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BTA unveils bicycle boulevard (‘B2 Power’) infomercial

Posted by on December 4th, 2007 at 9:32 am

“Since they turned our street into a bike boulevard
our neighborhood is just a nicer place to live!”
Screen capture from “B2 Power” infomercial
(watch it below).

The BTA’s bicycle boulevard campaign just took a big step forward; they’ve unveiled their long-awaited infomercial (view below).

In the 10-minute film (which was shown at the BTA’s annual member meeting last night), host Timo Forsberg introduces us to “B2 Power” (“B2 Power means bicycle boulevards”) which he defines in his opening lines (delivered in his best infomercial tone),

“Do you feel that your neighborhood streets aren’t safe for you and your children? That it’s impossible to juggle work, errands, and exercise?

There is a way out of this trap, it’s by tapping into B2 Power. It’s all about making your streets lovable, and it all starts with this ingenious contraption…[unveils a bicycle to ‘oohs and aaahs’].”

The film — which was written and directed by Dan Kaufman of CrankMyChain! TV — takes viewers on a crash-course in bicycle boulevards, complete with a special, lab-coat wearing “transportation expert” and on-the-street (and on-the-porch) testimonials from regular Portlanders.

It’s bike propaganda at its best…it’s the must-see film of the year! Check it out…

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Clar...er...Sasquatch
Guest
Clar...er...Sasquatch

What?! No sasquatch?!

Nicely done Dan, Timo and all! Propaganda rocks!

michael downes
Guest
michael downes

I\’m not sure that was entirely successful. The dialog is stilted and awkward and the production, especially the graphics, is pretty cheesy. The attempt at humor distracts from what is a serious issue.

a.O
Guest
a.O

It\’s not propaganda if it\’s true!! (Or maybe it is, but it shouldn\’t be, given what the term has come to connote.)

Bicycle blvds definitely improve the liveability of neighborhoods.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

I agree with michael.

The cheesy infomercial angle is funny for a minute or so but then it just gets in the way of the message.

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

My computer doesn\’t have sound, but I look forward very much to watching this as soon as I find a sonically-abled computer!

PS – From what I\’m hearing, since they seen to be *quite* the experienced filmmakers, I also look forward to Michael and TonyT\’s Sundance Film Festival Winning ten minute videos in the very near future too 😉

BURR
Guest
BURR

so I guess no one is ever supposed to question the bicycle boulevard evangelists.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Oh I\’m working on it Stripes. You know, it\’s harder than you\’d think to round up an armada of Clipper ships.

And the gorilla wrangler . . . Who knew they had a union?

Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com
Guest

I think it\’s a great message; however, the video seems like it could be cleaned up perhaps a bit more. Also, it was extremely choppy on my connection, so if there was a natural flow, it was broken up by the poor connection quality.

Great idea, could be slightly better implementation.

But, I don\’t think the merits of Bicycle Boulevards are questionable at all. Bicycle Boulevards + Bike Lanes + Bike Paths = Effective Citywide Bicycle Network.

Spanky
Guest
Spanky

I agree with BURR (for once!) that BBs are not an unmitigated end all and be all. Concentrating bike traffic on certain neighborhood streets has consequences, some of them, not so good. They do not make a neighborhood instantly \”better\” or \”more livable\” for the people living there if they are not bicycle commuters or otherwise not wedded to their cars.

And like all traffic (cars, bike and ped) increased traffic brings consequences.

That said, I\’d rather have more bikes and peds on my street any day of the week.

Carye
Guest
Carye

One thing that can\’t be disputed is that Timo makes a fine host! Great choice!

MxJane
Guest
MxJane

I liked the graphics along with explanation by Bruce Buffington of the different BB ideas. It really gave a good description for those who don\’t bikes or don\’t have a BB in their neighborhood. The video provides a good \”vehicle\” for starting dialogue at neighborhood meetings–it is light but full of the necessary information. Good job and thanks to the film crew and hosts.

I also like the variety of bicylists shown and the 4-tandem avec helmets rock!

laney
Guest
laney

Super Cheesey, but I like it. nice work!

Tbird
Guest
Tbird

I like it…

MxJane
Guest
MxJane

I like cheese!

Matt Picio
Guest

BB\’s aren\’t the end-all, be-all, but then again, neither is anything else. We can debate the merits and the safety of bike boulevards, on- or off-street bike paths, and bike lanes all day, but they certainly seem to help the perception that Portland is a nice place to bike. I, for one, support this. I\’m in favor of any approach that gets more people on their bikes, and any approach that promotes community and people interacting with each other. Kudos to the BTA for promoting this.

