Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

New BTA campaign will aim to ‘foster a culture of awareness’

Posted by on July 16th, 2008 at 11:38 am

seen in Beaverton

(Photo © J. Maus)

The BTA is working to solidify plans for a new educational campaign focused not just on people who ride, but all users of the roadway.

The campaign, dubbed Eye to Eye … a lot is riding on it, is still in the formational stages, but initial campaign materials describe it as,

“A safety campaign targeted at all road users… To foster a culture of awareness and respect on our shared paths and roadways… To make the streets of our communities safer for everyone.”

According to the BTA’s public affairs director Karl Rohde, the effort will include a logo, PSAs and advertisements, a press conference, and events.

The campaign was being formed months before the two recent road rage incidents, but know there’s even a greater sense of urgency to roll it out.

Rohde says, “We’ve identified that one of the problems out there is a lack of understanding and education on the part of both bicyclists and motorists…and the current state of affairs of education is dismal on the state’s part and from the DMV.”

Along with delivering an overall message of respect, the campaign hopes to serve “as a banner over information” about specific actions road users can take to be safe. The BTA says some examples of these actions would include making eye contact with other road users, following traffic laws, looking for bikes and stopping for pedestrians, using lights at night, riding the right way, and so on.

Preliminary plans call for coordination with the City of Eugene to produce a PSA targeting young drivers to be rolled out in movie theaters by the end of August.

A press conference to announce the campaign is planned for the first week in August.

Also according to campaign materials, other events are likely to include a bike light giveaway in partnership with the Portland Police Bureau, an “awareness event at a site of frequent cyclist/pedestrian conflicts”, and a group ride or walk to “raise awareness of drivers”.

Stay tuned for updates once the official launch happens.

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  • Ethan July 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Sounds like a great thing for the BTA to spearhead. I am excited to see the light giveaway program return too (if it ever actually ended).

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    so when is someone going to start giving away free bike bells to all the road racers speeding down the Springwater Trail and the Eastside Esplanade?

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  • steve July 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    So, how much money are they pissing away on this?

    \’Foster a culture of awareness\’

    Maybe they should develop a new mission statement and re-examine their values. Perhaps a team building seminar?

    What a joke.

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  • The Machine July 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    \”so when is someone going to start giving away free bike bells to all the road racers speeding down the Springwater Trail and the Eastside Esplanade?\”

    IMHO a nice loud \”on your left\” is more effective than a bike bell.

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  • Lazlo July 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm


    What exactly do you think the BTA should be doing then? I would say fostering awarness definitely benefits me as a cyclist and a driver.

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I forgot that roadies are allergic to bike bells \’cause they aren\’t \’aero\’

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  • Jessica Roberts July 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Quoting BURR #2: \”so when is someone going to start giving away free bike bells to all the road racers speeding down the Springwater Trail and the Eastside Esplanade?\”

    Actually, the BTA and PDOT partnered about a year ago to do exactly that; more info here. I volunteered at the event and it was really fun and positive (and gave 300 cyclists bells).

    So, it\’s been/being done…but now a good question would be, when is the next one planned? Because I\’d like to volunteer again.

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  • Donna July 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    IMHO a nice loud \”on your left\” is more effective than a bike bell.

    It\’s not if you have a hearing impairment. The loudest \”on your left\” combined with even the slightest breeze sounds just like Charlie Brown\’s parents in one of those Peanuts cartoons from the 60\’s and 70\’s.

    The tone of a bell can be heard through wind when a human voice cannot.

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  • Karl Rohde July 16, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Gee Steve, you really have a bur in your saddle about the BTA. What gives?

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  • Matt Picio July 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    steve (#3) – I dunno, how much you got?

    Seriously, if you don\’t support the BTA, don\’t give them money. If you *are* a member, and don\’t approve, then email, call or visit Scott Bricker and tell him.

    This is exactly what the BTA *can* do – they\’re limited by the fact that they are a 501(c)(3), and an organization that has to maintain a working relationship with the city, county, state and feds. If you\’re looking for direct action, the BTA probably can\’t help you. Nor should it – they have their role, and those involved in direct action and rabble-rousing have their roles. Instead of complaining about the BTA here, why not complain to them directly? Instead of complaining about their actions, how about taking some action of your own, either with another group or by forming one of your own? Why be a spectator when you can be a player?

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  • Angela July 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Ahh, Picio, you are like a breath of fresh air…I might be falling in love…. 🙂

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  • Andy July 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Bells are definitely clearer than trying to vocalize, and they\’re considered more \”cheery\”, as I\’ve seen some people regard \”on your left\” as kind of hostile. (Don\’t ask me how… maybe it\’s tone of voice?)

    Especially when it\’s more of an old school brrrring brrrring rather than the single PING! ones you usually see now. 🙂

    Burr #6: Lol, aero bells. 😀

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  • Steve (not steve) July 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Kudos to the BTA for all their hard work. So, why is it the matching spandex clan needs to use MUPs for training or whatever. I mean really, dontcha think it\’s the cycling equivalent of ultra-lifted 4×4\’s or parking your Italian crotch rocket in front of the coffee shop?
    You gotta nice bike and shaved legs…great.
    I know, way off topic.
    Thanks again BTA.

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  • FredLf July 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Three cheers for the BTA! I think this is exactly what\’s needed, though it\’s criminal that the DMV and state aren\’t providing the education. They\’re the licensing body fer cryin\’ out loud.

