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Oregon Bicycle Summit ends on poignant note

Posted by on April 16th, 2007 at 10:55 am

“We can’t leave this conference and go back to our silos.”
–Tom Jefferson, husband of the late Jane Higdon, in a speech at the Oregon Bicycle Summit.

Tom Jefferson, a soft-spoken and thoughtful cyclist from Eugene, was the final speaker at the Oregon Bicycle Summit. Jefferson is the husband of the late Jane Higdon, who was killed while riding her bicycle in Eugene last summer.

Jefferson gave us an update on efforts to honor Higdon’s death and he urged us to work together and “speak the same language” to make Oregon a safer place for bicycles,

“We can’t leave this conference and go back to our silos…we must stick together and build coalitions. We all have the vision, so now let’s go out and do it.”

Jefferson also told us that State Senator Floyd Prozanski is working to bring a “Share the Road” license plate to Oregon. Eugene also to take part in the Ride of Silence on May 16th as part of a worldwide effort to raise awareness of bicycles on the road.

One thing I took away from the Summit is that the bicycle movement is about far more than bike lanes and event rides. It’s about economic development, tourism, healthy transportation choices, and it’s also about the safety of all roadway users, which as Jefferson so eloquently reminded us, can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

For more reports and photos, visit my Oregon Bicycle Summit page.

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