I\’d love to see us get a 30-40% biking percentage (hell, even 20%) and then start debating how to make the system safer. It\’s still safer than riding in a car, last I checked. The most effective way (IMO) to increase cycling safety is to get more cyclists on the road. Ideally, we also will provide them with the safety resources they need to bike safely. (whether they actually do so is their choice, but we can\’t expect anyone to be safe if we don\’t provide them with the information and training they need)

I definitely think we need to examine the effectiveness of the infrastructure we\’re building, and adjust it as necessary, but if we wait until we know what the safest means are before building any of them, nothing will EVER get built. In the specific case of Bike Boulevards, they are a relatively low-cost means, and if they don\’t work, it\’s relatively easy and quick to revert those roads to their original configuration.

Respectfully,
-matt p

Matt Picio
Guest

I forgot one thing – Spanky said (bike boulevards)\”do not make a neighborhood instantly \’better\’ or \’more livable\’ for the people living there if they are not bicycle commuters or otherwise not wedded to their cars.\”

Spanky, I disagree – there are a lot of people who benefit even if they are wedded to their cars – especially parents. Bike Boulevards are designed to reduce the amount of traffic on the streets, making it safer for kids in the neighborhood and especially when crossing intersections. Many parents are willing to suffer a small bit of driving inconvenience to provide a safer environment for their kids. Reduced traffic also means better air quality, and reduced road noise, both of which not only provide a better environment but also enhance property values.

BURR
Guest
BURR

So Matt (and others), do you think we can achieve a 40% mode split (or even a 20% mode split) with bike boulevards alone? I don\’t think so, I think we need to improve safety and access on all streets, including most importantly, the arterial streets. Neighborhood streets are a no-brainer, without doing anything further they are already relatively safe; it\’s the arterials that need the most work.

I think it\’s time for Portland to stop constructing curb extensions that preserve curbside parking and start removing curbside parking on arterial streets to provide space in the ROW for bike facilities that are better than the door-zone bike lanes we have now. Pedestrians already have more than enough dedicated ROW space – they are called sidewalks – it\’s time to start carving more space out of the parking and travel lanes for cyclists.

Greg
Guest
Greg

The video is pretty rough, but the idea seems very simple. There are a lot of things that involve sacrifice – putting a halfway house in a neighborhood, or whatever, but bike boul\’s aren\’t one of them. Residents can still get to their houses, but they get less car traffic. Doesn\’t everyone want that? This concept ought to be an easy sell…

Carl
Guest
Carl

\”So Matt (and others), do you think we can achieve a 40% mode split (or even a 20% mode split) with bike boulevards alone?\”

BURR, who said anything about \”bike boulevards ALONE?\” Get over it. They\’re just one tool in the toolchest. They do their job well. Are they the dedicated cycletracks on major arterials that we covet? No. Do PDOT and the BTA want facilities other than bike boulevards? Of course!

Bring on the cheese. I enjoyed it. Especially the kids. \”Let\’s race!\”

MxJane
Guest
MxJane

I think safety is the #1 issue to address if we want more kids riding bikes. The other issues of convenience and creating habit are also big ones if we want to see an increase in bike commuting.

Just a half hour ago I was walking with my dog (on a 25 mph neighborhood street) and a punk drove by me at a cool 40-50mph and blew through a stop sign. Bumps and rounds do help however these bumps and round are really about getting cars to slow down and share the road. And it\’s not just the demon SUV that it\’s the problem, there\’s also a number of parents with kids on board speeding through town… It starts with each one of us when & if we drive. Creating a culture where it is privilege to drive and a right to bike is another attitudinal tool we need.

BURR
Guest
BURR

Carl – Most arterial bike facilities proposed in the current bike master plan have never been constructed (e.g. SE Hawthorne, SE 11th and 12th, etc.). I\’ll believe that the city and the BTA are interested in more than bike boulevards when they step up to the plate and get more aggressive about carving out the space necessary to build better bike facilities on arterial streets, but not before. It will be very interesting to see how the new bike master plan compares to the existing plan in this regard.

The status quo is that pedestrian, transit and motor vehicle facilities all have precedence over bike facilities, and I find it truly amazing that bike advocates have been deluded into thinking that ped and transit improvements such as curb extensions actually provide any benefit to cyclists.

