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State Bicycle Recreation position faces cut

Posted by on April 16th, 2007 at 8:55 am

Oregon Bicycle Summit

Iris Riggs at the
Oregon Bicycle Summit.
File photo: 4/14/07

Important news from the Oregon Bicycle Summit

Iris Riggs (in photo) is Oregon’s first ever Bicycle Recreation Coordinator. She was hired last summer by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to help communities develop bicycle recreation resources, promote bicycle tourism, and more.

According to the BTA, the job was created after the, “culmination of years of work by the biking community.”

Now comes word that despite the position being included in the Governor’s recommended budget, a Ways and Means subcommittee in Salem has adopted the Parks budget without funds for this position.

This is a bad move for Oregon. There is an exciting and burgeoning effort to establish this state as the top destination for cycling and to continue to develop the already sizable impact bicycles have on our economy. A hole at this position will make our goals much harder to achieve.

As the Oregon Bicycle Summit demonstrated, there are many exciting bicycle programs, projects and initiatives going on in Oregon. We need someone to help us organize it all, to help communities find partnerships, to connect advocates with funding, and to help us promote the growing bicycle tourism industry.

Ms. Riggs is already moving forward in this position and we can’t let lawmakers pull the rug out from under her.

The budget (without this position) will now move to the full Ways and Means Committee sometime this week. We need to contact the members of that committee and encourage them to include funding for this important position in their budget.

Contact the legislature:

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It would be easier to defend the position if we knew what the position has accomplished.