, not necessarily because you were lazy; but because there were no other options.”

“We’ve constructed this nation so that it’s impossible to stay in good physical shape, that’s a sad commentary on the richest nation in the world.”

Everyone who rides a bike in Portland enjoys the legacy of Don Stathos’ vision. Thank you Don.

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