Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on February 14th, 2009 at 12:17 pm
outside KBOO after recording
the New Year show this January,
with special guests Blind Pilot
(Photo © J. Maus)
KBOO community radio is as much an institution in Portland as, well, bikes. The KBOO Bike Show been an essential component of bike-related media since its inception in October of 2001, airing interviews with major players in Portland’s bike evolution, and giving voice to all sides of the major issues of the day.
The Bike Show team was just told that the show is being cut back from a full hour to half an hour, effective immediately with their next show on March 4th*.
[According to a rep from KBOO, they were considering splitting the show into two, half-hour chunks, so there would still technically be an hour each month].
Here’s how Ayleen Crotty, the show’s co-founder, explained the decision:
KBOO is undergoing some much-needed restructuring to revitalize their programming…
Unfortunately the staff has made a decision to cut the KBOO Bike Show to a half hour program.
This change would eliminate our ability to take calls from listeners and foster a vibrant community dialog. We will not be able to dig deeply into heated issues like the “Idaho Stop” [Editor: Listen to the most recent show, on this very issue, here].
Crotty requests that the show’s listeners take immediate action: “Today is the day to get the word to KBOO, as they’re making their decisions now. ”
You can contact the station by email at AmNews at KBOO dot org or by phone at (503) 231-8032.
“We’ve helped make the roads safer, we’ve educated, and we’ve helped some drivers feel more at ease as they navigate among cyclists.” – Ayleen Crotty
Crotty and Sara Stout started the KBOO Bike Show several years ago as a way to reach out to inform, converse, and entertain on all things bike-related with the general public, biking and non. A couple of years ago the team expanded to include Carl Larson and Tori Bortman.
When the show first began it was a half-hour program, but in a few short months it was popular enough to gain an hour-long time slot. The show runs on the first Wednesday of every month from 9am to 10am.
Crotty won an Alice Award from the BTA in 2005 in part for her role in creating the show.
Crotty makes the case that the show has made a difference:
Over the years, we have had powerful conversations with drivers confused about how to interact with cyclists, friends grieving over the loss of loved ones as a result of run-ins with cars, jubilant cyclists creating amazing projects, riders from Amsterdam, Chicago, Bolivia, Prague…
Honestly, to hear the voices of those listeners who call in, I know we’ve made a difference out there on the road. We’ve helped make the roads safer, we’ve educated and we’ve helped some drivers feel more at ease as they navigate among cyclists. This important conversation simply does not and cannot happen while we’re on the road.
KBOO has told the Bike Show team that because of the volume of calls and emails they received in support of the show, they will be keeping it in its hour-long time slot on Wednesday morning. The team says thanks to everyone who showed their support!
UPDATE 2/22: We made some factual errors in our story. According to KBOO, keeping the show at a full one-hour had nothing to do with the “volume of calls and emails they received” as we reported above. The KBOO programming staff was working to accommodate the requests of the Bike Show hosts and BikePortland caught the story while those negotiations were taking place.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com