    And the problem roadies have with bells isn\’t that they\’re not aero, it\’s that they\’re too heavy. 🙂

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  • FredLf July 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Oh, and FWIW, I just say \”ding ding\” out loud when I\’m on my bell-less road rocket. Easy to understand and often gets a laugh.

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  • Roma July 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    \”I forgot that roadies are allergic to bike bells \’cause they aren\’t \’aero\’\”

    Actually, it\’s because they\’re not cool – kind of like having a rearview mirror on your helmet.

    I personally don\’t have a bell because I don\’t like having a bunch of crap on my handlebars, and I don\’t see the need. And I\’m not even a \”roadie\”.

    Sometimes I do wish I had an air horn for the groups of people walking three abreast down the Springwater…or people jogging in the bike lane.

    I love how you say \”roadies\” like it\’s a bad thing. The cliqueish infighting between different types of cyclists is part of the problem.

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  • Martha R July 16, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Yay, BTA!! I\’d say, \”Hurry up and roll out the campaign now!\” but it\’s worth taking the time to do it right.

    That bell giveaway was great – I second Jessica\’s question about when the next one is coming. It was more than just getting a free bell, it was about a group of happy people cheering on the bike commuters.

    And for anyone who poo-poohs the BTA, they\’re the ones who led the charge to widen the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalks. Without their advocacy and hard work, we\’d still be riding on 6-foot sidewalks there. Before that, they were part of the lawsuit that forced the city to comply with the law about including bike facilities on any new or substantially rebuilt street. Talk about a huge impact on infrastructure improvements since then. I could go on, but there\’s not enough space to describe just how much of a positive impact the BTA has had on bicycling around here. So again, YAY BTA!!!

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    OMG, mirrors \’not cool\’, too much \’crap\’ on the handlebars….something\’s really rotten in Denmark if clutter on the handlebars is more important than basic politeness.

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  • Patrick July 17, 2008 at 7:48 am

    This may be off topic but it seems like a common theme between the two \”road rage\” incidents and the arrest of Rev. Phil is the challenge of how to effectively communicate and enforce community standards.
    In each of these three instances someone tried to enforce a safety standard (using a light, stopping at a stop sign, slowing down) through methods that were either way over the top (tackling and tasering) or that infuriated the person violating that standard (by yelling or cursing at them).
    While all three people intervening were trying to improve safety and educate someone, none of the three attempts was successful, in part because of the methods they used ended up being counter-productive. Some of that had to do with person trying to enforce the standard and some with the people whose behavior they were trying to change.
    I hope that BTA\’s efforts will be more effective in communicating some of those standards to cyclists and to drivers in a more effective way.
    Each of us still needs to make a determination of how to most effectively approach someone operating unsafely or if engaging that person (whether they\’re on a bike or in a car) is likely to bring about the desired outcome. Often our first response isn\’t one that\’s going to work very well.

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  • Jeff July 17, 2008 at 9:08 am

    >> IMHO a nice loud \”on your left\” is more
    >> effective than a bike bell.

    > It\’s not if you have a hearing impairment.

    Yeah, but realistically, the most common \”impairment\” on the Springwater is a pair of white earbuds. Ringing or yelling or waving frantically all seem useless when someone\’s obliviously rocking out and swerving back and forth in front of me.

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  • Jean Reinhardt July 17, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Product opportunity–make a carbon bike bell and the roadies will snap \’em up.
    Print \”Rapha\” on that carbon bell and the\’ll pay $100 for the sucker.
    Make the bell with a hydration pouch and you\’ll sell it to the trigeeks.

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  • steve July 17, 2008 at 9:52 am

    What I love about the BTA is how they support the CRC. Same thing for Sam Adams.

    Go Sam!

    Go BTA!

    Go CRC!!

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  • toddistic July 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

    that dude in the picture has some sweet socks!

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  • BURR July 17, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I think it might be Earl

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  • mabsf July 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Roma #16

    I find your comment rather strange: You don\’t seem to see the purpose of communication with other traffic participants (\”I personally don\’t have a bell because I don\’t like having a bunch of crap on my handlebars, and I don\’t see the need. And I\’m not even a \”roadie\”.\”) yet you seem to expect that people jump aside when you come down the Springwater (which is multi-use by the way–so walker have a right to be there!)…

    A bike without a bell is like a hybrid without a horn…nearly unhearable!

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  • Roma July 17, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    mabsf –

    I do communicate with other traffic participants – in a previous comment I said I prefer an \”on your left\” to a bell.

    I never said walkers didn\’t have a right to be there, I\’m just annoyed by people who aren\’t aware of their surroundings and act like they\’re entitled to take up both \”lanes\” of a multi-use path – same goes for cyclists riding three abreast down the Springwater.

    If I\’m walking (or jogging or biking) on a multi-use path, I stay to the right and I\’m aware that there will most likely be joggers, cyclists, etc. who want to pass me.

    I don\’t expect anyone to \”jump aside\”, I just expect them to share the path as I do. I don\’t run people off the path, or ride like a speed demon.

    I never jog, walk or ride without an iPod (like a lot of people), so a bell is useless if you want to get my attention.

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  • Deborah July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm
  • jimbo July 27, 2008 at 12:15 am

    I would like to see some walkers organize a critical mass on the springwater trail that would bring all the bikers to a crawl

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