Bike boulevards are a feel-good, easy to implement program, and the city has a history of backing down when it comes to hard to implement projects, like truly safe bike facilities on arterial streets. In summary, I\’ll believe it when I see it.

Cøyøte
Guest
Cøyøte

BURR spake: \”So Matt (and others), do you think we can achieve a 40% mode split (or even a 20% mode split) with bike boulevards alone?\”

As one of the \”others\” – Nope. BBs won\’t do it, but they do not suck. What we need is gasoline in the range of $20/gallon. Drivers license fees around $1,000/year. A 200% sales tax on automobiles. Tort reform, and an automobile insurance structure similar to our current health care racket. Oops, I almost forgot rose colored glasses.

Randy
Guest
Randy

This video starts too slow. I stopped watching after 2 minutes when there was no mention of bike boulevards. The video could use some polish: professional acting and more succint messaging.

Matt Picio
Guest

Burr – I was actually saying exactly the opposite. I think we need to have all the tools in the toolchest. I think that diversity is what makes our system as healthy as it is. I want to see more of all of the above, and whatever else anyone can dream up for more and better biking.

Matt Picio
Guest

Burr (#17) – So how do you propose we make up for the parking shortfall from removing all that parking? In the short-term that parking is necessary for the current car traffic. Removing on-street parking means parking needs to be provided somewhere else. (unless you\’re proposing that parking removal be used as a tool to get people out of their cars and on a bike, or transit, or foot)

Gradual or incremental solutions are easier to sell to the auto-bound majority. That doesn\’t make them valueless. Regardless of what we might want to have (even assuming we can all agree on what is best), we are not the only road users, and any solution will have to involve compromise at some point.

mark
Guest

I agree with Michal. The point was lost with the cheese. Needs major refinement. I think it can be done better if you want non-cyclists to take it seriously.
B2 Power needs some work. I was excited to watch and disappointed in the end.
Best Regards
Mark

Matt Picio
Guest

BTW, whose quad tandem was that? Way cool.

Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com
Guest

BURR brought up Hawthorne and the 11th/12th couplet. He mentioned removing parking as a possible solution.

In both instances, I would much prefer to see the roads in question go on a road diet: One lane of traffic in each direction, with bike lanes and turn lanes. Parking is valuable as a buffer between the street and a sidewalk. But removing a traffic lane will likely have all kinds of good effects on business, livability, and even the driving experience. Not to mention bicycle-friendliness.

Martha S.
Guest
Martha S.

I approve. Yay for informational videos!

BURR
Guest
BURR

Curb side parking is light enough on SE 11th and 12th that it could be removed from one side of each street to provide space for and 8-foot wide bike lane on both streets. SE 11th and 12th would link up all the east-west bike boulevards from Ankeny south to Clinton. An added bonus is that no streetcar lines are proposed for SE 11th and 12th that would conflict with cyclists.

BURR
Guest
BURR

and to be specific, I never said I had anything against bike boulevards, I use them all the time. I just don\’t think they are the be-all end-all for bike infrastructure, and we need to be planning and designing to make all streets bike safe, accessible and friendly.

Alicia Crain
Guest
Alicia Crain

To #27 (and everyone else):

The Quadem Four Play, as the quad tandem seen in the B2 Power film is officially known, belongs to my friend Jane and me. We are currently working on operating it to its (and our) fullest potential.

Unfortunately the early dark, the wet, and the high car speeds on the street (NE Holman) where we practice reduce our ability to do so. Designating Holman a Bike Boulevard and putting in some traffic circles or speed bumps, or even just some freakin\’ signs, sure would help out with at least part of this situation. And, then we could ride it more, give more people an elated grin when they see us roll up and not almost fall over. We could also then offer low-cost, sustainable, emission-free, heart-healthy, attention-grabbing, traveling advertising opportunities. Wouldn\’t that be a dandy?

Bikealicious
Guest
Bikealicious

Ick. And I say that with some reservation and respect for the creative talents and time devoted to making it in the first place.

But…it\’s not funny. It\’s not even good cheesy. However well-intentioned the message, the package it\’s in ends up sending absolutely the wrong message.

Be smart. Clever. Creative, without relying on cliched/overused/uninspired elements lifted from what is perhaps the worst kind of dreck on TV.

Grade C-.

bikebubba
Guest

#33 – You might consider trusting your reservations and showing some respect for people who are doing something positive rather than of being just another negative troll.

I happen to like the movie and can\’t possibly see how it sends the \”wrong message\”.