(Photo courtesy Catherine Ciarlo)
This Wednesday, City Council will appoint two new members to the Portland Planning Commission. One of those seats will go to former Executive Director of the Bicycle Transporation Alliance, Catherine Ciarlo.
Ciarlo — who is also on the board of
the Coalition for a Livable Future Cycle Oregon — led the BTA from 1998-2005 and is now the Executive Director of Oregon Women Lawyers (she has a law degree from Lewis and Clark College).
In an email this morning, Ciarlo said she’s “honored” for the opportunity,
“I’m looking forward to serving on the Planning Commission. When I met with city staff to discuss the possibility of my joining the commission, I made it clear that I want to see Portland head in the direction of environmental sustainability and transportation systems that truly serve people. I am delighted and honored that that vision resonates enough with the Planning Bureau and the Mayor that they decided to appoint me.”
Made up of nine members that are appointed by the Mayor, the Planning Commission oversees a broad scope of planning and policy decisions that have a huge impact on how Portland grows and evolves. According to the City website,
“The Planning Commission advises City Council on any proposal that directly affects any goal or policy related to any element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission also may review and comment on the implementation of city policies in relation to land use issues, amendments to the Zoning Code, urban renewal plans, transportation plans, public facilities plans, tax abatement programs and other citywide policies, as well as street vacations, dedications and name change requests referred to the Commission.”
Back in May I stressed the importance of someone like Ciarlo grabbing a spot on this commission because I believe if Portland wants to become a truly world-class bike city, we must have bicycle-conscious people in these types of roles.
“I want to see Portland head in the direction of environmental sustainability and transportation systems that truly serve people.”
Former City of Portland bike coordinator and now planning consultant Mia Birk says the Planning Commission will play a large role in the Bicycle Master Plan. The plan, which is in the midst of its first update in over ten years, will go before the commission before it is officially adopted by City Council next summer.
Birk — who works as a consultant on the Bike Master Plan for PDOT — says three key components of the plan (zoning code recommendations, policies that set up legislative intent, and street reclassifications) will go to the Commission for approval.
I’m thrilled to see Ciarlo assume this role and I think this is a great step for bicycles in Portland. I was just getting my feet wet in the bike scene when Ciarlo left the BTA, but from what I’ve heard she will be a very effective commissioner.