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Have your say in Salem at the Oregon Bike Summit

Posted by on April 17th, 2009 at 11:15 am

Time to rise up, Oregon cyclists!

Next week’s Oregon Bike Summit (4/21-4/22) in Salem could be the most important advocacy event of the year.

In previous years, the summit has been held in Eugene, Sisters, and Portland, but this year organizers are taking the bike movement straight to the lawmakers and pursestring holders in Salem.

The man behind the summit, Jerry Norquist, is the ride director of Cycle Oregon, Chair of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and one of the state’s pre-eminent bike advocates. He’s decided to model the event on the National Bike Summit, held each year in Washington D.C..

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When I spoke with Norquist yesterday, he said how important it was to make our presence known; “We have to convince people,” he said, “that the only way to get things done is to show up and get your voice heard.”

Oregon Bike Summit afternoon sessions-24.jpg

Where ideas can turn
into actions.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Norquist, along with other summit organizers including staff and volunteers from Cycle Oregon and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, have put together an impressive agenda that will ensure our state’s legislators hear loud and clear that there is a massive amount of energy and support for making Oregon, “The land bicycles dream about”.

The event is slated for two full days and will be kicked off by the Mayor of Salem (and Alice B. Toeclips award winner) Janet Taylor. New this year is a focus on lobbying and education on how the legislative process works.

The BTA has lined up meetings with nearly every Oregon legislator, so no matter what part of the state you show up from, you’ll have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with your representative to tell them how much you care about biking.

Other highlights include;

Sen. Dingfelder will join us
for a ride on Wednesday morning.
(Photo © J. Maus)
  • the unveiling of the new website created to promote bike tourism in Oregon (I’ve been following its development, prepared to be blown away),
  • a bike ride with legislators (Senators Floyd Prozanski, Jackie Dingfelder, Jason Atkinson, and House rep Tobias Read and others will attend),
  • a talk about the history of cycling in Oregon by historian (and BikePortland contributor) Eric Lundgren.

Imagine, bike advocates from all over the state, flooding the Capitol with information and inspiration about how bikes can impact our state in a positive way on issues like health, the economy, sustainable transportation, and more.

I’ll be there to bring you all the action (like I’ve done every year the event has been held), but if you want to help us make history, you should make plans to be there yourself!

Learn more at OregonBikeSummit.com.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Eric April 18, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Thanks for the shout-out! I want to give one of my own. Dino & Leslie Venti are huge bike supporters and have a cafe just two blocks away from the convention center. They also have the best taplist in town. I think they’re gonna have a special promo just for summit attendees. So for lunch, dinner, or a frosty beverage in the evening, support a bikey business! Venti’s Cafe

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  • are April 20, 2009 at 11:21 am

    heavy emphasis on recreational riding, and a hundred dollars a head to participate. where is “steve” to get all negative on this?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

    heavy emphasis on recreational riding, and a hundred dollars a head to participate. where is “steve” to get all negative on this?


    not sure if you’re writing about the Oregon Bike Summit… but it’s mostly about legislation this year… and it also includes some recreational oriented stuff and other things.

    hardly what I would call an “emphasis on recreational riding” though.

    It’s $100 for a few meals, a lot of education, a first-class event, a chance to meet everyone in the Oregon bike scene and directly influence biking in our state.

    They’ve also worked out free train ride on Amtrak.

    hope to see you there.

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  • are April 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    the “impressive agenda” to which you link includes: (1) governor’s conference on tourism, (2) unveiling of Travel Oregon website, (3) Linn County interactive map (of recreational routes), (4) Eric Lundgren, whose history seems to focus on sidepaths, (5) Amsterdam and Copenhagen, again sidepaths, and (6) Tim Blumenthal, an industry rep.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 20, 2009 at 1:13 pm


    to each his own. I have been to all previous oregon bike summits and they have been very worthwhile to me.

    Also, if you have a thing against sidepaths, perhaps you could show up and express that displeasure in a room full of some of our state’s top transportation policy makers? just a thought.

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  • are April 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    A voice opposing sidepaths does need to be heard in this state, because the advocacy organizations are on the wrong side of the question. I am unable to attend this particular event, this time around, and the hundred is a bit of an obstacle, but I do intend to become involved. I did the national summit in ’03 or thereabouts, where I met and worked with Tim Blumenthal, and it was there that I began to realize how the industry-funded and government co-opted elements of bicycle advocacy are pushing a sidepath mentality.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    sounds good are,

    I agree with you about sidepaths… in that an opposing voice does need to be heard.

    You might be interested to know that Elly and I have been talking about hosting a public discussion about separated bikeways and sidepaths in Portland. Stay tuned for more on that.

    Back to the topic at hand.

    Would you attend the Summit if BikePortland paid your way? If so, email me at jonathan[at]bikeportland[dot]org.


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  • are April 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    will respond offlist

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