I’m headed to the 2008 Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle next week along with a large contingent from Portland. Among the highlights will be the unveiling of the first-ever Bike Friendly States rankings by the League of American Bicyclists.
The conference, which kicks off on Wednesday, will feature keynote speeches and nearly 250 presenters in a variety of panels and workshop sessions. The opening address will be given by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Nickels has been hailed as a “visionary” by the Sierra Club and other groups and has been called America’s “greenest” mayor by magazines like Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.
Bike advocacy professionals, traffic engineers, and bike and pedestrian planning experts from all over North America will attend the conference to learn and share knowledge about topics like complete streets, federal funding, bike parking, and more. Some of the sessions I’ve got my eye on include:
- Social Marketing and Community Campaigns Promoting Cycling
- Partnering With Public Health
- Quantifying the Movement: Counting Bikes, Pedestrians and Mode Splits
- Bicycle Zone Analysis: A New Bicycle Planning Tool
- Adapting the Bike Sharing Concept to North America
Portland’s bevy of bike braniacs figure prominently into the program. Here’s a sampling of participation by local experts:
- Bring SmartTrips Home: Individualized Marketing Training to Increase Healthy Trips — presented by Linda Ginenthal from the City of Portland’s Transportation Options Program and Jessica Roberts, a former BTA staffer and now a planner with Portland-based Alta Planning + Design.
- The Role of Infrastructure In Determining Bicycling Behavior — presented by Jennifer Dill, the Director of the Center for Transportation Studies at Portland State University.
- Bicycle Mapping — presented by Jeff Smith, a bicycle program specialist at PDOT.
- Bikes and Transit: Why and How — a panel that includes Jessica Roberts from Alta Planning, the BTA’s Michelle Poyourow, and Carolyn Young, the Executive Director of Programs and Communications, fro TriMet.
As for the Bike Friendly State rankings. I think Oregon’s got a great shot to be #1.
I’ve already made the case that we’re the #1 state for bike racing, we’ve a got a state tourism agency that is completely on-board with biking, one of the best fully supported rides in the world with Cycle Oregon, and then there’s that Platinum ranking and several other cities that have reached Gold and other levels.
I can’t wait to see who comes out on top.
Stay tuned for reports and photos from Seattle starting next week.